This is the fifth post in a series documenting our photography trip to Ireland in 2014

 

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Kylemore Abbey

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From the Victorian Walled Garden
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We visited Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden en route to our next locale.  Very close to Connemara National Park, Kylemore is an impressively picturesque structure, with surrounding environs to match, and I spent a good amount of time photographing the building and the river valley it was situated in.  For the €13 per person price to get in, the garden and indoor tour were underwhelming, so one could do quite well just photographing the Abbey from outside the gate.  Only a few rooms were available for touring, and next to the wildflowers of the countryside, the garden had nothing special to offer.  But the rest of the views are quite beautiful, so I tried more panoramas and long exposure shots of the building as well as the valley view to give the river a serene feel.  I also tried some combination long exposure panoramas — another technical first for me.  I just wish I had the post processing acumen to remove the various tourists sitting around. (Edit: Now that I have Macphun’s Snapheal, I was able to go back and removed the tourists from the image.)

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Typical travel shot of me, working the bokeh of the Olympus 12-40mm, pro lens. I prefer background blur with a bit of structure for context, while still with enough blur to make the subject pop.
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Later in post processing, I felt the day’s flat grey skies belied the rest of the scenes’ beauty.  So, for the panorama with the abbey and the lake at the top of this section, I had originally (and grudgingly) changed it to black and white to mask this.  I don’t find myself gravitating to black and white photography often.  I recognize its value for emphasizing texture, but for someone whose primary goal in photography is capturing the awesomeness of nature, color is very important to me.  I am sure that if my post processing skills were more advanced, there would be a way to fake a blue sky.  (Edit: After mulling it for a while, I turned it back to color and lived with the boring grey-white sky.)

I had done some HDR and art filters of the Abbey as well, to varying effect.  Dramatic Tone did not dampen the bright fairness of Kylemore, which created interesting contrast against the dark vibe of the sky, forest and lake.

 

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A four-stitch panorama of Kylemore Abbey
(click to view full-size)

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