Ireland: You can never go home

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Leigh, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. Leigh

    Leigh Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2015
    Squamish, BC
    Recently I returned to my home country of Ireland after being away for nearly 6 years in Canada.

    Back then, when I left, it almost felt like the country was pushing me out. The recession put my career goals to an end and I felt this tiny little island on the edge of Europe held nothing for me. I understood why so many Irish men and women had left this craggy green rock for a better life over the centuries.

    While in Canada I'd joke that the one skill that Irish people are better at than all others is leaving Ireland.

    But recently those bad memories seemed to fade and I began to see Ireland through rose tinted glasses again. I wondered if my past opinions were still true or if the romantic views I now had about Ireland could hold any water. I needed to go back to find out.

    When I left Ireland I weighed 300lbs, I played video games and watched TV, whereas in Canada I had found mountains and the wild. The land here reshaped my mind and body and I wondered how it would feel to go home and see the country of my birth through the new eyes that Canada had given me.

    In Ireland I no longer saw the Pubs or Cities or endless farms blocking my ability to explore. I could see the pockets of wild land, the call of hills up high in the clouds, feel the ferocious wind and storms whipping off the Atlantic as I battled through the elements.

    I found a country I had never known, a place that I had been blind to, but realized with some melancholy that the place I had once left behind was now invisible to me, what I knew as home before was now gone, replaced with a new land of possibilities.

    I could never go home again and I was ok with that.

    Shot on an Olympus E-M1 using mostly the 12-40 f2.8 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5

    You can check out some of my pictures from Ireland on my Instagram:
    Leigh McClurg (@pebbleshoo) • Instagram photos and videos

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Ireland Tour 2015 by Leigh McClurg, on Flickr
    • Winner Winner x 47
    • Like Like x 34
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Great photos!
    But also a personal note on the how and why. I have never lived outside Holland, but emigration is not far away in my personal life, since my daughter followed her heart to New Zealand. Maybe one day she comes back and takes just as beautifull pics as you did.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  3. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 4, 2014
    Real Name:
    Fantastic photos. I went to Ireland last year and found it incredibly beautiful, but my photos didn't match yours.
  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    Beautiful shots and treatment, and the text adds a lot as well!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Joe King

    Joe King Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 3, 2013
    Dublin, Ireland
    Great pics Leigh! Recognise most of the locations but a couple have me stumped. Can you provide a bit more detail on this pair:

    I think the second is Poulanass Waterfall in Glendlough but I've never seen it from this angle and I wouldn't say that's an easy place to get to. Are you a rock climber by any chance?
  6. Leigh

    Leigh Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2015
    Squamish, BC
    The first is from Dun Na Ri Forest Park in Cavan and the second is from an amazing Park in County Antrim called Glenariff Forest Park. It has a series of really interesting waterfalls.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I enjoyed the text as much as the photos! Thanks for sharing.
  8. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    great set!

    I see you like encorporating a human element into most your landscape photos.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. wonglp

    wonglp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2011
    Gorgeous landscapes, love the human element in the shots too
  10. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    Great set and that first photo is just magical! :bowdown:
    • Agree Agree x 3
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    That first shot makes me think of a road out of Tolkien. Lovely work, and I agree about the enhancement of having a person in the shots.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Real Name:
    Alan Grant
    Great set of photos Leigh. As many people have already said, good use of human elements in landscapes - I keep forgetting to do that in my own photos! I really like the last one of the ring fort, it can be hard to take impressive photos of those structures.

    I also left Ireland a few years ago. I haven't had quite the same experience as you as I still live in Europe and return often for work, so I never fully "detached", so to speak. But I have found that living elsewhere (and also visiting Ireland with non-Irish family members) gives me a slightly different perspective when I travel in Ireland now - I rather like feeling like a tourist in my native country. If nothing else I make a greater effort than I used to in taking photos, because I no longer assume that I will have another opportunity any time soon.
  13. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Real Name:
    Stunning images! I especially like the first one, but they all make me want to hop on a plane to Ireland.
  14. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    Fantastic set! Thank you for sharing it.

    Post-Script: I just looked at your Flickr pictures, some of your other pictures are stunning as well. What gear did you use for the Irish pictures? And, where, geographically where the pictures taken?
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Love the photos! Though I have to say something seemed off in the long expousure waterfall photo and I realized there wasn't a person in that shot like the rest of the set! :D;):)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:

    great post.
    "There is no journey without return"

    Like you I left my homeland (Australia) and journeyed for some years. I have in that time learned to see Australia through my (Finnish) wifes eyes, even if only a little bit. Like you I was awakened to a different world and had my own "rebirth" (although different to yours).

    Physics shows us that we can only travel forward in time, Einsteins general relativity shows us a way to skip the present for a time, but not how to go back.

    This is good, as we need to go forward ... to discover "undiscovered lands".

    For me my Journey to Ireland was a journey of discovery, the birthplace of my Grandmother and the giver of heritage that allowed me to live a rich life in Finland.

    I will be leaving Australia again (like you) to (continue to) live in another land.

    May your Journey be bountiful


    some thoughts on being a wanderer

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
    • Like Like x 3
  17. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Reza Travilla
    very inspires! love this
  18. Islesfan91

    Islesfan91 Mu-43 Regular

    May 8, 2015
    great set of photos! I also followed you on flickr ;)

    we only spent a couple of days in Dublin when we went to Ireland last year, I'd love to go back and spend more time out of the city
  19. felipegeek

    felipegeek Mu-43 Enthusiast

    Jan 8, 2014
    Miami, FL
    Real Name:
    I liked the post before I even saw the photos. Very well written prose about a very personal experience. Thanks for sharing it.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Real Name:
    Jim R
    Very cool images and narrative. My dad & mom's dad are from there, so I'm an Irish citizen!
    :shakehead: what no cute shamrock icon?

    I spent about a week there in 2001 when US citizens were grounded, so the tourist sites were very quiet. Next time it needs to be three weeks! Love the land and the family history, and both ancient & medieval spots (except maybe those that Cromwell 'slighted').

    Also, it's time to reclaim my mom's plot of land -
    it was auctioned off in 1899 and no one has settled on it. We believe that after a century of lying fallow it should be returned to us! :thumbup:
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015