One of our stops along the way was the Kerry Ardfert Cathedral. The Ardfert Cathedral is built on the site of a monastery founded in the 6th century by St. Brendan the Navigator. The cathedral is located in the village of Ardfert, County Kerry, Ireland. The site has three medieval church ruins, the earliest building being from the 12th century, with additions made in the 15th century when a small transept was added and battlements were constructed, an ogham stone and a number of early Christian and medieval grave slabs. The cathedral roof was destroyed during the Irish Rebellion of 1641, but the south transept was re-roofed and extended later in the 17th century when it was converted into a Protestant Church. In 1871, when a new Protestant church was opened, the roof was again removed. Within the adjoining graveyard there are two other churches Temple Na Hoe dating from the 12th century and Temple Na Griffin dating from the 15th century ~Wikipedia~. What an amazing structure! Our good friends we were traveling with have Family that lives in the area. It takes a special kind of people that can make you feel like family from the first minute you meet them. From the minute we were introduced I felt like family. While we were there we got the privilege of a guided tour before our Irish style home cooked meal (dinner was amazing!). It wasn’t the special access to these sites that made our tour special. It was the pride that our guide had in his heritage, who he is and where he came from that made this tour special. The Irish are humble but proud people with a deep heritage and a history that spans centuries beyond our own. I don’t care who you are or where you come from you can’t help but be in complete awe when you stand at the foot of these structures and realize the history behind them.
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I am waking up after a 26 hour trip from Dublin to Montana and I feel great! I have been to a lot of places and until now have not found a place that equals the beauty of the Bigsky Country. Ireland was amazing to say the least and being able to enjoy it with close friends makes it that much better. On top of it’s raw beauty, the culture and the history of every place, Ireland will keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what is around every corner. Our trip took us from Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day to as much of the southern half of Ireland as we could cover in a week (It would be safe to say that we need to go back for a few more weeks to cover just the southern half). I was able to get the Photos from our trip loaded into LightRoom and the final count was somewhere around 3,200 images. Now Granted there are many images that were bracketed shots for HDR photographs but I think I can safely say that our trip was well captured :-). It is going to take me a few weeks to get through all of the photos. Along with the Photographs I will be sharing the stories and any of the lessons we learned along the way. Sláinte!
Like most Montana towns the older downtown buildings give the town it’s character and Great Falls is no different. The old Largent School is one of the coolest buildings in Great Falls with the most character of all the buildings in the downtown area. It was built in 1913 and opened as a school in 1917. I have a few personal ties to this building. when I was a kid I remember hanging out with my dad as he worked to get his GED when it was a alliterative education center. Then in 2004 the company I work for remodeled it and turned it into the Golden Triangle Mental Health and I was the project superintendent. When we remodeled it the owners insisted that we keep the historic look and feel of the building. We went to great lengths to do so. For example we changed out the windows with a custom high performance window that looked identical to the old windows. When I looked up the building the only way I could see which windows were changed was by looking for the stickers that were still on the new windows. There was also an upgrade to the fire safety system and when we were in the “Crawlspace” we found news papers that dated back to 1918 (see other photos). It is amazing to look at that paper and be able to look back in time. What a cool project!
Just south of the town of Square Butte, Montana and just northwest of the actual Square Butte there are some great formations and photo opportunities. Out on Flat Creek road I was able to find some great shots that capture the beauty of Central Montana that is rarely seen. I highly recommend the trip between Fort Benton down to Stanford, Montana. From this road you have so much access to unlimited scenic views, and photo opportunities. From Great Fall up to Fort Benton, down to Sanford, and Back to Great Falls is about a 166 mile round trip. To see some of the things along the way such as down town Fort Benton, Lost Lake, Square Butte, Huckleberry ice cream in Stanford, a burger and a beer at the Brew Pub in Belt you may want to budget the entire day. Whether you are a photographer or just want to get away with your family for the day this is a great day trip. To say it is off of the “beaten path” is an understatement.
In the past weeks I have been spending a little time in Fort Benton, Montana photographing and doing some research on it’s past and current culture. I have found some interesting sites and plenty of great photo opportunities. Just below the train station and Shep memorial (seen in the background) there is an old steam boat that sits in the middle of the field just off of the road. I pulled off to the side of the road and walked over to investigate. As I was walking up to it, I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of the raccoon that I think is living in a hole up on the deck (bummer). with one trip around and about 30 shots later it looked like I was getting some company. Up pulled a little grey Subaru with a lady, her dog, and what appeared to be her granddaughter. I had to laugh because I thought I was in trouble for trespassing ( I was standing next to the “No Trespassing” sign). First words out of her mouth with a big-ol smile was “Do you want to buy it”? I will be honest, I didn’t see that one coming. I politely explained that I don’t have the money OR a place to put it…. To make a long story short, this was apparently her late husbands “art studio”. Up the stairs was where her husband would paint and find inspiration. (talk about being the captain of your own ship) What I thought was going to be a hostile and well deserved lexure ended up being about a great 30min conversation with a neat lady.
When I was looking at this I thought it would make a great HDR shot. I think it was a good call… You tell me!
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I have to be honest…I have felt like a kid at Christmas for weeks now. I can’t express in words how excited I was when I hear that Brian Morger has come out with a new painting. Then when I saw his painting and the story behind it…. again completely blown away! I don’t know how many of you know the story of Shep, but it is an amazing story of the bond between man and his dog. Brian has the amazing ability to capture that moment in time. The captured moment in time shows Shep greeting passengers on his almost 6 year vigil waiting for his master’s return. I have spent a lot of time in Fort Benton over the last few weeks photographing and researching this story. Spending time in Fort Benton, I have been able to meet some of the people and feel the history. Fort Benton at one point in time was the innermost port in the country. Flat bottom paddle boats would come all the way from the Gulf Of Mexico to bring goods to the frontier. Click on the picture to follow the link to the story of Shep and Brian Morger’s “the Long Goodbye”.
Brian Morger's The Long Goodbye and the story of Shep
I want to start by first saying welcome to www.jlr-Images.com this is a project that has been a long time coming. I have spent the first half of my life running with my eyes closed and I intend on spending the rest of it walking with my eyes open. I have most of my walk planned out with the places I want to see and the rest of it will be filled in by everyday life. I have trips planned that will take me across the Atlantic and others that will take me across our great country. As I check off my “bucket list” I will share those photos and stories with you. Whether you are purchasing or just visiting put this site on your favorites and stop back and visit anytime.