Wednesday 1 October 2014

Beach bits and bobs

It's the 1st October and this afternoon I spent a very pleasant couple of hours down on our little strand out here in West Cork. It was just like summer, what with temperatures being in the 20s (I really hope this settled spell will still be with us in the middle of the month when the guests arrive for my West Cork Photography Weekends!) I sat in the sunshine and listened to the gentle swoosh of the calm sea as it lapped onto the sandy low-tide strand. I watched as the stonechats and the little wren hopped along the scrubby back cliff and the assorted corvids flew back and forth to their spot on the old watch tower on the Head.

I just love the time to escape and soak up the beauty of this world at the furthest south west corner of Ireland, and it is just this which I want to share with those who will be coming along to these exclusive photography weekends in a couple of weeks time. As well as the special opportunity to go looking for the big guys on a whale watching trip (and I'm pleased to announce that the fin whales arrived back in the West Cork waters this morning!) there will also be the chance to take an extra special close look at the little things that can often be overlooked.

As well as the more recognisable beach bits and bobs, I will be actively encouraging the keen photographers to search out the unusual. Finding things they have never seen before, photographing them then coming back to look up what they have discovered. Even I never stop discovering new things. Today I came across these squishy amber balls - some full of liquid, others deflated and dessicated. All I had to do was photograph it, leave it undisturbed on the shore and then do the ID when I returned to my special little reference library. In this library collection I have a superb little book The RSPB Handbook of the Seashore by my great tweep friend, the marine and coastal ecologist, Maya Plass. In no time at all I had found the answer to my puzzle Colpomenia peregrina or the Oyster Thief (also known as the sea potato)

So not only will there be much learning of photography techniques, there will be widening of knowledge of the natural world too. Oh, and spotting slightly more common things such as these crystal-clear common jellyfish Aurelia aurita.

If this appeals to you, then you are in luck as there are still two places available in a twin/double room on the weekend of the 25th October
However, have no fear if getting down and sandy is not completely your idea of spending a weekend with your camera, this is just a small part of the whole scheme of this taster weekend. Landscapes or people and place more your scene? They all will have their turn!

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