A Little Behind in NI

I have been so busy and have been having so many brilliant adventures that I have completely fallen behind on my blog! My sincerest apologies to those of you anticipating new stories and images.

The past few weeks here in NI have been fab. I experienced (and was lucky enough to be second-shooter for) my first Irish wedding, saw some absolutely incredible sights, and even spotted Old Glory flying high in a small town in County Down.

Much of my time has been spent exploring the Antrim Coast, which goes along the very top of Northern Ireland. The coastline is absolutely astonishing. Seriously, it’s jaw-dropping-marvelous-indescribable kind of beauty. The best part was the fact that I wasn’t seeing these sights with a big tour bus, so I had the freedom to get up close and personal with the coast. I was able to stand a little too close to the edge, just to get that little adrenaline rush of looking straight down the edge of a several hundred foot cliff, and also had the luxury of exploring off the beaten path and being able to take the time to compose images exactly as I wanted to. I was able to get so close to waterfalls that I was being sprayed by the rushing waters as I was photographing them, I was able to explore several of the incredible coastline areas that the HBO series Game of Thrones uses for much of their filming, and I experienced a mystical road lined with beech trees that were hundreds of years old, called the Dark Hedges. On top of all of that, I also saw some stunning marinas and, of course, castles. I’ve deemed a couple different castles in NI as my favs, and I was fortunate enough to return to one of those favs, called Dunluce Castle. This time I was able to see it from a different perspective, as I broke a few rules that involved a stone wall and a very, very steep drop off at the edge of a cliff to get the shot I wanted (but please, shhhhhh…don’t tell anyone!).


The wedding that I had the privilege to be a second shooter at was a wonderful experience. Besides getting to experience the Irish traditions and compare and contrast American and Irish weddings, I witnessed the generous love between an amazing couple that welcomed me into their event as though I was part of their family, rather than a random photographer interning from America. In my eyes, that was incredibly generous of them, especially since they didn’t even meet me until the night before their big day.

I can’t make any promises, but hopefully there won’t be such a lag between now and my next posting. I’m told it’s a bit chilly in WI these days, so bundle up and stay warm, friends! Until next time…

Week Two In Northern Ireland

  • Published September 22nd, 2013 by Jessica Kreger
  • 1 Comment

Hi Friends! Greetings once again from Northern Ireland! My second week was a bit more low key than last week. There were no museum photo shoots on the calendar this week, so my time was more laid back. I have begun working hard on my studies…I certainly can’t be slacking in my coursework for the courses I’m enrolled in at WCTC! Fortunately for me, some of the coursework entails taking photographs of the Emerald Isle to use in one of the big projects I’m working on. I stayed pretty close to “home” this week for photographs, but will soon be putting on some miles with my “boss” to explore other regions of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“Bossman Bryan” took me around Murlough Bay to check out the scenery and capture some images. While there, we were able to see Dundrum Castle from a distance, and he navigated me to an area called Secret Beach. He’s not so sure just how secret it is anymore, but I certainly didn’t know about it, and it was a lovely area.

Most of you who know me, know that I’m an animal lover, so I ogle over every dog I see, and have become very attached to my new best friend here, Rosiedog. She’s a beautiful Golden Retriever that loves walking the trails and swimming just as much as my Apachedog does. She certainly can’t replace my boy, but she’s doing a good job of temporarily filing the void in my heart for him while I’m away.

We have also ventured to the site of the intriguing remains of the Cistecian Abbey of Inch, built in 1180 in Downpatrick, County Down. We also ventured our way to Strangford, where we took the ferry across the bay to Portaferry. Strangford had many lovely sights, including several small castles which I unfortunately didn’t get the names of. Portaferry had a small aquarium and Windmill Hill, which offered incredible views over the bay. On the return from Strangford, we stopped in Kilcliff at a nice, sandy beach that offered us a view of the Island of Man, which can only be seen on clear days as it is usually hidden beneath the sea mist. Our last stop on the trek home was at the Bishopscourt Racing Circuit where I was able to get my motorcycle fix on! I didn’t figure out how I could finagle getting myself on one of the bikes to ride the course myself, though. ;)

I certainly can’t forget to mention the piggies. Shortly before I arrived, “Boss’” pig had some wee little piglets. It’s very entertaining to watch them get fed (it can be quite a challenge sometimes!), and to see how much they are growing everyday. The little piglets have such personality and are ridiculously fun to watch!

Everyday here seems to bring a new adventure. I seem to have forgotten what it means to be bored, as we are always finding something to “entertain” ourselves. I’m very fortunate to have such amazing people around me here. They know how much I miss my family and friends, and they do everything they can to help me feel welcome…and to keep my busy so I’m distracted from my homesick thoughts. And there’s never a shortage of laughs, as everyday I find myself a bit baffled with a slight language barrier. We all speak English, yet I’m regularly confused either with their words, or their pronunciations of the words. Who would’ve thought that one language could be so different? I have a strange feeling that I will come home sounding very similar to them, and then all of you will have a good laugh when you talk to me! Perhaps in a future blog posting I will share some of the different words. Until then, I hope everyone at home is enjoying the mid-September weather and getting ready for apple picking and Halloween costume planning!

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Karen Kottke  commented on  October 22nd, 2013

hey, how are you? did you forget about us at ol'WCTC?

Week One in Northern Ireland

  • Published September 17th, 2013 by Jessica Kreger
  • 1 Comment

Hello from Northern Ireland! Many of you have requested that I share my experiences in Irleland this Fall. I will do my best to write weekly here on my blog, but pelase forgive me if I fall behind, as our schedule here can get quite busy! My first week here has been quite eventful. Upon my arrival, I headed to a castle to which I stayed at for a couple of days, to enjoy my birthday. It was an amazing experience never to be forgotten. After being spoiled at the castle, I made my way to Newcastle, County Down, where I am staying with my friend Bryan from Rutledge Photography. Bryan had a very busy week planned for us, traveling around to several museums in Northern Ireland. We photographed pieces at the Northern Ireland War Memorial Museum in Belfast, The Braid Museum and Cultural Center in Ballymena, Coleraine Museum Services, and Barons Court, which is the family home of the Duke of Abercorn, where we photographed the interior and exterior of the home. Along the way, we managed to find time to shoot some scenics of the coast in Ballycastle and at White Park Bay.

Every assignement not only brought us to a new location, but also new sights and challenges. I've already learned a great deal about museum photography, something I never imagined myself doing. It's the complete opposite of what I shoot as a portrait phtoographer. While I'm busy chasing littles around with my camera and scouting out gorgeous locations for family portraits, museum photography is centered around static objects on a solid white backdrop. I must admit, shooting still objects is QUITE different than people, there has been a significant learning curve already! It's all very intersting.

As I mentioned earlier, in addition to the static object photography, we also had an assignment to photograph the home of a Duke. The Duke of Abercorn is the highest ranking member of the nobility in Northern Ireland. In addition to photographing the interior and exterior of his home, we also had lunch with his Grace. Having lunch with a Duke was quite the experience for me! I was unaware that we were dining with the Duke until shortly before lunch (thank you Bryan for neglecting to share this minor detail with me before we got there). I have never seen so much silver on a table setting before! Thankfully the etiquette lessons from the Personal Brand course in the Marketing Program at WCTC came to me (thank you Mrs. Loeding!), otherwise I may have embarassed myself horribly at the meal. Who would've thought that on an average work day I would dining with a Duke?!

There was much driving time traveling from destination to destination, so I have been able to see quite about of stunning countryside. With our travels, we were able to stop briefly on the coast in Ballycastle and at White Park Bay, near Portrush, County Antrim. I espeically enjoyed our stop at White Park Bay, because we were able to see the backside of Dunluce Castle. When I was in Northern Ireland earlier this summer with the WCTC Learning Abroad Program, our group stopped to view the front of the castle. Besides being a magnificent structure, there is also a story that goes along with the castle. Part of the kitchen next to the cliff face collapsed into the sea, with the servants in it. According to a legend, when the kitchen fell into the sea only a kitchen boy survived, as he was sitting in the corner of the kitchen which did not collapse. Since we had only been able to see the castle from the front, it was interesting to see it from the back, to be able to see where the kitchen fell off...what a drop!

I also took my first portrait over here last week. Thankfully the client was very pleased with the final result, as it was my "boss," Bryan! (:

 

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Melinda Osterhout  commented on  September 17th, 2013

Pictures are amazing and the blog is wonderful. By the time you get back here, I won't be able to afford you! Your work is amazing! Hope you're having a great time!!!

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