Self-confessed fan of Christmas that I am, I have completely ignored the same here in this blog. Amazing – could it be that my passion for photography transcends that for all things Christmas?? In any case, you’ll be glad that I will spare you any further reference to Christmas – we are all Christmas-sed out at this stage, I presume. No atmospheric candles, heaps of colourfully wrapped presents, not even a sodding Christmas pudding! I will go on with my ignorance and proceed with a different winter shot.

Yes, that IS winter time. The shot was taken on an early December day. Not this year, I admit. But that is winter in my adopted homeland: The most colourful time of year in Ireland.

Seriously, it is. And even though I love the snow, I also love the mild Irish winters – when I am hiking. Not only because the weather here makes it possible to go hiking any time of year, but also because it is never as  colourful out in the hills as it is now. Just look at the picture: Fitting for the Emerald Isle, the grass is green, even if a bit faded. Weeds and reeds have turned brown and ochre. The fir trees still keep their dark green needles and the bracken has turned a wonderful rusty red colour. In the distance, on the hills, the remains of the heather still appear as a vague purple haze. The rocks in the hills are grey. A powdery blue sky promises a dry hike. And the sheep, dotted in the landscape, appear as white spots here and there.

Talking of sheep – I get slagged all the time by my Irish friends for including sheep in my shots. “Jayus, you really can’t get enough of them, can you? Such a prejudiced view of Ireland you have!” one of them once said to me. I can’t help it, I like those fluffy creatures. Especially in shots of landscapes otherwise totally devoid of signs of life (disregarding plant life), they give a bit of focus and sometimes add a bit of humour to the scene. See the old girl in this shot? She seems to say “Who are you?”. Well, I say: “Move it, baby. Yes, pose a little bit for me. Ah, you are great. Fantastic. That is a really strong look you’ve got, baby. Keep it coming.”

Right, getting ready for New Year’s now. Are you? I am taking myself and the camera off to the fatherland. And I am hoping for some nice camera opportunities over there. Not with snow. I am officially snowed out for this year. But I am thinking of some experiments with fireworks – of which there will be plenty on New Year’s Eve in Germany.

Oh, and yours truly is very close to buying a new camera kit. After-Christmas-Sale is the perfect opportunity for camera shopping in continental Europe. Ok, off now, to do some pre-Sale price-comparing and camera-shop-spotting. Wish me luck!

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