A Gaggle of Photographers

What do you get when four photographers go on a mini-break together? Two car boots full of gear – and hardly any pictures taken. Well, I exaggerate. The boots also held our overnight bags and a shopping trolley full of bottles. But prepared we were. The four of us were heading off for a weekend in the country. Admittedly, the intention was not to go on a photo excursion. We only wanted to spend some time together, away from it all, enjoying each others’ company. Not since the end of our degree course last summer had we been together so intensely. Plus – without any pressure of impending deadlines or looming exams.

However, the full loot of the weekend away was 12 shots taken with Marky Mark – and 30 iPhone shots. *arrrrgh* And I really couldn’t pretend that there was nothing to photograph. As a matter of fact, the area where we were, turned out to have some of the most stunning Irish scenery I have ever come across. South Co. Fermanagh with its interconnected waterways and Lough Erne was absolutely gorgeous, both on the cloudy Saturday, as well as the bright and sunny Sunday.

Alas, we were not exactly doing photo-friendly things, I suppose… The most stunning vistas passed us by as we were sitting in the car, driving to our first port of call – a cave. Now, I have shot in caves before. (And you can see some evidence of that here…) But – if you have seen *one* cave, you have seen them all… Not that that would keep me from visiting yet another cave. I still love going underground – but this cave was really special because the tour involved a little boat ride on the underground river that has created the cave system of Marble Arch Caves. On the flipside, dark, damp caves are just not particularly conducive to shooting pictures. That coupled with the fact that my footwear was rather incompatible with cave exploration (flipflops should really only be worn on sandy beaches, not rough, wet, subterranean passage ways), meant that I stowed Marky Mark safely in my camera bag because I just didn’t trust myself to slip, bump, stumble or trip and crash the precious hardware in the dark. The iPhone was much quicker, too, as opposed to the fancy-schmancy massive cameras which brought up the rear of the group *ahem*.

If it hadn’t been for the proximity of a particularly stunning view just 2 minutes away from the Caves carpark, I would not have exercised Marky Mark’s shutter even *once* all weekend… What was so beautiful of this view was the absence of signs of habitation in it. There was one farm house in the distance, but everything else was green rolling hills, cliffs, a table mountain in the distance. A few cows dotting the landscape, some trees – this could’ve been Hobbiton for all I know…

Hobbiton, Co. Fermanagh. Awwwww.

BTW, I must point out that I was not the *only* lazy photographer. None of my fellow snappers made many photographs. Does it matter? Hell, no. The impressions are all there in our brains. The eyes are, probably, the best camera in the world. They only really haven’t yet developed a printer that you can rig up to your hippothalamus and print what your eyes recorded. Unless  you consider drawing from memory an adequate conservation and sharing process. Analog, though.

A wonderful weekend it was, nonetheless. And any time spent with good friends is worth-while, even if you don’t make any pictures at all. But if I am honest, I would love to go back – and next time hardly take the camera away from my eye. Must go on my own then, because two many photographers spoil the picture.

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