Returning from Ireland and feeling inspired by the rustic terrain of Connemara and the Lens and Larder photography retreat I recently attended at Ballynahinch Castle. It truly was a visual feast for the eyes, the food styling, still life, forest walk, beach and of course the beautiful scenery, was all pretty amazing. All this would not have been possible without the organizers and tutors who injected an energy that could only leave you inspired.
The enthusiastic and very energetic Lens and Larder organizers Imen Mc Donnell from Farmette and Cliodhan Prendergast from Breaking Eggs. Creative and talented photographers Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers from Gentl and Hyers photography where helpful and generous with their knowledge that could only leave you a better photographer.
Food stylist Susan Spungen worked her magic with her creative food styling and made sure we had the freshest and best ingredients to work with. From honey, oysters, crab, seaweed, bread, foraged mushrooms, game birds and butchers… all displayed and styled with the utmost attention to detail. Team effort at its best 🙂 And not forgetting the other lovely particaptents… our crossing paths were short, but sweet. Following are a few captures from the retreat.
For a time I had this amazing scenery to myself… a short distance from Ballynahinch Castle. It took almost four hours to reach my destination with no wrong turns… the family were very impressed considering my sense of direction. But I wont mention the return journey!
The free-spirited Claire Davey (love the Aran cardigan) from American Village Galway burned forest incense and made us a grand cup of tea with herbs and bog myrtle. Claire also mixed up some delicious cocktails with wild potions at Cliodhan and Patrick’s residence on our last evening… thank you for opening up your home to us.
The patient and dapper Shane Bisgood as he posed for a few shots… he teaches clay pigeon shooting at the castle and also I believe he coached the American Olympic team in clay pigeon shooting.
Local bee man Gerard Coyne was a delight to listen too and spoke about his passion for bee keeping… a man who certainly cares about his bees.
The local butcher John Malone demonstrated how to butcher a whole sheep, he did this so effortlessly … I guess a little know how and tools of the trade helped.
Last but not least… thank you to the staff and manager of the picturesque Ballynahinch Castle, Patrick O Flaherty. As my mother would say “ I ate well, but not wisely.” Missing those great Irish breakfasts that ticked all the boxes and the room with a view overlooking the lake. A beautiful place to stay or visit if you are in Ireland. I think I could do this all over again 🙂 🙂