The Quays Bar

The Quays Bar

The Quays Bar in Temple Bar, Dublin all dressed up with a moody, vintage look

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Another fabulous sunrise in Dublin

Another fabulous sunrise in Dublin

I love to shoot in Dublin, Ireland - it's a beautiful town.  But my favorite thing to do there is wander the streets at sunrise.  It's empty and more beautiful when you have it all to yourself.  And if you get a stunning sunrise?  Well that's just a bonus!

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First in line at Temple Bar

How do you beat the crowds?  Get there early!

That is sound advice when it comes to visiting the most popular pub in Dublin (or any pub in Dublin, for that matter!).  If you want to beat the crowds, get there early.  This is The Temple Bar, and this place fills up with tourists most nights of the week.  As such it's sometimes hard to make your way to the bar for a pint of Guinness (and that's definitely the thing to do there, though there is also live music).

But it's equally sound advice when you want to get some photos of the Temple Bar.

Because of said crowds, you just cannot possibly get a clean shot of the place, except early in the morning.  Let's face it - you know you can't possibly wait out the crowds in the evening.  They are probably out there til all hours of the morning.  I guess, technically, you could slap on a filter and do some really long exposure, with the result being that all the tourists blur out of the shot.  

But I'm not even sure that would work, because often there is a bouncer of sorts standing outside, just moving slightly left and right.  He would just be a blurry mess.  Besides, that's what caffeine is for.  Get up early, shoot without the crowds, then go get some caffeine.  It works great for me.

But you can rest assured that by 6am or something like that, everyone is safely slumbering back at their hotel, which means you get to stand in front of what is arguably the most famous Irish pub in the world, and shoot to your hearts content.  That's my kind of thing.  I get pretty excited about taking these shots, every time I go to Dublin.

And no, there are no tricks in these shots - no Photoshop "people removal" or anything like that.  The streets were just empty, with a single person walking by every now and then.  Otherwise, it was me and my camera (and my friend Mark, who was also shooting away).  Well, there was a guy doing a little work around the outside of the Temple Bar, but I mostly just shot around him.  That was easy.

I have found a great little hotel (The Clarence Hotel), which most times has very reasonable rates and is just a 2 minute walk from here.  It's perfect, in fact.  It's a nicely appointed place, and let's face it, hotel choices often come down to location.  Not to mention it's owned by Bono and The Edge of U2 fame, so there's that.  No, I haven't seen them there yet - I once missed them by 2 days though, dangit!  I've been a fan of them since I was a kid.  Maybe someday I will bump into them there.  Wouldn't that be awesome?

It also has a great little bar, shaped like an octagon, and conveniently named The Octagon Bar.  I've been there and chatted with the bartenders a couple of times, and like all the Irish I have met in my travels there, they like a good conversation.  The head bartender (who sadly moved to Australia or something) was a "certified flair mixologist", which is another way or saying that he used to toss bottles around while mixing drinks, like in the old Tom Cruise movie Cocktail.  It was incredibly entertaining.

But anyways, I stay at The Clarence and at least one morning during my stay, I drag myself up and out before sunrise, so I can stand on these tourist-free cobblestone streets and fire away.  It's so awesome when you have this to yourself.  That's why I recommend sunrise shooting in cities.  You can see all the awesome spots without the distraction of tourists.

For those that are curious, these were all shot with my Nikon D700 and the wide angle lens - which I absolutely love - which is the 14-24mm.  It gets nice and wide so I can gather up all the bits on both sides of the lane.  I love that thing.

Also, these photos were all adjusted in Color Efex Pro and Aperture (and the first 2 are single exposure shots, while the rest are all 7 frame HDRs).  In Color Efex Pro, I normally use some of these filters: Detail Extractor, Pro Contrast, Brilliance/Warmth, Glamour Glow, and Skylight.  Sorry but not sure which filters were used on which photos, though.  I'm not organized enough to keep track of all that!

I have so many shots of The Temple Bar, many of which I have shared here before, but even more that I just haven't processed and shared yet.  I've been to Dublin 4 or 5 times now, and I tend to gather a lot of shots while I am there.  So, hopefully you enjoy seeing Dublin pics, because this blog has a lot of them and more will be coming!

Lastly, these were all shot on my most recent visit to Dublin, which was a few short weeks ago, although it already feels like a year ago.  I love that town.  Hopefully I will get back!

Some Temple Bar goodness

I just got back from Dublin - love that town!

I spent last week in Dublin and Glasgow, two cities that I really enjoy visiting.  I always bring my camera (of course) and take photos, time-permitting.  Well, time did permit and I clicked away like crazy.  But, I actually didn't take today's shots last week - I took these on one of my previous trips there.  I just happened to have them ready, and when I sat down to write this, all I could think about was Dublin!

I just haven't had time to work on any shots from the trip yet - hopefully I will get to that this week sometime.  I took over 1500 shots in the two cities last week, so I expect I will have some real goodies to share with you.  Plus, I also got to several new spots in each town, which means I can add them to my lists of where to shoot in each city - fun!

So, til I get to processing the new stuff, please enjoy these which are of The Temple Bar in Dublin, taken in broad daylight (of all things!).  I just happened to be walking by one day, and it only took a couple of minutes for the scene to clear out, and then I fired away.

The Temple Bar is just so photogenic - I shoot it every time I go there.  I just can't help myself!  I hope you don't mind seeing it again.  And if you do, well...sorry, but there are a million more shots of Temple Bar that I haven't even processed yet.  And believe me, I definitely plan to share them here when they are ready!

Evening in Temple Bar

The Temple Bar in Dublin - beautiful at night!

I love Dublin, and I say that a lot here.  There's a lot to love about that town.  One particular spot that I love there, probably more than all the rest, is the Temple Bar District, and the Temple Bar pub itself.  The area is basically their nightlife and entertainment district, and it centers on The Temple Bar pub itself, which you see in the photo.

The district has retained it's historic, sort of medieval feel and the streets are all cobblestone, which adds to the cultural feeling of the place.  Of course that makes walking a little harder, especially when I am carrying a large camera on a tripod and looking around, not down at what I am stepping on.  I haven't fallen over yet, but have come close a few times!  And yes this area is a magnet for tourists, but I don't care - I just love it.  It has so much character. 

My hotel preference is just a few hundred feet from the Temple Bar, so that makes it really easy for me to photograph it, especially at sunrise.  Whenever I am in Dublin, I always try and get up to shoot sunrise.  It's just amazing to walk these little cobblestone streets in the early morning hours, and not even see another person out.  I just love that.  Conveniently, it makes the photography a little easier too.  :-)

And in case you are wondering, yes this is an HDR photo.  I actually don't shoot too much after dark, but I was headed back to my hotel on the evening I took this one, and just couldn't resist a few more shots.  Of course, I do that a lot!

The Temple Bar

If you happen to follow me on Facebook, you likely saw a version of this photo that I shared there the other day.  It was a screenshot from Color Efex Pro of this as a work in process.  I like to share those things, hope you enjoy them too!

This is the famed Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland.  Every time I go there, I shoot this place.  I can’t help myself.  I have been 3 times now, and even though I was very happy with the shots I got the first time, I still make time to fire off some more of this same spot.  It’s just such a compelling scene to my eye.  I think I’m in love.  :-)

Now I am not one to go fill up the library with a bunch of redundancies, but isn’t that the beauty of photography?  Even though it’s the same scene, it’s never really the same, is it?  The light, the time of day, even the paraphernalia on the building will vary day to day, or at least visit to visit in this case.  So fire away, even when it feels like it’s “the same old stuff”. I think you’ll find that it never really is.

By the way, notice that those are Heineken signs hanging everywhere.  This in a town famous for Guinness!  It’s blasphemy!

Morning at the Temple Bar

I grabbed this shot on my last morning in Dublin, Ireland a couple of weeks back.  I looked outside my window while getting all my stuff together, and saw that the light was just right.  I grabbed my camera and sprinted downstairs, and down the street to this spot.  I grabbed a few frames, then headed back and hopped in the cab to the airport.  There's always time for one last shot! :-)

Temple Bar in the morning

This is the lovely Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland.  I freakin’ love this place, and not just because they serve Guinness.  Well, ok that may be part of it, but honestly finding a nice cold Guinness in Dublin ain’t too hard, as you can imagine.  In fact, the Guinness factory is in Dublin (though they don’t actually brew it at that factory anymore).  But I digress.

This entire area is called Temple Bar in fact, and from what I can tell it’s the cultural and entertainment hub of the city.  It’s just cool, you should go.  Really - just get on a plane and get over there.  You’ll love it.  Plus, the Irish people are so kind and welcoming.  And that accent - that’s cool too!

I will be visiting Dublin again soon and am looking forward to seeing this beautiful area again (and...ok...I will probably take a few photos too).  I shot this one around sunrise, because any other time of day it is fully packed with tourists, and really packed at night, since there are numerous Irish bars along this street. 

So, here are your takeaways from today’s post:

  1. Get yourself to Dublin
  2. Go to Temple Bar
  3. Get up at sunrise and photograph it (ok, this one can be a little hard!) 

Sunrise at The Temple Bar

Boy do I ever enjoy Dublin, Ireland.  What a great town!  The people are super friendly, and there is just so much to point a camera at.  I guess that’s one of the reasons I always find myself up early when I am there - I am eager to get out and start shooting as soon as possible.

During my last visit there, I stayed in a hotel just a 2 minute walk from this spot, which is smack in the middle of their entertainment district known as The Temple Bar District.  In fact, this is The Temple Bar itself that you are looking at.  I just love the look of this place, and when you catch it under an incredible morning sky, that’s just a bonus!