The aim of Your Natural Portraits is to give you more realistic photos that will capture your memories forever. We take a more candid and photojournalistic approach to your portraits. Rather than being confined to a studio, where everything is artificial, we photograph you in a more natural setting. See the image gallery below for an example of a recent photoshoot, or visit the website: www.yournaturalportraits.com
I have also been busy setting up with a new printing company which offers a print on demand service and will deliver anywhere around the world. They are based in Australia, but all customs taxes and VAT is collected by them and included in the price, so you will not get any nasty surprises when your order arrives. Through this company I am able to make my work available as prints, framed prints and calendars. Check out my profile for more info: http://www.redbubble.com/people/ianmiddleton
My summer was spent in the UK, Ireland and Italy and I am still trying to catch up on processing many of these great images. Given the fact that I have travelled Ireland extensively, lived for long periods in Wexford, and written two books on the country, people may think I have seen it all. But that is never the case, and nothing was proven truer than on this year’s stay in Wexford, Ireland. I discovered there was a fairy tree virtually in our friends' backyard and also one of Ireland's two only intact and thatched windmills. See more below. Some of the Irish photos have been processed and are now available here on the site, more will be announced in the next newsletter, along with the Italy photos.
This year also saw the launch of a new horse show in Slovenia. The Saeta Equina was the first of an annual horse show in the centre of Ljubljana. See photos below.
Next week will see the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and consequently there will be a weekend of celebrations culminating on Mon Nov 9th. My wife and I will be spending the weekend there and so keep watch on the site, which will feature some shots of the event, including a symbolic re-creation of the fall using dominoes!
Tacumshane windmill, County Wexford, Republic of Ireland. one of only two intact windmill in Ireland. Built in 1846, the mill was used until 1936 and was renovated in the 1950s. Key obtained from the nearby shop. Nearby Tachumshin Lake is a favourite with bird watchers as it attracts some rare American waders in Autumn, as well as internationally important concentrations of Bewick's swans, Brent geese, wigeon, oystercatchers, golden plover and lapwing.
Loftus Hall, the most haunted house in Ireland.
The story goes that in 1765 a young lady was living there, and that she longed for some romance in her life. The Hook is a bleak and lonely place in the winter, and so life was dull for her. One stormy night a young man arrived on horseback, claiming he was lost and had been guided here by the light from the lighthouse. He needed shelter for the night, and was welcomed in by the owners, much to Anne’s delight. He was invited to stay for some time and during the course of his stay romanced the young and lonely Anne, apparently whiling away the long nights with a game of whist. (Must have been one hell of a charmer.) It was during one of these games that Anne was to discover his terrible secret. As she bent down to recover some cards she had dropped, Anne saw that her companion had unmistakably cloven feet. Her screams echoed through the house and made the man aware that his secret was out. Immediately he turned into a ball of fire and exited through the roof. The hole left by his departure apparently resisted all attempts at repair, and remains there as a reminder of the story.
There are many tales of his returning to annoy the residents of Loftus Hall, until he was finally exorcised by a local priest. Anne went insane and it is said that her tortured ghost wanders the rooms of the hall to this very day. Unfortunately Loftus Hall isn’t open to the public. Click here for the gallery
For more Irish legends
check out my book, Mysterious World: Ireland here
The Fairy Tree.
In Irish folklore any lone hawthorn is believed to be a fairy tree, one of many portals between our world and the fairy world. They are often found in sacred places such as raths, burial mounds, bogs and marshes and are solitary in nature, standing out from the rest. This tree is no exception, and sits upon a hill surrounded by lakes. If you are truly lucky you may see the fairies dancing around the tree at night, especially tonight, Halloween, which is actually the derived from the Celtic Festival of Samhain, New Year's Eve in the Celtic Calendar. This is a time when the portals between our world and the otherworld (Tir na Nog) are flung open and the spirits pay us a visit. Click here for the gallery
The town of Enniscorthy lies just north of Wexford Town, and is one of the longest continuously-occupied sites in Ireland. With it's beautiful Saint Aidan's cathedral, whose spire stands proud against the hilly backdrop to the town, historic Norman castle and Vinegar Hill, where the rebels of 1798 had their headquarters, this is a place well worth visiting. Click here for the gallery
Brownshill Dolmen, Carlow
A dolmen is the remnants of a burial mound, or passage cairn. These neolithic monuments were believed to have been a sacred burial site, but also in Celtic legend are another portal and dwelling of the fairy folk and home to many celtic deities.
It’s 20 feet square, 5 feet thick and estimated to weight 150 tons. There are four upright stones on one side, but the other side has collapsed. I would too if I had 150 tons on my shoulders. This is believed to be the largest capstone in Europe.
The tomb hasn’t been excavated so little is known about it. Dolmen’s, or Portal Tombs, are characterised by a well-defined entrance with two portal stones and a larger capstone. Other upright stones would prop up the rest of the capstone, but generally the capstone would slope so the rear of the chamber would be lower than the entrance. Click here for the gallery
Leighlinbridge and the Barrow Way walking trail
The Barrow navigation is a walking trail that starts at St Mullins and
follows the canal towpaths for the length of the river. Leighlinbridge is a particulary attractive town beside the river and a great place for a pint of Guiness. Click here for the gallery
The Guardian newspaper
Bradt Travel Guides
Living Abroad Magazine
Cambridge University Press
Slovenia Times Newspaper
Maser Acher Magazine, Israel
Gift of Freedom Magazine
Or go straight to my agents, and purchase your own
custom print and frame here:
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