Setting the Scene

irish tea

This photograph started with the bread. We visited Ireland several years ago, a place we not only visited before but where we lived for three years in the late 1980s for Karl’s business career. We rented a stunning apartment for one of the weeks, overlooking Youghal harbor. The traditional brown soda bread of Ireland appealed to both of us from first taste all those years ago, and became part of our diet while living there.

I found this bread in a bakery down the street, and had to have it. We followed that purchase with a stop at a local store for Irish butter, the only accompaniment needed and a taste you need to experience. As I made tea in the kitchen that afternoon, I gazed over the harbor scene. I already photographed it, wrote about it, and experienced it, but wanted to imprint it in my brain also. As I picked up the knife to cut the bread, I started formulating this shot in my head. Needless to say, Karl waited for his tea while I went through the kitchen to find what I pictured, set it up, then arranged the camera for the shot. It brings back memories of the trip, the bread, the tea, and all our years there.

A photographer or writer needs to be married to someone similar, or someone very understanding. The urge to create a picture whether with a pen or a camera often supersedes whatever task happened to be in progress when the idea hit. And I waited many times for Karl when the same thing happened to him.

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