OT: See What *He* Is Seeing

Hold on, you didn’t think I was through with my Irish Week just because Armitage has finally turned up on the Emerald Isle, as confirmed in his tweet last week? Oh no, I am going to continue banging on about Ireland. Especially since I got inspiration last weekend.

Let me show you what Mr A is seeing right now. Connemara.

Doulough Pass

Connemara is not a county, it is a part of Ireland whose boundaries are not exactly defined. It stretches along North Co. Galway’s Atlantic coastline in the North West and Lough Corrib in the East. The name “Connemara” already hints at the location of Connemara by the sea. In fact, its name is a corruption of the Irish “Conmhaícne Mara” which means “the descendents of Con Mhac of the Sea”, a clan of the Irish who settled this part of the country.

Old Head

Both sea and land battle for attention in this part of Ireland. The coastline is craggy and rocky, interspersed with both sandy and stony beaches. The land is overshadowed by the sparsely vegetated Twelve Bens, a mountain range that towers over the landscape.

RenvyleThe landscape itself is harsh, isolated and rock-strewn. The land is not much good, except for grazing sheep. It’s battered by the Atlantic weather-fronts, the rain coming in quickly from the sea, lashing down. But this is Ireland, and the weather changes constantly so no worries for Mr A getting wet, and after every heavy shower (we were pelted with sleet, btw), there is bright sunshine.

Lough ShindillaIt’s a beautiful part of the country, sparsely populated and in many areas with hardly any sign of civilization at all. So, perfect for a medieval road movie slash thriller. Hello KellyDS, I wonder whether you will pick this one up… I am leaving it in just for you. Mind you, my favourite image from my blitz-visit last weekend is one that references modern civilization.

ElectricIf you care to see some more of Connemara, have a look at the little slide show below. The images are minimally enhanced (adjusting the exposure, cropped). I am annoyed that Movie Maker insisted on keeping the black bars in the slide show, but I just couldn’t get them out despite trying. (Not sure whether Vimeo has gotten the HD version there – might look fuzzy when enlarged to full screen.)


This is Connemara, *now*. I am thinking of putting them into a photo book which will sit beside my New Zealand book. Cos, boy, Connemara easily reaches up there. How could I ever have forgotten that???

I would love to know what Mr A has to say about his current environment. How it compares to his beloved NZ, whether he feels the vibe of this ancient land, perceives the misery and hardship that has seeped into the land from the poverty-stricken inhabitants of centuries past. I find it deeply melancholic, the wind a wail, not a whistle, and the mountains imposing, threatening, rarely happily protecting. And yet it lifts your heart to be outside in such magnificent surroundings, at the intersection of sky, water and land. I hope it inspires him, makes him feel alive, and human.

67 thoughts on “OT: See What *He* Is Seeing

  1. It’s gorgeous scenery, with that hint of harshness, as you said. Love this type of wilderness. The vastness is beguiling. Great open skies!
    Ireland can be breathtaking; he’s gotta love it. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharing makes photography more worth-while 😉 Of course, the artist hankers after the praise, so there, not altruistic at all…
      Yes, the big skies is what I love about the coast, too. I am not a huge fan of mountains, but when they are close by the sea and there is enough open sky to balance them, they are glorious. I think it is hard not to feel some sort of awe when one is surrounded by that landscape. So yeah, I think that he will be happy to be there.

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  2. Did you take these pictures before he arrived on set or did you catch a glimpse of the man himself? I don’t see how you can resist taking advantage of the opportunity. There’s a really hot French actor in the cast, so it would be a two for one special delight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, and no. I was there at the weekend after he arrived. But to my knowledge even film crews have the weekend off 😉 – so there was no point in looking for him or the set, as it was Saturday and Sunday. We made no serious attempt at that. And in any case, I have to say that he slightly paled into the background. The scenery really takes up all your senses, and doesn’t allow for much other “sens-ual” pursuits.
      Re. hot French actor – nah, I am a one-trick pony. Thou shalt have no other deities beside me, that kind of thing. Weber leaves me cold 😀

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    • I suspect this is a film that really must be seen on a big screen to even get a hint of the grandiose drama that the landscape provides. I found when I was post-producing my images, I was slightly underwhelmed. It looked so much bigger, so much more breathtaking in RL.
      Thanks for the link, btw, Gratiana! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t wait to see the film in a theatre! I agree! These lushly filmed movies of Richard Armitage’s have brought me back to movie theatre going again–versus merely streaming them. And you’re welcome about the link!

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        • Oh, I would always prefer the cinema to the small screen. The only drawback in terms of Richarding is that they are so short in comparison to his TV work… 😉

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  3. Thank you for sharing such beautiful scenery with us. You might be interested to know that about a mile away from me there is a housing development named Connemara by the sea. It is a nice place near the ocean, where palm trees sway in the breeze in front of Irish cottage mansions. Lovely southern California, home of the incongruous.

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    • LOL – Connemara in California. I just can’t quite imagine that it has a similarly dark, melancholic feel to it, though? But apart from the association with the *real* Connemara, the name just simply stands for “something by the sea”, I guess 🙂

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    • Teehee – tbh hoest, the answers are yes and no: The trip to Connemara was not really spontaneous. I met up with your fellow commentator Helen, who was up there attending a course. But that was planned long before we knew any particulars about the set. As it happened, we were there at the weekend, so there was not much point looking for the set as they were not working. Besides, looking for RA would have been like searching for a needle in a haystack. I will admit that we asked a couple of people if they had heard about any film being made up there, but none of them (all people in the tourism industry, so presumably knowledgable on such occurrences) knew anything at all. So no lurking. And no harm – it was glorious as it was. I did not feel any regrets whatsoever. (Sorry, Richard <3)

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    • Thanks Rivendellbelle, that is a great compliment!! And I agree, the more isolated, the more desolated, the better. Partly because reaching the destination is so much more gratifying if it was preceded by more than the usual effort to get there…

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  4. Pingback: WCW: Relics, as in Richard Armitage’s Film Pilgrimage–Are they Myth or Magic? April 29, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #738) | Something About Love (A)

    • Glad you looked at the slideshow, Susie. Yes, I felt very much reminded of NZ, too. There were a number of photographs where I had photographed a very, very similar vista not so long ago – almost identical, in landscape as well as in colours. Someone said on Twitter that Ireland looks like NZ’s little sister. That describes it very well.

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  5. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pics! Should he be relieved to work on such a beautiful set after months of “Tooth-fairying” ? Great that you “happened to” go there, guylty!

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    • Oh yes, that must be quite a difference to working in a big city. I gather that Hannibal probably didn’t take place in the great outdoors of Canada. Nice change for him. (And whoa, I am ever more envious when I think of the sort of places actors go, work and live in… lucky sods!!!)

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  6. Years ago he mentioned visiting a small island off the coast of Scotland called Seil Island, he was impressed by the silence and ‘wildness’
    I hope the change of scene is a tonic for him after Hannibal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I didn’t know that. Islands are always special, aren’t they? Something about being confined. Or contained. And isolated. And if he is into silence and wildness, he has come to the right place.

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  7. Traumhafte Fotos, tolle Landschaft, da möchte ich eigentlich auch gerne mal hin, aber sollte man dafür nicht mindestens 1 Woche haben? Sonstist es wie bei der Schokolade von der man nur 1 Stück abbeißen darf?
    Zu Connemara fallen mir eigentlich immer als erstes die Ponys ein. Gibts die denn da? Halbwilde Ponys die in dieser traumhaften Landschaft leben? Pony möchte man manchmal sein….

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    • Zu Letzerem: Die Ponys siehst du auf einem meiner Fotos in der Slide Show (*tuttuttut*, da hat wohl einer nicht geguckt??? Das gibt Punktabzug, Frau Suzy ;-))
      Und was den Zeitrahmen angeht – für Connemara als solches würde ich eine Woche viel zu lang finden. So groß ist das ja nun auch wieder nicht. Ideal wären zweieinhalb bis drei Tage. So eine Blitztour mit 18 Stunden Dauer auf zwei Tagen verteilt, war allerdings das Mindeste, da sich jedenfalls von der Ostküste aus erst anreisend sich das sonst nicht lohnt.

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      • Doch ich habe gekuckt und sogar die Musik geshazmed, The Frames, Perfect opening Line, habe aber nur Border Collies, Schafe und Lachsfarmen gesehen, vielleicht weil die Ponys auch weiss sind…… Hab jetzt noch ein zweites Mal gekuckt,bin ja lernfähig und sie tatsächlich entdeckt, Schande über mich, Ausrede: Vielleicht hat mich jemand abgelenkt…..

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    • Yup, just thought you should all see what he has the great fortune to experience right now. Especially as this country is way easier to get to than many other locations he’s been at…

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  8. Gosh these are stunning.. what it is about the sky above the sea that makes it so deep and endless?? And yes, it looks shockingly related to your road to Erebor, doesn’t it? But in other ways it looks rougher, wilder, more dangerous? I love your ones with the hint of civilisation, but my very favourite one is the dark one of the incoming rain and the little isolated house near the beach…. what must it be like to be so alone in front of the elements… tough life and very courageous one at the same time. Made me think all kinds of weird things…
    like from a practical point of view, did you have to wear wellies all the time as it is damp underneath?
    And also, this is what Tristan saw or this is like the place where he went to die… for some reason since i’ve seen it last it sometimes keeps coming back to my mind and i keep wondering more and more of the landscape and the place where it happens actually determines more than at first sight the way people feel and act in that story. This kind of scenery, nature, isolation, strange beauty must have an impact of people’s nature and views of life…
    Don’t think the film we are preoccupied with will go there at all, but the DOP must feel like he is in heaven! Choosing a location in that actual area must be the hardest thing ever, as everywhere you turn deserves to be captured 🙂

    I hope R is enjoying the feeling of being there and he certainly must enjoy the fresh air and being out of the city for a change… i bet between the role and the place there will be quite a bit of memories and melancholy going on… The comparisons must be unavoidable 🙂
    I also envy them when they are lucky with such locations, but then i think of how many times poor actors are stuck in some warehouse made to look like some place in some time.. sigh, he’s probably been more lucky with locations than most 🙂

    Thanks so much for being our eager eyes on the ground and showing us so much beauty! lovely music too by the way 🙂

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    • Thank you, Hari 🙂 The elements are very near in places like that – water, earth. Makes you feel very small and yet also very alive. Oh, and rainclouds such as the one in the photo you liked, advance at great speed. However, the great thing about photography is, that it very cleverly excludes from the frame, what may not fit the scene… i.e. it was not quite as desolated there as it looks. (The hotel was behind us :-)) And looking to the other side from that vista, the sun was shining onto a little island in the sea as if it was a lovely spring day… (I think that’s the picture preceding the rain cloud ones. Or the one after.) That’s Ireland for you.
      No, we didn’t wear wellies 🙂 The beach had shingles, so it wasn’t even that wet. Mind you, we got pelted with hail stones shortly after I took those photos, and we raced back to the car for shelter.
      I wonder whether the DP was having such a great time last week – I have the suspicion that it was too sunny for his/her taste. But yes, in terms of location this is great, as there are many isolated places to shoot in. So a) no signs of civilization to mar the scene, b) beautiful backdrops and c) no passers-by to stumble onto set.
      You are right though – this kind of set doesn’t happen very often, and most of the time filming is done indoors. Good for them if they can take advantage of the great outdoors on this project. Judging from the amount of instagrammed photographs at the beginning of the shoot, they were aware (and appreciative) of that.
      BTW – been wondering whether there is a correlation between the arrival on set of Mr A and the sudden cessation of instagram posts from Weber and Holland… Photo embargo? What a pity. I had quite enjoyed their “photo of the day”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hm maybe it is not an embargo 🙂 i don’t think they would have let them share anything, potential because he wasn’t there yet there was less to shoot and also what you said, about too sunny for some scenes 😉 So they had more rehearsal and down time than maybe planned, not they must be hard at work as it was a very brief shooting period according to articles, wasn’t it? Prob no time for fun at the moment… That is assuming of course he has such a prominent role as we hope, as i now wonder when does he join them? or does he just follow them in secret to steal it? the risk is with the idea of the trouble maker for the journey that he may get to them early and get eliminated or so.. sigh , who knows? At least he got some scenes in Ireland so he is already part of it early on.

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        • tbh I was surprised that no one stopped them earlier. There was a tweet by Jamie Hannigan at some point mentioning “closed set” or something like that. Of course it is all hush-hush.
          As for RA being on set in Ireland at all – that has surprised me, too, especially as he is most likely not playing a monk but a Norman knight… Lots of speculating possible, but I’ll refrain and drink another cup of tea.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. As always, amazing photos Guylty! Was telling hubs just yesterday that I wanted to go back to Ireland asap! He wants to visit somewhere we have not been to yet, Germany, Switzerland, but unless it is to ski, and could it really be better snow than we get here? Well maybe this year it would. But I say we go back to Ireland. His family is originally from Armagh (sp?) and maybe spend a day or two at the British museum. Besides, if I can’t see Mr A in a play, then I vote to see you. Wow, did I just insinuate you were second best? I didn’t mean it! promise!

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    • Hehe, hey, I am quite happy to be on that list *at all*. I happily leave first place to Mr A – he’s somewhat out of the competition, anyway. And I can only say – yes, make it the British Isles! London for the urban feel, and then some nature experience in Ireland, sounds like a trip that might have it all. Armagh, btw, is a lovely little town, and Northern Ireland has lovely areas, too.
      As for Germany and Switzerland – the snow is never guaranteed there, so I bet you are better off in that respect in Utah…

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  10. beautiful pics, Guylty! it’s reinforcing my desire to visit Ireland next ❤ I'm a bit slow on the uptake though, what was my shout-out referring to?

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    • Thanks, Kelly – and yes, you *must* visit Ireland next. It’s similar to Scotland in a lot of ways, and yet also different. I am sure you would like it, though.
      The shout-out referred to me coining the phrase “slash thriller” – just because you had made some comment on the entirely unintended “cum-thriller” the other day *ggg*

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      • LOL! I missed that reference entirely! I took it as you spelling out the word instead of using the keyboard symbol. I’m not into “slash” though, so it’s understandable. cum-thrillers, on the other hand, I’m a connoisseur of those… 😀

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  11. Your beautiful pics remind me of the two trips I made in Ireland – including Connemara – … more than 20 years ago already. It seems there is not more people around that at this time, we mainly saw a few American tourists along the coast (I went first on June and then on July). I remember I was so impressed by the scenery, the colours, the turf beneath my feet, I thought that I was not on Earth anymore Lol, but in some lunar planet, it was quite an exciting and peaceful sensation. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Margot!!! It is always good to hear that my photos picture the place truthfully. Connemara is just amazing – and yes, very moon-like, particularly the mountainous areas with little vegetation. It’s really quiet, remote, and peaceful indeed. No internet connection *haha*. I quite enjoyed that – makes you concentrate on the essence.

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  12. Pingback: See You Next Year… | Guylty Pleasure

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