Archive › April, 2010

PhotoEx:Ireland | Day 4

Empty Irish Cathedrals

Coming to Ireland with IPS has afforded me the opportunity to observe this place from an all-together different perspective. My heritage is Irish. My grandmother immigrated to the United States in her early twenties as a devoutly religious person. Because of the numerous stories I was told  my entire life, I always thought of Ireland as a second Jerusalem for its religious atmosphere.

I came with a presupposition of a religious place that was met with a unreligious apathetic Ireland. Everyone I have encountered seems very far from religious inclinations of any kind. What I have encountered has been people who see religion as part of their heritage but nothing to do with their lives today. It seems churches are looked on as tourist attractions that are a financial burden to the community. These buildings are really old and in constant need of being refurbished.     

Being on a christian photography expedition, I am constantly impressed to look for visual representations that apply to spiritual truths. My nugget of spiritual truth was found when touring St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  As I looked upon the marvelous handiwork of the carpenters, It suddenly came to me that even though this church is beautiful, its purposeless without people. In the same way our bodies are purposeless and empty without the holy spirit. Above all, empty cathedrals show me the tragic end result of religious culture without genuine relationship with God.

Caleb Walsh

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PhotoEx:Ireland | Day 3

Our morning started out on the DART (a type of train here in Ireland) to Howth. This small and quiet little town off the quays of Ireland. For me, Howth was the height of my Thursday! I loved seeing the people and the life style of this quaint town! If you were to come and see the sights, you would find the older married couples of the town hand in hand, and the mums (mothers) and their little ones out on a morning walk. So, enough of me talking, here’s a point of view from the photographer:

Back in Dublin we had free time to see more of downtown. I enjoyed good friends, a walk, food, and yes… country music in St. Stephen’s green park! Ha!

After our day of adventure, we headed back to downtown for our night shoot of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, and other parts of Dublin.

All in all, a fantastic day!

Sara Quinnett by Rowan Gillson

Sara Quinnett

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PhotoEx:Ireland | Day 2

Wow, It almost hard to believe that we are finally here in Ireland! Day two was full of adventure and really quite amazing. Our morning started out in Dublin visiting Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patricks Cathedral. Though both similar in many ways they were each unique to themselves.

Christ Church Cathedral by Heather Jarrett

After lunch at the hostel, we took the dart south to a cool trail head where we were able to hike a very muddy hill to a beautiful view at the top of the coastline. On this hike Josh got his leather designer shoes rather muddy and unfortunately Daniel lost his awesome sunglasses. Most of the rest of us just suffered from sore feet after  our several mile walk to Graystone were we had a wonderful dinner of fish and chips on the beach!

Interior of Saint Patrick's Cathedral

So far we are loving Ireland!

Bray from the hill above town by Heather Jarrett

Heather Jarrett hard at work


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PhotoEx:Ireland | Day 1

Quietness. I have the feeling that this word is going to encapsulate the trip for me. My world has been absolute chaos and when I walked onto the plane, I chose to leave it behind. I have been challenged lately to find quiet, to pursue it, to prioritize and covet it in the midst of the mayhem of daily life.

Dublin by Hannah Brandau


I’m amazed that while arriving in a country that I have never visited before and experiencing a new culture, I am encountering quiet. Ireland is characterized by this trait and it infiltrates every aspect of the culture. How surreal it is to walk along busy streets in downtown Dublin, surrounded by hundreds of people and without mentally removing myself from the scenario, be enveloped in quiet. We visited Trinity College and went into the Long Room, the library in Trinity College that houses over 250,000 volumes. It was nothing less than awe-inspiring. Pictures weren’t allowed in the gallery and as a photographer, I found that the limitation opened up a new perspective for me. It afforded me the opportunity to appreciate the moment fully instead of focusing on how to best capture it for future reference. Instead of thinking about what image I wanted to create, I was able to appreciate, even for just a moment, the magnitude of the room I was standing in and what it represented. And again I was confronted with quietness. Reverence.  A reverence that my God deserves and jealously desires from me.

Dublin by Hannah Brandau


I find that when I actually take the time to be quiet, it is initially daunting and intimidating but as I settle into it, I am soon grateful. For the time to think, and to hear thoughts. For the heightened awareness of His presence. How often do I completely miss God, how frequently do I walk by a manifestation of His love for me because I am more in tune with the chaos than I am with His voice?

Hannah at work in Dublin

“I am dying of thirst by the side of a fountain.” – Charles D’Orleans. I can’t even number the times that I feel drained and thirsty, while standing right next to an outpouring of His love. This time in Ireland is going to be good…I can already feel it.  Beyond taking pictures and experiencing a new culture, it is challenging me to move my thinking beyond the status quo as it presents me with a unique environment in which to experience God. It is providing welcome quiet for my soul. A time to drink of the fountain instead of stupidly standing by, and in doing so, it reveals how this can and should be how I view every day of my life and my time with Him. Who knew that a beautiful country could do so much? Welcome to Ireland.


Hannah Brandau

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PhotoEx:Ireland | The Prelude

It’s just a few hours until PhotoEx:Ireland begins. I’ve been hanging out in Oxford and London, England for the past couple days with several of our trip members. I just love England! It’s cold and rainy this time of year, but that’s not all that different from Portland, where I call home…

Hanging out in London


I have been to England before, but this time we got to attend Easter services at Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Both were incredible! I’m not normally Anglican, but there was something very aweinspiring about participating in high church inside such magnificent buildings. They do indeed turn one’s eyes upwards toward the heavens!

At the moment I’m on a bus, headed to Heathrow airport to jet my way to Dublin where we’ll meet up with the rest of the team tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. I can’t wait!



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