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Photography
This is my first attempt to do a look back and pick  a selection of images from 2023. It’s probably closer to a “Selection of favourites” than anything else. Image were taken  in Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal 

 Click on an image below to start a slideshow

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Italy
In 2022,  partly driven by the experience of the Covid lockdown of the previous years, we decided to spend three months living in a remote village in the mountains, home to 10 families and 6 tiny churches. A lot of the former homes were derelict as a result of  decades of migration to the big industrial centres of Milan and Turin. The result is large tracts of mostly mountain areas slowing returning to  nature. We felt very welcome in this small community. The local Mayoress started posting community notices in both Italian and English. Between our pidgin Italian and google translate we managed to communicate with everyone. We rented a beautiful 2 bedroom home in the centre of the village. It featured a fantastic terrace that looked over the most amazing valley. At night, the light pollution was almost non-existent leaving us with a most magnificent view of the Milky Way.

The village was located close to the Italian Rivera, Monaco and Nice with easy access to Venice, Florence and Tuscany. This region is famous for being the home of pesto and the taste and variations of the ingredientsincludefresh ingredients such as Basil, truffles, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese Living in northern Italy offers a unique experience. The region is famous for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and delicious food and wine. The rolling hills, lush vineyards, and stunning architecture  make for a beautiful backdrop to everyday life. Just as impressive is the beauty and simplicity of every village and small town scattered throughout the pre-alps.



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Nepal, Stories, Travel
Dharmanagar is a village and Village Development Committee in Bara District in the Narayani Zone of south-eastern Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 2,934 persons living in 478 individual households. Its about 160km south of Kathmandu and  right on the border between Nepal and India. The village is a mainly rural village with people generating income from agriculture. Our connection with this village is Action Aid and its child sponsor program. The child were are sponsoring, Sujit live here with his family and when we decided to visit, we also requested to stay with the family – a request which they kindly granted. Sujit and his extended family action aid-92 The journey down from Kathmandu – a mere 16
0km took us nearly 8 hours. The road down was a bit like Bolivia’s famed road of death. This wound its way through the mountains, at times properly paved and at times no more that dirt and rubble. The road was fairly badly damaged by the earthquake action aid-7 action aid-8 Despite this, the  journey down was enthralling, made better by our young driver who was extremely careful.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking action aid-9
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General
Update: – I’ve installed a gallery manager called Envira and it seems to be extremely responsive, in addition, I have dramatically changed the menu structure for the galleries.  To check it out, please have a look  under  “My photography”. All of the Morocco and Nepal galleries are build with the new gallery manager.

I have held off updating the galleries on the site as I’ve not been happy with the operation or performance of the current gallery manager – Nextgen. I have finally settled in a new gallery manager and will start to both update the site with new images and convert the old ones. Thanks for bearing with me as I get this completed


Gerry
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Environmental, Photography, Wildlife
Lockdown, thankfully, beginning to end, gave me the opportunity to focus my photography a little closer to home. One project I’ve wanted to do for a while is to document some of the new life in Castletown. As you might know, any photography that involves wild birds at or nears their nests is illegal under the Wildlife act 1976. So, I contacted the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and filled out an application form and became licensed under the act.

For anyone thinking of going down the route. The process is simple enough. Fill in the application form and submit. It is almost certain that you will get a follow-up call for the national parks and Wildlife Service regarding the purpose and process you intend to use. 

The whole process was straightforward and the people involved were extremely helpful

The gallery below is the result 

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Wildlife

So, like a lot of people, I’ve been restricted to a very narrow area around my home, first 2km and now widened to 5km this week. This has forced me to re-look at my local area and in particular, Castletown estate. This is the grounds of a grand estate house, built-in 1722 for William Connolly,  the then speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

After a narrow escape in the 1960s, from being “developed”, it was eventually taken in ownership by the state and is now an OPW property. It is a fantastic  resource for the people of Celbridge and it grounds   provide a haven for all sorts of wildlife.

I started taking my Fuji 100-400mm lens on my daily walks through the park and photographing the wildlife I came across on my walks. The gallery below is the result.

For more information on Castletown estate, please visit http://www.castletown.ie


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Nepal, Photography, Stories, Travel

My wife and I have been sponsoring children via the Action Aid charity for over 30 years.  Our current sponsored child lives in the village of Dharamanger on the Nepal-India border. This is an area of Nepal that has suffered the ravages of war over the centuries and is economically extremely deprived up to this day. We planned our holiday this year to include a visit to our sponsored child. Our plan was to stay with the family in the village and that’s exactly what we did! Over the course of 3 days, we were granted a unique opportunity to meet with our sponsor child, his family and wider friends and community. To say that we were made welcome is an understatement We have seen first-hand the impact that Action Aid is having on the ground to people’s lives – not just the children. We met a young man who was destined to work in the fields and is now qualifying as a teacher. The village has several challenges and we want to be able to help. The costs of all the projects will be €25,000  Most of the fund-raising will go to a school extension and child care facilities to allow young women earn a small income in the fields. What we are planning to do is organise a walk in Glendalough. (see Maps) The main walk will be the white route which is 9 km and should take around 3 hours to complete. We can also organise a subset of that for those who cannot manage the white walk. The date for the walk is Saturday April 8th. More details will follow as we get closer. What we are looking for is participation and/or  sponsorship. Anyone wishing to participate, please contact us via the email addresses below and anyone wishing to donate can do so via iDonate on this link: https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11362026_nepal-schools-project.html or contact me via gerry.kerr@gmail.com or trish via kerrtrish1@gmail.com Details of what the funding is to be used for is outlined in this document from ActionAid http://www.gerrykerr.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/School-Project-Nepal.pdf Thank you    Gerry & Trish

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