Photographer's Note

Last weekend was probably the sunniest of all this year’s weekends in Ireland. It was a bit chilly but there were almost no clouds in the sky at all. It was a good opportunity to take my camera for a walk. I almost forgot how to use it...

Some things change in life other don’t.
I still like postcards as I did as a child.
My taste, however, did change. In the past I hated shadows. I liked everything equally well illuminated. Now I see the shadows as an opportunity to give a structure a more three dimensional and realistic touch.

Powerscourt Estate
Powerscourt is one of the most beautiful country estates in Ireland. Situated in the mountains of Wicklow, it was originally an important strategic site for the Anglo-Normans who came to Ireland in the 12th century. By the year 1300 a castle had been built here and was in the possession of the le Poer (Power) family from which it takes its name. The succeeding centuries saw the castle held for different periods by powerful families such as the O'Tooles and the Fitzgeralds, Earls of Kildare.
In 1603 Powerscourt Castle and lands were granted to a new English arrival in the area: Richard Wingfield. Following a successful military career in Ireland, Flanders, France and Portugal, Wingfield was knighted and in 1600 was appointed as Marshal of Ireland. His descendants were to remain at Powerscourt for over 350 years.

Palladian Design
Powerscourt was much altered in the 18th century when famous German-born architect, Richard Castle, remodelled the castles and grounds. The work was commissioned by Richard Wingfield (1697-1751) and involved the creation of a magnificent mansion around the shell of the earlier castle. The central courtyard was converted into an entrance hall beneath the remarkably beautiful ballroom. The north front was adapted to present a grand entrance in the Palladian manner, while the south and front faced the gardens and was initially only two storeys in height. An extra storey was added in 1787 and further major alterations were made in the late 19th century. The house contained some of the finest 18th century interiors in Ireland.
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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4000 W: 91 N: 10402] (42891)
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