Trees on the Carton Estate – County Kildare

The grounds of the Carton Estate in County Kildare are a popular location for a leisurely stroll. I love getting here at dawn when the morning mist frequently hangs over the grasslands and the still waters of the Rye Water Lake reflect the various trees that line its banks.

In this post, I’m going to present some of the photos of these trees that I’ve taken during my early morning excursions to Carton. Now, I’m no dendrologist, so I’m afraid my descriptions of the trees I photographed will be limited to ‘Yup, that’s definitely a tree alright’. I may be able to say if it’s ‘big tree’ but that’s about it I’m afraid.

Tree by the Rye Water - Carton Estate, County Kildare
F13 | 10 secs | ISO 100 | 52 mm

I think the photo above illustrates why I love coming here early in the morning. The perfectly still waters of the Rye Water Lake create a perfect mirror image of the lakeside tree and its surroundings.

A light mist hugs the surrounding grassland and three ducks swim into the frame at just the right moment to help complete the shot. The colours in the sky at this time are often quite stunning with pastel hues of amber and pink providing an attractive backdrop to the scene.

Winding path and tree - Carton Estate, County Kildare
F16 | 1/2 sec | ISO 100 | 36 mm

This composition illustrates the effectiveness of leading lines. In this case, the winding “S” shaped pathway gently leads the viewer to the mist shrouded tree.

I can also confirm that this is indeed a ‘big tree’. It also has a trunk, many branches and a lot of leaves. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this dendrology thing after all!

Lone tree at dawn - Carton Estate, County Kildare
F24 | 2 secs | ISO 100 | 24 mm

Often it’s the simple compositions that work the best. In this case, the simple left to right diagonal of the path again leads the eye to the tree. The scene is uncluttered and minimalist.

Shortly after taking this shot, a wayward golf ball from the nearby course missed my head by about three inches. Who ever said landscape photography isn’t a dangerous activity? I required several medicinal whiskeys in the bar of the Carton House Hotel to recover from the shock.

Backlit trees on a winter morning - Carton Estate, County Kildare
F22 | 1/250 sec, 1/60 sec, 1/15 sec | ISO 100 | 14 mm

I took this shot shortly after sunrise on a chilly Winter morning. Back-lit subjects can be very difficult to capture due to the huge differences in exposure from the darkest to the brightest areas.

In this case I took three bracketed exposures. I then blended them together in post production in order to record as much detail as possible.

If you look to the left of centre in the frame, you can see the tree that featured in the first shot. Maybe I’m not so bad at identifying trees after all. For those interested, that first tree was a ‘small tree’ by the way.

I actually studied French and History at nearby Maynooth University many years ago but never once made the twenty minute walk to the Carton Estate. I must have been far too busy drinking beer studying very diligently and engaging in deep discussions about eighteenth century French literature with my fellow scholars.

You can see more of my photography from around Ireland in the gallery section.

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