Practical A: Photo Essay
For our first practical activity this week, we were required to put together a photo essay with detailed captions.
Photo captions are an important aspect of the mediasphere.
They provide a viewer with context and background information that they can’t see for themselves.
Armed with this knowledge, I sat down to write the captions for my photo essay.
And that’s when disaster struck (temporarily)…
I found it quite difficult to decide what information to include in the captions to provide enough context.
However, after much back and forth (and a few silent curses), I managed to write my captions.
After 36 hours on a plane from Central Queensland, Australia to Dublin, Republic of Ireland, my partner Joe Kirkwood and I finally arrived at our hotel, the Mont Clare, at about 9am. We were starving as we hadn’t eaten since the night before, so we decided to order breakfast to start the day. My toast came out in the shape of a four-leafed clover, which I thought was a nice touch.
After breakfast, all Joe and I wanted to do was take a nice, long, warm shower. Unfortunately, the hotel staff didn’t know we would be arriving early, so our room wasn’t ready. After being told we couldn’t check in until midday, we decided to make the best of a crappy situation and go site seeing. Trinity College was our first stop. Trinity is one of the world’s top 100 universities and its alumni includes Oscar Wilde and Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett. Even when sitting in the college’s world-famous library, I was thoroughly unimpressed at the idea of several more hours without a shower.
We headed back to the Mont Clare at about 11am, hoping that our room would be ready. I nearly wept with joy when the receptionist said it was. The minute Joe opened the door, I made a beeline for the shower. It was extremely satisfying to be nice and clean after almost two days without a shower. I was impressed with the quality of our room and glad that the mattress was nice and soft.
After Joe and I freshened up, we visited Christ Church Cathedral. The masonry work and attention to detail throughout the church were spectacular to see, such as the arched ceilings. I was particularly interested in seeing the church’s crypt. It housed ‘The Cat and the Rat’, which is the mummified remains of a cat and a rat, posed as if in mid-chase. The remains are quite famous and are mentioned in James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.
While trying to find somewhere to eat lunch, I spotted this statue. It sits at the base of The O’Connell Monument on O’Connell Street in the city centre. Daniel O’Connell was a prominent 19th century political leader who campaigned for Catholic emancipation and the repeal of the Act of Union. There are four statues around the base of the monument, known as the Winged Victories. Each represents a different virtue associated with O’Connell: courage, eloquence, fidelity and patriotism. This statue, patriotism, has a bullet hole in the left breast. It was interesting to find out that the hole was made during the 1916 Easter Uprising.
We decided to have lunch at a pub called The Norseman in the historic Temple Bar district. Temple Bar is in the heart of Dublin and its cobblestone-lined streets are filled with pubs, clubs and restaurants. I chose to sample some traditional Irish fare: a steak and Guinness pie with mashed potato, Guinness gravy on the side and a pint of Guinness to top it off. Talk about Guinness overload!
After lunch, we visited the Guinness Storehouse. The storehouse is a tourist attraction which showcases every step in making Guinness from production to distribution. One of the activities was ‘The Taste Experience’, where we experienced the different smells, feels and tastes of Guinness. At the end of the show, we were each given a small glass of the stout to try. Joe drank mine as well as his because I had already had a pint at lunchtime.
The tour ended on the top floor of the storehouse, which was called the Gravity Bar. The walls of the room were made of glass panels so we had a 360 degree view of Dublin city. Joe (right) and I (left) took a much-needed break here as we were feeling quite tired.
We headed back to Temple Bar for dinner so we could experience the Dublin nightlife. The Old Storehouse had great specials on offer so we ate there. Fifteen euros got Joe a huge bowl of mussels in white wine sauce, a bowl of chips and two pieces of garlic bread! He was absolutely stuffed afterwards.
After dinner, we had a few drinks down in The Old Storehouse’s main bar. I asked the waiter for a cider recommendation and he suggested Orchard Thieves. I was a bit shocked at how big the bottle was. It filled one and a half pint glasses. Relaxing with our drinks was a great way to cap off our long but fun-filled first day in Ireland.
Ames, K 2016, Module 10: Supporting the story: Packaging and supplementing your writing, course notes, COMM11007: Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au
Christ Church Cathedral n.d., Visit us, viewed 22 September 2016, http://christchurchcathedral.ie/visit-us/
Dublin City Council 2003, History of monuments: O’Connell Street area, viewed 22 September 2016, https://www.dublincity.ie/sites/default/files/content/SiteCollectionDocuments/history_monuments_oconnell_st.pdf
Guinness Storehouse n.d., About and Contact, viewed 22 September 2016, https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/about-us
Guinness Storehouse n.d., Gravity Bar, viewed 22 September 2016, https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en/gravity-bar
Marsala, R 2014, ‘Catholics in the Irish Parliament: Daniel O’Connell and his influence in Italy’, Parliaments, Estates and Representations, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 167-181.
Miller, D 2012, How to write compelling captions for your photos, viewed 22 September 2016, http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/how-to-write-compelling-captions-for-your-photos/
Personal-essay 2014, digital image, Lit Reactor, viewed 22 September 2016, https://litreactor.com/columns/up-close-and-personal-a-personality-expose-of-the-personal-essay
Trinity College Dublin 2016, About Trinity, viewed 22 September 2016, http://www.tcd.ie/about/