Our day along Northern Ireland’s Atlantic coast brought us near the home of fellow film photography blogger Michael McNeill. He writes the North East Liberties blog, which is named for the area of Northern Ireland that Michael calls home. When he read here that we were coming to Ireland, he wrote to offer a meetup. We made it happen.


Here we are, me with my Nikon N2000 slung over my shoulder and Michael with his pristine Nikon FE2 (I think it was) slung over his.

We met in Portrush, a holiday town just east of The Giant’s Causeway, from where we had just come. We met at the beach and walked to a little shop for tea. I announced my American-ness straightaway by taking mine black. Michael and Margaret poured on the milk.

Tea consumed, the getting-to-know-you conversation was going well so Michael suggested a stroll along the beach and up the little peninsula that comprises most of the town. I photographed this scene which I’m sure Michael has contemplated through his viewfinder many dozens of times.


A little harbor rests about halfway up the peninsula and provides obvious photographic opportunity. But I didn’t take very many photos on our walk, actually. I’m sharing everything I shot in this post. The conversation was good and it seemed a shame to pause for too many photographs.


We walked a trail up to the peninsula’s tip. Michael says that he often drives up here with his dog for walks.

View at Portrush

“If anyone knew I had friends in and didn’t take them to the Harbour Bar, I’d never hear the end of it,” Michael said, and with that, we popped in. A restaurant takes up the back, but up front is the kind of Irish bar you’d expect to see in a movie: crowded and spare, full of dim nooks and rough wooden tables. It’s an old bar, the oldest in all of Ireland. My stomach was out of sorts, so to my dismay and disappointment I had to decline the half-pint of Guinness Michael offered. But Margaret and Michael both enjoyed one, and our great conversation continued.

The Harbour Bar, Portrush

Margaret and I figured we’d meet Michael for a quick cup of tea and be on our way, but we had such a lovely time that we stayed in Portrush for a good three hours. We parted where we met, at the beach.

The beach at Portrush

Do follow Michael’s blog (here). He is dedicated not only to black-and-white film, but also to the art of darkroom work and printing. I believe most, if not all, of the photos on his blog are scans of his prints.

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8 responses to “Always meet a fellow blogger when you get the chance”

  1. hmunro Avatar

    How wonderful that you were able to meet Michael and see Portrush through his eyes. He sounds like a charming person and a lovely guide. I also love that your and Michael’s shirts and camera straps complement each other so well! And you got some lovely images to top it all off. Great post, Jim.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes! It was a pleasure for us to spend the afternoon with him. I noticed the strap/shirt thing too!

  2. conspicari Avatar

    Hello Jim, that Nikon camera lens combination has given some great results, really like the B&W images.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you! I’ll be sharing more black and whites in the weeks to come – I shot five rolls of this film in Ireland.

  3. Sam Avatar

    Superb post and pics!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Sam!

  4. roykarlsvik Avatar

    So great to see the two of you together, Jim :)
    And a nice bunch of snaps from the area as well… as we are used to get on your blog, by the way!
    Looking forward to see the rest, of course :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Roy! Much more to come from the trip.

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