Ireland Trip: A Look Through the Lenses

Jul 8, 2016 | Hannah Hitzeroth

Ireland Trip (600x400 px)

Tobi Cukale "Giants Causeway" (LEFT)
Marissa Joers "Lambing Season" (TOP RIGHT) / "Bloody Foreland" (BOTTOM RIGHT)

“Immersing yourself in the culture of another place is the only way to truly appreciate the world around us,” said Marissa Joers, a University of Dubuque sophomore business major from Racine, Wisconsin.

Joers was one of six UD students who photographed another country as part of the Digital Photography in Ireland summer course. Alan Garfield, chair and professor of computer graphics and interactive media (CGIM) at the University, led students through Ireland in May to teach them about the meaning of photography and international travel.

“If you have a camera, even a phone camera, and want to know how to use it better and if you truly love nature and want to be in awe of some amazing mountains, castles, landscapes, sea scenes, well then this is your kind of experience,” Garfield said.

The approximately two-week course is offered to a limited number of students. This year, the students who traveled with Garfield were Joers, Travis Carton, Tobi Cukale, Tom Kane, Christiana Schmitt, and Elizabeth Tully.

“This trip was my first time every leaving the country, and Alan made it an incredible experience,” Joers said. “I can’t wait until my next study abroad trip.”

Cukale, a senior criminal justice and CGIM major from Aurora, Colorado, said the best part about the course was touring another country. Every day students would take photographs, sightsee, and visit the only place with Wi-Fi, which happened to be a local pub.

“Alan makes it so fun,” Cukale said about the trip. “He knows just about everyone, and he could probably get us an interview with the Queen.”

Students visited numerous places including Doe and Glenveagh castles, a petting zoo, and Arranmore Island. They also spent a day at the Bloody Foreland, an outcropping of rock along the Atlantic coast that is transformed by the sunset into rich red hues.

“(Vising the castles) was like walking back in time,” Joers said. “They were beautifully nestled in mountains and had giant, beautiful gardens.”

Students were required to have at least 40 photographs by the end of the trip. The photos were used to make a memento book for each student. In November, students’ photographs will be displayed in Bisignano Art Gallery at Heritage Center on the University’s campus during International Education Week.