My New Favourite Location

Kinsale from James Fort

Last week I took a trip to James’ Fort to scout around and take some photos. Those particular photos were okay but, more importantly, it gave me an opportunity to walk around the area and get a feel for things. I also discovered a small slipway hidden away which gets you down to the water facing Kinsale town.

This is another “welding glass” shot, taken with the NEX, but converted to B&W. I think I like this so much that I’ll have to invest in a proper 10-stop filter for the 100mm filter holder so I can use it on the SLR and 11-16mm.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The Chase

Two horses chasing each other at the Kinsale point-to-point

The Kinsale point-to-point races are an annual affair and I’ve been going for the last few years. I have zero interest in betting, know nothing about horse racing and my combats and fleece were definitely not in vogue but I quite like horses and I’ll take any chance to practice my panning technique on photogenic subjects.

I’d also wanted to capture the races at the other end of the scale: by using a fast shutter speed (1/2000sec) and the 10fps mode to get the dirt, mud, grass and horseshoes(!) flying but none were as aesthetically pleasing as the panned shots.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Bloomin’ Gardens

Bloomin Gardens

When I heard I’d got on the Bloom photowalk, I started thinking about the sorts of shots I’d want to get. My current lens of choice is the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 and I had great plans to bury the camera in bed of brightly-coloured flowers, framing them against the blue skies. I also thought I’d get some environmental portraits of the designers with the gardens in the background… I’ve seen some wide-open, wide-angle portraits and thought it might work.

Like all great plans, they go to hell on first contact with the “enemy”. In this case, the gardens were nothing like I had imagined. They were very modern, very designed, and not at all like the beds of flowers I’d seen at Airfield Farm and thought I’d be seeing again. This rather threw me and it took me a while to figure out how I could shoot these gardens. Firstly, there wasn’t much colour, which really surprised me. Also, it was cloudy so the skies had to be kept out of the shots. And the gardens often had fairly distracting backgrounds.

In the end, I went in two directions: details (with my neglected macro lens, seen in the previous image) or patterns with the wide-angle. This was easily my favourite garden (although I’m not sure you could really call it a garden in a normal sense) because I immediately saw the potential for symmetry and reflections. Shot in colour, converted to black & white and added a hint of the pale green tone of image back again. I don’t know why, just ‘cos I thought it worked. Adding back a general tone from the original image is something I do when I want to emphasise it and without any other distracting colours.

One interesting thing I noticed about Bloom: everyone I talked to had seen different flowers, different gardens and taken different photos. It’s intriguing because Bloom isn’t that big but evidently there’s something to catch everyone’s eye.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Bloom in Slow-mo

Bloom in slow-mo

This was an experimental shot with welding glass as a filter. It’s reduced the exposure from 1/125sec to 30secs. This has resulted in most of the people being blurred and a few casual folk appearing sharper. Not bad for a €3 investment!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Perching above Preci

Perching over Preci

Last week I was in Umbria, Italy for a 3-day workshop with David Noton. I’ve got lots to write about that course (and lots and lots of images to publish!) but this is one of the first images I took on the first dawn shoot. 5am looking over the village of Preci.

One of the interesting thing about this image is that the white balance has not been corrected and hence the deep blue light. David recommends leaving the white balance on “Daylight” / 5500K so your camera will correctly display the colour of the light. On Auto White Balance, both your eyes and your camera will be trying to fool you. This wasn’t how I normally worked but I can definitely see the advantages of it: less post-processing, more faithful captures and you still retain the ability to change the WB in RAW processing for effect.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Me and My Surfer Girl

Norah and Me

I’ve got 1800 photos to sort out from the past ~week but this one immediately jumped out to me and warmed the heart on a fairly miserable day. The colour version has a lovely warm yellow tone to it but I think the monochrome shows of the shapes and textures better.

I’d spotted this shot earlier in the week when walking Finn back the to car but he and the sunshine didn’t play ball. A few days later as I held Norah’s hand after she’d been in the water, the sun briefly found a weak spot in the haze and gave me the shot I was after albeit with the other child. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of summer sunshine to recreate it later in the year.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Little Vicky

SONY DSC

The Queen Victoria passing Roches Point lighthouse as it left Cobh harbour this evening.

I’d seen a few photos this morning of the Queen Victoria liner in Cobh so a mad thought crossed my mind: Perhaps I could dash home, have dinner and drag the family over to Weaver’s Point / Church Bay to watch the “big boat” go past. If nothing else, it will be these random outings that my children will remember me by. I thought we’d entertain the kids on the beach at Church Bay but aunt and uncle have a house at Weaver’s Point and luckily they didn’t mind us dropping in. The kids loved in and the little man now has a new work to add to his vocabulary: “bot”

What if you need to know where a particular ship is right now? Well, there’s an app for that and it’s called Ship Finder. The data was exceptionally accurate as I could watch the Queen Victoria change bearings and position and see that reflected on the iPhone within a minute or so. They also do a handy “augmented reality” version called Ships Ahoy! so your photos don’t have to be filled with anonymous ships passing in the night

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Golden Waves

SONY DSC

I headed out to Garretstown and the Old Head of Kinsale for some evening photography thinking I’d try out the new 11-16mm on some coastal landscapes. But the sun was going to be in the wrong position and it just wasn’t working out.

Instead, I walked down the beach and watched the waves and the surfers and the mist (and played with someone else’s dog because it insisted). For a brief few minutes as I headed back, the sun appeared between the light clouds and I was treated to some really amazing light. I’m not sure I can believe this is Ireland.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Shifty

SONY DSCSONY DSC

Taken on the Cork Gaol photowalk last November. I don’t know why I didn’t put in on the blog back then but here it is now.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)