Friday, 28 December 2007

Meath Heritage

County Meath - Ireland's Hertiage Capital.

Bective Abbey

"County Meath - Ireland's Heritage Capital was once the territory of the High Kings of Ireland. Some of the most important Irish historic sites and monuments are located within County Meath and virtually every important aspect of Irish history from prehistoric times is associated with the county."

Bective Abbey
Bective Abbey was founded in 1150 by Murchadh O' Melaghin, King of Meath, for the Cistercians, and was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. It was an abbey of some importance as the Abbot was a spiritual lord and sat in the Parliament of the Pale. Hugh De Lacy, was buried there in 1195, but was eventually moved to Dublin. The abbey was suppressed in 1536 and the lands were rented to Thomas Asgarde, and eventually bought by Andrew Wyse in 1552. It passed into the hands of the Dillons and then the Boltons, before fallling into ruin. The chief features of the ruins are the combination of both Church and Defence. The Cloister is the best preserved of the buildings and there is a pillar of a figure carrying a crozier. There are also some beautiful arches which are still intact.

This is one of s series of images I am doing on the Heritage Sites and Monuments in Co. Meath. Again with my own style added to the images I am trying to capture a different image than the usual tourist picture postcard image you normally see.




Thursday, 27 December 2007

Newspaper Images

There is a scanned images from The Meath Post Tuesday 18th December 2007 showing a sample of the images taken by myself and the editing page layout used.

I would do the cropping and comments of the images and then the design team would layout the story with the Sports Editor ( David Jennings ) .

What The Duck

 

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

2008 Calendar



I am just putting the finishing touches to a 2008 Calendar which I will be giving out free to people. The calendar will include my B&W Landscapes and some colour Sunrise & Sunset images.
If will be a simple 12 page PDF document which I can email to you.

So if you would like a free 2008 Calender emil me at mononeil@gmail.com or post a comment here with your email address.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

The CanonMan


I am in the process of setting up an online store to sell Canon Cameras. It will be called TheCanonMan.ie
The site will be going live in January 2008. The complete range of EOS cameras and a select few Digital compacts will be stocked. Also the full range of EF Lenses including the Pro Spec L series will be stocked.

Christmas Fun

Just a bit of Fun for Christmas. Upload a photo of yourself to www.elfyourself.com and be transformed into a dancing Elf.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Computer OS and Software


I run a Windows Free Zone here.
I have been using an operating system called Linux for many years now. It's free, that right free as in it cost's you nothing. Back in 2000 I had a windows computer using Photoshop only. It was not hooked up to the internet or networked because of all the virus out there. In all my years of using Linux a have had not one virus, system failure. The only problem with Linux at the time was that I had no complete colour management system is place. So I changed over to the Mac computer system and had to buy all new programs but it was the best and only move forward for my photography. I am now on my third Mac and again no failures bar a funny hard drive which was replaced and all data, programs safely restored. I still use the Linux box for my emails, internet access and uploading images to my site.

The reason I wanted to share this with you was of a software problem I was having.
As you know if you have been reading this Blog, I have started to shoot sports photography for Barry Cronin and the Meath Post newspaper. With up to 5 different games to cover over the weekend there is a lot of images to go through. I also wanted to keep this separate form my Black & White Landscape work. I use Lightroom for this on the Mac. I started to look around for a program to control the images add comments and sort them. I came across iMedia Pro. A 21 day trail version was use in the testing and worked very good. However I came across a program on Linux called DigiKam with I forgot all about.
This program comes free with the OpenSuSe OS and once again is Free. It does all the things I wish for and also has an edit functions built in so that I can crop and colour correct etc... all the images. The other benefit is had I was using Linux to ftp the images to Barry's servers. Now everything is done on one machine which saves me time and money.

Happy day's

Sunday, 2 December 2007

What The Duck



I am starting to get the hang of this posting. Here I have posted a short animated comic strip for What The Duck. As you know I have been posting the normal comic strip's but decided to try an post a video clip. So turn up your volume and enjoy this short video clip.

Give it a few seconds to load the rest of the blog before you press the play button.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Briot's View


Briot's View
Columns and Articles on Photography
by Alain Briot.


The Luminous Landscape website has a regular columist, landscape photographer and teacher, Alain Briot. I am a subscriber too his website http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and receive his articles on photography in PDF format. The articles can also be found on the Luminous Landscape site. You can link to them from here.

The following is the Introduction to the series of essays called "Reflections on Photography and Art"

Photography is both an art and a science. Photography allows us to express our feeling and emotions, but to do so we need to master the scientific part of the medium. Unlike a painter, who is in direct contact with his subject and his canvas, a photographer is separated from his subject by the camera and from his "canvas" by computers and printers today and by darkroom equipment previously.

The scientific aspects of photography can be both overwhelming and fascinating, so much so that for some photographers photography comes to be just that: a scientific process that they attempt to master over their lifetime. However, to achieve mastery of the technical side of photography is to address only one of the two aspects of photography. The result is often technically excellent photographs that lack emotion and "seeing" qualities. In this regard, I share the opinion of Ansel Adams who said, and I paraphrase, that there is nothing more boring that a technically perfect rendering of a fuzzy visual concept. In other words, an artistic photograph is created when technique is used to express a vision and an emotion, not when technique is used for it's own sake.

Countless articles are written daily about the many scientific aspects of photography. From equipment reviews, to image processing techniques, to tips on how to be a more efficient photographer, to stories about what works and what doesn't, there is no shortage of material on the subject. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I have contributed my share of articles on this subject and I will continue to do so. Again, the scientific aspect of photography is very important and learning as much as you can about it is certainly worth your time and efforts.

However, learning about the artistic aspect of photography is just as important. Unfortunately, there is a much lesser amount of information on photography as art. Far fewer essays are being written, far fewer discussions are taking place, and far less information, help and tips are available. It is as if photographers, for the most part, discovered how much they have to learn about photographic science and, overwhelmed and enchanted by equipment and technique, stopped there and looked no further. It may also be that some photographers, or photographic instructors, are uncomfortable writing about photography as art, or lack the practice and knowledge to do so.

The goal of this series is to remedy this situation in two ways: first, by providing you with a source of help and information about the artistic aspect of photography. Second, by making use of my personal background. I was trained as a painter and artist at the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris and later discovered photography. From day one I approached photography as an art form just as capable of expressing what I see and feel as any other artistic medium. My training, combined with my practice and knowledge of many artistic medium, provides me with a unique perspective on photography. For example, I often draw comparisons between photography and other arts. I also look at art from both a historical and a contemporary perspective. Finally, I make my living selling fine art prints, writing about photography and art, and teaching photography. In short, I am not just an observer. I am an active practitioner, writer, teacher and student of both aspects of photography. I am also an art collector, an enthusiastic admirer, and an occasional practioner of many other artistic medium.

When I decided to start this series I carefully considered what the contents of each essay might be. The last thing I wanted to do was provide ineffective, redundant or superficial information. I wanted to avoid what I perceived to be the most obvious pitfalls of such a series, namely to talk of photography as if it was art, without attempting to explain why it is, and later proceed to apply art concepts to photography, as if there was a direct crossover between photography and other arts.

At first I did not know how, or if, this could be done. It was only after writing and publishing on my site several essays for a series I originally titled Thoughts and Photographs that I felt confident to have found the proper format. I later renamed this series Reflections on Photography and Art, a title that I continue to find appropriate for this endeavor since this is after all a reflection, albeitedly one based on years of experience.

At this time I have a list of over 25 essays that I am considering including in this series. Certainly, some of these essays will be revised, while some will be pushed aside and new ones will be introduced. This list is but a beginning, a starting point. However, I feel more confident starting on this journey knowing that I can proceed further than a couple of essays. I feel better having a road map, so to speak, to guide me in the exploration of photography as art.

In comparison to my previous series, Photography and Aesthetics, this new series is written in a freer, more direct fashion. Photography and Aesthetics consists of carefully organized articles written over weeks and, for the later articles in the series, months. Reflections on Photography and Art consists of essays, a format that allows me a much freer approach to the content of each piece. As we will see in the series, feeling free to create is one of the sine qua non conditions for practicing photography as art. I deemed it perfectly natural to metaphorically shape the structure of each essay around one of the overall premises for this series.

Do you want to build upon your current skills by studying the artistic aspect of photography? If your answer is yes, I welcome you to join me in what can only be an enlightening, though at times challenging, experience.

Alain