Sunday, 20 December 2009

Bective Abbey Walls

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

Another image taken on one of my Monochrome Workshop weekends. This is the inner walls of Bective Abbey, Co Meath. We had a very overcast day which made for very poor landscape images for the whole Abbey. A quick walk around and inside the Abbey we were able to capture the details in the walls because of the soft defused light.
The students could not see the image I had in mind but after we got back and uploaded the image onto the computer and did some very small adjustments. Bingo. They started to understand, which the whole idea of the Monochrome Workshop.

More than likely this will be my last post before Christmas.
So I thank you all for your comments on my posts during the year and hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

PS Lets hope Santa brings us lots of presents ( eg new cameras, lens,etc.... )

Monday, 14 December 2009


Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

It's been a while since my last post. Catching up after a couple of Christmas Craft Fair's. Printing and posting images. I also teach a two day Monochrome Workshop. This weekend just past was one such. I enjoy teaching and explaining the methods used to achieve my style of black and white photography.
Interesting, if not completely mad image taken on the workshop. It shows Newtown Abbey, Trim, Co Meath at sunset ( well before sunset ). Normally I would not do such a image but I kind of like this image. I have another image taken from the same spot, again at sunset, but at a different tie of the year. Just goes to show the different positions of the sunset during the course of a year. Link here to see the other version.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Baltimore Beacon shoreline

Here is your SkyWatch Image.

Our final location, Balitmore, Co Cork and the Baltimore Beacon. The problem is that I can't show you the image I want to show as the client has not seen the image yet so is would not be good practice to show you. Mind you if you go over to Peter Cox website Link Here, you will see a version of the image I have but mine is in b&w and none of that tilt and shift. Peter has a got story behind the image so jump over and read it.
Welcome back.
The above image was taken down on the shoreline looking up at the Beacon. I like the way the waves play with the clouds in the sky to draw your eye into the image.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Ballydehob Bay

Here is your SkyWatch Friday image.

Continuing on our journey towards Baltimore with traveled along the coast roads and found this spot where a river floes out into Ballydehob Bay. Again the weather was perfect. Wonderful light and clouds for us to play with.
The ripple effects of the river as it flows out in the bay leads your eye nicely into the image. I was standing up on a tractor and trailer to get some extra height so that you could see the river flow. At normal ground level, it's not visible. The sky plays a perfect role in the image with the clouds adding some interest in the background. Funny thing was that if we had being shooting more to the left or right the sky had no clouds and made for a dull image.
Again this is in stark contrast to the flooding happening all over the west coast of Ireland. Out on the coast we had perfect conditions but inland chaos.
We will continue on the journey next week, so see you then and have a good weekend all.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Lough Allua

Here is your Watery Wednesday image.

Ireland is having the worst flooding in living history down in the south and west of the country.
The above image might be a wonderful piece of "Art", but can you spot the lake, field and a road? No. Well they are there somewhere. This is Lough Allua, Ballingeary, Co Cork taken last friday. That's the funny thing about the Irish weather. Two day solid heavy rain and winds and then a clear blue sky the next day.
Looking at this image would think peace and clam, and only 20km down the road, complete chaos with the main streets in the city under 1 meter of water still.
This was the very first image taken on that friday when we did manage to get through the flood water and make our way towards the coast and our final destination of Baltimore.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

IPPA Panel

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image

Well it's been a while now, so here is 4 images. You will have seen them before on the blog. But the layout is for the IPPA Photographer of the Year Awards. This is my Portfolio of images for the Landscape Category. What do you think ?On another note, I was away down in West Cork with my good friend Peter Cox for a few days shooting. When I mean a few days, it turned out to be only one day as the rest of the time we were flooded. The weather is the worst in living history for the amount of rain is unreal. We did manage to get out of the car by means of the windows and nothing to bad. Wait for the water to dry in the engine and we got out of trouble. On friday last the 20th you would not believe the wonderful conditions we had compared to the previous couple of days. And boy did we make the most of it. I should get to post a couple of images from this trip during the coming weeks.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Lough Dan Week ends

Here is your SkyWatch Friday image.

We will end the week with another one from my walk down at Lough Dan. This image was taken on the way back after lunch down at the lake. The foliage is overgrown a bit and the track is just visible.
The rolling clouds and the changing light was just wonderful and even though I only had my G10 with me, I have managed to get some images that look perfect even when printed up to 20x16.
Looking back at my Library of images in Lightroom I have a nice collection of images form Lough Dan numbering about 15. I feel this will become a life long project of mine.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Lough Dan Again

Here is your Monochrome Weekly image.

For once I'm early today with my post. Weekend off what with Halloween.
I am still going through the images from the Lough Dan walk last Wednesday. The image above is down at the lake itself. You can continue along the path and walk around the complete lake or as we do we stop here and have our lunch. When the light is right you just have to go with it and in this case drop your sandwich and run. The sun came out and lit up the foreground while the right side bank of the river was still in shade. Again hand held with the Canon G10 compact camera.

What's in store next week ?
Well back to normal with the teaching after the school holidays. I think I have a commercial job or two to do. I have to start the selection process for the images to print and frame for the Christmas Fair starting in December.

Hope you have a good week, and talk soon.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Thursday, 29 October 2009

In Love Again

Here is your SkyWatch image.

I'm in love again and this time it's a camera.
I took a few day holidays as the children are on a mid-term break in school. I sent tem to the mother-in-laws for a couple of days. So myself and the good wife went for a walk in the Wicklow Mountains. Lough Dan is one of my all time favorite places to walk and take photos. We packed the lunch and set off on our walk. The weather didn't look the best on the drive down to the mountains but when we got there it was wonderful. In a way I was happy not to have all my backpacks and tripods with me. I did however bring my compact digital Canon G10.

And here is the "in love again" part. What a little treasure of a camera. The results are wonderful from this little camera. The above image is one such image. It shows the pathway down towards Lough Dan itself. Hand holding with one hand and a ND filter in the other. The light was changing all the time on the walk. I have a wonderful selection of image from the walk and some lovely portraits of Mrs Mononeil.

I have this camera a while now and not used it in a long time. It's back again in my camera bag and will be used a lot more from now on when we ( the family ) go out for walks at the weekend. I will post more of the images taken from the walk next week.

Have a good friday and weekend.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Clare Island with Lr 3 beta

Here is your SkyWatch image.

Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta was released to the public today. You can download if for free and use it the next few months. It's the full version with not limits. Download link here. I use Lightroom Ver2 on my Mac's. I put the Beta version3 onto my laptop just in case it conflicts with my older version. I don't think it will but just in case all the same.
Why I'm telling you this? Well this is the first processed image straight out of Lightroom Ver3 Beta. Nothing added but love and a b&w conversion.
The image above is Clare Island form Atlantic Drive, Achill Island, Co Mayo. Taken last June while staying in Westport. What I did was import my last couple of trips away to test and play with this version. I think this letterbox crop suits this image as there was no foreground of interest.

Hope you have a good weekend. I am going to be very busy this weekend with the Dublin Marathon on the bank holiday Monday. With 14 photographers from Ireland, 6 from England and a few more from Germany and America to look after.
Oh no, can't tile the kitchen this weekend either. How sad I am ( hehehehe)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sugar Loaf

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

You are not going to believe this but I found one of those magic cards that gets you out of doing the kitchen tiles. It says "Go for a walk in the mountains cards". Now all I have to do is find another one for next weekend.
Yes we did go out this weekend walking in the mountains and when my 6 year old son picked the mountain, that was that. Car was packed and lunches made. The mountain in question is The Sugar Loaf Mt in Co Wicklow. Not a very big one, but very steep rocks near the top all the same. We all made it up with not trouble and had lunch up there. The weather was not the best leaving home, light rain, and we didn't think a walk was possible. However as I always say and do "Just get out and go". In the end, it was a bit cloudy and overcast but nice all the same. I also did manage to sneak the camera with me. My pocket compact camera, in fact this goes with me everywhere.
The above image was the last one as we headed back to the car. All the other image were of the family and you know me they don't get posted. The rest of the landscape image are kind of dull, what with the light not right. But this image turned out very nice indeed.
Hope you all had a good weekend and see you again soon.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Donegal Bay

Here is your Skywatch Friday image.

The past few weeks have flown by and it's Friday again. Very important, no make that a life or death situation has being going on in my house this week as my daughter's school project had to be finished and handed in on Friday. Each had to pick a different country and she picked Austria.
The Internet is a wonderful tool for information on everything. "Daddy can you find out about this". "Can you print this". It never stopped all week. The things we do for our children. That's the reason why I am late with this post.
Now the image above is of Donegal Bay from Mullaghmore head very early one morning. Each time I left the hotel at around 4:30 to drive the short distance, I gave the night porter a heart attack.
A long exposure of 20 seconds or there about was used. The grad filters were also used because of the difference between the sky and the foreground rocks was to big for the camera to handle.
Hope you have a good weekend, as I will be tiling the kitchen walls, so no photography for me then.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Stone & Water

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

While waiting for the right light and movement in the clouds, I do get the chance to look around for interesting patterns in the sand or water. In this case it was the light reflection on the ripples in a pool of water right beside the legs of my tripod that caught my eye.

Other than this I can't say anything else about the image as I can't remember. I used my backup camera for this image. Now that I think about it, it's from the shoreline around Bunatrahir Bay, Ballycastle, Co Mayo. I must go back into my Lightroom library and find out the details.

Have a good week all.


Friday, 9 October 2009

Gougane Barra

Here is your SkyWatch Friday image.

A bit late but none the less a wonderful sky over Gougane Barra Forest Park. I can't believe that it's nearly a year ago since I was down there. You can see another post form this Link.

If you look at the large version, that's not a spot but the moon. We had wonderful side lighting, as you can see from the light on the fence posts. Also the patterns in the sky are half clouds and airplane trails.

I am into a second week of teaching and enjoying myself. All the students came back the following week. Either they are interested or have nothing else better to do with in evenings.

As you can see from the posts below, more animals images from the Zoo.

I believe it's my wedding anniversary this weekend, so I might not be around next week if I have nothing planned ( which I don't woops ). Oh well it was good while it lasted.

I hope you have a good week end and hope to see you next week ?

Monday, 5 October 2009

Baby Chameleon

A Camera Critter image 

One of the six baby Chameleon in Dublin Zoo. This one may be no bigger than a 1 euro coin, but he could  move fast. And try to get a clean image with no movement was fun.  As I was saying in the post below, I did manage to get am image when converted to b&w that the background had enough tonal separation so that it would work.

If it's your first tie here from the Camera Critters site than you can click on the Animal Link to take you to all the animal posted on the site. 

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Elephant Shower

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

Well no black and white landscapes for you today. Too much work on my hands at the moment. Two weddings to finish and another full weekend down at the Zoo. Above is one of the images I was ask to get of the Elephants when they were being cleaned by Gerry, one of the Keepers. There is a big international talk on Elephants in Dublin Zoo next week and a selection of images will be used in the lecture to highlight the work and enclosure in the Zoo. I also had to photograph a baby Chameleon, which was smaller than a 1 euro coin. Small, but they can move. I might show you that image tomorrow. I am not happy with the b&w version, it lacks contrast. It was taken as a colour so my choice of backgrounds is too close to the colour of the Chameleon when converted. Ah, I will give it another go and see what happens. This image works because of the contrast between the dark Elephant skin and the bright water spray. The composition not to bad either.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Skerries Today

Here is your Monochrome Maniac image.

It's been a good while since I have taken any black and white landscapes of late. Too busy, a good complaint in these troubled times. You get to a point where you don't care any more. I have reach and passed that point now.
Back to photography. This image was taken today over on the east coast in a place called Skerries. We went for a walk around the village and beach area. I managed to slip away from the family with my camera and tripod. How did they get into the car? It's a mystery. Traveling very light, camera, 24mm tilt&shift lens and cable release. I managed to get a couple of images around the shoreline from Red Island. Red island is what they called the land around by the harbour. In the image above you can also see Colt Island.
This was a straight shot ie none of my usual grad filters. Processed using DXo Optics and dodge and burn in Photoshop.
What's in store for me this week coming:
Monday sees me heading down to Dublin Zoo for the Launch of the book on the history of the Zoo. Many of my photos are included. Tuesday is the opening night of the "Art of Photography" course I am teaching for the next 8 weeks. Wednesday is the opening night of "Digital Photography for Beginners". Another 8 week course I am teaching. I think I will bring a photo of my family with me as I don't think I will be seeing much of them. ( Good or Bad ? ).
Hope you have a good week and drop by during the week to see more B&W Landscapes.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Bundoran Sunset

Here is your Skywatch image.

It's being a week since my last post. I can't believe that week has flown by. I was away in Turin last weekend shooting a Marathon. I'm also putting the finishing touches to two adult education night course on "The Art of Photography" and "Digital Photography for Beginners". After buying a 500mm lens it's still in the box and have not got the chance to use it yet.

Enough of that, the above image was taken from my last family holiday in Bundoran this year. The great thing about this location is that the hotel we were staying in was just to the right of the cliffs in the shot. So a simple was out the car park and bingo here you are. But the down side as I was saying in the last post it's too close to the hotel and you will get a fair amount of people out walking on the beach. ( Oh if I had a shotgun !!!!! ).

Again with shooting into the setting sun, the exposure can be very hard to get right so that the highlights are not blown out too much. In this image I was able to control them just right with the help of my ND Grad filters. The tide was also right so that the foreground rock helped the composition.

Have a good weekend and see you next week with a couple of more post I promise. 

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Dunluce Castle

Here is your SkyWatch image.

This is another one of the famous visitor attractions on the Antrim Coast, Dunluce Castle. It's located between The Giant's Causeway and Portrush. Usually to get to this viewpoint you have to climb down the cliffs on the left side ( out of view in this image ). However on this occasion we had an easy walk down a man made wooden walkway. Hence the reason it's not in the above image. We were blessed with the weather and a low tide also. It was tricky to get the exposure right as the foreground rocks were in shadow and the sky was very bright. Using a couple of ND Grad filters and some dodge&burn I was able to balance the image nicely ??

Once again we had to work fast. Why ? The plague of all landscape photographers, the wandering tourist who just walks into the frame and stays there. Because of the walk way it was easy fro people to get down here and we had two families with children to content with this time. We should bring in a law so that photographers can shoot tourists ( and not with a camera ).

In the mean time have a good weekend and see you here next week.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Tiger Cubs & Mother

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

I made a quick visit to Dublin Zoo today too see how the Tiger Cubs are doing. They have doubled in size and weight since I last photographed them. Not the best conditions for photography. Clear blue sky, very sunny and loads of shadows. The above image shows the Tiger cubs with their mother. 

I am planning a 7:00 start new weekend to get full access to the Tigers before the Zoo opens as this is the best time to get an image of them all together 

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Mullahgmore Sunset

Here is your SkyWatch Friday image.

Another classic Sunset in Black & White.!!!

While on a photo trip in Co Mayo I headed up towards Co Sligo for sunset. And what better location than Mullaghmore. The exposure difference between the foreground rock and the sky was so great two ND Grad filters had to be used ( Lee 0.9 and 0.6 ). I know some of you would say "bracket and hdr". No thanks. I take each image as it was my last frame on a roll of film and try to get the image as near to perfect in the camera. But as they say and I say it's the final image that counts not the way got there.

Enjoy the weekend and see you next week.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Lake Ramor

Here is your Watery Wednesday image.

Jumping back a couple of years for this image. What I can remember, this image was taken on a cold winters morning. The mist was lifting off the water as the sun was starting to shine through  the clouds.  I was testing out a camera the Canon 400d / Rebel XTi with the kit lens. I don't think I would be happy to enlarge the image above 10x8 as you will start to see the softness around the edges. However with the L series glass on the camera it was OK.  It just proves the point I have being telling my students how want to upgrade their camera to the latest model. Invest in the glass (ie Lens) if you want to improve your photography. I can safely say that you have only used between 20-50% of the functions of your camera. 

Monday, 7 September 2009


Here is your Monochrome Maniac image.

As I have said before I don't display images of my family. I also don't take portrait landscapes as in the above image. I did for this image however. It was taken went I was up on the Antrim coast a while back now. The location is called Larrybane. The two major visitor locations on this coast would be The Giants Causeway and The Carrick-a-Rede Rope bridge. Larrybane is the location of the rope bridge. When we arrived here the car park was completely full of visitors fro the rope bridge. I had mentioned to Peter about this spot, so we drove passed the car park and down the path towards the over overflow car park. We had the place to ourself. A short walk down towards the water edge and you have a wonderful view of the Larrybane Cliffs and the Rope Bridge.  The above is the view you have as you walk down the path towards the bottom of the cliffs. You can see Rathlin Island on the horizon and using a Polariser the sky has turned black. 

When I am out taking Landscape images I visualize them in the Landscape format not this portrait format and find it very hard to like any image in this format. Have you any thoughts on this? I will post the Landscape version and we can compare the images with a quick poll to find out which you like best.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Bundoran Sunset

Here is your SkyWatch image.

It's being a while since the last time I put up an image on Sky Watch Friday. No particular reason, just the way thinks have worked out and not having the time to sit down and go through the images from the last couple of trips.
The above image is from my last photo trip away to Bundoran, Co. Donegal back in August. Taken after sunset down on the beach. The tide was out which made the foreground a bit more interesting with the pools of water and reflections on the wet sand. The clouds look blurred that's because the shutter was open for 30sec.
No mistakes were used in the making of this image as it's from the same location as the "Art or Mistake" post.
You can also see another sunset from Bundoran taken a good few years back in this post: Link Here.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

People's Photography

The above image shows my display for The Peoples Photography open air Exhibition around the railings of St Stephens Green in Dublin over the weekend.

Over the two days, I sold a few images but the main reason was handing out the business cards to get the name out. In the end I handed out nearly 250 business cards.
I received great reactions to my work which was great to hear. Following on from this I received a couple of requests for my Monochrome Magic Workshops and a marketing company are interested in using one of my images for a ad campaign.
Also I was beside my good friend and fellow pro Peter Cox, and we had an enjoyable and productive couple of days.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

What a Week?

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

A face only a mother could love?

Well you might have gathered that there has been no posts on Mononeil for a while now. I have a good reason. The image above is the reason. Here is the story :

I don't do People photography and I don't display images of my family on the web, but this time I have. This is my 6 year old son Craig with ice cream all over his face and minus his two front teeth. And that the problem, his missing front teeth.
While out playing with the other children a couple of weeks ago now, he was kicked in the face with the result of his front teeth coming loose. No problems we though, his baby teeth, just let them fall out normally. After a couple of days they were still hanging on and starting the cause him problems eating. So we went down to the local dental hospital. After a short operation he was minus his front teeth, the ability to talk, eat, and swallow.
We gave it a good few hours for the anesthetic effects to go but he was still the same and getting worse. The next day he was still the same not talking, swallowing and eating. We got him to the doctors and they did not understand what was wrong with him. Now I'm worried. Back into the car and drove to the hospital ( within the speed limits Mr Policeman, not ).

To cut a long story short, he had a reaction the the anesthetic. Also after the numbness, his brain did not understand what had happened in his mouth. I stayed in the hospital with him to try and teach him how to use his tongue again.
All is well now and I am playing catch up with my commercial work, blog and printing my images for the Peoples Photography Exhibition this coming weekend.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Art or Mistake ?

Here is your My World image.

Well is it Art or Mistake ?

You can decide the correct answer.

To me it was a big mistake. The modern camera and auto focus.
The story goes like this : On my camera I separate the shutter button from the auto focus controls so the a press of the AF button on the back of the camera will do the focus. So I decide on the composition, select my point of focus then move the camera into the final position and lock down the tripod controls. Simple right ? Now all I have to do is press the shutter button to take the photo.

Not for the 10 or so images, one of which is above. What happened here was the the camera's controls were put back into default mode so to speak. Shutter button does exposure and focus. In the image above I focused on the wonderful lights on the sea front amusement in Bundoran and then composed the scene. When I pressed the shutter button the camera went hunting for a focus point some were in the sky and gave up by the look of things. Now I have 10 image with out of focus lights from Bundoran.

The lesson to learn for this wonderful piece of 'Art' is : Always change your camera back to YOUR default setting. In my case I did not change my camera back to what I would call Landscape Mode as I am a landscape photographer. The camera ( Canon 5D )was used for something else before I went away on this trip and I did not change it back again.

In my defence : it was very late after a long day, very dark down on the beach. I don't like changing lens near sand. The image does not work that well in b&W anyway etc............
That's why I love the Canon Eos 1D series cameras so much as you can set all the modes up a specific way and save that in your My Menu Settings. I have Sports, Wildlife and Landscape saved here so with the press of one button the camera is set up ready for action. And that's not the best part. You can save these setting onto a CF card and load them into another camera.

That's My World for today.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Bunduff Lough

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

First up for you this week is an image of Bunduff Lought with Benbulbin and Tievebaun Mountains in the background.

The funny thing is that this was a image I can across will out very early one morning. I was over on the other side of Mullaghmore Head for a sunrise image on the coast ( more of this during the week ). Where I saw standing the light and clouds were not right for me. However I could see that the cloud front had broken up and the sunrise was shinning through to my left. A pack up and into the car and try and find a suitable location.

After a while and a couple of u-turns ( not a problem at 6 in the morning ) I can across this lake. All the conditions were right with the added bonus of the reflections of the clouds in the still lake. Benbulbin Mountains (on the right) had it's top covered with some low clouds while Tievebaun Mountain was lit up with the sunrise.

In the end I was very pleased with the mornings work even if the image I was after did not happen, this one made up for it. There will always be another day, and in my case a few more sunrises to come.

As I said in the last post I will be posting some of the mistake made over this trip and lets hope you will learn something from them. Tomorrow will be the first of them, so stayed tuned.

I'm back from holidays.

Well I'm back from my holidays/work in Donegal. Weather was great, children enjoyed the surfing and I got to get up at 4 in the morning again. At time it was worth it as the light was wonderful.

What I have I got in store for you over the coming weeks?
More form Antrim and my latest trip to Donegal. Who is willing to show their mistakes online? I have a few classics to show you. We all make mistakes but it's what we learn from them that matters.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Colliery Bay and Fair Head

Here is your SkyWatch image.

Back to my last trip with Peter Cox to the Antrim coast for the Skywatch image today. After a good mornings shooting it was time for a break and some lunch. We stopped in Ballycastle for the food and then drove over to the coast road to enjoy the wonderful coastal views while we have over lunch. A quick drive further up the road which ends in a dead end, we came across this view of Colliery Bay with Fair Head on the horizon. You can just about make out Scotland under the clouds on the horizon also. We stayed here for a while for the clouds to move and get a bit more light on the face of Fair Head.

I hope to get the family portrait of the Tigers this Saturday before I go away next week to Donegal.My base will be Bundoran near to the boarder with Sligo. I have visited here before and will be again after a couple of images. I might be able to post some images during my stay in Donegal if I bring the laptop with me to do some rough processing work.

So have a good and safe weekend and see you all next week.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Brother & Sister on Public view

Here is your Camera Critters image.

Visitors to Dublin Zoo will be able to see the new tiger cubs, alongside their mother Sigra and father Kepala from today. If you have being following my blog you got to see them weeks ago. All the TV and newspapers got access to the cubs today for the press release.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Doo Lough Pass

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

I'm jumping back to the Westport trip for this image. I took about 2 frame at this location. It's about as much time as I could handle those 'Midges' before going mad. My god they get everywhere and you can still feel them all over you even after you do the funny dance and jump into your get a way car.

Back to the image. What you see here is the road from Louiseburgh to Leenaun (R335) ie the Doo Lough Pass and the lake, Doo Lough itself. On the right we have the Sheeffry Hills and on the right we have the Mweeelrea Mountains.

I had to wait in the car for a couple of hours for the rain to stop and I think I fell asleep for a bit of that time. Well it was 5:30 in the morning when I got here so a quick snooze was aloud.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Elephant Rock

Here is your SkyWatch image.

I know it's Skywatch Friday, however this image is not about the sky but the rock in the shape of an elephant.

I have seen some wonderful image form the location at sunset/sunrise in colour but none in B&W. All the time we were up on the Antrim coast I was first dying to see this rock and to get am image for myself. The first time we arrived at the Elephant rock, Ballintoy was on a very dull and overcast evening with no chance of an image to do it justice.

After I said goodbye to Peter as he set off on his journey home to West Cork, all 7 hours of a drive, I decided to head back to Ballintoy for one more try. This time around the weather was a bit better, but nothing like the last few days we had. The storm clouds were rolling in at this stage. I waited for some movement in the clouds so that the sun would make an appearance from over my left side to give some contrast and shadows.

Well here is my attempt at the Elephant Rock, Ballintoy, Co Antrim.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

White Head

Here is your Watery Wednesday image.

This is called White Head or Kilnbane near Ballycastle, Co Antrim. You have one major walk down hundreds and hundreds of steps to get to this location. Not bad going down but going back up OMG. We did not get to this location this time round as I think the climb would have killed us. So this is an old image I dub up for you today.

The reason for this is I am having a few problems with my computer systems today. One is having a Kernal panic ( what ever that is ), another is locking up when I open Firefox after it was updated and my main Mac will not access the Internet for some unknown reason. So I am back to my old G4 running PPC Linux (tech talk sorry) to upload this. Lets hope after a goodnight sleep all will be well in the morning.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

The Skerries Islands

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

While on our drive into Bushmills for dinner ( ie fish&chips ) we spotted this wonderful view. We had to find a high place on the road to stop and shoot. We stopped the car on the side of the road that leads up to the Gaint's Causeway causing a bit of a traffic jam. Who cares? A quick jump out of the car with camera in hand. No time to set up tripods, filters etc... Just a aperture adjustment to take care of the camera shake while hand holding the camera. Oh yes with was also raining as you might can gathered. The funny looks we got from passers-by as we walked back to our car.

The Skerries are a small group of island just of the coast of Ramore Head, Portrush, Co Antrim. You can also just about make out the Inishowen Peninsula, Co Donegal in the background.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Dark Hedges

Here is your Scenic Sunday image.

I was away all last week up on the Antrim Coast with fellow Viewpoints photographer Peter Cox. We had a very productive and enjoyable time. Mind you it was hard work getting up at 4 in the morning and not getting back to the B&B until around 11 that night. I shoot in black and white ( that's if you didn't know already) while Peter is a Colour man and mainly during the hours before and after Sunrise/Sunset. It will be very interesting to see the different style of image the two of us will produce. So to keep a track jump over to Peter's website HERE but don't forget to come back and try not to be seduced by that colour stuff.

What we have here is a very interesting tree lined road in a place called Chathamhall near the village of Stranocum, Co Antrim. It's an amazing sight to see and it's not taken out of some fantasy novel. Many other photographers have taken this very image before and I do believe Peter has this very image (in colour) on his website.

This was the very last image I took on this trip to the Antrim Coast. You will be able to see some more image including Fair Head, Colliery Bay, Ballintoy, Elephant Rock ( you will understand the name when you see the image), Port Moon, Dunlace Castle just to name a few. I have not had the time to process all my image yet, sorry any of the image bar this one as it's been not stop on the commercial photography side of things ( happy days ).

So see you all next week with more from Antrim.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Away on Antrim Coast

I am away until Friday this week on a Trip to the Antrim Coast. I hope to get a couple of nice images from places like Murlough Bay, White Head, Ballintoy, Port Moon etc...........
Today Tuesday the weather has been wonderful all day. However the rain clouds have arrived. Lets hope they move before sunset which is around 10:00.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Bellacragher Bay

Here is your Scenic Sunday image.

Number three in the series from Westport. This shows Bellacragher Bay with Claggan Mountains across the water. The people who built or lived in this house along time ago had a wonderful view across the bay. The bay in questions is found as you take the road out of Mallaranny on towards Achill Island. I found the ruin a while back but did not have the right light. This time I got the light I wanted and also the sky was not too bad either.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Bartraw White Strand

Here is your SkyWatch Friday image.

Back to my normal black and white landscape posts for you with the second in the series from the latest Westport trip. The image is 180 degrees view from the first image (Bartraw Beach). I have moved up into the sand dunes and facing into the rising sun. You can see the way the sun lights up the tops of the grass and it was very hard to try and balance the exposure as the lower right portion of the sky was very bright.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Me & Me Tigers

I had to show you the image taken by one of the Keepers of me holding one of the cubs ( the female ) form last Saturday. It's not the most sharpest of image as I think the Zoo Keeper turned the dial on the camera instead of pressing the shutter button because it was set to f16 at 1/20 second. I am now their Official Photographer and will be documenting their stay at the Zoo with photos every couple of weeks as they grow up.
Just in case, I'm the one with the glasses on this head.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Brother & Sister 2

Here is your My World image.

This is My World at the moment. The new Tiger Cubs at Dublin Zoo. I am just putting the finishing touches on the images for the press release this week. They will be in colour, but you can see them first in wonderful B&W.

Bartraw Beach

Here is your Monochrome Maniacs image.

We start this new series of image with the very first image taken form the latest Westport trip. It was taken very early on the morning of my first day in Westport. At this time of the year sunrise is around 4:30-5:00. This was taken about 6:00 in the morning. The sun was over my left shoulder as you can see the shadows from the rocks in the foreground. Al the elements were right for this image. The tide was out so the rocks in the sand were visible. The sun low in the sky for wonderful shadows and side lighting. The pattern of the clouds was interesting and Croagh Patrick was visible in the background. I know you can't see it but there was a wonderful warm colour to the sand and grass. This can be used to great effect in black and white photography as the normal mono tone grass and sand take on a more interesting texture when converted to black and white using your red or orange filters. ( ie wonderful contrast )

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Brother & Sister

Here is your Scenic Sunday image.

I couldn't wait any longer to show the Tiger Cubs from Dublin Zoo.
I know it's not your usual Scenic Sunday image but who cares?
It was just amazing to see the cubs and to hold them on Saturday morning. Oh yes I did manage to rattle a few 4gig memory cards worth of images. The female is on the left and the male ( with the bigger head ) is in the right. No names yet. As with most animals in the Zoo they usually have a competition for the children to give the animals names. As theses two are not on public view, so no names, except for few who had the chance to see them while I was in the enclosure taking this and many more photos.

So except to see some more tiger cubs and images from my recent trip to Westport next week.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Melmore Head Sunrise

Here is your SkyWatch Image.

Not your average Sunrise image either, what ?
Just back from the "working holidays in Westport". The reason for the What The Duck post below.

We had a wonderful time over in Westport. I think my children were with us, but don't think I saw them for more than 10mins at a time.
I did manage to get out and take a couple of images. Some wonderful, some good, some bad and some very sad images. More on this during the coming days. Of the 500 or so images 70 have gone through the first stage of post processing in DX Optics and are ready for the conversion process into b&W. It won't be until next week or maybe the weekend before I will have the time to work on them.

The "working holiday" time table was as follows: up at 4 in the morning and shoot until around 9. Back to the hotel for breakfast and out with the family doing the usual holiday thing. Back to the hotel for dinner. Back out again at 8:30 in the evening until 10:30 followed by a couple of pints at the hotel, then bed. My holiday "workflow".

Getting back to the image above. It was taken form Melmore Head, Rosguill, Co Donegal a while back while away on a weekend trip the the local camera club. I managed to get a couple more bodies to get up at 5 in the morning to catch sunrise. It was a learning experience for them and they enjoyed it and more importantly they now understand the magic of Landscape photography.

What The Duck

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Clew Bay Sunset

Here is your Scenic Sunday image.

Well this will be my last post for a few day as I'm off to Westport today to try and capture even more wonderful sunsets. The above image was taken on my last trip to Westport. This was taken at the Bartraw, White Strand Beach looking out over Clew Bay.

I was shooting straight into the setting sun at this location. However, waiting for the sun to set below the distant mountains, I was able to capture the above image with not too much difficulty.
Only one 3 stop ND Grad filter was used to balance the sky and the reflections in the foreground water. You can add this one to "My Classic Sunset" series, but maybe not that interesting?
What do you think?

I will have access to the Internet etc... (God Bless the iPhone), but as I already said no posts. Oh ye, just in case you are wondering, I will have photo's of the Tiger Cubs next week for you after the Zoo go public with the news story and images. You know the proverb " don't count your chickens before they hatch".

See you all next week and have a good one.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Your Classic Sunset II

Here is your Skywatch Friday image.

OMG only one post since last friday.
I have being very busy with commercial work and the Zoo this week. Next week will be the same amount of posts as I will be away over in the West of Ireland until Thursday. I hope to get at least one image up of the Tiger cubs for sunday/monday.

Here is another one of "My Classic Sunsets". It's again from Oldhead , Westport. The location is the same as the last post with only a move to the right by a few feet.

Hope everyone has a good weekend and talk to you all again soon.
Oh yes, lets hope this wonderful weather we are having here in Ireland lasts another week.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Mr Daddy Kepala

Here is your Watery Wednesday image.

I have being very busy of late and so no posts for the past couple of days.
If you have being following my blog lately you will have seen image of this fellow before. Well now we have to call him Mr Daddy Kepala as he is the proud daddy of two cubs.

I was down in the Zoo at the weekend to get photos of all the new babies and also the world record attempt for the biggest Teddy Bears Picnic with stands at over 34,000. Dublin Zoo hold that record already but the Teddy Bear Picnic was held in Zoo's all over the world on Sunday last.

The Tiger cubs are too small and I would not disturb mother or the cubs with flash photography as they are still indoors. So you will have to wait until next week to see them. I will be taking the photos at the weekend and then they will be released to the public.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Your Classic Sunset

Here is your SkyWatch image.

Well Ok not your normal classic sunset image, but it's one of my sunset images in good old black and white. ( what else is there ? )

This shows Clew Bay and the Nephin Beg Range across the bay. It was taken from the beach at Old Head in Westport during a wonderful sunset.

I believe that Westport is my next trip away at the end of the month. I will be looking for a few more different locations along the wonderful coastline of Co Mayo to add to my collection. Sunsets like this one will not be available as its a different time of the year and the sun will be setting in a different position.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Mist on Lough Cullin

Here is your Watery Wednesday image.

The above image was taken a good while ago when the Viewpoints team, Peter Cox, Carsten Krieger and myself get together for a few days. This time we were in Co Mayo. After a really early start to the day to catch sunrise, we decided that breakfast was in order. However, never one to miss a photo, we spotted this view above. Breakfast will just have to wait a bit longer today.

The fun we had trying to get into position. We had to walk through some bog land and we sank up to our knees. We also could not find solid ground to put the camera and tripods down. We were wet and the smell. Who cares a quick drive back to the B&B, shower and breakfast. Nice.

Deleted Comments

SORRY fellow Bloggers as I Rejected some comments by mistake.
I have turned off comment moderation so that this will not happen again.

Clogherhead Beach

Here is your My World Image.

I wish this was my world as I am in the middle of a couple of commercial shoots and if I see another cushion I will go mad.

This is Clogherhead Beach from Sunday. It was taken a few just before the Clogherhead Storm image below. You can just about see the start of the dark clouds in the top right of this image.

However I had a bit of good news today, I think Mr Kepala is a daddy. For those who don't understand this just click and the link and you will understand who Mr Kepala is. I will keep you posted on this later during the week.