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.