Monday, 20 December 2010

Snow Covered Ireland

Ireland and the rest of Europe is going through a snow time for the past couple of weeks. Here in Ireland the fun has worn off everybody, even the children. And now the snow is back again right up until Christmas Eve according to the weather people.
What I though was just a Cold turned into Acute Bronchitis which means I'm stuck indoors for a week or so. I did manage to get out and get a couple of snow scenes on my travels. The above is one such. I'm not sure of the location. All I know it's between Kells and Virginia. I will get the exact location when the Doc gives me the all clear to go.
A simple image taken from the side of the road looking into a field across to a small forest. I love the way the image is layered with different shades of snow covered tress in the foreground to the wonderful cloud formations in the background. Also the image works much better in this portrait format then my 'normal' landscape as you are brought up through the layers in the image.
Funny thing happened to me while taking this image. Having to park the car on the side of the main road but not to close to the side due to the heavy snow on the roads. I forgot that cars would have to go around the car and off the clear road surface. In my case a 40ft truck came along at speed and traveled along the central part of the road which was still covered with heavy snow. The truck catapulted snow across the road in the direction of me and the camera. A quick jump was needed to cover the camera. I got covered in snow and slush. This resulted in my getting a cold and now Bronchitis. I should have left the camera and took cover myself. I think the image was worth all the medical bills ???

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Return to The Boyne

Meath and the East coast of Ireland have had 2 weeks of heavy snow fall and sub zero temperatures. Wonderful weather for photographers right? That's if you can get outside your house. The roads are just crazy. Snow falls during the day and then -12 degrees at night and the next morning it's an ice rink outside. This has being going on for days now.
Lucky I did manage to get out a couple of weeks ago before the heavy snow fall and got back to the Boyne River and get a few mores images. Full story and more images can be found over on my website : Link Here

You can see the greater volume of water in the Boyne as none of the foreground rocks are visible compared to the image in "A Boyne Diamond" post. By the time I got back up to the car my feet were numb. Thank god the fire was blazing when I got home. I broke my rule of backing up my memory cards first. This time I sat down in front of the fire until I got some feeling back in my toes. Not much to report on the dog front this time as I have the place to myself.

On a different note, I'm having great fun with another camera. This camera also can make and receive phone calls. Yes, I'm talking about the iPhone. I have two of them. Don't ask. The original one and the new iPhone4. I know the camera is not the best or is it? I have put a website together using wordpress just for photo taken with the iPhone. It's called iPhoneNeil and you can link to it here : iPhoneNeil website.

Friday, 12 November 2010


What is it me and dogs when I am out taking photo's ?

Last week Ireland got the tail end of hurricane Thomas and the weather services was giving out warnings about strong winds, low pressure and high tides with flooding warnings. Stay away from the coastal roads and paths. So what did I do? Drive over to Skerries, a small village on the east coast of Ireland on Sunday morning and go for a walk along the coast path with the wife and children. Don't worry the storms had not hit yet as it was a beautiful morning, blue skies and some clouds starting to roll in.
Along the coastal path they have built a platform for swimmers to get into the water. On this morning the tide was very high and coming in over the sides of the platform. Perfect, so I set up the camera and waited for the waves to come in and cover the concrete in the foreground. This would help with the reflections of the clouds.
Now I had a slight timing issue. You see there was this dog running and jumping into the water right in front of my camera position and I had to wait until the dog was out of the frame and the waves covered the foreground. I got the image I was after i.e. the one here. While I was packing my gear up the dog came over to me and stood there looking at me. But what did he do only shake himself dry and water went all over me and the contents of my backpack. Once again his owner was embarrassed and apologized. I just stood there wet but laughing.

The moral of this story : If I see another dog while out shooting I'm going the other direction.

More SkyWatch Friday images here : SkyWatch

Friday, 5 November 2010

A Boyne Diamond

What do you do when your wife rings you to say that herself and the children are staying with her mother for the night? A free house, yes. Quick get the camera and tripod and get out of the house. Go figure?
Well on this evening when I got that very call I did indeed grab the camera bag. Well it never made it out of the car form that morning. As it was summer time I had plenty of time to get something to eat (photographers dinner on the go - takeaway fish and chips) and plan where to shoot that evening.
Living on the East coast of Ireland does not make for great sunsets most of the time, however there are a couple of places you can get a wonderful sunset. Not tonight as I hadn't got time on my side.
The river Boyne flows through the town of Navan where I live. I decided that I would go for a walk along the Boyne and if I was lucky just might get an image or two. There are a couple of place along the stretch form Navan to Slane where you can park your car and walk the path running beside the river bank.
I wasn't getting any luck composition wise for the first 30mins of the walk but then I started to here a sound of water flowing over and into rocks. This could be interesting. When I reached a spot on the river bank which opened out and was able to step down into the water to get the composition I was after I knew this should work.
The image above is not that image (might post that during the week). I was thinking that this was not the right time of the day to be shooting west into the setting sun. A morning time would be much better as the sun would to behind me and light up the river bank on the far side. Luck would have it that I had a tree in the middle of the river. Don't ask because I don't understand how this can be?
But I had a plan. A slight move to the left and up onto the bank to position the tree in the frame and use it to hide the setting sun. Foreground interest was the rocks and water. In the middle we had the tree in the middle of the river and the far bank with the trees was my background. I just had to wait for the sun to get onto position behind the branches and my composition was ready.
While waiting I did get to talk to a few people asking me what I was doing? and chase a dog who took one of my lens pouches out of my open camera bag on the ground beside me. I saw the funny side and no harm was done but the dog owner was very embarrassed.
Sorry, getting back to the image. I had to use a couple of ND grad filters to control the sky and get a slow enough shutter speed for control the water flow. The result is the image above. Not bad of a spur of the moment sort of thing while I could have being sitting down we my feet up in control of the TV for once.

"A Boyne Diamond" To find out what this means Click Here.

So the moral of the story : If you find yourself with a free house one fine summers evening get out and get a snap or two.

More SkyWatch Friday images here : SkyWatch

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Donabate Walk

Well now, it's being a long time since my last blogpost. A couple of reasons really but mainly working on other parts of the business and not enough time out in the field taking new images.
Another reason is lack of inspiration or rather too much inspiration.

"Even the most enthusiastic of photographers get the blues. And there's nothing more depressing than jealousy and a lack of motivation caused by overexposure to the work of others."

Well my friends that's me at the moment. But, there is hope. I have discovered a great cure for this particular form of photographic depression. Grab your camera and get out of the house and spend more time developing your style and vision rather than indulging in everyone else's.

So I did just that last week and went back to where I lived a few years ago. Donabate is a small village on the East coast of Ireland. Jump over to the website here to have a look at more images from Donabate.
It was great to get out on my own with the cameras and just walk around to try a get a composition that works. The image above shows the cliff path form Donabate to Portrane. It had being a clear blue sky all morning and then the clouds started to roll in which is more to my style. While waiting for the right light and composition you have plenty of time to think. And a lot of thinking was done this morning on the cliff path of Donabate.

I'm Back

Full of my own style, vision and Inspiraton.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Dinosaur Shadow in Wicklow

Last week I went down to Glendalough, Co Wicklow for a walk with the family. Leaving the house early to avoid the crowds of people who visit Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains. It is a wonderful place to visit during the week as there is less people to avoid in your images.
After walking passed the Upper Lake (more on this in another post) and along the trail down towards the Mining Village. We had some wonderful weather, clouds and sun on the walk. And I was glad I took the complete Mononeil Camera equipment backpack with me this time and not just the compact.
I was able to capture a shadow of a dinosaur (hehehe) coming out from behind Lugduff Mountain on the left. The image also shows Camaderry Mountain on the right and Glenealo River which flows into the Upper Lake. Just below the shadows you can make out what is left of the building of The Mining Village. Mining for lead, zinc and silver took place for over 150 years and at the peek of production 2,000 miners were employed. Mining continued up until 1957.
The contrast difference between the sky and foreground was controlled by using 2 Lee ND Grad filters. This low-res jpeg might not show you but there is still detail in the shadows area of the mountain of the left.
I was able to come away with a hand full of images from this trip to Glendalough. One of the main reasons was to capture the Upper Lake. I have a couple of images but still not happy. I was enjoying my time down at the Mining Village that by the time I got back to the Upper lake the blanket clouds had rolled in and that was the end of my shooting. I will just have to come back again another time. The story of us Landscape Photographers.

More SkyWatch Friday can be found here

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Droma Valley

The Irish Weather is a funny old thing. Here in this image we have snow on the mountain tops with sun, wind and rain down in the valley. Only in Ireland can you have all this in the space of a day.
Droma Valley can be found on the Dingle Peninsula. Taken with my G10 as had packed all the main camera equip away. Stopped here too see what it looked like as it looked interesting on the map. A mental note to come back here and do a bit more exploring around.
Not many posts of late due too many things going on and not time to get out, take a snap or two and then process them on the computer. I'm still going through the image from my last trip up in Donegal. Also I did manage to grad an hour or two to get out one evening to the River Boyne and captured some interesting images. I will post them over the next couple of weeks.
Marathons are back on again with me being away every weekend in September.

More SkyWatch Friday can be found here

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Another Drive-by shooting

Well it happened again today, another drive-by shooting. This time they didn't even stop the car. Camera out the window as they drove by. Where and when?
It happened on the road out of Laragh, Co Wicklow towards The Sally Gap. You slowly make way up the side of the mountain by car and when you nearly reach the top the view opens out and Glenmacnass Waterfall comes into full view. Just pass the waterfall you can pull into the big carpark and walk along the banks for the river and out onto the waterfall itself. This time of the year and amount of water in the river will vary.
We had being camping down in Roundwood and were heading home the long way. I didn't want to bring the full camera pack with me, so the G10 was all I had. The image above is the view you have from the top of the waterfall.
What kind of person the would drive all the way out and up here and doesn't stop to even look. Whats even worse, sticking the hand out the window while the car is moving to take a photo.
This is one of the few things that makes me go crazy.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Sugar Loaf

A short break from The Mourne Mountains trip for a moment. I have said and will always say it's not the camera but the person using it that takes the photo. You have the eye to see whats in front of you and the camera. It's you who presses the shutter button at that specific time. You moved one step to the right the help the composition. You get the picture ?
When I got out for a walk/hike with the family I more than likely only bring my compact camera with me. Being the gentleman that I am I always carry the backpack with the food, water and rain gear. No room for the dslr, filters and tripod. The image above was one such image taken with my Canon G10 compact camera. We went for a walk up The Sugar Loaf mountain last sunday. On the drive up to the car park I noticed this structure and decided to make a stop on the way home to see if an image was possible.
I jumped the wall and waited for the sun to light up the side wall. I took a couple of images in landscape and portrait format. The portrait format works the best for this composition. Ok your not going to get a 40inch print form this but you will get a very nice 20x16 image and when you put this in matt and frame you have got yourself winner.

So, you don't need the top of the range camera. You do need to see better and learn to use the camera you have first. Keep your money and spend it on knowledge. Take a workshop. Plug plug hint hint ( workshop link )

More Skies can be found here SkyWatch Friday.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Spelga Dam Again

After the mist lifted form Spelga Dam and sun rising over to my left, the beauty of the area started to appear. I moved back a bit from the last post to include the rocks on the shoreline to add some foreground interest. Also the light was wonderful on the rocks bring out that texture and different tones.
I had the whole place to myself that morning bar the people who were camping in a tent just from the shoreline. I never even seen the tent on the way down and nearly walked over them as I was walking backwards up the hill.
From here I traveled down towards the mountains you see in the background. More of them next week.
My Exhibitions has come to a close with some wonderful comments signed in the visitors book. A few print sales and workshops finished off the month of July nicely.
Next week will see me traveling up towards Sligo - Donegal area for a few days.
I am still going through the Mourne Mountains Images and Westport at the end of June.
So plenty for you to enjoy.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Spelga Dam

I think it's time for a change. We travel up north this time to The Mourne Mountains in Co Down and a funny tale to tell.
We two months solid working for MarathonFoto finished I was ready to get out and shoot some landscape work. Checked the weather OK. Packed my camera bags, tripods and all other gear ready for the early start and left them down at the front door ready. I was going to shoot sunrise on my way up the North. One slight problem with all this preparation. I forgot todo one thing. Can you guess?
I woke up to the sound of my 7 year old son getting out of bed. That's funny, he never wakes that during the night. No I was wrong. What did I forget todo? Set the alarm clock. It was Saturday morning. I was not a happy chap. That was the end of that trip. So the following week I did set the alarm and let the house at 4 in the morning. What a wonderful sunrise I got and the rest of the day was fantastic.
The image above is an image of Spelga Dam. Mist started to roll in over the surface of the water to give this lovely effect. This lasted for about 10mins and was gone. I stayed here for a while longer and have some more images of the lake and surroundings.
So over the next couple of weeks I will bring you more images from The Mourne Mountains.

More Sky's over at SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Reenbeg Point Dingle

We are coming to the end of my Dingle Trip images.
The image above shows Reenbeg Point, the mouth to Dingle Bay and Harbor. This is also the home of Fungie the Dolphin (Link here). This was taken form a cliff face on the other side of the bay. It was the every last images taken on this trip before I packed by bags and headed home.
Even though the first day and a half was a wash out the the rain, on the whole the Dingle Trip was great. The new camera system was put through it's paces and came out with flying colours.

You have The Mourne Mountains and Westport Trips to look forward in the coming weeks.
Have a good weekend and see you all again next week.

More Skys can be found here on SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Conor Pass Again

OMG it's being 1 month since my last confession sorry Blog Post.

What can I say?
I have being very buzzy fly all over Europe that past month or two working for MarathonFoto. During this time I have taken well over 50,000 images of runners. The season is now over for a while so I can get back to doing some more Landscape work.
So where did I leave you?
Yes up on the Conor Pass on the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. It's a funny old world here in Ireland but that's one of the many reasons I love it so much. In the last post you can see the snow capped mountains and storm clouds moving in. This image taken from the same spot but turned to my right, we have wonderful blue sky and some sunshine over the Slievanea Mountain. I love the play with the light and the shadows cast by the clouds on the mountain face.
After getting the new camera system back in April, this was the only time I got to use it. It has being sitting safe and sound in my backpack. Last week I did manage to get out and travelled up to The Mourne Mountains. Next week I'm off to one of my favorite location as a base for the week, Westport Co Mayo.
So it's this post for another week or I might get one uploaded on Saturday before I'm on the road again.
More Sky's can be found at SkyWatch Friday here.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Conor Pass

On the way home form the Dunquin Peir shoots I noticed that the tops of the mountains were snow covered. So after a quick shower and Irish breakfast in the hotel, I headed back out again for a quick drive up to the viewpoint at the top of the Conor Pass.

The Conor Pass is the highest mountain pass in Ireland. It is situated on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, on the road that crosses the peninsula between Dingle Town and the coast the other side. The Mountains the Pass crosses are the Brandon Mountains and contain Ireland's second highest peak Brandon Mountain at 3127 ft. From Dingle Town the road runs some 4 1/2 miles rising to 1500 ft as it winds its way to the pass. There are wonderful views of the coast. At the Pass there is a carpark where you are confronted with this magnificent sight. The road then carries on down towards Brandon Bay past cliffs, a waterfall and lakes

A short walk up the Conor Hill on the left of the car park and this was the view in the image above. Snow covered mountain tops and low storm clouds. However to the right was clear blue skies and sunshine ( the next post ). It was very windy up here and I was glad I had the spiked feet on the ends of the tripod legs stuck into the ground.
I waited for the clouds to move and the sun to light up the tops of Geathane and Brandon Peak which were covered in snow. I had the place to my self up here which was great. It was only on the short walk back down that a car pulled up, two people got out and took a snap with a compact camera and back into there car. Total time 20seconds. It am always amazed by these type to people ( tourists ? ). What must the thinks when they are looking back thru their images. Take the extra time to take in the view and this includes smell and sounds. For me when I look back at an image I have taken I see the view but have all this information with me to enjoy the image more.

Have a good weekend and talk soon.

More Skies can be found at SkyWatch Friday

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Dunquin Pier

This is Dunquin Pier, Dunquin, on the Dingle Peninsula Co Kerry. You can get the Ferry over to the Blasket Islands visible in the background from here. The path down is unbelievably steep and I don't know how people walk up and down this winding path. Mind you it makes for a great foreground interest in a photograph. I have seen a few images of this Pier shoot closer and tight to the frame but I decided to take a wider view and capture the Blasket Island in the background to give the image a little extra bit of interest. Does it work ?
I would say yes as that's what a had in mind when I got to the location after I ran back to the car during a quick 10mins rain shower. It was very windy and I was standing right on the cliff edge which made me a bit uneasy as I don't like heights or rather looking down over cliff edges. So I was holding onto the tripod so that it wouldn't blow away and for my life.

I will continue My Dingle Trip next week after I get back from England that's if the airlines are able to fly again due to the Iceland Volcano that is causing chaos over here in Europe. I have to shoot the London Marathon on Sunday fly home and then back to England a day later to Canon for training on new equipment.

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

More Skies here at SkyWatch Friday.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Coumeenoole Bay 2

We continue on My Dingle Trip series with another image form Coumeenoole Bay.
In this image the headland is now lit up by the rising sun over Eagle Mountain behind me. This is the head land behind the cottage on the right in the last post. Taken about 45 mins later you can see the sun has risen high enough to lit up the foreground and cast some interesting shadows with the rocks. Again the Blasket Island can be seen on the horizon.
I was finished shooting down on the Coumeenoole Beach and was walking back up the path towards where I parked the car when I looked over the wall to see this viewpoint. A quick hop over the wall and set up the camera. I liked the portrait version better as there was nothing of interest in the open water to the left. The version has better composition and impact with the shape of the rocks leading you into the image.
This was the last image taken that morning as I headed back to the hotel for a well earned shower and full Irish Breakfast.

Chapter 3 to follow next week.

For More SkyWatch Images Link Here

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Coumeenoole Bay

Easter Holidays are now over and mind & body refreshed yes ?
It's being a while since my last post, looking at the date on the last post 21st March. I was away down to Co Kerry for a few days last week with a couple of new toys to play with and test.
Got a new car. Well when I mean new, I mean new to me as it's 8 years old. Funny thing is I payed twice the price of the car for the new camera and lens combination. Typical photographer right ?
We ( the family ) headed down to Dingle, Co Kerry for a break and I used this to put the 5Dmk2 and 24mm TS-E mk2 through some field tests. The results are only wonderful. Now I will have to upgrade my Mac computer to handle the very large files. I think my bank manager is going to cry if he sees me again.
When we go down this direction, we normally stay in Killarney and go to Dingle on a day trip. This time we used Dingle as our base for the holiday. A few days before we left I planned out locations to goto and shoot using maps and Google Earth. However this being Ireland plans changed. Explain later.
The Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland gems for photographers and the road around Slea Head to Dunquin and onto Ballyferriter is just wonderful. The image above show Coumeenoole Bay and Great Blasket Island in the background. No joke, this is the view form the side of the road as you drive around Slea Head. Just imagine what it must have being like to live in that cottage and open your front or back door to that view ?
Now getting back to the plan. It rained for 18hours non-stop. All I could do was look out the hotel room window and hope that tomorrow would be better. So one and a half days lost. Mind you the children didn't mind as they came home with lots of goodies from the Kids Club in the Hotel. It was definitely worth the wait as the weather the next day was spot-on.
So, stayed tuned for chapter 2 in My Dingle Trip.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Priory of St John.

The first image taken with the new Canon TS-E 24mm F/3.5L II.
The Priory of St John, Trim, Co Meath taken this morning on a field trip with 12 of my students from the class on Photography I teach. I didn't manage to take a bucket load of image as I was too busy looking after the passing on a few words of wisdom.
When I did take an image. What results. Stunning is all I can say. Centre to edge sharpness is wonderful. Crisp, clear and contrast all wonderful.
Ok the low-res jpeg image here will not do it justice, but the export form Aperture viewed at 100% in Photoshop or Loupe in Aperture looks like is needs not unsharp mask applied.
Back to the image. We had to wait a short while for the sun to come out from behind the clouds all day. This was great for the students as they could see that a difference it makes to their exposure and the way it subject was lit up. Also they also learned position of the sun in the sky plays a important part in a photographers knowledge which no text books can teach you.
I think at the end of the day they all went home very happy campers. Now I have to wait until next Tuesday nights class to see their results.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Black Castle Wicklow

We are now at the end of our Wicklow & Wexford Coastal journey with a photo of Black Castle which stands on a rocky promontory over the sea. We spent a god while here trying to find the best viewpoint and light.
This image above shows whats left of the castle to its best compared to the Google search images found on the Internet in my opinion. It's taken further down the coast than normal along a cliff path. However the foreground interest leads your eye nicely into the image and to the final resting place of the castle itself. We had to wait for some people to move out of the shoot and for the sun to reappear from behind the clouds. This angle of morning light is used to light up the face of the cliff and castle which is again the reason for this viewpoint.
You can possibly get a better image of the castle walls in detail from the other side but would be shooting into the sun and the castle would be in complete shadow. A return visit at a different time in the year is on the cards.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Wicklow Coast Continued....

We continue on our Wicklow & Wexford Coastal tour with the image about. After our wonderful breakfast mentioned in the pervious post and collected the now fully charged batteries form the house we headed south passed Brittas Bay. We found a lovely small bridge and river. Following the river through a field we came out onto the sea front in the image above.
Wonderful line and clouds are the composition in this image. I still had my wellies and over trousers on and kept them on for the whole day. It might not look the prettiest but it gets the job done and I am warm and dry.
I will post the images of the bridge and surroundings during the coming weeks as they are interesting in that : what you can find and photograph when out and about looking and exploring.
Have a good weekend and remember to bring your camera out with you.

For more SkyWatch Friday images Link Here

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Brittas Bay Sunrise

We have done a u-turn here and gone south down the Wicklow coast to Brittas Bay for an early morning sunrise. It didn't look like it was going to be any good. We had a big empty beach to play with and some small sand dunes. Instead of pointing the camera into the sunrise to the east I decided that turning and looking north along the beach and use the rising sun to side-light the foreground interest. We started to get some lovely cloud formations which added interest to the sky.
I don't know what happened but my batteries started to loose power very quickly and had to take a couple of images then remove the battery and place it inside my clothing. Just leave it a that and say nothing more on the subject as to the position of the battery. I had a spare backup battery in the car to continue on shooting that day. I presume it was the cold that was effecting the performance of the batteries.
We decided to head back to the house used as our base ( thanks Gavin's Mum & Dad ) and get a complete charge to my dying batteries. Also a good time to get breakfast. A hot coffee and a Full Irish Breakfast Roll down by the harbor. This will bring us nicely onto the final images to be posted during the coming days.

The Monochrome Weekend and many more can be found here .

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Kilmichael Strand

We continue on our journey up the Wicklow Coast with an image from the sand dunes behind the beach of Kilmichael Strand. We had a wonderful afternoon sun to play with casting shadows and a warm quality to the light. Using this light to great use in the long grasses in the foreground and lighting up the countryside in the background.
While waiting for the right light, camera setup, check your twitter feed on you phone. How wonderful technology is today that you can be standing in the middle of a beach and still be connected to the world. Alone but not alone, well besides from Gavin standing right next to me that is.
Just after we had taken these images a man on a horse appeared and went straight into the water and that was that. No more reflections in the water. I did manage to get a couple of images of this but I think it does not work as the rider and horse takes away your interest in the light and shadow detail which for me is the image.
I think I have a few more image to show you before we get to the end of our journey in the series on the Wicklow Coast. So come back again and continue your journey with me.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Wicklow Coast

Here is your SkyWatch Friday image.
Don't even go there. What can I say I'm hooked on the portrait landscape.
You might have noticed that I changed the name of the last post because I got the name of the location wrong. So I am calling this one Wicklow Coast until I ask my Sherpa Guide ( Gavin help ? ) whats the location for the above image.
The light was very harsh so I waited for the sun to go behind the clouds before I was happy with the light levels and composition. Again we waited for people to disappear from off the sand dunes. You can't see it but I found a football in the long grass just in front of me. So if anybody lost a football it's there.
So this is the second image from the Wicklow trip and we are moving up the coast from the last post and I will continue on the journey up the coast for the next post.
Have a good weekend and see you all next week.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Clones Strand

Well now, I have being mad busy the past couple of weeks. During this time I did manage to get away for a few days shooting down on the Wicklow/Wexford east coast with a friend of mine Gavin Lyons. Gavin, who is Irish now lives in Austria came home and we meat up last Saturday at some crazy early hour in the day/night.
We spent the next couple of days going up and down the coast stopping off every now and then take a photo or two. The image above was taken on the Saturday down on the rocks over looking Castletown Beach. We climbed down the rocks to get our composition right. I'm not going to mention names or anything like that but someones lens ( not me ) decided to make it's own way down the rocks and land safely on the edge undamaged luck would have it.
We waited for the right conditions. The clouds were starting to arrive after a completely blue sky that morning for sunrise. We also had to wait for the right moment were there was no people on the beach and the waves crashed up onto the rocks to add a bit of drama to the image.
I think I got enough images to keep me going for a good few weeks and you will be the first to see them here on my blog as soon as I process and post them. You can look forward to images from Ballymoney, Castletown, Kilmichael Point, Clogga, Brittas Bay, Ardmore Point, Wicklow Head, Lighthouse and Castle.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Giant's Causeway

Well look at this, another portrait orientation landscape.
And yes I did go to the doctor for help. He said stop turning your head sideways.

The Giant's Causeway, Co Antrim, a World Heritage Site is one hell of an interesting place to visit and photograph. For one reason, to get a image with no people in it. A very tricky thing to do. However if you are a "real" photographer you go at some crazy time in the day. The above image was taken at around 5 in the morning me thinks on my trip to the Antrim Coast last November. At this time of the day you can drive your car down if you know your way through the car park maze.
The weather was overcast which made for a not so interesting colour sunrise ( I was with my good friend Peter Cox )but I think this image works very well in good old black and white. The shape and texture in the rock formations and the smooth water with the reflections of the clouds is interesting.
I promise this will be my last one. Well not really. Have a look at the Antrim Gallery on my site and you will see a few more images.
Have a good weekend and talk soon.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Skerries Lighthouse

Please don't adjust your monitors.
The worm have turned.
Yes you are not seeing things.
A portrait Landscape.

If you have being following my blog for a while you will have noticed that I have never posted a portrait style landscape image. The reason for this is well I don't see in portrait. I visualize the final image in me head as a b&w landscape. I know I have missed a good number of images by not taking portrait style but I just can't see them.
The image above of Skerries and the Lighthouse was taken from the same location as the previous post with the G10 on a tripod. However in the Landscape version I have you can see the car park and the children's playground. This did not help in the composition as I wanted the large rock in the foreground to lead you into the image and to the Lighthouse on the horizon. I could not position myself and the elements to suite.
I had to turn the camera & ball head ( even looked up tripod manual to find out how to do this ! ). By doing so the elements and the composition work. Even a bird moved into position in the sky for me. Will it be my last composition this way? Who knows, but I will visit the doctors and see if there are drugs to help me overcome this problem.

Have a good weekend and see you here again next week.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Skerries Walk

Question : Do you bring a camera with you when you go out for a walk ?

If the answer to the above question is no then why not?
I bring a camera with me at all times when a I go out for a walk with the family. It may not the the high-end DSLR's I own but the G10 goes with all the time. It depends on the location and what type of walk we go on for choosing what to bring ie the full backpack and tripod or pocket camera. Mind you I will always bring a tripod with me. There is still life yet in my old and battered tripod.
The image above was taken on a Sunday walk around the seaside village of Skerries in north county Dublin. There was a strong clod wind blowing. I know as my newspaper let fly all over the public playground. It was funny to see grown adults running around trying to catch my newspaper. When we arrived there, we got a bit too eat and then went for a walk. The sky was clear and blue (not to my liking) but I could see that the clouds were a coming. While the children played on the swings etc. I slipped away to find a location a take a snap or two. Again the strong winds was blowing and I was blessed in bringing the tripod.
I did manage to get a couple of image from this location. You might be able to see the Mourne Mountains on the horizon. But it's the lovely side lighting and shadows in the foreground that interests me. That S curve in the sand and the shadows leads me nicely into the image. Waiting for the clouds added to the background and finished the image off.

So another Question : Are you going to bring your camera with you next time ?

I hope your answer will be yes as you never know what image you will go home with.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

The Beacon

Here is your Monochrome Weekend image.

I have being rather busy of late and have not posted here in a while.
So here we are then, The Baltimore Beacon, Co Cork. Do you remember a while back I went down for a few days to Peter Cox. Well the reason for this trip as well as staying with Peter was this very image. I was requested by a client to get a image of the Beacon for them. Little did we know that Cork would have the worst flooding in living history. We did manage to get out and follow the coast.

The above image is a near copy of one I did many many years ago when I was starting out at photography and did not know what I was doing. Looking at the two images they are very alike apart from the foreground. And that's what makes this image. The foreground rocks draw you into the image and towards the Beacon.

I like a good foreground, something to lead your eye into the scene and add a sense of depth and scale, so the image looks 3D even though it's only got 2. You would be surprise how many get this fundamental element wrong.

That's all for now. Have a good weekend and hope to here your comments on this image.
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Showcase 2010

Hi all,

I will not be posting for the next week or 2 until after the show I am attending now.

See the LINK here for more details.

Normal service will return the following week. Until then have a good weekend and see you all again later.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Black & White Ireland Exhibition

I am please to announce that an Exhibition of my work will be on display in the Dublin Camera Club Gallery from today 16th January and will run for the next 7 weeks. A 30 strong selection body of work from the past few year will be on display. The Gallery is open free to the public every Saturday from 11am to 5pm.

So please drop in, have a look and leave a comment.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Bective in the Snow

Here is your SkyWatch image.

Well the snow has gone, well from most parts of Ireland that is. I didn't get out much to get some snow images. Don't know really but was not that interested as I could not travel to the locations of interest. I did manage to get over to Bective Abbey, near Trim in Meath and got a couple of images before another snow storm came along. You can just about see the start of it from the cloud cover on the right of the image. I lost the rubber feet on the end of my tripod legs taking this image. No worries as it gave me the chance to buy the spike ends for the tripod which I have being meaning to buy for a long time.
If you have being following me on Twitter or Facebook you will know I am putting the 30 Images together for my Exhibition in Dublin Ireland called Black & White Ireland with will open next week. I will let you know times and location etc. on Sunday for all people who wish to go along and see my work up close.
Talk soon.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Ramparts Navan

Here is your Monochrome Week image.

Global Warming ( it's bloody freezing here in Ireland ). This clod snap as they are calling it has being going on for 2 weeks now. The temp went down below -10 last night and the pipes in the attic are frozen.
Ok, some other countries are having even colder weather, but there in Ireland we are not use to this cold and snow & ice.
The image above is The Ramparts in Navan, Co Meath. Another one from our New Years Day walk along the River Boyne. As you can see the river is frozen in parts. Mind you I say it's completely frozen now. I must try and get down there again on Sunday as it forecast for more snow and freezing temperatures of -8 tonight.

You can now follow me on Facebook if you want

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year's Day on the Boyne

Here is your Skywatch Friday image.


Hot of the press ( well bloody cold mind you ), the first image processed and taken this morning while out with the family on a walk to clear the heads after a week of eating an drinking as if there was no tomorrow. We usually go for a walk in the mountains on New Year's Day but the weather put a stop to this. The roads are in a bad state with no gritting in Meath.
So we made the short trip down to the River Boyne in Navan. I didn't think I would get anything of interest. However the above image ended that theory.
If the first image on the first day of 2010 is this good I am looking forward to a very productive year ahead. I hope you have a good year also.