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