Another from Torc Waterfall

It was raining here all last weekend so I’m having to dip into some of my older shots taken. I have a black and white version of this in another post but for some reason, I never put up the colour.

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Killarney National Park in Co. Kerry in Ireland is somewhere I’d love to bee left alone with my camera for a weekend.

Wicklow Head Lighthouse, Using A Phone

I hadn’t meant to, it just turned out that way. Saturday was a pretty bleak day around these parts but it cleared up sooner than expected.

I had woke earlier, 0500 early, to get out to the lighthouse before the sun did to get a few shots of the lighthouse at dawn. It faces east and is hidden behind a cliff edge to it’s the only time of the day if receives direct sunshine, and in the Irish winter, it doesn’t even get much of it then, which I was to find out quite early.

Having turned off the alarm on its first beep, I crept downstairs making sure not to wake anyone this time. In my still sleepy head, I hadn’t heard the rain outside, but once downstairs and looking out the window, I could see a steady stream of water flowing down the road. It was lashing. I could see the raindrops bouncing off the roof of the car. There was only one thing for it, back to bed before it cools down.

Both disappointed and glad to be back in bed, I was asleep again in minutes and woke to a very grey dawn. It cleared up around noon so we decided to take the kids out for a walk and a bit of fresh air. We went up by the lighthouse to check it out, I hadn’t been there before, I had only seen it on Google maps, so it was handy to see it before I had another chance to make it there again.

I didn’t have any camera with me but the ever present phone (Samsung Galaxy S6) was in my pocket so I snapped a few with that. I was surprised at the shots, the colour (I know this is black and white) was good and it was overall very sharp. As it was on shadow the shot itself was very dull so a black and white was the best choice here. I’m looking forward to getting back there one morning, you never know, I might even get out on time and it might be dry.

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One more from my Killeney Beach Trip

In my last post you can see that I was a bit pressed for time when I was last out with the camera. Long exposures are not the best option while watching the clock.

This is one taken using a 3 minute exposure and at F8 but with a 3.0 ND grad filter, also known as a “big stopper”, but was taken a little earlier in the evening before the light was totally lost on me.26022017_001_small

I prefer the colour as I think the sand and stones look too much like a big black mass at the side of the image. Next time I’ll set the tripod up on the rocks for a cleaner image.

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To see these shots you’d never imagine that there were plenty of walkers on the beach, one even walking right in front of the camera while the shot was being taken.

Attempting Long Exposures When Pressed For Time

The alarm is set for 0530 so I can get down to the coast before the sun does. The earlier I get out the more time I’ll have as I’ve promised my wife I’ll be back before 0900 as it’s going to be a busy day.

Having recently moved to the area, and not having explored a whole lot, I’ve taken to Google Maps to try to spot an area along the coast with a few features. While a long sandy beach is great for so many things, it’s pretty boring when it comes to photography. After a quick search, I’ve got my spot for the morning, and it’s off to bed I go.

The alarm goes off and this is where it all goes wrong. Now, everyone knows there’s nothing more noisy than someone who’s trying to be quiet so, as I creep out of bed and down the stairs, I can hear the grumblings of our 1 year old. I pause for a couple of minutes in the hope he’ll go back to sleep and let me out the door as planned but as his calls got louder I knew he wanted out of bed, and I also knew that he knew I was there.

Up to his room I go, he’s standing there with a big grin, so I pick him up and down we go for breakfast. I watch the inky blue black appear in the sky, and by the time he’s fed and watered, it was clear that the sun had lost its patience with me and decided it was time for it to rise too. By the time backup arrives it’s 0730 and too late for my planned dawn shots. I head out for an hour anyway but, while the location I had picked had potential the tide had made its way in and it was too bright anyway.

I decide to head for home and with a bit of negotiation I’m free to head back at 1730, it would be dark within an hour of that so time was going to be tight. By the time I get back there the sea was quite rough and the high tide was making its second attempt of the day. With the darkness setting in, I set up and take a few long exposures, each of around 3-4 minutes. The waves were coming in fast and the wind starting to blow hard. I did what I could with the shots but the constant slight shaking of the camera, caused by the wind and waves,  were making fo some very hazy shots.

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After the hour of shooting it’s too dark to continue, it was too cloudy for even a few shots of the stars, so I packed up the gear and heading back for the car. Anything that was going to be salvaged from the day was going to have to be done in Photoshop.

The first is the original shot taken. The second is with a touch of sharpening, brightening and cropping done.

I think the exposures are much too long, 20 seconds to see the movement of the water would have been better. I’ll have to head down again, this time I’ll try to leave the house a lot more quietlydsc_736726022017_002_small

Playing with Depth of Field, Again

I passed through the historic town of Lismore in Co. Waterford today. The town has a wonderful fully preserved castle but unfortunately it’s not open to the public. While passing today I saw the gates open and decided I’d have a peek inside, I didn’t get far… Just passed the gatehouse I was duly told to be on my way.

As I was stopped in the town I thought I’d have a wander around. There’s a small cathedral at the top of the town that’s been a church since the 7th century, so I decided I’d have a wander around the grounds.

The old cobblestones were perfect for shallow depth of field shots. I set the focus to manual and set the focus as close as possible, about 1 foot. Shooting from the ground up was the best way to draw out the line of the path