Monday, July 27, 2009

Worldwide Photo Walk: Cork

Nikon D70s, f5, 1/125 sec, ISO 200, 69mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f4.5, 1/80 sec, -0.33 Ev, ISO 200, 27mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f4.5, 1/125 sec, ISO 640, 84mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f8, 1/125 sec, ISO 200, 27mm equivalent

A couple of Saturdays ago I had the pleasure of meeting up with a bunch of photographers for a "photo walk" around Cork city, organised by Donncha O Caoimh as part of Scott Kelby's Worldwide photo walk. I'd never done anything like this before at all and it was really great fun. Normally when I start talking to people about available light, aperture, hyperfocal distance and so on the yawns come even quicker than during one of my Sunday sermons. But here I was, able to converse in photographer's gobbledegook and learn so much from others who knew a lot more than me.

The city was very crowded with various events that were happening, so the group dwindled as the afternoon wore on. I lost them after about two hours or so but by then I'd managed to take 88 pictures and went home happy.

You can see everyone's pictures on a Flickr group. I can't wait until the next photo walk, when hopefully the sun will shine for a bit longer than the 5 minutes it did on this occasion!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Nikon D70s, f4.5, 1/60 sec, ISO 200, 82mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f4.2 1/40 sec, ISO 200, 57mm equivalent

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm

June 22 was a sad day for many photographers, for it was the day that Kodak announced the "Discontinuation" of Kodachrome - perhaps the most famous slide film of all and which had been in production since 1935!

Fortuitously , just a couple of weeks earlier I had bought a roll of it to try. The results came back in the post today from Dwayne's Photo lab in Kansas, U.S.A., via Switzerland - the only lab left in the world that does the tricky job of processing the stuff.

I have to say that from an amateur photographer's viewpoint it's hard to work with. You have to get the exposure spot on, there's not the tolerance that you'd get in a normal print film. But when you do get it right the colour, sharpness, detail and dynamic range are far greater than my digital camera can come up with.

So long Kodachrome, I'm sure that many of your slides will last a lot longer than the hard drives, C.D.'s and flash drives that most of our photos are stored on these days...

Friday, July 17, 2009


Nikon D70s, f6.3, 1/160 sec, ISO 200, 105mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f7.1, 1/200 sec, ISO 200, 51mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f9, 1/320sec, ISO 200, 27mm equivalent

Panasonic LX1, f5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent

I don't know why but I'm in a black and white phase at the moment. I think this happens when there are lots of shadows and textures in the pictures that I want to emphasise, something that often is not noticed in a colour picture.

OK the first one was taken at a place called "Cae Du", near um well not near anywhere really, but obviously on the coast and looking west and north towards Snowdonia.

The Rickety old bridge is near Barmouth. It was one of those "do you think we'll make it moments", but we made it, having to pay 60p for the privilege - quite a contrast from our journey to Dublin port to get the ferry, where we had to pay €12 to get through the tunnel!

Before we had two little ones in tow, my wife and I had greatly enjoyed climbing England and Wales' highest mountain, Snowdon, complete with a cold beer in the restaurant at the top! Now though we have to get the train so this picture was taken out of the window on the incredible hour-long journey.

Finally one from Shell Island again (see last post), on this beach there are apparently 200 different types of shell, we managed to find about 20 or so...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shell Island

"David & Goliath"
Nikon D70s, f9, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, 75mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

"Towards Snowdonia"
Panasonic LX1, f4.9, 1/500 sec, ISO 80, 25mm (click to enlarge)

"Beach to ourselves!"
Panasonic LX1, f5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

Shell Island is a remarkable place located on the Snowdonia coastline in North Wales. There is a 300 acre camp site, which although it can be very busy and very tacky is large enough that it is possible to escape the lager-swilling-trance-music-listening hordes at weekends.

In the photo of the beach you can just about make out my wife and eldest son far down at the bottom of the vast sand dune - our youngest is balancing atop my shoulders while the picture is being taken :-0

The views are spectacular as the seascape across to the mountains of Snowdonia show ...

By the way, this is my 100th post in just under a year of blogging - hardly prolific but perhaps a little better than I had hoped for when I started :-)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back from holiday

Nikon D70s, f9, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, 40mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

We’re back from a great holiday in England and Wales. For the last two years we’ve had to abandon our camping holiday due to heavy rain and flooding, so it was a nice change to try to avoid getting sunburnt instead. As usual I took about a gazillion photos (well about two hundred or so), which is quite a change from when I used to think that four rolls of exposed film was a bit excessive!

For the first few days we enjoyed meeting up with relatives and friends. The above picture was taken on a walk up the embankment at Trimpley Reservoir in Worcestershire. The clouds remind me of cartoonish thought bubbles that might come from someone sitting on the bench – well it was very hot and maybe my brain was overheating a little!