Monday, May 25, 2009

A long tiring day...

Nikon D70s, 1/20 sec, f3.5, ISO 1600, 27mm equivalent

Yesterday was a long, happy and Sunny day for our two boys. For the youngest chap though it proved all too much - all that climbing on the climbing frame, digging in the sandpit, helping Mummy with the compost, bouncing on the trampoline and running after the cat took their toll. When it finally came to bedtime the stairs seemed a step too far and so he fell asleep before he even got halfway!

I think we all have tiring days sometimes but I have not yet fallen asleep on the stairs...
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Not bad for a mobile phone

Sony Ericsson K800i (Mobile phone), 5 pictures @ f2.8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 80

St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, taken two days ago using five pictures from a Sony Ericsson K800i mobile phone, stitched together on the computer using Photoshop Elements 6.

One of the great myths about digital photography, particularly with small pocket cameras and especially with mobile phones is the idea that the more megapixels the better. The problem is that the sensor is tiny (smaller than a fingernail) so the more photosites you cram on to it the harder each one has to work to get an image. In good light this is fine but in dimmer light when the ISO has to increase to over, say 200 this leads to excessive "noise", i.e. coloured blotches and loss of detail in the picture. That's why you can look at a low-light photo taken with a five or six megapixel camera bought a few years ago and it will look a lot better than today's latest twelve megapixel monster - the sensor is the same size - but having to work twice as hard!

Anyway, I got a new mobile phone recently (well actually second-hand off eBay for £60). It has a camera on it that's not bad, though not as good as the pictures from a 'proper' camera, such as a digtal SLR or a film camera, like my Olympus OM-1 from 1973 (I'll put up some pictures from the latter in due course).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blowin' in the wind

Panasonic LX1, f5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO 80, 18mm

Taken near Roberts Cove, Co. Cork. This windswept tree reminded me of the famous song:
How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
(Bob Dylan)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Green Finch

Nikon D70s, f5.6, 1/320 sec, ISO 800, 450mm equivalent

Saw this little fella on the bird table yesterday evening. Much as I like the myriad of Crows and Magpies that usually inhabit our garden, it’s nice to occasionally see something different. In my ignorance I whispered across the kitchen to my wife “look there’s a lovely green bird on the bird table”, to which she replied “oh yes, it’s a Green Finch”. And what a beautiful bird it is too (although it's looking a little cross at being disturbed by the man wielding a camera from the other side of the window)!

I am reminded of these words of the Lord Jesus:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
(Matthew 6:25-27)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Panasonic LX1, f4.9, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, 52mm equivalent

Panasonic LX1, f4, 1/100 sec, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent

Panasonic LX1, f4.9, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent

One thing I have the pleasure of doing is going round different parishes nearby and with the help of an expert checking over buildings and seeing what work needs to be done. One of the places we ended up in yesterday was Ballyhooly, a lovely village to the west of Fermoy on the river Blackwater. The first picture is from the drive in to the village from the South, just about to cross over the river (you can just see the line of the river bank above the furthest away cow)! The second is the leafy laneway down to the church building (which I blurred and desaturated a bit to give it a "dreamy" look) and the third is looking south from the church entrance.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Families at Fota Wildlife park

Nikon D70s, f5.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 450, 375mm equivalent
Cappebarra Family

Nikon D70s, f9, 1/320 sec, -0.33 EV, ISO 200, 450mm equivalent
Mother giving a playful nudge

Nikon D70s, f5, 1/320 sec, -0.33 EV, ISO 220, 315mm equivalent
Guinea Fowl - Here come the girls!

Nikon D70s, f5, 1/320 sec, ISO 800, 315mm equivalent
Spider Monkeys

Took these yesterday - I was tempted to include a human family or two for comparison, but didn't want to get in any trouble!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Bleak House

Panasonic LX1, 1/200 sec, f4.9, ISO 80, 112mm equivalent

Panasonic LX1, 1/500 sec, f4.0, ISO 80, 45mm equivalent

To get to this bleak looking place on “Coney Island” in Sligo bay we had to wait until low tide and then drive across what was optimistically called a “Causeway”, but really it was nothing more than driving along the sea bed for a mile or so following the ancient stone cairns marking the route and hoping that you were not going to get stuck in some quick sand!

This house fascinated me. You can see how it was once a very fine place, with a grand entrance stairway and unsurpassed views of the mountains and seascape that form an audience around it. I wonder who lived here and what happened to them? Did they emigrate? Were they forcibly evicted? Was it just too hard making a living on this land? Did they get irreversibly stuck making their way across on the causeway!?

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
(Proverbs 19:21)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lough Gill

Nikon D70s, 4 images @ 1/200 sec, f7.1, 52mm equivalent

For our belated Easter holiday we had a great few days away in Sligo. It was typical April (and indeed Sligo) weather – all four seasons every few hours!

I thought it was about time to change the banner at the top of the page. This one is a panorama of four images taken one evening from the northern shore of Lough Gill. For my wife and I this is a special place, our first house after we got married was just a bit further around the lake from where this picture was taken. It was an old stone cottage with thick white-washed stone walls, a corrugated tin roof, oh and it was damp and with no central heating, just a wood-burning stove to cook on and to provide heat! Sadly it has since been knocked-down and replaced by a large new house that looks very comfortable but somehow doesn’t look right in this landscape (of course you will not get an objective opinion on it from me!)