Between the day job keeping me busy and finding it hard to decide what to photograph recently I decided to return to where I had restarted my photography in 2010.
Glendalough is one of my favourite places in Ireland with happy memories from my childhood and then with my own family. It is a really popular spot with tourists and during the holiday season it can get extremely busy.
I went across last Monday morning as it was a bank holiday here in Ireland. It is such a peaceful spot early in the morning and I felt myself completely relax as I took in the whole scene. With the sky so cloudy I did work on taking the shot as a potential black and white shot. Would really like to hear what you think of it. I dont know how the branch got there but I think it really makes the scene.
It is good to be busy and thankfully some of that busy has been with taking photographs. Getting back to the blog once again!
Most of my photography since Christmas has been around Naas. Recently it was our daughters mid term break from school so I took the same week off from the day job. A few mornings I got up early to see what wildlife I could come across.
I spent a few weeks photographing the swans taking off and landing on the lakes up at Lakelands in Naas. I was experimenting with settings to get the motion frozen and the picture sharp. Up to this shot I would have been reluctant to raise the ISO very high. Having looked at other wildlife shots I think with good light having a high ISO does not mean you will get a lot of grain in the shot. The high ISO for this shot meant I could have a high shutter speed and an fstop that meant what is in focus is sharp.
Settings: ISO 1000, f6.3, 313mm, 1/1250sec.
Along the canal near Tandy’s bridge there is a wildlife sanctuary just over the wall along the canal. It is not unusual to see a squirrel now and again. These two young squirrels were further down the canal running through the hedge. Again I had the ISO high to allow for a high shutter speed.
At times when I am out with the camera I get so caught up watching what is happening I have to remind myself to take the pictures. Sunday evening was exactly like that. John Rapple who is the chairman of Naas Photography Group rang me to say there were new cygnets on the lake in town. I meet John down there and we spent well over an hour watching the parent swans minding their brood. It was a fantastic reminder of the wonder of mother nature in action. I eventually got around to take some photographs. I will add the settings later but to be honest I am not sure they are that relevant for these type of pictures. As always, comments questions welcome.
Ok, I have managed to do the blog early in the week and not be late two weeks in a row! I am currently working on another photography project that I can’t say much about at the minute so I have not had a chance to go with the camera at the weekend. What I decided to do then was find a shot from earlier in the year and process it to black and white to see which people prefer.
The area is called Naas Harbour. I took the shot early in 2013, around January just as the schools resumed after the Christmas break. It is at the south end of the town beside the town library. Please feel free to comment or ask any question..
The first shot is the original shot with small contrast/exposure adjustments.
Settings : ISO 100, 18mm, f 4.5, 1/4sec (Tripod used)
For the second version I have used more of the features of lightroom than I would normally. After converting to black & white I adjusted the contrast, shadows and added the vignetting. The settings are the same obviously. I would really love to hear if people have a preference for either shot and why?
Last weekend I decided not to go far from the home town in search of photograph. I decided to get up early on Sunday and go for a walk along the canal at the back of Naas. The idea was to check out what wildlife was around. Regularly along the canal bank there are posters put up by Irish Wildlife on what you can expect to see living around the canal. Unfortunately there was no sign of Foxes, Otters or the Grey Heron that is a regular sight normally. The lack of wildlife may have been related to the fact that it was very cold and after about 30 minutes I was beginning to wonder what I was doing down there as well! I then noticed this little Robin was watching me intently and seemed very happy to pose for me 🙂
Settings : ISO 1600, 300mm, f5.6, 1/40sec. I had the ISO up high as it was very cloudy and the Robin was in the shelter of the hedge.
Here is a second shot from Kilcoole Beach in County Wicklow. The Gannets were resting on the water when a dog on the beach spooked them. It was a lovely morning down on the coast. Earlier I had been up in Wicklow trying to get a shot at Lough Tay but it was too cloudy. Great thing is Wicklow is close to the coast so you change locations with very little driving!
This is a shot I did as an experiment for the photography club. I deliberately set out to break some key composition rules to see if I could still make an interesting picture. I took it from the beach at Kilcoole in County Wicklow facing out to sea. It was a lovely quiet morning with just me and the Gannets mostly. Let me know what you think.
We went down to West Cork last weekend to visit an aunt of mine. West Cork is obviously a very scenic area but good weather does help which did not happen last weekend! So rather than take landscape shots I focused on the wildlife.
On the Saturday we went across to Baltimore. There were three Seals in the harbour and they kept getting closer to us. We were convinced at the end they were watching us more than we were watching them….
Settings : ISO 200, 300mm, f8, 1/250sec
Ballinglanna Seagulls. We stayed in Ballinglanna which is right on the coast. On the Sunday morning the sea was rough and there were a lot of Seagulls on the one beach trying to get the seaweed coming in with the waves. Below are two of the shots from the morning.
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Alright so, I have been taking pictures 25 years, publishing on Facebook 3 years, website online a week so now onto blogging!
My hope is to blog once a week sharing my experiences in photography and showing some of my best shots both new & old. Please feel free to comment on any blog or picture and let me know what you think. Also I am happy to answer any questions on photography and will say when I don’t know the answer!
This picture I took on the 8th of December. It’s sunrise over Blessington Lakes in Co. Wicklow. I had gone over to get a misty shot but there was none to be found! The colours in the sky with the sunrise were magical and so I was pleased I made the trip.