Tour of Ireland

The Tour of Ireland bicycle race passed through Blarney on it’s way to Cork City this afternoon. There was a sprint to the finish line in front of the local Catholic church before the cyclists made their way down the dual carriageway to Cork and up Patrick’s Hill, twice!

I was there ready to shoot the participants, but I was overwhelmed by their speed. It only took the main group about 11 seconds to come around the corner at one end of Blarney and disappear through the other end. I’m kicking myself I shot in Programme mode when I should have been in Aperture Priority mode, but I did get a few nice panning shots that froze the rider while the background blurred into smudges and streaks of colour.

The Canon 40D performed admirably. ISO was set to 100 because it was a bright day, AI Servo focus to track the riders and keep them in focus, and high speed continuous shooting mode which delivered 6.5fps. It was all over so quickly I barely had time to take a breath. I shot around 230 images while waiting and during the short time the racers were in Blarney. I knew I’d go a little mad with the shutter button, so I preselected Jpeg mode rather than my usual RAW mode.

Here’s a transcript of the commentary during the race. This bit, while serious, made me smile:

13.10: The race leader has been to see the race doctor, who reports a very unusual injury. He had a thorn embedded in his tongue – presumably from an overhanging branch, or perhaps even some dried fruit he ate – which was removed by the doctor. The thorn, not his tongue.

Hope you like the gallery, hopefully some of these shots will be posted here in single posts during the week!


Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 106mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

Red and White and Cork All Over

Red and White and Cork All Over

Young Cork supporters take the tour bus around the city a few weeks ago. Cork plays Kerry isn’t it today in a replay? Yes, I’m a big sports fan, honest.

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 200mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/250s

The light fantasic loo

The light fantasic loo

The toilets in the Cork International Airport Hotel are a pretty amazing sight to behold. Here’s the gent’s loo. The lighting changes constantly. I took a few shots within seconds of each other and they were all different. Luckily it wasn’t in use when I wandered in ..

This is the first shot I’ve posted from the Canon 40D. Unfortunately it’s quite noisy as it was shot hand held at ISO 1000, but the noise really only became noticeable after I applied the Lomo plugin to it. Love this camera. This photo and others taken at the hotel are also in this post. I used my 580EX flash for most of the people shots, but one or two were in available light with the ISO pumped up.

Aperture ƒ/3.5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 1000
Shutter speed 1/15s

Red and White Flowers

Red and White Flowers

Colourful red and white flowers in the doorway of Supervalu in Blarney. I half thought about posting Damien’s picture from yesterday’s get together, especially after what lexia said but that’d be too cruel!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 144mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/250s

No Alcohol

No Alcohol

No drinking on the street. This reminds me of an incident several years ago when I was in town with a group of friends on a Saturday night. This was before I started drinking, and my friends bought cans of beer in an off-license.
The guy behind the counter warned them the Guards were about watching for people drinking alcoholic beverages in public and they seemed to heed his warning until they got across the road and popped open their cans.

Sure enough, within 2 minutes a Garda was there! He took their names and addresses, and asked them to stop drinking, and of course gave them an awful fright. I followed a chastened group of lads to the pub. Don’t even know why they wanted to drink outside as the pub was just around the corner. Could have been the “poor student” in each of them trying to save money.

Not drinking was great of course. Cost me all of about 6 or 7 quid on a night out, and I could drive home too!

Aperture ƒ/5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 48mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/1000s

What! The Canon EOS 50D announced already?

Yes, yes, boo hoo, oh woe is me, my Canon 40D arrived on the day the new Canon 50D was announced. If only I had waited, my photos would be so much better with the Canon 50D.

Yeah right. I’ve already stated before that the equipment behind the camera is the most important part of image making. Sure, the camera does matter, but DSLRs are getting to the stage PCs got to a few years ago. Upgrading doesn’t significantly change the game. I’ll upgrade again in maybe 3 years. No rush.

The Canon 50D looks sweet though. 15MP sensor, better ISO, better LCD. Nice upgrade. Roland has linked to a few of the sites previewing or discussing the Canon 50D. The Rob Galbraith page is probably the most readable, but the DPReview preview has a neat comparison table to compare the Canon 50D with the Canon 40D.

DIGIC 4 processor Canon’s next-generation, 14-bit DIGIC 4 processor see its debut in the 50D, and it offers both more functionality and about 30% faster processing speed than the DIGIC III processor in the 40D….

The two cameras’ dimensions, body style and control positions are also the same (though the 50D is fractionally lighter). In a nutshell, the 50D appears to be a 40D with a higher-resolution sensor, revamped image processing, faster CompactFlash write speeds, HDMI video out and a crisp new rear LCD.


Love this pic of the motherboard with the DIGIC 4 processor!