A pint of beer and a newspaper

Sometimes it’s good to chill out, relax and step out of the rat-race, even for a few moments.
This scene was made on St. Patrick’s Street outside Le Chateau, a bar with seating in front of the building as most places do these days because of the smoking ban. Yet another of the advantages of that ban!

On a related topic, how does insurance work when you’re drinking and enjoying the facilities of an establishment outside the physical walls of the bar or restaurant? The bar doesn’t own the pavement. Also, it’s illegal to drink in public areas isn’t it? In front of a pub is a public area surely?

In other news, I’m now a paid up member of Mallow Photography Club! Despite driving from Kerry on Monday, and feeling the worse for wear, I went to the meeting that night. It was a portraiture night using studio lighting. Three local girls, only one of whom had any photoshoot experience were our models and did a great job, even with the gaggle of photographers busily snapping away! I got a couple of good shots of the girls, which may end up on my photoblog next week if they’re happy with them. No promises because it’s the first time I’ve done this sort of shoot and it’s more than a little intimidating for a newbie! I need to read and absorb more of Strobist.

Sowan’s Organic Bread Mixes

Sowan’s Organic Bread Mixes were a big hit with everyone who sampled their bread, including Jacinta. She bought a packet of the stuff and I’m going to sample the finished product this morning! This is their stall at the Midleton Food & Drink Festival.

Their website is sowanorganic.ie and I discovered this positive post about them from a WordPress.com user, Keith. It always gives me a tingly feeling whenever I come across those because of my involvement with WordPress.com.

The September issue of the Digital Journalist is just out. This picture just screams at me – the contrast between the normal living room and the huge cloud of one of the collapsing Twin Tower is alarming.

Late in the day, but I like these: Randy for you, a truck with a message, and Back from the dirty, photos by Chris Weeks of Paris Hilton and others at a party.

The Apple Store

An apple stall at the Midleton Food and Drink Festival last weekend. It was a wet morning and when I saw the water glistening on the apples I just had to make this photo.

Technique: Photo was levels adjusted manually because the GIMP thought there was too much green in the image, it gave a blue tinge to the whites in the image. I then burned the scene and did the apples over a little more to really bring out the rain drops. Saturation increase of everything but the blue and cyan channels helps to warm up the image. Finally resize and unsharp mask to sharpen. (Was that useful? I’ll add this more often if it was!)

Staring at me

Am I feeling conspicuous or what?

I tried shooting from the hip yesterday with the strap of my camera over my shoulder and my camera in a horizontal position instead of being wrapped around my hand in a vertical orientation.

It proved useful, but I found that:

  1. More of my shots were blurry, perhaps because either the back and forth movement of me walking. I tried shooting in Tv (Shutter Priority mode) and even at 1/200sec and higher there was shake.
  2. It’s great getting more of the surroundings in but I miss the feet.

Moynihan’s Poultry

A long exposure shot in the English Market in the vicinity of one of the many chicken meat shops.

The camera was set to f/8.0 and placed on top of a wall. In this semi-dark passage the exposure was 1/4 second blurring the passing people nicely but capturing the relatively motionless shop keepers.

Web 2.0 pre-conference dinner

A group of about 20 bloggers, techs, and generally smart and nice people gathered in Probys Bistro last night before the Web 2.0 Conference today.
Pictured, in no particular order, and only if I figured out, or know your blog:

Not pictured are Fergus Burns or Walter Higgins who were sitting on either side of me at dinner. They gave great talks too, Fergus concentrated on the Irish perspective of starting a company while Walter gave a more technical talk on the technology behind AJAX and Rich Internet Apps.
Bref, Conor and Sabrina – where are your blogs?

Thanks again to Damien Mulley for organising the dinner. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the participants and characters at conference in an informal setting.

Later.. here’s a pic of me at the dinner taken by Joe Drumgoole: