Sunrise over Blarney

This is the view that greeted me a few days ago from my office. I wouldn’t post it except that today is wet and gloomy and I want to remember what a nice sunrise looks like instead of the grey cloud I’m looking at now.

The Midleton Food & Drink Festival is this weekend. I went there last year and got some nice photos of a martial arts demo and we’ll hopefully head down tomorrow if the weather improves. You really want good weather because the town will be so packed with people you’ll hardly be able to move!

There’s something up with Flickr’s email uploader. I sent this photo off twice and it didn’t appear in my stream. I had a similar problem yesterday but the photo appeared on the second go. Manual upload and “Blog This” saved the day though!

Man on the street

Since the smoking ban was implemented people can’t smoke in pubs which drives them on to the streets where the pub owner may have some street furniture out for their convenience. No such luck on North Main Street for this man. He’s enjoying his cigarette while sitting on an electricity junction box marked clearly “DANGER Keep Away”.

This city’s a drag

Two women, dragged along by a young girl so they won’t stop at the market on Cornmarket Street, Cork. I can just imagine the conversion:
“But I want to go home noooowwwww.”
“No, hold on, we went to all your shops, I want to look at more boots.”
“Ummm, that stall over there has delicious breads.”
“I’m tired!”

Maybe.

I’m really happy with the way this image turned out because we were right next to them and I wasn’t sure if I would get them all in. In the end I had to crop to get the composition I wanted. I duplicated the layer and darken the top one before removing the non-cloud portions of it. I added a slight lomo effect too which did wonderful things to the sky too!

The Yellow Helmet

A father picks up the yellow helmet dropped by his son in front of the Body Shop on Patrick’s Street, Cork last Saturday. I was sitting on one of the marble blocks that pass as street furniture on our main thoroughfare. I had my camera ready to shoot when I saw them passing and within a heartbeat had snapped off a few shots.

I like this: King Corner – great sky and architecture shot. All in your hands…. – keep on smiling!

Courtmacsherry Dead End

The little town of Courtmacsherry in Co. Cork is a picturesque tourist village with pretty looking multi-coloured houses visible on the way into the town from Timoleague.

This makes the attitude of the people we met there all the more confusing. We parked in the middle of the town, Jacinta wanted to check out a pottery shop, and walked with Oscar down the road. We passed by several people, mostly tourists by their clothes, and unusually, they kept their heads down watching the ground and never said “hello” or even commented on Oscar! We’re used to people stopping us and asking about him so this was disconcerting.

Later on we rested on the wall of the harbour and a few people did greet us thankfully.

The image was processed using two layers. One for the sky and the other for the ground. Sky was burned heavily to bring out the clouds while the ground was dodged and brightened with the Curves tool.

I’ve geotagged this photo on Flickr. Works well enough. It even knew where “courtmacsherry ireland” was!

courtmacsherry map

Denis Murphy, Castle Street

There’s something fascinating for me about old buildings. Perhaps it’s the history they have seen and the memories they hold. Some of the old buildings on Castle Street, Cork are really interesting. I noticed this small building nestled in between it’s larger brethern and when I saw some people walking by I took my shot.

It was processed afterwards with the gimp Wide Angle plugin and I did a little work changing colours but not much else.

I like this: downtown strips, simply because it’s a neat idea I haven’t seen anyone else do yet.

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.

Cobh Train Station

Cobh Train Station, taken just before closing many months ago. It’s a long exposure shot of the interior of a fine building on the quay-side.

“The Queenstown Story”, a museum in the background of this shot is worth a visit and tells the story of the port of Cobh as the last place 3 million Irish people saw before they sailed for the United States. Some of those sailed on the ill-fated Titanic.

The Queenstown Story on virtualtourist.com has more reviews, and pictures of the museum if you’re interested.

Techincal details:

  1. Duplicate Layer
  2. Brighten new layer with Curves tool.
  3. Blur with Gaussian Blur and a radius of 15 pixels.
  4. Black/White conversion with channel mixer.
  5. Change layer mode to Grain merge, 82.5% opacity.
  6. Resize and unsharp mask the lower layer.

I like this: Shandon Tower.

A Golden Glow over Cobh

Last night we went down to Cobh to walk around and lucky for us the rain disappeared as we approached the town!

It was strange. There was lots of localised rain yesterday. Blarney was mostly dry, the roads were dry as we drove down but as soon as we crossed the bridge off the main road a steady drizzle enveloped the car.

I gloomily predicted that we’d spend our time in the Cobh in the car or sheltered under an umbrella but just as I parked the car, the drizzle let off and a little blue sky and sunlight peaked through the grey clouds! We had a nice pleasant walk after all!

This was shot at the end of a private row of houses that look on to the harbour. There’s a high chimney near the end of the road that I’d like to find out more about. I’ll have to do some research later on.

I like this: Wyre Wreck #5 – nice use of HDR to create a dramatic image.