All the fun of the Ceili Mor

The Ceili Mor on St. Patrick’s Street, Cork, last weekend. Last year the Ceili Mor attracted 8,371 people who broke the world record for the largest Irish dancing event!
This year was a more modest event but still the people showed up and joined in, slowly at first, but there was a decent crowd out enjoying themselves later!
Photos from last year: part 1 and part 2.

I forgot to mention. I saw so many people with cameras that I’m surprised there aren’t a lot more Cork-based photoblogs. I’m not talking about parents with a compact camera and kids in tow, I counted at least 5 solitary people silently working the crowd and the dancers with everything from bridge cameras to Digital SLRs and zoom lenses. I really need to get business cards printed and spread the word about WordPress.com

Princess Jacinta

Royal Sedan Crew Portrait

Princess Jacinta was formally announced to the populace of Cork as she rode a sedan car up Saint Patrick’s Street in Cork. She was regal in stature, enjoying every moment of it, and alighted outside Boots Chemist on the thoroughfare where she was presented with a flower as a token of gratitude from a happy populace. She ended her reign shortly afterwards and is at home with me now. The experience hasn’t changed her at all.
“Your highness, is that ok?”

Members of Cork Circus took my wife Jacinta up the main street in Cork City. She recognised one of the group as the Midleton Princess I photographed last week and after speaking to her, they persuaded her to ride in their sedan car. She was embarrassed at first but what fun is life if you can’t do crazy things every now and again eh?
We were in town enjoying the festivities of the Ceili Mor and the Cork Folk Festival.

Midleton Princess

Adding a bit of humour ot the Midleton Food and Drink Festival, this princess was just on a break but kindly posed for the camera after I asked.

Sorry about the blown out detail on her hand – the sun was behind her so I had to fill in the shadows with flash. Unfortunately her hand was sunlit and the camera just couldn’t take it.

O’Connell and Quane

Kayaks on Fountainstown Beach

Daniel O’Connell and Michael Quane on the beach at Fountainstown. They’d been out on the kayaks for several hours but were kind enough to chat to us and allow me to take their photo.
Michael Quane is a celebrated artist who has exhibited internationally and has many public works to his name including the statue, “Horses and Riders” , on the roundabout in Mallow! You can find out more about his work by searching Google.
Daniel O’Connell of course shares his name with a famous character from Irish history.

I forgot to mention. the photo of the kayaks had to be rotated about 1.35 degrees right to get a horizontal horizon. I filled in the white spaces left behind with a liberal use of the clone tool. Thankfully a sandy beach is easy to clone! To get an even exposure I copied the image into a new layer where I brightened it up. The sky was over-exposed but by using a layer mask and a gradient I hid that sky and was left with a nice bright area right at the sea shore.

I like this: What the soldiers see

I have been deployed all over the world from Bosnia to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq for the first part of the wars with the 101st Airborne Infantry. Currently I am back in Iraq in OIF 3 attached to a Signal unit to help them out, I have been here since May 2005, I have just volunteered to stay till Jan 2007 well I hope you enjoy these pics I will have more of the day by day

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How is Cork changing?

Bryan Person asked me How is Cork changing? Where does your obvious passion for street photography come from?

How is Cork changing?

  • The streets of the city centre are being rebuilt and modernised. The sewage system was overhauled and the River Lee is clean(er) again.
  • There are more cars on the road now than you can “shake a stick at”. Everyone seems to have 2 cars and the best of everything. There’s a huge line of credit coming from the banks.
  • Time was when you could walk around Cork on Sunday afternoons and not see many people, this was less than 10 years. Now Sunday is as busy as any day. There hasn’t been this many people living in Ireland since the famine in the 1840’s. People are actually emigrating to Ireland, not out of Ireland.
  • People are more positive about the future, there are more opportunities out there, but people are just as stressed and unhappy as they’ve always been. Perhaps more so as we’ve become wealthier.

Where does your obvious passion for street photography come from?
The simple answer is “other people”. The long answer expands on that. There are such a variety of people in the world, all going about their own business, all doing mundane things that they don’t give a moment’s thought to but if I capture it then that moment is there forever. That moment relaxing with a cigarette, walking down the street, talking on the phone, or even dancing! I see the moment and grab it before it gets away.

I have a hunger for recording events around me.

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!)

East Cork Camera Group at Midleton Food and Drink Festival

Thomas Tattan at the East Cork Camera Group stand in Midleton yesterday. They were participating in the Midleton Food and Drink Festival and had a great photo gallery in a quiet courtyard off the beaten track. A good crowd were milling about enjoying the photos and making purchases.

We got down early to the festival, before the main crowds and were able to enjoy it at our leisure. More photos throughout the week!

I like this: Mara crossing and Taken at a wedding and Some stop action frames

Tourquoise Doors

Turquoise doors in Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork, Ireland. The owners made some effort to grow plants in their front yard and I really love the doors!

Later .. Jacinta and I went to see the Midleton Food and Drink Festival and besides buying a few cakes and lovely hotdogs I went to see the gallery set up by the East Cork Camera Group. This year it was tucked away in the peace and quiet of a square off the main street where it was a pleasure to view their work. I spoke with Thomas Tattan there who was very happy with the weekend. Pictures tomorrow!