A resident of Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island is now inhabited by the birds and I presume security staff but I think the birds have a better life with all the tourists around hefting lunches and sandwiches from the mainland.

Imagine the scene, me and a few of the others scrambling to get a shot of this seagull. I had my wide angle lens fitted so I had to lean forward for the gull to fill the frame! It’s a sign of how tame they are that we got this shot even if he did eye me suspiciously.

New Johnny T

The boat New Johnny T passed by a pier in San Francisco on the same afternoon this shot was taken.

I wonder what happened to Old Johnny T?

Welcome Darragh White to the world and congrats to your parents!

Currykippane Cemetery

It’s Halloween, that time of year that the souls of the dead rise up, goblins and monsters are abroad and witches fly about. I’ve already had my barm brack and even got the ring, but tonight is when kids go “trick or treating” looking for treats and avoiding tricks!

I made this image a few weeks ago early one morning in Currykippane Cemetery near Kerrypike. It was the first time I was in the area and I couldn’t resist shooting a few images. In the background is the beautiful Lee Valley. There are a few other nice vantage points up on those hills so I’ll have to go up there some other morning.

November is known as Samhain in Irish, but in Celtic tradition it’s also the end of the Summer and is accompanied by a festival. In modern times this is continued by the tradition of Halloween and All Souls’ Day. This and a lot more are covered on the Wikipedia page on Samhain.

It’s a spooky time of the year!

Hehe. What The Duck today is brilliant, although you may not get the joke in the last frame if you haven’t got a Canon DSLR. 😉

We had an interesting night – no kids called to the house but we went for a walk with Oscar down the road and bumped into several neighbours and spent almost an hour out in the cold talking to different people!

Watching from Alcatraz

A small hut on the island of Alcatraz looks out on San Francisco. It looks well preserved and anyone in the hut would have a god view of the city and probably the surrounding coastline up to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Dog on the beach

Oscar ambling along on the beach at Garretstown in Co. Cork. He never liked the beach, there’s just too much dirt and gravel and sand and just plain yuck, but he had a great time that evening. I don’t think Shih-Tzus are the most adventurous of dogs! Compare this picture with an earlier shot before he was groomed. Quite a difference eh?

Under Irish law, dogs should be kept on a lead in public places at all times, and really should not be allowed on a beach but I made sure he did his business before we went anywhere near the sand! He’s so timid he rarely left our side the whole time, and I had the lead in my pocket, just in case.

I spotted a horse in the distance and the hoof marks were visible in the sand, but I was too late to get a shot of the horse and rider this time unfortunately.

This page on Shih Tzus describes Oscar perfectly:

The Shih-Tzu is an alert and spunky little dog. Happy and hardy, endowed with loads of character. They are royally dignified, courageous and sometimes arrogant. This breed does well with polite, careful children. The gentle loyal Shih-Tzu makes friends easily and although obstinate can respond well to consistent patient training. A very alert watch dog, the Shih-Tzu likes to bark, but is usually quiet inside the house. They are stubborn and clever. Shihs can get snappish if they are surprised or peeved. Playful and lively, this affectionate little dog needs to be with people and are generally good with other pets. Some can be difficult to housebreak.

Rusted and abandoned

An old oil drum stands on the quay at Ballycotton rusting away as the exposed metal is beaten down by the elements.

Technique: I increased the saturation of the reds to bring out the rust of the drum. I desaturated other colours so the drum would stand out.
I then duplicated the layer and darkened the top one to bring out the clouds and sky before using a layer mask to expose the ground on the bottom layer. After that a simple gradient at the top of the image provided a nice dark effect and finally, I dodge and burned the rust until I was happy. Was that useful?

I used CocoViewX to view my work directory from my Linux box on my Macbook. I was surprised that Finder didn’t display thumbnails and I didn’t want the iPhoto heavyweight when all I wanted was to know which image was which.

The Golden Bay Bridge in San Francisco

The Bay Bridge in San Francisco all lit up at night. The lighting on the bridge casts a golden glow over the water that is beautiful to watch and photograph. More on Wikipedia.

Niall Kennedy walked with myself and Bryan Veloso around the Ferry Building on the night before WordCamp and we got some great shots.
You can see the pier to the right of this image here in more detail with a super reflection.