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

Chicago’s La Salle Street

La Salle Street in Chicago ends abruptly in the Chicago Board of Trade at the far end of the street. It’s an unusual street because all the streets in Chicago just go on and on, mostly in parallel, through the city. This one just stops!

La Salle Bank which is barely visible at the left of this image is also in the background of The Dark Knight Batman movie.

Aperture ƒ/11
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 800
Shutter speed 1/400s

The Thieving Duck Photoshoot

Many moons ago I posted the infamous Thieving Duck that went viral when someone robbed it, added a funny story and emailed it around. Apparently it’s been seen all over the world which is kinda cool. It even made it to snopes.com too!

Thieving Duck

Anyway, I can finally reveal a few more shots from that photoshoot in Chicago. All the talk about the new Batman movie got me digging into my old Chicago photos and I found these shots I took on State Street way back in 2005.


Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/80s

What do scientologists know about mental health?

What do scientologists know about mental health?

A few weeks ago Saor Patrol played in Cork on Patrick’s Street, in front of an appreciative audience who clapped and cheered to the drums and beat of this lively Scottish band.

Unfortunately they were there to publicize an event, “Mental Health Awareness Event” organised by the Church of Scientology, or at least a front organisation for them, CCHR. The event took place in Cork City Hall that weekend. This gent was handing out leaflets and booklets to the crowd and despite all the cheering and clapping and general good humour, he never once smiled. He wore the same dead, dour look the whole time. I asked him if I could take his picture and this is the smile he gave me. Maybe he needs to go see a psychiatrist, or take his vitamins.

Boys in the park

Boys in the park

Boys in Fitzgerald’s Park sort of enjoying the Lord Mayor’s Picnic a few weeks ago. I saw “sort of” because of their tense expressions. Must have been the crowds!

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 162mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/320s