An Fear Marbh

An Fear Marbh, an island off the coast of Co. Kerry, Ireland, with the setting sun lighting up the cloud over the Atlantic.

“An Fear Marbh” translates as “the dead man” and is so named because of the obvious shape of the island – that of a man lying on his back.
This was taken last September but because today is the Winter Solstice, and the shortest day of the year, I thought it was the perfect image for the day. Days will get longer now, little by little each day.

On the day this was taken we had dinner in Dingle. I watched the sun set and the light travel down the mountains near the Conor Pass. After eating, we quickly drove west to the coast to watch the sunset. Driving down a small road we spotted a car pulled over and someone standing outside watching the sunset so we stopped and got out. Turns out it was another photographer shooting the setting sun! We stayed there chatting for a few minutes before heading off. A few moments later the road turned a corner and this beautiful scene presented itself. I had to stop and shoot a few dozen shots.

Last night we called to the crib in Ballyvolane. Fr. James McSweeney has put together a wonderful crib with chickens, pigs, calves, goats, sheep, lammas, a pony, 2 donkeys and 4 young puppies. I’ll post a photo or two tomorrow, and the crib is definitely worth a visit if you live in Cork.
Visitors are asked to give a donation, and this year money raised will go to the St Patrick’s Church renovation fund. The crib is located 200 metres from St Oliver’s Church in Ballyvolane on Kilmorna Heights.
Fr. James has a photography site at Today is my gift to you.ie where he posts a new photo every day. I’ll be converting it to a WordPress blog in January when things quieten down again!

The Stars and Stripes on Alcatraz

The flag of the United States flies over Alcatraz Island on a windy August day.

This was originally a portrait shot but I squared it off to emphasize the vertical and horizontal leading lines. The hydrant is much more prominent in the foreground too. The red rusty texture beloved of all photographers sets off the clean lines of the red stripes in the flag.

I took a photo of an even older flag several months ago. It belongs to my uncle and has only 46 stars!

Up up and away

Yesterday the Elysian’s tower reached the 18th floor, 72m above sea level and one of the tallest buildings in the country. Apparently St Finbarre’s Cathedral is 75m to it’s central spire but there won’t be a 2400sq ft penthouse at the top of that!

While we Irish congratulate ourselves on building an 18 storey lift shaft, here’s one I made earlier in San Francisco. I tried counting the floors but lost count around 14!

Post no bills

Post no bills on the wooden boards surrounding the building site on Cornmarket Street. The red brick wall is the front of the old Guy and Company building. It looks like the builders are going to incorporate that into their new building which is great – mixing old with new.

See map for location.

I followed Mike’s advice in his comment and bought a Wacom Graphire4 off Pixmania. Mynn’s post about his Volito2 Graphics Tablet sealed the deal, especially when he said that the “A6 working area is MORE THAN ENOUGH”. Hopefully it’ll be delivered early next week. I’ll ask Jacinta to open the box and verify that it’s in one piece but I’m not going to touch it before Christmas Day!

Buildings in the sky

I live in a city where the tallest building is one that will be 17 floors high so when I travel to far off lands it’s always great to see tall skyscrapers looming over the streets.

This might bear a striking resemblance to a previous image but it is a different one and was one of my entries in the Patterns Around Us competition at my local camera club.

I have another 3 or 4 similar images but I’m not going to bore you to death by posting all of them unless I can come up with a nice montage effect or something. I’ll have to think about it.

Ready to go!

You better be good at hill starts if you live in San Francisco! I presume it’s slightly easier with an automatic transmission rather than manual?

Highly processed image via multiple tools in the GIMP until I came up with an effect I liked – multiple layers, b/w, gaussian blur, layer modes and more.
I had to rotate the image at first and reconstruct parts of the image, but I think it came out reasonably well!

Parking for the Guinness

Look up for unusual perspectives on ordinary scenes. I was quite happy with this image of a lamppost in Parnell Place, Cork when I took it. The signs are clearly visible and the upside-down Guinness logo catches the eye!

You have to wonder, what’s more important, Guinness or parking?

Looming over the building site

A tall crane looms over the building site of The Elysian, a new high-rise building that will house offices, apartments, a shopping center and underground parking. The main tower of the new building will be 17 storeys high, taller than anything else in the city.

Over a year ago I took a photo of the building site as it was then for the US Book. As you can see, they’ve dug the foundations and started on the main tower.

This picture was taken from the top of a 4 storey car park which gives you some idea of how tall that crane is!