Tour of Ireland Leading Group in Blarney

Tour of Ireland breakaway group

Yesterday the Tour of Ireland rode (quickly) through Blarney village, but the main group was proceeded by these three cyclists by almost 4 minutes. Good thing too, good practice for when the rest sped through in front of us at breakneck speed!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 28mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

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

The basement of Trump Tower

The basement of Trump Tower

In 2001 Donald Trump announced he’d build the tallest building in the world in Chicago, “Trump International Hotel and Tower”. After the attacks on the WTC in September that year the plans were changed however, but it’s still an awfully high building. Check out the Wikipedia page for further details.

This is the building site of the “Trump Tower” as it’s known locally. I shot this in 2005, and they’ve made quite a bit of progress since then as you can imagine, but this is a piece of history, and a patch of bare ground that won’t see daylight again for many many years.

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s

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

Under the L

Under the L

The L is the elevated train system in Chicago and many films have been filmed underneath it’s tracks, including some scenes in Batman, The Dark Knight. Here’s the L under Kimball on the brown line. I worked close by a few years ago!

Aperture ƒ/4.5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 800
Shutter speed 1/50s