Caution Children

A sign at the entrance to my estate warns motorists to watch out for children playing on the street.

Just to prove that you don’t need a big digital SLR to take interesting photos, this was taken with my Panasonic FZ5. I saw the great cloudscape in the sky and illuminated the sign with the onboard flash.

Cobh at sunset

The tide is out in Cobh, Co. Cork while the sun sets in the west casting an orange glow over the water and boats in the harbour.

This required some work to expose properly. The sky is bright while the harbour, houses and landscape are in shadow. Out with the layers, top layer for the sky was darkened and the opposite was done for the ground.
Then it’s the simple task of adding a layer mask to the top layer and rubbing out the dark bits to expose the brightened landscape.
When using a layer mask, never paint with an opacity of 100%, try 30% or even 5%. Don’t be afraid to do a rough job of exposing the bottom layer because with a layer mask you can always reverse the procedure by swapping the colour of your brush with an opposite colour!

Thank you all for the comments on yesterday’s post, The Lonely Swan, it’s great to get feedback and I’m glad when people get something out of my methods when I describe them. See what you’ve done? I did it again!

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 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 Stephen Pierce Gallery Cafe is open

A large sign outside the gallery and workshop of Stephen Pearce Pottery in Co. Cork proclaims that their cafe is open for business. I didn’t go into the cafe because I was walking around with Oscar while Jacinta was inside looking around. It was a beautiful day so I didn’t mind.

Stephen Pearce is very popular and most recently did a deal with a local supermarket chain, SuperValu, offering his products at a discount with stamps. I don’t care for his work much but a lot of people like it and he’s doing well!

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!