Tour of Ireland Riders in Blarney

Tour of Ireland Riders in Blarney

Tour of Ireland riders race through the main street in Blarney at speed. It seems like everyone came out to cheer them on!

Will sent me a text this morning saying the legal requirements for a charity event are too much for the planned Pink for October on the 20th of September, but he wondered if we could organise a photowalk in Cork City on the same day instead. I’m not 100% sure I’m free yet but I think it’s a great idea. I haven’t shot much in town in ages. Anyone interested?

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s

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

Tall trees in Oracle

Tall trees in Oracle

These tall evergreens planted in front of a set of small houses in Oracle were almost gone before I saw them. The scene looked bizarre. Tall trees, tiny houses. I wonder who lives in them?

Here it is on Google Maps. Try the Street View, you’ll see two cars pulled up in front of the same house as in my photo. Spooky.

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

Chicago on the river

Chicago on the river

Many cites live and depend on rivers and none more so than Chicago which went as far as to reverse the flow of the Chicago River! Wikipedia has more of course.

The observant visitor will notice the twin towers of Marina City in the photo above, and possibly recognise the distinctive bridge from the latest Batman movies.

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

Marina City

Marina City

Marina City in Chicago is made up of two 65 storey towers with a distinctive circular shape. I just love the look of them actually. They’re right on the river but this shot is taken from the L, probably on the Brown line after leaving Kimball which will be tomorrow’s photo!

As usual the Wikipedia page has a lot more info about Marina City including this bit about Steve McQueen:

In the movie The Hunter, “Papa” Thorson (Steve McQueen) pursues a suspect in a car chase through the Marina City parking garage. His quarry eventually loses control of his car and drives it off of a high floor of the garage into the Chicago River. This scene was later recreated for an Allstate commercial in 2006/2007.

PS. If I find the time, I’ll be taking part in Pink for October. Will has more info!

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

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