Yummy crisps

What’s in a name? In Ireland and the UK they’re called crisps, but in the US they’re chips. Whatever they’re called they’re universally loved. I bet it’s all the MSG in them. The monosodium glutamate in them is the flavour enhancer that makes you want to have just-one-more-crisp. The Wikipedia page on the ingredient is rather interesting, and it seems that various tests have shown it to be safe.

This image was made in Dingle, Co. Kerry. A tourist munched on the crisps as we approached so I had to take a shot!

Royal purple cider

After a particularly grueling few hours traipsing around the shops in Cork I was on my way to Vibes and Scribes in Bridge Street when I spotted an empty can of Bulmers in front of the purple doors of an old building on Camden Place. In fact it’s the front door of the Cork Rape Crisis Centre. Obviously a drunk had taken shelter in the doorway the previous night.

Yes, that’s my shadow in the door!
PS. thank you so much for the comments yesterday. Rest assured, the donkey will be returning to a screen near you!

Donkey in the field

I almost made an ass of myself and forget to post a picture today! You’d be saying to yourselves, “He haw-lways posts a picture every day, where is today’s one?”

Never fear, here it is and I’ve run out of donkey jokes so it’s back to normal. Feel free to contribute in the comments however!

This donkey was snapped down in Kerry last September. We were driving back from Baile Na nGall (Bally David) when I spotted this donkey and a few horses in adjoining fields. I pulled over and ran across the busy bothaireen. Well, a Hi-ace and a tractor passed by..

More of the donkey to come!

DPS Users use the GIMP too

My favourite post-processing application, the GIMP, featured highly on a recent Digital Photography School survey. Here are the top 5:

  • Lightroom
  • Photoshop CS2
  • Photoshop CS3
  • GIMP
  • Picassa

It just goes to show that price isn’t everything because a lot of people must have deep pockets to pay what Adobe charge for their products.

I also feel encouraged to write more GIMP tutorials now!

Lifebelt in the grass

A lifebelt lay in the grass at a beach on the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry last September. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, beautiful clouds contrasted with the deep blue of the sky and a light breeze blew off the sea.

We were just going back to the car after a nice stroll on the beach. I had just taken footprints in the sand down on the beach when I looked back one more time and saw this striking scene in front of me.

The clouds were perfect, the sun was shining on the beach, the far away hills were in shadow and light. Perfect moment!

Adam and his baby soother

Adam is 5 weeks old today! Last Wednesday we saw his first smile, or perhaps it was trapped wind because he was just after feeding but it was a beautiful sight to behold. He has smiled since too, and was especially cheerful this morning!

Adam loves his baby soother though. He sucks on it like Maggie out of the Simpsons does. Non-stop and with feeling!
If a soother or dummy isn’t nearby and it’s available, a hair dryer works wonders for relaxing him. The sound soothes him and he can go from screaming the house down to docile and a gurgling baby in seconds when the hair dryer is switched on. It’s magic.

Technique: This is a high key portrait created using two layers.
1. Original image is the bottom layer.
2. Duplicate that layer.
3. Convert top layer to b/w using channel mixer.
4. Apply Gaussian blur to the top layer. I used a 75 pixel wide blur.
5. Change mode of top layer to screen.
6. Add white layer mask to top layer and reveal eyes from original image by painting over them with a black brush. Use an opacity of 10%.
7. Merge layers and save. Layers should be separate when resizing so you can unsharp mask the bottom layer.

Hope that is of use!