The pizzeria and the sign

“Skateboard and bicycle riding prohibited on sidewalk”

We went for pizza one night in this pizzeria with the rest of Automattic. It’s possibly on California but I can’t be sure because I was hungry and it was dark, and did I say I was hungry?

Oh, great pizza too!

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!

A sunlit river

The sun blazes over Cork City and the River Lee on a fresh October afternoon.

This was taken on Patrick’s Bridge looking out over the River Lee on a wonderfully bright October day. This bridge was opened on December 12th 1861 by the then Mayor, Sir John Arnott. I read a story that the first vehicle across the bridge was a man driving a horse and cart who rushed in front of the Mayor and the crowd. Does anyone know more about this?

Golden Gate Tower

One of the suspension towers of the Golden Gate Bridge looms over traffic on a beautiful August afternoon.

Driving across the bridge was wonderful because the bridge is such an iconic part of the San Francisco and it’s simply enormous! Maybe next time I’ll walk across it’s 1.7 mile length. If you’re interested in finding out more, the Wikipedia page is a mine of information!

PS. Congrats Mel, Sharon and Alex on the new member of your family!

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!

Watching from Alcatraz

A small hut on the island of Alcatraz looks out on San Francisco. It looks well preserved and anyone in the hut would have a god view of the city and probably the surrounding coastline up to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Rusted and abandoned

An old oil drum stands on the quay at Ballycotton rusting away as the exposed metal is beaten down by the elements.

Technique: I increased the saturation of the reds to bring out the rust of the drum. I desaturated other colours so the drum would stand out.
I then duplicated the layer and darkened the top one to bring out the clouds and sky before using a layer mask to expose the ground on the bottom layer. After that a simple gradient at the top of the image provided a nice dark effect and finally, I dodge and burned the rust until I was happy. Was that useful?

I used CocoViewX to view my work directory from my Linux box on my Macbook. I was surprised that Finder didn’t display thumbnails and I didn’t want the iPhoto heavyweight when all I wanted was to know which image was which.

The Golden Bay Bridge in San Francisco

The Bay Bridge in San Francisco all lit up at night. The lighting on the bridge casts a golden glow over the water that is beautiful to watch and photograph. More on Wikipedia.

Niall Kennedy walked with myself and Bryan Veloso around the Ferry Building on the night before WordCamp and we got some great shots.
You can see the pier to the right of this image here in more detail with a super reflection.

Seating and the Bay Bridge

Public seating near the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.

I shot this on the first evening after getting to the city. Matt, Andy and I went for a walk down the street and I got my first sight of downtown San Francisco.

Technique: I cropped the photo to a 1×1 ratio, converted to black and white, duplicated the background layer. Set the mode of the top layer to Overlay and added noise via Filters->Noise->Scatter RGB. I adjusted the noise effect by changing the opacity of that layer.
One thing to note – when you resize an image you’ll have to add noise again because the pixels are softened up by the resize procedure.