Shadows of prison and freedom

A crow flies off into the freedom of the air with a crumb of bread he found on the pavement. The railings of nearby houses are like those of a prison keeping humans in and trapped and closed off.

Who is free?

Cupid’s Arrow and the birds

Cupid’s Arrow in San Francisco provides an interesting silhouette against the evening sky. If you’ve payed close attention to my photos in the past you might think this is a duplicate of another shot but it’s from a slightly different angle and wider, and I feel stronger because of the pattern the birds make in the sky. What do you think?

The lonely swan

A solitary swan swims on the calm waters of The Lough as the sun disappears at the end of the day.

Believe it or not, this is a 10 second exposure that turned out much better than I could have hoped! I balanced my camera on the edge of the Lough, set it to Aperture priority mode at f/11, dialed the exposure down two stops, flipped up the camera flash and took the shot.

How does this work?

  • By setting the aperture to a fairly high value little light is let into the camera sensor.
  • By setting the exposure down two stops the whole scene will be underexposed but bright areas will be exposed mostly correctly.
  • Given the above settings, any dark moving objects will be completely invisible so when the flash fired it picked out the swan swimming past and even created a nice reflection in the water.

Hope that helps!

The gull and the flag

Two teenagers watch a seagull on the way back from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. The US flag flutters in the same breeze that keeps the gull aloft, who no doubt is hoping for food from the boat full of tourists.

I’m going to be shooting at a fund raising night for Cope Foundation tonight. It’s an Eighties Night in the Ambassador Hotel here in Cork. It starts at 9:30pm, tickets are €12.50 on the door, and there’ll be spot prizes throughout the night! All are welcome, especially if you can get out your 80’s gear again. Time for big hair, leg warmers and shoulder pads?
If you’re there, watch out for me and say hi!

The swans they are a coming

Swans rush to the bank of the Lough looking for bread from the crazy guy hanging over the water with a large black object…

This shows off one of my favourite night-time techniques. Long exposure with a flash. The long exposure captures the background while the flash illuminates the foreground objects, along with some nice movement blur.
It works really well at parties when people are dancing, especially if you’re lucky to capture a laughing face while the body is in motion.

A resident of Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island is now inhabited by the birds and I presume security staff but I think the birds have a better life with all the tourists around hefting lunches and sandwiches from the mainland.

Imagine the scene, me and a few of the others scrambling to get a shot of this seagull. I had my wide angle lens fitted so I had to lean forward for the gull to fill the frame! It’s a sign of how tame they are that we got this shot even if he did eye me suspiciously.