Tour of Ireland Leading Group in Blarney

Tour of Ireland breakaway group

Yesterday the Tour of Ireland rode (quickly) through Blarney village, but the main group was proceeded by these three cyclists by almost 4 minutes. Good thing too, good practice for when the rest sped through in front of us at breakneck speed!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 28mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/100s

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 Flowers

Red and White Flowers

Colourful red and white flowers in the doorway of Supervalu in Blarney. I half thought about posting Damien’s picture from yesterday’s get together, especially after what lexia said but that’d be too cruel!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 144mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/250s

How to (not) shoot a solar eclipse

solar eclipse

I went searching and found a few pages describing how to shoot the sun during a solar eclipse. All warned against looking at the sun directly.

So, I ignored all that advice and got out my 75-300mm lens and grabbed a couple of shots of the sun with a chunk bitten out of it by the moon. Thankfully the clouds provided a bit of a filter but my eyes are still watering a bit. Worth it?

With hindsight, what the hell was I thinking? I’m lucky my eye is fine, but if you’re going to shoot a solar eclipse, don’t look through the viewfinder. Set your camera up on a tripod and project an image of the sun on a white sheet of cardboard and then press the shutter button. Much safer than actually looking..

Aperture ƒ/45
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 300mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/8000s

Blarney Castle and River Martin

Blarney Castle and River Martin

The River Martin flows near Blarney Castle in Co. Cork on a cold December morning in 2005. The Castle grounds were quiet that day with hardly a soul about! Spencer Tunick would have been hardly known in the area at the time.

Aperture ƒ/6.3
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/100s

Where did all the naked people in Blarney go?

Spencer Tunick shot one of his “installations” in Blarney this morning. I don’t know if everyone congregated in the gardens in front of the Castle, or if it was behind but this is the view from the top of Blarney Castle so Spencer may have taken a shot from here.

Well done to everyone who showed up! Very brave souls. :)

PS. The Evening Echo ran with a wide angle shot of everyone. No doubt the rest of the papers will have similar photos in the next day or so!

Aperture ƒ/5.6
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/100s