R&H Hall Mill on fire

R&H Hall Mills aftermath
City Fire Brigade Well Equipped

This morning, the disused R&H Hall mill on Kennedy Quay, Cork City was the scene of a major fire. Smoke was visible from all over the city, wind blew the smoke up towards Mayfield and traffic was very heavy all over, probably because drivers slowed down to watch the plume of smoke.
From several miles away in Sunday’s Well, I saw two jets of water pour into the top of the building, unfortunately I only had my wide angle lens so I didn’t get a shot of it. This photo was taken with my Canon 75-300 zoom from a residential park off Blarney Street half an hour later.

Seven units of Cork fire service have been fighting a blaze at the disused R & H Hall mill and grain store on Kennedy Quay – rte.ie

Des has a great photo taken from much closer showing the fire bursting from the side of the building. Pity I’m on the other side of the city!

In recent times, a long plume of thick black smoke trailed from a fire on the north side of the city, and of course, back in 2003 a huge blaze left the Sunbeam Factory in ruins.

This afternoon I spent a few minutes shooting the R&H Hall building from behind the Garda exclusion tape. Smoke was still visible coming from the white silos at the side of the building and just as I left a crane was going to lift members of the fire service up to examine the damage. I ran out of time and had to leave before that happened but things were definitely winding down thankfully.

I sent the top photo to the Cork Independent who have published it in this week’s edition on page 11. I haven’t seen it yet but hopefully I can get a copy later! Check out the photo I took of the article above! It’s the first time I’ve had a photo published by a newspaper and I’m very happy!

The Ryder Cup – Eye on the prize

Golf’s “biggest competition”, The 2006 Ryder Cup will begin this weekend with an influx of thousands of people to the K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Games between Team Europe and Team USA begin on September 22 and continue until the 24th.

I have to admit I have next to no interest in golf but the media here have been going crazy over it for the last three weeks. The one report about the Ryder Cup which I do recall is a correspondent from the US reporting that interest over there is non-existent. People will be watching football, baseball or basketball. He continued by saying that the people who might be interested won’t be watching either because they’re not going to spend the weekend stuck indoors watching a golf tournament thousands of miles away when they can go out and play a few holes themselves in the sunshine. I’m sure that won’t stop rich business men and politicians flying in via helicopter and spending lavish amounts of money at the K Club.

For a little light hearted entertainment you should listen to the Gift Grub report (.wma file) from the Ryder Cup. It’ll make you smile.

It’s all a little silly.

Later .. Liam Morrison asks “Who cares about the Ryder cup?” and uses Google Trends to find out just who cares. The results aren’t surprising given what I said above but it’s nice to have some solid proof.

The road to Ceili

People stroll along the closed off St. Patrick’s Street to the Ceili Mor.

Technique: I had to rotate the photo and crop it a small bit to get a straighter horizon, then some dodge/burn to bring out the contrast, and fired off the GIMP lomo plugin that creates two layers – one to highlight the centre, and the other to provide the vignette. I added a layer mask to the vignette and by using a gradient knocked off the top half of the vignette.

ESB – Broadband – Eircom

Power, Internet, Telephone. The combination of critical services that keeps my job going. When they work we don’t care but failure in even one is disastrous.

Pictured on St. Patrick’s Street while I was kneeling down and preparing to change lens. Anyone know which shop this was taken in front of?

Looking for a wedding photographer?

When Thomas Hawk had a less than satisfactory experience with a family photographer he blogged about it and the resulting discussion is interesting because there are comments from customers and photographers. The problem is that photographs own the copyright of any images they take. They don’t have to give the customer digital files because part of the revenue stream photographers depend on is making prints. The reasoning goes that the customer can make as many prints as they want if they had the files.

If you think portrait photography is over-priced, consider for a moment the investment the photographer has made in equipment, time, insurance, salaries and other expenses. They have to make a living too. Chris Garrett provides his own views on the matter with some good advice:

  1. Discuss beforehand your requirements (both Photographer and client)
  2. Provide the option of work-for-hire rather than traditional portrait shoot.

My own experiences with a photographer were much more positive. We hired Mike English to shoot our wedding after making enquiries of many other photographers. Mike is based in Cork and works from home so he can keep his costs down, a bonus when you’re paying for an expensive wedding. From the moment we met him he was pleasant and patient, answering our questions and showing us prints of past weddings. Most importantly, he’s very good at what he does. We have great memories and photos of the day and he gave us the digital files so I can work on the photos in my own time and compile a wedding album myself. Oh, and his son shot the video and did a great job, without a huge halogen lamp beaming down on the dance floor. I still cringe when I see my speech however!

Looking out for the kids

A wary father carries his son on his shoulder at the Ceili Mor as his photo is taken on St. Patrick’s Street last weekend. Looks like his passenger is enjoying the festival!

I like this: State of Emergency – pictures from Vogue of models and Police. They’re scanned from Vogue Italia so buy the magazine if you see it and enjoy this photo essay.

Girls dancing on the street

People of all ages joined in the fun dancing on St. Patrick’s Street last weekend at the Ceili Mor, but there was a noticeable lack of male participation. Any man out there had his pick of the women! Are guys too shy, or are women better dancers?
Me? I was taking photos! If I didn’t have my camera I’d have been out there like a shot, yes sir, definitely, no doubt about it at all…

Pure joy! A child on drums!

Can you imagine the noise? Well, don’t worry, it was in the middle of the street! A child took control of the drums while the adults took a break during the Cork Folk Festival.
From the programme I guess the group singing and dancing with accompanied drums and music were the “Christ Restoration Ministries Gospel Choir”. A large crowd gathered around so it was difficult to get any shots of the dancing, not surprising really because they were very good.

I like this: Battersea Power Station and Grosvenor Bridge because the photographer, Dave Gorman, had a positive experience with the police. (via)

All the fun of the Ceili Mor

The Ceili Mor on St. Patrick’s Street, Cork, last weekend. Last year the Ceili Mor attracted 8,371 people who broke the world record for the largest Irish dancing event!
This year was a more modest event but still the people showed up and joined in, slowly at first, but there was a decent crowd out enjoying themselves later!
Photos from last year: part 1 and part 2.

I forgot to mention. I saw so many people with cameras that I’m surprised there aren’t a lot more Cork-based photoblogs. I’m not talking about parents with a compact camera and kids in tow, I counted at least 5 solitary people silently working the crowd and the dancers with everything from bridge cameras to Digital SLRs and zoom lenses. I really need to get business cards printed and spread the word about WordPress.com