Grand Parade on the Lee

This is the Grand Parade in Cork, from across the River Lee on Sullivan’s Quay. It was the graffiti on the river wall, “Tek”, that prompted me to shoot this image and I like how it came out.

It does lose something in this resized version because of the distant detail but it’s going to be a while before everyone has 20″ monitors and even longer before I put full size images on display for public consumption.

Children at play

A sign in Fermoy, Co. Cork warns motorists to watch out for kids playing on the road.

I’ve seen so many people speed through built up areas these signs mean absolutely nothing to them.

Technique:
1. Original image was flat and plain. Background sky was monotonous so I ran it through auto-levels which brought out the colours.

2. Then I duplicated that layer and blurred it using Gaussian Blur with a radius of 25px (original image is 3504px wide). By adding a layer mask I was able to rub out some of the blurred layer to expose the sharp original below. Opacity was set to 41% to reduce the blur effect.

3. Finally an overlay layer was added and circular gradients drawn on with a low opacity. This darkens the sky and sign slightly in patches.

All manipulation done in the GIMP but will work just as well in Photoshop or other application.

Was that useful? Want more?

Light trails on Oliver Plunkett Street

Light trails from a passing car leave their mark on this long exposure shot of Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork.

Can you see pink lights on the vertical poles standing at the edge of the pavement? On my Linux box they’re clear as day but I can’t see them at all in Preview on the Macbook.

The lights were designed and made by MAAS here in Cork and the colour changes slowly from blues to purples to pinks to yellow and to any other colour. It’s quite a sight to see the colour change when standing at one end of this long straight street!

The curious dog

While wandering about on St. Patrick’s Day this year I spotted this adorable little dog. I got a few snaps and his owner didn’t seem to mind. The doggy was more than happy at the attention and sniffed eagerly at my lens!

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!

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!