Inside the Cork University Maternity Hospital

The (still) new Cork University Maternity Hospital or CUMH is shaped like a triangle with a central area that will eventually be planted with grass, flowers and vegetation. For now it’s boring bland grey.

To the right and left you can see balconies. The one of the right adjoins the hospital cafe. Unfortunately it’s so expensive it’s better to make the journey across to Wilton Shopping Center or to one of the many restaurants in the area. The other balcony is unused but I’m sure the hospital bosses will figure out some way of using it. The tower in the center is the stairwell and elevator shafts for the building and they lead onto the main concourse and entrance.

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!

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?

Cobh at sunset

The tide is out in Cobh, Co. Cork while the sun sets in the west casting an orange glow over the water and boats in the harbour.

Method
This required some work to expose properly. The sky is bright while the harbour, houses and landscape are in shadow. Out with the layers, top layer for the sky was darkened and the opposite was done for the ground.
Then it’s the simple task of adding a layer mask to the top layer and rubbing out the dark bits to expose the brightened landscape.
When using a layer mask, never paint with an opacity of 100%, try 30% or even 5%. Don’t be afraid to do a rough job of exposing the bottom layer because with a layer mask you can always reverse the procedure by swapping the colour of your brush with an opposite colour!

Thank you all for the comments on yesterday’s post, The Lonely Swan, it’s great to get feedback and I’m glad when people get something out of my methods when I describe them. See what you’ve done? I did it again!

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!

Bay Bridge Reflections

Light from the Bay Bridge in San Francsico shimmers in the waters of the harbour. To the left one of the fire fighting boats of the SF Fire Department can be seen.

Posting this landmark of San Francisco today as most of the rest of Automattic make their way to Mexico. Here’s another shot from another night near the bridge.