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

The National Monument

The National Monument

The National Monument, Grand Parade Cork was erected in 1906 to commemorate those who died in uprisings against the British in 1867 and 1798.

It’s one of the few parts of the Grand Parade that hasn’t changed much despite all the redevelopment of the city.

Aperture ƒ/10
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/250s

Under the L

Under the L

The L is the elevated train system in Chicago and many films have been filmed underneath it’s tracks, including some scenes in Batman, The Dark Knight. Here’s the L under Kimball on the brown line. I worked close by a few years ago!

Aperture ƒ/4.5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 800
Shutter speed 1/50s

Looking for a parking space

Looking for a parking space

You’re in town and desperately looking for a parking place. Where do you go? All the on-street parking has either been removed because of road works or taken by everyone who went shopping at 9am. Just look up. There’s a multi storey carpark somewhere near you. Probably.

Front of the car park on The Grand Parade. Shot after I said goodbye to Phil and the others a few weeks ago.

Aperture ƒ/13
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 200
Shutter speed 1/400s

Pobal ar Aire

Pobal ar Aire

Pobal ar Aire. Community on Alert. This is (was?) a scheme designed to help neighbourhoods help themselves by volunteering to keep an eye out for trouble makers or lawlessness. The local police are then informed.

It seems to work well, these signs are dotted all around the country, but in Bantry it looks like they’re protecting their beer..

Aperture ƒ/5
Camera Canon EOS 20D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/60s