California Sunset

On the way to the Automattic beach houses last night we drove along the famous road that featured in Basic Instinct. I opened the window on Toni’s car and took a few photos of the sunset. I hoped for it to happen, but I was very lucky that the sun was blocked out by the signpost.

What are we doing on day one? Robert Hoekman, Jr is talking to us about "Designing the obvious" and expanding on his talk from the first day at WordCamp. The talk is going great, and generating lots of chatter and ideas!

Shadows of prison and freedom

A crow flies off into the freedom of the air with a crumb of bread he found on the pavement. The railings of nearby houses are like those of a prison keeping humans in and trapped and closed off.

Who is free?

Father and son in the water

Father and son wading in the shallow water at Inch Strand, Co. Kerry last September.

I previously posted a picture of the child but this image demanded attention when I was looking for “sea” photos. I love the silhouettes, the colour, the waves and the clouds.

Happy Valentines Day!

Vote in the Irish Blog Awards!

Damien says there’s only three days left to vote in the Irish Blog Awards. 1100 people have voted and apparently we’re in for some shocks if voting patterns remain the way they are. So, thank you all who voted for me already, and if you haven’t voted, please take two minutes to vote for In Photos in the best Photoblog section.

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!

An Fear Marbh

An Fear Marbh, an island off the coast of Co. Kerry, Ireland, with the setting sun lighting up the cloud over the Atlantic.

“An Fear Marbh” translates as “the dead man” and is so named because of the obvious shape of the island – that of a man lying on his back.
This was taken last September but because today is the Winter Solstice, and the shortest day of the year, I thought it was the perfect image for the day. Days will get longer now, little by little each day.

On the day this was taken we had dinner in Dingle. I watched the sun set and the light travel down the mountains near the Conor Pass. After eating, we quickly drove west to the coast to watch the sunset. Driving down a small road we spotted a car pulled over and someone standing outside watching the sunset so we stopped and got out. Turns out it was another photographer shooting the setting sun! We stayed there chatting for a few minutes before heading off. A few moments later the road turned a corner and this beautiful scene presented itself. I had to stop and shoot a few dozen shots.

Last night we called to the crib in Ballyvolane. Fr. James McSweeney has put together a wonderful crib with chickens, pigs, calves, goats, sheep, lammas, a pony, 2 donkeys and 4 young puppies. I’ll post a photo or two tomorrow, and the crib is definitely worth a visit if you live in Cork.
Visitors are asked to give a donation, and this year money raised will go to the St Patrick’s Church renovation fund. The crib is located 200 metres from St Oliver’s Church in Ballyvolane on Kilmorna Heights.
Fr. James has a photography site at Today is my gift to you.ie where he posts a new photo every day. I’ll be converting it to a WordPress blog in January when things quieten down again!