The Swan’s Wings

You really only appreciate how large and imposing a swan is when they rear up out of the water and spread their magnificent wings. While at The Lough on Sunday there were a number of fights between swans. Guess it’s that time of the year again, eh?

The swans were fairly tame towards us humans, and allowed us to shoot quite closely, but I’ve had run ins with swans before and I’m always suspicious of them!

Katie caught me as I lay on the ground to get a shot of The Lough Church. Embarrassed? Me? Never, I’ve been in many other more compromising situations just to get a shot!

Ryan posted a whole set of photos from the day and Kevin has posted his first shot.

That bread is mine!

A heron swoops in on a bunch of greedy gulls at The Lough yesterday!

For more pictures, check out Katie’s set and Will’s photos!

In retrospect, we were very lucky with the weather for the photowalk. Just after I got home the downpour started and 60mph winds ravaged the south of the country!

I was going to upload a bunch of the photowalk shots today but I’ll let them trickle in and then post the remainer on Friday.

The Lough Photowalkers

We had a great day today. 11 people showed up at the Lough in Glasheen today for the photowalk. Pictured above are some of us. Unfortunately Patrick and Amy, and then Brendan left earlier. Thank you all for taking the time and making the effort to come. It was freezing cold and windy and it would have been so much easier to sit inside with a good book or in front of the telly!

From left to right: Sean, Kevin, Katie, Will, Donal, Sandy, Ryan and that’s me Donncha kneeling down in front. Ryan & Sandy – what’s your dog’s name again?

We stayed at the south end of the lake most of the time, probably because there was most activity there. I got plenty of shots of swans, ducks, herons and small strange black birds with a white mark. Even got a few shots of swans fighting! You can really only appreciate the size of these birds when they rise out of the air and spread their wings! Thankfully they’re very tame.

After about an hour we headed off to the Lough Church where we were filmed on CCTV taking shots of the church exterior. I wonder what the parish priest will think if he reviews those tapes in the morning. Anyway, it was getting late, I set my camera on a post, took the above shot, and afterwards myself, Kevin Will and Donal retired to The Hawthorn for some light refreshment.

If you post any photos can you tag them “corkphotowalk”? You can subscribe to the feed on the Flickr tag page or this Google Blogsearch query to see what others have posted from the day. (Google hasn’t picked up on the tag just yet.)

I had a quick look through my shots, I took 199, and there’s a couple of good ones.

Suggestions for the next photowalk? Fota perhaps? Maybe Doneraile Park?

Photowalking around The Lough

What: Photowalk.
When: Sunday March 9th at 3pm.
Where: The Lough in Cork City. (Google Map)
Who: Anyone with any sort of camera.

On Sunday March 9th, we’ll visit The Lough in Cork City on a photowalk around the lake. Of course it’s also a social occasion when we can swap camera tips and photography advice. Sunday is a slow day for many people so let’s aim to be there at 3pm near the bird feeding (south) end of the lake. Weather permitting, that gives us plenty of light for about 3 hours, and if people are still around later, sunsets over The Lough can be quite stunning. Bring family and friends too if you like, but remind them that they will probably be photographed and their photos may end up online. If you bring a dog, remember that they must be kept on a lead.

Nearby is the Hawthorn Bar. It’s literally right next to the lake and a nice place to go for a drink or a bite to eat.

All are welcome to come. It doesn’t matter what type of camera you have, or how good or bad you think you are. Photowalking is the perfect opportunity to practice and improve your photography and chat with like minded individuals. The Wikipedia page on photowalking has a good overview of what it’s all about:

Photowalking is the act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things you may find interesting.

So far I have confirmed that Ryan and Donal will go, and sort of confirmed that David will be there. David was kind enough to announce the walk at the last meeting of Mallow Camera Club so I hope that a few members will participate.

I would be very happy if 5 or 6 people showed up. If there are more that’s even better. We’ll have plenty to talk about and there is so much to photograph you’ll be kept busy. Leave a comment on this post if you’re interested in going or have any questions!

If you’ve never been to The Lough, here are a few links that may interest you:

Don’t forget, if you’re in Dublin this weekend, Redmum is organising an Irish Blog Awards Photowalk on Saturday. I won’t be there but it should be fun to photowalk through Dublin City Centre!

Clouds over the Lough

Clouds gather and block out the sun over the Lough in Cork last year. The display was beautiful as light wispy clouds and dark brooding rain clouds skirted across the sky.

The sun made one final effort to shine, but the clouds won out and it started to rain moments later.

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!