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Robin on the Ground

A little Robin standing on wet autumn leaves on the ground

A few weeks ago, I visited Blarney Castle to take some photos of the Autumn colours. Unfortunately the light was dull, and the ground was wet, but I had my tripod with me, so I set it up for some long exposure shots.

After a few minutes of that, I noticed a flicker out of the corner of my eye. I spotted a robin almost right in front of me! He was literally standing on the large log next to the mushrooms I was photographing. And of course, my camera settings were completely wrong to photograph him. In the 10 seconds it took me to swivel the camera around, fiddle with the settings and look up again, he was flying off to a nearby tree. This time I got a couple of shots of him, and then his friend approached and landed on the ground right by my feet! This time I was ready!

Why do settings change so much? In low light, you have to amplify the light hitting the camera sensor. Sort of like turning up the volume. You know how if you turn the volume up really high you’ll get distortion and crackling (and a headache and sore ears), the same thing happens with cameras. The best quality photo comes when the volume (called ISO for cameras) is turned down to a “normal value” but then it takes longer for the camera to “hear” an image. Damn, I’m straining an analogy here. For most cameras, that’s 100. This photo was taken at ISO 12800 and the only reason you don’t see lots of crackling (noise) is because of the magic of software called Topaz Photo AI. A previous ISO 100 image took a whole 1 second to make a photo. This robin photo was 1/160 of a second. He wasn’t going to hang around long!


Apertureƒ/11
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length240mm
ISO65535
Shutter speed1/160s

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Sparklers! 2 for €3!

A man selling sparklers on Halloween on Henry Street, Dublin. Two people in the background being polite and listening to him.

A man selling sparklers on Henry Street, Dublin on Halloween this year. He promised that 2 for €3 was better than in the shops where they are 1 for €2, and he was right as we were in a Eurogiant later on!

We didn’t buy any sparklers. He had plenty left over when we passed him again.


Apertureƒ/3.2
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length24mm
ISO5000
Shutter speed1/500s

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Jokers & Witches

A group shot of several young men dressed as Joker with two witches, one on either side, on Halloween night

Just some Jokers and witches on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin on Halloween night.

I stopped the Jokers for a photo, and the two witches wanted to take part too!


Apertureƒ/2.8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length24mm
ISO12800
Shutter speed1/200s

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Slots

A young man checks his phone while leaning on a building. The word Slots appears in the window behind him.

A young man checks his phone on a dark evening in Dublin a couple of weeks ago.


Apertureƒ/8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length24mm
ISO12800
Shutter speed1/200s

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On the bike in Girona

A womand and her child on a bike in a pedestrianised area of Girona in Spain

What I saw of the old part of Girona is one long pedestrianised road like you see this photo. It’s a long straight part here but then winds around to the area of the Cathedral. I did see a small van drive down there but they were at least careful. Pedestrians were number 1.

Other parts are not so nice. A three lane street leads out of the city towards Barcelona.


Apertureƒ/8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length35mm
ISO4000
Shutter speed1/500s

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The Northside Water Tower

Water tower on Cork City's north side visible on the skyline

The “futuristic” water tower that sits on Kilmore Road Lower in Knocknaheeny is seen from Bell’s Field in this photo taken in July this year.

It was completed in 1972 and Councillor Gerald Yael Goldberg (1912-2003) described the water tower as ‘futuristic’ but predicted that it would ‘fit into the landscape’. I’m not so sure. It’s in such a prominent spot it can be seen as far away as Blarney.


Apertureƒ/8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length600mm
ISO1000
Shutter speed1/1000s

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On the way home

Black and white image of a shadowed man walking through gates towards a train station

Heading home, late at night to the train station in Dublin on November 1st.


Apertureƒ/2.8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length24mm
ISO12800
Shutter speed1/400s

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From North Side to County

The north side of Cork City, with Shandon Bells in the foreground, the County Hall in the background and many homes.

A sight well known to anyone who lives in Cork City. The Spire of St. Anne’s Church, or Shandon Bells stands like a beacon. The Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne is just off shot to the right, out of this shot.

The County Hall can be seen far off in the distance out on the Carrigrohane Road. That building was once the tallest building in Ireland.

Look back further and you’ll see fields on the hills surrounding the city.


Apertureƒ/6.3
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length150mm
ISO200
Shutter speed1/160s

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On the Onyar River

The Onyar River that flows through Girona in Spain with colourful buildings and a blue sky

The Onyar River flows through the city of Girona in Spain. Photographed in August when I was surprised to see any water at all considering the dreadful drought that hit Europe in the summer.

Colourful buildings line the banks of the river and the Cathedral can be seen in the background of a clear blue sky.


Apertureƒ/8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length35mm
ISO125
Shutter speed1/500s

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Diego, king of the castle

A chihuahua named Diego in a small bed, on a couch, with colourful cushions behind him and a blue fluffy toy he loves at his feet.

Who rules this house? The animals do! Diego, our tiny chihuahua, sits in a bed sometimes claimed by one of our cats, Hoppy. She was very unhappy that Diego was in there. He’s the king of all he sees.

Isn’t he handsome in his new jacket? It’s lovely and warm and made with love by Jo!


Apertureƒ/2.4
CameraSM-G998B
Focal length9mm
ISO640
Shutter speed1/35s

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Herre’s the plane

a Liebherr branded construction crane with an airplane flying far above it

From the Lee Fields, in August this year. A construction crane working on the student accommodation with an aeroplane that took off from Cork Airport high above it and rising fast, off somewhere, hopefully warm.

TIL I’ve been spelling aeroplane wrong for years.


Apertureƒ/5
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length67mm
ISO100
Shutter speed1/400s

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A stag in the rain

A stag in the rain in a field. Drops of rain fall around him as he stands alone.

A stag in the field opposite Muckross House in Killarney on a very wet October afternoon this year.

I was there with Blarney Photography Club and after a not so successful morning we retreated to the café in Muckross Garden Restaurant for lunch.

It was still raining afterwards, but some of us stopped outside to photograph this stag. In a lull in the rain I stupidly ran out with only a light jacket and took cover under a tree that was still heavy with leaves. Got a few shots and then the heavens opened. Got a bit soaked!

Totally worth it. Great day out with great people.


Apertureƒ/6.3
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length600mm
ISO2000
Shutter speed1/1000s