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A Robin in November

A robin looking to the left, standing on a branch.

A little robin looks off to the left in the grounds of Blarney Castle last November. They’re a friendly bird.

If you want more, take a look at the fabulous robin photos that BathNature is posting and follow them!

I think my Blarney Castle membership expires today. I’m uncertain if I’ll renew it as it’s expensive, and I barely used it at all in the past 12 months.


Apertureƒ/6.3
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length240mm
ISO10000
Shutter speed1/250s

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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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Blarney Castle Through the Rock

Blarney Castle Through the Rock

Blarney Castle, as seen through the rock they set up in the grounds below the Castle. Not a great shot, but one to mark off the list.


Apertureƒ/16
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length32mm
ISO100
Shutter speed1/200s

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Ned the donkey

Ned the donkey

Ned, a donkey that lived in the grounds of Blarney Castle, in 2016.


Apertureƒ/8
CameraCanon EOS 6D
Focal length55mm
ISO1600
Shutter speed1/60s

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Red and White Mushroom in the grass

Red and White Mushroom in the grass

An Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita [*] in the grounds of Blarney Castle yesterday. It’s a poisonous mushroom found throughout temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, according to Wikipedia.

It’s also poisonous, but these days death from ingestion is rare. It has psychoactive uses too, and it’s eaten in various places.

Thanks Catherine for letting me know where these mushrooms were. She posted a nice photo of a mushroom from there recently! The nice thing about these mushrooms is that they are quite large, so you don’t really need a macro lens to get a photo like this of them.


Apertureƒ/6.3
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length194mm
ISO500
Shutter speed1/200s

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The Jellyfish at Blarney Castle

Over the next few days in Blarney Castle there’s a new pop-up garden to visit inside the walls of the building. In it, you’ll find an aquarium that is home to a group of moon jellyfish surrounded by specially selected plants and beautiful art work. The Irish Examiner has published an article on it this morning with lots more detail.

Jellyfish in Blarney Castle
Jellyfish in Blarney Castle
Jellyfish in Blarney Castle
Jellyfish in Blarney Castle
Jellyfish in Blarney Castle

Apertureƒ/8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length240mm
ISO25600
Shutter speed1/250s

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A tree at sunset

A tree at sunset

Walking through the grounds of Blarney Castle late one November evening when the sun is setting. The shadows grow long and black fills the spaces between orange light.


Apertureƒ/9
CameraDSC-RX100M4
Focal length8.8mm
ISO200
Shutter speed1/60s

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The Colours of Autumn

The Colours of Autumn

The golden colours of Autumn are a firm favourite of every photographer. Here’s a reminder of what they look like as trees in the northern hemisphere are now showing green shoots and daffodils are flowering.


Apertureƒ/8
CameraDSC-RX100M4
Focal length8.8mm
ISO125
Shutter speed1/100s

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Blackbird in the bushes

Blackbird in the bushes

A very busy blackbird stopped still for 5 seconds so I could catch a photo of it. He was digging around, throwing up leaves and hunting around between branches. Building material for a nest perhaps?


Apertureƒ/8
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length600mm
ISO2000
Shutter speed1/500s

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Robin Calling

Robin Calling

A robin calling out in the grounds of Blarney Castle today.


Apertureƒ/6.3
CameraILCE-7M3
Focal length600mm
ISO320
Shutter speed1/500s

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Morning Light on Blarney Castle

Morning Light on Blarney Castle

This morning is a beautiful start to the week. Fog in the distance and the fiery orange ball of the sun shining through clear skies. Blarney Castle was lit up in a lovely orange glow and I had to spend a few minutes away from the busy bustle of life to get this photo.


Apertureƒ/4.9
CameraSM-G998B
Focal length30.6mm
ISO64
Shutter speed1/50s

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Blarney Castle in September

Blarney Castle in September

Blarney Castle in pseudo infra red as I don’t have an infra red capable camera but I like the effect. September 2021.


Apertureƒ/1.8
CameraSM-G998B
Focal length6.7mm
ISO50
Shutter speed1/290s