Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Doolin Pier

I sort of feel like I'm finally coming into my stride as regards landscapes. I finally have all the gear I've been lusting after for the last couple of years: an ultra-wide angle lens, a decent tripod, a remote shutter release and a set of filters, but more importantly, I can, to an extent, pre-visualise a scene. I think I'm beginning to look at a scene, and immediately see whether the conditions make it worthwhile dropping everything and taking out the camera (and risking the wrath of your better half!), or just driving on and coming back another day. This Saturday in Doolin was definitely one of the former. There was a dark, brooding sky, lots of movement in the sea and great colours from the sunset. It was one of the rare occasions in the year when the stars align and I find myself at the coast, in the right weather conditions at the right time. Even though I hadn't planned anything, when I saw it I knew I just had to forget about everything else - I had been driving for 2 1/2 hours and was starving - and see if I could get some shots. In the space of less than an hour I had taken some of my favourite shots of the year so far. Here are two, and I'll probably post a few more over the coming days:

Doolin Pier


Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Living Bridge

The Living Bridge again, taken from the other side of the river, and during the day.

Living Bridge at Dawn

Busy People

Friday, February 13, 2009

Killaloe Time-Lapse Video

Here is the video I was talking about the other day. Just a quick note on how it was done: I set my camera on a tripod on my balcony and set it to fully manual exposure(you don't want the exposure suddenly changing in the middle of your movie) and fully manual focus (obviously enough you don't want the focus to change half-way through either). I also used a small aperture and a ND Filter to give a long-ish shutter speed. A long shutter speed is preferable because you want a little bit of motion blur in your shots, so that they will blend together a bit when you combine them. Then I connected the camera to my laptop via USB, and using Nikon's Camera Control Pro in timelapse mode, I set it to take one picture every ten seconds. I left it run until the battery in my camera died, and it took 1700 pictures.

When I had all the photos, I imported them into Lightroom, made some small adjustments, and synched all the photos up so that they looked the same. I then used a piece of software called VideoMach to put them all together, at thirty frames per second, which gives a smooth video. That's about it!

Here's the video:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

UL in the Snow

One thing I love about being addicted to Flickr and a load of photo blogs is that any time anything happens, such as the snow last week, I get a steady stream of pictures of it, from almost every inconceivable angle and location. It's like having omnipresence! I was really jealous of the huge amount of pictures of snowy landscapes I've seen over the last few weeks, something I wasn't able to do myself because a)we didn't get anywhere near as much snow as the east coast and b) because I was too busy/lazy/cold to get off my ass and take more photos. I did catch one very thick flurry, however. Here are some photos of UL:

UL in the Snow

UL Iron Man in the Snow

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Killaloe at Night

This is a combination of a load of one-minute shots taken from my balcony last week. As you can see there's quite a lot going on. The reason it's lots of dots rather than a continuous line is because I left a gap between each shot. The reason for this was because I was actually taking these shots to make into a time-lapse video, which is below the picture. I have another, much more impressive one of these to post but I'll leave you in suspense because I only have a limited amount of stuff to post at the moment! If you're really interested just check my youtube account...


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

No Snow - No Fair!

It seems at the moment that the Mid-West, and Limerick in particular is the only place in the entire Western Hemisphere that isn't covered in a lovely blanket of snow. I went out this morning and took some infra-red shots to compensate. Anything green goes completely white, particularly when converted to monochrome. I haven't had the easiest relationship with infra-red, but I think when it's done well it can be stunning (for example, Darren Greene). I think the trick is very stark, minimalist subjects and lots of sunlight. Some day I'll manage it.

Infra-Red Trees