Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Want To Be Beside The Seaside

I worked for the majority of the day.  I didn't have the chance to seek out something uber-special to shoot.  Luckily, my wife and I were recently at the sea.  We had grabbed a few of which was sitting in the same room I was working in.  A quick shot with my macro extender produced this...

So soft and pretty.  

Oh.  It's the last day of national bird-feeding month.
Say goodbye to the birds.
Pigeon Away!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Green Panoramas

I had to go to a photo shop today to drop off my camera body because I had specks of crap on my sensor.  Quite frightening.  
The problem with the specks was that they would only show up when my f-stop was greater than 11.  I tend to shoot with low I didn't learn that they were there until I was in the middle of some nice landscapes.  I had no intention of trying to blow those specks out of there while at the beach.  So, needless to say, some of those shots were ruined by stupid bits of dirt and dust and whatever.  
So yes, for now my camera is gone.  I should have it back early tomorrow morning.  It should be clean.  It better be clean.  

It was on the way to the photo shop that I got these nice panoramas...

Ireland.  In the morning. Trees and hills and meadows and pastures and fog.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Black and White...Mostly

As of late, I've enjoyed shooting through cafe/diner/coffee shop/bakery windows to get a different perspective on these joints.  My last ...and the first photo here, are a lot less abstract than today's (and focus less on the window), but they all utilize the same method of shooting through the window for a variation on the subject.

I copied my original image and converted the copy to black and white.  I then combined the two images and allowed the color from the second layer (the original) to seep through in certain places....leaving me with this.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beaches and Pastures

We took the train to Bangor yesterday.  It's a cute little maritime town with much to do and see.  By which I mean much water-related things to do and much water-related things to see.

Such as...

...morning strolls along the water's edge with both young and old friends

...a marina to tilt-shift, or to just wander around in

...the rocky coast and sea to explore

...and even the ruins of an old fort in which you can survey the coming and going sailboats.

Today, on the other hand, we stayed close to home and went for a walk in some pastures that are just starting to show some signs of Spring.

...this old Irish guy and his dog were doing the same.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Abstract Architecture

More and more I'm inclined to use my homemade tilt-shift lens for my architectural shots.  I am always fairly pleased with the results.  Today's shot wasn't as good as some of my the first photo here.  But there can be just as much if not more satisfaction gained from creating something with which you can take a photograph than from the photograph itself.

I'm always a fan of bokeh.  Architectural photography is not a field you tend to see it used in...I think it works here, though.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Having Service Outdoors?

I saw this book lying under a bench.  For whatever reason, the first thing I thought of was a Bible.  Perhaps some people are having service outside in a park?  That would definitely be my preferred location...that or the middle of the woods I suppose...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fence. Night.

Here's a fence.  At night.
The redeeming qualities?...1. a little bit of bokeh...2. the "series" look...3. shallow depth of field...4. and hey, contrasty black and white is always good, right?

 Hopefully that justifies a fence. at night.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pancake Tuesday

Pancake Tuesday/Pancake Day is the alternative to what my people back in the states (or at least my people back in a very specific part of the states) would call Fasnacht Day.  In my book, Pancake Tuesday is far superior to Fasnacht Day...pancakes are actually delicious, where as the fasnacht is fairly tasteless and nasty.

So as a tribute to this great day in which I got to eat about eight pancakes, I give you...

Warm & fluffy, yet crispy on the outside, buttery pancakes.

And here.  Have a bird.  It's not an exceptional picture of a bird, but I felt that a stack of pancakes on its own was just not good enough....
A woodpigeon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'll Tilt-Shift The World (or at least the majority of Belfast)

Got caught in a heavy downpour.  Had to hide my camera under my jacket.  Sadly, I was shooting with my homemade tilt-shift lens.  So that meant I also had to hide my massive and heavy 90mm Mamiya lens...and the bellows of a plunger.  But I got this...

 An old clock tower that seems like it may have also dealt with a severe storm or two in its life.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kayaks, Treeffiti and the Obligatory Birds

An early morning walk along the River Lagan took us past this guy...

He looks like he's about to kayak into nothingness.

...and then past a few obligatory (since it's national bird-feeding month) birds...

A Moorhen.  These birds are nearly impossible to get a good picture of.  Not only because they hate people, but more so because at any given second, their heads are bobbing in a new direction.

A Bullfinch.  Both male and female in the first picture.  None of these shots are exceptional.  My remedy...multiple shots.

The last place our morning stroll took us to was this...

...A fallen tree that had many a political and social message carved into it.  I (may have) coined the term Treeffiti a while back..I feel this is an appropriate place to use it.  The carving on this side reads "Even the business men don't do business anymore"

This part of the trunk mentioned something about a guillotine.

and this part: "Too long not enough blood n' bones".

Saturday, February 18, 2012

From The Classical Ceilings To The Banquet Halls...

My wife and I toured some buildings in Belfast today.  Ulster Hall and City Hall.  Both were beautiful...both had great ceilings and chandeliers...

 This one, the dome in City Hall, reminds me of a mandala...

...this one is in Ulster Hall

I think this room is a banquet hall.  If not, it serves a similar function as one...
...either way, it looks pretty nice when empty.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Outside and Inside

Yesterday, the sun was actually shining.  It was bright out and everything was looking all pretty.  So I took some pictures...

 A pretty fence with some pretty mountain laurel-like plant...growing around it

 And some pretty thistle-ish things.  

...and because it is National Bird-Feeding Month, I give you a Common Redshank.  

Today, on the other hand, a fine mist was falling from the sky.  Though this rarely stops me from going outside, I was already planning on being indoors for most of the day.  I attended a lecture on museum ethics at the Ulster Museum and decided to use that opportunity to get today's photo... 

 I dig the leading lines...they kind of drag you past the subject as opposed to leading you to it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This little cafe was closed by the time I got to it.  I was hoping that it would be.  It's much nicer when no one is around...that's when you actually notice the soft blues and yellows of the room, and how they perfectly split the cafe into two.  One side warmer colors, one side cooler colors...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Messing Around With Cyanotype

...not the actual printing process.  More so, I was trying to create a style that would look good with the photos I took today...what I ended up with is reminiscent of a cyanotype.  A cyanotype or an underwater world.  One, or both, of the two.

Both of these are from the greenhouse in the Botanic Gardens

 I guess they were just doing some standard pruning, but when I opened the door and saw men with chainsaws and hardhats peering through the bushes and trees, it was as if I was witnessing some mass deforestation.  I felt like they felt that I was judging them for what they were doing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Belfast Wall Art

Belfast has a few murals.  I'm sure some of you out there know about them.  They definitely hold certain connotations for different people.  I'm not about to get into any of that.  In fact, if I ever get some pictures of them, I will probably post them without any text whatsoever.
Belfast also has a lot of walls that are covered in paintings that have no (at least no direct) connotations for people.  It is my impression that the shots I got today are of the paintings that take no political or social sides.

This one says "welcome to Belfast" and shows some of the things you can see here.  Such as the Botanic Gardens and the River Lagan.

This one is just some text.  Some text that I don't feel I can answer.  Mostly because I was under the impression that we haven't even proven that gravitrons (which would be the necessary quantum particle in gravity) exist.  Anyone have an answer?  I'm at a loss on this one...Though I must say, I like the idea of getting to go for a walk and getting to play trivia at the same time.  Now if only they'd change up the question each day...

Now onto birds!  It's National Bird-Feeding Month!  Though I don't want to limit myself to only bird photos this month, I do indeed want to get as many photos of our fine feathered friends as possible.  So today, in addition to those painted walls, I give you some Mediterranean Gulls...

...and some Oystercatchers.  There were other types of waterfowl down at the River Lagan as well, but I figure I'll spread them out throughout this most excellent bird-celebrating month.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Feed The Birds

It was brought to my attention that February is National Bird Feeding Month.

My wife and I have some plans for creating a bird feeder or two, but I felt the need to let this month-long celebration make its way into my photography as well.  So starting today, I'm going to get as many bird shots as I can and add them to my daily photography.  Hear that?  ADD to my daily photography.  I already have a decent amount of bird-related photographs.  So worry not, I won't let my last month of photography consist solely of birds.  

So here is my bird-less shot...some Gorse (the yellow flowered plant) with the megalithic tomb at the Giant's Ring in the background.  For more information on the Giant's Ring check out this post I did awhile ago.

 Now on to the birds...  Here we have a hooded crow.  I love the way the branches of the tree are growing from the bottom left to the top right of my photo.  It helps to balance out the photo.

 ...and some swans.  I posted a photo of a swan recently, but these two are in love.  That's got to count for something.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Black and White on the River Lagan

My wife and I walked a good portion of the River Lagan today.  There was a photography exhibit about Strangford Lough, and it just so happened that the quickest route to reach the exhibit was via the river.  Here are some things we walked past while trekking along side it...

A nice little scene...a flock of birds flying over some river houses, a cloudy sky and some hills in the background...

A cleat..maybe?   

...and a Tesla-esque streetlight.  I guess it's the coil-like bulb, but this really made me think of him.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tilt-Shifting Belfast

Today I ran around Belfast with my homemade tilt-shift lens.  As strange as it may look to have half a plunger extending from a pretty expensive piece of technology, sometimes it's worth it.  Here is today's walk...all tilted and shifted...

I absolutely love what this lens does for my architectural shots.  It's kind of funny actually, one of the tilt-shift lens' main uses is to correct issues that arise when shooting architecture...I use it to create more issues (i.e. the beams in the back that are in focus at some points but not so at other points)

 This shot definitely didn't need to be tilt-shifted.  It just amused me.

Here's a shot that really shows what the lens is capable of.  All three of those locks are on the same "plane" in reference to the lens, yet only one is in focus.  The middle one is kind of in focus and the one on the right is rather out of focus.  For a photo to look like this, normally the locks would all have to be at different distances  from the lens.  They are not.  Thus is the awesomeness of the tilt-shift lens.

I like this shot for the exaggerated soft focus...adding much depth 

Again with the exaggerated soft focus.  This time the area in focus is far away.