All posts in f. Nature & Sky

13 Oct

Staying motivated in photography

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / October 13, 2015 / 0 Comments

Staying motivated in photography

Although many photographer hobbyist love photography with a passion (addiction?) most go through phases when they’re very inactive, sometimes not taking any photos for months on end. It can be difficult to dedicate time to photography when you have a job, family and other commitments. There are many methods to stay motivated in photography, including the taking a photo every day, called Project 365, trying new styles of photography, create a book, use one lens only, entering competition/challenges and more. I like to take part in photo challenges, especially on Boards.ie photography forum.

Boards.ie Photography forum have fortnightly challenges, the photo with most ‘likes’ wins and the winner selects the next challenge. There’s no prize (expect for kudos…) but I find it a great way for staying motivated in photography, keep taking photographs and also for themes/styles that might be outside your comfort zone or just styles of photography that you wouldn’t normally shoot. What makes the challenge for me is that your entries have to be taken during the challenge period, thus making you ‘get out there’ with your camera. The past few challenges on Boards.ie have included ‘The Rules of Odds‘, ‘Water, unsalted‘ and ‘Symmetry.’

These morning dew drops were my 3 entries for Water, Unsalted, the last one (my favourite) is a crop from the 2nd picture and almost won. I used a 100mm f2.8 macro lens on my front garden to capture the early morning dew drops. Luckily no neighbours drove by; they’d have wondered what I was doing, lying down on my driveway at 7 in the morning. Which of the 3 photos is your favourite, and why?

Morning Dew

Dew Drops

Dew Drop

Lastly what methods do you use for staying motivated in photography please?

21 May

Photo of The Day at Pix.ie

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky by admin / May 21, 2014 / 1 Comment

galway_landscape

I’m happy to say that my landscape photo of trees in Galway got nominated photo of the day at Pix.ie, the Irish Photo website.

pixie

21 Apr

Charles Haughey’s yacht, the Celtic Mist at Dunmore East

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / April 21, 2014 / 0 Comments

On a visit to Dunmore East recently I went for a stroll with my camera early in the morning. Charles Haughey’s yacht, the Celtic Mist was sailing into the harbor with the sun shining down upon it.

Charles Haugheys yacht Celtic Mist

24 Jan

The Birds- Starling Birds Starlings murmuration in Galway

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / January 24, 2014 / 2 Comments

Every year thousands of starlings fly in patterns above Lackagh, Galway. This is called murmation and is amazing to watch.
I tried to capture the spirit and fear from Alfred Hitchcocks classic film The Birds. The birds look almost like an invasion of fighter planes in the sky.

starling murmation galway (1)

starling murmation galway (2)

starling murmation galway (3)

starling murmation galway (4)

starling murmation galway

The Birds was the title of a 1960’s popular rhythm and blues band from the UK that contained the (in)famous Ronnie Wood.

18 Dec

Wonderful, Glorious. (My favourite photos of 2013 Part 1)

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / December 18, 2013 / 0 Comments

The year is almost over so it’s a good time to showcase some of my favourite photos from 2013. This is part 1.

I didn’t get out taking photos as often as I’d like to have but most amateur photographers with kids are in the same boat I presume. People ask me what’s my favourite style of photography and I used to say I don’t have one. My previous photography blog was called Eclectic Images, which summed up my style. But looking through my photos I’ve noticed that I’ve taken more and more abstract photos.

I’m photographing my friends wedding just before Christmas and getting a new Pentax K-5ii from Santy (thanks Debbie! X). So it’s going to be an exciting finish to 2012 and I’m looking forward to 2013 with my new camera.

Happy Christmas to everyone, thanks for visiting during the year.
 

My son, Conor lying still long enough for me to snap this

Autumn Changes

 
Connacht rugby player Brett Wilkinson & team mates at a rugby match at The Sportsground, Galway.

Connacht Rugby Players

 
A light bulb and the reflection on a metal lampshade. I stumbled upon this in an antique store in Brussels.

Theres A Light On Heavy Glow

 
I like the simplicity of a plain blue sky broken by a simple airplane chemtrail.

Leavin on a Jet Plane

 
A suburb of Liverpool taken from an airplane on a flight to Liverpool for a football game.

england snow 2013

Wonderful, Glorious is a song title and album title from teh latest album by The Eels.

01 Nov

Autumn Leaves

In d. People & Animals,f. Nature & Sky by admin / November 1, 2013 / 0 Comments

Summer is well and truly gone and autumn is here.
Which is great fun for kids to play in the leaves. I went for a wander with Conor after a heavy downpour, he was wearing his waterproof pants so could splash as much as he wanted. As you can see he had great fun playing in the trees and in the autumn leaves

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves is a song title by the artist Eva Cassidy

24 Sep

Pictures Of Lilly

In c. Macro & Flowers,f. Nature & Sky by admin / September 24, 2013 / 0 Comments

A nice knock on benefit of buying flowers for my wife is that they give me the chance to photograph them. Best set up is to use a tripod, macro lens and add a backdrop; plain white/black sheet or similar.

I don’t really have the patience to set all this up but enjoy the challenge of trying to create a slightly different photo of a flower, not the ‘standard, face on photographs.

floral macro

Pictures of Lilly is a song title by The Who

19 May

Welsh Mountain Range (I was comin down the mountain)

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / May 19, 2013 / 1 Comment

Snow caped Welsh mountain range photographed from an airplane (from Ireland to Belgium). Even though it was May the mountains were still snow-capped and very impressive.

welsh mountain range

I was comin down the mountain are lyrics from Mountain Song by Janes Addiction.

14 Mar

Leaving on a Jet Plane

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / March 14, 2013 / 2 Comments

I love watching airplanes flying through clear skies. There’s something peaceful about watching them; silent from the ground, wondering where it’s flying to, watching it vanish.

Leavin on a Jet Plane

Leaving on a Jet Plane is a classic song by John Denver

21 Jan

England Snow (Walking In a Winter Wonderland)

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / January 21, 2013 / 1 Comment

England was hit by freezing temperatures in January 2013. I was flying to Liverpool so managed to capture some photos of the North West of England covered in snow.

england snow 2013

east england snow 2013

england snow 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland are lyrics taken from the song Winter Wonderland, written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (music) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist).

29 Nov

Galway sunrise (Sun It Rises)

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky by admin / November 29, 2012 / 0 Comments

A beautiful red and orange Galway sunrise over fields in Galway lights up the sky with great colours.
Galway has really stunning sunsets over Galway Bay and offers lovely views for the people strolling on the Salthill Prom. The Galway sunrises are equally brilliant and turn the fields from black darkness into a lovely blend of colours.

Galway morning sunrise

Sun It Rises is a song title from Fleet Foxes album Fleet Foxes.

01 Sep

If everybody had an ocean (Lahinch surfing)

In f. Nature & Sky,h. Sport by admin / September 1, 2012 / 1 Comment

Lahinch is a nice small town in county Clare, at the head of Liscannor Bay. Lahinch beach is 2km long & is busy all summer long. It’s also an extremely popular destination for surfers as it gets big waves. I try to visit Lahinch frequently; it has nice pubs, great food (you must try the fish and chips in Vaughans, Lisconnor which is 2km away from Lahinch).

I took this photo from the top of Milltown Malbay road, which overlooks the beach. In the panoramic photo of Lahinch Beach you can see the water littered with surfers and budding surfers. Click on the image to view a larger sized photo.

Post title is taken from the song “Surfin USA” by The Beach Boys.

29 Aug

Into The white, Into The White (Rose Macro)

In c. Macro & Flowers,f. Nature & Sky by admin / August 29, 2012 / 0 Comments

A macro photograph of a white rose, taken in Fitzgerald Park, Cork City. While floral photography isn’t really my thing I have a macro lens and flowers don’t move as much as insects so are easier to photograph. I didn’t do any post processing on this, the orange/pink hue from the centre of the rose must be due to the light (maybe).

Post title is taken from the song ‘Into The White’ by the marvelous marvel that are The Pixies.

16 Aug

I want people who hear us to feel charming and handsome. They don’t spit or gob, they bring flowers

In c. Macro & Flowers,f. Nature & Sky by admin / August 16, 2012 / 0 Comments

Post title is taken from a quote by Morrissey- “I want people who hear us to feel charming and handsome. The disciples we’ve accumulated are incredibly charming people. They don’t spit or gob, they bring flowers.”

03 Jul

Sail through the sorrows of life’s marauders, Unrepenting, often empty, Sail on, sail on sailor (Cape Clear Ferry)

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / July 3, 2012 / 0 Comments

The Dun Aengus ferry, which sails from Baltimore, West Cork to Cape Clear after leaving Baltimore.

Post title is taken from The Beach Boys song ‘Sail on, sail on sailor’, the final song on their 1973 album ‘Holland’

10 May

Watch The Sunrise

In c. Macro & Flowers,f. Nature & Sky by admin / May 10, 2012 / 0 Comments

Another macro photograph. Just in case you miss it, there’s a fly climbing up the weed. I did get some strange looks from people in cars driving past; me lying in the ditch on the side of the road…..

Post title ‘Watch The Sunrise’ is a song title from American band Big Star. I know it from Belle and Sebastian’s Late Night Tales.

26 Apr

She’ll Carry On Through It All, She’s a Waterfall

In b. Abstract/Arty,f. Nature & Sky by admin / April 26, 2012 / 0 Comments

I’d just like to post an example of a ‘before and after’ photo, aka editing.
I was wandering around lovely Westport early morning last weekend and strolled along the picturesque river and stopped at this mini-waterfall.

I thought there could be a nice photo in it somewhere to took a few photos, some with slow shutter speeds. This was taken at 1/20th of a second but the initial result was a bit plain/standard.

So I did some basic editing in Picasa 3. I know I should be using Lightroom or Photoshop but haven’t found the time to study either yet. And I find that Picasa 3 does a good job. I know there some features and presets in Lightroom that I’d like. Someday, I keep telling myself, I’ll buy and learn/study Lightroom. Someday. Another confession- I don’t shot in RAW. Ever.

Anyway all I did with this photo took less than 5 minutes and I ‘framed’ the finished result as I think it’d look nice on my wall. Steps were crop, apply 1960’s effect and add the frame.

Post title is taken from ‘She’s a Waterfall’ by THE Stone Roses.

01 Apr

Reflection (Galway Bay Golf course)

In f. Nature & Sky,i. Black&White by admin / April 1, 2012 / 2 Comments

I recently played Galway Bay Golf course, a very pleasant course even if tough. I played the best golf of my life with 9 pars(!) and 40 points (playing off a handicap of 18). It was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky and summer weather even though it was only March.
The air was so still that there wasn’t a ripple in the lake and the trees were reflected perfectly. This was shot with a standard compact (Samsung WB2000). I included two photos but personally I prefer the first one.

Post title is taken from the song titled ‘Reflection’ from the album Inertia Creeps.

11 Feb

Blue. Lines. In Galway

In f. Nature & Sky,k.Buildings & Architecture by admin / February 11, 2012 / 2 Comments

I was driving in Galway on a clear day, spotted this stunning building with it’ very sharp, clear lines and pulled in to photograph it. I like the simplicity everywhere in the scene; rich blue complete sky and the apartments with concise straight lines. Kevin McCould, the architect from ‘that house building show’ would love it I’m sure.

blue lines

17 Jan

A dreaded sunny day so I meet you at the cemetery gates

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky by admin / January 17, 2012 / 1 Comment

This is the photo before editing (done in Picasa 3)

14 Nov

Chuck Berries?

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / November 14, 2011 / 0 Comments

10 Nov

Full Moon, Empty Heart (Belly song)

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / November 10, 2011 / 0 Comments

Here’s my token photo of a full moon. I think that every amateur photographer has taken a photo of a full moon at some stage.
I checked and the optimal settings are meant to be something like:
1/125 second
f 11 or so
lowest ISO possible

I saw the moon on my way home from work but by the time I arrived home it was already dark so I shoot at f2.8, 1/60 second and ISO 200 at 200mm. Ideally I’d have a longer zoom lens so I could crop closer without losing detail.

19 Oct

The Answer My Friend Is Blowin’ In The Wind

In f. Nature & Sky,g.Colourful by admin / October 19, 2011 / 0 Comments

I find the standard photos of flowers a bit boring (no offence!). With this photo the large ’empty’ space to the right is where I can picture the dandelion is going to be in a few seconds after someone has blown in.

I took this in my front garden early in the morning, leaving my house on the way to work. If any neighbours saw me they must have been wondering what I was up to; virtually lying on my belly in my garden…

21 Apr

Fly me to the moon

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / April 21, 2011 / 0 Comments

08 Feb

Flock/Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Starlings Murmuration

In f. Nature & Sky,i. Black&White by admin / February 8, 2011 / 0 Comments

There's a massive flock doing 'their' dance very evening at the exact time. Fairly amazing to watch (but I have to shelter from their 'bombardments')

30 Dec

The Black Crows

In b. Abstract/Arty,f. Nature & Sky by admin / December 30, 2010 / 0 Comments

Some pictures of birds during the snow. The first two are very similar, I just wanted to show what a bit of editing does. I cropped tighter for the second one so the picture is filled more which I think looks better. I could have come up with a lot of titles, such as ‘I’m still not talking to you’, ‘you talking to me’, ‘bird(s) on a wire’, etc. The last one is just an evil looking crow.
(Click on photo to view full size.)

13 Dec

Your Beautiful Flower

In b. Abstract/Arty,f. Nature & Sky,g.Colourful by admin / December 13, 2010 / 0 Comments
flower power

Spring is coming 2

27 Nov

Ireland Snow (Ice, Ice Baby)

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky by admin / November 27, 2010 / 0 Comments

Ireland Snow!

We normally don’t get much snow in Ireland, in fact we normally get no snow in Ireland. The winter of 2010 was different, we got so much snow that roads and schools were closed.
This was the first snowfall in Ireland of 2010. It began up north on Friday, 26th of November and covered most of the country by Saturday.

People often say one of the downsides to living in Irlenad is the weather- a fair bit of rain and not much sun or summer heat. While that’s true we also don’t have people dying in heatwaves or snowstorms like other countries. And Bill Bryson, the humorous travel author said if Ireland had good weather the place would be too crowded with tourists.

Ireland Snow, The first snowfall in Ireland of 2010.

20 Nov

I’m From Barcelona

In f. Nature & Sky,k.Buildings & Architecture by admin / November 20, 2010 / 1 Comment

Taken from the amazing rooftop of Casa Mila, Barcelona. Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia is on the left and Torre Agbar skyscraper on the righton the right.

Barcelona skyline- old and new

Placa Catalunya, Barcelona

Gaudi's Casa Mila

Roooftop vents on Casa Mila, one of Gaudi\’s designed buildings in Barcelona, Spain.

casa mila rooftop

15 Nov

Tripping On Sunshine- Galway Sunset

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky,g.Colourful by admin / November 15, 2010 / 0 Comments

Galway Sunset

A beautiful orange/golden sunset near Claregalway in Galway. The foreground has flooded fields an electricity pylons and poles. Much of east Galway was flooded in the winger of 2010 and the sunset reflects of the water.

Setting Sun Galway

18 Oct

London Town

In f. Nature & Sky,k.Buildings & Architecture by admin / October 18, 2010 / 2 Comments

I took this photo taken from the eighteenth floor of The Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London. The London Eye glows like a ball, which stands out I think. The exposure was 10 seconds and I used the windowsill as my tripod.

London night skyline

21 Sep

Honey Bee (Fly Me To Mars)

In c. Macro & Flowers,f. Nature & Sky by admin / September 21, 2010 / 2 Comments
Busy Bee on a flower

A bee working away in my back garden. I zoomed into 250mm to try not to disturbe the bee (or get stung). It was hard to get a shot with a good position but here you can literally see him collecting the nectar. The bee collects nectar, while pollen collects on its body

31 Aug

Harvest Moon

In f. Nature & Sky,i. Black&White by admin / August 31, 2010 / 0 Comments

Harvest 2

11 Jul

Pink!

Flowerhouse

Will you bee mine?

21 Jun

Barbed Wire Kisses

In f. Nature & Sky,i. Black&White by admin / June 21, 2010 / 4 Comments
Barbed Wire Kisses

Post title is the name of a B side & more album from The Jesus And Mary Chain and contains one of my favourite songs “Don’t Ever Change’.

31 May

Blue Sky. Mine (First and last HDR shot)

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky by admin / May 31, 2010 / 0 Comments
HDR sky

HDR is (not my cup of tea) a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminances between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wider dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight

Title taken from the album Blue Sky Mine by the Australian Band Midnight Oil.

12 May

Blue. Lines

In f. Nature & Sky,g.Colourful by admin / May 12, 2010 / 0 Comments

There’s something pleasant about a bright blue sky cut across by a simple straight airplane trail. Here’s a collection of some I’ve taken. For a few of them I’ve been driving so pulled over quickly (and safely, obviously), raced to get my camera and grab a shot.

Flying high

two planes in the blue sky

Flying by

Flying by

To infinity and beyond

Fly me to the moon

Chemical Trails

27 Apr

Flowers (Tulips not from Amsterdam)

In f. Nature & Sky by admin / April 27, 2010 / 0 Comments

Tulips from Amsterdam

I can never calm you down
And I can never turn you around
And I could never bring you flowers
And I could never turn you around

24 Feb

The Field

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky by admin / February 24, 2010 / 1 Comment

trees in a field in fog

29 Dec

Darklands

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky by admin / December 29, 2009 / 2 Comments
Would you take shelter here- dark trees

I drive past this field every day and always think that theres’s a good picture to be had. This is my favourite one.

21 Dec

(Drunken) Itsy Bitsy Spider?

In c. Macro & Flowers,f. Nature & Sky by admin / December 21, 2009 / 1 Comment

Most people hate spiders but don’t mind ladybirds; why? They’re both insects, one just looks pretty…

20 Sep

Blue Skies

In a. Galway,f. Nature & Sky,g.Colourful,h. Sport by admin / September 20, 2009 / 2 Comments

Colours

Taken with my IPhone (all I had on me at the time), it came out surprisingly well. Nothing is in sharp focus but it’s still nice and colourful. The course is Carnmore Golf Club.