January 24, 2012

St. Augustine and St. John's Church - Side Chapel P1030478

After the weekend BCC Shoot in Roscommon, I am still in 'church interiors' mode. Founded in 1874, St. Augustine and St. John's RC Church is in the heart of Liberties Dublin and right beside my place of work. I was out for lunch today and detoured inside to check the light. This is a very beautiful but dark church, particularly gloomy today and challenging for any decent DSLR. However, on this occasion I had only my Lumix LX5 in my pocket and no tripod ... still, I decided to have a go. This scene is to the left of the main alter and is illuminated with an assortment of artificial lights and candles making it difficult to assess white balance. Kneeling in front against the marble rails, I held the camera fast against a brass handrail and used the self-timer to fire the 2.5-second, single exposure. I think the Lumix done a fairly decent job of it under the circumstances.
I intend to return shortly with some proper gear for a more thorough exploration.

Photo: Lumix LX5 Exif Data

January 23, 2012

Sacred Heart Church - Roscommon

Sacred Heart Church - Roscommon TM2_7139

Members of Boyle Camera Club visited Roscommon Town at the weekend and visited some of the local landmarks. Sacred Heart is a gem of a church, built in 1903, it has been renovated recently and ranks as one of Ireland's finest religious buildings.

Photo: Nikon D300s with Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens. Bracketed exposure, 3 frames blended in PS.

January 21, 2012

January 20, 2012

Kelly's Supervalu - Boyle

Kelly's Supervalu Supermarket, Boyle L1020106

I came back to the car after getting some bits and pieces at the supermarket and was taken by the scene during this, 'the blue hour'. The light was poor and there was a constant buzz about the place with distracting head-lights blazing and the foot-traffic going too-and-fro. I propped the digital compact on the wing-mirror of my car and using manual mode, tapped in a 2-second exposure at ISO 100. I used the self-timer to take the shot.

Photo: Exif DataShot in JPEG with a Leica V-LUX 20. Processed in ACR with additional contrast and saturation adjusted in PS5. The result is noisy but from a 6mm x 4.5mm sensor, in these lighting conditions and using a compressed JPEG file, I was content with the result. The Lomo Effect was applied for visual appeal, not to disguise the poor quality of the shot.

January 19, 2012

Leica V-Lux 20 Test-Drive

Water Tower 96 L1020055

I've had a Leica V-LUX 20 compact point-and-shoot for a few days now and am bringing it through it's paces. It might seem that I've forsaken my DSLR, and to tell the truth - for the short term at least - I've done just that. For the last three month's or so, most of my photography has been realised using a variety of 35mm film cameras, mobile phone, a 3Q HD and a Lumix LX5. I'm now adding the Leica to that list. I guess the main reason for abandoning the DSLR is lifestyle, I simply don't have the time to indulge in personal and deliberate photo shoots ... but I think about them quite a lot. In any case, the subject matter of my recent images is appropriate to the digital compact - photos taken on-the-fly of what ever catches my eye at any given time. I must say, I enjoy the freedom of it all and would go so far as to say it's changing the way I think about taking pictures. As all of these images may never reach a print stage, I don't need the resolution or quality of a DSLR sensor. If anything, I'm developing a greater appreciation and respect regarding the restrictions (and advantages) posed by the digital compact camera which most of my students must come to terms with in their work.

The Leica V-LUX 20 is a clone of the Panasonic Lumix TZ 10. In fact I believe both cameras are made in the same factory. There is however a price difference of about €300 between them. On the surface, the only difference between the cameras is the red dot sported by the Leica, it also has GPS tagging which I think is absent from the Lumix version. Apart from that, the cameras are identical. So how much did it cost me then? Lets just say I got an offer I couldn't refuse.

I'll be disclosing my opinions about the Leica in the weeks ahead but for the moment I'll let the images do the talking. On that note, keep in mind that the V-LUX 20 does not have RAW capability, images are in JPEG and I'll be running them through ACR to tweak white balance and contrast.

Photo: Water Tower, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. Shot in hard light to test dynamic range capability. Result ... look in the shadows ... pass!
Leica V-LUX 20 Exif Data

Costello Memorial Chapel - Carrick-on-Shannon L1020060
Bridge Street - Carrick-on-Shannon L1020057

Costello Memorial Chapel in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, second smallest chapel in the world!!

Photo: Leica V-LUX 20 Exif Data 1. Exif Data 2.

January 18, 2012

Preparations for First Communion

Little Folk - Meath Street Dublin P1030449

Photo: Meath Street, Dublin 8.
Lumix LX5 Exif Data

January 16, 2012

Franciscan Friary - Claregalway

A Poor Soul in Purgatory - Claregalway P1030413

I passed through Claregalway over the weekend where I visited the ruins of the local Franciscan Friary. This curious stone, set in one of the walls, caught my attention.

Franciscan Friary Claregalway 96 P1030411
Franciscan Friary Claregalway 2 96 P1030412

January 14, 2012

The Road

The Road P1030402

Photo: Lumix LX5. Low-light performance test .... pass?  Exif Data

January 12, 2012

Sunset - Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath

Sunset Kinnegad 96 P1030390

Anyone on the road this evening will have witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets in many weeks. It  retained it's vibrancy for almost an hour, testament to the stretch (however small) in the evenings. I struggled to find a decent subject or place to pull-in along the N4. However, I didn't allow it to take from my enjoyment of the event.

Sunset Kinnegad 96 P1030393

Photos: Lumix LX5 Exif Data 1. Exif Data 2.

January 7, 2012

Doon Shore on Lough Key - Boyle

The Island P1030551

Should be viewed up-side-down ... :-) 
Photo: Lumix LX5 Exif Data

January 6, 2012

OCCUPY Dame Street - Dublin

Occupy Dame Street P1040149
With protesters planning to stay “as long as it takes” and no official complaints to the relevant authorities lodged against them, “Occupy Dame Street” looks set to remain outside the Central Bank in Dublin for the foreseeable future.
The protesters set up their camp on the plaza outside the Central Bank before Christmas.

According to Dublin City Council, the area “occupied” is outside its jurisdiction as it is clear of the public footpath. While the council confirmed it had received one complaint from a business located behind the bank, it maintained it was not in a position to act.
“As it is private property, Dublin City Council has no authority to move these people,” a spokeswoman said.
The camp is located on property belonging to the bank and as such it is a matter between the bank and the Garda, she added.
On average during the week, between 20 and 30 people are on site outside the bank but protesters said that number could swell to up to 150 during the weekend, when people had more free time.
“We will be here as long as it takes,” one protester said.

GardaĆ­ said that no complaints have been lodged and added that, while they were monitoring the situation, there were no incidents of unlawful behaviour to report.

Text Source: The Irish Times

Occupy Dame Street P1040136

Photos: Lumix LX5

January 5, 2012

Self Portrait - Driving

Self Portrait P1040113

Photo: Lumix LX5 Exif Data
Processed in ACR and Silver Efex Pro. Finished with Motion Blur and Lomo Action in PS5.

Lough Owel - Co. Westmeath

Lough Owel - Mullingar, Co. Westmeath P1040094

Photo: Lumix LX5. Exif Data

January 3, 2012

The Caves of Keash - Co. Sligo

Caves of Keash 96 P1040050
Keshcorran hill is the location of 13 small caves at the foot of a steep limestone cliff, access via the R295 between Boyle and Ballymote. As with the Bricklieve mountains, this hill is of pre-glacial origin. The caves are small, but the portals are high enough to stand under. There is a large hilltop cairn situated on the summit at a height of 362m above sea level, making it the highest cairn in County Sligo - around 30m higher than Maeve's Grave on Knocknarea.
Some of the caves were explored in 1901 and again in 1929. Bones of reindeer, boar, wolf and arctic lemming were found, along with a large variety of birds, including rare or extinct species. Brown bear also occupied the caves for long periods.
Prehistoric man was not a frequent visitor, but from the 8th to the 11th centuries there were more signs of human presence in the caves, such as remains of fires, animal bones, shellfish debris, various implements and articles of personal adornment. The ridge top was the site of ritual gatherings at seasonal festivals such as Lughnasa, until the last century.

Photo: Lumix LX5

January 1, 2012

Lough Key Forest Park - Boyle

Lough Key Forest Park 96 P1040045
A New View of a familiar local landmark. The new jetty adjacent to the Lough Key Forest Park amenity. Capable of accommodating a multitude of boats as they navigate the waterways about Boyle, it reflects an optimistic attitude to the development of water tourism in this area. It's a pity that the beautiful view from the shoreline had to be compromised though.

Photo: LX5

The Windy Gap - Co. Mayo

The Windy Gap Mayo 96 P1030971

The Windy Gap is a narrow stretch of twisting and uneven road that cuts through the Ox Mountains between Lough Talt in Co. Sligo and Bonniconlon in Co. Mayo. It's a lonely and desolate landscape, populated by flocks of mountainy sheep that sleep by the roadside (and often on it) during the night. It's also a very beautiful place, in any weather.

Photo: Lumix LX5