March 27, 2013

Pine Marten

Cornameeltha TMP_4772

We were first visited by this pine marten about a month ago. Cheeky as you like, he scampered about on the front lawn for 10-minutes or so, then disappeared. Only that some friends were visiting at the time, no one would have believed me. That was the first time I ever saw a pine marten although I've been aware of the havoc they caused with my neighbours fowl! My neighbour Brendan visited today and as we sat catching up on the Cornameeltha news, it was he that first noticed the now familiar creature in the trees. This time the pine marten stayed among the branches but was not deterred by the sound of the tractor ticking-over outside the house. Conditions did not favour my taking this shot through the window with the sun shining directly into the camera lens. The captured image was bleached and colourless, contrast and saturation were boosed in this post-production edit. Although I feel privileged to have access to such an abundance of native wildlife, I'm a bit nervous about the fact that the new hens will be arriving at the weekend!!

March 18, 2013

Caves of Keash in Green

Caves of Keash in Green TMP_4638

The Caves of Keash are lit-up in green as part of this year's St. Patrick's Weekend celebrations. Fair play to the Patrick Ward and The Foxes Den Bar and David Connolly, great idea. The last night tonight by-the-way (Monday 18th March).

March 11, 2013

Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo

Mullaghmore TMP_4339 

I spent a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon with some friends from Boyle Camera Club taking long-exposure images along the Sligo coast. We were accompanied by long-exposure virtuoso, Rohan Reilly, who shared his expertise with us during a long, cold, exhausting but very enjoyable day. Fair play to the lads who were on the coast since 6.30am!

Photo: ISO 800. 254 seconds @ f/5.6. Last shot of the day for me. The light was fading fast so rather than lose it I pushed the ISO to 800 to facilitate a 4-minute exposure (any longer and I figured noise would kill the image). Also I opened the aperture to f/5.6, usually I'd be shooting at f/16 for this kind of shot but there is no obvious impact on the depth of field. As ever, a combination of very low light and long exposure time will certainly result in some noise. In this case, I had to do some minor spot-healing in PS but the result came out better than I'd expected.
A single exposure using a Lee filter system and combining a 3-stop Hard Gran ND and 10-stop ND filters.

March 2, 2013

Make Yourself at Home!

Cornameeltha TMP_4091

A week ago tonight (February 23rd), this little man came out of the woods to our door. We have no idea how he came to be wandering about Cornameeltha but he seems to be used to people and well looked after. Of course he was made feel welcome and his cheeky, playful, curious and mischievous nature has been a great source of entertainment for the children. He's a 6-month old mackerel tabby-kitten and if any of my neighbours recognise him, be assured that he is safe and well. We've decided to call him Max and if unclaimed, we are happy for him to adopt us.