Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Very Own (Comfort) Zone System

My personality is very different from many I meet on the net.
I never fight for my rights.
I simply do not go anywhere that seems to offer discomfort
and a need for long-winded explanations.

That is why a nice long break from chat-rooms is
now in order. One of my favourite photographers has
just joined Flick so there's no need to follow his
activities in every sphere.

The invitation to stop photographing in our local mall
has had a saluatary effect. In search of safe havens in
cities I plan to visit in the future, a quick search has
revealed which are the ones to avoid.

There are so many misunderstandings now possible if one
produces a camera in a public space that I think I will be very
careful from now on to choose my sphere of activity wisely.

Bill Doyle once gave me plenty of tips on how to take photos
that are true winners. If he were taking his award-winning
shots today he would probably be arrested, not praised as one
of the most innovative and observant photographers of his age.

I never wrote up the interview he was so generous to give me years ago.

Perhaps in time it will be worth rembering on this blog.

"Photography is light", he said.

That seemed to be enough to be getting on with...

Canon Makes Photographic History

My Digital Rebel is a lively little camera for portrait work.
While I'm snap-happy when it comes to photographing people,
the ability to capture a passing mood or a clear trait of character
is a quality a good camera must have.

I have nice photos of family members taken with the cameras
I owned in the 'seventies. They are quaint in the extreme
and capture little of the detail that is now possible with
new technologies. While I like them as a record of events
long past, they are simply not particularly good.

And just in case anybody wants to offer the reassurance
that you can take just as good photos with a point and shoot
as with a digital slr and that everything is in the soul
of the photographer, I'm afraid that this has not been
my experience.

The camera maketh the woman.

And coming back to why I started this post in the first place,
digital has seemingly come of age.

History has just been made as the Canon EOS 5D MkII
has been used by Pete Souza to photograph President Obama.

It is the first time a digital camera has been used
for such important work.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Garrya elliptica

Garrya elliptica
Originally uploaded by rosewoodoil

Brighten My Day!

The long greyness of Winter is beginning to recede.
Today the sun is sparkling, rather than shining,
through a slate-grey sky, sending me back to
photos taken on more colourful days.

Taking a Malling

I am one of the few people I know who unreservedly praises our
local shopping mall. If the recession ever lifts, it is set to
become the largest in Europe, but at the moment it remains in
that strange hybrid state of old and new. The main Dundrum Centre
is a thriving and sparkly clean hub of pleasant activity.
Down the road, the gaping emptyness of the 1980s shopping centre
still stands.

I'm interested in all of this because, thanks to joining the
Photography group at, I had set myself a little project
to document life around these areas, from time to time.

A walk to the shops is one of the most banal of activities,
not one you would normally associate with stress.

However, having been asked to stop photographing the fountains at
the Dundrum Centre has made me stop and think.
It was explained that I can ask for permission to take photos,
which seems reasonable. However, there is an inherent lack of
logic in a society that photographs me daily on short circuit
camera and does not allow me to return the compliment...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gear on the Move

One reason, I now fully realise, that I took to writing years ago,
and did not consider photography at all, was the weight of the gear.

Two weeks have been spent beating a path to Snow and Rock,
a doughty nearby shop that sells everything from water purifying tablets to

I'm only taking a few 'plane journeys, but I've decided to treat my travels
with all the seriousness of a major expedition.

How to ensure the safety of cameras, lenses and fragile equipment
while travelling is now a problem on a par with carbon emissions
and the imminent obliteration of the species.

Polynylon is the way forward... and, as ever,
hang the expense.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Trees, Bark and the Joys of Winter Photography

Now is the time to photograph trees.

Lichens and mosses are painting patterns on the
bark in our street and the furtive blossoms
of the Winter Cherry are in full bloom.

View On Black or White, Either Large or Small

View On Black

Thanks to stick-dan on I tried a photo of a pink
coneflower out on the "View on Black" system.

It really works well, so thanks for the idea.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blade Runner?

I've managed to buy several cameras and lenses during my lifetime
without having the foggiest ideas what I was gettting.

This has changed recently, as anybody who follows my uphill struggle
towards comperhension and extended photographic vocabulary.

Apparently the number of blades is way down the
list of prioritised questions one should ask when choosing a lens,
but when it comes to making "good" rather than "bad" Bokeh,
it can become a consideration.


I'm Not a Live-Linker

Last year we sponsored the Best Designed Blog category
at the Irish Blog Awards.

The event co-incided with one of the steepest learning curves
I have ever been on... and that includes months of Fartlek
training for the Inter-Varsity cross-country and track and field
in my wild and very speedy youth.

In fact, the live-linking I managed with a href coding
took weeks, so I hope I will be forgiven if I congratulate
the Photo-Bloggers nominated for the
Irish Blog Awards 2009
in a flat, two-dimensional way.

Their blogs are a credit to an exceptional
year's work and this year's Photo Blog
sponsor is

Annie Rhiannon:
My Left Ventricle:
Casa Casey Courtney:
Paudie’s Photoblog:

Rockin Socks:
Donncha O’Caoimh:
This Irish Photograph:
North Atlantic Skyline:
Darren Greene:

Kyle Tunney:
Lili Forberg:
Iced Coffee Photoblog:
Photographe à Dublin:
Barry Delaney Blog:
Kevoto - I Only Come Here Cos It’s Free: : A Photoblog:
Photos And Ponderings:
Mcawilliams Photoblog:
Despod’s Photo And Comment Blog.:
Imprints Of Light:

Off Her Rocker:
Colette Mcnamara Photography:
Lickable Wallpaper:
Irish Street Art:
Keeper Of The Keys:
Red Mum: - Ross Costigan Photography: - Rain Only Makes It Nicer:
Daisy The Curly Cat:
My Own Little Empire:
Gingerpixel Photography:

Newborn: :
Dee Organ:

And for anybody who truly insists on knowing what
Fartlek is, just hit the Title Bar here...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations to

A Reflective Moment

BBGardens run by Bobby Buckley

has been nominated in the

The category is

Best Blog of a Business -

Sponsored by RED CARDINAL

A Basic Primer

It seems that the slight sense of Spring in the air,
with returning light levels,
has encouraged many people to start travelling far and wide.

If you are planning a trip, one of the quickest ways to find
photos of your destination is to do a quick search in
the system.

Hive Mind somehow sucks up every image that has ever
graced the infinite pages of Flikr,
mostly thanks to tagging.

By combining several tag names in one search,
you can refine what you find in


At last my photo-blogging has become more efficient.

Thanks to Kyle, I participated in the Photography Forum on for the past six months or so. I have emerged with a much clearer perspective on how to take photos that "work".

Today I discovered One.Tumbapi.

Key in a blog name and you will find all the other blogs that are
listed in its "Favourites" as they are listed on the right hand side
of the page, in most cases.

Sometimes all the glitz and colour of links to be scrolled can
blind us to the simple, direct information that is listed there...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Faux Macro

Remembering, a year on, how I managed
to make magnified photos without a
true macro lens.

Diopter 4+ is a little gem.

Stamens in a Blue Light

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Irish Blog Awards, 2009

Time to get cracking.

We have until 14th January, 2009
to nominate our favourite
Irish Blogs.


Memories of Award Ceremonies of Yore @

Slideshow, Irish Blog Awards