Archives for posts with tag: nature

Here are some photos I took this year. 2020 wasn’t a year for travel, so most of these shots were taken in or near the 5km zone around the house. Inevitably, I kept on returning to the same subjects: Ballycotton and Garryvoe in County Cork. This reduced range forced me to consider new ways of looking at the same things. It was also the year I got a 400 mm lens, giving me much more visibility of objects in the far distance.

Garryvoe hotel at sunrise. I took a few photos like this during the year, when the conditions were right. Morning fog has a profound effect on the local landscape.
The short summer hiatus afforded us an opportunity to go slightly further, and this one was taken by the cliff walk.
The ghost ship MV Alta washed up on the Ballycotton coast just a few weeks or so before lockdown. A harbinger of what was to come as we too became trapped by the forces of nature.
Ballycotton moonrise This one was very popular indeed. I love the colours and the shine off the waters. The evening wasn’t very clear, but the clouds added a mysterious quality to the moon.
It seems like ages since Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE lit up our night skies in the summer. The camera required some serious tweaking to get right. Taken in the back field around midnight back in mid-July.
A fortuitous one, this. The island swathed in fog, apart from its topmost parts. Like an otherworldly city in the air.
Birds departing in a line from the local wood. An almost oriental quality to this photo.
A boat in Ballycotton bay, awaiting the setting of the sun. This was taken while out with a few other photographers in Ballycotton.
Stormy waves in Garryvoe, looking east to the signal tower by Knockadoon.
A funny one this: a goose washing itself in The Lough in Cork.
Ok, last one: a tree illuminated by the sunrise, with fog in the near distance.

Wishing you all a better year ahead. Stay safe.

I’m spending a lot of time with Affinity Photo these last few weeks – originally looking at how to improve my portrait photos on the iPhone, but now looking at trees and buildings. I’m experimenting with methods of isolation – removing the subject from the foreground and placing it on a complementary, neutral background. It’s trickier than it seems, particularly when it comes to trees and plants – the complexity is immense. I’ve been working on selection refinement and feathering as ways to reduce complexity and to allow the subject to sit well with it’s background with no jagged edges.

Here’s a selection of photos I’ve been working with. I took all of them over a single hour last week in Castlemartyr Resort in Ireland, and I’ve since been working on extracting them from their backgrounds. Castlemartyr Resort has some stunning trees for me to work on.

Oak Tree, Castlemartyr

Oak tree, Castlemartyr Resort

Pine Trees, Castlemartyr Resort

Pine Trees, Castlemartyr Resort

Image 26-02-2018 at 22.22

Spruce tree, Castlemartyr Resort

Image 03-03-2018 at 17.41

Monkey Puzzle, Castlemartyr Resort

Image 02-03-2018 at 10.55

Irish Yew, Castlemartyr Resort

Image 01-03-2018 at 22.18

Mixed trees, Castlemartyr Resort

Lastly, a photo of the castle on the hotel grounds.

Image 25-02-2018 at 22.23

I hope you like them.

The garden has been abuzz with insects over the past few weeks, going about their chores, unconcerned by the to-ings and fro-ings of us humans. I have been particularly taken by bumblebees. Industrious to a fault, full of variety and character, yet highly unlikely to lose their cool and sting. If you get too close to them, they’ll just fly off, or if they are particularly tired, out will come a leg to ward you off. Getting stung by one of them really is a last resort. Other visitors have included butterflies, moths, hover-flies and dragonflies, with the dreaded wasp conspicuous (so far) by its absence.

Here is a selection of shots, taken on my iPhone, which give a sense of the garden’s busy denizens this year.

20140814 - Bumblebee1

Bumblebee on Ligularia Dentata

20140814 - Bumblebee3

Bumblebees on Echinops

20140814 - Common Blue

Common Blue on Lavender

20140814 - Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly on Buddleia

Magpie Moth

Magpie Moth on Phormium

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