Archives for posts with tag: photos

2016 was a long, withering year. A year that brought the world into new and dangerous directions. I didn’t take as many photos as I had on previous years, perhaps because the year exhausted me. I feel older, and not just in the literal sense. The joy of photography, as with many things, was lessened. I know I left a lot of chances go begging, sometimes because I felt they had nothing new to offer, sometimes because the energy just wasn’t there. But there were a few moments nonetheless. Here are a few photos from this year that gave me some joy. Open them separately for the full effect.

Hammerhead Over Ballycotton

Yes, it’s a panorama shot and yes it’s a landscape shot and yes it features yet more clouds and yes it’s taken from just outside the door, but the whole structure appeals to me. This, almost alien shape rearing over Ballycotton during the month of January. Living where I do, there are endless opportunities to take photos of the sea, the island and the clouds. It can be spectacular at times.

2016-fav-1

Southern Auroras

We caught some very subtle auroras in Cork on March 6 of last year. They were so indistinct the naked eye could hardly pick them up. An SLR could, though. With a long shutter speed setting, the sky came to life. Witness the reds and greens caused by fast moving particles high above the atmosphere. One day we might witness something even more spectacular. Here’s hoping.

2016-fav-2

The Iced Cross of Galteemore

On the 25th of March, we took a walk up to the summit of Galteemore in County Tipperary. It was a cold day, with ice and snow on the approaches to the mountain-top. I found this natural effect stunning, the result of driving wind and snow.

2016-fav-3

Pope’s Quay

One weekend in April, while my younger sons sat entrance exams for secondary school, my daughter and I strolled around Cork, taking photos along the way. I like this shot of Pope’s Quay and the reflections in the River Lee.

2016-fav-4

Connemara vista

In May, we journeyed to Roscommon to take possession of a new cat – a Maine Coon kitten we subsequently named “Gandalf”. We took the long way round, heading first to Galway city and Connemara before collecting the cat. After visiting Leenane, I took this photo of Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only true fjord, as it opened itself to the Atlantic.

2016-fav-5

Approaching Storm

A few days later, while Gandalf was making himself at home, I rushed to the crest of the hill above the house to try film an electrical storm before it came too close. I didn’t get any shots of lightning bolts, but I did snap this great array of summer colours. It captured a mood, I think.

2016-fav-6

Alicante Sunset

In June, we briefly visited Alicante in Spain. It was a work visit for C, with me tagging along as her wheelchair companion (she had broken her leg while running a short time before). I loved it and I was disappointed we could not have stayed a short while longer. This photo was taken as we ate dinner at a restaurant by the marina.

2016-fav-7

Shanghai Surprises

As soon as I arrived back from Alicante, I was travelling to China for a work trip. This was my third visit to Shanghai in the last few years and my first time there alone, giving me some time to explore. The city gets more fascinating each time I am there. It was swelteringly hot there, but thankfully little smog and it was great to catch up with some good friends. Below are a) the interior of the Jin Mao Tower looking down to the piano bar, b) the Pearl Orient tower at sunset and c) the financial district at night.

2016-fav-82016-fav-92016-fav-10

The Singapore Merlion

After Shanghai, I flew to Singapore where I had the Sunday to myself. This give me a chance to walk around the tourist district, visiting Raffles, the Merlion and the Singapore River. The heat, as ever, was astonishing. Without a bottle of water, I wouldn’t have made it very far. 2016-fav-14

The Misty Mournes

My work trip to Asia eventually came to a close, and it was now time to start my proper holidays. I went to Northern Ireland with my kids, taking this photo of the Mourne Mountains from Tyrella Bay. It was Ireland’s hottest day that year.

Version 2

Kinsale Harbour

In October, I brought the boys on a road trip to Kinsale and the Old Head, stopping off for pizzas on the way. It was an attempt to keep everyone happy, not particularly successful.

Version 2

Fota Arboretum in Autumn

In November we visited Fota Arboretum for a short walk. No special reason, just a chance to take advantage of a mild November day.

2016-fav-13

Wishing you and yours a happy 2017. Go m’beirimíd beo ag an am seo arís.

IMG_9534

I had the morning free, so my daughter and I took a walk around the city to see what was going on. The election count was in full flow in the City Hall but we didn’t stay there too long. The city was waking up, getting ready for the day.

IMG_9500

We headed down to the footbridge by the Grand Parade. In the distance were the limestone towers of Finbarr’s Cathedral, looking out over the city.

IMG_9502

And in the other direction, Father Matthew Church, flanked by the river Lee, modern architecture competing with the buildings of earlier years.

IMG_9510

The English Market was already in full swing. It’s one of Cork’s main attractions – the variety of food stalls and coffee houses is wonderful.

IMG_9497

Close by, a small arcade selling coffee and Middle Eastern food. Cork is full of little alleys and side streets.

IMG_9493

Pembroke Street, joining Oliver Plunkett Street to the South Mall, and home to some great bars and restaurants.

IMG_9519

St. Paul’s Avenue, with a view of Shandon in the distance.

IMG_9548

Finally, we made our way back to the City Hall and out of the city. The muddy river Lee continuing its march towards the sea.

Looking back over all my photos this year, I found it hard to pick out the top ten shots that I was most happy with. It was a great year for photography for me. I managed to travel to a number of far flung places, but, in the end, most of my favourite photos were taken locally.  So here they are. Click on any one of them to get a better view.

Electric Sunrise

This photo was taken in mid-January 2015, in the hills near Glanmire, Co. Cork. I don’t usually stop my car when driving to work, but this was an exceptional dawn event. We often forget how beautiful the sunrises can be here in Ireland.

Electric Sunrise, Glanmire, Co. Cork

Pacific Breaker

I took a work visit to California in March. As always, I drive towards the Pacific coast as soon as I get off the plane. The waves are often enormous. This day was no exception. It was taken by Bean Hollow State Beach, about halfway between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

Breakers, Cabrillo Highway, California

 

Rowing Boat, Killarney

Quite a story for this next one. Myself and my friend Ais had elected to do a charity night-time walk up Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, in April. It was a total washout. We just barely managed to reach the top of the Devil’s Ladder before we were forced back by strong winds and lashing rain. We arrived back at Cronin’s Yard soaked to the skin. The original intention was to photograph the sunrise from the top of the mountain, but in the end, we were lucky simply to get back uninjured. The afternoon before the walk, I took this photo of a boat near Ross Castle.

IMG_6263

Double Rainbow

This photo from June was taken just yards from my home. The weather was showery that day, with rainbows guiding me all the way from Cork. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a double rainbow so stark as this one.

Version 2

Beech Trees, Waterford

The following day, Claudia and I went on a drive through County Waterford, taking the northerly route across the county from Portlaw to Clonea. It’s wonderfully picturesque; a maze of tiny roads and high estate walls. I took this photo on the walled road out of Portlaw. In the background is the lone hill of Slievenamon, Co. Tipperary.

IMG_9763

Camphire Horse Trials

I’m not at all into horses, but in July I visited the Camphire International Horse trials, nestled in a beautiful part of Waterford on the banks of the River Blackwater. It was a thoroughly wet day, but this didn’t spoil the enjoyment in the slightest. This photo, taken during the cross-country event, was full of action; the horse has just landed into the water after a challenging jump.

Version 2

Running boys

I just love this. My two youngest boys full of action. Why walk anywhere when you can run? It was taken on Garryvoe Beach in early August.

Version 2

The Big Sur

A few days later I was back on a plane, again in California for a few days. This time I decided to drive as far south from San Francisco as I could, reaching the Big Sur before sunset. It was a 100 mile drive to get there (and another 100 miles back). But my, was it worth it.

Version 2

Jellyfish Clouds

This photo was taken near home in late August. As the sun was setting, the cloud formation took the appearance of a tentacled jellyfish. It’s quite a panorama.

Version 2

Night Trail

A few days later, I took this evening shot by Garryvoe beach – the contrail of a jet casting an upwards shadow on nearby clouds.

Version 2

A few more

These are the photos that didn’t make my top 10. A pity, because I love all of them for different reasons. There are photos here from Shanghai, the Burren, Bantry House, Mount Congreve, the Galtee Mountains, California, Fota Wildlife Park, Penarth and Singapore, among other places.

 

 

 

Lights in the sky shining down on Cork City?

(Click to enlarge)

Lights from the Sky

Yes, but before you contact the UFO hotlines, it was just the sun shining through holes in the clouds. The spotlight / laser effect was quite stunning that evening.

Here’s a photo I just took a few minutes ago. Perfect light.

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Ballycotton Rainbow

Posting a few photos from recent weeks that I’m happy with. I’m learning to use Affinity Photo (a Mac version of Photoshop) so it’s something of a learning curve.

This is a photo of my two boys running on the beach in Garryvoe.

Version 2

Some more photos soon.

I’m not sure if there is a bigger contrast between these photos from East Cork and Shanghai, but both have their charms.

Just click on any of these photos to enlarge.

Here is the scene that met me a few days ago as I was preparing to go to work. I jumped out of bed and ran down the road to take a few snaps before the ever changing weather stole the view from me.

P1060936

Another photo, this time by Garryvoe beach. the island in the distance as a mother coaxed her child to keep pace with the rest of the family.

P1060908

And this one I took yesterday, with my boys.

IMG_9371

Three different days, three completely different weather conditions. That’s Ireland for you.

Shanghai is a city of endless fascinations for me. I was transfixed, even before the plane touched down – staring out at the strange landscape below me.
IMG_8819The only real free time I had was on my first day there. Still exhausted after the long trip, I took a short walk down to the river, taking in the immensely tall skyscrapers, the brown river dividing Pudong from Puxi, the Oriental Pearl Tower and sunset beyond the Bund.IMG_8909 Version 2 IMG_8980

The following picture gives an idea of the immense size of the city. Shanghai is like a forest, except the trees are made of concrete. It’s a city in need of more public parks and open spaces. It seems every spare metre of ground has been developed into a tall building or skyscraper.
IMG_9160On my last day there, as the sun was setting, I took this photo of the Jin Mao Tower.

IMG_9186

STPATS1

Wishing you all a happy St Patrick’s Day, wherever you are.

Every time I come out to California, I feel a need to travel down to the Pacific Coast Highway between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. It’s wonderful. The yellow cliffs, the long beaches, the sea fog close to the shore and the huge breakers. It’s a magical place. Here are some photos I took yesterday.

PCH9 PCH2 PCH3 PCH4 PCH5 PCH6 PCH7 PCH8 PCH1

%d bloggers like this: