Friday, June 26, 2009

Church Island in Lough Currane, Waterville

One of the early ecclesiastical sites in South Kerry is located on an island in Lough Currane or Waterville Lake. To visit these extensive remains; a small Romanesque church, cross inscribed slabs, St. Finan´s Cell, a burial ground and leachts; you need to hire a boat. Whether it would be better to exploit the place in touristic terms, I am not sure, but it is definitely worth seeing it and you can join Paddy Bushe, Poet and local Historian, and myself for a workshop organised by Tech Amergin on the 4th and 5th July.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Photo Workshops and Courses in South Kerry

An overview of the photography workshops and courses in Caherciveen, Waterville, Derrynane and on Skellig Michael this July and August Bank Holiday Weekend.
Don´t miss the chance of some insight into the rich heritage of this area and tips and help how to capture lasting images with your camera.
Some courses and workshops include digital editing and enhancing
with computer software.
More details are here on my website.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dolphins in St. Finian´s Bay

Every year in May and June dolphins come near the shores in South Kerry.
Sometimes they seek company with boats or even people bathing. I only had my 70-200 telelens with me so I couldn´t get any nearer- I still like the pictures, they show a beautifully calm and warm summer´s evening on a usually more turbulent water.
Last year I was lucky to capture a basket shark breaching the surface of the water in almost the same spot, and on a whale watching boat tour we had lots of dolphins shooting and playing around our boat after the skipper decided to speed it up a bit. They seemed to like the competition and of course they won.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Successful Students in Digital Photography Course

To all my students in the Digital Studio Photography Course, Fetac Level 5, at Tech Amergin in Waterville, Co. Kerry, thank you for an interesting and informative time during the last eight month.
When we started in October, most of you already had some basic skills but also a great interest about photography and how the camera works. I remember our first nights when you discovered that there is a lot more then just putting the camera on automatic settings. Step by step we went through the basics and with the help of the camera manual, we´ve made our way trough things like aperture, shutterspeed, depth of field and iso settings.
I had to remind myself that you do all those changes on your camera
for the first time more or less and not to push it to hard. At the same time the hours were flying and most of the nights we would do a couple of minutes more.
I was really impressed by the quality and choice of your final projects and I would really like to publish more of your work here. Here is a list of the finished photography projects:

  • Trish O`Sullivan: Daly`s Farm,Milk and Icecream on Valentia Island
  • Tom Horgan: The townland of Cill Rialaig
  • Eileen O´Shea: Reflections
  • Bridget O `Shea: A Farming Family on Valentia Island
  • Richard Foran: The Sea
  • Joe Hardy: Bridges

Another challenge was the work in the studio. Every Friday night we changed the computer room in to a photo studio, with backdrops, lights, tripods, the whole lot. We had a nice working atmosphere and because you all had to act as photo models, we had some fun as well.
A highlight of the course was our day out at the Cromwell Point Lighthouse, thanks to Richard Foran and the Commissioners of Irish Lights for the permission to take photos.
The assessor from Fetac was very impressed with your work folders and projects and gave you all the best result of "Distinction".

Congratultions and all the best, not only with your camera.
Thank you Susan and Angela, from Tech Amergin, for the great support.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Little Beauties

Yes, I suppose I am a bogman and I like the bog any time of the year- but right now the bogcotton is a piece of art by nature. These very special plants are well adapted to the poor living conditions of the blanket bog, which is very much a feature of this part of Kerry.

To do these delicate fluffs justice, you need to get down with your camera and focus on one flower with a small depth of field or to get the "big picture" get a bigger depth of field.
Depth of field (the amount of sharpness throughout your picture) is a creative tool to put more or less emphasis on parts of the subject.
You can controll it by your aperture settings only;
A small aperture (f-stop=big number) brings more of the subject into sharp focus.

If you only want part of your subject to be in sharp focus, use a bigger aperture (f-stop=smaller number)and focus on the part of the picture you want to see sharp.

Long Days and Lots of Sun

As everyone else I enjoyed last week´s hot summer weather. Not only did I go swimming and fix a few things in the garden, but also took the rare opportunity to take pictures at dusk and dawn with the sun shining through a few summery clouds.
There was virtually no wind so it was safe enough to put my tripod on the cliffs in Paris, Valentia Island.

The next morning dawned beautifully ( and early ) at the old pier in Portmagee Channel and nearby bogs.