Category Archives: Beautiful Ulster

The Templepatrick Mausoleum

A visit to the Mausoleum at Templepatrick (Co.Antrim) requires some diligence and persistence – just to find it!  It is signposted from the road opposite the Templeton Hotel, and the passage to the site lies within the historic Castle Upton Estate.  Nowadays the monument is owned by the National Trust.  A visit is rewarding though, for the site is historic, including not only the Templetown Family mausoleum, but also the grave of the first Presbyterian Minister of Templepatrick, Rev John Welsh, the grandson of John Knox.

The approach to the graveyard is by way of a tree lined pathway, which lends itself to the ‘spooky fog’ treatment in photoshop!  (Don’t worry, you can see the ‘untreated’ image in the next montage.  Images were made with the Fujifilm X-T30 and a standard zoom, 18-55mm lens.

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The Gate to the Mausoleum – Spooky! F=39mm, f/4 @ 1/60th sec on ISO800

 

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Pathway and gates F=39mm, f/4 @ 1/60th sec on ISO800
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First view of the mausoleum from the gate.F=28mm, f/11 @ 1/60th sec on ISO400

The Mausoleum was built by the Scottish architect Robert Adam for the Upton family in 1789.  It contains memorials to some of the family members.  On the day I visited the monument was open and access to the inside was certainly interesting.

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The Mausoleum Interior. F=18mm, f/2.8 @ 1/60th sec on ISo3200

The best shot of the Mausoleum is from the far side of the graveyard.  Although the ground is uneven and the graves squashed close together, the graveyard can be crossed with care for a rewarding photograph.

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The Templeton Mausoleum at Castle Upon Estate F=18mm, f/13 @ 1/60th sec on ISO400

Fujifilm X-T30, 18th August 2019, 6pm, overcast/patchy clouds – daylight.  Average reading was f/5.6 @ 1/250th sec on ISO200, 

 

Red Sails Festival 2019

Portstewart’s annual ‘Red Sails Festival’ is held each year during the last week of July each year.  With entertainers, singers, children’s competitions and amusements, exhibitions and a fireworks display – the festival attracts great crowds into the seaside town each year, filling the cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, and giving plenty of opportunities to meet friends and enjoy the company.  this year it was a week of high temperatures, pleasant breezes, and beautiful sunsets, and great opportunities for photography.  Here’s a snapshot of the week…

MONDAY.

 

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Sunset over Portstewart Bay

 

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How to Make Silhouettes

How to Make Silhouettes.

There’s something really intriguing about human silhouettes, – they excite the mind.  Perhaps it’s the sense of mystery they evoke.  Who are these people?  What are they doing,  and why are they here?  In a moment of time, they have been captured forever against a background of light.  It’s evocative, – silhouettes make the brain work, trying to piece together the missing information, stimulating those little grey cells and producing the chemicals that trigger our emotions.   Continue reading How to Make Silhouettes

Eleventh July at Ballybeen.

Eleventh July at Ballybeen!

Ballybeen is a large housing development close to our studio location in Dundonald.  The majority of people who live there are the decent Protestant working class people of Ulster – my own background.  For centuries July has been a special month for them – the annual celebration of victory of William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne, which ushered in the Glorious Revolution, enshrined the Constitutional Monarchy in the British Isles, dethroned the despotic Stuart kings, and guaranteed civil and religious liberty for all.

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William of Orange on a Banner

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Saintfield Mini-Twelfth 2019

On Friday evening 5th July, we went over to Saintfield for the local ‘Mini-Twelfth’ parade through the town.  This annual event is like a festival – with marching bands, happy crowds of adults and children, street traders, local shops open and doing great business.  It’s an opportunity too to meet up with old friends and chat, and better still, this year the weather was kind.

Pipes

Camera-wise, I took along my Nikon D750, fitted with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens, and worked at ISO1600 to combat the fading light. (Event ended after 9pm).  Here’s a few of the images:-

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Donaghcloney

DONAGHCLONEY

Donaghcloney, or Donacloney is a village in Co.Down, – or Co. Armagh (depending on who you ask!). I should know, for I used to live there – back in 1986, for around six months.  Situated between Banbridge and Lurgan, and along the bank of the Lagan River, the village was built around the Irish Linen industry.  The old linen mill was still working when I lived there, but it’s closed now, and its site is being redeveloped for housing.

In Donacloney to visit a home there, I took a few minutes to make some photographs.

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Slemish Mountain

Slemish Mountain is in Co.Antrim, to the east of the town of Ballymena.  Traditionally, it is said to be the first Irish home of St Patrick, who tended sheep as a slave boy on its slopes.Slemish (Slieve Mish)  is around 1500 feet above the surrounding plain, and is visible for many miles around.

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Fuji X-T2 f=25mm, f/16 @ 1/60th sec on ISO400

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Lough Neagh

I lead a VERY exciting life.  After a wet morning in the open air, doing some commercial photography, I got to stop for packed lunch at a favourite car-park!  Oxford Island, just outside Lurgan, Co.Armagh is a nature reserve, perched on the southern shores of Lough Neagh, the largest fresh-water lake in the British Isles.  My plan was to have lunch, then go for a stroll with a camera, but that came to nothing, for as soon as I’d finished eating the heavens opened and the rain poured down.  Again. Continue reading Lough Neagh

Portbradden and Dunseverick

Harbours!

The north coast of Ireland has a winding coastline with lots of quaint little harbours, many of which are picturesque and great for photography.  On a recent visit to Portballentrae, I travelled along the coast to visit two of those harbours.

DUNSEVERICK.

Dunseverick is a Hamlet, just along the coast from the world famous tourist attraction that is the Giant’s Causeway.  It’s little harbour lies down a long, narrow winding lane. Be careful – its just about wide enough for two vehicles to pass!

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