Category Archives: Beautiful Ulster

Ornate Gate!

The Ornate Gate

This old brick gateway at Ballyhome, Coleraine has attracted me for years – I pass it quite often on the way to our family holiday home at Portrush, and I’ve always wanted to point a lens at it – but up until last week I never had opportunity, for one reason or another…

…Until ask week, when Janette and me were driving back from Bushmills, and I determined to stop and make a few images – in between the passing cars on the road down into Coleraine!

I don’t know who owns it or where the path leads, but it’s a striking entrance for whatever property!

Photographed on the Fujifilm X-T4, F=50mm, f/5.6 @ 1/125th sec on ISO800.

Stormont in Blue

On Tuesday 22nd June, 2021 our local seat of government, the classic Parliament Building of Stormont, Belfast, was illuminated in blue, to mark the centenary of the first sitting of the Northern Ireland Parliament in 1921. I was commissioned to photograph the building, for publicity purposes, by Traditional Unionist Voice, one of the local political parties, whose initiative had led to this special commemoration event.

Stormont in Blue 1 – F=44mm, f/8 @ 5 secs on ISO1600
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Strangford, Co.Down

When it come to scenery, there’s few places better than Strangford and Lecale, – an area of outstanding natural beauty, and of great scientific interest.

On Thursday 7th January I crossed the straits between Portaferry and Strangford on the ferry, with my Fujifilm X-T4. It was a cold, bright winter day, and Strangford village was sparkling in the winter sunlight.

Fujifilm X-T4, F=95mm, f/6.4 @ 1/250th sec on ISO 400

S. D. Bell’s Tea

One of the simple pleasures of life on a dull December afternoon, with the bad news of another impending lockdown, and Christmas restrictions – a nice cup of S.D.Bell’s ‘Natural Leaf Tea,’ freshly brewed; golden brown and full of flavour.

One of my favourite local tastes!

Fujifilm X-T4, F=38mm, f/2.8, @ 1/250th sec on ISO250

S.D Bell’s are Ireland’s oldest independent tea merchant and coffee roaster. Established in Belfast in 1887, the firm continues to supply the finest teas and coffees from around the world. You can order on-line from them. Just click: https://sdbellsteacoffee.com

Shrigley, Van Morrison and that Clock!

The Martin Memorial Clock Tower – beloved monument or ‘a decrepit eyesore?’

Back in September, 2020, Janette and I did a drive around the Lecale District, an area of outstanding natural beauty, not too far from where we live in Co.Down.  I did three blog posts about that area, and in the first of those pieces, https://bobmcevoy.co.uk/2020/09/01/the-lecale-district-1/ I mentioned Van Morrison’s song, “Coney Island.” (Is it really a song?), in which Mr Morrison, one of our native sons, mentions many of the local places of interest in this part of Northen Ireland.  But one of the lines of the song intrigued me.  For Mr Morrison writes of driving through Shrigley to take photographs before he travelled on down to Killyleagh.

Continue reading Shrigley, Van Morrison and that Clock!

Slaght Crossing

Old Trackside Railway Hut

Around 2.30pm this afternoon, I was about to cross the Slaght Level Crossing, outside Ballymema, when this old trackside hut caught my eye, and I thought, “Ah ha! There’s an old trackside hut! Time to get the camera out.” I parked the car, and walked to a gate with a view of the track, and fitted a medium length zoom on the Fujifilm X-T4. (No, I wasn’t trespassing on the tracks.)

Fujifilm X-T4, F=200mm, f/4.8 @ 1/250th sec on ISO 1600.

I needed the faster shutter speed to steady the lens in the wind, – I should really have got the monopod out, lowered the shutter speed to 1/60th and the ISO to 400.

But then hindsight’s a wonderful thing!

Actually, a few days down the track (see what I did there) and I decided to take away that ugly sign in Photoshp. It probably improves the image significantly!

Dark Mournes – Murlough Bay

Shooting into the Sun!

Shooting into the midday sun is never a great idea but the waves and the dark Mournes were irresistible today.

The image was captured today on Murlough Beach, a National Trust property, between Dundrum and Newcastle, Co.Down. The tallest peak is Slieve Donard, part of the Mourne Mountains range.

Shot on the Fujifilm X-T4, F=30mm f/20 @ 1/125th sec on ISO160.

Continue reading Dark Mournes – Murlough Bay