Category Archives: Beautiful Ulster

Mountains and Sea, Castles and Forests.

South Down – Mountains and Sea, Castles and Forests.

Nestling in the shadow of Slieve Donard, the highest peak in the Mountains of Mourne, is one of the most beautiful areas of Northern Ireland.  Driving towards Newcastle, whether through Ballynahinch or Downpatrick, one will pass through Clough, where on the left hand side of the road is Clough Castle, an ancient Motte, probably dating back to Norman times.

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Dundrum Castle

Continue reading Mountains and Sea, Castles and Forests.

Coleraine Street-Monochrome

Spending a windy afternoon in Coleraine, and trying to find something to occupy the time, I decided to do some simple street shots, around The Diamond – the main shopping area of the town.  Despite the cold weather, the car-parks were full, and I left the car in a side street, returning to find an enthusiastic traffic warden had ticketed my car!  So, I’m posting a photo of him (or one of his mates) below…

 

Processed with Focos

I took the Fujifilm X-T30 and a 100-200mm lens up the street, with the ‘film simulation mode’ on the camera set to ACROS.  Film simulation mode is unique to Fujifilm (I think) – for the Fujifilm people have been renowned for their range of films, each with distinctive characteristics.  Acros film is a black and white film with unique grain and mid-range contrasts. Continue reading Coleraine Street-Monochrome

Comber Cabbage Crop…

Some time ago I made images of a field of barley at Comber, and I uploaded two of them to Pixabay, the photo-sharing website.

They’ve been downloaded 91 times, so far, – which is quite nice.  But just down the road from the now-harvested barley field, there are acres upon acres of cabbages, and since I now consider myself an expert vegetable – (photographer!) – I couldn’t resist stopping to get a few photos.  Of cabbages…  Er, yes.  Cabbages.

 

Continue reading Comber Cabbage Crop…

Gilford, Tullylish and Moyallen.

With a couple of hours to kill in Craigavon, I decided to make a photograph of each of the Craigavon Roundabouts – but then I’d second thoughts.  After all, I’d only a couple of hours, not all day!  So instead, I took a drive out to Gilford and Tullylish, and on the way back to Portadown, went to look at the Moyallen Quaker Meeting House.  Here’s a few images…

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Gilford Mill

Continue reading Gilford, Tullylish and Moyallen.

Londonderry on 28th August 2019

Derry’s Walls

A wee trip by train up to the so-called ‘Maiden City’ and a dander round the famous and historic city walls, with granddaughter Chloe and the Fujifilm X-T30 camera.  Here’s some of the images…

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NIR – Northern Ireland Railways

A train leaves the city en-route to Belfast, a journey that will take it almost 2 hours, travelling along the north coast to Coleraine, and through some of the most beautiful coastal scenery anywhere.  The trains in NI are safe, clean, comfortable and modern, and they run on time, (unlike their English counterparts!) and the fares are reasonable.  I like to think this is because the trains here are still run by the government, – Translink is a government owned company, so profits are used to improve services, instead of to reward shareholders and fat-cat bosses. Continue reading Londonderry on 28th August 2019

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

 

Continue reading Red Sails Festival 2019

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