Category Archives: Beautiful Ulster

New Year’s Eve at the North Coast

New Year’s Eve

31st December 2021 was the warmest New Year’s Even since records began, with some parts of Northern Ireland reaching 14 degrees Celsius. That’s warm for this part of the world! People were getting out and about, and no more so that at Portstewart, on the North Coast.

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Ballymartin Road, Templepatrick.

This is Ballymartin Road, Templepatrick,Co.Antrim, around 6pm this evening. I was travelling along the road, on my way to speak at Templepatrick Reformed Church, and as I turned right, I habitually, looked in my mirror (remember, – Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre). It was then I noticed that the deep red sunset was reflecting on the rain soaked road. I can’t resist a shot like this, and I had the Fujifilm X-T3 in the boot.

I pulled over to the side and got out of the car to frame the shot, when suddenly a kind gentleman from the house at the side of the road appeared in the vewfinder, – out to find out if I was in some trouble! After all, it’s not often a car suddenly stops and a man stands out in the pouring rain!

Fujifilm X-T3, F=22mm, f/4 @ 1/250th sec on ISO800

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.

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