Photography should never just be a profession or occupation. It should be a passion – for when the photographer loses the passion for image-making, just for the sheer joy of making an image, it is time to put the camera on eBay.
There is great satisfaction in going to a town or village or landmark or area, and just making images for no other reason than to make images! When I indulge my passion for photography, I like to use film, to shoot with my Nikon F100, and to shoot in Black and White. I like to develop those images in chemicals myself, at home, at the kitchen sink, using methods I learned many years ago.
Driving in the lovely Autumn sunshine today, near Purdysburn, outside Belfast, I came across this old, isolated gatepost, just begging to be photographed! Observe the texture in the old post, and the background and foreground interest in the image, giving it a sense of depth and distance.
On Friday 12th September 2015, between appointments, I took a stroll through Alexandra Park, in north Belfast. It was a poignant, nostalgic break in an otherwise mundane day, for I hadn’t gone to this park to exercise my legs, but to exercise my memory. My grandparents, Bob and Jeannie Kirk had lived in this park, in the gardener’s house, in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. Bob Kirk had been the foreman gardener at Glenbank Park in Ligoneil (where I was born) and his move to Alexandra Park as forman gardener would have been seen as a promotion. He took up residence in the Park Lodge, and remained there until retirement in 1965. While they lived there, I spent many happy days and evenings with them, travelling over by bus, down the Falls Road, and catching the No.77 Belfast Corporation Bus, (That famous bus route that wound through the streets of Belfast from the Gasworks to the Waterworks) alighting at the Waterworks.
This shot is not a lake or a pond … It’s a field opposite Ballyvester Primary School during the rainy season. (The rainy season usually lasts from early January to late December). This image must have been in winter, judging by the bareness of the trees. It was captured on Ilford ISO400 film.
On Saturday I went to Newcastle for the afternoon to deliver greeting cards to a retail customer, and discovered once again the importance of always carrying a camera! Apart from the stunning beauty of the Mountains of Mourne, which ‘sweep down to the sea’ at Newcastle – there was a special, and very noisy even taking place as hundred of trucks, lorries and juggernauts roared through the streets as part of the Mourne Truck Run. I captured images of some of the trucks in Monochrome, on the Nikon F100, and some in colour on the Leica Digital Compact. The street scenes and landscapes were all on Black and White Film. The image of the day was this one:-
Captured at 4pm Saturday 1 Aug. Nikon F100 film camera using Ilford HP5 ISO400. ‘Sunny 16 rule’ applies! So camera shutter on 1/400th sec and lens aperture f/16. Developed in Fotospeed for 8mins, 10 mins in fixer 10 mins in wash. Scanned on Epson V500 Photoscanner. In Photoshop, contrast balanced in Levels and slight vignette applied. Continue reading Newcastle, Co.Down, Saturday 1st August 2015→
Photo-journalism may be nothing more than capturing an instant in time, and preserving it, and in these days of instant digital communications, that may simply involve lifting an iPhone or similar device. As I passed the end of the Carrickmannon Cross-Roads on Friday morning, I noticed that one of our church members had been out with a sledge hammer – doing a bit of impromptu advertising (probably illegal too! – but then the government here in NI can’t even afford to cut the grass at the roadsides, so its unlikely anyone will care about an extra sign for a week or so)
An image was called for – so out came the iPhone, and I have an instant record, to be used later in a presentation on church work in the area.
And, don’t you think our beautiful, undulating Co. Down countryside is totally beautiful?
Scrabo Tower is one of the most photographed landmarks in Northern Ireland – pictured here from the Holywood Hills, Scrabo towers over the town of Newtownards, Co. Down.
Available in a limited edition Giclee Print ready for framing (only 15 copies, numbered and signed by Bob) approx 18 inches by 10, for just £125 GBP for YOU to frame, or £175 framed by us. Prices includes shipping, but framed print only available in UK & Ireland- .
Browlow House in Lurgan, CoArmagh is the headquarters of the Royal Black Institution. Also known as Lurgan Castle, it was built as the home of the Brownlow family – once owners of the celebrated greyhound Master McGrath.
Today it is a popular venue for weddings and it was in that context I visited it today. Rain prevented a photograph of the building itself, but here’s a few other images from the visit.