Category Archives: Black & White

Belfast Christmas Market 2019

Time for my annual visit to the Belfast Christmas Market, clustered around the veritable ‘Dome of Delight’ itself, Belfast’s historic City Hall.  This year again, it was the evening when I visited.  I took the Fujifilm X-T30, small enough to be unobtrusive and powerful enough to make eye-watering images. I had the ISO at 3200 throughout the evening. Despite the fantastic X-T30, the market was so busy it was difficult to make any decent images, but here’s a few…

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Continue reading Belfast Christmas Market 2019

St George’s Market, Belfast.

Rainy Day Photography

Saturday 9th September 2019 – the morning was wet, for heavy rain has been lashing the British Isles, causing flooding.  Thankfully Northern Ireland has been spared the worst effects, unlike parts of England, where flooding has ruined homes and even led to loss of life.  It’s too wet to go out on the streets, but I had a sort of a back-up plan.  In Belfast is an old Victorian Covered Market, ‘St George’s Market’ (built in the 1890s)  – and I thought a visit might bring one or two photo opportunities.

StGeorge 150
I liked this image.  It was captured in RAW and converted to monochrome, then combined with the original colour image. The metal girders are converging on the sign, while the two people in monochrome are like bookends, giving the photograph a sense of completeness.  It’s interesting that the woman on the left is pointing at the sign.

Continue reading St George’s Market, Belfast.

Wee Dark Alleys…

I’m back at it again. Skulking round the wee dark alleys and passages of Belfast, waiting for an unsuspecting suspect to make a silhouette.

This was November 1st, a cold wet day in the city, and this passageway leads up to a carefully tended and maintained courtyard at the front of a restaurant and bar.

Silhouette- Church Lane, Belfast.

Fujifilm X-T30 F=18mm, f/2.8 @ 1/125th sec on ISO800. Shot using Acros Film Simulation

Harsh Life

This is part of life in any city.

I captured this scene in a reasonably affluent part of Belfast, an area full of life and vibrancy where students from across the world mix with young professionals in coffee shops and bars. Where the streets are teeming with people enjoying friendship and a casual happy lifestyle. Where the side streets are student flats, posh detached homes and family terraces. And where a man lives on a pavement in a grubby sleeping bag.

If any picture can speak a thousand words, surely this one does. What does it tell you about the man on the ground? Why has he positioned himself there? What conversation is taking place between the man and the woman at the bank machine? She doesn’t look threatened – in fact they seem to be having a pleasant enough conversation. He’s sitting beside a ‘meal deal’ sign – would anyone go into the shop and spend some money on a ‘meal deal’ for him? Is that why he’s there?

I love photographs like this, not only documenting real life on the streets as it happens, but exciting the mind – raising questions; seemingly incongruous juxtapositions of objects and subjects, apparent conflicts of themes and interpretations.

Fujifilm X-T30, F=55mm, f/5 @ 1/125th sec on ISO400, shot in ACROS film simulation mode.

World Politics – In Belfast

Political graffiti in the university quarter of Belfast – and why you don’t always need humans to document human interest.

An interesting aspect of documentary photography is that human influence and interaction can be implied, rather than overt.

Even if people are not actually in the photo, the human element is still present and the human story is still told.

This gable wall in Belfast points us to events on the other side of the world, and indicates the desire of locals here to show solidarity with their fellow students there.  There is a significant Chinese community in South Belfast, many of whom are students at the university, and many of them would have Hong Kong origins.

Fujifilm X-T30 shot in Acros film simulation.

F=22mm, f/11 at 1/60th sec on ISO400.