On a wet Sunday afternoon, I spent an hour or so wandering about Gracehill. I’d driven through it many times, but never explored it on foot. The village is situated around two and a half miles from Ballymena, and was built in 1765 by Moravian Settlers.
Q. What does a photographer do on his day off? A. Photography.
With no studio appointments on a Friday, and lured by the prospect of a decent spring day, and with another matter to be attended to in the area, I travelled to Ballinderry. It’s a rural area in Co Antrim, between Moira and Crumlin.
To be more precise, my real destination was Upper Ballinderry –
(There was a yarn – about a Ballinderry man who wanted to travel home from Japan, and who went to a travel agent in a small remote Japanese town, and asked for travel to Ballinderry. With oriental inscrutability and precision the clerk replied, Yes sir. Upper or Lower Ballinderry?)
He’d find it hard to travel to Ballinderry by train now as my first stop in the village proved. NIR has mothballed the line between Lisburn and Antrim and Ballinderry Station is now a shadow of its former self. The Antrim bound platform has been dismantled and the station building allowed to decay. The entrance to the station is now blocked. The track is still in place, – it was always a single track line, – but the passing loop has gone and the line seems to be used now as a siding. Today it had goods wagons sitting on the track.
Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church, near Ballymena, Co.Antrim. Built in traditional ‘barn’ shape in 1806. The congregation dates to 1760 making it the first RP Congregation in Ireland, and still singing only the Scottish Metrical Psalms in worship.
Last week we visited Portballintrae, a village right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and close to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway, and the eve more famous Bushmills Distillery.
Portballintrae is very much a ‘dormitory’ village, now built up with modern apartments used a holiday home by people from elsewhere, which gives the visitor the impression that it is a soulless, sad place. There is a small harbour, and a boat-club with a small clubhouse, and a decent beach, topped by an archeological treasure, the Lissnahall Prehistoric Earthworks. A short drive leads to Bushmills, and I was intrigued by the bunting in the town square. Continue reading Portballintrae→
A visit to Dunluce Castle, between Portrush and Portballintrae on a cold, windy day in November, yet still plenty of foreign tourists around the ancient monument. The castle was built in the early 17th Century, by Randall McDonnell, and the now derelict mansion house sits out on a rock, reached only by a wooden bridge.
The approach to the castle is by way of a walled ‘funnel’ – to make it virtually unassailable. Visitors would have to be processed through the funnel, and any attack would be almost impossible.
Driving along the Ballycowan Road at #Ballymena today when I met these friendly ponies in a field beside the road. One of them was obliging enough to allow me to make a photograph.
I decided to go for an exaggerated bokeh effect, so I selected a 80-210 zoom for the Nikon D610 camera, choose 100 ISO and f/2.8, with a shutter speed of 1/1000th sec. (It was a bright day). The vignetting effect was added in Photoshop.
Everything you do is a photo opportunity. That’s how history is recorded, and street photography has never been easier, given the powerful cameras that are now built into our mobile phones and smart devices and the apps available to process them.
So, following my own advice – a shopping trip with Janette becomes a snapshot of life in 2016 in Lisburn.
Excitement! Just in time for the Christmas Gift Season, Bob has introduced a series of Black and White Giclee Prints, high quality, Black and White Images featuring iconic but lesser known Irish Scenes and Landscapes – available as Mounted Prints – ideal for shipping abroad – or as Framed Prints.
Limited Editions – there are only 120 of each of these prints available for sale, each one signed, numbered and dated by the photographer. Check out the order page here: