The last week in July is the ‘Red Sails Festival’ – the annual Community Festival at Portstewart, Co.Londonderry. Every year the organising committee bring a wealth of talent to the town, – so much so that people travel from all over Northern Ireland to attend. Wednesday evening, 27th July 2022 was the return of Willie Drennan and his Ulster Scots Folk Orchestra, along with guest artistes. Willie and his friends have been a regular visitor to the festival for many years, and always draws a massive crowd.Continue reading Ulster Scots at Portstewart
Nestling in the countryside between Bushmills and Coleraine is this lovely church building. I photographed it on 31st December 2021 with the Fujifilm X-T4.Continue reading Ballywatt Presbyterian Church
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.Continue reading New Year’s Eve at the North Coast
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.
Where have all the tourists gone?
I sat for an hour or so in Derry’s Guildhall Square, watching the people coming and going, drunks, locals, buskers, children, parents, tour guides and even the odd tourist… All manner of life passes through it.
Portstewart Red Skies are FAMOUS!
It was a sky just like this that inspired the songwriter Jimmie Kennedy to write his famous lyric, “Red Sails in the Sunset.” This image was captured using the Fujifilm X-T2.
Red sails in the sunset
Way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one
Home safely to me
One of my favourite photo-techniques is the silhouette. This involves exposing for a bright background and leaving the subject in deep shadow.
In Londonderry I made this silhouette of a girl, sitting looking out the window of a cafe. Silhouettes are good for this kind of candid shot, for the identity of the ‘Derry Girl’ remains shrouded in mystery.
Fujifilm X-T30 fitted with a Nikon 35-70mm manual focus lens.
The Coleraine to Londonderry Line.
If you are travelling on the train from Coleraine to Londonderry there are some truly stunning views, and on approach to the city this otherwise inaccessible view of the Peace Bridge and the Guildhall are a worthwhile image to capture.
This mage made while the train was moving using the Fujifilm X-T30. The trains are double glazed so a little bit of dehazing in Lightroom fixed that. Continue reading NIR Railway Journeys – L’Derry
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…
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
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…
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