Category Archives: Photo-Essay

Templemore Baths Belfast (Part 2)

In December 2019 I had my attention attracted (or ‘distracted’ since I was driving!) by the old Templemore Avenue Baths, – for there were no cars parked in fort of it – which is unusual, and that fact prompted me to actually get out of the car and make some photographs.

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 So,you can see the original post here:

Templemore Baths (Part 1)

So, when I discovered that one of my ‘Baby’s First Year’ mums worked at the Baths, needless to say I asked for quick look inside, and so with the help of David, Sam and Sharon, I got a great tour of the inside of the building, and just in time too, for the building just about to be stripped inside, and incorporated into a new state of the art leisure complex being built on the adjacent site.  Here’s some (but not all) of the photos…

The Boiler Room was my starting point.  in a lower floor below ground level, the machinery there is still working (for the community group who have been using the building) but no less interesting for that.

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The Baths had two pools, and the small of the two has been disused for quite some time.

The larger pool is still in use at the time of writing.  It features little changing cubicles along the sides of the pool – probably considered unhygienic by modern standards, but perfect for the period in which the structure was built.  Thanks to David for removing the pool cover to let me see the water!

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I sat in one of the cubicles to get a swimmer’s view of the pool…

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The most interesting part of the building is the actual bathrooms themselves, and these will be in Part 3 – following in a day or two.  I’ll post a link here.

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.

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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.

Moneyreagh Gospel Hall – Update

In June 2018 I made some photographs of the derelict exterior of the old Moneyreagh Gospel Hall.  The building had been unused for some years and was up for sale.  Here’s one of the images from that day…

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The hall has, presumably, been sold, and the roof has been removed, and the walls stripped back to the brick, – so it’s probably going to be converted to a dwelling.  I stopped at the site a few days ago to make some more photographs, and to see what the inside of the building is like now. Continue reading Moneyreagh Gospel Hall – Update

Knead Some Dough?

Watching Bethany, my granddaughter making chocolate chip cookies, I was intrigued by how her hands kneaded the dough, and caught just a few of the moments on the Fujifilm X-T2.  I kept the aperture wide open to reduce the depth of field, and blur the background as much as possible.  Difficult enough exposures, for the kitchen was quite dark at the time, and ISO was 12800, so some of the images very noisy indeed.  However…

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Continue reading Knead Some Dough?

Hillsborough, Co.Down

Hillsborough is one of the trendy, affluent areas of Northern Ireland.  Situated on the A1 between Dromore and Lisburn, Hillsborough boasts a fine park with a lake, historic buildings, a fort, and even a Royal Residence (Hillsborough Castle).

I visited the town for a ‘walk with a camera’ one morning recently, when the sun was shining and it was around 24 degress celsius.  Here’s a few of the images…

Hillsborough Main Street.

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Continue reading Hillsborough, Co.Down

New Year – New Gear #2

I’m still playing with the new Fufifilm X-T2, so today I took it on a walk around Kiltonga Nature Reserve in Newtownards, to test out the film simulation feature.  One of the interesting features of this camera is the ability to set it to emulate various Fufi Films, like Fuji’s popular Velvia colour film for example.

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The camera has a black and white option to record images on virtual ‘Acros’ monochrome film, which should give outstanding contrast, and a rich tonal range.  Furthermore, Acros simulation will produce grain in the image exactly the same size as the film version, by ISO.  The claim made by Fuji is that Arcos film simlation is even better than shooting in RAW and later converting to monochrome in Photoshop.  Fufi even claim that Acros will outperform any other high end digital camera shooting in B&W mode.  So, today I set the X-T2 to shoot in Acros Monochrome on card two, and in RAW on card one.  (Shooting in RAW, of course means that should I want a colour image, I can use the RAW unprocessed files to produce it.)

Continue reading New Year – New Gear #2

Cluan Place, Belfast – 15 years on.

In 2002, I visited Cluan Place in East Belfast for the first time.  I was visiting a couple of homes in the street, – people who were parishioners of a church that I belonged to at the time.  The reason for my visit was to see if their homes had been damaged in the rioting that was taking place at that time.   Cluan Place lies right on one of the Belfast interface lines, ‘peace-walls’ seperating two communities.  In the case of Cluan Place, it interfaced with the largely republican Short Strand area.  In 2002 friction between the two communities was at a height, and there was a constant police presence to keep the warring factions apart.  One of my friends in the street was an ederly man who had found a pipe bomb in his garden; it had been lobbed over the wall from the other side.

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In August this year I had occasion to visit the street again.  It’s fifteen years from my first visit, and I havent been there since, and I wondered how the community and the atmosphere had changed.  was there still that fearfullness, that alertness of suuden attack?  was there a constant police landrover sitting at the single entrance to the cul de sac?

Needless to say, I had a film camera with me.  I never go anywhere without one, so after my visit with one of the residents I did some photographs.  I hope they paint a small picture of life in Cluan Place 15 years on.

The other side of the wall is Short Strand, equally smitten in 2002, – here’s some pictures of the wall from the Short Strand side, and a lovely new building, on the site where the old ‘Picturedrome’ cinema once stood.

If I had to choose my ‘image of the day’ – it would probably be this one, for after all, like life the summer barbecues go on!

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