A small selection of banners at Randalstown on 12th July.
Even if you’re not a big fan of marching bands, orange lodges, banners , big crowds and noise, the annual 12th July parades in Northern Ireland are a fertile hunting ground for a photographer with a love for photographing people in reportage style environmental portraits. I always advise avoiding the Belfast parade, – too much ‘in your face’ politics, – so seek out a nice wee country walk, find a quiet spot where there’s not too many people, and aim for the quirky hats, the puffed-out fluters, pipe majors, the big drummers, the colour and the spectacle – try to get the walk home from the demonstration field, – by that time the bandsmen will be letting their hair down a bit, the rules are not so rigid, and funny walks, painted faces and daft headwear make for a more carnival like atmosphere, rather than the stricter, more regimental atmosphere of the outward processions. Continue reading #Randalstown 12th Day Photos
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Today I had the privilege of attending the funeral of Pastor Israel Ojo in the Covenant of Love Church in Belfast, and photographing the event for his loved ones, – a lasting tribute, and memorial. Pastor Ojo has many friends and relations abroad, and the on-line gallery can be accessed from all over the world, so that they will see around 200 images made through the day, all over the world.
Many thanks to Pastor Ojo’s family, for allowing me to share in their day, and for commissioning me for this event, to Pastor Kevin Sambrooke for his patience and for permission to make images throughout the service, and to James Brown and Son, whose staff were very helpful and friendly.
It’s being able to share in people’s lives like this that makes professional photography a very special vocation indeed.
‘Migrant Mother‘ was the title of a celebrated image made by Dorothea Lange in America in 1935 (or thereabouts) Lange was appalled by the poverty she found among immigrant people in rural USA. She said, (Cited on the ‘Photo-quotes’ website)
I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated. About death and disaster, about the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About finality. About the last ditch.
Challenged by Lange’s words, I set about creating a similar image, among the migrant community of Belfast – with less success, I found, – for some migrant people simply don’t want a camera pointed at them, even after a financial bribe. I found this old Roma woman begging in Botanic Avenue, and her pose was a reluctant one, to say the least!
Reluctant or not – she’s a pitiful sight. I hope she spent the money wisely.
My visit to Newcastle, Co. Down last week produced a vintage image – a child on a little miniature pony, being gently led along the beach by the pony owner and the child’s mother – a very traditional sea-side scene.
It reminded me of another Pony on the Beach image I made around 5 years ago, when we lived at Millisle, and the beach was just across the road from our living room. It was a grainy Black and White image of a traditional ‘trotting pony’ being exercised on the sand, shot on the Nikon F100, on Ilford ISO1600 film. I looked out the negative and scanned it at 300 DPI, and here’s the result, after just a tweak or two in Photo-shop:-
I haven’t a clue who the person in the image is!
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?
I couldn’t resist this shot.
Walking away from a parade I noticed this gentleman walking in front of me. The look (even from behind) is so incongruous, that it was begging for a photograph. The media and popular perception of members of the Orange Order is as stuffy, staid, conservative, old men. This man just blows those impressions right out of the water!
Here’s the techie stuff:
Nikon D700, 1/250th sec @ f/2.8 on ISO400. Lens at 70mm