Slemish Mountain is in Co.Antrim, to the east of the town of Ballymena. Traditionally, it is said to be the first Irish home of St Patrick, who tended sheep as a slave boy on its slopes.Slemish (Slieve Mish) is around 1500 feet above the surrounding plain, and is visible for many miles around.
There’s a derelict house on Sourhill Road, Ballymena, which presents the passer-by with some interesting contradictions. The house is or rather was, a beautiful building, – almost an enigma, in its construction and decor, with beautiful colours, and fascinating roof patterns, and yet on even a casual inspection it is crumbling and decaying with broken slates and rotten timber. It is unoccupied and abandoned, but sits in well kept extensive grounds, with mown grass and a well kept gravel path. Its windows and doors have been removed and replaced with boards, but the boards have been painted to look like… windows and doors!
This place is derelict, but someone still cares for it! Continue reading A Much Loved Dereliction?
The Frocess Trees
The famous ‘Frosses Trees’ (original spelling ‘Frocess’) on the road between Ballymena and Ballymoney. The road runs through boggy ground,
and the Pine trees were planted in 1840 on the instructions of Sir Charles Lanyon (architect and civil engineer) so that their roots would join under the road to provide support… Continue reading The Frocess
Gracehill Moravian Village.
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.
I’ve been playing with an iphone app called ‘Hueless.’ It’s an excellent piece of technology, allowing the phone’s camera to shoot in monochrome, and giving the photographer great control over the capture of the image. the user interface screen is intuitive and easy to use. it features accurate autofocus achieved by a simple tap on the screen to set the focus point. There’s a drop down control to alter the exposure and contrast on the screen, so you can see the end result before the snap is taken. There’s a series of optional presets which the photographer can set up for instant camera control, and cropping to photo-sizes is easily achieved by pinching the screen. If you are for ate enough to own an iPhone 6 (and I don’t) then there’s even an option for high ISO shooting to make low light shots possible.
Here’s a selection of images I captured at the Tullyglass Hotel, and later in Belfast with the app.
No monochrome camera is complete without filters, and the Hueless app offers a drop-down menu with the standard filters one would use with a black and white film camera. Here’s an image with the red filter:-
Really, for a couple of quid, its a fantastic app, get it at the Apple App Store! Dont be clueless, get Hueless, – it’s just about flawless!!!
A flying saucer has landed in Ballymena!
It has been rumoured that this alien spacecraft has travelled through millions of galaxies, and has landed in Ballymena to share in the hospitality and generosity of the local inhabitants!
No, wait! It’s all a big mistake. It’s not a spacecraft after all! It’s a Presbyterian Church! Yes, Wellington Church – with its remarkable new building is now a landmark feature in the town. I captured this Monochrome image on my way back from a wedding at Galgorm last week using my Nikon F100 film camera, loaded with Ilford FP5 ISO400 B&W film, f/11 @ 1/250th sec.
It was processed for 8 minutes in Fotospeed FD10, washed and fixed for 10 minutes, then washed for 10 minutes. Scanned into Photoshop for layer balance and contrast adjustment, and addition of border. There you are!
Go buy yourself a real camera and use film!
Having said all of that – one does have to wonder why a church needs such powerful thruster rockets?