I’m Back

Antrim Coast near Carnlough, Antrim, Northern Ireland

I’m starting to post to my blog again after an absence of months. In fact this is the first post this year and if I don’t post soon there won’t be any posts this year!

I haven’t got an excuse for not posting, the simple truth being, that although I’ve continued to take photographs, I lost interest in my blog and didn’t make time to post.

Anyway lately I’ve been experimenting with landscapes, I’ve bought myself some filters including a “Big Stopper” and a decent tripod, I spent a few days in New York in April and I’ve made the usual trips to Dublin to update stock and of course the Antrim Coast. Continue reading “I’m Back”

Swans

Swan Landing

A recent visit to Castle Espie produced these photographs of swans. Iv’e made half hearted attempts to photograph the swans before but they or the light never really cooperated and there was no urgency on my part as they are nearly always there and I knew that sometime in the future things would come together for me. This time I spotted some taking it easy, it was a nice bright day and so I took some photographs. As luck would have it as I finished off and started to walk away I heard wings flapping and one came gracefully into land.  I brought the camera up but wasn’t quick enough to get the actual landing. My fault – I should’ve been paying attention to what was going on around me. A lesson learned!

 

Click on an image to enlarge.

Swan
Swan

 

Swan
Swan

 

Swan reflection
Swan reflection

 

Swan Landing
Swan Landing

Horse Ploughing and Country Skills

Saturday 21 February was the annual Horse Ploughing and Country Skill Day at the Ulster Folk Museum, Cultra. This is always held the week before the Mullahead event which is the highlight of the ploughing calendar and this year is celebrating 100 years of horse ploughing with 50 pairs – 100 horses.

The Cultra event is always popular and as well as the ploughing and country skills demonstrations visitors have access to the Folk Museum with the many exhibits on town and country living  of around 100 years ago and every time I visit I find something new of interest.

In the past this event has been plagued by wet weather resulting in muck and more muck. This year it snowed but then the clouds cleared, the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful clear day.

Check out the fourth image down – I can’t walk this straight!

 

Click on an image to enlarge.

Horse ploughing
Horse ploughing

 

Horse ploughing
Horse ploughing

 

Horse ploughing
Horse ploughing

 

Horse ploughing
How straight is that

 

J_Orr_150221-_9577
Reed dragon

 

 

 

 

Castle Espie 2015

Castle Espie view

I made my first visit of 2015 to Castle Espie today and I’ve included some photographs.  I was reluctant to include a further post on castle Espie, making two in a row, but as the previous post included older photographs while these are fresh today I thought I’d chance it.

I would normally use a long lens for shooting wildfowl but today all these images were taken using a 17-40mm lens. The aim was to get as close as possible to the birds with the wide angle zoom so that while the bird appears large to the fore of the frame, much of the surrounding environment is also included. The birds at Castle Espie are relatively tame (they will take food from your hand) but they weren’t completely comfortable with someone clutching a bag full of cameras getting too close so the images aren’t as dramatic as I had hoped. I think next time I’ll put the camera on a tripod and use a remote.

 

Click on an image to enlarge.

Red Breasted Geese
Red Breasted Geese

 

Barrow's Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye

 

Castle Espie, Barrow's Goldeneye
Barrow’s Goldeneye

 

Red Crested Pochard
Red Crested Pochard

 

Castle Espie view
Castle Espie view