Archive for November, 2006

Smoothen the Rough Waters

Old Head of Kinsale #1

Recently purchased a Cokin ND8 to give me a couple more stops over my currently ND2 grad. On a recent trip to Garrettstown, yes Garrettstown again I decided to give it a whirl to see how I got on. Of course I didn’t realise until I got home how filthy my sensor was so much photoshop dust removal later, here are some of the results.

Sea Wall

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Old Head of Kinsale #2

It’s much nicer to be able to get that couple of stops lower, and having bought a suitably sized adapter, it’s good to finally be able to use the cokin filters on my sigma 10-20 for those ultra wide landscape shots. Of course it means that from now on, or at least when I go out intending to get long exposures, my camera’s sensor will have to be spotless. None too easy a task as any dslr owner with more than one lens in their collection will attest to.

While I’m gone…

While I'm gone, the cat's in charge!

…the cat’s in charge. Just because I’m flitting off for an extra long weekend in the northwest doesn’t mean the cat won’t be keeping an eye on proceedings. Be afraid…

Dispense advice here

Right, time for some waffle. On the 28th October, on the way back from Donadea park in Kildare I was caught speeding after turning from the M50, off the Red Cow roundabout onto the R110. 78km/h in a 60km/h zone. However, on the official notice, it says “N7 NAAS ROAD”. I disputed it at first because well, I wasn’t driving on the N7! I was on the M7, but turned off at Naas to travel north toward the park.

After checking on Irish Speed Traps, it appears that yes, there is a regular checkpoint on the N7/R110. I’ve checked a few maps, including Fingal County Councils (below) own website and all the official ones I’ve checked have the road marked as R110.

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So I really wasn’t on the N7 at all! What to do? I’ve got a few days to mull over if I pay the fine and take the points or go to court and possibly get double points if it goes against me. Or possibly get the speeding fine thrown out. I wouldn’t be this mercenary about the whole thing if I didn’t just get my license cleared after over 3 years of being a very careful driver. Well, I’m still a careful driver… I didn’t go mad and start driving like an asshole on the first day of no points!

So, advise please… What do you reckon?

west of the west

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Before we set off for adventures around the northwest, it’d be good to get adventures in Galway out of the way. To that end, here are a few more photos from the Clifden, Cleggan and Inisbofin area.


Inisbofin behind, rough seas ahead

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I’m going to use a fairly tired excuse for my lack of ‘nice’ photos. I made a conscious decision to shoot in RAW all weekend and given that I suck at processing RAW’s, many of the shots didn’t work out as planned so I didn’t post them. Back to jpeg for now, until I read several books on the fine art of raw processing. Few more here. Yes, it’s a pitiful situation to be in folks…

To swim or not to swim?

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An as yet undecided person at a popular swimming spot in Salthill, Co. Galway trying to figure out if he should go for a quick dip on a cold November day. He stood around for a few minutes clutching his towel tightly, throwing me the odd glance as I fumbled with my tripod and filters. If my fingers were numbing due to the cold, I wouldn’t have needed to think twice about going for a swim. I’d have been back in the car with the heater on. He did eventually go in, in case anyone was worried about closure on this rambling episode.

St. Finbarrs Cathedral (again)

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After being requested to take some more photos of St. Finbarrs Cathedral in Cork, I got back up there on a cold Saturday morning earlier this month. I arrived just as the gates were being unlocked so thankfully this time the car park was empty. The light was fantastic, ditto the sky and it cast the most wonderful shadows on the building and lit it up in all the right places.

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There was/is some work being done on the Cathedral so unfortunately the spires were strewn with cables and a very badly situated scaffolding which is currently hampering my half-assed photoshopping attempts. Still though, the light and the bluer than blue sky more than make up for it.

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So, hopefully someone will be happy with a few of the shots I got that morning. Then feeling like I was almost going to lose my left nut to frostbite will all be worthwhile. Just before anyone cries out “Hey, shouldn’t there be more on flickr?”, there are always more on flickr

gone west

No updates for the weekend, packing bags & baggage and heading to Clifden for the weekend. Plenty of photos when I get back no doubt, that is if the weather does it’s thing while we’re up there. Until then, this sunset taken from outside the house will keep you company…

Sunday Sunset

First Surfing of 2006

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It’s sad really… The first time in 2006 I’ve gotten around to sitting on the beach and shooting some surfing is in November! Admittedly I haven’t been down in Garrettstown as much as I normally am but still, no excuse! What I did manage on Saturday was to practice shooting one of my most loved of all subjects while testing out my new 70-200 f2.8 IS. While it lacks reach for surfing, coincidentally that day it worked out well because alot of the action was closer to the beach than it normally is. I can easily fix that for the future with the addition of a 1.4x teleconverter…

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Although the waves weren’t exactly frighteningly big there were still alot of surfers in the water and some good shots to be had. I can see myself that there’s a bit of work to be done with either my technique or camera settings to get the best out of the new lens, maybe I’m just not used to the finer things in life?!?

Anyway, I’ll keep plugging away at it until, eventually, I get it as close to perfect as my sanity will allow. Yes, there are more of these on Flickr.

Mentioned in The Irish Times

Thanks to Haydn Shaughnessy for his kind words in his article on Irish bloggers on page 14 of todays Irish Times. I’m not going to repeat the whole article or even quote my favorite bit. I will however use the quote for some shameles self promotion in the very near future.

A Heartwarming Conclusion

If you’ve been around here for a while, you may have already read of my eternal woes with passing my driving test. This should mark the last installment in this now 6 part odyssey. If you’re really interested in reading the whole lot, here we go.

Part 1: Driving Test Woes
Part 2: Driving Test Woes 2
Part 3: Driving Test Woes 3
Part 4: On re-applying & licking the cats ass of defeat
Part 5: Fecking driving test!

Enough of that malarky, so what makes this such a heartwarming conclusion?

While in my lovely, local (in its last days) pub last night, I met and struck up a conversation with my past driving instructor, whom had already been extensively sampling the local merchandise. How and ever, the news that came forth was so inexplicably tremendous that I almost soiled myself (four times). As he fought through the tear inducing laughter, he recounted the story, leaving no juicy detail behind.

Cast your mind back to my own driving test and indeed to my own driving tester. The large, ignorant and generally hugely abrasive gentleman that failed me once and tested me twice. Yes, if you’ll remember after being screwed over once and requesting a different tester I got the same guy again. Equally as abrasive, hell no, he was just an asshole plain and simple. I passed though and all was good. Never again would I have to look at his sneery, scrunched up little ratbag face again. Others did though and my thoughts and best wishes are with them.

One of those others excelled himself. This is his story. After doing his test they returned to the test center. They sat, he gulped nervously and awaited his fate. Across the table, an oaf was deciding his fate. As it transpired, there was alot of fate being decided upon that fateful day. A piece of paper slid across the table. It came to a stop and a set of fat fingers released it and returned to a folded pose. The candidate picked up the paper, examined it and peered over the top of it to where the tester was poised to make a smart comment. If there’s one thing about this guy, he’s always got a smart comment ready. Be the result fail or pass, there’s always a comment there ready to deride and debase the candidate.

This time it was a fail. Yet another fail under the belt for this less than average employee. However, across the table sat an above average candidate. But of course, the tester didn’t know that… Yet. Smart comment delivered, the air becomes stagnant. Candidate puts paper down, gets up, reaches across table and knocks tester out cold. I shit you not. A swift knuckle sandwich to the kisser was delivered with great accuracy. One court case and 6 months of recovery later, the tester is back to work. Far be it from me to promote violence but this was perhaps the most deserved case of whoop ass in the world. Laugh? I nearly snorted a whole pint of Murphys…

Now, if that person wishes to comment here, I’ll gladly buy you a pint. I’ll gladly buy you ten pints. Later on in the pub (as it’s for sale and possibly closing forever), all of us recalled our favorite moments shared under the roof of Cogans in Carrigaline. I have to say, this was mine.

Comeuppance is a bitch. Thank you and goodnight.