This week I've chosen my favourite shot of the lovely Bramble flower (Rubus fruticosus agg.). These beautiful flowers will grow into nice juicy blackberries in the autumn. What I like about this shot is the dark background, as well as how it shows both the leaf and the flower.

Bramble Flower
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/640 sec
  • Focal Length: 135mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/8
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Exposure Bias: -1.0ev

Tagged with:

This week I thought I'd post a re-mastered version of an image from two years ago that I think really captures the beauty of spring very well. This was one of the first shots I ever edited with Aperture (then version 2), and re-visiting it with the upgraded Aperture 3, and two years more experience has really paid off (you can see the original version on Flickr).

This shot was taken in the old part of Laraghbryan Cemetery (just outside Maynooth, Ireland), next to the ruins of the old church. The cemetery is still in use, but the part of it around the old church is very old, and now out of use. It's full of very old and very worn tomb stones like this one, and is blanketed in beautiful Snowdrops (Galantus nivalis) each spring.

Snowdrops in Laraghbryan Cemetery
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 18-55mm (D40 kit lens)
  • Exposure: 1/1250 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.3
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Exposure Bias: -0.67ev

Tagged with:

Photo of the Week 155 – Snowdrops

Filed Under Photography on January 31, 2011 | 1 Comment

Because I'm still sick this shot is not from this year, but it seemed seasonally appropriate, and I did re-edit it for posting today - adding just a little more contrast than my original rendering had.

I just love these little flowers, they symbolise the end of winter for me like nothing else does. In case anyone cares, the latin name for Snowdrops is Galantus nivalis. I got this shot next to the ruins of an old church just outside Maynooth. Any yes, I was lying flat on my stomach in the dirt to get this shot 🙂

Snowdrops (Galantus nivalis)
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/500 sec
  • Focal Length: 175mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Full Manual
  • Processing: Used Aperture 3's brushes feature to dodge & burn a little

Tagged with:

Photo of the Week 150 – Yarrow

Filed Under Photography on December 27, 2010 | Leave a Comment

I'm so fed up of snow and ice now that I thought this week I'd go for a more summery theme for my Photo of the Week post, a nice flower! To be more precise, a closeup of a Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) flower. These lovely white flowers grace Irish hedgerows in the late summer each year.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/1600 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Exposure Bias: -1.0ev

Tagged with:

It's been a while since I've chosen a flower photo for Photo of the Week, so I decided to remedy that this week. This is a shot of one of my favourite little flowers, they have a fantastic pale blue colour, and wonderfully fine details in their tiny flowers. It can be quite hard to tell the different varieties of Forget-me-not apart, but I think this is Field Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis).

Forget-me-not
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/640 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

Tagged with:

Last weekend the weather was just too good to sit inside working on a computer, so I didn't find the time to post a photo of the week. This means we're playing catch-up today with a double posting. As usual for a multiple post, I've chosen a theme to link the shots, in this case, both were generated from the same original RAW image from the camera!

Both shots show a wonderful view taken from a back road near Maynooth in Co. Kildare Ireland. The road is at the bottom of a sweeping hill at the top of which stand the ruins of Rathcoffey Castle. The farmer grows Rape Seed on the hill, so when that crop is in bloom, you get this amazing scene where the whole field is bright yellow, truly spectacular!

The fist shot I'm posting is the colour version, this is a panoramic crop, and was generated from a single RAW file by first tonemapping it with Photomatix Pro, and then tweaking the resulting image a little using the Topaz Adjust 4 plugin in Photoshop Elements. You might ask why the image needed to be tonemapped? The simple answer is that the difference in brightness between the land and sky were just too great to properly expose both in a single traditional exposure. Exposing either correctly would result in the other being badly under or over exposed. Tonemapping allows both to be properly exposed at the same time.

Rathcoffey Castle
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 18-55mm (D40 kit lens)
  • Exposure: 1/800 sec
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

The second shot was generating by using the first as a starting point, and then using the channel mixer to generate a monochrome version. The channel mixer allows you to choose how much of each colour goes into the black & white version of the image. By turning down the blue channel you can get stunning black skies which make for really dramatic photos.

Rathcoffey Castle
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 18-55mm (D40 kit lens)
  • Exposure: 1/800 sec
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

Tagged with:

I've always loved the great photographer Imogen Cunningham's take on Magnolia flowers, particularly this shot. So, earlier this year, when I noticed that the Magnolia trees in St. Patrick's College were in bloom, I set out to have a go myself. Obviously I'm no Imogen Cunningham, but I'm quite pleased with this shot all the same.

Inside Magnolia
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/320 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/8
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

Tagged with:

With being sick for the last two weeks I've ended up with a triple post this week. I've chosen my three favourite shots from my recent trip to Belgium for this instalment's theme.

The first shot I've chosen is of a lovely medeival castle in my home town of Duffel that is locally known as "Kasteel Ter Elst". It remained intact right up until the first world war when it was unfortunately destroyed. You can read more about the castle here.

Kasteel Ter Elst
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 18-55mm (D40 kit lens)
  • Exposure: 1/400 sec
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/7.1
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second shot I've chosen is a train shot. In this case showing the work-horse combination of the NMBS/SNCB's intercity services. Here we see a rake of M6 double-decker coaches (with an M6 DVT in front) being pushed by NMBS/SNCB Class 27 electric locomotive number 2725.

M6 with NMBS/SNCB Class 27
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/640 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Processing Used Topaz Adjust 4 plugin to give the shot a little more 'pop'.

The final image I've chosen is a butterfly shot, specifically a Green-veined White (Pieris napi) feeding on a Dandelion flower (Taraxacum officinale agg.).

 Green-veined White (Pieris napi)
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/1600 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/8
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Processing: Selectively applied the Topaz Adjust 4 plugin to the butterfly and the flower.

Tagged with:

Since the butterfly season will be starting up again soon I've been having a look back at my butterfly shots from previous years to see what gaps there are in my collection to help me plan my priorities for this year. In the process I also picked a shot for this week's Photo of the Week, one from last year that I'm immensely fond of.

This shot is of the Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io), the most colorful and spectacular species we have in Ireland. I got quite a few shots of this species throughout the year, and in previous years (including Photo of the Week 32), but I particularly like this one because of where the butterfly chose to land. To get a nice out of focus background you do need there to be a bit of a distance between your subject and the background, and you need the background to be fairly even. In this case the butterfly landed on a very tall and beautiful special of Daisy called Black0eyed Susan. Because the Black-eyed Susans are tall, the leaves of the other plants in the garden were a long way below, hence the lovely soft green bokeh. The lovely yellow flowers themselves also add a lot to the shot, and the red of the butterfly contrasts nicely with both the green and the yellow really making it stand out.

Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/320 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/8
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Exposure Bias: -0.3ev

Tagged with:

With all the madness of upgrading to SnowLeopard and my failed upgrade to Aperture 3 I'm now one day away from being three weeks behind on my Photos of the Week posts. To catch up I'm going to post a double post today, and a single one tomorrow. As always with multiple posts, I'm going to pick a theme, and this time I've chosen macros of Irish wild flower. Both these flowers are small and delicate, so you may miss their subtle beauty unless you take the time to look closely.

The first shot is of one of my very favorite flowers, Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum). It's a wild variety of Geranium, and there's lovely detail in it's small pink flowers. It's very common in Ireland, but it's hard to get it with and uncluttered background as it usually grows in crowded hedgerows. I've taken many other shots of these little beauties, but I really like the clean bokeh in this one.

Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/400 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 800
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Exposure Bias: -0.3ev

The second shot I've chosen is of an absolutely tiny flower I found growing on some waste-ground near Leixlip Louisa Bridge railway station. These little guys are Eyebrights (Euphrasia officinalis agg.), and there are many different varieties in Ireland. Each of the different markings have subtly different coloured markings, and petals that are of slightly different shapes. These little guys are so small and so short that I literally had to lie flat on my stomach with the camera touching the ground to get this shot.

Eyebrights (Euphrasia officinalis agg.)
on Flickr - Full-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/1600 sec
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/5.6
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority

Tagged with:

keep looking »