Ballintoy, Harbour, Game Of Thrones

Sunset at Ballintoy Harbour

This remains one of my most popular images to be purchased as a gift at Christmas. I think anyone who lives in Northern Ireland (or who has travelled here on holiday) and who has spent any time at Ballintoy knows that this is a special place. Looking at this sunset just makes you feel good.  For any Game Of Thrones fan you will recognise this location as The Iron Islands.  
This image is a few years old and was actually captured using an Olympus E-M5 - a camera I loved but dynamic range and ISO sensitivity just wasn't good enough for me. So I sold it for a Nikon D7100. Roll forward to 2018 and I'm now using all Fujifilm X kit and loving it.
#ballintoy, #harbour, #sunset, #vivid, #coastal, #gameofthrones, #northernireland, #ireland, #picturesofireland
Fanad Lighthouse, County Donegal
Fanad Head Lighthouse stands between idyllic Lough Swilly and the sandy Mulroy Bay.  We visited the lighthouse on a fairly overcast day but thankfully some sun did get through later on in the day.  I would have loved to have had the time to do a long exposure or even to have stayed to see if I could get a nice sunset but that's one of the restrictions you have to live with when you're the only one in your family who has a passion for photography - you just have to the grab the shots when you can.  That kind of helps focus your mind because I'm always looking out for good compositions.
#landscape, #photo, #lighthouse, #rocks, #cliffs, #calm, #donegal, #ireland, #fanadhead# fanad, #green
A morning at Mount Stewart Gardens (Fujifilm XT2 35mm F2)
This is my first visit to Mount Stewart Gardens in 2018 and unfortunately it's clear how harsh a winter we have had this year.  Usually at this time there are bulbs and plants from the rhododendron family starting to bloom but this year the winter has been very cold and there are still few signs of Spring.  One thing I would recommend is to re-visit your favourite place alot as this will challenge you to think about new compositions.  Also, try walking around with a prime lens as this will also focus your thoughts.  I chose the Fujifilm 35mm F2 and I was very happy with the results.  I still find using the Fujifilm X-T2 metering in the harsh light a challenge (this is more me than the X-T2) and I think I'm going to have to upgrade my resin ND Grad filters.  Alternatively I could just bracket my shots but I think it's good to get the results right in camera if you can.
#blackandwhite, #contrasty, #contrast, #bnw, #mono, #monochrome, #mountstewart, #northernireland, #ireland, #photos, #photography, #architecture, #design, #shadows, #tree
Chaine Memorial Tower, Larne, Northern Ireland (Fujifilm X100T 23mm  f11 15' Iso 200)
The Chaine Memorial Tower is a replica of an Irish Round Tower and was built as a memorial to James Chaine who made a significant contribution to the development of Larne Harbour in Northern Ireland.  This image was also the first one that I captured using a long exposure on the Fuji X100T during the day.  The built-in ND filter helped to get that shutter speed down in addition to a Lightcraft ND500 (9 stop) filter.
#chainememorial, #roundtower, #larne, #northernireland, #ireland, #fujifilm, #x100t, #longexposure, #blue, #purple, #smooth
Belfast Maritime Festival
These images were captured a few years back but I recently re-processed them using my new presets which I have been working on for quite a while. For years I have tried to get the presets that I like to work in Lightroom but I'm afraid until Adobe implement an intensity feature I'm not going to get what I need. Instead I now open my images in Photoshop from Lightroom and run them through some actions. If I feel the image needs further work I then use Alien Skin Exposure X3 to bring out some extra pop. Finally I do some tweaking in Lightroom particularly around the HSL slider.  I don't apply the same presets to every image as my choice will depend on my mood/feeling and how I remember the original image.  One big advantage of Fujifilm cameras is that the JPEGs captured are pretty good straight out of the camera (SOOC) which means if you process the RAW files you have a good reference image to go back to.
#belfast, #maritime, #ships, #boats, #tallships, #pirates, #canon, #smoke, #digital, #film, #northerireland, #ireland
Autumn at Antrim Castle Gardens (Fujifilm X100T 23mm f/8)
These images were captured at Antrim Castle Gardens in Northern Ireland which is another favourite place where I like to go with my family.  Autumn is particularly beautiful here and the little X100T did a fine job.
#landscape, #antrimcastlegardens, #autumn, #leaves, #trees, #photos, #northernireland, #ireland
Admiring the sunset (Fujifilm X100T 23mm f/11 Iso 200)
Fast forward to 2018 and by chance I was able to capture this sunset with my son and our dog lined up through the branches of the tree.  Normally it's hectic when I'm out with the dog and the children which means these opportunities are hard to capture but for some reason both of them stood still for around 10 seconds. That was enough time to capture this image! 
#sunset, #snow, #ballyclare, #northernireland, #ireland, #photo, #sun, #rays, #sixmile, #tree, #branches
The Austin Collection, Castle Ward, Northern Ireland
Here's one of my very first photographs taken by a Panasonic bridge camera back in 2011.  In fact I only found this image in my archive folder in 2018 and decided to re-process it using my new workflow. The aim here was to re-create the image with a vintage Cinema look. The majority of the processing was performed using actions in Photoshop and then I used Alien Skin Exposure X3 to add a little extra pop. Finally I slightly modified the HSL sliders in Lightroom and added a small amount of sharpening to the final image.
#vintage, #cars, #austin, #rally, #castleward, #northernireland, #ireland, #old, #historical, #classic, #motor, #vehicle, #vehicles, #building, #nationaltrust, #design
Mount Stewart Gardens (Nikon D7100)
Mount Stewart is a 19th-century house and garden in County DownNorthern Ireland, owned by the National Trust. It's situated on the east shore of Strangford Lough, a few miles outside the town of Newtownards and near Greyabbey, and is one of my top locations to visit with my family.  These images were captured with my Nikon D7100 during the summer of 2015 prior to me moving to Fujifilm.
#landscape, #plants, #flowers, #mountstewart, #nationaltrust, #photos, #ireland, #northernireland, #historical, #building, #vivid, #beautiful, #summer, #vivid
Flowers, Flowers and a Thistle
When I was a child I remember my Grandparents always had loads of flowers in their garden and those memories have always remained with me.  However, for some reason I have not captured as many images of flowers as I should have done over the years. Personally I think that was due to me just not liking the images of flowers that I saw posted online and maybe it was also to do with not having the right lens. Well I've decided to change this in 2018 and with the purchase of Alienskin Exposure X3 I feel I've found a workflow that appeals to me.  Here are a few examples of images that I captured over the years which I've re-processed using Exposure X3. Exposure X3 just seems to finish off the last 10% of the processing and brings that little extra pop out of the image.
#flowers, #plants, #blooms, #spring, #summer, #thistle, #heather, #azalea, #pink, #purple, #depthoffield
Autumn at Carrickfergus Castle (Fujifilm X-T2 18-55mm f/5.6)
This was my first time out with the Fujifilm X-T2 and the 18-55mm lens. As usual with all new cameras I've purchased in recent years I've gone to the nearby Carrickfergus Castle to experiment with the settings.  These are some of the images I captured.  This time I didn't use the JPEGs straight out of the camera but instead processed the RAF files in lightroom.  The effect I was trying to achieve was one based on the Classic Chrome film simulation and an old Cinema movie look.  I also tried to capture some different compositions than would normally be captured by local photographers.  In particular I like the view over the boats at the far end of the harbour with Belfast Lough in the background.
#carrickfergus, #castle, #classicchrome, #film, #teal, #ancient, #old, #historical, #fuji, #beach, #shadows, #teal
Animal Portraits On Black (Nikon D7100 55-300mm)
I've always loved capturing images of wildlife and in particular I love taking my camera along to Safari parks and Zoo's when I visit with my kids. What I guess I'm not keen on, even though I believe the animals are well cared for, is capturing the surrounding environment such as the fences etc. This gave me the idea of processing these images as low key black and white images. More images can be found in my On Black portfolio collection.
To move forward with this collection I will have to see how the Fuji 55-200mm lens will work out. Ideally I would love to have the Fuji 100-400mm but I can dream.
#animal, #zoo, #wildlife, #chimps, #tigers, #birds, #wolf, #lowkey, #black, #white, #bnw
Admiring the history (Fujifilm X100T 23mm f/8)
The SS Nomadic, Belfast, Northern Ireland - the last remaining White Star Line ships that was used as a tender to the RMS Titanic.  This was one of the first images that I captured with my Fuji X100T camera and the quality of this image helped me to make the decision to switch from the Nikon D7100/D600 to the Fuji X-T2.
#landscape, #fujifilm, #x100t, #belfast, #titanic, #nomadic, #maritine, #ship, #dock
Street Life Around Titanic Belfast Quarter (Fuji X100T 23mm f/8)
Some more images captured with the fantastic Fuji X100T camera.  Titanic Quarter is one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects constructed on the site where RMS Titanic was designed and built.  This area has become a major visitor attraction and is also host to the annual maritime festival.  This was my first venture into some street photography and I found the discrete nature of this camera worked very well. However, I haven't decided whether the 23mm or a 35mm lens suits me better - the X100T has a fixed 23mm lens. Additionally, I found that I had to use hyperfocal distance with the X100T as it's auto focus is not as fast as the X-T2 or the newer X100F.
#street, #photography, #belfast, #titanic, #titanicquarter, #northernireland, #ireland
Carrickfergus Castle, Northern Ireland (Fujifilm x100T 23mm f/8)
This was another image that I captured when I first purchased the Fuji X100T. Alot is said about the quality of the JPEGs that come straight out of the camera and this is a prime example. I did do some post-processing changes but these were quite minor. 
#sea, #belfast, #lough, #loch, #carrickfergus, #castle, #people, #path, #pathway, #norman, #old
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