Mooring for Moonshine

In the outer harbour, some of the crew perhaps partaking in a profusion of pints in Pine Lodge or possibly Bunnyconnellan. Such a regular occurrence that it’s quite unusual to take the high road from Fountainstown to Myrtleville and not see a freighter or tanker in this very position. I love Cork, even more so when the sun is shining and you can take a nice evening spin on the motorbike.

Fort Camden

I’m not going to give a long, complicated spiel about the history of Fort Camden, you can read it for yourself over on the Rescue Camden website. My own history with Camden started many years ago being brought to Crosshaven by my parents, walking up point road to that formidable hill only to find the Goliath fort on the top of the hill. I can’t count how many times I’d stood on the grass bank outside the fort, straining to see inside some of the broken windows at the front of the building or crossing the rickety bridge (before it was sealed off) to peek through the bars of the white main gate.

It was one of the top things I always wanted to do, to get inside the fort and have a rummage around. I always imagined there were vast networks of tunnels, ammunition stores, underground rooms and other things that would amaze and delight my childhood self. I did finally get in there, albeit briefly, in July 2006 when the front gate was unlocked for some as yet unknown reason. The results of that short trip went up on Flickr. It didn’t disappoint and although much of it was overgrown, dangerous and some flooding made parts inaccessible, I was delighted to finally get in there. It still left me rather unsatisfied however, too many locked doors and welded shut gates left too many questions unanswered. I was always wondering what was inside that door or down that tunnel. Never having been much of a one for scaling large walls or breaking & entering, I had to leave with those questions remaining in my head.

It was always my hope that some group would finally take the initiative (given the required funding of course) and re-open the fort. So some years later, it finally happened. The Rescue Camden group have done simply amazing work in restoring parts of the fort back to a state whereby it’s safe and enjoyable for visitors. TheĀ  shot on the right is the beginning of a long downhill tunnel that leads from the main complex down to a lower platform that served two piers. Much of the fort remains to be worked on, when walking around I noticed that several areas are marked for restoration in 2012.

The work that has already been completed is a credit to the group of volunteers and the friendliness and evident passion for the project shown by the people there when we visited on Saturday is fantastic to see after so many years of wishing for something like this to happen.

What this all does mean thankfully is that I can now bring a photowalk group to see the fort, something which I’m planning for Saturday 13th August. If you’re interested, details are over on Photowalk.ie

The rest of this set of photos from the visit on Saturday are on Flickr.

Watering Hole

It must be the very first time I got all the way through scanning three entire 120 rolls of Velvia without swearing loudly and thrashing my arms like a mad man. Anyone that’s ever been in that position will know that what you get on screen is a hell of a lot different than what you get when you hold the developed film up to daylight. Although these shots might not be the best examples of what Velvia is good for, I liked them enough to post them.

Much of what I’ve got through tonight are rolls that have been sitting in their paper sleeves for about 12 months, in that ‘I’ll scan that someday’ pile. Today was that productive day. Or hour anyway. I think I was spurred on somewhat by ogling cheap 6×6 cameras earlier today on ebay. Then after scanning the first of these frames shot on my Bronica, I’m almost inspired to shoot a few more of the rolls that have been sitting in the fridge since 2009. Most of the pain with E6 is the not to be underestimated job of developing after the relatively easy part of correctly exposing is done. After my first outing and complete disaster into the world of E6 development, I treated myself to an expensive used Jobo CPE2 Plus from a chap in the US. It took a good portion of the leg work out of the process, tank agitation and the all important temperature control. Of course with the kit I bought there are seven separate chemicals so it was still a time consuming pain in the balls but when that final rinse was done and a half dozen rolls of perfect slides came out of the tank, the task seemed to be worth it.

But that was before I knew I could get slide film processed for about a fiver a roll. Like having your favorite meal served up to you and not having to do any of the washing up afterward. You’re still paying for the pleasure, you just don’t have to do the nasty part. Sounds alright to me.

So that leaves me thinking about passing the Jobo on to a new owner. This isn’t a me being a shill, I’d genuinely be sad to see the Jobo go. It just hasn’t been used in such a long time that it’s really pointless keeping it. That and the amount of E6 I shoot makes up probably about 5% of my total film use. We’ll see. If anyone does want to sell me an affordable 6×6 camera, do get in touch.

More about this place I guess. Going from what was on the roll before and after it, I’m guessing it’s somewhere in either West Cork or Kerry. Before it on the roll, Inchidoney. After it, more Inchidoney. Pretty sure that’s just because I screwed up scanning the roll in the right order. Glengarriff, Bantry, Timoleague and all those other nice places. If there ever was a happy roll of Velvia, this is it.

Place to be

The weather is beginning to turn again and although some Donegal weather forecasting prophet has predicted more snow in the next couple of weeks, I think I’ll take a chance on a green Patricks day instead of a white one. So yeah, weather turning. Thoughts of getting back out and taking some landscapes. Loaded up lightroom and this jumped out of my catalog list. It’s from an almost forgotten roll of velvia I scanned some time back. I’m pretty sure this was taken at Barley lake in west Cork.

It also serves well to remind me that I haven’t done a tap this year photography wise and also that I’ve got a whole balls-load* of velvia to get through. I’ve never been much of a fan of slide scanning, mostly because it’s a pain in the arse to get the colours right on screen. Or maybe I’m just crap at it, that’s also a distinct possibility.

So this is the place to be. I might just print this one out and stick it to the side of my monitor in work. Possibly next to the countdown clock that I’ve set to mark my departure to the UK on my motorbike next month for a wee spot of touring.

*the new collective term for a lot of film to scan.

All Things Cyclical

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I can’t remember exactly the exact time it happened or any specific reason but apparently all of a sudden an iphone and two cheap applications have seen my 5D and modest yet highly functioning lens collection abandoned to a darkened corner of the spare room. I’ve never been a kind to practice street photography to any great degree so I don’t imagine that it’s out of convenience. It’s certainly not because the phone is a better camera than a now 3 year old full frame body and L lenses. If anything, the applications I’ve been using dull down the quality of the camera significantly. I guess I’ve been happy with what I’m getting from the combination so far, given that the ‘proper’ camera hasn’t seen the light of day for about two months now. Even during the most acute periods of photoloathing I’ve managed to shoot a few bits & pieces once a month.

Last night I opened both Lightoom and Photoshop for the first time since November. I still have a good number of 2009 photos in my main Lightroom catalog. That’ll tell you how much processing I do normally and more so, how quickly non-paid work gets done. When I started the ‘one-a-day’ practice of processing, it quickly became routine. Processing a whole set of photos in one sitting was pure madness, something I would have last done back when I was using Picasa on my somehow still living Windows PC.

For those of you old enough to remember how I rolled over on rymus.net, it started out as full sets of the days shooting being processed, uploaded to flickr and blogged. The full set being blogged in one post. Mad, radical stuff; Just mad.

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Maybe it prompted me to shoot more or rather shoot small stuff more often. Then I hit upon the thought that maybe I’d be better just doing one photo a day, like all the other photo blogs seem to do. That’s got to be the way forward. Fast forward through a few years of laziness and I’m pretty much back where I started.

Wouldn’t it be great to go out shooting, come home and feel motivated enough to process a full set in one go? Then, as if that wasn’t enough, post all the photos in one shot instead of drip-feeding them over the course of weeks. This is all well and good for planned days out with the camera but it doesn’t really apply for the odd phone photo. Unless there are people out there that purposefully go out with their phones to shoot a days worth of photos. I can only assume these people exist.

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In the spirit of all things cyclical, I’m back on WordPress. I made the decision to move back so I can post a few photos at a time, waffle a bit and hmm, maybe even put up a video or two. At least I’m telling myself that’s whats going to happen, remains to be seen if it will pan out that way. Armed with my iphone and a generous data plan, it’s also my aim to do some posting ‘from the road’. The road being whichever one I find myself riding on my latest two wheeled purchase. Mid-life crisis is a bitch.

So would a camera phone replace a DSLR? Without waffling on too much, the answer is no. Definitely not. Not yet anyway. When I travel I think I’ll always have my 5D and/or my A1 with me. I will however test that theory in April when I get on the ferry.

Bear with me over the following weeks and months. It’s been quite a while since my last venture into WordPress photo blogging. The random waffling, going off on tangents and general shite talking aren’t a new thing. Anyone that ever read a post over on rymus.net will know that. If you can’t handle that, try to imagine you’re looking at playboy. Just look at the photos and try not to read the articles.

I’ll be back at some stage with either my 5D or my phone.

Gardens of Napoli

Gardens of Napoli
Almost, but not quite… Photowalkers doing their thing during the June get together in west Cork. This particular stop was Garinish Island, one stop after Gougane Barra but one before the impromptu ‘it’s too early to go drinking yet’ trip to Sheeps Head. One of the best photowalks yet, if only because this time I know the area I was traipsing around. Half way there now, only 6 photowalks to go!

Sit this one out

Sit this one out
Eoin standing the balcony overlooking the dancefloor at Kevs wedding. Carefully guarding his fresh pint of Murphys. In the background, a couple of those pesky bloody photographers. Flicking back through these reminds me that I still have to get the rest of Kev & Eithne’s wedding photos processed. It’ll happen before the end of the year, of that I’m sure!

Around Blackrock

Around Blackrock
The opposite side to another shot posted previously. Looking back on Tivoli as we circle around to head back. It’s all gone a bit Cork this weekend. Hope anyone that traveled to get some jazz into them enjoyed it and similarly, I hope anyone that traveled to get away from the jazz enjoyed that. I suspect we’re just walking in the door back from the airport about now, having spent a lovely weekend in Scotland. God bless the person who invented blog post queuing…