Co-Down

3 Years by admin

Hi folks, While I've been involved in photography for most of my adult life, over the past 3 years I decided that I wanted to push myself down a more formal route.  My decision was based on the thought that studying an academic course would force me to slow down and take time to research.  Far too often, I've been guilty of just grabbing a camera and starting to shoot, without any preparation time really.

 

So, when I started the HND in Photography through Southern Regional College at Lurgan, I knew I was going to have to work hard to complete a varied range of modules designed to make the student really critique and evaluate the work of other photographers and then apply the same rigorous criteria to my own work.  There's noone harder on me that myself and so the whole 3 years experience was hard going at times.  Sometimes I was pushed into areas that I wasn't very comfortable with.   Product photography, architectural photography, photo-journalistic photography and many others.  I have always loved portrait photography and completed this module in Year One, long with fine art and landscape photography.

 

Girl with Pearls 3 by Geoff McGrath

 

Year One was probably the most formative of the 3 years for me. I say this because it was during this time that I found myself really pushed into an area I struggled with, due to my eyesight.  Working in the darkroom.  Now, darkroom technique is something that I've always loved, but I did find it hard as, at the time, I'd been having some problems with my eyesight (one of the joys of getting older!).

I finished with a level of work in my landscape module that did not please me and so this spurred me on to devote my summer to going out and compiling a portfolio of landscape work.  I made a lot of mistakes along the way but through this process, I ended up falling in love with photographying this beautiful country of Northern Ireland and for the past 3 years have been totally caught up with it.

 

Tree taken at Ballyrobert, County Down by Geoff McGrath, Fine Art & Landscape Photographer, Northern Ireland

 

Since that time, a passion has been growing with in me to promote the rugged beauty of this country.  It was at that time, back in 2012 that I launched this website with a view to sharing my vision with the world.  Exactly how I see this country.  I spent a number of years overseas and I think that is something that has probably made me appreciate the beautiful landscape of Northern Ireland. So, 3 years on, it is with a sense of pride and accomplishment that I think of what I've achieved. I've had commissions from private clients as well as having sold images to film companies for their sets and my work will be on the big screen some time in 2016!

 

The Commons as the wind picks up

 

 

This year the most rewarding aspects of the course have been Portfolio and Exhibition.  As I already mentioned, over the past 3 years, I have amassed a whole plethora of images and yet I never really had the time to actually choose which ones I thought were my best ones.  Portfolio allowed me that time and narrowing it down really made me examine them very closely.  I had received some critique about my early work which hadn't been what I had hoped to hear and for the first time I could see what they were talking about.  Some images looked good on screen but did not print well.  So another item has been added to my list of things to do.  Spend the summer reshooting a lot of my early work again.  I have since then gained a lot of experience and knowledge as well as upgrading my 15 yr old D200 camera to much newer D7100.

 

Tranquility over Oxford Island

 

I also had the opportunity to return to one particular part of Ireland which has haunted/inspired me since 2003, when I first visited it.  Connemara / Mayo.  I had photographed this valley at that time, but time and time again, I returned to look at it longing to return to photograph it when I had more time and the ability to really focus.  In 2014 Rosemary and I stopped our car and I realised that this was it.  It was only 15mins from where we were staying in Louisburg, Co.Mayo.

 

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I love the depth of colour that I find in this beautiful country. it isn't just in the greens though. Everyone talks about Ireland being about the 40 shades of green. It is, but it is so much more than that. There is a timeless ancient quality to this land. These rocks and mountains have been here for 1000's of years. What stories they could tell.

Fine Art Irish Landscapes, Upper Doolough Valley, Co. Mayo, Geoff McGrath Photography

 

This area was the scene of one of the worst tragedies of the Irish Potato Famine when 1000's lost their lives trekking these hills in the worst of winter just to beg for help from overlords more interest in themselves that the people whose responsibility they were.

 

Fine Art Irish Landscapes, Connemara, Co. Mayo, Geoff McGrath Photography

 

Again the rugged landscape of Co. Mayo moving towards what is known as the Connemara Loop. This beautiful expansive land is so often forgotten and neglected by us.

 

Fine Art Ireland - Geoff McGrath - Country Road, Co.Mayo

 

I know John Denver was singing about West Virginia, but this image just reminds of of his song Country Road! I had stopped because Rosemary wanted to photograph some sheep and I happened to turn around and this scene greeted me. I've learned this past few years to "turn around" a lot. Sometimes the best views are from the opposite direction! Its good to look back and see where you have come from!

 

Deserted Cottage, Co.Mayo - Geoff McGrath Photography

 

This deserted cottage was the first thing that really grabbed my attention in Co.Mayo. The depth of colour and beautiful shades of green just captivated me.

 

Mussenden Temple Fine Art Northern Ireland, Geoff McGrath

 

Mussenden Temple was one of the first things that I photographed 3 years ago and traditionally I have preferred this work as a black and white, but after listening to some things that Matt Klowskowski had to say about Lightroom, I decided to rework many of my images and as a result was able to bring so much more out of these shots in colour.

 

Orlock Point, Co.Down - Geoff McGrath Photography

 

This was an image which I had largely ignored 3 years ago when I took it. But in Lightroom I have been able to do so much with this shot to show off the natural beauty of Orlock Point, which is only a 10 minute drive from my home in Donaghadee.

 

I have reached the end of this lengthy post. But I wanted to share with you finally, what I suspect is probably the first landscape that ever really etched itself in my mind as a child. This is, of course, Slemish Mountain, just outside Broughshane, Ballymena. For many years a local photographer, known mostly for his weddings and portraits had been selling a landscape of this scene and it could be seen around many shops in the Ballymena area.

 

(Jack Adams was one of the most prominent photographers in the area for over 40 years and is a good friend of my family. After he retired Jack was so much help to both myself and my father as we photographed weddings, often coming along on the day and his advice and knowledge were unsurpassed.)

Others have gone on to photograph Slemish in the years following, but none of them captured the gradeur and sheer majesty of the hill where Saint Patrick tended sheep, as well as Jack Adams did.

 

So I just want to say that what you see on this website, all started with my father putting a camera in my hand and showing me how to take photographs, but the inspiration came from the work of Jack Adams and I owe him a debt of gratitude for all of his help and encouragement to me over the years.

 

Fine Art Landscape Northern Ireland Slemish, Co.Antrim - Geoff McGrath Photography

 

And so, This June sees the end of 3 years of hard work. To mark the event, the gradtuating students are holding the Beyond Exhibition in the Millenium Court Arts Centre, in Portadown on 4th June at 7.30pm and we would love to see you there. I will have some of my pieces on display which will be available to buy or order. Hope to see you there! Please come and introduce yourself and say hello!

 

Geoff.

 

Return to Rihanna's Tree - ( Fine Art Tree Photography ) by admin

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  Fine Art Tree Photography, in Northern Ireland Hi again.  If you've read my blog before or browsed my website, you might recognise these two black & white images.  In 2013, I had the privledge of winning 2 Gold Awards for images of this iconic tree not far from my home in County Down, Northern Ireland.

  (Psst! Don't forget, you need to click on the images to see them in more detail!)

 

Life in a Hopeless Place - Gold Award Winner March 2013 SWPP - Fine Art Tree Photography

 

This first shot was the first image that I entered and I was really pleased that it was given a Gold award as a landscape.  That fit the feel and atmosphere that I wanted to convey.  A lone tree stretching out it branches to the world, beckoning us in.

 

Fine Art Tree Photography by Geoff McGrath, Helens Bay, Co.Down, Northern Ireland

 

This second shot was taken around the same time as the first one, but for me, I wanted to do something far more intimate and personal with this shot.  I wanted the viewer to see the tree.  Its detail.  The textures in the bark and the branches.. in short, its character.  I have long identified with this tree, as I am sure many of you have.  This tree has been beaten by the weather, up on the top of this hill and has taken the worst that nature can throw at it and still its here.  Life can be like that and sometimes we feel like the tree.... or in the words of Elton John, "I'm Still Standing!"  That's why the tree forms part of my logo.  It reminds me every day, that I'm still standing. I really love creating images like this and fine art tree photography in general.

 

I've heard it said of Ansel Adams that he would return to an area again and again and at different times and seasons to see if there was something new he could see and learn.  I like that.  And, its something that I do.  This tree grabs my attention every time I drive past it and I always find myself considering doing something new with it.

 

So, a few weeks ago, on my way to Belfast, I had a little time to spare and since I generally carry my camera and tripod with me most of the time, I decided to stop and see what I could see new in this scene.  The field was full of what I think was barley and it was getting close to harvest time.  I loved the idea of being able to capture movement amongst the barley as well as the colours and new textures.  What difference was this going to make to my shooting my old friend, the Tree.

 

At this point I need to say that I as I entered the field I was very conscious of my need to be respectful of the farmer and his crop.  I'd previously phoned the owners and asked for permission and was told that it was fine to enter at any time.  They'd seemed quite shocked that I had called because they told me that most people just enter the field without any consideration or asking permission.  With this in mind, I trod really carefully through the crop, making sure to not make any fresh tracks, following existing ones as I didn't want to damage anything.    

Rihannas Tree - Colour Cast - Geoff McGrath Photography - Fine Art Tree Photography

 

Here I've added a colour cast as well as some neutral density using Nik software's Analog Efex and Colour Efex software.  I have been using Nik for the past few years and love the consistency that it gives me.  Also, with the new Analog Efex, it has really expanded my creative pallet.

 

In the Barley - Rihannas Tree - Fine Art Tree Photography

 

One of the things I wanted to explore was the tree itself and see what it looked like from different perspectives and sides.  Here I've used my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 II AT-X Pro .  I'd have liked to been able to get more of the tracks on the right into the shot, but it wasn't possible without losing the feel of the shot.

 

Rhiannas Tree - Fine Art - Wet Plate - Fine Art Tree Photography

 

Now, this is another one of the great creative options I was talking about earlier.  Analog Efex gives you the possibility to simulate other, more traditional treatments such as those one could produce in a darkroom using not only film, but in this instance, wet plate.  There is great freedom to control various elements such as water streaks etc.  You either love this or hate it.  Don't worry thought, I won't fall out with you over it.  I personally like it.  I'm very aware of the fact that photography and art in general is very subjective, so its ok to disagree. For example, not everyone is as into fine art tree photography as I am! :)

 

Personally I just love the feel of this.... As well as using Nik software I also have added 3 different textures working carefully to get just the right level of opacity for each of them.  For those who don't speak Photoshop-ese, I basically blended some different textures over the top of the image to give it some extra character and punch. Now, my trip to the Tree wouldn't be complete without some iPhoneography.

 

Rhiannas Tree - iPhoneography - Fine Art Tree Photography

 

 

I shot this on my iPhone 5 with the 645ProMkII app, one of my favourite camera apps.  There's a new version out 645ProMkIII which is excellent (I'm still experimenting with it so haven't too much to say about it at the moment.)  I added some texture to this shot using the DistressedFX app and then saved it and went back in again and added the birds using the same app.  Finally I bordered the image in Pixlr-o-matic.

 

All-in-all, it was a productive trip.  I always come away from this place feeling invigorated. Being at the foot of The Tree is always a good place to be.

 

A Stroll on the Beach by admin

  Yesterday as part of our relaxing Bank Holiday weekend, we went for a drive to the other side of Strangford Lough down towards the Mournes and ended up staring out at the beach in Newcastle.

 

After a surreal experience at the Slieve Donard, where there was an Antiques Fair, we went back into the town, parked up and went for a walk down the Promenade.  I'd wanted to walk down the sea-front to get some shots on my iPhone of the beach and the sea.

 

Taken using Camera+ (a much better option that the built-in camera on the iPhone 5) I was able to set my exposure and focal points separately.  I found a mid-range area to expose the image with and focussed on the beach itself.

 

The result was a fairly pleasing little shot, but I knew that this was not the end as I planned to sit down when I went home and work on it some more on my iPad.

 

So, how did I get from this.....

 

newcastle beach

 

 

 

to this....?  

On the Beach - taken at Newcastle, Co.Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well for starters, why did I take it?  What was it that really stood out to me?  I love the tonal quality of the sky, the depth of contrast within the clouds and then also the sea had a very definite look to it and I wanted to exploit that.

 

At this point I would like to say another word of thanks to Skip (Paul Brown) of Skipology as I've found his tutorials extremely helpful in exploring various apps and of course, I've bought a few apps in the process, as I am always looking for new information and possibilities for my own iPhoneography / Smartphoneography Workshops. (See here for more details)

 

One thing I keep repeating is that it is YOUR vision that makes the image.  That and being able to translate that into a form that others can see and appreciate.  All the apps in the world are worthless if you don't know what you want to do or even what you like!  Skip's tutorial based on a seascape he did some time ago, basically opened my eyes to some different ways to look at things. I did some things as he did but since my image was different in some ways, I came up with some other ways to interpret the shot that suited me better.

 

I opened the image in Snapseed to straighten it but found that it was pretty darned near perfect as it was.  That was easy eh?  Since I was working with a colour image (Skip's image started off shot in black & white in Hipstamatic) I already had the colour I wanted and so went to Phototoaster and applied the Clarify filter, which just lifted the detail a little on the beach.  I normally would use "Detail" on Snapseed for this followed by "Drama" but I liked the subtle treatment that Toaster gave the image.  After each stage, I saved the shot.

 

Then it was into Distressed FX (a new app to me!) and it was a really cool app to work with.  I loved the textures and effects options that it gave me.  I added some birds and used the Charm filter in it.  I saved the image then went to Trey Ratcliff's 100CamerasIn1 and as per Skip's suggestion, I added the "It seemed like a good plan" filter, but instead of setting to minimum, I chose to crank it to about 30% as I didn't like the loss of colour.

 

That was pretty much it.  The big revelation for me was Distressed FX and the beautiful texturing.  You know, one thing that being given the opportunity to teach workshops does for you is it makes you very aware of how much you have to learn and it makes you hungry to learn more.  I can't pass on what I don't know and so this whole process for me has been a real pleasure.

 

If you haven't already taken a look at my iPhoneography page, click here and have a look.  Also feel free to share the beach image in today's blog post.  Don't forget, if you'd free on the afternoon of 19th March at 3.30pm,   I'll be running the 2nd workshop at Dungannon Library on Smartphone Photography in conjunction withLibrariesNI,.  To book your place, contact the Library directly on 028 8772 2952.  Look forward to seeing you there!

 

Geoff.

Revisiting Colour ... by admin

I am amazed at how dissatisfied our minds can be.  There is always that sense of "not quite yet..." when it comes to my photography.  I'm reminded of the song I heard on the radio this morning by U2, "I Still Haven't Found what I'm Looking For..."  Sometimes I wonder if we would KNOW "it" if it stood right in front of us!  

Well being dissatisfied is a 2 way street, isn't it?  A blessing... AND a curse, that's for sure!  As I continue to research and work more and more on my processes and for new ways to do things, this is what has happened.  I've ended up looking at things slightly differently.

 

While I love black & white, for me, still the best medium by far...  I still realise too that there is tremendous potential for the use of colour in my work, I just need to find a balance that I am happy with.  These next few images that I want to show you today, briefly, are just some of those outworkings.  I hope some day to be able to print some of these in larger formats for I would be intrigued just to see them big and bold!

 

I hope you enjoy these!  Please share them or like them, as "every little helps" (at least Tesco says it does!)

 

Take care

 

Geoff.

 

Sunrise Over Oxford Island

 

 

Sailing to the Lighthouse

 

 

Ship to Shore...

 

Lighthouse with a View

 

 

 

A 2013 Round-up & Happy New Year! by admin

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Well I hope that you've all had your Christmas turkey and are looking forward to an amazing 2014!  This past year certainly has been interesting!  

So, I thought it might be a good idea to do a little round-up of my year photographically.

 

Well, it began where 2012 had left off....working on producing a panel of 9 images for a study in "Finding Form."  I did get someowhat side-tracked by the question of just how important shadow was in bringing out the actual form of a subject.  I love the use of shadow and take every opportunity I have to make use of it.

 

Fine Art & Landscape Photography by Geoff McGrath, Donaghadee, Northern Ireland

Fine Art Panel Image by Geoff McGrath, Donaghadee Harbour

 

This image didn't actually make it into my final selection of 9 images because it did not work well within the remit of my brief, but its definately one of my favourites.  I love the sense of dimension which the strong shadows bring to the image and of course, the leading lines which draw our eyes across the photograph.  Not only that, there is lovely tonal contrast on the texture of the stonework.  The reason that it didn't work well with the rest of the panel was because the subject was more the actual shadow detail and in that respect, it was not augmenting or complementing the form of a subject, it was becoming the subject.  So, in another panel it would work great, just not for one documenting "form."

 

Fine Art & Landscape Photography by Geoff McGrath, Donaghadee, Northern Ireland

 

This one works much better for the panel I was studying and infact made it into that final set of 9 images. I love the detailing of the corrosion and the really pleasing textures and tonal range throughout the image.  It really helps to see the dimensions of the chain itself.  The direction in which the chain crosses the image, forms a natural leading line drawing the viewers eye up through the shot.   If you would like to see the full panel of images including those which didn't make it through the selection process, please click here.  I think you'll agree that it portrays Donaghadee Harbour as its never been seen before.

 

Life in a Hopeless Place - Gold Award Winner March 2013 SWPP

 

In March of 2013, I had my first success of the year in the SWPP / SINWP competitions, winning "Gold" for this image in the Landscape section of the competition. I love this image and this tree in particular.  I've already said elsewhere that I really identify with this tree as I'm sure many of us can...  because regardless of what comes against it, its still standing!  I gave the image this name in part because of its recent association with Rhianna's controversial video of the song "We Found Love in a Hopeless Place..."    Many of you will also notice though, that when I launched my website, I have incorporated the tree into my new logo.  So, the tree continues to inspire me.

 

Highly Commended (Silver) Award - Media Photography - May 2013 - Geoff McGrath

 

This next image of Marc Martel won me a Highly Commended Award in May of this year.  Marc is the lead singer with a Christian band, Downhere.  More recently, Marc has found acclaim as the new frontman of the Queen Extravaganza, a Queen tribute band which was actually formed by Brian May & Roger Taylor.  Marc was hand-picked by Brian & Roger after a web audition!  Click here to see them in action on American Idol.

 

Ballycopeland Windmill, Co. Down by Geoff McGrath

 

Sometimes you wonder why an image doesn't do better and this was the case with both this image of Ballycopeland Windmill (just outside Millisle) and the one below taken from my "Belfast at Night" set.  Regardless, it was great to continue through the year with futher awards and both of these took "Highly Commended" awards in August in the Landscape and Monochrome sections respectively.

 

I've really had to start to think more about my composition and it has really paid off this year.  Previously, I depended on my ability to "see" a good image, but there is so much more to it that just seeing it, you have to work hard to convey what you see into a finished image.  I love the lonely feel of this Belfast image, despite the fact that not 500 yrds away the Belsonic Festival was playing out to massive crowds.

 

Looking Out to Sea - Under the M3 by Geoff McGrath

 

Once again my inspiration was taken from the Tree for my October 2013 entry for SWPP / SINWP competition.  I decided to enter into the Fine Art section this time around.  This was because I had processed this image in a totally different way looking for a more graduated look and feel to the sky.  Also I felt the image was not so much a landscape, as it was a portrait shot, of the Tree.  I wanted people to see the Tree in detail and get to know it personally.... at least that was the feel that I got as I worked through the process.  There was beautiful light and shade in the tree and I mirrored this in the graduated sky.

 

This effort won me a "Gold Award" in Fine Art and again it was really pleasing to see my work recognised.

Tree taken at Ballyrobert, County Down by Geoff McGrath, Fine Art & Landscape Photographer, Northern Ireland

 

 

After the Dawn - Portstewart Strand - Geoff McGrath Photography

 

As well as the Gold in Fine Art, I also received a "Highly Commended" for my image of Portstewart Strand.  This shot was taken just after the sun had risen and some beautiful detail came to the fore in the rocks and sand surfaces.  I've enhanced the tonal contrast which has helped immensely to lift the shot and give it real drama.  This was one of my favourite shots of the year.

 

As I look forward into 2014, I'm excited!  I hope you are too.... another opporunity to take a fresh look around us and refocus our efforts, to find meaning to our lives and existance, bigger than ourselves.

 

I trust as we go through this next year, you'll be with me on my journey, not only here on my blog, but also on my Facebook Page, my Pinterest Page and my 500px page.  Connect with me too on Twitter if you like!  I hope to have some exciting news to share with you very soon about some upcoming workshops that I will be taking... But enough of that!  I can't spill the beans ... NOT JUST YET, anyway!

 

Have a great New year everyone, and thank you so much for your interest in my work, it means more to me that I can possibly say!

 

Geoff (McGrath)

 

 

October SWPP Awards by admin

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I was very pleased to find out last night that I've just received a Gold Award and a Highly Commended Award for my work at the SWPP Awards yet again. Its extremely humbling to receive this recognition. Its things like this that keep motivating me to continually work to improve my images every chance I get.

 

Tree taken at Ballyrobert, County Down by Geoff McGrath, Fine Art & Landscape Photographer, Northern Ireland

 

If you've been following my blogs, you'll maybe recognise this tree.  It was a feature of my very first post back in July 2013.   Certainly if you're local to Bangor, County Down and the surrounding area you will know it because you most probably drive past it a few times a week.  On a larger scale, the tree became quite famous or should I say infamous due to the carryings-on of a certain pop star in 2012. Check 0:25 for the first glimpse.

 

The image above was taken at the same time as my initial shot in April 2013.  However, this time, I decided that in moving closer to the tree, I wanted my focus (pardon the pun) to be on the tonal quality of the tree and sky, their textures and the contrasts between the roughness of the ground and tree bark and the smooth texture of the sky.  In essence, I wanted to "get to know" the tree better.  I really love this shot because unlike the earlier image, this is a personal shot.  Its a tree-portrait.  For me, the personality of the tree shows when you get a really good look at the textures of the bark, and I especially like the intricate twisted shapes of the branches as, when the light hits them you get a lovely range of varying light features and tones.

 

I really love this one because its intimate, and personal. The way it treats light, with its various twists and turns, tell me something about the character of this tree.  The years have not been kind to it, but still, inspite of everything, it still stands. It makes me reflect on myself, my life and how we need to just lean into the wind, for that is how character is born...

 

 

After the Dawn - Portstewart Strand - Geoff McGrath Photography

 

I was also really pleased to receive a Highly Commended award in the SWPP Awards for this image from Portstewart Strand on the North Antrim coast.  This is a shot from my last outing to Portstewart just a couple of weekends ago.  As you can see, again, there was a fantastic range of tones throughout this shot.  I'm hoping to return soon and take some more shots at the Strand using my new Hitech 10 Stop ND.

 

 

Unseen Donaghadee by admin

Unseen Donaghadee - You know how you live in a place for years and then one day, you just turn a corner and find yourself looking at something you've never seen before?  Well that's what happened to me a short time ago.   I was photographing a church in Donaghadee and I turned around to leave and there before my eyes was this little lane.  Right in the middle of town.  So I couldn't resist taking time to photography a little part of unseen Donaghadee. Who knows, I might have to explore that lane further and see where it takes me...  

 

Forgotten Donaghadee

 

 

Another part of forgotten Donaghadee is an area I find myself driving past often. The gorgeous coastline of the Warren Road. We take things of this beauty for granted. Long before anyone decided to build grand houses along this road, there was the sea and people have been walking down little paths along this coastline for hundreds of years. I actually took this photography back in 2011 as part of my initial studies into HDR photography, but as many photographers, the more I learn the more I want to experiment and I decided to revisit some old images and see if I could do them justice.

 

 

Donaghadee Coast

This tree was along the path around Orlock Point and this path winds all the way in to Groomsport and then into Bangor. I need to walk that one of these days. The tree just caught my eye against the skyline.  

Coastal Trees

This final image is another taken in 2011 and I much prefer the black and white version to the colourful HDR shot which in my opinion was overcooked.  

Warren Road, Donaghadee

Please click on the "Share" button on these images and share them on your Pinterest, Facebook or your favourite social media site.

 

 

Finally, I just took delivery of my new 11-16mm lens and will soon be posting some of my first images taken with it. I've really enjoyed shooting around Belfast again, but I am really looking foward to getting some time to go out and shoot some landscape. I can't wait to see the result.

  Til next time, thanks for taking time to read..

Geoff (McGrath)

Donaghadee Lighthouse weathering the Storm by admin

Storm over Donaghadee by Geoff McGrath  

 

In January 2013, Northern Ireland saw some of the worst storm weather we have seen for some years.  Like most people, I have been happy to just sit at home and catch it on TV but this year I was reminded that the weather would be dramatic.  I needed to get out in it and capture the drama and raw power of the wind and the sea.

 

I got all my equipment ready and off I headed down to Donaghadee Lighthouse.  This image was shot approx 5pm.  In the end, the only equipment I needed was my camera, 18-200mm lens and my tripod.  It was all to do to just get the tripod set up and the camera on it!  The wind was so strong that I was finding difficulty just standing!  Thankfully I found this spot directly in front of the sea wall and firmly grounded my tripod there.  This position gave me a great view not only of Donaghadee Lighthouse but also of the rough seas outside of the safety of harbour walls.

 

Low light at the best of times creates the issue of camera shake.  But surely, thats what the tripod is there for... so I don't have worry about things like that? Right?   That's only true when letting go of your tripod won't take it hurtling down the street into the local chip shop!  So, I had to grab it as firmly as I could, holding as still as I could....pushing all the weight down towards the ground.  Focusing was not too easy either.

 

For me though, the shot captures all the raw emotion and excitement of the moment perfectly.  I always look for new and different ways to photograph Donaghadee Lighthouse and capturing it while being battered by the elements is a first for me.

 

Every image we create should evoke an emotion and for the taker, a vivid memory.  If it does for you, please leave a comment below.   :)

 

Geoff McGrath

 

 

500px Page by admin

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Today I thought I would share my 500px page with you. 500px is a fantastic site for photographers and those who love photography. I am constantly inspired by what I see there and always come away with a new idea or a better understanding of what it is that we as photographers do. Please take a look at my page and link to it if you have 500px already.

Thanks

Geoff.

Geoff McGrath - Landscape - Fine Art - Photography - Northern Ireland - County Down - County Antrim - Scapes

Ballycopeland Windmill, Co.Down by admin

Ballycopeland Windmill by Geoff McGrath Photography Tonight I was coming home from Bangor and since I always carry my camera with me, decided to go back to Ballycopeland Windmill to take another look at it.  I'd photographed this beautiful windmill just the night before but was not happy with the results.  I'm so glad that I returned to photograph Ballycopeland Windmill because I think the results proved it was well worth the effort.

 

The beauty of strong lighting is the beautiful contrast between light and shade.  To me, painting with light only works when you have depth of shadow to compliment it.

 

County Down is such a fantastic and rich resource and the more I live here, the more I realise how incredible blessed I am.  Not everyone has such amazing and iconic subject matter right on their doorstep.  Its not just Ballycopeland Windmill, but Donaghadee Harbour, Copeland Island, Helen's Bay, Scrabo Tower and the rest of the Ards Peninsula.  In time I hope to share these with you too.

 

I would really appreciate it if you would share my blog with others.

 

Geoff McGrath

 

Donaghadee Lighthouse & Harbour - Silhouette by admin

Donaghadee-Harbour-in-Silohette.jpg

Silhouette - Donaghadee Lighthouse, by Geoff McGrath Fine Art Photographer

Silhouette - Donaghadee Lighthouse, by Geoff McGrath Fine Art Photographer

 

I just wanted to share this beautiful image with you of the Lighthouse here in Donaghadee.

 

Like I said earlier, my passion is to take things we take for granted and look at them through fresh eyes....

 

For me, the timing was about perfect given the arrival of 2 travellers and their little drama that unfolded there on the pier.

 

Geoff.

Welcome to my Blog! by admin

Gold Award - SWPP / SINWP - Landscape - Geoff McGrath Welcome to my new site and blog!  Thanks so much for taking time to look at my images.

 

This image called "Life in a Hopeless Place" recently won a Gold Award in the Landscape catagory of the SWPP / SINWP Monthly competitions.

 

Some of you may recognise this tree as being the location of Rhianna's video shoot a couple of years ago.  Its an iconic image and captivating. I just find myself staring every time I drive past it.

 

I hope to have regular updates about new images and shoots that I'm planning in the near future so watch this space!

 

Geoff

 

http://www.geoffmcgrathphotography.com/

Fine Art, Landscape Photography, by Geoff McGrath, Northern Ireland