Dreamy Easter Cactus
Playing around with the flowers on my Easter cactus and the Zuiko 35mm macro.
A handheld shot using natural light and a daylight balanced 65W cfl for fill. After that, some cropping, cleaning and light treatments from the fog and glamour glow filters in Nik Color Efex.
Is it a lunar mountain landscape seen from low orbit as a spacecraft approaches to land, or maybe just frost on a car roof?
Playing with the vintage film filters and film degradation layers in PSP.
The ever vigilant staff of UCD's observation post on the water tower keep a careful eye on the derelict house on the Clonskeagh boundary, ensuring its unearthly residents remain confined and don't slip into the campus while the students are away. 720nm infrared image, shot around dawn. Post processing in PSP and Nik Silver Efex with a final dark sepia tone.
Old Templeogue Church
The remains of the old church, with three mature yew trees by Templeogue cemetery.
A 720nm IR image from a chilly, windy afternoon in December.
Full contrast and structure in Nik Silver Efex, an Ilford Pan F 50 film simulation and a mild virtual selenium tone.
Yew trees in the old churchyard by Templeogue cemetery.
A 720nm IR image from a chilly, windy afternoon in December.
Full contrast and structure in Nik Silver Efex, an Ilford Pan F 50 simulation and a mild virtual selenium tone.
UCD's water tower in a 720nm IR image. Full spectrum filter and virtual selenium tone in Nik Silver Efex
A rather sorry looking toadstool in UCD.
720nm IR image, some cleaning in PSP, then one of the film noir filters and a virtual selenium tone in Nik Silver Efex.
Beckett Bridge Beams
I know they're not beams, but cables, but still... 😉 Another one from Mike Smith's deliberate camera motion project for Offshoot's spring Shoot With Me programme.
The cable stays on the Samuel Beckett Bridge remind me of a file of rocket launchers in a military parade, but here, the spotlights and passing car headlights illuminating the undersides of the cables give the impression of projectors launching laser beams into the sky. What are they defending Dublin from? Invading Martians, maybe. Who knows?
The tower of Inistioge church, with the ruins of the abbey and the mausoleum of Mary Tighe in the foreground
Once again, a 950nm IR image, with a bit of work in post processing
After a bit of minimal cleaning to remove hot pixels, it had the high structure filter on an Ilford Pan F 50 emulation and a virtual selenium tone in Nik Silver Efex
The tomb of Mary Tighe in the churchyard of Inistioge, Co Kilkenny.
A 950nm IR image, with a bit of work in post processing
High structure filter on an Ilford Pan F 50 emulation and a virtual selenium tone in Nik Silver Efex
Beckett Bridge Vortex
Another one from Offshoot's Kinetic photography Shoot With Me workshop organisd by Mike Smith. This didn't have a lot of processing and the motion just came from rotating the camera in a relatively short exposure.
Turneresque No. 1
One from a recent Shoot With Me outing organised by Mike Smith.
I was playing around, sweeping the camera here and there and when I looked down at the screen, some images reminded me of JMW Turner's foggy images of the Thames, so I set to work.
This is a single five second exposure, in which I grabbed a short exposure of the Dublin skyline, pulled down a few degrees, covered the lens with my hand, then swept down to the surface of the Liffey, uncovered the lens and waved the camera around a bit to get the fog. It needed some cleaning up in PSP, mainly to lighten one very dark shadow.
720nm IR image through the viaduct over the Cookstown River.
Wet Rocks filter in Nik Silver Efex, with a mild virtual selenium tone.
Tombs in the Trees
Merrion churchyard is a remarkably secluded place and doesn't have many obvious sightlines, but with a bit of work, it's possible to find some interesting views. A 950nm IR image with the full contrast and structure filter in Nik Silver Efex and a mild virtual selenium tone.
After a break of most of a year, I've finally resumed my tour of Dublin's abandoned churches in infrared, starting with one that's more abandoned than most. Merrion churchyard hasn't been an active burial ground since 1866 and the church had disappeared long before then. It's some measure of its obscurity that I'd lived within about a mile of it for nearly twenty years and must have walked past it hundreds of times, but only stumbled across it accidentally a few months ago. Olympus OM-D EM-5, 950nm IR image, just a bit of cleaning in PSP and a high structure filter and virtual selenium tone in Nik Silver Efex.
720nm IR image, indoor daylight plus one 12W and one 16W 850nm IR LED array.
Cleaning in PSP, then playing with the high structure filters in Nik Silver Efex.
The lockdown hasn't stopped UCD taking on this year's intake.
There were actually three cygnets peeping out by the time I left, with some partly obscured grey fuzz that might have been a fourth, but I couldn't get a clear view of more than two. 70-300mm zoom at 300mm. No processing beyond cropping, sharpening and brightening. At some point, I might try cloning out the sapling, as it's seriously distracting.
Roll up, roll up!
Joe makes a pretty good impression as a circus ringmaster at last week's Offshoot members' portrait evening. A simple, but effective two light set up from Barry, with a main light in a soft box and a back light with red gel projecting onto a dark grey background.
A view from Carlingford harbour, looking across the lough to Co. Down.
950nm IR image, contrast and saturation bumped up a bit, then minimal cleaning in PSP, followed by the Wet Rocks filter and a virtual selenium tone in Nik Silver Efex
On an unseasonably bright and clear Christmas Day, Carlingford castle made a great subject in IR with a 950nm filter. For this one, I lay flat on my back and pointed the camera straight up.
It didn't have a lot of work, just bumping up the contrast and saturation in Olympus Viewer, then removing some stray pixels in PSP and applying the full contrast and structure filter in Nik Silver Efex, along with a virtual selenium tone and the usual brightening and sharpening.
Carlingford White Christmas
Carlingford castle and the hills across the harbour.
Autumn Colours at Mount Usher
This one didn't have a lot of work, but I found once again that the Nik Color Efex Glamour Glow filter works very well on autumn foliage, whatever it might have been intended for when it was developed. After that, I applied the fade correction, before the usual brightening and sharpening. The light on the day was very variable, but it did reward the time spent hanging around, which is always perfectly pleasant at Mount Usher anyway. 🙂
Green, Amber, Red
Autumn colours across the Vartry River at Mount Usher
Huntington Castle looking suitably eerie for the season.
720nm IR image, processed through Nik Color Efex in PSP.
Wet Rocks filter, with the grain bumped up in an Ilford XP5 emulation and a subtle blue tone.
New Zealand Cordylines at Huntington Castle.
720nm IR image, some tinkering in Nik Silver Efex.
Lodge Park Pergola
A full spectrum visible + IR view along a walkway under the pergola at Lodge Park Garden, Straffan. I'd taken a white balance from a nearby lawn, but here, the foliage comes in all shades from near white, though grey, to almost natural green.
Lodge Park Garden
One of the walkways in the garden at Lodge Park, next to the steam museum in Straffan.
850nm IR image, with just minimal tidying.
Full Fungal Warp Drive
Knocksink Woods go hyperspatial. Just a Fuji 800X filter in Nik Color Efex, then some brightening and sharpening.
This one was taken while playing around with deliberate camera motion in Knocksink Woods. I found a whole host of these small mushrooms growing on an old log and started playing with the zoom and sweeping the camera over long exposures. Most of those images that worked ended up looking like flying saucers, but this one came out as a shoal of mushrooms swimming over a reef in a green sea.
It didn't have a lot of processing, just playing with the light gradation before importing it to PSP, then some cleaning and a subtle bokeh filter in Nik Color Efex.
Product of G. & J. Weir Ltd.
In the yard of the steam museum at Straffan
Assorted machinery resting in the yard outside the Steam Museum at Straffan I didn't do a lot of work on this one, just playing around with the vintage film filters in Nik Color Efex.
The yard outside the Steam Museum at Straffan has a wonderful collection of odds and ends, bits and bobs and what can only be described as assorted junk. I'm not sure what role this character played in a previous life, but he looks to be quite happy in his retirement. 🙂
Anuit in IR
My first infrared portrait.
I took this one with the 40-150 and a 720nm filter, while the sun was dipping to the horizon, but there was still enough natural light in near IR and the small amount of visible light that gets through a 720nm filter for a hand held portrait. Olympus's always superb image stabilisation helped enormously, allowing a handheld shot two stops longer than the usual rule of thumb.
IR really does give a fine skin complexion. This didn't have much work at all. It's an all channel image, with just cropping, removal of a few hot pixels and then the usual sharpening and contrast adjustment, followed by a slight desaturation.
From this week's Offshoot summer outing in Dalkey.
Anuit was was very patient in an increasingly chilly evening and as the sun went down, a single light gave great separation from the ambient light.
Bride's Glen Viaduct
William Dargan's viaduct in Loughlinstown was originally built for the Harcourt Street to Bray line and might be brought back into use if and when the Luas green line is extended to Bray. For the moment, it remains as an isolated monument to the capabilities of Victorian railway engineers.
I tidied this up by removing an intrusive telephone line. I hope the good people of Loughlinstown will forgive me for cutting them off digitally. At least I didn't do so quite as dramatically as CIE did physically at the end of the 1950s. 😉 950nm infrared image, with some tidying in PSP and then the wet rocks filter and a virtual selenium tone in Nik Silver Efex
Old Kilternan Church
A full spectrum visible + IR image from the old church in Kilternan, Co. Dublin. It's had the same basic process of a small fade correction, brightening and sharpening as the other full spectrum images in this series. There's bit more about the old Kilternan church in the the very informative "Ireland In Ruins" blog.
Old Kilternan church is tucked slightly out of the way from the present day village, up a narrow lane with no footpath and precious little in the way of a verge. Fortunately, there isn't too much traffic and the walk is rewarded with a wonderfully peaceful little churchyard.
Infrared image with 950nm filter, with a hard full dynamic range in Nik Silver Efex and a virtual selenium tone.
Up The Churchyard Path
A full spectrum image in Old St. John the Baptist's churchard in Clontarf.
Once again, I took a white balance from the sunlit grass with no filter and shot from that. It's had very little work, apart from cropping to improve the composition, a small fade correction and the usual brightening and sharpening.
Old St John the Baptist, Clontarf
950nm IR filter, some tidying to remove lens flare, then the smooth full dynamic range filter in Nik Silver Efex.
Ghosts of a Past Audience
These heads have seen a lot in their time. Sculptures in Cabinteely Park. This is another one from the Offshoot motion blur outing. This time, instead of sweeping smoothly, I moved the camera a few degrees to separate the sculptures, paused for a couple of seconds to get an image and then moved on again, continuing until the exposure was finished.
The solid granite heads end up making an oddly transient appearance against the deciduous, but relatively stable woods in the distance. There wasn't a lot of processing for this one, just noise removal, sharpening and then playing with the nostalgic film filters in Nik Color Efex via PSP. Audience courtesy of Agnes Conway
An oak, obviously. 🙂
Another image from last night's camera motion Offshoot outing, organised by Mary Hahn, this time zoomed and rotated simultaneously.
One from last night's camera motion Offshoot outing, organised by Mary Hahn.
I've shot flowers with a steadier hand and better definition (honestly, I have), but I love the colours. 🙂
Westport House in IR
This one was shot in a very welcome break in the weather, about an hour before sunset.
Processed through the full contrast and structure setting in Nik Silver Efex, with a cold selenium tone process, it just had basic brightening and sharpening after that.
A bit more about Westport House here.
And here's Kitty when the lights are on and you can see her. 😉 This is how the silhouette was supposed to come out, when the key light fired. It didn't have a lot of work done, just the Olympus soft focus art filer applied, then a modest treatment with the Nik Color Efex Glamour Glow and the usual tidying, sharpening and brightening in PSP. Model: Kitty LeRoux
From Offshoot's recent studio evening. Model: Bella Dama
Kitty in Silhouette
This one was entirely serendipitous. When Barry's main light didn't fire, I was left with just the coloured backlight giving this silhouette. The light worked as expected for the next one, which I'll post shortly. Model: Kitty LeRoux
From this week's Offshoot Portrait session, Jonnie Kilfeather looks moody. Model: Jonnie Kilfeather
In the botanic gardens at Kilmacurragh
Olympus E-M5 with full spectrum IR conversion, white balance grabbed from sunlit grass and no filter.
Processed through Nik Color Efex photostyliser, using the copper toning filter.
White balance taken from sunlit grass on an Olympus OM-D E-M5 with full spectrum conversion, no IR filter and then minimal processing, mostly just sharpening and straightening.
Round Tower, Towered Over
The stump of the round tower at Rathmichael church, now almost lost among the trees and undergrowth.
950nm infrared gives plenty of contrast, particularly when there's strong lighting on the distant trees and a shaded foreground.
Angel in the Undergrowth
In old Rathmichael churchyard, this angel carved on the side face of a gravestone has been protected from the weather by the trees and undergrowth, but the ivy, while shielding it, simultaneously colonises anything it can find.
The churchyard of old Rathmichael Church in colour IR, with some very simple processing.
I started by grabbing a custom white balance from the sunlit grass, with no IR filter fitted, which gave the customary glowing white foliage, then shot the scene as it was, once again with no filter.
After that, the processing was fairly simple. I bumped up the contrast a notch and ran a high noise reduction filter in Olympus Viewer, since it was shot at the ISO 1000 that I've taken to using with the 950nm filter since late winter, when the light was duller.
Processing in PSP just involved using the small fade correction setting, then the customary sharpening and brightening with the smart photofix, which didn't receive any further correction.
All in all, it's a remarkably simple process, even if it might benefit from further refinement in the future. A bit more about Rathmichael Churchyard here I love the way the dandelions have survived all of this as their irrepressibly yellow selves, no matter how surreal their surroundings have become. You just can't keep a dandelion down. 🙂
Tully Church Colour IR
I'm starting to play around with colour processing IR images, but haven't really got the hang of it yet. Nevertheless, here's Tully Church looking a little unreal. I'm looking forward to having brighter light, so I can reduce the ISO, but I suppose I didn't do too badly to get a comfortably handheld shot on a mostly cloudy early spring day, given that with the 950nm filter, there is effectively no visible light in this one.
This was also from the first session where I grabbed a white balance from the grass, rather than setting a colour temperature manually. I don't know how much difference that would have made, given the fairly uniform tones in this one, but I'm hoping it will make colour processing easier in the future, when I have a wider range of input colours. 950nm filter, custom white balance taken from the grass, then just playing with the RGB channel sliders on the original image.
Wells Cathedral from Vicars' Close. This was put through the yellowing filter in Nik Color Efex, the grain refined a bit and then just the usual sharpening and brightening with the smart photofix preset.
Another one from last weekend's infrared excursion to Kilgobbin Church, again with the 850nm filter. This went through the Wet Rocks filter in Nik Silver Efex, then just a little tidying up.
First Kilgobbin IR
The first image I've posted from my full spectrum infrared converted Olympus EM5.
I've always loved infrared photographs and after spending a while playing around with using a 720nm Hoya filter on my regular E-620 SLR over the last three or four years, I finally got around to buying a converted camera, in my case an OM-D EM 5.
It's been a bit cold for photography recently, particularly since I've found the EM 5 to be very temperature sensitive and prone to locking up when it's frosty, but I finally took a trip out to Kilgobbin Church in south Dublin and started playing. This had very little work done, just the dark sepia effect in Nik Silver Efex and then the smart Photofix in PSP. Olympus OM-D E-M5, with full spectrum IR conversion and 850nm IR filter, white balance set manually to 2000K.
One from the latest Offshoot Shoot With Me project, Debbie's Macro Anatomy group.
When I first saw it on the back of the camera, I thought this resembled a gnarled tree root, so I processed it to bring out the effect I wanted.
It's not flattering lighting or post-processing for skin or body contours, but I thought it worked quite well.
I bumped up the contrast, burned in the shadows, then applied the Nik Color Efex bleach bypass filter, followed by playing around with the toning a bit more.
These cannons have rendered sterling service protecting Black Castle in Wicklow from marine invaders and stray balls from the golf club for over a century and a half.
Infrared image shot on an unconverted Olympus E-620 through a Hoya R72. Processing just involved setting the white balance to the lowest possible temperature of 2000K in Olympus master, then an all channel conversion to B+W in PSP, using the Nik Silver Efex high structure process, with a virtual green filter, followed by the usual brightening and sharpening. I was very lucky with the weather, being able to shoot IR on an unconverted camera in late October and still use reasonably short exposures.
A memorial to those lost at sea off the Wicklow coast, made from the anchors of the Trifylia.
There's not much of this windmill left, apart from the very impressive masonry tower and it's stuck in a not very accessible place between Dundalk's docks and town centre, but if you take a walk into a quiet estate, it's possible to get this view.
This is almost as blue as Irish skies get, but we still manage to capture almost the full spectrum, with the help of the red maple on the left.
Ballymascanlon Crazy Golf Hole 11
For your next challenge, hit the ball through the trilithon and into the hole, without disturbing the pebbles on the top. 🙂
Wells Cathedral and Vicars' Close
Looking towards the cathedral, down Vicars' Close.
Lucy at this week's Offshoot portrait session in Killiney
Lucy with BMW
One from this week's Offshoot outdoor portrait session at Killiney beach
Botanic Garden Greenhouse
Olympus E-620, Hoya R72. Red channel separation
Infrared Cow Parsnip
A common herbaceous plant, it once formed the principal foodstuff of the now exceedingly rare infrared cow. The near-extinction of the latter probably accounts for the ubiquity of the former. Olympus E620, through a Hoya R72 on the 35mm f 3.5 macro.
Illumination from one 12W and one 16W 850nm LED array and two 500W incandescent halogen workshop lights.
B+W conversion using the +3 stop push process preset in Nik Silver Efex and some cleaning up, noise reduction and cropping in PSP
An infrared view across the biodiversity lake towards the main mall at UCD.
A slightly cleaned up B+W image from the green channel, which gave the most dramatic shading.
Shot through a Hoya R72 on an unconverted Olympus E-620.
This one had a bit of playing around with Nik Silver Efex in PSP, but to be fair, the building is dramatic enough on its own.
I was very lucky with the weather, as I think the cumulus in the deep blue sky were perfect for applying a virtual red filter after applying the full contrast and structure preset, then tinkering with it a bit.
The Dunster Castle Express is about to leave the station.
Ready To Go
Final checks are just about complete on the loco of the Dunster Castle Express
Dunster Castle Express
Ready and waiting at Bishop's Lydeard station. Before anybody asks, no, it doesn't have a second funnel made of brick. 😉
on the formal lake in UCD this afternoon.
Most of Stogursey Castle is now ruined, but the gatehouse, since developed into a substantial thatched cottage, remains in fine form and can be rented as a holiday home. The moat no longer serves much of a defensive purpose, but does provide a habitat for visiting waterfowl.
Vicars' Close, Wells
Laid out in the mid 14th century by bishop Jocelin of Wells in his home city, of which he became bishop, Vicars' Close is the oldest surviving residential street in Europe. The house facades have been modified over the years, but the original mediaeval fabric of the buildings is essentially intact. This one was almost straight out of the camera, with just a little sharpening and removal of lens vignetting.
From Offshoot's spring 2018 Shoot With Me project. Steve and Richard ran a projected image portrait workshop, where the only light source comes from an image projected onto the model, who gives depth and structure to the scene, or brings an image into relief.
Here, Anuit models for Edvard Munch's Scream.
Phalenopsis in visible light and in infrared through a Hoya R72.
The lighting is the same in both cases:
2 x 500W halogen incandescent workshop lights
1 x 12 W 850nm IR LED array
1 x 16 W 850nm IR LED array Both images were processed in PSP 2018. The visible image just had very basic brightening and sharpening, while the IR one went through the high structure filter in Nik Silver Efex, preceded and followed by burning to take out some haze in the background, then the usual cleaning, sharpening and brightening. Shot through the Zuiko 35mm f/3.5 macro, a wonderful little lens. 🙂
Back to experimenting with my home IR studio, here's one from my first time playing with my new IR LED lamps, along with the workshop lights.
1x 12W 850nm LED array
1x 16W 850nm LED array
2x 500W incandescent halogen workshop lights. Unconverted Olympus E-620 with Hoya R72 on the kit 14-42. The difference in wavelength and practical illumination of the LED and filament lights is really quite marked. The image from the former is mostly magenta in live view and appears surprisingly dim at first. When the halogen lights kick in, the image shifts to deep orange-red and is a lot brighter, but compared with previous shots using only the halogen lamps, I estimate that the IR lamps give an extra 2 stops of illumination at a negligible extra power drain. As a result, I can now shoot at reasonably small apertures, for better depth of field, while keeping the exposure to 2 to 4 seconds, without having to pump the ISO up too much. This time,
I avoided the burnt highlights from the halogen lights by using aluminium mesh diffusers, improvised from car body repair sheets. With the brighter lights, I suspect I can probably bring the ISO down further, but this was just an early experiment. Post processing was fairly minimal, just a B+W conversion in Nik Color Efex, burning to remove unwanted background detail and the usual brightening and sharpening.
I was looking more or less randomly through my catalogue and thought this one had potential, so I set to work on it.
Mariana from an Offshoot studio evening.
A spathiphyllum leaf in IR, trying my improvised aluminium mesh diffusers on the lights to avoid burning out the highlights.
This one was a bit noisy, which is something I'll have to work on.
Playing with my old E620 with the dead screen, shooting tethered using Olympus Studio. Some ivy from the garden, lit with a couple of 500W halogen workshop lights, shot through a Hoya R72
Coliemore Sunrise Silhouette
After playing around for a bit with PSP and Nik Color Efex, this time with the classic camera tool
Dalkey Island Sunrise
From Coliemore Harbour on a chilly morning.
From our first minimalist landscape outing, at the Seapoint bathing spot.
From Larry's minimalist landscape Shoot With Me project.
It was a hazy, drizzly, blustery day, so I decided to go along with the conditions and applied a light fog in post processing.
Coliemore Harbour with what there was of a sunrise this morning.
Let me out!
It's easy to get lost in Loughcrew and this fellow still hasn't found his way out.
In another one from last week's OffShoot studio evening, Julien looks a bit less menacing this time.
For this one, I spent a little while playing around with the solarisation in Nik Color Efex.
In another one from the latest OffShoot portrait session, Jocelyn makes good use of Barry's single reflector-mounted light
Lucy in this week's OffShoot studio evening, in a two light setup organised by Tony.
Julien described this one as "the Bruce Wayne look" and I can see what he meant. After a first shot when he stood with his arms folded, I had an idea and suggested he "look mean" and this was the result.
St. Oliver Plunkett's Church
An IR view (R72) of the ruins of the church at Loughcrew.
I was surprised by how bright the bare branches of the tree behind the tower were in IR. Given the thick bark, I'd have expected the water to have been pretty well shielded, so I'd have expected them to have been much less reflective and darker, more like evergreen foliage.
IR never fails to deliver surprises. 🙂
I'm glad I don't have an infestation of these beasties.
Over the Weir
Another one from an unexpected opportunity that provided a bonus shoot on the Boyne.
Steady as she goes...
One of a few I took opportunistically, while I was heading back from my intended work. This wasn't what I set off to shoot at all and isn't normally my thing, but when a passer by said there were some canoeists coming down the river, who would make for good pictures, I decided to hang around and see what I could make of an unexpected opportunity.
Personally, I think I'll stay on the riverbank. 😉
Mill House on the Boyne
Some autumn colour from the Rampart Walk, just downstream from Slane Castle.
Not a lot of work, just a light treatment from Nik Color Efex Indian Summer, to enhance the golden reds a bit, along with what is becoming a semi-regular, very light (mis)application of the Glamour Glow.
I have great banks of this stuff growing on the compost heap in the garden. I don't know what it is, but its delicate, filamented structure looks like a coral reef stranded on dry land.
It was shot on a very blustery, showery day, so the shafts of light were entirely unpredictable and exposures took a lot of guesswork. To get the effect I wanted, I ended up exposing for the brightest parts of the image when I very briefly had the transient lighting I wanted, then locking and waiting for the light to return.
After that, I just bumped up the contrast and saturation, put it through the Olympus Pop Art filter and gave it basic cropping, brightening and sharpening in PSP.
Another one from last week's Offshoot Blackrock outing, with a bit of work on it.