Blackwater Shoot – 28/9/14

Anthony OConnor-1

ECCG members gathered in Fermoy on Sunday 28/9/14. With overnight rain and overcast conditions, the morning wasn't looking good in Midleton but by the time we got to Fermoy, the day had brightened up considerably.

Denis Barry-3Our first port of call was the Carrigabrick viaduct on the, now closed, Waterford to Mallow railway line. Situated just downriver from the new motorway bridge on the M8, the last train to cross the viaduct was in March 1967 but not before it got its own starring role in the 1965 war film 'The Blue Max' when stunt pilot Derek Piggott flew a Fokker Dr I triplane under the viaduct with barely enough clearance on either side. The scene was the dramatic climax to the film, which saw two German WWI pilots (played by George Peppard and Jeremy Kemp) go head to head in a death defying duel of nerves to see which one would emerge as master of the skies.

Taking the role of both German pilots and with multiple takes from contrasting camera angles, he ended up flying 15 times under the wide span of the viaduct and 17 times under the narrower span. The two Fokker Dr.I triplane replicas had about four feet of clearance on each side when passing through the narrower span. He was able to fly through the arch reliably by aligning two scaffolding poles, one in the river and one on the far bank.

The director had placed a flock of sheep next to the bridge so that they would scatter as the plane approached in order to show that the stunt was real and not simulated with models. However, by later takes, the sheep had become accustomed to the planes, and had to be scared by the shepherd instead. In the printed take, the sheep continued to graze, creating a continuity error which can be seen in the finished film. See the scene in the movie trailer below.

On this day all was quiet however with only a few fishermen, a boatman (and a few photographers) breaking the solitude. The viaduct was resplendent in the sunshine reflected in the mirror-like surface of the Blackwater, altogether a beautiful sight.

Jim Curtin-5In the afternoon we headed to another viaduct on the same abandoned railway line at Kilcummer between Ballyhooly and Castletownroche. Spanning the Awbeg river near where it joins the Blackwater, the structure is another triumph of engineering which opened in June 1860 .


Jim Curtin-9The nearby Agustinian Priory of St. Mary at Bridgetown, founded between 1202 and 1216 and dissolved in 1541 was also worth a visit. The site, which was made accessible to the public by Cork County Council in the 1970s, is substantially 13th century, and is among the most extensive of any religious  house established in Ireland in that period. There are also structures and details from the late medieval (15th to 16th century), early modern (17th century) and recent (19th and 20th century) periods.


Denis Barry-18Thinking that our shoot was over for the day, we came across a small crowd gathered at the bridge over the Awbeg at Kilcummer on our way back to Fermoy. On enquiry, we found out that about 150 horses and riders on the Avondhu Hunt fun ride were expected at the spot in a few minutes. Enough said! Cameras were back out again and right on cue, the horses appeared ambling lazily down the road towards us and then turning left into the river creating a wonderful scene for which we were totally in the wrong position!! Nevertheless, the sight and sound of so many horses in one place was worth witnessing and, as it is an annual event, maybe we'll get it next time 'round.

A really great day in North Cork. Thanks to all concerned. Mouse over the image below to activate the slideshow. Enjoy!.



Hot-Air Balloon Night Glow – Waterford 26/9/14

Sonmez Begle-2

The Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championship was held in Waterford over the week ending on 26/9/14.

- from the championship website:

"The Irish Hot Air Ballooning Championship is usually referred to as 'The Irish Meet'. It is the longest running National ballooning event in the world. The first event was held in 1971 at Newcastle House in Ballymahon, Co Longford and was attended by a handful of balloons. The event now attracts over 40 balloons and has been held in Boyle, Co Roscommon; Kilkenny; Waterford; Athlone; Trim, Co Meath; Kells Co. Meath, Killenkere, Co Cavan and Drumshambo Co. Leitrim.

Balloonists from UK, USA, France, Holland, Belgium, Chile and Ireland are regular attendees to the event which is an invitation only event. The event, the biggest of its kind in Ireland, is a huge spectacle with these huge ancient aircraft flying totally dependant on the wind for direction.

This year these balloonists will spend the last week in September in the City of Waterford to celebrate the City’s 1100 birthday. The Championships were last held in Waterford in 2009 and were a huge success as they were in 2008.
The Woodlands Hotel in the City will be the headquarters for the event with the teams staying in the hotel and various hotels close by. Woodlands will be one of the launch locations which happen every morning and evening subject to flyable conditions. Other locations for Launching being considered are , The People Park, Pilltown, Carriganore and Carrolls Cross.

In addition to the launches, the balloonists provide a spectacular Night Glow where they inflate at night to the sound of music which, in 2008 and 2009 attracted huge crowds to the Quay".

Denis Barry-5With balloon activities very much weather-dependent, decisions on flights and launch sites were, typically, last-minute so getting to photograph an actual flight was always going to be difficult for anyone travelling a distance. However, the Night Glow was a more promising prospect as that would be held on the quayside in Waterford. The initial Glow, planned for Tuesday night, was cancelled due to gusting winds but was rescheduled for Friday night at 8.30pm and, following confirmation at the afternoon briefing on the same day that the event would go ahead, we decided to head to Waterford to capture the event.

Denis Barry-8Arriving at around 7.30pm, we took up a spot on the quayside across the river Suir from where the Glow would take place. A large crowd started to gather in anticipation and at around 9pm the Glow began, providing a visual fest as gas burners were turned on and off, lighting up the balloons in sync with music. With reflections coming off the river, and the Glow taking place in extremely low light, the scene was beautiful but definitely a photographic challenge. High ISO and the fastest aperture were the way to go and, since there was not a puff of air, there was little or no movement in the balloons which, thankfully, was one less dynamic to have to think about.

All in all, a different but enjoyable event and definitely worth the effort. Well done to all involved.

After you've watched the short video above, mouse over the image below to activate the slide show. Enjoy!





ECCG ‘Emotion’ Competition – 16/9/2014

'Emotion' was the theme to the latest of our competitions held at the Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 16/9/14. Following two viewings of the projected images, marks were awarded and results calculated.

As results were fed into our scoring software, a close battle was evident in all Grades for the top spots with very little separating the places at the end.


For the fourth time this year, Karen Fleming took first place in Grade A putting her in very strong position coming into our final competition, Photographer of the Year, in November.

After a first and two second placings, Finbarr O'Shea took first place again in Grade B while Trevor O'Connell took his second first place of the year in Grade C. Trevor also took third place overall with his score of 432 to join Karen Fleming, first and Fidelma Read, second, from Grade A in the top three.

Well done to everyone who entered. See all entries below. Mouse over the image to activate the slideshow controls. Enjoy.



Culture Night 2014 – Photographic Exhibition at Midleton Park Hotel

Rowan Thornhill-14

East Cork Camera Group were delighted to host international travel photographer, Rowan Thornhill, in association with Cork County Council for Culture Night 2014 at The Midleton Park Hotel on Friday 19/9/14.

Rowan Thornhill is a travel and lifestyle photographer originally from Leicester in England but now based in Cork. He studied photography at Gamleby School of Photography in Sweden, where he lived for eight years prior to moving here. He assisted the famous Swedish advertising photographer Henrik Halvarsson for over two years and has previously worked as a press photographer.

He has shot for Himalaya Magazine and Suitcase and filmed adverts for the international baby product company, BabyBjörn.

Rowan is a contributor to the picture agency Linkimage, which sell his photography all over the world.

He has a huge passion for travelling and especially for India and the Himalayas, where he has travelled extensively over three trips to the region.

Photographed during three visits to India’s north, Rowan's exhibition (see sample images above) was entitled, 'Beyond the Indus', and it portrayed the diversity and beauty of the people of Ladakh, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Delhi.

The exhibition was open from 4pm and at 8pm Rowan gave an in depth talk on the subject of travel photography followed by a very interesting insight into each of the images on display which really brought the exhibition to life.

Thanks to Rowan and his assistant, Maria as well as Cork County Council and The Midleton Park Hotel for what was an excellent exhibition and a worthy event for Culture Night, 2014.

Mouse over the image below to activate the slideshow. Enjoy!

Visit Rowan's website at



culture night

Photographed during three visits to India’s north, Beyond the Indus portrays the diversity and beauty of the people of Ladakh, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Delhi.

Rowan Thornhill is a travel and lifestyle photographer based in Cork, Ireland. He has previously shot for Himalaya Magazine and Suitcase and is a contributor to the Swedish picture agency Linkimage. He has a huge passion for traveling and especially for India and the Himalayas.

In association with East Cork Camera Group, Rowan will give an illustrated talk to accompany his exhibition at the Midleton Park Hotel.

Exhibition opens at 4pm until 8pm.

Talk at 7.30pm

Supported by Cork County Council