How I Took That Shot – Niall Sharkey

This shot by Niall Sharkey was placed joint first in Grade B in our recent 'Seascape' printed competition. This is how the shot came about:

I took the photo down beside Knockadoon signal tower near Youghal, Co. Cork. I positioned myself close to the cliff edge to take the shot. It was taken at sunrise and the colour in the sky was amazing!

There was lovely cloud cover to bring texture and interest to the sky but what caught my eye was the deep red and pink hues from the rising sun as it lit up the undersurface of those clouds. Also, there was a significant warm/cool contrast between the seaward side and the land which gave it an almost 2-tone look.

Admittedly, I was aware of a seascape competition coming up so I needed some land/sea contrast and framed the image to catch both. My widest lens was 24mm and retrospectively I was sorry I didn’t stitch two images together in photoshop as the highlight of the scene was the vivid sky colour which was out of shot! Next time!!

I took the image on a tripod. The camera was a Nikon D810 with a 24-120mm lens. A slower shutter speed was used to soften the sea a little and capture the detail better at the base ISO of 64.

- Niall Sharkey



How I Took That Shot – Ray O’Connell

This shot by Ray O'Connell took 1st place in Grade B in our recent 'Black and White' projected competition. This is how it came about:

My entry of “Rider falling from a horse” was taken during the club shoot at the Point to Point in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on 3rd Feb. 2019. It was a mixed cloudy/bright day and I was lucky to get some moody clouds during my shot which cut down somewhat the danger from highlights in the sky. Shooting fast-moving animals / objects I tend to use Shutter Priority mode (TV on my Canon) and you need to set a very fast shutter speed to freeze the action which can mean compromising on the depth of field as you
need to open the lens up more (small f-stops numbers) but this also can have the effect of making your subject jump out against the background. I used 1/1250sec for this shot on my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 lens at 95mm, ISO 100 which gave me f3.2.

Positioning is very important so I stood on the track just past one of the jumps and side on to the approaching horses to catch them as they landed. Post-production in Lightroom I removed Chromatic Aberration / Enabled lens profile, increased blacks and shadows, brought down highlights and whites. After these changes, I then
converted the photo to B/W by using the Lightroom preset “B/W Low Contrast”. There was a rope extending from the pole to the edge of the photo behind the horse which I found distracting so removed this in Photoshop using the Spot healing brush.

 - Ray O'Connell


How I Took That Shot – Kevin O’Brien

This shot by Kevin O'Brien took first place in Grade C in our recent 'Seascape' printed competition. This is how the shot came about:

I took this shot specifically for the competition as I wanted to try out some recently bought filters.

The location is Poll Gorm near Myrtleville, Co. Cork, a nice rugged, rocky area. The setup was manual, on a tripod with a Lee “Little Stopper” filter (6 stops), to allow a long exposure to blur the water motion, and a 2 stop Lee graduated filter to control the highlights in the sky.  The camera settings were f/11, ISO 100 and an 8-second exposure.

I tried a few shots from different positions but I chose this one mainly because I liked the light on the rocks in the foreground.

 - Kevin O'Brien


Black & White Competition – 05/03/2019

The second in the series of six member-competitions, as part of the Annual Photographer of the Year Awards, was held on 5th March last in an extremely well-attended meeting in the Midleton Park Hotel. A recording-breaking 35 entries were submitted in this Black White category. As part of the new policy to help develop member abilities by having external judges review / mark the entries, we were delighted to have the renowned Charlie O’Donovan give members his expert review. He congratulated the club for both the high number of entries and the high quality of the photographs

The following were the results of the competition:
Grade A: 1st – Finbarr O’Shea. Joint 2nd --  Andrew Corkbeg and Gráinne Davies. 3rd - Denis Barry
Grade B: 1st – Ray O’Connell, 2nd - Niall Sharkey, 3rd - Paul Stack
Grade C: 1st – Clara Mc Carthy. 2nd - Roseanne O’Donovan Joint 3rd -  Miriam Keogh and Sue Casey.

Click here to see the gallery of competition images. Enjoy!

Click here for the winners' photos.

Click here for all the results.

- Ray O'Connell



Seascape Competition – 05/02/2019

Much of our group's activity in January focused on seascape photography and, following on from photoshoots at Youghal and Ballycotton and a presentation by local seascape photographer Paul Flynn AIPF, the first of our 6 competitions of 2019, themed "Seascape", took place at our meeting on 5th February at the Midleton Park Hotel.

This was a printed competition and we were delighted to welcome local photographer, John Finn AIPF ARPS, on the night to judge the 22 entries. Once the winners in each grade were announced, John gave a critique on each image, giving valuable insight and advice from his wealth of experience.

John went on to discuss the process he undertook in achieving his Associateship with the IPF and RPS with his wonderful panel of inverted reflections in the River Lee. With distinctions becoming a major interest for many of our members this was an inspiring discussion, and we look forward to meeting up with John again soon.
Winners on the night as follows,

Grade A 1st - Andrew Corkbeg
Grade A 2nd - Dave Harris, Joe Moroney
Grade A 3rd - Kevin Day

Grade B 1st - Noel O'Keeffe, Niall Sharkey
Grade B 2nd - Paul Stack
Grade B 3rd - Jim Curtin, Ray O'Connell

Grade C 1st - Kevin O'Brien
Grade C 2nd - Richard Hennessey
Grade C 3rd - Rosanne Donovan

Click here for the competition gallery

Click here for more photos from the night.

- Anthony O'Connor, LIPF