Youghal Queen of the Seas – 15/07/2018

On Sunday 15th July, the Youghal Queen of the Sea festival concluded with a spectacular fireworks display. The suggested viewpoint for photography was Ferrypoint in Co. Waterford with a panoramic view across the Blackwater River towards the town of Youghal. Walking around the shore at Ferrypoint provided views of the quays, the Clock Gate Tower overlooking the buildings, to Youghal Lighthouse, Capel Island and Knockadoon Head further south beyond Youghal Bay.

On arrival at Ferrypoint, they were plenty of people camped out with the Bee Gees Tribute band playing across the river and enjoying the fine evening. Before the main event, there was ample opportunity to set up the camera and make a few trial images. As darkness approached, beautiful reflections appeared in the channel to add to the scene. A good crowd gathered in anticipation of the fireworks including a group celebrating a birthday.

On conclusion of all the Bee Gees hits, the fireworks burst into the sky. There was plenty of variety in the bursts which gave me ample opportunity to test the Fireworks mode in the camera. With the backdrop of Youghal town, the spectators appreciated the show, although one baby did not share the same enthusiasm. The last few fireworks were fired high in the sky above us to bring the festival to an end - with a bang...

See a gallery of images from the shoot here. Enjoy!

 - Paul Stack

 

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ECCG ‘Cork’ Competition – 06/03/2018

The image above, by Noelle Lowney, was the overall highest scoring image in our recent competition whose theme was 'Cork' and by a clear margin of 33 points to boot!

With another good entry of 29 images, the competition was intense but when the final votes were counted, this is how the top three in each Grade looked:

It was an outstanding performance in Grade B with the top two overall points going to Noelle Lowney and Remi Boron respectively. Grade C also was an interesting finish with Neil O'Carroll taking first place for the second time on the trot while a newcomer to the Group, Jim Corbett,  took second place with a very interesting 'mini world' image.

Well done to all our winners and everyone who entered, especially to those entering for the first time.

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

See also:
How I took that Shot - Kevin Day
How I took that Shot - Noelle Lowney
How I took that Shot - Neil O'Carroll
Winners Presentation Photos
Competition Results and 2018 League Table

If you are interested in photography and would like to know more about East Cork Camera Group, click the 'Contact Us' link above.

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ECCG ‘Festive’ Competition – 06/02/2018

Coming so quickly after Christmas, hopes were high that the 'Festive' theme would entice a good entry to our first internal competition of 2018 and we were not disappointed as twenty-nine entries were received. The image above by John Tait was the overall highest scoring image on the night and took first place in Grade A.

These were the 1, 2, 3s in each Grade:

Grade C saw Neil O'Carroll on the winner's podium for the first time with Ray O'Connell and Paul Stack in second and third respectively.

Noelle Lowney won Grade B by a comfortable 29 point margin from Keith Johnson in second followed by Denis O'Flynn in third.

Grade A was the real battleground in this competition with different competitors occupying the first, second and third berths at different times as the votes were recorded. In the end, though it was John Tait who took the top spot from Fidelma Read by a winning margin of only eleven points with Eileen Upton coming home in a very credible third place in her first outing in the Grade. The Grade A placings were replicated in the Overall first, second and third spots.

Well done to all our winners and everyone who entered, especially to those entering for the first time.

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

See also:
How I took that Shot - John Tait
How I took that Shot - Noelle Lowney
How I took that Shot - Neil O'Carroll
Winners Presentation Photos
Competition Results and 2018 League Table

If you are interested in photography and would like to know more about East Cork Camera Group, click the 'Contact Us' link above.

 

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How I Took That Shot – Paul Stack

In our recent ECCG 'Shoots' Competition, entered images had to have been taken during one of our scheduled shoots held during 2017. Paul Stack took first place in Grade C with just seven points to spare. This is how he made the image:

Thanks to Finbarr for the Copper Coast plan and Michael for knowledgeable driving on route to the Copper Coast in Waterford on a nice day in April 2017. Normally my excursions to Waterford would involve the Comeraghs to get out and enjoy the views with my camera.

The Greenway was the first stop on the Copper Coast Photoshoot excursion, and although the initial plan was to capture one of the viaducts, we strolled down to the Ballyvoyle Tunnel near Shanacool parking area. A very interesting feat of engineering. From deisegreenway.com, "The Railway Line from Dungarvan to Waterford was constructed during the 1870's and was officially opened on the 12th August 1878". It has been reopened in recent years providing a long route between Dungarvan and Waterford city for pedestrians and cyclists, and prams 🙂

On entering and leaving Ballyvoyle tunnel I caught a few nice views. I quite enjoy the challenge of capturing images in dark light or night time and the tunnel was a good test of camera skills. Also appeared like some longer tunnel photos looked really good on my camera screen. But I had a feeling when I look at the images from the tunnel at home that they would be blurry, and they were...

So this is where HDR, High Dynamic Range, Photography comes in. In the weeks leading up to the photoshoot I had come across some HDR tutorials and reviews and enabled the saving of RAW format images on my camera as they contain more image information that can be found on a normal JPG image file. 

Anthony gave a tutorial in a ECCG meeting around the same week. As a result I downloaded the free version of Photomatix software and did some experiments at home but found a terrible watermarks in the saved images, despite all the time spent in styling.

In purchasing recent cameras i've been lucky with increased stabilization with less chance of blurring an image. The camera was Olympus OM-D E-M5 with a standard lens of M.Zuiko 12-50mm ƒ/3.5-6.3. 

The image was about a 2 second exposure, and for me taking multiple attempts should normally achieve a non-blurry image.

It should also be mentioned that we had much less traffic inside the tunnel to allow for much better opportunities and less crowded to capture the surroundings.

Before shot at about 25% of the JPG file: (Image: P4090090_small) 

Using the RAW file I did some trials with different settings, but had to restart a number of times due to losing the image quality. Sometimes the generated final image with Photomatix just got distorted. The image displayed in Photomatix is a more recent darker attempt, but the figure in the light at the end of the tunnel loses their head. This version is closely related the the Monochrome 2 preset in Photomatix, whereas the competition image is closer related to Monochrome 3 with a lot of tweaks and adjustment to the settings displayed on the right side of Photomatix.

I was aiming to make the image as smooth as I could see it, with keeping an eye mostly on the shadows across the path and trying to emphasize those, while also keeping an eye of the figure in the light at the end of the tunnel. But in applying the HDR process to non-blurry images it didn't have the same emphasis as the lighting was from the other side of the tunnel. So the light at the end of the tunnel was behind me in this case.

 - Paul Stack

Well done Paul.

Click here to see a gallery of images from the competition.

See also:
How I took that Shot - Michael Hickey
How I took that Shot - Noelle Lowney
Competition Gallery
Winners Presentation Photos
Competition Results and 2017 League Table

 

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ECCG ‘Vacation’ Competition – 05/09/2017

With summer already fading from memory, the first ECCG meeting of the autumn, held at the Midleton Park Hotel on 5th September last, featured the fifth internal competition of the year with the theme Vacation. In a departure from the usual projected competitions, entrants were required to enter prints for this competition. With twenty-three entries, competition was close across all grades but in the end, the image above by Noelle Lowney, got the best overall score at 566 points. The rest of the top-three places across the grades went as follows:

In an extremely close contest, John Tait won Grade A by just two points from Fidelma Read while Anthony O'Connor took third only three points adrift.

Noelle Lowney was first in Grade B with 566 points, the highest score of the competition with four points separating Remi Boron and Eileen Upton at 545 and 541 respectively.

Miriam Keogh had a a 43 point winning margin in Grade C from Andrew Foley,in second with 498 points and Paul Stack in third with 480 points.

The overall placings were Noelle Lowney (566), John Tait (557) and Fidelma Read (555),

Well done to all twenty-three entrants.

Click here to see a gallery of images from the competition.

See also:
How I took that Shot - John Tait
How I took that Shot - Noelle Lowney
How I took that Shot - Miriam Keogh
Winners Presentation Photos
Competition Results and 2017 League Table

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