Eager to get shooting again after the Christmas holidays, a group of ECCG members descended on Cork City on 28/12/14. A bitterly cold day, the city didn't disappoint with Christmas lights, reflections and good cheer to be found in abundance.
Mouse over the image below to activate the slideshow. Enjoy!
"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".
With 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.
Arriving 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!
The panel John submitted consisted of 15 inverted reflections of Cork City. His statement of intent that accompanied the panel said, "I want to show in these inverted reflections how a river is like a multi-faceted artist, by turns - realist, impressionist and modernist, taking the mundane aspects of the city, its buildings, trees and bridges and transforming them into a variety of shimmering, evanescent images."
Karen Fleming came third in our recent 'Reflections' competition with this simple and elegant shot:
This is how she captured it:
"I had taken a similar shot a while back but rather then just submit that one I took a new shot. So went to the local florist and bought some Tiger Lillies and put them in water until they opened out".
"I placed a black backdrop over a table and placed a mirror I had out of its frame on top of it. I broke one the Lillies off and clipped it onto a water spray bottle for support so that the flower was over the mirror to generate the reflection. I then covered the bottle with part of the back drop".
"To light the shot I used a constant light source at full power with a snoot attached positioned to the right hand side of the flower. The snoot contained the light so that only the flower was lit with no spill beyond it. I took the shot at a slight angle".
"Levels were slightly adjusted and I used the spot healing brush to remove specks off the black background. Finally, I put a white border round the image".
Sigma 105mm lens
Manual mode, F5 @ 1/50 of sec, ISO 400, Auto White Balance
Constant light source with snoot attached.
Tuesday 25/6/13 was our last club meeting before the summer break. The judging for our third internal competition for 2013, which was themed 'Reflections', was held. A total of 16 high quality entries were received on the night.
The members present viewed the projected images and discussed each image as it appeared on screen before giving it a mark out of ten each on Creativity, Composition and Lighting giving a possible score of thirty marks overall.
Following the judging and while the votes were being tallied by the committee members, chairperson, Tom Tattan went through each of the images on screen again and while each photographer recounted how they came to produce the final images.
First place went to Anthony O'Connor with a night shot of Ballycotton, Co. Cork. Second place went to Fidelma Read who stunned us all with a gorgeous image captured on her iPhone. Third place went to Karen Fleming for her image of a delicately lit flower on a mirror.
1st – Anthony O’Connor
2nd – Fidelma Read
3rd – Karen Fleming
Click on images for larger version
Well done to the winners and all entrants. Click here for full post and slideshow of all entries.