ECCG's fourth internal competition of the year was for images taken during any of the Group's shoots held during 2017. With no other theme to focus the entries, they were indeed varied as can be seen in the competition's gallery.
While the best picture overall was the brilliant portrait above taken by Noelle Lowney at last weekend's Innishannon Steam Rally, there were some great battles across the grades as the votes were counted.
When the final tally was recorded the spoils were divided as follows:
In Grade C, Paul Stack took first place with a winning margin of seven points from Miriam Keogh with Andrew Foley taking third.
Noelle Lowney had a very comfortable win in Grade B, a full 68 points ahead of Jim O'Neill in second place while Keith Johnson took the third spot.
Grade A saw the tightest of margins with Denis Barry holding onto a one point lead from Michael Hickey to win the Grade while Kevin Day was only another eight points adrift in third.
In the overall scores, Noelle Lowney had a thirty point cushion in first place with Paul Stack and Miriam Keogh taking second and third places respectively.
Apart from completing the normal hectic schedule of over fifty shoots, twenty club meetings, several competitions, a beginners' photography course and a one-month exhibition of fifty framed images to name just a few, the last twelve months has truly been an eventful period for East Cork Camera Group.
The Annual General Meeting of East Cork Camera Group was held at The Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 2/12/2014. Following a review of a very successful 2014 the new committee for 2015 was elected:
President: Michael Fenton Chairperson: Denis Barry Vice Chairperson: Anthony O'Connor Secretary: Noelle Lowney Treasurer: Kevin Day PRO: James Brady
l-r James Brady, Anthony O Connor, Noelle Lowney, Denis Barry and Kevin Day
After the recent Awards Night and last night's AGM, the Group are looking forward to getting back to business again and will have a few shoots over the festive season as a warm up for a very active 2015.
If you are interested in photography and think East Cork Camera Group might be for you, contact us by clicking here.
The run was part of the RPSI's 45th International railtour entitled 'Saint Canice Railtour' which runs from 17/5/14 - 19/5/14 and which we first heard about from Finbarr O'Neill during his talk to the Group on 15/4/14. Since the trip to Kilkenny would be the nearest the steam trains would get to Cork during this railtour, members of the Group resolved to try to capture the event in some form or other. We settled on the viaduct over the river Barrow at Muine Bheag as one place to shoot and also McDonagh station in Kilkenny where the train would stop for a couple of hours.
Following an early departure from the Midleton Park Hotel, we scoped out our location at the viaduct and breakfasted in Muine Bheag which was just beginning to awaken on this quiet Sunday morning. As well as providing the hearty start to the day, the eatery also provided coincidentally precise inspiration with its charming paintings of steam locomotives that had visited the town in past times.
Suitably bolstered on the double, we returned to the viaduct and set up the gear: one remote camera with wide angle lens set by the river bank, two hand-operated cameras and one video camera. Rain threatened and some drops did fall but thankfully we escaped the downpour that would arrive soon afterwards.
Fully set up, we awaited the arrival of the star of the show and right on cue, a whistle was heard in the distance along with the ever increasing rumble of an approaching train. Then, despite the advance warning, locomotive 461 pulling seven coaches seemed to appear out of nowhere and, accompanied by a crescendo of shutter clicks, crossed the viaduct and was gone with nothing but a whiff of burning coal left in the air. But for the absent 'clickity clack' sound, long since smothered by the development of continuous welded rail, this could have been a scene from 1922, the year that this enduring servant to Irish rail transport was built.
By the time we reached McDonagh station in Kilkenny, which is a cul-de-sac for rail traffic, the engine had already been uncoupled from its coaches, which were standing at platform 2, and was in the process of turning around at the Lavistown Loop Line outside the town in preparation for the return journey. Personnel from the RPSI and Irish Rail in hi-vis attire were busy preparing for the return of the locomotive to the station where routine maintenance would be carried out in a siding prior to departure. Despite the fact that each had their jobs to do, they made time to answer some rookie questions from enquiring photographers and, while ensuring all safety points were observed, were most accommodating in allowing us photograph the unfolding scene.
Volunteers all, the RPSI members are clearly and rightly enamoured of their locomotives and other rolling stock which have all been lovingly and painstakingly restored in their spare time. I suspect that only God knows the number of hours spent by the many people involved over the years, that has culminated in the trip covered in this post. Well done to all and thanks to everyone for your generosity to us during our short time with you in Kilkenny and Carlow. We hope to see you in Cork some time soon.
Please mouse over the image below to see and activate the slideshow controls. Enjoy.
I first noticed this house one morning in early March at around 10am and the sun was shining on it just as it is in the photograph above. As I had no time to stop then, I called there later that day but the front of the house was now in shade. I preferred the earlier look and, confident that I might get a 'Decay' image from the building, I resolved to return on another sunny morning which presented itself about a week later.
As I am wont to do, I shot the building wide from all angles, slowly moving in until I got tight on the details. The more I looked at this particular window, the more it appealed to me. The net curtain hinted to the one-time human occupants while the advanced state of decay said those people were long since gone. The sapling growing from the window sill underlined the fact that life will cling on and prosper regardless.
While taking in my surroundings I noticed a small bird flying in and out of an adjacent window with nesting material. The pattern became clear as, on the way in, it would land on the sash, pause, then fly into the building. On the way out it would again land on the sash, pause and then fly on. I decided to try and make an image of it as it paused on the way out and, after what seemed like an eternity holding the camera to my eye, out it came and paused/posed on the sash as expected. I squeezed off half a dozen frames in high-speed release, more in hope than expectation, and luckily nailed one before it flew on about its parental duties.
When post processing, I made a selection of the bird and put it on its own layer before compositing it with the preferred window image thereby creating the final competition entry above. The fact that both images were shot, practically together and in the same light, made the compositing process that much easier.
Shot with a Nikon D300 and an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens
Window image shot in Raw at 40mm, 125th sec, f8, ISO200, WB: Daylight.
Bird shot in Raw at 135mm, 500th sec, f5.6, ISO400, WB: Daylight.
Composited in Photoshop and post processed in Lightroom.