Photography Still images Travel

Krakow Notes – No 2

Well actually, it’s a few pictures, not notes.  We’ll have plenty of them when the time comes.








































Favourites Photography

The West of Ireland

The West of Ireland exploration continues.

Now we’ve moved from the land of limestone to the land of granite, a place fashioned and sculpted by ice and fire.

Conamara 001

Conamara 002

Conamara 003



Conamara 004

Conamara 005


Conamara 007


Conamara 008

Conamara 010

Conamara 009

Conamara 011


Conamara 012


Conamara 013




Photography Technology

Lytro Light-Field Camera Released

Photo credit Eric Cheng /Lytro

Imagine being able to shoot a picture in three dimensions using a camera costing  €300.  That’s what a light-field camera can do, and Lytro has produced the cheapest one yet.  Using a microlens array, like a spider’s multiple eyes, the Lytro is able to capture light from numerous different angles, forming a composite image that sees the subject in enough microscopically varying angles to tell how far away it is.

To put it another way, this camera has depth vision.  It knows how far away everything in the picture is and it can work all that out after you save the image.  With this little gadget, you’ll never need to worry about getting your subject out of focus.  After you put the pictures on your computer, you can select whatever  part of the picture you want to be sharp, which I think is just great.  Play with them here and see what you think.

Of course, not everyone agrees.

Some people take the view that refocussing is an unnecessary and nerdy activity.  A camera should be designed so that everything is in focus, they say, but of course, that’s fine if all you want is holiday snaps.  Many pictures benefit from a very narrow depth of field, pulling a subject into sharp focus against a blurred background, or vice versa.  That’s why the likes of EDoF (Extended Depth of Field) lenses are great for general picture-taking, but won’t satisfy the needs of people who want to do a bit more with their images.

I’d probably bore most readers if I explained about the curvature of lenses and the reason why apertures are important to depth of field, so I won’t say anything more on the subject.  Instead, I’ll say that light-field technology is bringing us back to an era when the gifted photographer was the one who could visualise a picture with no camera in his hand.  The technology of photography became, in my opinion, a barrier to talented people and facilitated the rise of technicians, but before true photographic artists start to take offence, let me say this.  There are many talented people working with cameras, and even a few artists, but none of these people need fancy gadgets to prove their gift.

I’m sure there were medieval scribes who became just as sniffy as modern professional photographers at the thought of the common man using a quill.

Therefore, anything that takes the complexity out of picture-taking is good with me.  More artists, fewer geeks.

Admittedly, at this stage the Lytro pictures are still very small, but the technology is young.  It’s still a bit clumsy, involving all sorts of secondary processing and it won’t appeal to the mass market yet, but it’s getting there.  People shouldn’t have to put up with complications when taking pictures and at the moment, anyone who buys a Lytro will have to do exactly that until they iron out the glitches.

I won’t be getting one of these yet.  At the moment, it’s strictly for the tech addict, but I can imagine owning one three, four or five years from now and who knows how it will have evolved by then?  Maybe it will be capable of shooting video, maybe a microlens array will be standard issue in all high-end SLR cameras, or it could be dead and buried, overtaken by another technology.

Who can tell?



Out and About in the Countryside

It was a nice day, and I just happened to be out in the Tipperary countryside, so I thought you might like a few pictures instead of the usual ranting.

Favourites Photography

Waterford Tall Ships Photography

Here’s a big welcome to our friend the Bolted Nut, who finally came on board and sent this collection of photos from the Waterford Tall Ships weekend.


Click on the picture for the full gallery

And by popular demand, a few shots from last year.


























































Bock's People Favourites Photography

Tom Collins’s 3 — Nancy Blakes 2

The game of the century.

No.  The game of the millennium.

A clash of Titans.

A veritable — STOP!!!  Scratch that shit.

A hard-fought match between middle-aged heroes and aspiring young tyros ended in a narrow victory for the oldies, ably marshalled by extremely ancient athlete and impresario Nicky Woulfe, despite a last-minute super-sub intervention from world-renowned – sorry, well-known – pub-owner, Donal Mulcahy, who slotted home a heart-breakingly late goal that failed to save Nancy’s blushes.

The contest was notable for an outstanding chip of the keeper from the kick-off.  David Beckham is reported to have commented, Well I never!

Following his Maradona-like strike, Mr Mulcahy provided a heart-stopping celebration which the proprietor of this site fully expects to earn him a large amount of dosh to suppress.  In all fairness, however,  Mr Mulcahy made up for it by filling everyone with beer and burgers at his newly-acquired establishment, Tom Collins’s Oyster Bar.

Here’s a gallery from the match, which may or may not contain photos of Mr Mulcahy’s extravagant display.  Click on the pic.



Vote for Darren

Darren Ryan is a local photographer and I think he’s damn good.

Here’s his entry in a competition sponsored by Actimel called Winter Moments.  Make a quick visit and click on the VOTE button.  Do it very day if you can and let’s see if we can win the dosh for Daz.

Drinks for everyone if he wins.


A Few Pictures

I can’t be bothered writing any more tonight.  Too much shit going on, and I don’t mean the government.

Here.  Have a look at a few pictures I took over the last few days.

Tell me they’re crap.  Tell me you like them.

I don’t mind.


Night-Vision Scobe