Category Archives: Night Photography

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The MV Trader wreck at Baltray

Our night photography group got together a few weeks ago to catch a sunrise, using the old MV Trader wreck on Baltray strand as our backdrop.
The wreck is a popular landmark for photography enthusiasts, and there appears to be less of it every time we visit as the years take their toll.

SIG.NP.L37.0031-6It was an early start as we had to make sure we were there a little before the sunrise at 08:04 to allow us time to get setup.


Outings like this allow us to practice some sunrise shots as well as using the incoming tide to attempt reflections.


A brief history of the wreck

The MV Irish trader was a Hartlepool motor vessel built in 1949 grossing 344 ton’s. According to, she was carrying 410 tonnes of fertiliser  on her last voyage which was bound for Bristol in England.
However she ran aground in 1974 on Baltray strand and became the local landmark that we have all come to know.
Over the years, she has gradually been reduced to a small portion of the bow and an even smaller stern.


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The Old Drogheda Cement Quarry

Back in June and July, we got a chance to visit the old Irish Cement quarries in Drogheda.


The Main Pond

The quarry is a huge unused landmass that is (unfortunately in our view) closed to the public,  it was last in use as the Drogheda Corporation landfill site, which prior to that was a large limestone quarry used by Irish Cement since the 1930s.

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However due to the lack of human interference, It has become an excellent pocket of urban wildlife, as well as a great location for abandoned urban scenes with some small areas of disused buildings and long since vandalised equipment.


Ian’s pic of the main quarry pond is a six photo stitch shot at 24mm. iso 100. f18. shutter speed 1/50. He also used a graduated filter which helped to bring down the brightness of the sky so it wouldn’t be blown out with the slow shutter speed. The shutter was that slow because of the small aperture used.

We managed two separate visits, once on a weekend afternoon and the second was a night shoot in July.

For the day outing, the quarry’s plant life was ablaze with colour, and the beautiful sunshine added to the enjoyment of the day, and for the night outing we got to shoot some sunset scenes as well as some steel wool amid some abandoned vehicles and equipment, needless to say we left everything exactly as we found it, .

Just click on any of the images to get a larger view.

One of our members pretending to be a Tree during my sunset shot

One of our members pretending to be a Tree during my sunset shot

A Steel Wool sample from our night out in the old Drogheda Quarry

A Steel Wool sample from our night shoot in the old Drogheda Quarry


Damian Smith - Drogheda Photographic Society, Steel wool, Bridge of Peace, Drogheda

An introduction to one of our new special interest groups by Damian Smith

I first became interested in night Photography in April 2011 when myself & Marina signed up to a ‘free’ group that went out once a month to take photos of a particular subject.

Armed with my trusty Canon Compact IXUS980IS & a newly acquired tripod, we met the group on the steps of Barlow House. We headed down to the car park at the Garda station to take photos of the monument that is on the banks of the River Boyne. I soon found myself with a case of extreme ‘lens envy’ when I saw the equipment that was was being set up around me. Paul was over to me quickly to assuage my fears by telling me that ’size’ doesn’t matter. Its all about how you use your equipment.

With tips from Paul & a few other members, I became engrossed with shooting at night, the different exposures, aperture settings & ISO numbers and the countless possibilities of combining all three. Myself & Marina both knew that to improve, we would have to get some proper guidance so we signed up to a couple of Paul’s courses & we haven’t looked back.
We are both more confident with our cameras (& yes, I upgraded to a DSLR) and our interest in photography has blossomed.

I still love shooting at night & have discovered the phenomenon of ‘Steel Wool Spinning’ & enjoy trying that out with a few other like-minded individuals.
I discovered the spinning on Instagram, a photo sharing app, where you follow & get followed by people worldwide, comment & discuss photos that you like. I found this a great way to share information & techniques with people from different backgrounds & cultures.
Projects for the future are star trails & light painting. And whatever else comes my way through Instagram & the people we’ve met through the Society.

Damian Smith

Steel wool spinning under the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda - Damian Smith -Drogheda Photographic Societyamian Smith

Steel wool spinning under the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda – Damian Smith -Drogheda Photographic Society