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.
It 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 Wrecksite.eu, 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.
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.
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
A Steel Wool sample from our night shoot in the old Drogheda Quarry
A short article from our Co-ordinator Paul Murray on one of his days out describing the image below.
The sky was blotted with scattered puffy white clouds. Intense sunlight drenched the scene. After mounting the camera on a tripod, I followed my line of discipline which is based on the checklist of camera settings and values listed below:
— Manual Mode
— Shutter Speed
— Lens Aperture Value
— Camera Lens Focus / Automatic
The resulting photograph was unacceptable.
Shadows were clearly defined but the highlights were without image details. I waited for the sun to become obscured by cloud cover.
As I watched the blanket of light change from undiluted intense sunlight to diffused light I knew the brightness range was shorter. The camera was now capable of rendering the full brightness range.
Its not a photograph I would expect to excite the viewer or take first place in a Photo Competition but I like it – and for me, that makes it
Wide Angle Lens / Low Zoom Number
Lens Aperture Value: f22
Shutter Speed: 1/2 of a second
Camera Lens Focus / Automatic Mode
File Format: jpeg
Tripod / yes
Our last entry is the winning picture in the DPS advanced level competition
In April and May, The Drogheda Photographic society had a series of in house competitions that cover beginner and higher level entries.
The purpose is to help members learn and develop their photography within a group environment.
The last entry is from Daz, which as you can see below, is a unique and outstanding perspective of the Giant’s Causeway .
He also gave us a little insight into how it came about…..
After braving a windy walk down the trail to the causeway, the heavens opened, leaving the throngs of sightseers huddled together in any available shelter points. A 30 minute wait and the rain stopped, allowing these small dots on the landscape to seep gradually back out onto the basalt.
The sky began to clear leaving behind wisps of now empty clouds. Taking a somewhat unconventional viewpoint looking back towards land from the waters edge, the pattern of the stones and the perspective created by them as they point towards the cliff, weight the composition in the bottom third. The stones lead the eyes toward the cliff and from there to the cliff top, which seems to stretch and reach further into the sky. The peak is centrally composed, while supported by the mass of stone column foundations beneath.
With poor weather, wet, cold and overcast, a short reprieve thankfully offered a brief chance to capture the natural beauty of this landscape on this visit.
The photograph was taken in Raw, at 17mm, 1/40s, f18, ISO 200. Post processing was carried out using Lightroom.