Tag Archives: Long Exposure

Irish MV Trader baltray banner

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 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.


Throw crop

A Stone’s Throw

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.


DazThe photograph was taken in Raw, at 17mm, 1/40s, f18, ISO 200. Post processing was carried out using Lightroom.


Knight Takes King

Knight Takes King

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.
Last week we had a look at Erichs photograph.

This week we get to have a look at “Knight Takes King” by David Sheilds, who achieved 2nd place in the beginners competition.
David also gave us a quick walk-through on how he set up the image above.

While composing this photograph, I was at all times trying to execute some of the classic rules of photography i.e. rule of thirds & leading lines.
Once I was happy with my composition, I used trial and error by taking a number of shots at different shutter speeds & aperture values until I got the shot that I was happy with.

To prepare the subject, I set up the chess board & composition of the pieces on my kitchen table and using a Nikon D5200 & 60mm Tamron macro lens I focused on the scene until I was
happy with the composition.

After switching to manual focus & using the mode setting I switched the lights out. Then using a technique called light painting, I used a pentorch to light up the subject.
David Sheilds

Davids photograph was taken with the following camera settings:

ISO                                    100
APERTURE                  f22
SHOT IN                       RAW





DPS-HLC - Marina Branigan - 2nd prize winner 2013 Higher level

A trip down memory lane for Marina Branigan – Still life Competition winner 2013

When the society announced the photography competitions last year, I decided to take part in the still life competition. I had never tried still life before and was excited at the prospect of learning something new. Little did I know how much I would come to enjoy the whole process. I set up a makeshift studio in my kitchen dining area and it stayed that way for about two months. I did the photography work at the weekends, but I left the setting in place during the week. I found that each time I walked by it, I would think of different ways of placing things. The lighting that I used came from household items e.g. reading lamp, torch, fairy lights, etc.

The photographs that I eventually submitted were completely different to what I started out with. It was only after a number of weeks of photographing scenes that I wasn’t entirely happy with, that it evolved into a cheese and wine setting. For the first photograph, the decor of a local restaurant provided the inspiration for the fairy lights. I used cheese and wine that I had at home. During the project, the cheese passed its use by date, so I had to suffer with the unpleasant smell until I finished!

For the second photograph, I disposed of the smelly cheese and got a variety of cheeses from my local supermarket. I shone a torch directly down onto the cheese board and a reading lamp onto the wine bottle and glass. The reading lamp just so happened to project a shadow of the wine bottle and glass onto the wall and I thought it looked interesting, so I decided to use it in the photograph. It took quite a few attempts before I could get the angle of the light to project the shadows the way I envisaged.

Two months, almost 20 different scenes and over 300 shots later, I was absolutely thrilled that the photographs I submitted won first and second place in the competition. I felt very humbled when the announcements were made, particularly when the standard of the photographs entered by the other society members was so high.

I really enjoyed working on the still life project and became totally absorbed in it, often working at it for hours at a time. It gave me the chance to apply the technical skills I had learned during my time with the society while learning something new. Still life allows me to be creative with a scene and experiment with different settings on the camera. If something isn’t working, I can easily change it and try something new. This isn’t always possible with other types of photography, where factors such as weather and natural lighting can be more critical.

Marina Branigan

Marina Branigan - 1st prize - 2013 Higher level category - Drogheda Photographic Society

Marina Branigan – 1st prize – 2013 Higher level category – Drogheda Photographic Society





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





john-stanmeyer- World-Press-handout-via-BBC

African migrants near Djibouti city by John Stanmeyer

This striking image above shows men trying to get a phone signal from their homeland of nearby Somalia as they stand on a moonlit shore in Djibouti across the bay.

Djibouti is known to be a stepping stone for migrants from Somalia and other countries nearby, who may try moving on to Europe or the Middle East to improve their lives.
This picture represents their last efforts to try and connect with loved ones via their phone provider in Somalia before embarking on their separate paths.

Below  is a short video from John Stanmeyer on how it happened