November brings remembrance!

Bradley-5016

November 1st, All Souls Day, seems to be an appropriate day for my first blog of the month which features the memorial garden of remembrance situated at the city end of the Newtownards Road, Belfast.

During the second world war Belfast was the twelfth most heavily bombed British city with a tonnage of 440 high explosive bombs dropped over two raids.  Originally Belfast was believed to be out of range from German bombers, but the ship building and aircraft factories were the key attraction.

Reconnaissance flights had given the Luftwaffe very detailed photographs of what factories were where within the city. They also showed where the 22 anti-aircraft guns were and analysis showed that 16 were heavy AA guns while 6 were classed as light. As a comparison, 100 AA guns defended Liverpool. The Luftwaffe concluded that Belfast “was the most poorly defended city in the UK”.

My late father was on duty on both night raids and I am glad that I took the trouble to record his memories of that time.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

Escomb Saxon Church

A couple of weeks ago I paid a quick visit to Co Durham and got back to my photographic roots, photographing historical and heritage sites.  In this case Escomb Church near Bishop Auckland.

Bradley-4979

Escomb Saxon Church is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon churches in England, founded in c.670-675, much of the stone came from the nearby Roman Fort at Binchester. On the south wall is a 7th or early 8th Century sundial, and on the north wall is a reused Roman stone with the markings “LEG VI” (Sixth Legion) set upside down. The church was restored in 1875-1880 by RJ Johnson, and in 1965 by Sir Albert Richardson. It is a Grade I listed building.

Bradley-4998

Bradley-4996

The church is one of only three complete Anglo-Saxon churches remaining in England and is well worth a visit, a key is available to gain access to the church.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

All Saints’ Eve

While visiting Hillsborough in Co Down I came across this florist shop at the bottom of the main street and thought it provided a colourful display in the lead up to halloween, sometimes referred to as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve.  A colleague went in to the shop and asked the shop assistant to pose for me as I dodged traffic in the middle of the road.

Bradley-5012This got me thinking about Halloween!  The feast of All Saints was a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 1 November, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead and all the faithful departed believers.

The camera settings were simple, Fujifilm X-T1 in manual mode, 400iso, f5.6, 1/125 second.  The camera was fitted with a 23mm f1.4 lens, equivalent to 35mm.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

Donegal Place Street Photography

This is only my second blog so far this month and while I have continued to be busy taking photographs I have slowed the pace down somewhat, mainly because with other commitments I have less time.  However walking through Belfast city centre today I came across this photo opportunity.

Bradley-4928

Taken at Chopstix Noodle Bar in Donegal Place it was the interaction with the chef that made the photograph.  Taken with the Fujifilm X-T1 filleted with a 23mm f1,4 lens, roughly 35mm equivalent to a 35mm film camera.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

 

 

Don’t ignore the familiar!

Bradley-4765

October already!  Where has the year gone?  The last couple of blogs in September featured historical fragments of the old Belfast and County Down Railway, which closed in 1950.  The last blog centred on buildings in Ballygowan and in wandering around this small village I am struck how as a photographer we tend to ignore what is in our own backyard.

This is what led me to take this photograph, I either walk or drive down this road every day with the result that to me it is just very ordinary.  Taken just a couple of days ago looking down The Brae towards the centre of Ballygowan, the old railway building can be seen in the distance, just to continue the railway theme theme!  The row is terrace housing in the foreground are said to be the oldest buildings in Ballygowan.
 
All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.

 

Railway links to Ballygowan

Following my last blog about the Belfast County Down Railway I began to take an interest in the vestiges that remain of the railway link to Ballygowan.  Ballygowan is a small town that is not on any main arterial road route, it has essentially become a commuter town serving Belfast.  As a result it has remained a small town and has only relatively recently started to expand.

Despite that fact that the railway line closed in 1950 there is still evidence around pointing to its past connection with the Belfast County Down Railway.  The following photographs point to this past.  All the locations photographed are within a one minute walk from each other.  Having lived here for the past twenty seven years I often think how wonderful it would be to have the railway link restored.  However this will never happen!

The only station building left standing, this was the goods shed I believe.

The only station building left standing, this was the goods shed I believe.

In the foreground the original Telephone Exchange, bedind is the Post Office, the site of the Railway Station.

In the foreground the original Telephone Exchange, bedind is the Post Office, the site of the Railway Station.

Bradley-6022

Railway Terrace, the clue is in the name!

The Old Railway Hotel, note the mounting stone and ring for tying you horse!

The Old Railway Hotel, note the mounting stone and ring for tying you horse!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

Belfast County Down Railway

Bradley-6009

As I get older I am very conscious of change and am saddened by the lack of interest in preserving our past.  Far too often grand old buildings are torn down with little thought or regard.
 
I often drive along the Ballyhenry Road just outside Comber Co Down where there is a visual reminder of the past; railway lines crossing the narrow road where evidence of the railway is long gone.  It deserved a photograph as the original track side building survives although now modified as a dwelling house.
 
Unfortunately I have been unable to locate an image of what it originally looked like as it would have been interesting to make the comparison. However I did find a reference to it from Comber Historical Society which reads as follows:
 
‘The third level crossing was ‘Henryville’ on the Ballyhenry Road staffed by Andy Bennett, and then in the late 1940s by Mr Patrick McIlreavy. This cottage is also still in use and much modified – in fact the very railway lines are still to be seen in the road beside it to this day. A preservation order might well be considered before a resurfacing or re-alignment plan would have them buried from view forever!’
 
It’s been well over sixty years since trains ran on this line making their way to Donaghadee via Newtownards!
 
All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

 

 

From light to darkness!

These images were taken at a band parade in Banbridge Co Down for the purpose of testing the Fujifilm X-T1 from conditions of early evening daylight through to late evening street light to see how it would perform.

Obviously as the evening continued I was forced to increase my ISO setting, from 400 to 1600 and then finally to 6400.  How would this effect digital noise in dim light?  I was using a 56mm f1.2 lens, so a fast lens should help considerably.

Later in the evening as it got darker I had to abandon auto focus and switch to manual, the focusing ring on the lens was a delight to use, very smooth!  The images are below together with camera settings.

ISO 400, f4, 1/160

ISO 400, f4, 1/160

ISO 1600, f1.4, 1/60

ISO 1600, f1.4, 1/60

ISO 6400, 32.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, 32.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/125

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/100

ISO 6400, f2.0, 1/100

My view: I enjoyed the shooting experience, the slowest shutter speed was 1/60 and good for hand holding the camera.  The only issue to be aware of is manual focusing in low light with a moving target and a wide aperture with shallow DoF!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

Where is that fly?

These misty September mornings are a great time to photograph spider’s webs, without having to go any further than your back door.  I also decided to try out a new lens for my Fujifilm X system, the 56 f1.2 portrait lens.  I reverted to manual focus which was buttery smooth and as you can see the system produced lovely clean files requiring little post production on the computer.  These shots were taken at 1/125 second at f5.6 to capture the perfect symmetry of spider’s endeavours.  Isn’t the world wonderfully made?
Bradley-4429
Bradley-4427
All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

Postcard from Glendalough

Having arrived in Glendalough to attend a wedding, due tomorrow, I am astounded at the endless opportunities for photo locations in this place. I spent the afternoon just wandering around exploring the venue, monastic sites, round towers, rivers and lakes set in the middle of the Wicklow Mountains.   Enjoy the postcard and perhaps you will make a visit to Glendalough.  Photographs taken with just an iPhone camera and processed in phone using the Camera+ App

image

image

image