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.

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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

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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?
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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

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Getting into wedding mode!

I am not a wedding photographer but occasionally I am asked to undertake wedding shoot, which is definitely not for the faint hearted as you can’t shoot it again if you get it wrong!  As I am due to shoot a wedding in the next few days I have been looking over images of the last wedding I shot earlier in August.

Using CS6 and Lightroom I tried using black and white adjustment layers to hide and reveal colour.  Actually its a trick that I am not very keen on as it has been so over used by so many wedding photographers.  The image was taken with a Nikon D3 fitted with a 85mm f1.4 lens. 

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This image was taken with a Nikon D3 with an 85mm f1.4 lens.

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

Saintfield’s Market House

Saintfield Market House was built in 1802 by N Price. It is a two-storey three-bay structure. The pediment above the central bay contains a clock. There is a simple square louvred cupola. The building beside the market house was an hotel which was built at the same time.  Now serving as an Orange Hall it was first used as a Courthouse in 1804. The clock in the roof of the building was made by the Saintfield clock maker, Samuel Spratt. The iron gates in the three archways date from 1828.  The two photographs show the Parish Church on one side and the hotel on the other side.

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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

 

 

Front Cover!

Taking a photograph for the front cover of a book was an enjoyable task to undertake, especially when it was in the heart of the beautiful Co Fermanagh countryside.  I learned a few things too!  Left to myself I would have taken a portrait layout for the front cover, but when the image is required to wrap around both front and back covers then obviously landscape is the appropriate format.  It is also good to know where to leave space for the text, with these parameters sussed out the final composure can be framed, as set out below:

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The old Crom Castle was the perfect spot, see The Actions of the Enniskillen Men.

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

The Fruit Shop – Monaghan Town

I don’t often publish photographs from my older files, preferring instead to concentrate on my present day work.  However I came across an image I made back in April 2009 and wondered why I have never processed it before now!

This photography was taken in Monaghan town and to be honest I don’t remember precisely where.  Its a rather quirky fruit shop set in an unusual location, which is probably why I made the image.  If anyone can say if it’s still in business please do let me know. Anyway here it is:

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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

 

 

Rough Island

A gentle walk last night prompted me to write this short blog about Island Hill, or to be more precise about Rough Island, a small island of approximately 7 acres, which can be accessed via a causeway at low tide just outside Comber.

Rough Island, which sounds like something from Treasure Island, was inhabited up until the early part of the 1900’s. The remains of the old farm cottage and its orchard can still be seen. Farming ceased on the island completely in the 1950s and the island has reverted to  bramble and hawthorn. It is now owned and maintained by Ards Borough Council.

The causeway usually only remains submerged for around an hour at high tide but this can be affected by the weather and the time of year. The walk across the causeway and around the island takes around ¾ of an hour and provides a wonderful views of this part of Strangford Lough.

A couple of photographs taken yesterday:

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 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.