The black & white print!

I am still in my monochrome phase!  By selecting carefully the right composition it can often be better to render the image in monochrome.  Some people print in monochrome simply because the colour version was weak; this is a terrible reason to choose monochrome!  So what am I trying to achieve?  The following image is Kilmood Parish Church, a five minute drive from where I live:

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What I am looking for in a monochrome image is a good dynamic range from pure black to pure white.  I want lots of detail that will almost produce a 3D image, of course a photograph can only be two dimensional but you can get a 3D look!  In this image I was focusing on the headstone in the foreground, yet with a f4 aperture I was able to achieve good depth of field to the church tower in the background.  The right light does help, weak winter sunlight – a great time to take photographs!

Of course holding a 12 x 16 inch print in your hand is the real test, the computer screen does not do it justice and even less a Facebook posting ;-)

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. 

 

CS Lewis sculpture

bradley-5640A new year brings new opportunities and challenges and the possibilities in photography are endless.  I was recently asked if I had an image of the CS Lewis sculpture located in East Belfast, the well known author and Christian apologist and of course an Ulsterman!  I replied that I hadn’t but that I always intended to photograph it but have never got around to so.  I made my first visit on Christmas Eve, I returned on Christmas Day and then yet again on Boxing Day. 

You would be forgiven for asking why so many visits?  Each time I returned the light was different which changed the image.  I kept finding new angles to shoot from and using different lenses also changed the image I saw through the viewfinder.  This is the standard approach taken by any editorial photographer, cover all angles and points of view and you will get the image that the client wants.
 
Clive Staples Lewis
Novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist.
Born: November 29, 1898, Belfast
Died: November 22, 1963, Oxford
Spouse: Joy Davidman (m. 1956–1960)
Plays: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Movies and TV shows: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Books: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Voyage of the Dawn…
 
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.

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Gen 9:15

Ancre Military Cemetery

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

 

A little bit of preplanning pays!

My last blog covered an exploratory visit to the Cathedral Church of St Anne’s Belfast for the purpose of deciding how I would undertake a photographic shoot of their choir.  This turned out to be a good move because when I returned the following day I already knew the shots I was going to take, the angle of each shot and the ISO rating that I would use.  

My test shots were shot at 1/80 second at f2.8, so I knew that to obtain better depth of field a slower shutter speed would be required.  I used a tripod mounted D700 fitted with a 14-24mm f2.8 lens and the live shots were taken at f9 with shutter speeds as slow as 1/10 second which required the choir to be very still.  A bit risky using such slow shutter speeds but it worked.  Here are a couple of the shots taken just after their service of evensong.

It was a most enjoyable shoot and the choir sang quite magnificently, thanks are due to the Dean and Chapter who made me most welcome.

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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.  

 

St Matthias; the iron church

Known locally as “the wee tin church”, St Matthias first opened in 1892 for the local British military garrison and originally the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. Its corrugated iron construction makes it extremely rare and it is one of only eight surviving churches of this type in Ireland. They were manufactured by Harland & Wolff and most were exported.

St Matthias is located on the Glen Road in west Belfast was reconsecrated as a Roman Catholic church in 1970 due to changing demographics.

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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.  

 

 

Photography in dim lighting

Strictly speaking photography in this church was not permitted, the use of flash would overtime damage the priceless icons in this place, so I naturally avoided the use of flash.  To ease my conscience I did leave a donation!  So how did I take the photo?  

The Byzantine Panagia Church in Lindos Rhodes Island

The Byzantine Panagia Church in Lindos, Rhodes Island

This is one occasion when the Fujifilm X Pro 1 camera proves to be very useful, its shutter mechanism is silent therefore you are not disturbing the peace and tranquility of the church.  It was quite dim is site so while seated I set the camera to full auto, the only occasion I have ever used full auto with this camera!  

The photograph was taken at 1/8 second, so being seated helped to steady the camera, the ISO was set to 1600 and I used a 14mm lens which was open to f2.8.  At full resolution noise is visible as it was quite dim inside and so long as you are not displaying the image at full resolution it works very well.

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.

Never give up on a photograph!

The photograph featured in this blog is the ruins of Raphoe Castle in Donegal, it was the Bishop’s Palace and is located just a short distance from Raphoe Cathedral.  It just goes to prove the influence that the Anglican church had in Ulster, especially before its disestablishment in 1870.  The building occupies the high ground overlooking the Cathedral and reflected the legal status of the Church.  The Bishop certainly enjoyed the high life!

The photograph was taken in March 2010 and I remember being disappointed that the sky was so grey and uninteresting and the light flat; so the image has been filed in my computer and never used.  Recently you will have noticed that I have been toying with monochrome and I was pleasantly surprised at this conversion to monochrome.  For comparison I have inserted both images below:

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The monochrome is a distinct improvement on the original colour image and the subject of the image certainly lends itself to creating that moody scene, a characteristic that the colour photograph lacks.  Couldn’t you just imagine Lurch the butler greeting you at the front door!

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.

Creating that mood!

I am returning to Nendrum again, a place near to my home where I visit on a regular basis in an attempt to capture something different.  Sometimes the light obliges and on other occasions it frustrates me. My visits usually coincide with early evening when the sun is setting and its position in the sky is behind the site ruins.  Here is an older image which produced pleasing results.

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In this case I am content for the ruins to be almost silhouetted, allowing just a hint of the stone detail to show, as it is really the sky that I am interested in.  No filters were used, but In Lightroom I applied a Fuji Velvia 50 preset which converts the image to resemble a print produced by Fuji Velvia transparency film, beloved by landscape photographers.

Given the historical significance of this site to Ulster’s early christianity I think I have created an appropriate mood with this image.

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.