Looking back on 2013

So far this month I have not done very much photographically speaking, mostly due to a flu bug and then a persistent cough, which I still have!  However the close of the year is usually when most photographers look back over the year to take stock and assess the images they have made during the year.  I have tried to pick just one image for each of the year and have found it to be a difficult task.  After some deliberations this is my selection:

A cost wet January night

January: a wet night at the Titanic Signature Building

 

February flag protestor at City Hall

February flag protestor at City Hall

 

March - uniforms not in sync!

March – uniforms not in sync!

 

April snow at Spelga Dam

April snow at Spelga Dam

 

May and looking like Spring has arrived

May and looking like Spring has arrived

 

Installing the Clinton Exhibition in advance of the G8 Sumitt

June exhibition for G8, its the shadow that does it!

 

July at Craigavon House

July at Craigavon House

 

August, Lambeg Drum at Dundonald

August, Lambeg Drum at Dundonald

 

September: autumn on the horizon

September: autumn on the horizon

 

October mist at Spelga Dam

October mist at Spelga Dam

 

November at Ballintoy, but not looking like November!

November at Ballintoy, but not looking like November!

 

December with Brunswick Accordion Band

December with Brunswick Accordion Band

 Now looking forward to see what 2014 will bring!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developing a portfolio

Over the past number of weeks I have been printing out large format prints of my favourite photographs taken over the past number of years.  While its not cheap I have found it to be a very worthwhile exercise.  Holding a 12×14 inch print on quality paper is a very different experience than viewing the same print on a computer screen.

Apart from the fact that holding a large print on a fine quality Fuji paper gives the viewer a much superior viewing experience, printed images also allows the photographer to compare their images and to judge how their style and image making has improved (or not as the case may be) over time.  Sometimes you need to view a photograph over a period of time before you can make up your mind as to whether or not it is a keeper.

With 40 or 50 printed images we can group images by theme, subject or classification. Then you can begin to formulate a portfolio that can be used to demonstrate your photographic skill, technique and style.  It’s a difficult task to select just one photograph as the favourite and I have found it impossible to decide, but after much thought I have selected this image:

Titanic Sculpture

While this not perhaps my favourite image, I selected it for the following reasons:  It tells a story, the Titanic Sculpture in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast.  It showcases the new development in the area.  It illustrates the creative technique of back lighting when I used the sculpture to block the morning sun and to use the shadows cast as a feature in the photograph.

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.

 

Titanic Night Photography

The Titanic Signature Building opened in Belfast last year marking the centenary of  the sinking of RMS Titanic is a truly magnificent building.  The Titanic Experience is well worth a visit, but its photographic value is also worthwhile, especially at night.  On New Year’s Day evening I called down merely to scout the area out for a future shoot and could not resist taking a few angles.  This blog reflects my initial thoughts.

The technical details are straight forward, slow shutter speeds, in this case one second, an aperture of around f4, a low ISO speed and of course a tripod is essential.  Slow shutter speeds helps to bring out better colour saturation and as it had been raining a wet ground was a gift, reflecting the light beautifully.

Titanic Signature Building

While most people take the front of the building I found the back view to be much more interesting.  I was fascinated by the illuminated blue lines which demonstrate the actual outline of the deck area, from this the true scale of the ship can be visualised.  I felt a sense of poignancy in the way the outline of the life boat positions had been marked on the ground, as seen in the images below.

Titanic Signature Building

Titanic Signature Building

Each wing of the building is in the shape of Titanic’s bow and the dimensions of the building were designed to the exact proportions of Titanic’s bow.  So this image taken from the front of the building give you a sense of the scale of the original vessel.

Titanic Signature Building

With modern cameras there is really no excuse for images that are poorly exposed. However the real skill lies in developing the photographer’s eye.  Finding the right lines and shapes that combine to make a good image.  I, like most photographers, am too quick to take photographs, when what I should be doing is slowing down and taking a little more care and attention.  There is much scope for another visit!

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 Yardmen!

I spent part of today driving around east Belfast on the look out for Diamond Jubilee decorations for the Accession of Queen Elizabeth to the throne when I cam across a new sculpture marking the anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic.  I know I have covered this before but I though that this sculpture was rather good!

It marks the achievement of shipbuilding in east Belfast where over a period of 150 years over 1700 large ships where built, one of the most famous being Titanic.  Behind the sculpture can be seen one of the best known landmarks in Belfast, one of the two Harland and Wolff cranes, the second is further back given you the scale of the size of the dry dock over which they stand.

I like this image for two reasons, firstly it marks an event and secondly it ties the viewer to a specific location – east Belfast!  It therefore provides a social record.  For those interested in the technical details, the image was taken at 1/60 second at f18 providing a good depth of field.  The zoom lens was set at 38mm and the camera at 200 ISO.

The Yardmen – Titanic Memorial, Newtownards Road, Belfast

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.

Titanic attracts titanic coverage

This week Northern Ireland has received wall to wall coverage of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.  Having shown photographs of the dry dock where Titanic was built in my previous blog I thought that this week I would travel to the Co Down town of Comber where a memorial has just been unveiled in the town square to Thomas Andrews, the designer of Titanic, who went down with the ship and who was from Comber. The memorial is quite simple:

However while there were many people milling around the town square looking at the new addition and to the side of the square there was a large number of classic cars on display I was attracted to a little shop a short distance away who had decided to remember Titanic in their own way.

I had not noticed other traders doing the same and thought that the owner of this shop has some original thought.  In many ways it spoke more powerfully than the official unveiling in the town square earlier that morning with the turn out of councillors in their full robes and regalia.

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.

Titanic One Hundred Years On

As we approach the 100th  anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic I remembered that a few years ago I photographed the dry dock in Harland and Wolff shipyard where the ship was built.

Later this week several events are planned including a memorial to the ship’s designer, Thomas Andrews which will be unveiled in Comber townsquare, the town he came from.

The few images below were taken in 2007 and they show various views of the dry dock where the famous ship was built and launched on 31 May 1911.  I should perhaps make a repeat visit to see how the site has been developed for tourism.

Dry dock where Titanic was build, Harland and Wolff, Belfast

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.