Print it big!

This past week I have conducted a small experiment with photographs that have featured in my last couple of blogs.  The problem with digital photography is that few images taken ever get printed and Facebook is killing the photographic print.  So I decided to print some myself and to select two printing labs to print the same images for comparison, one local and the other from Stockport.

From the three options my own printer and the locally based printing lab produced similar results, so I was quite pleased that my own printer, a Canon Pro 9500 MkII, was up to the job.  However DS Colour Labs Ltd from Stockport provided an outstanding service at half the price of the locally based print lab and their print quality was simply outstanding.  I definitely recommend them.

Printing the image big is also recommended, in this case I printed 12 x 16 inch prints which rendered fine detail, the following image of the prints does not really do them justice.

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I personally use Fujifilm Satin inkjet printing paper which gives fine results.  I also noted that DS Colour Labs Ltd also used Fujifilm paper.  The prints were printed on Fujifilm Pearl Crystal Archive paper which gave my monochrome prints an almost silver metallic appearance. When selecting images to print those which show good contrast and a good dynamic range look great. I would be happy to settle on this paper but would like to see how colour prints are rendered.

Finally, rather than viewing your photographs on a PC screen try printing them!

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.

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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 

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

 

 

Red Barn Gallery

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Frankie Quinn pictured above runs and manages the Red Barn Gallery in Rosemary Street, Belfast and currently he is displaying his own photographic collection entitled “The Orange’.

On display are around forty images, all monochrome and 18 inches square, depicting various aspects of the Loyal Order as he recorded them in Belfast, Londonderry, Scarva and Rossnowlagh between 2011 to 2013.

Frankie is from the nationalist community which makes the treatment of his project all the more interesting.  A visit is definitely worth it and I understand the display will be available until the end of July.

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   

 

To control or not to control!

bradley-7475This blog may appear as a rant, so I shall apologise in advance.  There are two aspects of digital photograph that concern me.  That most digital photographers don’t shoot in manual mode, instead allowing the camera to control the photographer rather the photographer controlling the camera.  Secondly most digital photographers seldom print the images they make, and I can be guilty of this.   As a consequence most of the images we make will be lost to future generations.  They will be lost when the PC dies!

Lets take each of my concerns in turn.  Recently I have been asked why I use my camera in full manual mode when there are various program modes that I could employ?  There are several excellent reasons to use full manual mode.  It is by far the best way to learn the qualities of your camera.  Isn’t it strange that the more photographs you take the better you get!  Using program mode removes the thought processes that are vital to good photography, so give full manual mode a try, you will enjoy experimenting with the camera.

It is far better that you control the camera rather than letting the camera’s internal computer decide the settings.  Why is this?  In certain situations you will want to control the shutter speed for motion images, or the aperture to get the depth of field that you want.  The third control, the ISO settings, is used in conjunction with shutter and aperture controls.  Your understanding of all three is vital to your taking control of the camera.

For these reasons some photographers still prefer to use film!  Those who remember film will know that you did not waste shots, but rather much care was taken to ensure that the camera settings were correct for the scene being taken.  In other words it forced you to think about what you were doing.  Today digital photographers shoot first and then look to check the back of their camera to view the result, called chimping in the trade.  No or little thought processes involved and it leads to poor photography.

My second concern is the failure of many photographers to print their work.  I think that future generations will not have a rich archive of images and while Facebook is great for sharing work, it leads to fewer images being printed which is a disaster!  You cannot really judge a photograph on FB or on the computer screen, it needs to be printed and the bigger the better.  I have just printed the image I took in Izmir of the beggar in a crowed bazaar and printed in up to 10 x 14 inches, see http://ulsterphotography.co.uk/?p=5006. It really make a huge difference.  Whats the point of taking photographs if they are not preserved for future generations?

This has not been my usual offering but I did warn at the outset that this was a personal rant!

 

The decline of the British telephone box

I was out for an evening drive in the Co Down countryside when I came across this rather sad and dilapidated telephone box on the roadside on Quinton Bay Road near Portaferry. I expect that these grand old traditional boxes will disappear before too long except in conservations areas.  So I thought the scene was worthy of capture.

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Strangely enough there was still a telephone in the box which seemed to be in working order.  I wonder what stories this telephone box could tell if it could talk?  These were the only photographs I took the whole evening, but it just goes to prove that it is worth carrying a camera, in this case the very portable Fujifilm X Pro 1.

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 tobacconist shop

With smoking becoming so anti social (and to declare my own hand it is a nasty addiction) a speciality tobacconist shop is a very rare sight.  As far as I know this is the only specialist tobacconist shop in Belfast and therefore its worth a photograph.

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Church Lane, Belfast: Fujifilm X-Pro1, 400 ISO, 35mm lens, f9, 1/50 second.

Located in Church Lane, Belfast its future must be endangered with the growing body of medical evidence urging smokers to give up.  I did notice that there were no customers in the shop!

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.  

35mm Film Archive

There must be many photographers who have their old monochrome negatives filed away and forgotten about, and worse still do not have prints of those images. This was certainly my experience and in previous recent blogs I have shared a couple of these images taken in the mid 1980s.

I have been progressively working through my negatives and came across a number of photographs that I took in the Stormont Estate when preparations were being made to host a Rod Stewart concert on 27 July 2002. Here is one image from this batch.

In order to share these images I have created an archive and a link to it can be found on the right hand column of the blog site, or from here: Archive Link.  However this will grow over time as I recover further images from the developer!  I hope you find them interesting.

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.

Scenes that disappear!

Looking over old images taken at least twenty-years ago I am questioning how important it is to capture scenes we see every day before they disappear.  In comparing your old images it is also interesting to see how your photographic style has improved over time, or not, as the case may be!

Just the other day I read a comment in an online forum that was discussing my previous blog, ‘Going back to photographic roots‘ when it was stated that film was dead, the person making the comment was expressing this with some conviction!  But having just reestablished my darkroom I am not so sure.  I think old images need to be preserved for the future and today an awful lot of digital material will be lost due to poor filing and changing electronic equipment.

So here are a couple of photographs taken on Ilford FP4 film using a Canon A1 camera.  They show housing clearance leading up to the Twelfth demonstration, which accounts for the collection of bonfire material in the foreground.  I am not sure where it was taken, which is a cardinal sin on my part. What a pity I did not record this at the time!  I think it was side streets off Templemore Avenue in east Belfast.  The few remaining terraced houses awaiting demolition contrasted with the new housing in the distance catch my eye.

These old houses gave the area character and extended families often lived in the same street or in adjacent streets giving the area a sense of community which is now lost.  I would be interested if anyone can identify the precise location of these shots.  In the meantime I will continue using both digital and film formats.

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.