Christmas Party Time

bradley-5465To end the year a photograph from a senior’s Christmas party which just proves that even older people can enjoy a visit from Santa!

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.  

Armistice Day 2014 – Belfast City Hall

Several hundred city centre workers paused for a few minutes to remember the armistice at Belfast City Hall in heavy rain.  This more informal and impromptu event is in contrast to the formal and elaborate proceedings held on Remembrance Sunday.

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A wider angle view show the crowd waiting in silence.

The quotation on the cenotaph reads:

“Throughout the long years of struggle which have now so gloriously ended, the men of Ulster have proved how nobly they fight and die.”  George V

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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

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.

 

Belfast’s built heritage

This is Cromwell Road in the university district of Belfast.  Now a rather run down district inhabited mainly by students and now more recently by immigrants.  The architecture and style of this particular terrace demonstrates its grand past, a reflection of more prosperous times.  When I consulted a 1901 street directory I noted that the inhabitants were recorded as accountants, engineering chemist, agents and a RIC Sub Inspector.

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Many now converted into flats the interior of the houses will have been subdivided.  I hope that our city planners will have the good sense at least to preserve the facade of the terrace!

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A casual walk around the streets of south Belfast reveal a wealth of material to photograph.  I remember visiting one of these houses over thirty years when I was a social security visitor, good to see the terrace is still standing!

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 

Lanark Way Bonfire

I have found that I am increasingly drawn to more of a documentary or a street style of photography.  Unlike landscape photography where you arrange the elements of the image in a pleasing harmony to create the perfect image, street photography is quite different.

In street photography the compositions are imperfect as people move about and the scenes change extremely quickly.  You get what you can and make the best of what you observe.  What you are really trying to do is to make images that tell a story in that fleeting fraction of a second!

Yesterday I visited Lanark Way to see the bonfire that has been built for the coming Twelfth celebrations.  In photographing this scene I adopted a specific approach.  A distant shot to provide the viewer with the general context, known as the ‘establishment shot’, a medium distance shot showing some of the people involved and finally a close up shot.  Each image has its own role to play and viewed together they should tell a story.

In preparing the images I processed them as monochrome, removing the colour simplifies the image and encourages the viewer to observe the whole image by not be drawn to particular colours.  This is the result.

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This morning a story has appeared in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper about this bonfire for all the wrong reasons!

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   

 

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.  

 

 

Seductive Red!

Red is a seductive colour, it dominates the image and pulls the eye forcing you to perhaps miss other features in the image.  In the right circumstances it may be appropriate to desaturate the colour or to convert the image to monochrome.  This photograph is one I took of Brunswick Accordion Band from Annalong Co Down and they published it on their Facebook Page as a monochrome image.  It worked and gave me the idea for this blog!

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The monochrome image I my view helps you to see other features more clearly, such as the band members’ feet being bang on the beat; well they are a first class band! Notice how the red tunics have become a grey shade, which I think blends in very well with the sky and the sea in the background. Rather than colours clashing with one another the shades complement each other thereby providing a pleasing balance.

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The band are releasing a CD soon, you can look out for that!

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 perspective on General Lundy!

Welcome to the first blog of 2014!  Last year was a busy year for Ulster Photography with ninety-nine blogs published detailing my photographic musings.  I will not promise to repeat that number in 2014.  One way to pursue photography is by undertaking personal projects and this blog details one such project I undertook which detailed the making of the Lundy effigy in the Apprentice Boys’ Memorial Hall in Londonderry.  I made several visits to the Memorial Hall for this purpose.

There were a few objectives I wanted to cover.  Most photographs of Lundy portray its burning, after all that is why it is made in the first place, but I wanted to cover the construction process as I have never seen images of this aspect.  In total I made four visits and took hundreds of images.  The second objective was to demonstrate its size and scale, photographic perspective was used to do this.

Below are two photographs that I have selected that do precisely this:

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Using height, comparative sized of the the effigy to the man on the ladder and the ladder itself conveying height all transmit information that enable the viewer to judge the size of the effigy, even through all of it is not shown in the frame.

Preparations for the burning of Lundy at the closing of the gates ceremony in Londonderry

A close up of the finished head and torso also give evidence of the scale and it is immediately recognisable as being the Lundy effigy. 

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

Snapping photographs or making images?

A friend of mine said a few days ago that he was just a snapper and liked taking snaps. This got me thinking about what photographic challenges I would like to set for 2014. Photography should be more than taking snaps because we want our images to say something meaningful, whether that be to express a feeling or to promote an issue we feel strongly about.

In this regard we don’t take photographs but rather we make images.  My last blog contained twelve images, one taken in each month during 2013.  I now question whether some of them were snaps or images which I made!  From those twelve images I have selected just one which I want to talk through.  By doing this we learn from our decisions. How did I make the image, what choices did I make and why?  Lastly what was I wanting the image to portray?  Here is the selected image:

Dundonald Banner Parade

The image was taken at a banner parade in Dundonald last August, I used a Fujifilm X Pro 1 camera fitted with a 35mm lens.  To make the image I moved in quite close and my objective was to use a narrow depth of field, in this case f4.  I wanted the background to be out of focus, yet to be sufficiently discernible to show the context of the image.  The near rim of the drum is in focus, while the far rim is out of focus.  I actually focused on the side of the man’s face.  The light of the drum shell is reflecting light on the man’s face making the image stronger.  These factors were all considered in just a few seconds before dialling in the camera settings and releasing the camera shutter.

Could I have taken it better?  Probably, the second drummer is too much in focus relatively speaking.  I don’t like the lamp post in the background and I could easily take it out in Lightroom or Photoshop, but I have left it in.  The image is a documentary image and it is un-cropped, it is exactly how I framed it even to the point of chopping off the top of the man’s head.  As a documentary image it works very well as a monochrome, better than in colour as colour can be distracting.  For comparison a monochrome version is below.  The composition is tight and stops the eye wandering out of the frame.

Dundonald Banner Parade

Lastly what was I trying to achieve?  The lambeg drum is a potent symbol of Ulster unionist culture, the man’s stern expression complements the message portrayed by the image and for these reasons I think it works.  I took many images of the banner parade that day and most of them did not work in the way this one does!

The challenge for 2014 is therefore to make more powerful images that convey something meaningful.

 

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