Posts tagged ‘Cobh’

December 12, 2011

Emigration

Cobh pier

Standing here at the quayside in Cobh, on a cold yet clear evening it is not hard to let one’s imagination start to wander.  This pier was not always in such a regrettable state of repair; once it stood strong and proud, as feet, countless numbers of shuffling feet trod its boards.  From piers such as this, passengers waited for the ferry to take them out to the deeper water to embark on to the giant liners; SS America, the Celtic and of course the Titanic and dozens more.

What must the emotions have been like for those huddled in the cold as they waited?  Sorrow at leaving behind loved ones, fear of the voyage and what lay on the other side, yet excitement too at the possibility of a new beginning and the dream of a life free to make one’s own choices and decisions.   In 1931 James Truslow Adams wrote  a definition of the ‘American Dream’, that “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

Of course we have a new context with which to see all this.  History (as is often its want) is repeating itself.  Many, far too many of our young people are emigrating, not from cold quaysides but from shiny, air-conditioned terminals, not across the sea but through the air.  I’m sure though, that for many the emotions are just the same as those of their fellow countrymen in bygone generations.  God be with them.

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October 20, 2009

Classroom View

Cork Harbour from Cobh, looking towards Roches Point (click to enlarge)
Sony Ericsson K800i mobile Phone

I said farewell to the pupils and staff at Cobh Mixed National School this morning. This has to be one of the best views from a school in the country – imagine trying to pay attention in Irish or Maths and having that view to look at instead! I only had my mobile phone to take the picture but it came out okay.

September 7, 2009

To open the door

Panasonic LX1, 1/50 sec, f2.8, +0.1 EV, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

I was delighted recently to unearth a copy of “Prayer” by Ole Hallesby in the second-hand section of a Christian Bookshop. It’s one of those books that has for a long time been in my mind to read because it is so often quoted by other Christian authors, especially in books on prayer.

Usually when I pick up a book and get going with it I have a pen to hand so that I can mark sentences or ideas that resonate with me. I might have to take a different approach here though as there would little else but pen marks on the first few pages!

I really like this bit on page 10:

“The results of prayer, therefore, are not dependent upon the powers of the one who prays. His intense will, his fervent emotions or his clear comprehension of what he is praying for are not the reasons why his prayers will be heard and answered. No! God be praised, the results of prayer are not dependent upon these things! To pray is nothing more that to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting Him to exercise His own power in dealing with them.”

Great words from Dr. Ole.



August 26, 2009

Closing Down :-(

Panasonic LX1, f4, 1/500 sec, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

It’s sad to see so many people affected by the mess that is our economy. I know individuals and families in my parish who have lost their jobs, businesses that have closed and people who only a short time ago were comfortably off now struggling to make ends meet.

This reality has hit us all on many different levels. Last week, my favourite place to get films developed put up a ‘closing down’ sign. I’m sad most of all for the kind, knowledgeable and helpful lady there who is losing her job. The service was brilliant – I would drop off a film and within the hour it would be ready – simple and efficient. If I didn’t want prints but just the negatives developed, no problem, she would do it in fifteen minutes and only charge me €2! “Sure I’ll just run it through the machine and it will be ready”, she would say.

The thing is I don’t know of anywhere else that will do this. I reckon I’ll have to wait days in other places and be charged considerably more. Shooting film will now be less of a joy and more of a hassle. Of course it has been on the back of my mind to set up a mini darkroom at home. I did a bit of black and white developing and printing at school and then when I was a student I worked nights in a photo lab (those were loooong nights, in the dark and breathing in the fumes of nasty chemicals).

All I would need would be a small developing tank, developer and fixer etc. and I could use a dark bag rather than take over a whole room. Hmm maybe I’ll give that some further thought, I wonder if Father Christmas is accepting letters yet?

August 8, 2009

Field of Gold

Panasonic LX1, f5.6, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, 28mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

I get to travel around in some very beautiful countryside as I go out visiting people. This field of ripening wheat caught my eye during a trip to the far side of Great Island. The wind was blowing up from the sea, moving the wheat in sea-like waves towards me. A special moment.

For those interested in the technical aspects of the photograph, I used the Gimp (a free photo editor) to mimic the effect of a ’tilt-shift’ lens. If you would like to try it yourself, here’s a helpful ‘how to’ article.

July 24, 2009

Kodachrome

Nikon D70s, f4.5, 1/60 sec, ISO 200, 82mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f4.2 1/40 sec, ISO 200, 57mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f4.5, 1/30 sec, ISO 200, 60mm equivalent

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm
Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm


June 22 was a sad day for many photographers, for it was the day that Kodak announced the “Discontinuation” of Kodachrome – perhaps the most famous slide film of all and which had been in production since 1935!

Fortuitously , just a couple of weeks earlier I had bought a roll of it to try. The results came back in the post today from Dwayne’s Photo lab in Kansas, U.S.A., via Switzerland – the only lab left in the world that does the tricky job of processing the stuff.

I have to say that from an amateur photographer’s viewpoint it’s hard to work with. You have to get the exposure spot on, there’s not the tolerance that you’d get in a normal print film. But when you do get it right the colour, sharpness, detail and dynamic range are far greater than my digital camera can come up with.

So long Kodachrome, I’m sure that many of your slides will last a lot longer than the hard drives, C.D.’s and flash drives that most of our photos are stored on these days…

July 24, 2009

Kodachrome

Nikon D70s, f4.5, 1/60 sec, ISO 200, 82mm equivalent

Nikon D70s, f4.2 1/40 sec, ISO 200, 57mm equivalent

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm
Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm


June 22 was a sad day for many photographers, for it was the day that Kodak announced the “Discontinuation” of Kodachrome – perhaps the most famous slide film of all and which had been in production since 1935!

Fortuitously , just a couple of weeks earlier I had bought a roll of it to try. The results came back in the post today from Dwayne’s Photo lab in Kansas, U.S.A., via Switzerland – the only lab left in the world that does the tricky job of processing the stuff.

I have to say that from an amateur photographer’s viewpoint it’s hard to work with. You have to get the exposure spot on, there’s not the tolerance that you’d get in a normal print film. But when you do get it right the colour, sharpness, detail and dynamic range are far greater than my digital camera can come up with.

So long Kodachrome, I’m sure that many of your slides will last a lot longer than the hard drives, C.D.’s and flash drives that most of our photos are stored on these days…

April 23, 2009

The Grand Princess

Panasonic LX1, f4.5, 1/400 sec, +1.35 EV, ISO 80 (4 pictures ‘stitched’ together)

Despite the gloomy weather Cobh came to life yesterday with the “Grand Princess” in town. The tiny looking 52 seater coach gives some sense of the sheer scale of this massive ship…

(If you would like to see a really large version of this photo, clicking on it will take you to my flickr page where you can see the picture at larger sizes).

January 7, 2009

Cold but Clear in Cobh

Panasonic LX1, f4.5, 1/400 sec, ISO 80, 28 mm equivalent (Click to enlarge)

Panasonic LX1, f4.9, 1/500 sec, ISO 80, 28 mm equivalent (Click to enlarge)


I was glad I had my pocket camera with me yesterday as I was doing some visits around Cobh. It was very cold, with the temperature hovering around zero, which for Cobh (with its own micro-climate) is very cold indeed. As you can see from the pictures, the sky was a deep blue and the air very crisp and clean. Makes me want to burst into Song ;-)

I can see clearly now the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It’s going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day
I think I can make it now the pain has gone
And all of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
Look all around
There’s nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead nothing but blue skies
I think I can make it now the pain has gone
And all of the bad feelings have disappeared
I can see clearly now the rain has gone
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

December 8, 2008

Belvelly Sunrise

Panasonic LX1, 1/400 sec, f4, ISO 80, EV-0.66, 28mm equivalent (Click to enlarge)

I am blessed to have a very scenic drive to church on Sunday mornings. This one was taken from the Belvelly Bridge which links Fota Island to Great Island yesterday morning on my way to Cobh.