Posts tagged ‘Panorama’

December 2, 2010

Sparing a thought for Farmers

Kilmalooda Cows

Many of the Parishioners here are Farmers or in some way connected to Agriculture.  Having spoken with a couple of dairy farmers in the last few days I am getting a greater understanding of how tough this cold, icy weather can be.  Their work takes much longer in these freezing conditions, as they do everything to stop the water pipes from freezing, keeping the yard from getting too slippery and trying to prevent the cows skating around!  Then there’s loads of other stuff which to a layman like myself I wouldn’t get or understand, but nevertheless farmers have both my sympathy and my prayers at this time.

Kilmalooda Church Panorama

Yesterday I was driving (very slowly) through Kilmalooda on my way to a visit.  I had set out too early and had some time to spare so I took a few pictures.  Firstly the one at the top of the cows, (which got me thinking again about the farmers), then one of the church (or rather 21 pictures merged together to form a giant picture on the computer),

Kilmalooda road

then one of the icy road

Kilmalooda Valley and Castle

and finally one of the old raiding Castle in the valley.  For all its harshness, the snow and ice is at the same time, quite beautiful…

November 18, 2010

Harbouring?

Courtmacsherry Harbour

This was Courtmacsherry harbour last week as we waited for “The Storm”. It’s strange how the word “harbouring” seems (to me at least) to have negative connotations. We hear about someone “harbouring criminals” or someone “harbouring” bad thoughts or bitterness / resentment in their hearts, which is of course something that we need to be aware of.

But I like to think of what God Harbours us from, though even as I write that many many objections pop up in my mind!  It is a deep and holy privilege of my work to listen to and to pray with people who have experienced every high and every low that life has to offer.  Yes I can think of many times when a sick person has recovered, when a potential tragedy has been averted or the joy of when a person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.  But I can also bring to mind many times when a sick person has not recovered, when a tragedy has happened and of trying to minister to people who have no cause for any kind of hope or joy in their lives.

Bishop Paul Colton struck a chord with many people last week with a ‘tweet’.  Trying to come to terms with the sudden tragic death of a young man on a hockey pitch he wrote the next morning:

Yesterday was a day when my and others’ prayers were not answered. It’s hard to pray again today. Club is heartbroken. Andrew Chambers, RIP

Sometimes it seems that God does not shelter us, we are left to face the full blast of the storm, apparently on our own.  We cry out to him for help but our prayers are swallowed by a great void of nothingness.  I am reminded what what C.S. Lewis wrote after the death of his wife in his book “A grief observed” On trying to pray he experienced:

“… A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence”

As I struggled to come to terms this week with Andy Chambers’ death, as my prayers joined those of hundreds, (if not thousands) of others in praying for his family and friends, and for Bishop Paul as he ministered in that situation, a strange sentence kept repeating itself over and over in my mind.  The words were strange, but I immediately knew what they were and Who it was that spoke them:

‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’

Link

They are the words of Jesus on the cross “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”  If we ever feel forsaken by God, if our despair is too great, our pain too intense or our anger too hot, then these words of Christ become our words.  In this life we can only ever have a partial answer, but if Christ himself knew what it was like then it perhaps is against the hard, rough and blood-stained foot of the cross that we find the beginnings of a response…

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Photo notes:  This picture is actually sixteen separate pictures ‘stitched’ together as a panorama – it takes a bit of practise to get it right!  Here’s how to do it with a digital SLR:  First of all set the lens to 50mm equivalent (to minimise distortion), then take a meter reading from the brightest part of the scene.  Then put the camera in manual mode and set it to whatever the meter reading was (eg. f10, 1/250 sec) then disable the auto ISO (I used ISO 200) and manually set the white balance (I used ‘cloudy’ for the above), finally make sure to turn autofocus off and depending on the scene set it for just short of infinity.  Then start at one end and work your way across taking pictures.  Make sure that you have plenty of overlap with each picture as this helps the computer to create the image afterwards.  (You can do this using JPEG’s, but I use RAW files, again to give the computer more to work with).  If you have photoshop you are laughing, I have an old version of photoshop elements which does the job almost as well, though there are many other programmes both free and expensive that will do the job for you.  If you want to know more, just ask and I will be happy to help.

May 20, 2009

Not bad for a mobile phone

Sony Ericsson K800i (Mobile phone), 5 pictures @ f2.8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 80

St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, taken two days ago using five pictures from a Sony Ericsson K800i mobile phone, stitched together on the computer using Photoshop Elements 6.

One of the great myths about digital photography, particularly with small pocket cameras and especially with mobile phones is the idea that the more megapixels the better. The problem is that the sensor is tiny (smaller than a fingernail) so the more photosites you cram on to it the harder each one has to work to get an image. In good light this is fine but in dimmer light when the ISO has to increase to over, say 200 this leads to excessive “noise”, i.e. coloured blotches and loss of detail in the picture. That’s why you can look at a low-light photo taken with a five or six megapixel camera bought a few years ago and it will look a lot better than today’s latest twelve megapixel monster – the sensor is the same size – but having to work twice as hard!

Anyway, I got a new mobile phone recently (well actually second-hand off eBay for £60). It has a camera on it that’s not bad, though not as good as the pictures from a ‘proper’ camera, such as a digtal SLR or a film camera, like my Olympus OM-1 from 1973 (I’ll put up some pictures from the latter in due course).

May 2, 2009

Lough Gill

Nikon D70s, 4 images @ 1/200 sec, f7.1, 52mm equivalent

For our belated Easter holiday we had a great few days away in Sligo. It was typical April (and indeed Sligo) weather – all four seasons every few hours!

I thought it was about time to change the banner at the top of the page. This one is a panorama of four images taken one evening from the northern shore of Lough Gill. For my wife and I this is a special place, our first house after we got married was just a bit further around the lake from where this picture was taken. It was an old stone cottage with thick white-washed stone walls, a corrugated tin roof, oh and it was damp and with no central heating, just a wood-burning stove to cook on and to provide heat! Sadly it has since been knocked-down and replaced by a large new house that looks very comfortable but somehow doesn’t look right in this landscape (of course you will not get an objective opinion on it from me!)

March 27, 2009

The Great Glasshouse

Nikon D70s, 5 images at: 1/100 sec, f5, ISO 200, 36mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

We are just back from visiting family in Wales for a few days (availing of the recession-friendly ferry prices)! One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the National Botanical Garden of Wales. The Glasshouse is very impressive: Designed by Norman Foster, it is the worlds largest single span Glasshouse measuring 110m long by 60m wide. The internal landscape covers 3500m square metres. The dome consists of 785 panes of glass, most of which are 4m x 1.5m and weighing about a tonne each!

With all the talk about the bad stuff we are doing to our planet it’s great to see an example of us being the “co-creators” that we were made to be.

Anyway, I highly recommend a visit to these gardens if you ever find yourself in South Wales – even the drainage channels are interesting…

Nikon D70s, f5, 1/100 sec, ISO 200, 60mm equiv. (Click to enlarge)
October 7, 2008

Farewell to the QE2

Nikon D70s, 11 Photos!, f13, ISO 200, 50mm (Click to Enlarge)

Cobh was very busy last week to see this famous ship on it’s last voyage (before being made into a hotel). I think she’s probably earned a good retirement after 40 years of service and over five million nautical miles…

I couldn’t get both the ship and all the interesting detail around in one shot so it took 11 photos to capture all the detail I wanted – unfortunately this meant that the finished picture was the equivalent to a colossal 66 Mega Pixels, so I had to shrink it considerably for the internet and in so doing many of the interesting fine details are lost.

September 15, 2008

Time Out…

Canon A570is, f8, ISO 80, 23mm (x2), (Click to enlarge)

I’ve been working a lot recently (makes a change I hear some say ;-). So without my feeling any guilt at all I decided to take the morning off and we went for a walk along the beach at Ballybrannigan. What a beautiful morning it was, not even a hint of rain and what a lovely walk and time together it was too…

I came to the conclusion that God is pretty good at the whole “Time Out” thing. He gave us this beach just to ourselves and the sound of the waves and the feel of the water on our toes did just the job to recharge the batteries.

September 10, 2008

Emmet Place

Canon A570is, 1/60 sec, ISO 80, 5.8 mm (x2), (Click to enlarge)

On Monday evening, on my way to the institution of the new Rector in Youghal I passed this interesting place near the Church. It was quite a busy street and I couldn’t stand back far enough to get it all in one photo, so it’s two pictures ‘stitched together’ on the computer. The street sign says “Emmet Place”, presumably after Robert Emmet, the famous Irish Patriot (and of course member of the Church of Ireland!)

You know the expression “if only … could talk”, well if only this house could talk, once we had got over the initial shock of a speaking building I’m sure it would be able to tell us a fascinating history. Who lived here, what were they like, how long has the building been empty? Probably many families have lived here, children were born and grew up here, people lived their lives and grew old and died here. There were probably many happy and many sad chapters of life lived out within those walls that are now weak with age and neglect and all memory fading away along with the peeling paint…

Where has the laughter gone, the windows won’t say, where have the memories gone, the walls will not tell…

In looking at the transient nature of once fine human dwellings, I’m reminded of John 14, where the Lord Jesus says:

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (verses 2 and 3).

In the unsureties of this life it’s great to know the permanency of what the Lord Jesus has achieved for all who put their faith and trust in Him – an eternal dwelling place that will never fade away and where there will be no sadness or death, only the joy of being with our Saviour, Master and Friend…

August 27, 2008

Ben Bulben, Co. Sligo

View from the road to Strandhill from Sligo
Nikon D70s, 3 photos at f18, 44mm, ISO 200, shutter speed not recorded.
(click to enlarge)
July 22, 2008

Belvelly, Cobh

Bellvelly Bridge and Norman Keep, Cobh, Co. Cork

Canon A570is 2 exposures made into panorama

I’m really blessed to have such a scenic parish to drive around in. This photo is taken on the Cobh side of Belvelly Bridge. The sign that greets you gives directions for Cobh going on the left and right roads, which can be quite confusing for the uninitiated! The Norman Keep in the picture is actually for sale – you can just make out the large auctioneers sign above the parked minibus – needless to say, it would take a bit of work. I drive over this bridge several times a week – though it is nearly always at its best early on a Sunday morning when I am on my way to church in Cobh. Many time I’ve wished I had my camera to capture a silvery winter sunrise or the glorious blue of a midsummer’s day (not too many of those mind you). So last Sunday morning I made sure I did have the camera and here is the picture – the clouds were not nearly that dark in reality, it is just the extra contrast produced by taking the shot into the sun.