St Mary’s, Popes Quay

Photographsm of Cork
Just something about those steps

So on my morning off I went off to drop in on friends who have just opened up a food business on Popes Quay.  It’s a long time since I walked that quay and I was stopped in my tracks on the steps of St Mary’s.  Something about these steps drew me in and I took out the camera and the 24mm lens and took a few pictures.

It’s one of those occassions where the light and the geometry of the steps – newly wet from a shower – just stuck me.

Now it’s no surprise to most people that I prefer people to architecture.  People are just more interesting and the more time you have with someone the more interesting they become and my challenge in life is to convey that character in a photograph.  And I’d normally be looking at a shot like this and looking at who to put into the frame to make it make sense and where to put them.

But I quite like this image.  I tried it in black and white but it looked too much like a drawing.

On a technical note, not much has been done with this image.  I made some adjustments in Lightroom to even out some minor distortion in the 24mm prime lens, adjusted contrast and colour and that’s about it.  The intention is just to sligtly exagerate the natural flatness of the tone of the stone work and contrast with the colour of the doors.  I decided not to clean up the gum, the cigarette butt or anything else.

My Morning in Numbers

After much talking about it, I finally took the morning off today.  In true BBC style, here’s how my morning shaped up in numbers:

1 Person wandering around town with only a very short list of things to do.  Looking around in the sun between the showers and enjoying being in the City

2 Drivers seen going the wrong way down one-way streets

3 Great Ideas for new photo projects which may never happen (must write them down)

5 Photographers meeting up for breakfast

15 minutes late to meet them because I had to go into the office first

25 Days left to catch the Terry O’Neill exhibition at Wandsworth Quay and the City Council Offices – go see, great to see these images in real print

32 Photographs taken whilst wandering the streets of Cork.  I decided to bring the camera in case I saw something and pulled it out at St Mary’s on the North Quays.  More of these later.

205 Minutes out of the office.  Not much but great value.

3,000 euro for the Terry O’Neill print I had my eye on.

I didn’t count the number of businesses which had closed since I was last in the City – but I did notice a good few new ones as well.

Good to get some time out of the office…

Looking Back

OK so our bit of snow didn’t last that long.  The kids threw a few snowballs on the way to school and then it was gone by lunchtime.

So I’ve had to gone back into the Archive to find something topical:

Family Photographs Douglas
Snowboy – Jan 2010

Two side stories on this one:

  1. We have a canvas print of this at home but I couldn’t find the file anywhere so I went back to the original Archive file for the RAW file and put it through Lightroom.  What I find interesting is that second time around I didn’t do a whole lot more to the file than I did about 3 years ago when the picture was taken.  I’m not a big Photoshopper: I try to get everything right in camera.  All files get corrected: White Balance, Exposure and Tonal Adjustments.  I will go at anything that distracts from the main subject – whether that’s controlling bright areas or cloning out odd things here and there.  But that’s about it.  The tools are better three years later but the aim is pretty much the same.
  2. When I started the laptop this morning to pull this file off the Archive, it didn’t start first time and went into Recovery.  A (long) time after it came back and I sighed with relief.  But I got a slight fright.  Everything in the office is backed up but I treat the laptop as something of a temporary store.  But there probably are some things on there that aren’t fully protected (mainly personal stuff).  Also the disc is pretty full.  So today has become IT day with a series of backups and disc purges in place across both machines.  Followed maybe by a little maintenance.  Computers are great but you have to look after them!

What to do about First Communion Photographs?

In order to help you plan your child’s First Holy Communion I’ve put together a couple of pages of info on the blog:

First Holy Communion Photographs for 2014 gives details of the services we offer on the day of the Communion: Studio Sessions, Home Sessions and Pictures at the Church

First Holy Communion Packages 2014  has information about the print packages we’ve put together for First Communion Photographs.  These are available to all sessions that we shoot for First Communions and Confirmations.

We generally offer the same range of services to Confirmation Services – please call to check our availability on your date.

Hopefully these are useful but if you need any more information please do not hesitate to call – 021 4293714 or email

First Communion and Confirmation Photographs 2013

We’re getting a steady flow of enquiries about Communions and Confirmations since we got back from the Christmas Hols: it’s the next big event this year for a lot of families and many are starting to plan getting the family together.

The most popular dates are starting to fill up and in particular we’re almost full for Saturday 18th May.

I’m very pleased to say that many bookings are coming from families who we worked with two or three years ago for their last Communion.  I always like to think the best testimonial is a client who comes back happily.

Don’t forget Confirmations as well: it marks the transition to the Senior Cycle and Confirmation Photos are more about a milestone in a young person’s life than the ‘big day’.

Professional Photographer Douglas
Confirmation Photographs: Moving On to Senior Cycle

Lots done, more to do…

After a full recharge over the holidays it’s great to be back in the office looking forward to a good 2013 (even though it was hard getting everyone up and out this morning).

2012 was our best year yet and there’s still a few things that need to be tidied up after a very busy close running up to Christmas.

But we’re putting together plans for more great work this year.  That’s going to include more special sessions and promotions, ideas for getting more families involved in new ideas for great sessions that really connect with their identity as a family and produce images that they will treasure for years.

I also want to review our on-line presence an give it a bit of a re-fresh – so keep your eyes out changes here, on the main site and through Facebook.

I might also get a chance to post some more personal work – and to start with this from yesterday’s orienteering at Currabinny, thanks to Bishopstown Orienteering Club.  A good day enjoyed by all – I know these woods very well from doing so many sessions there over the years but we still found a few new spots.

Family Fun in Currabinny
Five go wild looking for orange markers

Happy New Year

We’re back in action this week after an extended Christmas break last week. Time to take down the tree and get back to work (lots to do).

So normal working hours are back in place in Ardfallen Estate: there will always be someone here 9-10am and 2-3pm.  Outside those times either myself or Lucy will be in the office unless we need to be somewhere else.

If you need to call in outside the core opening hours that’s normally OK but it’s best to phone or text to check that someone is here.  I take appointments outside these times including lunchtimes, early evening and weekends (subject to other commitments).

But if you’re passing and the door is open feel free to call in.  Conversely there are (a very few) days when I can’t keep the core hours (I can’t break away from a wedding to open the office for an hour for instance) so if you find the door closed when it shouldn’t be then just give me a call to make an appointment.

021 429 3714 / 087 683 8511