Kevin Langan: Blog https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog en-us (C) Kevin Langan Photography (Kevin Langan) Sat, 18 Apr 2020 16:32:00 GMT Sat, 18 Apr 2020 16:32:00 GMT https://www.kevinlangan.ie/img/s/v-12/u254298637-o59354776-50.jpg Kevin Langan: Blog https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog 120 120 Italy 2019 https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2019/8/italy-2019 Italy August 2019 - Ten days three Cities

Rome, Florence and Pisa, three cities with a lot to offer a photographer. 

My journey started in Rome where I stayed for five nights, followed by Florence for three night and Pisa for two night. 

My daily routine started with a hearty breakfast at my hotel. Usually I was on the road by 8.30-9am, so I could visit the attractions before the mid-day sun. While I was there the hottest temperature got up to 38, so it was essential to get out early to avoid the extreme midday sun. In the afternoon I would return to the hotel, have some lunch and take a rest. By 5-6pm, I would be raring to go again. 

All three cities are beautiful with their own character and energy. Rome is vast with such attractions as the Colesseum, the Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps to name but a few attractions. Florence is a lot smaller, but very beautiful with so much to offer in terms of Renaissance art and architecture. Pisa, the smallest city of the three has its obvious attraction, the Leaning Tower, a really attractive building with the added attraction of its 40º + lean. 

All three cities are great for photographers, and offer so much in terms of the built environment and street life. 

 

The Colosseum, Rome, ItalyThe Colosseum, Rome, Italy

 

Camera Gear

On this trip I took my 5DIII, a Tampon 24-70 f/2.8 lens, a Canon 17-40 f/4 lens, a Canon 70-200 f/4 lens, a Loewpro sling bag, a Benro travel tripod, a 7-Stopper ND circular filter, a remote shutter release, and that it!

Camera Settings

Street Photography: Armed with my 5DIII and my Tamron 24-70mm lens, I start by setting my exposure mode to Aperture Priority. I set my aperture to f/8, ISO to 400 and keep an eye on the shutter speed depending on the lighting conditions. This is just a starting point for me, and I constantly adjust the aperture and ISO depending on the look I want and the brightness of where I am photographing. If I am photographing in bright light, I will reduce the ISO to 100, and if photographing in darker areas, I will increase the ISO to whatever value gives me the desired shutter speed to freeze the action. Outdoors, I went up to 800 ISO on occasions, especially in dark alleyways. With the aperture setting, I usually try to get sharp detail throughout the image, so I would shoot at f/8 to f/11. These apertures record light using the best part of the lens glass, and offer the sharpest results. 

 

Nuns, Pisa, ItalyNuns, Pisa, Italy

 

Night Photography/Long Exposures: All the long exposures were taken in the blue hour, that period of twilight before it get dark. I would have a set location where I wanted to photograph, and know the best time to hit that location to get the best results. Equipment wise I only used my Benro tripod, my Canon 5DIII, a remote shutter release and my Tamron 24-70 F/2.8, or Canon 17-40 f/4 lens. My camera exposure mode was set to manual, aperture was usually set to between f/8 and f/11, ISO to 50-100, and the shutter speed varied depending on the light. 

Approach

Street Photography: With my street photos I am looking for things that interest me visually and intellectually. Humour is a big part of my photography, so I am constantly on the lookout for quirky humorous happenings around me. I have no real plan when taking street photos apart for the route I'm taking. Things just happen around you, and you have to be quick off the mark to capture them. Sometimes, I may approach a person of interest to photography them, but this is rare. For me, the great thing about street photography is the randomness of it. You just have to get out and walk around and open your eyes to the possibilities. That said, it always takes me a few hours to get back in the groove. Photographing complete strangers in public, often up close, takes a bit of nerve and savvy, and if you are not doing it everyday it take a while to get back into it. 

Night Photography/Long Exposures: Every city I go to, I usually have a few locations lined-up for special attention. I will have done my homework long before I arrive on location. This usually comprises of notes on possible viewpoints, equipment required, time to be there and how to get there. I usually aim for only of one or two an evening, because of the fleeting light restrictions.


FlorenceFlorenceFlorence

 

Conclusion

If you haven't been to any of these three magnificent cities you are missing out. All three offer so much for a photographer and are easy to get around. When you do decide to go, just remember to bring good walking shoes. Rome in particular is rough underfoot with cobbled streets in places. In the time I was there, I covered 110km on foot, so I was glad I had comfortable shoes on. Overall, I am happy with the work I did there and the experiences I had. Until next time, arrivederci amici miei!

 

 


 


 

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(Kevin Langan) Florence Italy kevin langan long exposure night photography photography Pisa Rome street photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2019/8/italy-2019 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 14:19:31 GMT
Brussels, Belgium - July/Aug 2015 https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2015/8/brussels-belgium I recently made a short trip to Brussels with no expectations of what to find there bar a few landmark buildings. I didn't do a lot of research for this trip and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

Brussels is a beautiful city with a mix of old and new buildings, wide pedestrian streets, lots of parks and great food and drink. It is a city that is rich in cultural diversity and a city that has great photographic potential.

 

Over the three days there I took total of 966 photos, mostly while walking around the city, with a few photos shot on a tripod. 966 photos seems like a lot in three days, but the number is testament to the rich variety of photography subjects there and my trigger-happy sensibility. I generally shoot a lot anyway when in a new location and a city like Brussels offer so much for the street photographer that it is hard to put the camera down.

 

Skybridge, Rue Belliard / Belliardstraat, Brussels, BelgiumSkybridge, Rue Belliard / Belliardstraat, Brussels, Belgium

 

I am relatively new to street photography and have grown to love it over the last couple of years. I love the experience of that it has to offer; the thrill of capturing a moment on the street that will never be repeated again. The main skill in street photography is anticipation. You have to be alert to possible photographic situations and position yourself at the right angle to get the shot. You also have to be primed and ready with your camera. In street photography you have to shoot at high shutter speeds to freeze the action in front of the lens. In bright mid-day light shooting at high shutter speeds is not a problem, it's when the light drops that the problem’s arise. Normally during the day I have my ISO set between 200-400; aperture on average is f/8, and I like my shutter speeds not to drop below 1/500's. As it gets darker it's a compromise between image quality and shutter speed. If I was to leave my aperture set to f/8 and my ISO set between 200-400, my shutter speed would drop as the light dropped. To counteract this I may open the lens a couple of stops and up the ISO to 800 and if necessary to 1000 or more. The downside of increasing the ISO is loss of image quality, but its best to get a sharp grainy image than a blurry less grainy one.

 

 

Ping Pong, Brussels, BelgiumPing Pong, Brussels, BelgiumPing Pong, Brussels, Belgium

 

 

Primed and ready with my 5D III, I hit the streets of Brussels ready to shoot anything that caught my eye. Walking along Boulevard Adolphe Max towards the city, I entered the new pedestrian zone in the city centre. This development has only been implemented since June, so my timing was good to visit the city. The area covers 50 hectares and is one of the largest pedestrian zones in Europe. It was designed to encourage kid's and adults to spend more time outdoors doing activities. They have ping-pong tables, giant chess sets, boules pits, a skateboarding park, badminton nets and many more recreation activities for the public. They also have large pallet assemblages for people to climb and to sit on. The great thing about a public area like this is that it attracts all kinds of people and they all in one place. I spent some time in this area photographing the various activities and people of interest. I was even treated to some beautiful gospel singing from a group of young black people. Apart from their impressive singing, they were beautifully dressed and made great subjects for me to photograph.

 

 

Gospel Singer's, Boulevard Anspach, Brussels, BelgiumGospel Singer's, Boulevard Anspach, Brussels, BelgiumGospel Singer's, Boulevard Anspach, Brussels, Belgium

 

 

Grand Place in the centre of Brussels is also an excellent place for street and architecture photography. It was packed each day I was there with tourists from all over the world. The selfie stick was out in force with a lot of the tourists, a phenomenon that has really taken hold in the last year or so. The square itself is surrounded by beautiful Gothic and Baroque buildings dating from the 17th c. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a site that is steeped in history. I was particularly struck by the Breadhouse building, currently the Museum of the City of Brussels, with its eerie looking facade. The building itself holds the history and folklore of the city and it also holds all the costumes for the Mannekin Pis, the famous little statue of a boy going for a pee in Brussels. 

 

 

Grand Place, Brussels, BelgiumGrand Place, Brussels, BelgiumGrand Place, Brussels, Belgium

 

 

On my final day in Brussels I visited the Atomium. The Atomium was built for the 1958 World Fair. It was designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, and  it stands 102 m tall. This architectural marvel is like no other I have seen. With its nine intersecting reflective sphere, it looks more like a spaceship than a building. The day I visited the Automium it was particularly nice and sunny, which added to the reflective nature of the spheres, and made for great photography.

 

 

Atomium, Brussels, BelgiumAtomium, Brussels, BelgiumAtomium, Brussels, Belgium

 

 

This was my first visit to Brussels and I must admit I enjoyed the experience. The city itself is beautiful and pedestrian friendly and it is a joy to walk around in. If you are into street and architecture photography you are in for a treat, with a great mix of cultures and a good mix of old and new architecture of merit.

 

 

Baloons, Brussels, BelgiumBaloons, Brussels, BelgiumBaloons, Brussels, Belgium

 

 

Finally I would like to recommend the MaxHotel on boulevard Adolphe Max where I stayed for three days. This is a self-service hotel that doesn't have a front desk or a breakfast room, but it is in a great location and is very comfortable and cheap. For three nights board I payed €153 including the city tax. So if you want a no frills place to stay, thats is centrally located and comfortable, well then this is the place for you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#brussels #belgium #streetphotography #architecturephotography #atomium #photography

 

 

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(Kevin Langan) architecture architecture photography art atomium baroque belgium brussels canon canon 5d3 city cool fine art gospel singers gothic grand place kevin langan maxhotel photography sculpture street photography urban https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2015/8/brussels-belgium Tue, 25 Aug 2015 11:26:54 GMT
Trip to New York, June 2015 https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2015/7/new-york-2015 New York City, the Big Apple, the home of the Empire States, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and so on. It's a city we all are familiar with even if we never have been there. Television shows such as Taxi, Cagney & Lacey, Seinfeld, NYPD Blue, Friends, Sex and the City, along with films such as Taxi Driver, Saturday Night Fever, Manhattan, Wall Street and Goodfellas to name but a few, have all added to our familiarity of one of the greatest cities in the world. Now finally I got my chance to experience the city in real-time and boy was I not disappointed.

 

As usual, before the trip I made a shortlist of the landmarks I wanted to photograph. These included the Chrysler Building, the Empire States Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, and Central Park, Chinatown, SoHo and many more. Along with those landmarks I panned to shoot a lot of street photography, to capture the most important part of the city, its people. 

 

I started my trip with two days in Long Island before heading in to Manhattan where I was based for five days. The two days in Long Island were a nice way to easy myself into American culture before the hustle and bustle of New York City. 

 

Model T Ford, Long Island, New YorkModel T Ford, Long Island, New York

 

 

 

Manhattan Day One

 

Located on east 55th Street, between 2nd and 3rd avenue, we rented a nice apartment on the 5th floor that was a perfect location to explore the city.

 

On my first night in New York I went to the observation deck at the Rockefeller Centre to photograph the Empire State Building. I got there around 7:30 and didn't get up to the observation deck until an hour later. Luckily it was still in the blue hour and I managed to get off a few good shots of the Empire State and Downtown Manhattan before it got dark. The Top of the Rock is one of the best places to view New York City from above. Looking south you have great views of Midtown and Downtown Manhattan; looking north you have a great view of Central Park and beyond. 

 

Empire State Building, Manhattan, New York CityEmpire State Building, Manhattan, New York City

 

 

 

Manhattan Day Two

 

On day two I explored the Midtown area, starting with a walk down 3rd Avenue heading towards Brynt Park. On the way I was afforded a wonderful view of the Chrysler building from the intersection of 42nd and 3rd Avenue. I stopped there for a while and backed myself into a corner, put on my wide-angle lens, framed the shot and waited for some foreground action in the form of human activity. The great thing New York City is that you don’t have to wait long before someone or something of interest comes along for you to shoot.

 

Khaki Fiend, Manhattan, New York CityKhaki Fiend, Manhattan, New York City

 

On reaching Brynt Park, a small park between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, I was immediately captured with how beautiful the park is. Nestles under towering buildings, the park with its perfectly manicured law as its centre piece, is a great place to chill-out, have a bite to eat and people-watch. The park is popular with visitors and locals alike and a perfect place to capture all manner of people, from business professionals to people living on the street.

 

After spending some time there, I wondered over to Grand Central Terminal to photograph the Main Concourse from a central point on the stairs. Following this I made my way over to Time Square to see what all the fuss was about. 

 

Time Square reminded me of when I was in China for National Day in 2013; It was jointed. There was multitudes of Elmo’s, Sponge Bob’s, Spider Mans, Batman’s and all manner of characters there, along with hoards of tourists that made that place a bit too hectic for my liking. I couldn’t make sense of it really, I think that fact that it was sweltering hot day didn’t help either. So my first experience of Time Square wasn’t good and I didn’t get any shots of note apart from catching a bunch of cartoon characters off guard on the intersection of 45th and 7th Avenue. 

 

Mickey and Friends taking a Break, W 42st & BroadwayMickey and Friends taking a Break, W 42st & Broadway

 

After spending as little time as possible in Time Square I made my way to the lobby of the Chrysler building for a gander. I have always loved this building for it Art Deco beauty, and getting to see it in reality didn’t disappoint. The lobby is beautifully ornate with marble walls, a sienna-coloured floor and a mural on the ceiling dedicated to the construction process of the building itself. The upper parts of the building are off limits considering that this is a working building, which is a shame considering that when the building was first built opened in 1930, there was an observation deck on the 71st floor.

 

Manhattan Day Three

 

Day three started with a visit to MOMA to have a look at their impressive collection of modern art. The collection is well worth the entrance fee of $25, with famous works by artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, Salvador Dali, Jackson  Pollock, William de Kooning, Andy Warhol and many more. There was also had a temporary photographic exhibition on display there when I visited. It was an exhibition of the associated Bauhaus photographers Grete Stern and Horacio Coppola. I knew nothing of these two modernist photographers, but I was glad I got to experience their impressive work especially the work of Grete Stern. Stern photomontages and portraits were truly inspirational and a class above anything I have seen in a while. 

 

The second part of that day was spent Downtown, firstly in Chinatown, then Little Italy, followed by SoHo and finally a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Downtown has a distinct different feel to it than the rest of Manhattan. Neighbourhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, the Financial District all have their own unique atmosphere and style. I was particularly impressed with SoHo, taking particular interest in the cast-iron building’s there. I even got a history lesson on their construction and restoration of the buildings from a man on the street who saw me photographing them. Who says New Yorkers aren’t friendly! 

 

SoHo, Manhattan, New YorkSoHo, Manhattan, New York

 

 

 

Next up was the Brooklyn Bridge. I had planned to walk to the other side and take photos under the bridge, but I left it too late and had to settle for what I could photograph on the bridge itself. To be honest you can get some great shots on the bridge itself. There are great views of Lower Manhattan, the Bay area, the Manhattan Bridge and of the skyline in Midtown Manhattan. You can also get good shots of the structure of the bridge and the intricate cable web system that helps support it. Apart from photographing the structure of the bridge, there was a lot of human activity on the bridge as I crossed. All manner of people cross the bridge from commuters, tourists, joggers, cyclists and of course photographers. As I crossed there was a mock wedding shoot by an Asian photographers that I crashed. The bride happily posed for me as I shot of a few frames while the photographer was changing his lens. As I made my past her I thanked her for her cooperation and gave her a nice smile. 

 

Chillin, Central Park, New YorkChillin, Central Park, New York

 

 

 

 

 

On my final full day in New York City, a particularly hot one, I decided to head to Central Park for the day. Central Park is a beautiful park in the central part of the borough of Manhattan. It is a beautiful spot to get away from the rush of city life and has a lot to offer in terms of activities and scenic beauty. Entering the park on the South side at the intersection of 59th Street and 5th Avenue, I meandered my way through the park on my way to Strawberry Fields, an area dedicated the memory of the  John Lennon. Located directly across from where Lennon lived for the latter part of his life until his death in 1980 (west 72nd Street), this memorial site has a focal point of a circular mosaic with the words ‘imagine’ inlaid in stone taken from his famous 1971 single release of the same name. 

 

Like all attractions in New York it was busy with tourists. When I was there the mosaic was encircled with hoards of people taking turns to get their photo taken next to the ‘imagine’ inscription. It was near impossible to capture the mosaic without someone standing on it, so I decided to photograph visitors to the site from behind as they stood on the mosaic. As I was standing there with my camera settings dialled in, a beautiful blonde woman entered the circular mosaic and started to twirl around for a film crew. Luckily I was in the right spot at the right time to get off a number of shots of this attractive woman as she span. You know the old phrase that’ good things come to those who wait,' well in this case it rang true.

 

Tourists, Central Park, New York CityTourists, Central Park, New York City

 

After that stroke of luck I headed to the lake area of the park where I photographed activities on the lake, people of interest around the area and I gatecrashed another wedding, this time a real one. The couple getting hitched were having their ceremony in the Ladies Pavilion next to the lake, a nice spot for a small ceremony such as this. The pavilion is a popular spot with wedding ceremonies and an ideal location for wedding photography. Having taking a couple of frames with my camera set to silent shooting I headed off again towards the South entrance, finally stopping off at a volleyball match that took my interest for the sheer athleticism of the players.

 

That evening I headed out with friends for a few drinks and got talking to a local about the phenomenon of ‘Manhattan Henge’. Also ferreted to as the ‘Manhattan Solstice,’ it is a natural event happening around the summer solstice, where the setting sun aligns east-west street grid of Manhattan. After some discussion on the event, my friends and I decided to see it we could experience ‘Manhattan Gate’ for ourselves. From where we were on 3rd Avenue we headed east on 42nd street to the intersection of 1st Avenue. There we met a photographer who told us we missed this natural phenomena by about ten minutes. Naturally we were a bit disappointed but after a few more drinks all was forgotten. It would have been a bonus to capture such an event while I was in town, but I was happy with what I had captured over the few days to not beat myself up too much about missing this opportunity. 

 

New York City left wanting for more, I loved everything about it. The impressive skyline, the hustle and bustle of the streets, the food, the mix of cultures and most of all the opportunity for great photography. I’ll be back in the near future without a doubt. New York City has made such a good impression on me that it will be hard top pop. Until next time, ‘have nice day!’

 

 

Equipment used on this Trip

 

On this trip I travelled light carrying only one camera, my Canon 5D III and three lenses. 

 

Most of the photos I took on the trip were with my Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 walk-around-lens. I also used my Canon 17-40mm lens for shots where I needed a wider angle lens than my Tamron.

 

For the trip I purposely bought a Lowepro sling bag that I carried my spare lenses in and a gorilla tripod that proved totally inadequate for my hefty DSLR. I highly recommend the sling bag for street photography, even though it was a bit small for my 5D. It would be ideal for a smaller DSLR or a mirrorless camera. Nice zip pouch inside for holding a wallet or other valuables. It also has a handy water bottle pouch that has easy access on the outside. 

 

I also brought my Benro tripod travel tripod with me for longer exposure shots and night photography. I had read before travelling that tripods were prohibited in a lot of areas around the city unless you had a permit for use. From my experience after my first trip there, I know this not to be entirely true. I personally witnessed photographers use tripods in Grand Central Station, the Bottom of the Rockefeller Centre and Brooklyn Bridge without any hassle. That said, I recommend that you still bring a mini tripod with you that can support your camera adequately. The gorfillapod tripod I used proved inadequate at the ‘top of the Rock’ with the wind that we experienced there. These type of tripods will work fine when there is no wind, but when the wind catches a large DSLR on top of one of these flimsy tripods there’s ‘a whole lot of shaking going on!’

 

Word on Street Photographic Technique

 

When doing street photography a good starting point for me regrading camera settings would be:

 

Mode: Aperture Priority

Aperture: f/8

ISO: 400

Shutter Speed: Above 1/125 s

 

As you well know what shutter speed we can shoot with is determined by the aperture setting and the ISO setting, so depending on the light I constantly monitoring what shutter speeds the camera is recorded when I have dialled in my aperture and ISO. If it falls below 1/125 s I will either open the aperture or boost the ISO depending on what type of shot I want. 

 

Most of the street shot I took on this trip were shot between ISO 400 and ISO 800. The aperture varied depending on the subject and distance to subject, and as I said I tried to keep my shutter speed high to avoid blur.

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(Kevin Langan) city cityscape crysler building empire states building kevin langan manhattan new york new york city photography street photography urban https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2015/7/new-york-2015 Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:41:10 GMT
Digital Distraction! https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/11/the-most-important-think-in-photography Canon AV-1

 

 

Of late, I have been thinking a lot about how I create images and the tools I use to do so.

 

Currently I shoot digitally with a Canon 5D III. This is a great camera that allows me to shoot successfully in a variety of conditions and photographic situations. Prior to this I was the proud owner of a Canon AV-1 film camera, that I still have today.

 

Now before I get into crux of this blog post, I just want to say that I think the 5D III is an excellent camera, one that provides superb image quality and works great in low light conditions. My gripe is not with a particular digital camera model, it is with digital photography itself.

 

At this point I want to go back in time to the mid to late 90’s. In 1995 I bought my first SLR camera the Canon AV-1. The AV-1 is a single-lens reflex camera introduced into the market by Canon in 1979. This particular model is not capable of fully manual exposure. It is an aperture priority camera, which allows the user to set the aperture setting and the camera automatically set the shutter speed. I used this camera right through Art school, and I’m happy to note that I still have it today with the three lenses I used back then; a 50mm, a 28mm and a 135mm lens.

 

As I mentioned, my AV-1 camera is an aperture priority camera; you set the desired aperture, you looked through the viewfinder, you manually focused the lens, and when you were ready you take the picture. There is little distraction with this camera, it was designed to be simple. It allowed the photographer to control the amount of depth-of-field in the shot and the camera would do the rest.

 

This brings me on to the main point of this blog. In my experience this simple SLR camera has less distraction when taking photographs than my current digital SLR cameras. I can say with certainty, that when I used this camera, I was far more concentrated as a photographer than I am with my current DSLR. One of the greatest distractions I find with digital cameras is the ability to instantly review photos after they have been taken. Looking at the back of the camera every time you take a photo often lead to missed photographic opportunities. When I shot with film that distraction wasn’t there. You took the photo, wound the film, and when the film ran out you then either changed the film or sent it off to the lab for processing. 

 

Canon 5D III & Canon AV-1Canon 5D III & Canon AV-1

 

Shooting with a film camera I believe was a more precise art. One wasn’t firing off photo after photo in the hope that one image would turn out ok. Instead the photographer waited for the decisive moment when all the elements were right to get the ‘perfect shot’. Of course the film photographer had to know his/her craft to get the perfect shot. But once the required knowledge of the workings of the camera was attained, the photographer was freed up to concentrate on the most important aspect of photography, the photographic image itself.

 

When I teach photography I always tell my students that it is not the camera that distinguishes a good or bad photographer, it is what the photographer does with the camera that is important. A prime example of this can be seen in the work of the Japanese Street photographer Daido Moriyama. Moriyama takes amazing photos with just a simple point-and-shoot pocket camera. He prefers to work with a smaller unobtrusive camera because he can get more natural street images without drawing attention to the fact that he is a photographer. When I was student I can’t remember having any conservation with my tutors about the type of camera I used. When a tutor talked to me about my work they would only refer to the images I had up in my studio space and what I was trying to say as a photographer. They didn’t give a damn whether I was using large format, medium format, 35mm, Canon, Nikon , etc. All that mattered was that I was producing images with a clear intention, images that spoke visually and intellectually.

 

To finish I’d like to say that I’m not advocating that everyone throws away their digital camera and get a film camera, or bins their DSLR for a compact camera. What I’m trying to say in a round about fashion, is that photography should first and foremost be about the image and the camera should be a secondary consideration. Having the latest DSLR camera won’t make you a better photographer. In fact the complexity of such a camera can often distract from the real purpose of photography, which is to create photographs. If you want to learn to be a good photographer your time would be best served looking the work of the great photographers. Photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Brassai, Ernst Hass, Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry, Michael Kenna to name but a few. Study the compositional techniques they use, the type of light they shoot in, the subject matter they choose to shoot. Learn by looking, and don't let the camera get in the way of improving you photography.

 

“I like to look at pictures, all kinds. And all those things you absorb come out subconsciously one way or another. You’ll be taking photographs and suddenly know that you have resources from having looked at a lot of them before. There is no way you can avoid this. But this kind of subconscious influence is good, and it certainly can work for one. In fact, the more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.”

 

– Robert Mapplethorpe 

 

 

Notes:

 

You can find some of the photographers I admire here: http://www.pinterest.com/langanphoto

 

DigitalRev Cheap Camera Challenges with photojournalist Alex Ogle - Proof that you don't need a fancy camera to take good images!

 

 

 

 

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(Kevin Langan) canon dslr film photography fine art photography' ireland kevin langan landscape photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/11/the-most-important-think-in-photography Wed, 05 Nov 2014 21:22:57 GMT
All artwork on my website now available to order! https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/10/all-artwork-on-my-website-now-available-to-order I have just made all my photographic images available for order via my website: www.kevinlangan.ie 
 
All my photographic images are printed on a state-of-the-art HP Designjet 24" printer using HP Vivera inks, which have a fade free guarantee of 100+
 
I use one of the finest printing papers on the market, Cansen Platine Fiber Rag 310g. This is 100% cotton rag paper that produced exceptional print quality to rival any photographic paper on the market.
 
You can order one of my prints securely through my website, or if you local give me a call at: 087 672325
 
I look forward to providing more variety of images in the new year and hope to make a trip to America in June to capture the hustle and bustle of New York.
 
If you have any queries about my work, or would like to order a print directly from me, please don't hesitate to get in contact.
 
Kevin
 
 
 
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(Kevin Langan) art fine kevin landscape langan photographic photography prints https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/10/all-artwork-on-my-website-now-available-to-order Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:55:37 GMT
Tutorial Lightroom - Retouching photos by Serge Ramelli https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/10/tutorial-lightroom---retouching-photos-by-serge-ramelli I found this Lightroom 4 tutorial on Petapixel.com...Personally I think the final image is pushed too far, but it will show you what is capable in Lightroom...well worth a watch.

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(Kevin Langan) kevin langan landscape photography lightroom lightroom 4 photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/10/tutorial-lightroom---retouching-photos-by-serge-ramelli Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:32:17 GMT
An Alternative Vision https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/8/an-alternative-vision Its been a while since my last post and a lot has happened in terms of how I now approach photography. You have probably noticed that the name of my website has changed from 'Kevin Langan Landscape Photography' to 'Kevin Langan Photography'. You also probably noticed that the photographs that I have been taking recently are not primarily of landscapes, but of cityscapes, portraits, still life and abstract forms. The change in my photography came about during my trip to Asia last year, where I visited Shanghai and Beijing in China, and Taipei in Taiwan. For the first time since I started the website I began taking photographs of urban environments with the inclusion of people. Some of the photos were even pure portraits of people. My style of shooting also changed on this trip. Up until then the majority of my landscape photographs were shot using a tripod in a very calculated and controlled manner. In Asia a lot of my photographs were shot hand-held apart from some long exposures and the night photographs I took of buildings. 

My most recent photographs have been mostly shot hand-held using a 50mm lens. I really enjoy using a prime lens to create images. I love its limitations and the fact that you have to use your legs to help frame the subject. The other reason I love it is because of it is a fast lens (f/1.4), allowing me to shoot my subject using a very shallow depth-of-filed if necessary. Most of my landscape work has been shoot at f/8 or above, where as my most recent work has been shoot at f/4 or below. Of course there are no fixed apertures for photography. Aperture settings are a tool the photographer uses to control the amount of perceived focus in a photo, and have a very direct impact in how the image is interpreted. For me, I love the way light and form gets abstracted using wide apertures. What may have been a banal image can get transformed into something magical using shallow focus. 

I would like to digress here and talk a little about my influences. As an Fine Art student who mixed it up between painting and photography my influences were diverse to say the least. As a painter I would have been influenced by artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Paul Klee, Edward Hopper and many more. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these name, most of these artists were abstract painters, apart from Hopper whose work was representational. As a photographer, again the list of influences is long and diverse. Photographers such as, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lang, William Eggleston, Ernst Haas, Steve McCurry, Paul Seawright, Paul Graham, Nan Goldin to name but a few. Despite it being fourteen years since I left art school, all these influenced have remained and are starting once again to influence how I take photographs. I also have discovered new photographers that I like, such as Michael Kenna, Bruce Percy, Fred Herzog, Wynn Bullock and Saul Leiter. 

To finish this rather long blog post, I would like to say that my photograph will continue to grow and develop, and to be honest I'm not entirely sure what direction it will go. All I do know is that I will continue to take photographs of things that interest me and i hope interest you as well.

Until next time, have a good one.

Kevin

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(Kevin Langan) abstraction art dingle ernst haas fine art fine art photography kevin langan photography saul leiter https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2014/8/an-alternative-vision Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:31:27 GMT
Chinese Warior, Great Wall of China, Mutianyu https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2013/11/chinese-warior-great-wall-of-china-mutianyu  

Chinese Warior, Great Wall of China, MutianyuChinese Warior, Great Wall of China, Mutianyu

I came across this interesting character at the Great Wall of China in Mutianyu...As you can see he's dressed up as an ancient warrior protecting the wall from raiding Mongolian tribes! He make a living charging tourists, like myself a small fee to take his picture..I haggled him down from 10 Yuan (€1.20) to 5 yuan (60 cent)...Expensive racket this photography!

 

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(Kevin Langan) china great kevin langan mutianyu of photography wall https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2013/11/chinese-warior-great-wall-of-china-mutianyu Mon, 04 Nov 2013 21:04:54 GMT
Trip to China - 2013 https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2013/10/trip-to-china---2013 The Pudong Skyline, Shanghai, ChinaThe Pudong Skyline, Shanghai, China

 

Just back from a trip China and Taiwan..This is the first image processed from the trip. It is an image of the impressive Pudong skyline in Shanghai, with it iconic Oriental Pearl Tower on the left...Lot more to come..keep tuned!

 

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(Kevin Langan) beijing china digital photography great wall of china kevin langan landscape photography long exposures photo photography portraits pudong shanghai street photography taipei taiwan https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2013/10/trip-to-china---2013 Mon, 07 Oct 2013 20:52:17 GMT
Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Lens for Sale https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2013/8/canon-ef-is-usm-17-85mm-lens-for-sale Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Lens for Sale

canon 17-85 IS USM

 

I have a used Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Lens for sale. The lens was originally bought for a Canon 50D but since I have upgraded to a Canon 5D III this lens won't fit my new camera. 

 

Canon EF-IS USM 17-85mm Lens

 

The lens is in excellent condition and has only been in use for two years. The image quality of the lens is excellent, it has fast focus at every focal length, it is easy to zoom, and it has a very useful zoom range for a variety of subjects, including landscape and portrait photography. It also has image stabilization which stabilizes the camera up to three stops. 

The lens has a Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV filter attached since I bought the lens, so the front element is as good as the day I bought it. I will also throw in a Canon EW-73B lens hood, an accessory I bought to protects the lens against lens flare and accidental mishaps.

The price of the lens is €240.00 

Retailing price: €589.99 - www.connscameras.ie

If interest contact me at: info@kevinlangan.ie Tel: 087 6722325

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(Kevin Langan) 17-85 IS USM canon for kevin langan lens sale https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2013/8/canon-ef-is-usm-17-85mm-lens-for-sale Fri, 02 Aug 2013 13:51:24 GMT
Christmas Exhibition at Tarbert Community Centre, County Kerry - Dec 8th - 6 to 10pm https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/12/christmas-exhibition-at-tarbert-community-centre I am having an exhibition/sale of work at Tarbert Community Centre in County Kerry  this Saturday from 6 to 10pm. I will have a wide variety of prints for sale from my collection. Some of the work will be framed, while all the other work will be presented in cellophane wrapped mounted prints. Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Kevin Langan) https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/12/christmas-exhibition-at-tarbert-community-centre Thu, 06 Dec 2012 21:53:25 GMT
Inisheer: My Aran Island Adventure https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/9/inisheer Recently I took my first trip to the Aran Islands after visiting north Clare to photograph the Burren. Having decided on visiting Inisheer (Inis Oírr, meaning 'east island') the smallest of the three islands, I set sail aboard the 'Happy Hooker', a boat owned by the Garrihy family, who have been running trips to the Aran islands since 2000. 

The landscape of Inisheer is the same as the Burren in County Clare. Karst limestone is the bedrock that forms the island. The limestone dates from the Visean period, formed as sediment in a tropical sea some 350 million years ago. Through later tectonic forces, this terrain was later raised above sea-level where it was sculpted by the elements including numerous ice ages. The island is roughly 3km by 3km wide, with small hills and intricate little valleys easily covered by bike or on foot. It has a population of 250 and is one of the strongest Gaeltacht areas in Ireland.

 

dwelling, InisheerIsland Dwelling, Inisheer, Aran Islands

Inisheer Ruin

 

Having arrived on the island, I headed for the nearest pub for a cup of tea and a scone to fuel my body for the adventure ahead. Most of the other 'tourists' had the same idea and soon the pub was full. After acclimatizing to dry land again, I set of towards the beach to hire my mode of transport for the day, a push bike. Even though the island is relatively small, a bike is a good way to see the island in a time efficient manner. Having paid for the hire of my bike I headed east towards my first port of call, the 'Plassey' wreck on the eastern shore.
 

the Plassey, InisheerThe Plassy Wreck, Inisheer, Aran Islands

The Plassy

 

The Plassey was a steam trawler beached on the island in 1960. It was built in 1940 and named HMT Juliet in 1941. She was renamed Peterjon in 1947 and converted to a cargo vessel. In 1951 she was bought by the Limerick Steamship company and named the Plassey. On the 8 March 1960, she was caught in a severe storm while crossing Galway bay and ran aground on Finnis Rock, Inisheer. All eleven crew were rescued by locals, but the Plassey would never sail again after being washed ashore after a second storm hit the island several weeks later. If you are familiar with the television comedy series 'Father ted', you will get a glimpse of the Plassey wreck in the opening credits.

From my research I knew the wreck would be best photographed in the early morning light, with the sun illuminating the starboard side of the ship. As I arrived at the wreck I could see that conditions were perfect for photography. The sun had emerging from behing the clouds and it lit up the Plassey life a spotlight. I explored the wreck from every angle and made several exposures.  

 

Inisheer HorseHorse, Inisheer, Aran Islands

Inisheer Horse

 

Having photographed the Plassy for some time I set off again towards the lighthouse, stopping off on the way to take photos of sheep and horses encased in the majestic limestone walls that are ever-present on the island. Away from the shoreline the landscape of Inisheer is dominated by limestone. Every scrap of land is divided up into tiny plots of varying degrees of vegetation. What greenery there is has been hard earned over the years as generations of farmers mixed seaweed and sand on top of rocks to create fertile soil.

 

inisheerSheep, Inisheer, Aran Islands

Sheep, Inisheer

OO'Briens Castle, Inisheer, Aran Islands

O'Brien's Castle

 

After exploring the east side of the island I headed inland to visit O'Brien Castle, a 14th century castle that sits inside a prehistoric ring fort on the highest point on the island. During the Medieval period, the Aran Islands were strategic in controlling Galway Bay. From as early as the 13th century, there are records of payement's of large amounts of wine by Galway City to the O'Brien clan to keep the shipping route free from piracy.

 

Inisheer beach

Inisheer Currachs

 

Having explored O'Brien's Castle for some time, I headed towards the north shore, to the small but beautiful white sandy beach facing clear crystal turquoise water. The beach is used by locals to bathe and is a good place to launch a currach. The currach is a traditional Irish vessel constructed of a wooden frame, over which animal skin or hides were once stretched. Today currach's are covered in canvas or calico and painted with tar to make them waterproof.

As I made my way from the beach towards the pier I got the alluring waft of burgers in the air. As I approached the proprietor of the burger shack I was amazed to hear an American accent asking if ' I would I like ketchup with that'. I'm sorry I didn't pry into the circumstances why she ended up selling burgers on Inisheer, but on reflection I can see the attraction. 

 

inisheer lighthouseInisheer Lighthouse, Aran Islands

Inisheer Lighthouse

 

As I waited for my boat back to the mainland, I contemplated what it must have been like to live on the island in old days, when survival depended on the sea and what little produce the islanders could harvest from this soil starved land. It must have been a hard life, isolated in the middle of Galway Bay, subject to all manner of weather, dependent on their resourcefulness for life itself. The great writer  J.M. Synge visited the Aran Islands in 1898 for the first time, and would return for five consecutive summers, collecting stories and folklore for his first serious work, "The Aran Islands". It is a reflection of the lives of the Islanders that will give you a great insight into life on the Island in the late 19th century and early 20th century, one that puts my speculation into perspective.

 

 

 

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(Kevin Langan) aran inis inisheer islands kevin landscape langan oirr photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/9/inisheer Wed, 12 Sep 2012 19:34:55 GMT
Long Exposure Calculator https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/8/long-exposure-calculator  

Long Exposure Calculator

ND filter

 

Download your free lang exposure calculator by clicking on the link below...Very handy in the field when you are using your ND filters to create those dreamy landscape images!

Long Exposure Calculator PDF

 

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(Kevin Langan) Ireland Long calculator exposure ireland kevin landscape langan photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/8/long-exposure-calculator Fri, 10 Aug 2012 16:08:51 GMT
Iceland - A Photographers Dream https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/5/iceland Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Iceland, a land that has intrigued me for a number of years now, with its volatile volcanoes and glacial-shaped landscape. Accompanied by two close friends, our trip to Iceland lasted ten days in all, covering over 3,500 km, on a journey that took across the south coast of Iceland. On the way we encountered huge waterfalls, beautiful snow capped mountains, powerful glaciers, iceberg filled lagoons, black sandy beaches, a myriad of birdlife, volcanoes, geyser's, and a landscape reminiscent of the moon. 

 

Route 1Route 1, Iceland

Route 1, Iceland

 

Jökulsárlón and Surrounding Area

Having driven over five hours due east from Rykjavik, we landed at our accommodation for the first leg of our journey, Guesthouse Hali. Situated just ten minutes from a spectacular Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, Guesthouse Hali proved to be an ideal location to base ourselves as we explored the lagoon and the surrounding area. 

Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lagoon situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull (jökull is glacier in Icelandic). Its very existence was caused by the receding glacier that once stretched to the ring road (Route 1), but now lies approximately 1.5 km away from the oceans edge. It is also the deepest lake in Iceland at 248 meters.

 

jokulsarlon

Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

 

I'm sure the first sight of Jökulsárlón has the same effect on everyone else as I did on us. Catching a glimpse of the lagoon in our peripheral vision as we drove along Route 1, we instantly hit the brakes and pulled in off the road to gape, with mouths open at the surreal sight before our eyes. Never before have I come across a natural spectacle of such beauty, enormity and might. To top things off as soon as we arrived conditions for photography were perfect. With a spectacular snow capped mountain backdrop, low-lying clouds, and a surreal foreground full of huge floating pieces of ice, it was hard not to produce good photographs. Having stayed there for some time exploring the lagoon from a variety of angles, we eventually dragged ourselves away to check-in to our new digs before making a return later that night.

 

jokulsa

Jökulsá Beach

 

Over the three days we stayed in the area, I made four more visits to the lagoon to photograph the floating icebergs under different lighting conditions. Early morning and late evening gave the greatest rewards in terms of light, but also allowed me to experience the lagoon undisturbed, with little distraction apart from the odd Skua and seal.

I also spent some time on the beach at the outlet of the lagoon, photographing the broken pieces of icebergs washed up on the shore. The black sandy beach created a good contrast against the ice white of the icebergs. The dynamic there was a lot different from the lagoon area. There was a constant conveyor belt of ice coming from the lake, which was being battered by ocean waves as they makes its way out of the inlet. These large pieces of ice would eventually be washed up on shore and strewn all along the beach. There were a lot of seals in this area, waiting for fish as they entered and exited the lagoon. Seals have a stress free like there. With no predators around to eat them, they have easy pickings of the ample fish the lake.

Jökulsárlón is one place I don’t think I could ever grow tired of. It is a wild and wonderful place, full of natural beauty and dynamism. Luckily for us the time we spent there we were blessed with favorable weather conditions, which greatly added to our experience. Jökulsárlón had a profound affect on my travelling companions and me, and It is one place we won't forget in a hurry. 

 

Skaftafell National Park

From our base near the glacial lagoon, we took a day trip to the ‘Skaftafell Ntaional Park’ to explore the Svartifoss waterfall, the Skaftafellsjökull glacier, and the surrounding area. 

 

svartifoss waterfall

Svartifoss Waterfall Skaftafell

 

The Skaftafell National Park has many trails that can be taken to explore the surrounding landscape. Our first hike was to the ‘Svartifoss’ waterfall, a spectacular waterfall surrounded by hexagonal basalt columns. These hexagonal columns were formed inside a lava flow that cooled slowly giving rise to crystallization. The waterfall is well known in Iceland and is a popular destination for photographers and tourists alike. Having experienced the fall for some time, and having taken many photographs, we then hiked for a few kilometers to a high vantage point overlooking the Skaftafellsjökull glacier. The views from this vantage point were amazing, with a panoramic view of the glacial valley below and the impressive backdrop of the Hafrafell mountains in the distance. 

 

Skaftafellsjökull Glacier, IcelandSkaftafellsjökull Glacier, IcelandView of the Skaftafellsjökull glacier from high up on Skaftafellsheiði mountains.

Svínafellsjökull Glacier

 

Our Skaftafell adventure also took us to the edge of the Svínafellsjökull glacier, which is a short distance to the east of the Skaftafellsjökull glacier. A memorial plaque to two German men lost on the glacier greets you at the end of the dirt road leading to the glacier, a stark reminder of what can go in environments like this.

 

Vík and Surrounding Area

After three days based near Jökulsárlón we moved camp to a village called Vík about two hours west of Jökulsárlón. Situated on the southernmost part of Iceland, Vík is the largest settlement for some 70 km. Despite its small size (291 inhabitants) it is an important service center for inhabitants in the surrounding area and visitors alike.

Vík is a great base to explore the coast around Dyrhólaey and Reynisfjara. On our first night in Vík we drove to Dyrhólaey, a small peninsula 10k west of Vík to photograph the lighthouse, the large puffin colony, the impressive sea arch, and the dramatic views from on both sides of this impressive promontory.

 

Puffins, Dyrhólaey, IcelandPuffins, Dyrhólaey, Iceland

Nesting Puffins, Dyrhólaey

 

Reynisfjara beach also had a lot to offer. Immediately offshore are sea stacks of Reynisdrangur projecting out of the sea like giant stalagmites. The cliffs along the beach feature stacks of basalt columns, caves and plenty of bird life. Puffins nest in these cliffs, and I had to duck a few time to avoid them hitting me as they made their way out to sea to fell their bellies.

 

Vestmannaeyjar

On our fifth day in Iceland we took a ferryboat to Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), an archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The islands are named after the Irish (Westmen) who were captured into slavery by the Norse Gaels. As the story goes, shortly after Ingölfur Arnarson arrived in Iceland, his brother Hjörleifur was murdrred by the Irish slaves he had brought with him. The Irish slaves then fled to Heimaey, but Ingolfur hunted them down and killed them all.

The area around Vestmannaeyjar is volcanically active, with two major eruptions in the 20th century. The eruption in 1963 created the new island of Surtsey, and the Eldfell eruption on Heimaey in 1973 created a 200m high mountain where a meadow had been, and the temporary evacuation of the towns 5000 inhabitants. Heimaey is the only inhabited island with a current population of 4,135, with most of the people living off fishing. It is densely populated with over four thousand people living on 13.4 km² of land.

 

eldfell

Eldfell

 

Having spent the day on the island exploring the sights, Eldfell was the highlight for me. Not only the fact that a recent eruption had occurred here, but the landscape is totally surreal, with colours straight out of a science fiction movie. 

 

Þórsmörk Glacial Valley

Pórsmörk or more commonly called Thórsmörk, named after the mighty pagan God Thor, is a natural oasis that lies behind the now fameous Eyjafjallajökul volcano which erupted in 2010 (the one that stopped all the air traffic).

Pórsmörk is only accessible by 4X4 on a dirt track, F249. To get to the land behind the glaciers you have to cross numerous un-bridged glacial streams, some of which are quiet deep and with strong currents. The valley itself is beautiful, with weird rock formations, ice-capped mountain on either side, and icy streams running all along the valley floor.

Having crossed many glacial streams we finally made it to our destination Basar, a very scenic area about 30 km inland from the ring road. From there we hiked up Mt Réttarfell, a 509m high mountain with fabulous views of the valley below as well as the surrounding mountains. The climb itself was a bit hairy in places, but the view from the summit was well worth the risk.

 

Porsmork

Mt Réttarfell, Pórsmörk

 

On the way back, the glacial streams we crossed earlier with ease, had grown in size due to the melt waters flowing from the surrounding mountains. Luckily for us they were passable with our Suzuki Grand Vitara, which proved to be a good mode of transport both on and off road. The glacial rivers of Pórsmörk can be a unpredictable and the fords change constantly as the day progresses.

 

Gullfoss and Geysir

The last leg of our journey took us to two of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, Gullfoss (Golden Falls), and Geysir (spouting hot spring), which form’s part of the Golden Circle including Pingvellir National Park.

Although these attractions are generally thronged with tourists, given their close proximity to Rykjavik, they are well worth the visit. Our first stop was at Geysir. Geysir, sometimes called 'The Great Geysir', was the first geysir known to modern Europeans, and the first to be described in a printed source. Despite its celebrity, Geysir eruptions are infrequent, relying on its neighbor Strokkur to put on a more frequent show for visitors. Watching these hot water explosions shoot up into the air is mesmerizing. One waits in excited anticipation for the next violent eruption of hot water, which can shoot up to 40m in the air. 

Next up was the magnificent Gullfoss, Iceland’s most famous waterfall. Gullfoss is a double cascade, dropping 32 meters, kicking up a sheer wall of spray before thundering down a narrow ravine.

 

gullfossGullfoss Waterfall, Iceland

Gullfoss

 

Gullfoss is the largest most beautiful waterfall I had seen in Iceland, and believe me, there were many. This spectacular waterfall must be the most photographed natural phenomenon on the island, with good reason. Its scale, power, and beauty are enough to transfix one into a giddy state of excitement, as one searches for the best vantage points to view the falls. Despite how busy the place became while we were there, it didn't take from the experience. Every now and again us loner landscape photographers like to make contact with our own species, even if it is only for a short time.

 

In Conclusion

Iceland is a magical country. Its allure is obvious to anyone who has interest in the natural environment and is a Mecca for landscape photographers. The landscape is vast, varied, rugged, beautiful and alive. Every turn you make, there is a view more impressive than the last. Beautiful waterfall's are around every bend, huge ice-capped mountains dominate the skyline, volatile raging rivers crisscross the landscape, geyser's and hot springs bubble with energy, and the threat of a volcanic eruption is ever-present. Iceland is truly a land of fire and ice, a land that seem more alive than any I have visited. 

My time in Iceland will remain long in the memory. Its had a profound effect on me, enough to make me want to return to capture more of what this wonderful country has to offer.

 

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(Kevin Langan) art fine art fine art photography gullfoss iceland jokulsarlon kevin landscape langan photography Vestmannaeyjar vik https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/5/iceland Tue, 29 May 2012 13:45:07 GMT
Two New Courses to improve your Photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/5/two-new-photography-courses-to-improve-your-photography I have just launched two new courses for those of you interested in photography...The first course is designed for beginners who own a digital camera, whether its a compact camera or a DSLR, and would like to get more familiar with how it works. This course is designed to suit the clients needs, and is tailored entirely to suit them...The second course is a One-on-One Landscape Photography Workshop...The setting for the workshop is the beautiful Dingle Peninsula...I will take you to some of my favorite places on the peninsula, teaching you all I know about the practice of landscape photography..You will also receive instruction on how to post-process your photos in a private space at the beautiful Blacket Centre in Dún Chaoin...Click on the link below for more details...Just click on the "workshop" link at the top of the page to find out more.

 

 

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(Kevin Langan) https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/5/two-new-photography-courses-to-improve-your-photography Tue, 22 May 2012 17:39:42 GMT
Digital Sharpening Using Lightroom & Photoshop https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/3/digital-sharpening-using-lightroom-photoshop Check out my latest tutorial on how I approach sharpening my images in Lightroom and Photoshop!

 

http://www.kevinlangan.ie/sharpening

 

High PassSharpening

 

 

 

 

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(Kevin Langan) digital high ireland kevin landscape langan lightroom mask pass photography photoshop sharpening unsharpen https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/3/digital-sharpening-using-lightroom-photoshop Tue, 20 Mar 2012 18:30:02 GMT
The choices we make! https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/1/choices-we-make Recently after showing one of my latest images to close relation, the reaction I got was " why on earth did you photograph such an uninteresting thing".

Of course I had photographed it because I personally found it visually interesting in the first place. I also could visualise before I made the photograph that it would make a nice black & white print with lot's of character.


 
Glin Pier


The idea for this image has been sitting in my head for a number of weeks now. Ever since I acquired a 10 stop Neutral Density filter I have been playing with the concept of "clean space", particularly working with black & white imagery.

To achieve the desired effect of "clean space" a long exposure is required. By long I mean one minute plus and for this particular exposure it took four minutes. To achieve a lengthy exposure like this you need a Neutral Density Filter. A ND filter is a device for reducing the amount of light entering the lens, thus affecting the lenght of the exposure time. ND filter are graded in terms of stops, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 10 etc. A 10 stop ND filter reduces the light intake by ten stops. Without getting too technical, the exposure for this particular shot took 4 mins with the10 ND stop filter.

The effect of such a long exposure on the water surrounding the pier was to soften and flatten it. With the pier in sharp focus, thanks to the camera being set-up on a tripod, the contrast between the soft water blur effect and the hard edges of the pier took attention away from the water and onto the point-of-focus, the pier itself.

As well as abstracting the image with the effects of a long exposure, converting the image to black & white also added to the abstraction of the image. Given that we see in colour, stripping an image of it's colour is a form of abstraction in itself. When colour is removed from an image our brains read black & white imagery in term's of brightness (luminosity), distribution of tones, texture and the structure of the form's recorded.

For me this image was always going to be a black & white image. The colour version of the image is visually uninteresting and distracts form the detail in the wrought iron frame and wooden beams. Given that the structure of the pier is what drew me to photograph it in the first place, a black & white conversion was always going to be preferred to a colour version of the same image.

With a combination of a long exposure and a black & white conversion I believe I was successful in creating a strong image, one that focuses attention on the structure of the pier, with it's wonderful detail and textures and away from all other unwanted distraction.

I guess what we choose to photograph and how we go about creating the final image defines us as photographers. Taste is another matter and one that requires a lot more discourse than a few paragraphs in a blog!

Till next time, happy snapping! Or should that be happy visualisation, camera set-up, post-production and printing!
 
 
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(Kevin Langan) canon 50d glin kevin langan landscape photography long exposure pier ten stopper https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/1/choices-we-make Sat, 28 Jan 2012 14:53:00 GMT
Framed 30"X20" Print for Sale! https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/1/framed-30x20-print-for-sale
30"X20" Framed Print - "Frosty Morning, Back of the Hill"
I have a large 30"X20" beautifully framed print of one of my most popular images, "Frosty Morning, Back of the Hill" up for grabs. It's a steal at €240..If you are interested act fast and contact me at: info@kevinlangan.ie - or on my mobile at: 087 6722325
 
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(Kevin Langan) glin ireland kerry. landscape photography leslies wood tarbert tarbert wood https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2012/1/framed-30x20-print-for-sale Fri, 06 Jan 2012 14:03:00 GMT
"Print Sale" Tarbert Community Centre https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/12/print-sale-tarbert-community-centre_12 Thanks to everyone who attended my print sale at the weekend. I was delighted with the turnout and the support I received from the Tarbert community and beyond...I'm considering having another one over the Christmas period at the same venue..Keep an eye out on my website for details...Below are some picks from the weekend.


Me!



 
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(Kevin Langan) exhibition ireland kerry kevin langan landscape photography tarbert https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/12/print-sale-tarbert-community-centre_12 Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:59:00 GMT
Print Sale Tarbert Community Centre https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/12/print-sale-tarbert-community-centre




I am having a "print sale" in the Tarbert Community Centre on the 10th Dec 8pm-10pm and on the 11th Dec 11.30am-1.30pm. There will be a selection of print sizes and formats from my collection, mounted and rapped in cellophane. I will have a few framed as well. All are welcome!
 
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(Kevin Langan) https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/12/print-sale-tarbert-community-centre Thu, 01 Dec 2011 10:28:00 GMT
Light Painting https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/10/light-painting Abstracting forms using a combination of slow shutter speeds and camera movement can sometimes lead to very pleasing results. It is a technique I have used in the past, but rarely in the genre of landscape photography.

Golden Tree


Having trained originally as a painter I love the way this technique abstracts the photographic image, shifting concentration away from recognizable detail to the formal elements of colour, texture and tone.

Tree Forms


The level of abstraction created by this technique depends on the length of exposure and the amount of camera movement during the exposure. Personally I like to retain some degree of recognizable elements in my composition. Choosing a shutter-speed  around the 1/15s to 1/4s range allows me enough time to create movement in the image while still retaining enough detail to make the image look recognizable.

Linear

Along with the relatively long exposure time used to abstract the image, the direction you "drag" the camera during that exposure is also very important is defining the overall effect you get.

A good rule-of-thumb is to move the camera with the natural lines in the landscape. This will help you maintain the integrity of the forms in the image while blurring their boundaries to give a more abstract effect.

Reed Mace


This time of year really compliments this technique, especially in woodland areas where there is a broad pallet of colours to play with. On a bright autumnal day the results can be stunning, with complimentary colours merging into one another to make really strong and beautiful imagery.

For more examples of this technique visit my website at: www.kevinlangan.ie




 
 
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(Kevin Langan) abstract canon 50d curragh chase ireland kevin langan landscape photography long exposure panning tarbert https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/10/light-painting Sun, 30 Oct 2011 13:38:00 GMT
Colour in Motion https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/10/colour-in-motion "Panning" is a technique I used quite a bit in my student days at art college. It was a technique that served me well in creating a sense of movement and dynamism in the urban photography I was producing at the time.


Gulls


Recently while looking through some old photos from my college days I was reminded what a great technique it was. I always loved how colour and form was abstracted by this technique and the painterly effect it produced.


Kinetic Energy



The basic idea behind panning is that you pan your camera in time with the moving subject and end up gettinga relatively sharp subject with a blurry background. How sharp the subject you are focusing on depends on the shutter speed you are using.
 
 
 
Skimming Turnstones
 
For this series of images of birds in flight I wanted to make the end product fairly abstract while still retaining enough detail to make the subject matter recognizable. 
 
Using a relatively slow shutter speed (1/25s - 1/15s) allowed me to blur and abstract the background while still retaining some detail in the birds. To retain some detail in the birds I panned my camera in the same direction as the birds in flight and at their speed of flight.
 
 
Gulls III
 
 
The weather conditions along with the monochrome background of the surf also helped highlight the subtle colours of the birds in flight. Colour fades in motion and becomes more transparent the longer the exposure; because of this I choose a shutter speed that would retain some solid colour in the moving forms while making the background more abstract and soft. 
 
 
Gulls II
 
 
This technique can also be used with a flash in closer proximity to the subject. With a long exposure, when fired, the flash will freeze forms in the foreground while the panning effect of the camera will blur the background into abstraction.
 
I really love this technique and I hope to use it more in the future.  Try it out for yourself and you'll be amazed with the results!
 
To view high-resolution versions of these images go to: www.kevinlangan.ie
 
 
 
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(Kevin Langan) ballyheigue birds ireland kevin langan landscape photography long exposure panning seagulls wildlife https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/10/colour-in-motion Tue, 11 Oct 2011 14:24:00 GMT
Hurricane Katia hits the West Coast https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/9/hurricane-katia-hits-west-coast With the tail end of Hurricane Katia hitting the west coast of Ireland, I headed for Loop Head in County Clare.


Seabirds in Flight at Loop Head


Loop Head is a finger like peninsula jutting out into the sea on the Clare coast. To the south of the peninsula is the Shannon Estuary, while to the west and north, the peninsula is bounded by the mighty Atlantic Ocean. 
 
 
Giant Wave off Loop Head
 
 
 
Apart from the amazing scenery, Loop Head has a lot to offer in terms of wildlife. Minke whales are seasonal visitors to Loop Head around September and October each year, attracted by the spawning herring shoals.



Minke Whale off Loop Head
 


As I was photographing along the headland a Minke surfaced briefly, but unfortunately I was too slow to catch it on camera. A litter later, further down the coast I managed to get a blurry snap as one surfaced further out.
 
 
Immature Herring Gull glides on updraft
 
 
 
There is also a large variety of seabirds to be seen at Loop Head. I was treated to an exciting aerobatic and diving display by a variety of birds, including; Herring Gulls, Shags, Cormorants, and Choughs.
 
 
Chough glides above the surf
 
 
With winds speeds reaching 40 mph it was difficulty enough to keep ones feet, let alone take photographs. By the time I got back to the car, after several hours shooting, I was glad to be in out of the elements. 
 
 
Loop Head Lighthouse
 
 
 
Loop Head Headland
 
 
Despite the hardship endured, photographing in such conditions can be very rewarding. It's hard to beat high winds and rolling seas to add drama to a coastal scene. That combined with the spectacular scenery, its hard not to product good photography.


For more photos of Loop Head go to: www.kevinlangan.ie

 
 
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(Kevin Langan) atlantic clare co. clare coast hurricane hurricane katia ireland kevin langan landscape photography loop head https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/9/hurricane-katia-hits-west-coast Sat, 17 Sep 2011 08:57:00 GMT
Full Moon https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/9/full-moon
Last night was a good clear night for moon gazing!
 
 
 
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(Kevin Langan) full moon ireland kevin langan landscape photography photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/9/full-moon Wed, 14 Sep 2011 06:41:00 GMT
Resolution and the Printed Image https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/9/resolution-and-printed-image-latest Free tutorial examining the link between image resolution and print resolution and how to optimize you images for perfect prints!

Follow link for free tutorials: www.kevinlangan.ie/photographytutorials
 
 
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(Kevin Langan) ireland kevin langan landscape photography resolution https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/9/resolution-and-printed-image-latest Thu, 08 Sep 2011 04:08:00 GMT
Dunmore Head Dingle Peninsula https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/8/dunmore-head-dingle-peninsula On a recent trip to Dingle I met a French man looking for directions. He was looking for the most westerly point in Europe and I duly obliged by pointing him in the direction of Dunmore Head. Following my encounter with the French man I decided venture there myself on a wild and wet evening in late summer.


Dunmore Head Dingle Peninsula

I believe the west coast of Ireland is best experienced when the waves are bashing against the rocks and sky is dark and moody. In saying that, shooting in such conditions has it own complications. Battling with the wind and rain can often be an uphill battle. When standing upright is a task in itself, you can imagine the difficulty encountered when trying to capture a good exposure. Rain is also a difficult one to deal with, keeping the front element of your lens dry and free of fog is a constant battle.


Dunmore Head Edge of Europe


Despite it's complications, there is a great sense of feeling alive in such conditions. You really feel like you are part of nature when you are being battered by the elements. I always feel refreshed after such outings, both physically and spiritually. Nature has that effect on the soul, an effect I feel we all need from time-to-time to revive our spirits.


Dunmore Head


There is a surreal element to the experience as well. As I stood there on the edge of Europe looking out over the Blasket Sound, I felt like I was in a movie theatre watching a blockbuster, with each scene unfolding before my eyes. As rain fell over the Blasket Islands, I was mesmerize me to the point of paralysis. It was like being suspended in time, bit like the matrix really, well not quiet.

For more photo's of the Dingle Peninsula go to:
www.kevinlangan.ie
 
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(Kevin Langan) coast dingle dingle peninsula dunmore head ireland kerry kevin langan landscape photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/8/dunmore-head-dingle-peninsula Sat, 27 Aug 2011 13:26:00 GMT
HP Designjet Z3100 24" Printer https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/8/hp-designjet-z3100-24-printer

Bought myself a HP Designjet Z3100 24" printer. Looking forward to many years of large format printing!


 

 
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(Kevin Langan) Designjet HP Z3100 kevin langan landscape photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/8/hp-designjet-z3100-24-printer Sat, 20 Aug 2011 12:28:00 GMT
Reflective mood on the Dingle Peninsula https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/7/looking-out-over-blasket-islands-from  

 

 


Looking out over the Blasket Islands, from a perch high up on Clogher head, my mind is consumed with thoughts of the past and settlers who made this, the most westerly point of Europe their home.

Clogher Head


It’s hard to escape history in a place like this, especially when the Dingle Peninsula has supported various tribes and populations for almost 6,000 years. Evidence of that past is strewn all over the landscape, visual reminders of a rich a varied past , one steeped in history, folklore and one that is everpresent on my mind.
For me the Blasket Islands, in particular, the ‘Great Blasket Island’, will always be associated with the book  Peig Sayers. ‘Peig’ (1936), her autobiography was a staple on the secondary school curriculum for years, and those of a certain generation will have studied it in Irish for the Leaving Cert. For any of you who are unfimiliar with the book ‘Peig’ depicts the declining years of a traditional, Irish-speaking way of life, charactesrised by poverty and hardship. It is a bleak book in truth and one that was taken off the curriculum in the late 1990s.


The Blasket Islands

I have never been on the island, or any of the other Blasket Islands for the matter, but looking at it now over the Blasket Sound it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to live there. The only inhabitable area of the ‘Great Blasket Island’ is at the east side, protected, some what form the elements by a steep incline that dominates the rest of the island. On record, the population of the island at it’s peak in 1916 was 176 people. How they all managed to fit on such a tiny piece of land, let alone sustain themselves baffles me. One can only imagine the hardship those people must have gone through, with a constant struggle for survival. Following the First World War, the island began to decline and in 1953 the last twenty inhabitants left the island.


Inishtearagh

Being in such a rich environment, with such a rich history and natural beauty is all consuming. The many time I have visited the peninsula I always come away better for the experience. From a photographers perspective, places like the Dingle Peninsula offer so much. Jutting out as it does into the sea, the most westerly point in Europe, the peninsula has a rugged and beautiful coastline. Battered by the Atlantic ocean and the predominant westerly winds, the coastline is visually stunning, particularly along it’s most westerly points.
 
Headland View

Evenings like the one I experienced on Clogher Head, on a stunning summers evening offer so much. Consumed by history and natural beauty I left with heavy heart, but happy in the knowledge that I would return soon and maybe next time I will be pointing my camera towards the mainland, wondering why anyone would want to live there! 
 

For more photo's of the Dingle Peninsula go to:
www.kevinlangan.ie

 

 

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(Kevin Langan) clogher head digital photography dingle dingle peninsula dunmore head ireland kerry kevin langan landscape photography photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/7/looking-out-over-blasket-islands-from Wed, 27 Jul 2011 04:33:00 GMT
YouTube Video https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/7/youtube-video

 
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(Kevin Langan) ireland kevin langan landscape landscape photography photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/7/youtube-video Mon, 18 Jul 2011 09:55:00 GMT
Dawn Shoot, Killarney, Co. Kerry https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/7/dawn-shoot
 

 


Getting up for a dawn shoot can sometimes be a daunting especially in summer when the days are long. It’s never easy to drag yourself out of bed at an ungodly hour to go taking photographs. That said, once you are over the hurdle of getting up it's all downhill from there. 
Setting out at 3am, I arrived at ‘Ladies View’ in Killarney at around 4.30 am. The weather for the morning was good, with a mixture of cloud and sunshine forecasted for the day.
Doing your research the night before is a must when planning a day’s shoot.  I will always gather as much information as I can about the weather and the location of where I am going. Google Earth is a great tool to visualize what the terrains is like and how the sun will affect the landscape at a given time of the day. The ‘show sunlight across the landscape’ slider in Google Earth is a handy tool for illustrating this. It's not an exact science, but it will give you some idea of what to expect.  Of course first hand knowledge of the location is far more beneficial.


Ladies View
Understanding where the sun will rise in relation to your planned location is also a must. For finding out the time of sunrise I go to www.timeanddate.com. To get the position of the sunrise, if you have an iPhone you can use an app. called Focalware. This is a great app. that will give you the exact location of the sunrise/sunset in relation to a GPS position. Dawn is a magical time of the morning, but the best light at this time can be fleeting, so it is essential to know where you want to be for best results.
One of the great things about being out so early in the morning, is getting to see some wildlife before they disappear out of sight. This particular morning I saw several deer, an Otter, a Pine Martin and a host of bird life in their natural habitat. It was my first encounter with a Pine Martin, so I was particularly pleased having seeing one.
After spending some time photographing Ladies View, I set out to explore the upper lake and take advantage of the early morning light. I stopped off at several spots, some new, some already known.  It’s always great to find new spots, especially when they offer exciting new photo opportunities. I will return again to some of the locations when the light is more favorable in the future. I always keep notes on new locations. These notes are very helpful when you are planning a return to that visit and will help with a successful shoot.



Eagles Nest
After spending sometime lakeside, I decided to head to the Oak woodland at the top of the lake. I had been there once before, so I knew what to expect. The natural woodlands of Killarney National Park are a wonder to behold, it’s like going back in time to an ancient land, with all the natural flora and fauna that one inhabitant this green isle. Following ‘Galway’s River', I took several photos of it as it meandered towards the lake. Spending some time there in the company of a few deer and million’s of midges, annoying the hell out of me, I decided I had enough for the day and headed back towards the car.


Upper Lake Killarney
As hard as it is to get out of bed before dawn, I never regret it. The rewards are there if you are prepared to make the effort. What seems banal and lifeless in daylight can be transformed to something wonderful by the rays of the rising sun!

www.kevinlangan.ie

 
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(Kevin Langan) eagles nest ireland kerry kevin langan killarney ladies view lakes of killarney landscape photography photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2011/7/dawn-shoot Mon, 04 Jul 2011 10:48:00 GMT
Black & Brida Valleys, Killarney, Co. Kerry https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2010/5/black-brida-valleys  

07/04/2010

Following my recent visit to the McGuillicuddy Reeks, I promised myself to return soon to explore the Black and Brida valleys running between the mountain range. The view from the top of the Devils Ladder a few weeks earlier had given me some insight into the splendor of the valley, but being at ground level is the best way to experience the magnitude of the mountain range. Having previously experimented with panoramic stitching in Photoshop, I knew the best way to capture the valley was to combine several shots into one; my mission on the day was to do just that. Having discussed my plans the day before with my brother, he decided he would tag along for the trek. In all the years we have been coming to Killarney, neither of us had explored this area, so we were looking forward to what it had to offer.

 

My brother Alan enjoying the view!
 

We approached the Black valley from Moll’s Gap South of Killarney on the Kenmare road. Once at the gap, we turned left and took the first right down into the valley. The road is windy and narrow, but you soon find yourself immersed in the beauty of the natural habitat with the Owenreagh river running along the right hand side of the road. The road into the valley intersects with the “Kerry Way” walk, a walk that starts just outside Killarney town near the river Flesk and runs all around the Iveragh peninsula. We decided to drive as far as we could following the “Kerry Way” route until we turned off to the Cummeenduff lake. Passing the lake, we parked in a lay-by as far as we dared go and proceeded to get kitted out. We set off on foot along a narrow road until we intersected the “Kerry Way” walk again. The road led to a farm, the most isolate farm I have ever come across. Both of us pondered on what it would be like to live in such an isolated part of Ireland, getting to the shops must be a real hassle we mused.


 

The Brida Valley
 

Walking around the side of the farm, we continued on until a decision had to be made whether to stick to the “Kerry Way” route or head upwards towards the base of Carrauntoohil. We decided on the latter. I knew from my climb a few weeks previous that there was a lake at the base of mountain and I was anxious to explore it. The lake in question is Curraghmore, the source of the Cummeenduff river that flows into the Cummeenduff lake that feeds the Gearhameen river and untimately flows into the Lough Leane. Having survived the steep incline to the lake, we took a breather and had some lunch. After several ham sandwiches and a nice warm cup of tea, I decided to get the camera warm up with a few shots of the lake with the mountains in the background. Not feeling too happy with what I had captured, I followed my brother over a hill to get a good view of the valley from up high.


 

 
Brida Valley Pan


 
The view from this vantage was spectacular and more in keeping with what I had intended to shoot. Having taken a few exposures we moved on crossing the Cummeenduff river heading upwards all the time towards a hill top where we could get a view of the Brida valley on the other side. The views from this vantage point are spectacular, looking east you can see the beauty of the Black valley, and looking west you can see the magnitude of the Brida valley. Most of the successful shots I took on the day came from this vantage point. There were plenty of boulders about for foreground interest and what lied beyond was breathtaking.


 


 
Looking Westwards
 
 


 
Having spent some time there, we headed back from where we came, this time sticking to the “Kerry Way” route meandering through the valley. It was heading towards evening now and the light was changing. The evening was beginning to settle and a lovely golden glow bathed the valley. It always amazes me how much the landscape alters when the light changes, what seemed dull and lifeless in daylight can suddenly come alive at dusk. As we walked back towards the car, I took out my camera for the last time to capture a nice grouping of trees contrasted against the blackness of the valley behind.
 
 
 
The Black Valley
 


 
Once on the road heading towards home, we both knew that what we experienced would last in memory. The maiden voyage to anywhere new is always special and we vowed that we would return soon.
 


www.kevinlangan.ie

 
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(Kevin Langan) black valley brida valley canon 50d ireland kerry kevin langan killarney lakes landscape photography mcguillicuddy reeks mountains photography rocks https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2010/5/black-brida-valleys Tue, 18 May 2010 12:22:00 GMT
Carrauntoohil https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2010/3/13032010-carrantuohil-carrantuohill-had 13/03/2010
 

Carrauntoohil

Carrauntoohil had been on my mind for several months before I finally got the impetus to photograph the highest mountain range in Ireland.

On a cool Saturday morning my buddy Fionn and I headed off from North Kerry with the intention of taking some photographs around the base of the mountain. I knew in the back of my mind that plan would alter once we got there. Both of us are the adventurous type, so spending the day at the base of a mountain was never going to happen.



Fionn run’s his own aerial photography business www.aerialphoto.ie and takes panoramic images using an SLR mounted onto an electronically rotatable housing that is fixed to a remote model helicopter.

We arrived in Cronin’s yard at 10:30am and got kitted out. The day was overcast but dry, not ideal for photography but we were glad it wasn’t raining. There were a few cars already in the yard when we arrived and as we headed off we encountered two climbers on the way back, obviously early starters.

The trail into Hag’s Glen runs adjacent to the Gaddagh River and is a gentle stroll for about 3km. As we traversed up the glen we decided to stop at the Callee Lake for a breather, have something to eat and to take the first photos of the day.

After spending some time looking through the viewfinder from several angles I decided on a view from the edge of the lake with the mountain in the background. I set up my tripod and focused on a large boulder in the foreground and set the aperture to f/22 for maximum sharpness. I adjusted my polarizer to maximize the contrast and to eradicate the reflected light on the lake and took a few exposures in the hope of combining them later in Photoshop. Like all my photographs I shoot in colour and have the option to convert to black & white later in Photoshop. I also used a contrast mask to bring up the midtones.


Lough Callee



It was the first time I saw Fionn’s model helicopter in action. It’s a serious bit of kit. He has a 450D attached to the housing, angled at around 30° to the ground. He uses a fast 8mm fish-eye-lens to get a wide-angle of view and to shoot a fast shutter speeds. The housing rotates 360° to capture al full panoramic. The results are fab.

After spending a good half hour at the lake we decided to climb the infamous ‘Devils Ladder’ to get a view from the top. It is an arduous climb full of loose rocks and shale. Once at the top the views made it all worthwhile. At an altitude of around 700m the views were spectacular.

We rested up for another while before taking any more photographs. I had my sights set on the view looking north over Hag’s Glen and decided that a panoramic photo was required to capture the scene successfully. The views on the other side of the mountain range were equally spectacular, you could see as far West as the Atlantic.


View from the Devil's Ladder

Fionn launched his helicopter again and took it up around 30m to capture a 360° from that perspective. The panoramic sticking really gives you a sense of the place especially from a birds-eye view.


360 Pan


After spending over an hour at the top of the ladder we decided that a second trip was necessary on a clearer day to tackle the summit. The climb down wasn't as bad as I expected, we were down in no time to see the sky open up for a beautiful evening.
 
All in all it was a good day’s work. We were both happy with the experience and managed to get some good shots. By the time we got home we were well tired. There and then we decided the next trip would be an over night stay to take advantage of the dawn light. Watch this space for our next adventure.


www.kevinlangan.ie

 
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(Kevin Langan) Carrauntoohil Hags Glen aerial photography canon 50d ireland kerry kevin langan killarney landscape photography photography https://www.kevinlangan.ie/blog/2010/3/13032010-carrantuohil-carrantuohill-had Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:40:00 GMT