19 May '19
Post Title

Red Rock Beach, Dublin

I discovered this place by accident, last summer when me, my girlfriend and a couple of friends decided to do the longest path of the Howth Cliff Walk, departing from Howth's train station, to Sutton, walking all around the peninsula, a good 18 km walk. I did shorter paths in the past, and while it's a fantastic hike to do, it's not that spectacular to photograph in my opinion. But this time was different, the longest path pass in some of the best spots in Howth, and one of them is Red Rock Beach. A tiny beach surrounded by rocks, and with one big rock in the middle. And even walking just after that you can see more beautiful views on the cliffs.
But at that time, the time of the day was wrong, in the summer afternoon, where the sun is far too high and shadows far too hard to make any decent shot, so I promise to myself to come back again there.
And so I did, the first time last December, on a very cold morning, where I had to walk half a hour in the complete dark on the cliffs (and that's why a good torch is the photographer's best friend) to get there just in time. The second time just a few weeks ago at sunset.
Down here you can see some of the best shots I took, and if you are in Dublin, and you fancy a long hike, I highly recommend this one, is not even a hard one apart from the distance.

 

Howth

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08 May '19
Post Title

Do you really need ND filters for long exposure shots?

This is a question I've been asking to myself from a while, and especially after I saw this video from Thomas Heaton a few weeks ago, where he says that you can get away without ND and graduated filters, but you can't replace a polarizer, as the latter cannot be replicated in Photoshop unlike the other two. And I agree with him for the polarizer, and for the Graduated filters, which is probably one of the few times where I totally regretted buying them. I was excited about those at first, but after a while I realized that they were mostly useless, as you can achieve better results just using bracketing in your camera and using the graduated filter in Lightroom.
But can we say the same for Neutral Density filters? Can just take some photos and then merging them together in Photoshop achieve the same results as a proper filter?

Since I've been started to do long exposures a long time ago, I always used ND filters, first I started with very cheap Cokin filters, which were terrible, very easy to scratch as they were made with some cheap resin, they made any photo on the magenta side, and just forget about sharpness, that one goes straight to the bin. 

Then I tried a variable ND Filter, the Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Mk II, which it did sound fantastic on paper, but again it was just a waste of money, you can read more about it here and here).

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29 Apr '19
Post Title

A trip to Shankill beach, Ireland

Years ago I went to this beach while scouting for new locations to photograph in the Dublin Bay area, and one of these places was Shankill Beach. A very easy spot to reach from the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit), just 15 minutes walk from the train station. 
From google maps I couldn't see anything peculiar to photograph, but sometimes it's really hard to judge from a photo taken from a satellite, so I thought I'll pay a visit there, to see how it looked in real life, and... It was rather disappointing. 
But it was years ago, with much less experience than now, where I was much less prepared (always bring trekking shoes to a rocky beach and always check the tides), and I came back home with practically no decent shots.
But apart from scouting, another important thing to do in this type of photography is to visit the same locations you already have been. One because with different condition, time of the day, season, tide level (which are pretty extreme here in Ireland), the same place might look different, maybe something changed in the meanwhile (or maybe not), but until you go there you don't know. And two is also for the forementioned reason, that you have more experience, and probably now I know better what to search to create a good composition.

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