Almost every weekend, my girlfriend & I will head out to Castle Leslie and just walk around the place (or if we’re feeling lazy, drive around the place slowly). There’s something magnetic about it and it’s one of those ‘picture perfect’ places where your camera can roam wild…
Despite the fact we’re always around the place, i don’t think we’ve ever gone in to the castle itself together (the main bar / restaurant is in a separate building). On Sunday we decided to head in, timing our entrance perfectly by using another couple in front as the guinea pigs or possibly as a shield to bypass reception (in some of these hotels / old castle places, they don’t want you wandering around the place, which is exactly what we wanted to do!).
Anyway, once we got in there were no questions or no selling, we were free to get lost in the maze of old rooms downstairs or explore the gardens outside. Luckily i had my camera with me (it happened to be in the car)… otherwise i would never have been blogging this and these pictures would never have been ‘born’. I took the time to Photoshop several of them mainly ‘just for the craic’. I don’t think i’ve ever photoshopped photos before (of scenery) in so much detail & then uploaded them to flickr so you’re seeing another side of me.
Here they are; some photoshopped photos from Castle Leslie, Glaslough, Co Monaghan.
Speaking of all of this photography stuff, i may well end up getting a DSLR this summer. I need to take more video, more photos and experiment more with both. A DSLR would just give me more control and allow me to do more ‘outside the box’ type stuff when it comes to photography. Like this crap here…
That’s the type of stuff you won’t find on a regular tourist’s memory card i.e. it’s different from the usual point and shoot stuff, therefore it’s being creative or breaking with the norm. The best part? I didn’t even know there was a bug on that wooden post, i shot it by accident but it looks deliberate, so i can claim all the credit anyway 😎
I took this with one hand, whilst running to catch up with my girlfriend who freaked out when i stupidly brought it to her attention that the buzzing sound we were hearing in the distance (which sounded like an Formula One grid far off in the distance) sounded like an army of bees in the trees nearby. I had no right to get that photo but i just happened to take it and it turned out ok. Almost perfectly straight and dead center in the path… photoshop helped me perfect the alignment and bring out the colours more.
Looking at it now you’d think it was ‘planned’ and that i was using a tripod and being all meticulous about being in the center of the path etc… nonsense. It was fluked and i find my ‘best’ photos are.
Another fine example is this one which was used the other day in a lifehacker article (and has been used before in online journals). That one was shot on a bus going towards stansted airport at about 60mph on a motorway. Again it was one handed because it was ‘rushed’ and i’d no right to take it, but can you tell any of that from the photo? No.
If i was looking at that picture as a stranger i’d think it was taken by some plane spotter who’s sitting in a parking bay for a few hours taking pictures of planes taking off and landing. He’s deliberately planned to get the plane against a blue background and keep it to the left of the shot for that ‘modern’ look. That’s what i think when i see that photo. ‘Planned’, ‘Deliberate’… but more often that not you can’t ‘plan’ to take your best / most successful photos.
So why do i need a DSLR? Won’t any camera do? Aren’t they all the same? Well as of yet, i haven’t managed to take pictures of the moon properly with my point and shoot cameras. That annoys me. Night time in general annoys me with point and shoot cameras. They just can’t hack it in low light situations.
I also like having the depth / blur of a DSLR when taking pictures of people. The background will be blurred out, shifting all focus to the subject area. Yes, yes, i can do all of that in photoshop anyway but that’s not the point. Technically you can browse the web from a command line interface but i don’t see many people doing that. Ease of use & speed dictate whether i’ll use something and how much i’ll use it. My thinking is if i have a DSLR with me when i’m out, i’ll snap until the battery dies or i run out of storage space, then i’ll bombard flickr with hundreds or thousands of uploads, just because i can. I kind of do that already on a smaller scale, but i know i can take & upload a lot more and it’s a very easy way to get creative with relatively little work. Of course the ‘work’ in photography is all in the creativity and you can only learn & gain experience from ‘doing’.