Aurora Borealis

Northern Ireland is not the best place in the world to see the Northern Lights. That would be Norway, or Iceland, or Alaska perhaps. But under favourable conditions we can get good displays here, particularly around the time of Solar Maximum. Sadly Solar Cycle 24 has been and gone so there’s not much activity, but …

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Eclipse Collection

A particular branch of Astronomy that has always fascinated me is the eclipse. I’ve seen the Total Solar Eclipse three times as well as many partial and lunar eclipses which are all well worth seeing. I’m hoping to stand in the Moon’s shadow again at some stage. Quite possibly in the USA in April 2024.

Noctilucent Clouds

Noctilucent Clouds are very well observed from Northern Ireland during the season from the end of May to the beginning of August. Unlike the Aurora, going further north is not necessarily beneficial as the sky becomes lighter and contrast is lost. These pictures have been taken since I first saw these magnificent clouds back in …

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Atmospherics

Cloud formations, Lightning, Contrails, Halos, Rainbows. All are atmospheric phenomena that can be seen almost everyday and which can make pleasing photographs too. The place to go to identify all of these is Les Cowley’s excellent website Atmospheric Optics.

Marble Arch Caves

Situated in County Fermanagh, these caves are an absolute must see if you’re in the area. Carved out of limestone by three rivers this is the most magnificent cave system on the island of Ireland. More information about the Visitors Centre here….. And on Wikipedia here….. Google Maps here…..

Kodachrome 1935-2010

Kodachrome was a superb fine-grained colour slide film made in various speeds from 1935-2010. At this point the combination of falling demand and the fact that the k-14 process was somewhat toxic resulted in it being discontinued. This was my last roll of Kodachrome 64 shot with a Minolta Dynax 800Si camera and 24mm, 28-135mm …

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Grand Canyon 1995

Here’s a small collection of shots taken at The Grand Canyon in 1995 during a whistlestop drive across the USA. So of course this is film. It scrubs up pretty well in fact, though I have recently (2018) returned with a digital. The newer pictures will appear here in due course!

Antrim Coast Road

Built in the 1820s using a lot of dynamite The Antrim Coast Road opened up the towns and villages along its 26 mile length which had previously been mostly accessible from the sea. It is a beautiful scenic drive with many attractions a short way off the road. The Antrim Coast Road forms part of …

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Beaghmore Stone Circles

Here’s an interesting place! Beaghmore Stone Circles are up in the Sperrins above Cookstown. A collection of Circles, Cairns and possible Alignments that must have been pretty significant in prehistoric times, though now we can only make educated guesses as to their purposes. A fascinating place indeed! Wikipedia article here… Google Maps here……

The Painted Ladies Of Carnlough

This was just a simple afternoon walk up to Cranny Falls from Carnlough, only I happened upon this one bush which was inundated with dozens of Painted Ladies who were happy to keep on posing for me as I snapped away! I also shot some video and cut that into a short film shown below.

Astronomy Talks

I’ve done many talks, usually on astronomical subjects over the last 12 or so years. I’ve filmed a few and since the Covid lockdowns this has evolved into a regular series of Sky Guides. https://youtu.be/ohKPpYV83MUHere’s a talk I gave to Cork Astronomy Club as part of their Lockdown Programme – Eclipses, Transits and Occultations – …

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China 2009

This was the trip of a lifetime, travelling to China to see the 22nd July 2009 Total Solar Eclipse, the longest totality of the 21st Century! We travelled with Oriental Travel using Finn Air to Beijing via Helsinki and embarked on a whistlestop tour of Beijing, the Great Wall, Xian and Shanghai, observing the eclipse …

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Carnfunnock’s Butterflies

2019 has, for some reason, been a fantastic year for butterflies in Northern Ireland. They have appeared in large numbers in the most unexpected places, and surprisingly they’re still here at the end of September!

Minolta MD 50mm f2

Vintage Lenses

One of the joys of using the Micro Four-Thirds system is that the flange distance – ie the distance from the lens mount to the sensor – is only 19.5mm. Most SLR systems designed to fit a moving mirror into this space have flange distances in the 40-50mm range. This means it is very easy …

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Sallagh Brae Bluebells

Normally one might expect to find bluebells in the shaded area within a forest, however it’s not always the case! In the Sallagh Braes, a small area in County Antrim above Ballygally and Cairncastle but below the tops of the Antrim Hills a gorgeous carpet of purple appears every May, some years the display is …

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Circuit of Ireland Rally 2022

Here’s some footage from the Cairncastle leg of the Rally. Great to see some older cars like the Mk2 Escorts still being competitive though the poor old Mini just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Pentax Espio 928

This was my Zoom Compact camera in the late 1990s. Towards the end of the film era the previous generation of fixed focal range compact cameras gave way to the zoom compact due to consumer demand for a bit more reach, and indeed some wider angle coverage too. However doing this whilst keeping the camera …

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Pentax PC35AF-M

This was my compact camera in the 1980s when I was travelling a lot with work, so it has been to India and much of Europe, also Cyprus, Israel, Cairo and various holidays to Greece and Turkey. It pre-dates the compact zoom designs and has a fixed focal 35mm f2.8 lens which is very sharp, …

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Tollymore Forest Park

Tollymore Forest Park was the first state forest park in Northern Ireland, established on 2 June 1955. It is located at Bryansford, near the town of Newcastle in the Mourne and Slieve Croob Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. These photos were taken on a walk through the park in October 2020 in between lockdowns

Woking in 2019

Although I had lived in a few places in England during my childhood, by far the longest time was my time in Woking from 1974-86. Indeed my parents are still there and it was during a visit in 2019 that I went on a walkabout with my Action Cam and made a short documentary about …

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Murmuration of Starlings

This magical event of nature happened, quite spontaneously, while Jude and I were walking along the seafront in Brighton while on a short trip celebrating our wedding anniversary. Fortunately I had my Lumix FZ200 with me which had a long enough lens and a good enough HD video mode which allowed me to capture the …

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Autocord

Film Photography

This of course used to be the only way of doing photography until the digital revolution came along around the turn of the Century. I put my first toe in the water in 1997 with the purchase of a Kodak DC210 which was not cheap and by modern standards wasn’t very good either. But it …

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Tollymore Forest Park

Nestling in the shadows of the Mountains of Mourne, Tollymore is a true paradise with waterfalls on the fast-flowing Shimna River and many pathways to follow through the forest. Always at its best in Autumn, this collection consists of two walks through the forest in November 2019 and October 2020