Three Days in Dungarvan

I spent the last few days in Dungarvan, staying in the Park Hotel with my family. It’s a really nice town, small enough that you can walk around it in half an hour but plenty of places to eat and drink.

I took my camera of course and almost always shot in b/w mode with my Canon f1.8 50mm lens. I cheated a little as I used RAW+Jpeg mode but I’m happy with the results. RAW lets me recover the colour information while the Jpeg records a useful b/w image I can check against during post processing.

I love that 50mm lens but rarely use it so a whole holiday was a challenge. With such a short depth of field it’s really important getting the focus point right. I usually used the center point or a side point rather than trust the matrix to pick out the right one!

Take That Croke Park, 2011

Here are a few photos from last Sunday’s Take That concert in Croke Park, Dublin. It was an amazing concert that started way too slowly. The Alice in Wonderland theme was great but the show really picked up once Robbie Williams came on stage. The guy is a master show man. If Freddie Mercury were alive he’d give him a run for his money!

Pet Shop Boys played support and I would gladly pay money to go see them again!

I would venture to say the crowd was 95% women. I bet they were happy to see the guy who half-stripped above the stage. Yes, yes, photo of him below! Over 76,000 people went to see them on Sunday night and it was amazing. We had no problem leaving after the concert and thankfully stayed in a nearby hotel which was just a walk away.

The fans enjoyed the show but so did Robbie Williams if this post is to be believed! (oh dear, the cynic in me!)

Quoting the full post below, just because I know that blog will disappear when some PR guy decides to revamp that site..

HOLY SHIT!

I CAN HONESTLY SAY EVERY SHOW WE’VE DONE SO FAR
HAS BEEN REALLY SPECIAL…..

FROM THE LOVE WE RECEIVED FROM THE GENTLE FOLK
IN THE NORTH EAST…. WHERE WE LEARNT TO BE A BAND AGAIN

….TO THE GRIT AND PERSEVERANCE
OF THE MANCHESTER CROWD THAT GOT PEE’D ON MOST NIGHTS…..

I’D KINDA FOUND MY PERFORMING FEET IN MANNY’
MOST NIGHTS WATCHING YOU ALL BOUNCE UP AND DOWN
IN LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU WAS A RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE

AND THEN THERE WAS THE WELSH CROWD THAT OUT SUNG THEM ALL…..
WE WON’T FIND OURSELVES IN A BETTER VENUE ON THIS TOUR…..
SO HUGE BUT SO INTIMATE AND I/WE FELT THE LOVE

BUT OH MY LORD….IRELAND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME ON SUNDAY NIGHT…..?

I GAVE EVERYTHING I HAD ON SATURDAY AND AS EXPECTED
YOUR PERFORMANCE WAS BETTER THAN MINE…..(ONLY JUST ; )

SO MUCH SO THAT IT WAS WITH A BIT OF TREPIDATION
THAT I MADE MY WAY BACK TO CROKE PARK THE NEXT DAY
FEELING A LITTLE JADED AND DRAINED FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE….
(SUCH HIGH HIGHS THERE HAS TO BE A COME DOWN….)

BUT I WASN’T EXPECTING WHAT CAME NEXT…..

I PROPER LOST MY SHIT……

THE OVERWHELMING GOOD WILL…LOVE…SMILES
HAPPINESS,APPROVAL AND ACCEPTANCE
BEAMING STRAIGHT TO THE STAGE
TRANSFORMED ME FROM PREENING PEACOCK
PRIMA DONNA SHOWMAN
TO A BALL OF MUSH WITHIN SECONDS…..

IT WAS SO POWERFUL THAT I DIDN’T
KNOW IF I WAS GOING TO BE ABLE TO COLLECT
MYSELF ….
PROPER FLOORED ..THERE’S A TEAR IN MY EYE THINKING
ABOUT IT NOW….

YES, THE GIGS HAVE RANGED FROM BRILLIANT TO RELIGIOUS
EVERY NIGHT ………BUT SUNDAY NIGHT CROKE PARK
WAS LIFE DEFINING …….IT WILL STAY WITH ME FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE….

IRELAND I BOW TO YOU….

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN XXXXXXXXXXXXX

The best of these photos will eventually land on my photoblog as more polished images but I wanted to give everyone a flavour of the night’s festivities and atmosphere. Yes, I did sneak my Canon DSLR and a 70-300mm telephoto lens in and I’m glad I did because I was at the other end of the stadium. BUT, Take That recognised that they can’t stop people taking photos and even recreated their first album cover on-stage. They gave everyone a count down to get their cameras out. I unfortunately only got a blurry shot as they weren’t standing in a spotlight.

Continue reading “Take That Croke Park, 2011”

Christmas decorations sale

image

Ask yes, if we had any sense and were in the market for such a thing, now would be the perfect time to buy Christmas decorations…

Then again there are plenty of lights and tinsel on the tree still!

Killer Queen in the Opera House Cork

If you know me well, you may know I love the music of Queen. I never had the pleasure of seeing them live unfortunately but I’ve been to a number of Queen inspired events, Flash Harry played in Cobh a few years ago and there was Queen at the Ballet too. (Thanks Ken, Aisling, Proinnsias, Sinead!)

So I jumped at the chance to see Queen tribute band, Killer Queen when they played in the Opera House recently. They were good, some parts were great, and Brighton Rock was absolutely amazing even if I got the feeling some people in the audience didn’t know that song.

Killer Queen are a blast. The crowd loved them. Of the three performances I thought Flash Harry was the best but you’ll have a great time at Killer Queen too.

Continue reading “Killer Queen in the Opera House Cork”

Tiny Little Kitten

Tiny little kitten

A tiny little kitten wandered into the dog’s kennel this morning and started to meow her heart out. She’s so small I can fit her in one hand. She tried to befriend and approach a local tomcat but he didn’t want anything to do with her. Thankfully Adam kept his distance from the new “baby” and I was able to feed her heavily diluted milk in a syringe.

Not sure what’s going to happen next.

Saor Patrol in Cork

Saor Patrol, a Scottish band “with their vibrant pipe tunes and drum rhythms [that] please and excite many a crowd” certainly lived up to their reputation when they played for the crowds in front of Brown Thomas on Patrick Street this afternoon.

I came upon them when they were nearly finished but the few minutes of music I heard was exciting and lively, and my son Adam totally enjoyed the spectacle. When the crowd clapped in appreciation, Adam joined in, and almost jumped out of his buggy to dance to the beat!

They were playing in Cork City Hall today as part of the Your Mental Health awareness campaign by the HSE. Depression and other mental health problems still have an awful stigma in this country. People can be reluctant to talk about those problems, families and friends hide them away, or pretend they don’t exist, but they’re health problems like any other. With the right treatment at the right time most people can be helped.

Listening to Saor Patrol certainly lifted my spirits. I was tired and worn down but their music reinvigorated me!

Edit – I was wrong. The mental health event they were promoting is a Scientology event. Not a HSE one. Can’t believe those maniacs managed to hire out City Hall. I definitely do not want to have anything to do with that crowd. Ugh.

Meadows Fringe Festival (doesn’t do them justice at all.)