Everyday Photography Project; February 2020
This is the second month of the year long everyday photography project that I’m doing through 2020.
As ever February is the shortest month of the year, but as it’s a leap year, it’s longer than usual.
This year February has an extra day making it 366 days in the year as a whole.
Normally in Ireland January is the wettest month of the year, but not so this year.
This month has seen storms, almost non stop rain and some of the worst floods ever.
As yet there’s no sign of an end to the rain, so the floods are probably not at their worst yet.
Taking photographs in rain is not very nice because rain can damage cameras and other photographic gear.
It also makes for poor visibility and sometimes limits you to shooting close subjects, or else get very hazy photographs.
There were a few fine, or partially fine days, giving hope that things will get better soon.
You can check out the photos I posted everyday by clicking here.
In this blog post I’ll show some of the photos that I overlooked, and see if I chose the correct ones.
A breaking wave or this
The month started with a windy day with waves breaking against the rocks in Galway Bay.
They weren’t huge or dramatic waves, just enough for a nice breaking-wave photograph.
I shot this one at Furbo, North of Galway City on the shore of the bay.
Here I’m showing the photo that I didn’t use, choosing the photo of the wave instead.
I shot this in the same place, at the same time, just turning the camera to the right.
When engaging in an everyday photography project, you have to make choices.
You can get a photograph like this any day, these buildings are staying put.
While breaking waves are common also, you have to be by the sea at the right time.
At Renville Park
On 2nd February I shot the photos in Renville Park, near Oranmore, South of Galway City.
This is a popular recreational park, used for walking, and also includes yachting and a golf course.
The photograph I chose to post shows some people walking, some being shown the way by dogs.
It was a decision between that one and a photograph from the golf course, shown just above.
The golf course was designed by the top Irish golfer, Christy O’Connor jr., one of many he designed.
There were very few players on the course when I was there so there wasn’t the opportunity for many photos.
Was this a nice day?
I didn’t take as many photographs on 4th February as I normally do while doing an everyday photography project.
The ones I did take were all taken from Grattan Road looking towards Salthill.
I chose a view of Salthill in the distance as the photo that I posted that day.
The one I’m including above this, is a photo of a lone man walking in the direction of Salthill.
This is a very popular place for walking and it’s very unusual to find it this quiet.
I can’t remember what the day was like weather wise, but it looks like a fine sunny day.
The weather can change to dark sky and heavy rain in a few minutes, so the whole day may not have been this nice.
Expecting an exciting sunrise
The weather forecast for the 5th, 6th and 7th February was good with clear skies promised.
I decided to go out early and see if I could get some good sunrise photographs.
Salthill is a good spot to wait and see how the morning is developing as it looks out over Galway Bay.
While I was waiting there I took some photographs while it was still totally dark.
Once light started to show in the sky, it was clear that there was no epic sunrise about to happen.
Actually it was a non-event of a sunrise and I was glad I’d taken the photos in the dark.
Both photos, the one above and the one I posted were both shot in Salthill car park.
To choose photo A or B?
Next morning was more or less the same, a dry morning but with a lot of cloud.
I waited in a different part of Salthill and took some, but not as many, pre-sunrise photographs.
On stood out as being a little better than any of the others.
It was shot along the promenade in Salthill, showing street lights, and on-coming car lights in a dark setting.
I wanted to choose the photo above for my everyday photography project that day, but I couldn’t.
However hard I tried to pick this photo it just wasn’t as good as the other, so I chose that.
A definite three in a row
This was the last fine morning forecast so surely there was going to be a memorable sunrise.
But, off course there wasn’t, so again I had to settle for the photos I’d taken while I was waiting.
The view I chose was along the prom looking towards Knocknacarra, showing mostly sea.
There’s a lot of blue in the sky showing the clouds that was making any decent sunrise unlikely.
The photo above here shows Grattan Road and The Claddagh from Salthill.
Again it shows a lot of cloud and a very dark sea, and nowhere for the sun to exploit.
Views of Barna
There are some places where I seem to navigate towards on a regular basis.
One of those is Barna Village and in particular to the harbour there, where I found myself again.
I took several photographs of the harbour, one of which I used as the photo of the day.
The one I’m posting with this blog post is of the road leading from the harbour.
Barns is a small village and the first one North of Galway City along the Atlantic Coast.
Going the extra mile or two
On the 11th February I shot several photos along the Eglinton Canal, and almost went home then.
I didn’t, instead I went to Knocknacarra where I took a few more photographs.
Getting them onto the hard drive and looking at them, one of the Knocknacarra ones looked best.
It was off some trees in front of a row of houses, and trees always look good.
The one just above here is one of the Eglinton Canal photos, which looks a bit grey.
There is a patch of blue in the sky but it’s making the road blue, but not the water.
If at first…
Each day I go out and take a batch of photographs, and choose one to post that day.
Sometimes I have another one or two images which I would also like to post, but I’m posting just one.
Some days later I go back to get another of the one that I almost chose previously.
This was one of those days, and I went back to the Eglinton Canal to shoot again.
There was a nice blue sky this time and a great reflection in the canal water.
I was glad I hadn’t used it the previous time because I think this is a more pleasing image.
That photo was taken facing away from the sun which was low in the sky.
The photo I’ve posted just above was taken from the same spot but facing the sun, not nearly as colourful.
By the sea again
On the 14th February I went to Ballyloughane again, when you live close to the sea, you easily get to it.
Having got down to a choice of two photos on the day, I posted the least colourful one.
It was looking out to sea and was a mainly grey photo, with a little green grass in the foreground.
The other one is right above this, showing a woman walking a dog, a popular pass time.
This is a beach on the East of Galway City, not as popular as the ones on the West side.
Very wet weather
Weather wise, February has been a dreadful month in Ireland, particularly here in the West.
We’ve had several storms and several times the usual amount of rainfall.
We have massive floods for the fourth time this century which were regarded as a once a century occurrence.
This means that it’s a miserable month for photography, very misty and mainly grey skies.
It was mostly zoom in to subjects near at hand, and shooting mainly from a car seat.
The photo I chose this day was of apartments in the Salthill area, with a wet road.
The one above this is of a street scene close to Whitestrand, again with signs of rain all around.
Now we’re used to rain here, but not in the quantity that we’ve had for most of this month.
Photos with trees in them
The day after that I took a few photos in Highfield Park, an area I’m not very familiar with.
It was built some time ago and has much more green areas that more recent developments tend to have.
I posted a photo from there showing houses with trees in front, as the photo for the day.
On my way there I passed the entrance to our University, and I got a photo of that.
That’s the photo I’m including just above this, also including trees, some of which are evergreen.
The edge of town
On 18th February I took some photographs in Knocknacarra, on the West side of Galway City.
It was another wet day as you can see from the photographs above, and the one I posted.
At the time I took these photos there was a temporary cease-fire from the rain, and visibility was good.
You can see that beyond the houses here that they give way to countryside and a rural area.
It was wet again
Next day, another wet one, I went to Ballybane on the East side of the city to buy something.
While there I shot a few photos, one of which I used as the photo for that day.
On the way back I shot the photo above in a housing estate, near the centre of the city.
An everyday photography project is easier and more enjoyable in dry weather than what we’re having most days.
Some of Galway’s waterways
I love to take photographs from bridges, of the water whatever else lies beyond them.
The photo above is such a photo taken in the Nun’s Island area of Galway City.
The River Corrib enters Galway City and breaks into several waterways there, before re-uniting before entering the sea.
This is one of the smaller channels that breaks away and flow through the city almost unnoticed.
The photo I posted this day shows two buildings off Mill Street, around a corner from Nun’s Island.
The water in front is another breakaway river, about to rejoin the main River Corrib, a short distance from here.
On 22nd February I visited some rural area to the North, East and South of Galway City.
Of the photographs I took I chose one of Ballindooley including the castle as my project photo.
This castle was restored some years back, but in a modern rather than an authentic manner.
The photo I’m using above this paragraph is of a rural road in the Claregalway area.
Views of Cork
Next day I was in Cork and got some photographs around the centre of the city, including the one above.
There are a lot of great photo opportunities featuring the River Lees as it makes its way through the city.
Both photos, this one and the project photograph that I chose show views of the river.
The photo above seems to be an older part of the city than the other one.
The next photo was taken in the Newcastle area of Galway City, with something I love, a blue sky.
A view looking out from Laurel Park was the photo I featured that day, and it had a touch of Spring.
The trees don’t have any leaves, apart from that it looks like it could be a summer photo.
Days like this seem to indicate that this everyday photo project may soon become easier.
The photo above is the greatest contrast to the one I posted for the day, of all those so far.
I posted a photo of a thatched cottage which is right in the middle of The Claddagh.
Everyday I post one photo of those I take on both Facebook and Twitter.
This day’s one got by far the greatest engagement so far on Facebook, and absolutely none on Twitter.
The Claddagh is a suburb of Galway City, but it used to be a fishing village just outside the city.
It was entirely thatched cottages, but was rebuilt as modern houses in the mid twentieth century.
I don’t know if this is one that survived or was built later as an attraction.
Shooting in Mill Street
During February I’d shot and used several photos of the waterways in and around Mill Street.
The one I posted today I was shooting for the third time because I liked it a lot.
On the previous occasions I had chosen other ones instead but intended to come back and shoot it again.
The one above I shot for the first time, but again it was taken from the same place.
For this everyday photography project if I like a photo, but don’t use it, I may go back to it again.
View from The Docks
On the second last day of the month I got a few more photographs at Galway Docks.
The photo above was taken from the same spot as the one chosen for the daily project.
This photo is a view looking along The Docks in towards the centre of the city.
The photo I chose shows a view of Dock Road with two yachts in the foreground.
A dramatic end
The 29th February gets less on an opportunity to make an impact than any other day.
This one was going to take its chance with a bigger than normal storm forecast for Ireland.
Galway was promised the best of it with a red wind warning in place for part of the day.
I decided to get out early, you can’t dismiss weather forecasts as fake news in advance.
As it happened this was a fine storm, but not quite the monster that we’d been promised.
The photo I chose for the day and the last for the month, was a view of Woodquay.
The one above here is The Black Box, a theatre and concert venue on the Dyke Road, Galway.
This completes the first two months of the first my everyday photography projects, leaving only ten months to go.
My other everyday photography project
The second year long project I’m doing is one featuring groups of nine photos each.
Just above this is the first one completed in February, but cover some of January also.
While each of these grids are covering nine days, they’re generally shot in one go.
I shot nine photos of a Jim Fitzpatrick poster, each covering a different part of the image.
They’re shot at different zoom settings, some zoomed right in, some far out.
I’ve assembled them back in the right order, but with some parts overlapping others.
The poster is of painting from Jim Fitzpatrick’s illustrated book of Irish mythology; The Silver Arm.
He also did the art work for many of Thin Lizzy’s album and CD covers.
The project is for ideas not perfection
The next grid of nine images, are alternate photos of Bob Dylan and Genesis CDs.
The Dylan CDs are photographed on a blue background, the Genesis ones on a yellow background.
They were shot from above with the camera on a tripod looking straight down on them.
Despite that they are not as even as they should be, but I’m using them as they are.
If this was a commercial shoot, I would have re-shot them until I got them perfect.
This everyday photography project is to unearth ideas and get into the habit of shooting more, so I’m using them.
I didn’t use a camera
A camera is the most versatile machine for taking photographs, but it’s not the only one.
A scanner also takes photographs, but in a totally different way, much slower than a camera.
When you scan a document, what you’re doing is taking a photograph of it.
So I decided to take the next batch of nine photos using a scanner and not a camera.
I took five photos of playing cards, and the other four of some Euro coins, the ones we use.
For four of the card photos I used small ones, for the fifth image I used normal sized playing cards.
I placed a sheet of art paper over the cards and coins as they were being scanned.
Yellow art paper over the coins, blue over the small cards and red over the normal sized cards.
I assembled the grid with alternate blue and yellow photos, and the red backed one in the centre.
In this exercise I discovered that it’s easier to get sharp images with a scanner than a camera.
This one wasn’t as easy
I know that a scanner cannot photograph the same range of subjects as a camera but what it can, it does well.
In the last image on this blog post i use it again, this time to scan/photograph some books.
Two authors I’ve liked for many years are John Steinbeck and George Orwell, and I photographed some of their books.
I placed white board over them but it was farther away that the backing in the other images.
It scanned as grey instead of white, so it will only scan something very close to it.
After being scanned, I cropped the images to include the books and nothing more.
I then opened new white images in Graphic Converter and cut and pasted the photos into the centre of them.
Lastly I filled the background of the images with alternative yellow and green colour and assembled the grid.
The book images weren’t as straight forward as the card and coin ones, but they ended just as good.
I intend to continue using the scanner to see what it can do well, and where it will struggle.