Four-Spotted Chaser
       
     
Bluebell Forest Abstract
       
     
Breaking wave, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo
       
     
Four-Spotted Chaser
       
     
Wood and Stone, Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo
       
     
Hazel Catkins, Union Wood, Co. Sligo
       
     
Rivers in the Sand, Co. Sligo
       
     
Moss Covered Tree, Union Wood, Co. Sligo
       
     
Breaking Wave, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo
       
     
Union Wood Sunrise, Co. Sligo
       
     
Bluebell Forest, Co. Roscommon
       
     
Lily Still Life
       
     
Autumn Leaf
       
     
Beach Stones, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo
       
     
Tanglewood
       
     
Dewdrops on Grass
       
     
Beech in Winter
       
     
Bluebell Forest, Co. Roscommon
       
     
Mushroom Cluster
       
     
Breaking Bud
       
     
Banded Demoiselle
       
     
Four-Spotted Chaser
       
     
Four-Spotted Chaser

The four-spotted chaser is very common in Ireland and can be found between mid-May and mid-August.  They are often found near ponds, and if you find one early enough in the morning or late in the evening, they will remain quite still, allowing for interesting macro photographs.

Fujifilm X100S

1/60sec, f/8, ISO 320

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Bluebell Forest Abstract
       
     
Bluebell Forest Abstract

One interesting photographic technique which I find works especially well in woodland is to tilt the camera vertically during an exposure.  This forest scene is all about colour, and creating a blur effect allows for the removal of all the distracting elements in an otherwise visually busy scene into its most basic elements of line and colour.

Fulifilm X100S

1/8sec, f/11, ISO 200

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Breaking wave, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo
       
     
Breaking wave, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo

A breaking wave is captured at sunset at Aughris Head in Co. Sligo.  This area is frequently battered by Atlantic storms, and the power of nature on full display is a sight to behold.

 

Canon EOS 7D

Canon 100-400mm

1/400sec, f/7.1, ISO 1600

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Four-Spotted Chaser
       
     
Four-Spotted Chaser

This four-spotted chaser was heating up in the sun and presented an interesting composition hanging onto this small reed.

 

Fulifilm X100S

1/340sec, f/8, ISO 400

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Wood and Stone, Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo
       
     
Wood and Stone, Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo

I liked the juxtaposition here of the wood and stone, both smoothed and decaying from the action of the sea.  A visit to the coast throws up new scenes every time due to the transformative affect of the ocean, which is why it is so prolific for photographic opportunities.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105mm

0.8sec, f/16, ISO 100

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Hazel Catkins, Union Wood, Co. Sligo
       
     
Hazel Catkins, Union Wood, Co. Sligo

A cluster of catkins backlit by the low autumn sun signal the end of summer.  Many trees produce catkins, and these are quite common in automn due to the abundance of willow and hazel in Ireland.

Fujifilm X100S

1/800sec, f/4, ISO 400

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Rivers in the Sand, Co. Sligo
       
     
Rivers in the Sand, Co. Sligo

Dunmoran Strand in North Sligo is a great area for wildlife due to its remoteness.  I was photographing here at sunset when I noticed the low angle of the light was bringing out the texture in these small rivers in the sand.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105mm

1/13sec, f/16, ISO 200

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Moss Covered Tree, Union Wood, Co. Sligo
       
     
Moss Covered Tree, Union Wood, Co. Sligo

The trees in Union Wood are often covered in moss due to the damp, low nutrient environment, and this is usually the only green in the forest during the winter months.

Fujifilm X100S

1/250sec, f/2.0, ISO 400

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Breaking Wave, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo
       
     
Breaking Wave, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo

I went to the beach on Aughris Head on this particular day hoping to capture a photograph of the sunset, but instead I became interested in this rock buried in the sand.  The waves were breaking over it and picking up some of the glow from the sky.  Sometimes a better image than the one you had envisioned will be right under your feet.

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105mm

1/4sec, f/13, ISO 200

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Union Wood Sunrise, Co. Sligo
       
     
Union Wood Sunrise, Co. Sligo

The rising autumn sun cuts through the mist and illuminates the trees in Union Wood, Co. Sligo.  What you can't see here is a road that runs directly under the small hill in the foreground.  It's surprising how many of my best photographs are taken within 50 meters of a road, and I've learned not to dismiss these opportunities as somehow unworthy.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105mm

2sec, f/11, ISO 100

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Bluebell Forest, Co. Roscommon
       
     
Bluebell Forest, Co. Roscommon

In May of every year, the bluebells burst forth in beech woodlands all across Ireland.  I spent a long time trying to find this location in Dereen woods in Co. Roscommon, but it was worth it in the end.  The woods are quite small, but using a medium-long focal length here has compressed the perspective and helped to make the bluebell carpet look thick and full.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105mm

0.4sec, f/5, ISO 100

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Lily Still Life
       
     
Lily Still Life

The flower was lit from overhead using a small softbox which brought up the texture on the petals.  Maintaining depth of field is difficult with a macro lens - this shot had to be taken at f/22 in order to maintain sharpness in the stamens and the petals.

Canon EOS 7D

Canon 24-105mm

1/250sec, f/22, ISO 100

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Autumn Leaf
       
     
Autumn Leaf

I found this leaf in the forest and decided to take it back home to photograph using flash.  The key light was a softbox above and to the left to bring out the texture in the veins.  A second flash with a warming gel was fired through the leaf from behind to bring out the golden colour.

Canon EOS 7D

Canon 60mm macro

1/250sec, f/16, ISO 100

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Beach Stones, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo
       
     
Beach Stones, Aughris Head, Co. Sligo

These stones at Aughris Head in Co. Sligo have been weathered by the sea until round and smooth.  The colour and shine on the rocks caught my eye and so I decided to make this simple image.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105mm

1/13sec, f/11, ISO 100

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Tanglewood
       
     
Tanglewood

The early morning sun was shining through the trees in Union Wood and backlighting this cluster of branches and spiderwebs.  The angle of light helped to illuminate something we would normally pass by without even noticing.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Canon 24-105mm

1/80sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Dewdrops on Grass
       
     
Dewdrops on Grass

For this macro shot of dewdrops on blades of grass, I desaturated the yellows of the dead grass in the photograph and left only the green.  I think this helps the foremost blades of grass to pop, and gives the image a more three-dimensional feel.

Canon EOS 7D

Canon 60mm macro

1/5sec, f/14, ISO 200

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Beech in Winter
       
     
Beech in Winter

This beech tree was completely covered in green, so that even in winter it appeared lush.  There is also some fungus growing on the trunk, which I thought was unusual.  This is one of my first phorographs with my Fuji X100S, a camera I've grown to love.  It gets more use than my full frame camera these days.

Fujifilm X100S

1/240sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Bluebell Forest, Co. Roscommon
       
     
Bluebell Forest, Co. Roscommon

The Fuji X100S has a really useful ability to stitch a panorama in-camera from multiple exposures.  This was another shot from Dereen woods in Co. Roscommon, and in many ways the scene is perfect for the panoramic format.  I love that the camera can handle everything - there is very little post-processing done to this image.

Fujifilm X100S

1/500sec, f/4, ISO 4000

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Mushroom Cluster
       
     
Mushroom Cluster

A cluster of mushrooms was growing from this fallen branch in Union Wood, Co. Sligo,  I knew I wanted to use a flash to capture this photograph so I returned the following day with a small softbox, and fired the light underneath the mushrooms to bring out the detail in the gills.

Fujifilm X100S

1/18sec, f/8, ISO 6400

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Breaking Bud
       
     
Breaking Bud

A Rhodedendron bud in May ready to burst forth.  Rhodedendron is an invasive species in Ireland and can choke a native woodland very quickly due to its growth rate and thick canopy.  While they were a much sought after specimen for country houses in the past, they are very much considered a pest in woodlands all over the country today.

Fujifilm X100S

1/60sec, f/8, ISO 2500

Copyright © Mark Carthy - All Rights Reserved

Banded Demoiselle
       
     
Banded Demoiselle

The male Banded Demoiselle Damselfly is idendified by the dark spot beginning after the nodus (the slight dip midway down the upper edge of the wing).  The males are highly territorial, and can be found around the edges of ponds in Spring and Summer.