About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

A Spring Photo Walk by the Grand Canal in Dublin (With the XE-1)

New Leaves It was a beautiful spring morning here in Dublin on Saturday, so I decided I would make the most of the rare Irish sunshine and go for an impromptu photo walk. I headed into the city and got off the tram at the canal. I love the canal as a photo destination, but it had been some time since I had taken a stroll by its waters. The beautiful spring day was as good an excuse as any.  I was armed with only my XE-1 and I only had the 35mm lens with me. I was travelling light, but having just the one focal length can be quite liberating too. Mind you, along the canal it can be useful to have a long lens to get in close to detail, especially if there are interesting birds in the water. Still, on this occasion the 35mm served me well.

The sunlight was beautiful that morning. It was a refreshing warm glow after what was a very long winter. Everything looked alive and colourful. I got this nice shot of the sun shining through the reeds on the side of the canal..

Reeds by the Canal

Sure, it's a bit of a cliche but it nicely represented the gorgeous light

Further down I stopped by the old lock gate. I love these lock gates along the canal. They are so full of character and texture. I love the old pipes crossing the river and the stone work in the gates, covered in moss and algae.

Lock Gate Chains - Fuji XE1 Water Pipe Detail - Fuji XE1 Lock gate on the canal - Fuji XE1

On the way there were a few interesting sights, on the side of the canal, and in the street that runs off it. First, there was this gem...

Dog Street Art - Fuji XE-1

A great piece of street art on the side of a litter bin. I also found this wonderfully coloured doorway...

An Orange and Blue Door - Fuji XE1

As I crossed over Bagott Street and headed to the lower part of the Canal I was surprised to see a number of Barges moored on the side of the river. there is usually only the one, a semi-permenant restaurant barge. Today though there were three others. with the light and the colour, I was delighted, especially as I knew the bright colours of the barges should work well with the always interesting colours of the Fuji camera I was shooting with.

Grand Canal and Barges - Fuji XE1 Barges in the Sunshine - Fuji XE1 Barges on the Canal - Fuji XE-1

In the end they weren't as vibrant as I'd hoped. despite the sunshine appearing warm on the day, the light was actually a little cool and hazy. I warmed them up in Lightroom a bit, but the scene I had in my mind wasn't quite what came out. It is still a nice subject though. I tried a panorama using the XE-1's built in panorama function:

Barges Panorama

I'm not sure it works too well with the 35mm. It's a handy function though, and impressive considering how long it takes to process shots manually. Of course, while I was there I had to take my two favourite subjects along the canal. The first is the statue of Patrick Kavanagh, the famous Irish poet. It's full of texture and colours and I love trying to find new ways to capture it.The hands of Patrick Kavanagh

The second is my old friend, this particular bench. I love this bench because the decaying iron work has been painted over so many times, and it's peeling and cracking, so it's full of detail and texture. I first took this with the first camera I ever bought, a Canon Eos-5 film camera about 15 years ago, and I've taken it with every camera I've owned since. It's sort of a christening for it.

Old Bench

Lock Gate at Mount Street

I finished up my canal trip at the lock gate down at mount street. That wasn't the end of my photo walk though. I headed in for a wander around the Georgian Quarter in the area, and I'll have some photos from that tomorrow. If you like this what we're doing here on the blog, don’t forget to Subscribe to the RSS Feed, or check out my Google Plus and Facebook Pages

Photo of The Day: "Vintage Vespa" Faux Polaroid

Photo of The Day: "Vintage Vespa" Faux Polaroid

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