The Harbour Bar, Portrush

The Harbour Bar
Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor
Kodak T-Max 400
2016

This isn’t the best ever photo of this historic bar in Portrush, Northern Ireland. But it’s a great memory of meeting fellow photoblogger Michael McNeill.

Photography, Travel
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Dublin street scene

Dublin street scene
Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor
Kodak T-Max 400
2016

I will probably never become a skilled street photographer. I’m okay with that, as I’m choosing to build my skills photographing other things. But sometimes I feel the urge to shoot on a crowded street, as I did here in Dublin. This shot draws me in. I can’t tell whether it’s because it’s good, or whether it’s bad enough that I just can’t look away.

Photography
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St. Stephen's Green

In St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor
Kodak T-Max 400
2016

I shot a bunch of black and white in this lovely park, but the results were a mixed bag. I guess such a colorful place just needs to be shot in color. I thought the contrasts in this photo worked okay, though. The greenery (gray-ery?) framing the scene helps a lot, too.

Photography
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At Kylemore Abbey

The view from the castle at Kylemore Abbey
Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor
Kodak T-Max 400
2016

I’ll write about Kylemore Abbey eventually. It’s stunning. As is this view from the front door of the castle on the property.

Photography
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Film Photography

Experience report: The Nikon N2000 on vacation

With your help and advice, I elected to take my Nikon N2000 along to Ireland. And it worked out fine.

Nikon N2000It would have been very nice, even preferable in some ways, to take a film camera I could slip into my pocket. But several of you convinced me that I would appreciate the precise control that an SLR would give me. And you were right.

However, and unsurprisingly, its size and weight sometimes made carrying it a drag. We hiked for miles at the Giant’s Causeway, and the farther we went, the more the N2000 weighed me down. By the end, I was more than ready to strip it off my shoulder. I would have been less fatigued if I had just left it in the car. Which I did on subsequent hikes, and thereby missed a few photographs that cried out to be shot on black-and-white film.

The ease and control of shooting a 35mm SLR made up for it though. And the N2000 handled flawlessly the whole trip.

I chose the N2000 instead of one of my greater SLRs, such as my Nikon F3, in part because I would not cry if the N2000 were lost, stolen, or damaged. Sure enough, it ended up damaged. We explored the North Atlantic Ocean beach at Rosses Point, which is near Sligo in northeastern Ireland. As we moved off the sand into a rocky area, I suddenly fell hard. There wasn’t even a moment of trying to catch my balance — bam! I was down. I’m lucky I didn’t smack my head. But the N2000 and my digital Canon S95 both crashed into the rock. Both cameras were dented, but thankfully still fully functional. The dents are a souvenir of the trip.

Rosses Point Beach

Rosses Point Beach, County Sligo

The N2000, along with the 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor lens and the T-Max 400 film, were great choices to photograph city and town scenes. I got good contrast and detail in every shot.

Ballinrobe

Ballinrobe, County Mayo

The 35mm lens was a smashing choice. It gave me a wide enough view to take everything in.

Ardara, Ireland

Ardara, County Donegal

But it wasn’t so wide that I couldn’t credibly move in close when I wanted to.

Guinness

Pints o’ Guinness at St. James Gate, Dublin

I relied doggedly on the N2000’s meter, even at times when I should have metered more thoughtfully and adjusted exposure manually. I don’t own any camera that can successfully meter a scene of sharp contrast as the one below. I knew Photoshop would help me bring out detail. I would have liked to dim the highlights further on this shot, but this was as far as I could go without it looking unnatural.

Sligo Abbey

Sligo Abbey, County Sligo

Perhaps if I had shot forgiving Tri-X instead I might not have lost so much highlight detail. T-Max 400 has a reputation for blown-out highlights in uneven lighting situations. I wavered until nearly the last minute on which of these two films to shoot on this trip. But I experienced even lighting most of the time, and in it the T-Max’s faint grain let fine details shine through.

Glengesh Pass

Glengesh Pass, County Donegal

Over and over, I got photographs from this camera, film, and lens that had such depth and detail that I wanted to touch them on the screen, expecting to feel textures it as though they were in bas-relief.

At Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey, County Galway

While I didn’t focus on street photography in Ireland, from time to time I did make use of random people to add interest to my work. They were always moving, which made me glad for fast film.

St. Stephen's Green

In St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

It wasn’t always enough to freeze them, however. And in the case below, the fellow in the foreground ended up in front of the in-focus patch. Yet he make the photo so much more interesting.

Dublin street scene

On the street, Dublin

Every camera, lens, and film represents a set of compromises. In the end, this set of compromises served me very well.

At Kylemore Abbey

Walking away from Kylemore Abbey, County Galway

Standard

Guinness

St. James’ Gate
Nikon N2000, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor
Kodak T-Max 400
2016

We went to the Guinness Storehouse while we were in Dublin. Meh.

Photography
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