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Bertra Strand Again

I was back in Westport only a week after we finished the filming of episode 2 of Dynamic Range but this time with the family. It was the usual normal weather i.e. mixed. On the day we arrived a went out to Bertra Strand as it’s only 15 mins away from the hotel to try get a few images before sunset. I was hoping for the sun to shine on the side of Croagh Patrick Mountain.

Croagh Patrick Mt and Bretra Strand Grass blowing in the wind

It kind of worked for the lower slops of the mountain which now I think adds a bit more drama to the image. Also the strong wind blowing the grass on the sand dunes in the foreground was the key to this composition and the way the tips of the tall grass is lit up by the setting sun in contrast to the dark clouds over the top of Croagh Patrick.

I knew there was a reason why I always return to Westport and Bretra. You will never come away with the same image and I have being coming here for the passed 10 years now.

Looking forward to the next 10 years.



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Buncrana Coastline No.2

This is the second in a series of images from my recent trip to Buncrana, Co Donegal and again it’s from Ned’s Point this time looking south towards Buncrana.

Buncrana Coastline from Ned’s Point, Co Donegal.


It was taken on the same morning, about 20 mins after, the first Buncrana post.  The sun had risen and starting to break up the clouds and they formed this wonderful pattern. I have two more to show you from this very productive morning shoot, luckily as it was the only time the weather behaved. The last one if from a beach just north of Ned’s Point along the coast path.


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Neil’s Waterfall

We are in the stages of editing the footage for Episode 2 of Dynamic Range. Part of this, Peter and myself have to process our images so we can put them in the film and explain who we got them.



The image above was taken from the location shown in the previous post of the tripods in the river.

I had to stand in the water for close to a hour at a time while we were filming and I was glad I had me wellies on.

It was one of the rare times that the sun shined and the clouds parted to show a blue sky. The rest of the crew still don’t know how I managed to captured this event. Luck or good timing. I ran over to the camera while they were looking at footage but don’t tell them.

This final image is a blend of two images. A first for me. It’s not exposure blending or HDR  of the images. I did not see the small rain drops on the front filter until after I took the shot. After I cleaned the filter I took another image but the clouds had moved and the blue sky gone. I used this image and only the small section to mask out  the rain drop to produce the final colour image before it went on to the Mononeil Process.

I will be posting more of the image over the coming weeks and Episode 2 of Dynamic Range will be available on 20th April. You can pre-order and receive Episode 0 The Pilot  free. Go to Dynamic

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Episode 2 filming of Dynamic Range

Back a week now form filming Episode 2 of Dynamic Range with Peter Cox and Roger Overall, and only catching up with email and all the other social media networks. If you are following me on Twitter (@mononeil) you will know the weather didn’t play ball compared to the pre-production trip we made.

Here are  a couple of iPhone images from behind the scenes:

The boot of my Car


The Sound Guy Prayer


A rear view.


Peter's and my camera positions


We were up at 5 every day to get a sunrise or even a moon set image. However all we could do was sit and wait in the car for hours with nothing to show for it. On the up side we did manage to get an image of the moon on the first day shooting the sunset from Oldhead. Not planned but what a great bonus.

We got back to the B&B every evening around 7:30. Dump the camera gear and head out for dinner. Back to the B&B to review the days footage and more importantly to backup all the CF cards to four separate locations ( to be sure to be sure ).

Between the wind and the rain we did manage to get some interesting images, maybe not the ones we planned but we did what we had to do and change focus. What we ended up with will make for a very interesting episode.

You can find out more about the filming and what we got up to over on the Circle of Confusion Blog 


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A Review with a difference.

I had great plans for last weekend. An early sunrise shoot and a review of my new f-stop  Tilopa BC backpack. But ………………..

Howth head form Sutton


The plan didn’t go as planned.

The sunrise didn’t happen ( well  it did but I couldn’t see it ) due to clouds and rain for 24 hours straight. The backpack review didn’t go to plan either. More on that later.

The image above was taken a while back along the cliff walk from Sutton around Howth Head. I was after a sunrise image. The sun will rise just of to the right of this image. I was also going for a portrait image to get more of the cliff face and the water on the rocks below. However the weather had other plans. Heavy constant rain and low lying clouds put a stop to this.


View from my car window


As you can see  from the image above and listen to the AudioBoo  not ideal condition for a landscape photograph.

Now onto the second part of this planned trip. Testing the f-stop Tilopa BC. I am a Staff Pro Rouge for fstop and part of this deal they sent me the Tilopa to use. To be honest, I had never heard of them before and it wasn’t until Henry Iddon from fstop in the Uk contacted me after viewing the Dynamic Range Video that I understood who fstop where.

They use the Staff Pro’s with the aid of feedback on the forum to improve and design the backpacks. The difference between these backpack and other manufactures is a very clever design in that the inside come out. They call it ICU ( Internat Camera Unit ). You can get different sizes to make a complete custom backpack. If you have more than one camera system you can have different ICU’s and swap around when needed.


The Large Pro ICU and the Tilopa BC

The Large Pro ICU and the Tilopa BC


I have the Large Pro ICU which can hold all my equipment needed for my Landscape Photography and still have room on top for all my extra clothing like rain gear, hats and gloves. I did manage to get out for a 30 walk to the location for the sunrise shoot but looking at the weather system over Ireland I knew it was a waste of time waiting around. What I can say from this walk along the cliff in the lashing rain is it’s waterproof and very comfortable on the back. My previous backpack sat high up on my back which put all the weight on my shoulders. With all the padding and the design of the Tilopa  no such problems and I could go all day with this on my back.

The ICU inside the backpack


Another reason and the most important reason why the weekend testing didn’t go to plan apart from the weather was the fact my father went rushed  hospital on Friday evening.  So I cut short the shooting and testing to go and help my mother get to and from the hospital during visiting times. Visiting is not allowed before 2:00. So what to do? I went shopping with my camera gear in the backpack on my back. The looks I was getting from the other shoppers was funny. There was no way I was going to leave my camera equipment in the car because Murphy’s Law, it would be stolen. The Tilopa BC backpack came with in to the hospital for the same reasons ( ok I wanted to show of to my father hehehe ).

So there you have it. A camera backpack review with a difference. If you are caught short and need to go shopping or visit someone in hospital then the fstop Tilopa BC is the backpack for you.

My Tilopa BC from fstop fully loaded.


The backpack will be put through it’s paces over the coming months with the filming of Episode 2 of Dynamic Range and a couple of week trip to Westport and Donegal.


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Video Production

Some of the Camera Equipment for the Production

By : Peter Cox

In March 2011, myself and two colleagues (professional photographers Roger Overall and Neil McShane) blocked off a day in our calendars. We met up at my house in the wilds of rural Co. Cork in the southwest of Ireland. Our goal was to produce a pilot episode for what we hoped would become a long running and profitable series of videos about the art and craft of landscape photography.

The equipment we brought to the table was pretty simple – a pair of Canon 5D Mk IIs (Neil’s & Roger’s), an assortment of lenses, some tripods (including one that had an actual video pan/tilt head), a field digital recording deck and a pair of wireless lavalier microphones to plug into it, along with a Rode Videomic to mount on one of the cameras as a poor man’s boom mike.

Read the rest of the article on The Luminous Landscape website here

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Ansel Adams, A Documentary FIlm

The reason Why I entered into the world of Photography and Black & White.

A Documentary film about ANsel Adams by PBS American Experience


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