Master of Photography on Sky Arts

Master of Photography on Sky Arts

For the past two years on Sky Arts the Master of Photography series has run in association Leica cameras. Last year there was an Irish interest in the series with Molly Keane involved. It is a very good show if you are interested in photography.

I decided to apply for Master of Photography again this year. Last year I applied but I felt my shots lacked any punch – as they were all landscapes. One of the questions a judge on the show posed was, “so what?”. Therefore, when you take a photo you should ask “so what?”. Does it engage the viewer and does it tell a story.I am hoping my submission this year is a bit more effective.

As I watched series 2 of the program I had ideas of my own of what could be shot etc. I felt that watching series three of Master of Photography without even trying to enter would be very “sure, what’s the point”. There is a good saying “you miss every shot you don’t take” – similar to “if you’re not in, you can’t win”.

So who knows, if the judges like my submissions they may decide to include in in series three of Master of Photography. Only time will tell….

Update to my photo blog shanemcdonald.me

Update to my photo blog shanemcdonald.me

I have been running a photo blog since 2010 on www.shanemcdonald.me .Over the past 3 years I have not given it as much attention as I did at the start. With this in mind, I have just redesigned the whole layout of the site.

New Photo Blog additions

Firstly the homepage is a full screen photo. This is important to show off my photos. For years I hated the fact that the photos were not as big as they could be. The front page also scrolls to give more information about the photoblog and my photography.

The blog pages are a bit nicer to read now. I stripped out a lot of widgets which added little to the user experience. The next step for the blog pages is to increase the content. I hope to have a weekly post now for this photo blog section.

The Instagram section is back up and running. A previous plugin stopped working and no longer displayed my @shanesphoto Instagram feed. Not it looks a lot better and pulls live images from my Instagram.

Photo Blog Design Challenges

One of the problems I had when I first redesigned the site was size. Google rated it as zero on the mobile friendly grader. There were far too many requests and the images were too large.

By adding some caching software, minifying plugins and an image optimiser the site was suddenly rated a lot better. It is now at an acceptable rating on Google but some extra tweaks in September should see it improve further.

Future Improvements

I hope to add a new gallery and some other features to further enhance the site. I have a lot of photos not uploaded so there’s plenty of content to come.

If you wish to view the new site it is at www.shanemcdonald.me

 

Flashback – Feile 92 Recovered Photos

Flashback – Feile 92 Recovered Photos

Feile 92 Photos

In 1992 I was at Feile in Thurles after I won a competition on 98 FM. I recently found a collection of old photos which were taken with a Fuji disposable camera which I bought at Feile. The camera was very poor, as you would expect from a disposable camera from 24 years ago.

Below is a select gallery of images from that day. If you spot yourself please leave a comment !

My memories of Feile are certainly varied. The weather was showery and I recall it lashing down as Christy Moore went on. I also recall many drunk people at the festival, at one point I thought I was walking on a riser but it was a drunk person under my foot – frightening. Extreme were amazing and I recall the discoball-like outfits of Shakespear Sister. I also remember, as the photo proves, the “Peig” notice on the big screen. There was also the countdown to Bryan Adams arrival on stage.

Shane McDonald Photography Blog on Facebook

Shane McDonald Photography Blog on Facebook

Since January 2011 I have being running a photography blog on www.shanemcdonald.me. Initially I was updating the site every week or so, but it quickly went to being updated every month. In 2016, I think I updated it only 4-5 times which is a pity. One of the biggest observations has been the way the traffic drops when you don’t update a website often. Whit that in mind, I hope to update the new design a bit more often than in the past.

The content on the site would include photos of places I have been or events I have photographed. The Photography Blog design has changed somewhat since the blog started and I continue to tweak it on an ongoing basis. Only last week I started a major overhaul of the site to try find the optimum style for me. Work is ongoing with this and the photo blog itself still needs some work. I will be reinventing the blog until I am 100% happy with the layout and user experience. To date I am not exactly happy and hopefully you will get to see my photos in the right light in the near future.

My Photography Blog on Facebook / Twitter and Instagram

If you want to follow my photography blog on Facebook visit https://www.facebook.com/ShaneMcDonald.Photography for regular updates. You can also follow @shanesphoto on Twitter and @shanesphoto on Instagram. I constantly post on instagram as I feel it is a great way to show off my work and 500px is also vital to me for my portfolio.

Check out the main photo blog at www.shanemcdonald.me

Ardmore Cliffs Photography Blog Project52

 

First Use of the Lee Filters system

First Use of the Lee Filters system

Over the past 7 or 8 years I have experimented with using filters. I started off using very cheap ones I got online for under £10. Those were real rubbish but I could see the potential.

I then upgraded to brand name filters, I won’t name the company as those filters resulted in soft photos and a colour cast on some occasions. They worked to an extend but you could not reply on them.

After doing some research on Twitter (basically asking photographers which filters they used), I found that the Lee Filters system was the one to go for. While I was in London recently I decided to take the plunge. I got the adapter ring for my 24-105 L series lens, the foundation kit holder for the Lee filters and the Lee Filters Big Stopper. The Big Stopper is a whopping 10 stops of a filter, so a 1 second exposure becomes a 16 minute exposure using the Big Stopper.

In the past 24 hours I have tried out the filters and they work really well as you can see yourself below. I hope to post more photos using these filters on my photo website at www.shanemcdonald.me and on my Instagram account www.instagram.com/shanesphoto

Sample Photo using Lee Filters

Photo of Waterford using Lee Filters
Social Media & Photography Sharing

Social Media & Photography Sharing

As you may know I have a photo blog at www.shanemcdonald.me but I also share a lot of this content online via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and only recently the site at 500px which I have been slightly addicted to. I have just posted my Photography Year in Review and look forward to more of the same in 2013.

If you wish to follow any of these I have outlined the social media and social sharing links below.

Shane McDonald Photo blog : http://www.shanemcdonald.me
Twitter : @shanesphoto
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ShaneMcDonald.Photography
Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/people/shanemcdonald/
500px : http://500px.com/shanemcdonald