Tag Archives: Dublin

Irish Rail 225 on the 0800 to Cork.

This morning, Irish Rail 201-class diesel-electric number 225, recently overhauled after years of inactivity, worked the down 0800 Dublin Heuston to Cork passenger train.

From what I hear, this is the first time this nearly quarter-century old locomotive has worked a passenger train since returning to service.

I made these photos a few minutes ago at Islandbridge Junction while out for my morning walk.

Exposed using a FujiFIlm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

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Classic Dublin with Low October Sun—Claude Road.

Monday, 28 October 2019 was a bright day in the Irish capital.

Although the main focus of the day was catching Irish Rail’s IWT Liners and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s Haunted Expresses, the weather was conducive to making captivating photos of the more pedestrian trains.

Photographer Jay Monaghan and I had spent the day traveling around Dublin, grabbing angles of the passing trains.

In the afternoon we made our way to the Claude Road footbridge west of Drumcondra Station and set up for the outbound RPSI train.

While waiting, I made this view of an outbound ICR (intercity railcar) working the afternoon Dublin to Sligo service. In the distance is the Croke Park stadium. Further, are the iconic ‘Chimneys’ or ‘Stacks’ for the Poolbeg Generation Station.

135mm view with a FujiFilm XT1.
Wideangle photo exposed with a Lumix LX7.

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Parallel Moves: Belmond and Enterprise—Three photos.

On the afternoon of Saturday, 14 September 2019, Belmond’s Grand Hibernian was due at Connolly Station, Dublin .

Earlier I’d caught the train being shunted at Heuston Station, and expected it to make the run with Irish Rail 071 in retro orange paint.

A group of us were in place at Connolly anticipating the navy blue cruise train led by the orange loco.

But which platform would make a better photograph?

At the last minute, photographer Kevin O’Brien suggested platform 3. I owe him one for the idea. As it happened the Belmond and a late running Belfast-Dublin  Enterprise  approached Connolly at the same time.

My friends over on platform 2 didn’t get the view they hoped for since in the final seconds the Enterprise effectively blocked the view of the other train.

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Lidl Tram Prowls Dublin’s LUAS Red Line—3 photos.

In recent weeks, two advertising trams have been working the LUAS Red Line in Dublin. Previously, I featured a view of the white TESCO tram.

In this post, I ofter a few view of the brightly adorned Lidl advertising tram.

This really stands out and distinguishes it from the multitude of LUAS Citidis trams on the Dublin network.

Abbey Street, Dublin.

On Benburb Street at Blackhall.
Smithfield, Dublin

I made these photos with my Lumix LX7.

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Steam and Diesels at Connolly Station Dublin-7 photos!

After photographing Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s private charter crossing the Liffey in Dublin, and catching the train with the TESCO painted Red Line tram at Gardiner Street, I walked briskly to make more photos of the train arriving at Connolly station.

Steam locomotive number 4 was unhooked and sent to Connolly shed, while Irish Rail 082 took its place to bring the RSPI Cravens across to Inchicore Works.

I made these photos using my FujiFilm XT1.

Nothing sweeter than a wink of sun. A colourful collection of Irish Rail EMDs at Connolly.
Just a few frames remaining on my card, so make each one count!

The camera battery was flashing red and my storage card was alarmingly low on pixels. Where were my film cameras? Not with me at Connolly.

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Curious Convergence—TESCO Tram and RPSI Cravens In Dublin

Sunday’s Railway Preservation Society of Ireland excursion paused on Dublin’s Loop Line waiting for a clear signal to enter Connolly Station.

I had just exposed views of the train crossing the River Liffey.

(see Monday’s Tracking the Light; http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/2019/09/23/sunday-steam-charter-crosses-the-river-liffey/).

Photographer Jay Monaghan and I were walking toward Connolly to meet the train when this over and under scenario unfolded.

LUAS Red Line Tram in the TESCO supermarket wrap came around the bend having just made its stop at Bus Aras to present a rare juxtaposition with RPSI’s Cravens.

I made these photos with my Lumix LX7 before proceeding to Connolly to get steam locomotive number 4 arriving.

The lessons from this exercise:

1) Sometimes the most unusual photographic opportunities unfold when the sun is hiding behind the clouds.

2) Always have a camera ready for those unexpected moments.

3) Keep going, don’t give up, there’s might be another opportunity!

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Take a Spin on Irish Rail—8 Photos.

Last week I boarded an Irish Rail ICR (InterCity Railcar) at Dublin’s Heuston Station.

Taking the train is more than opportunity to travel, it is a great time to make views of the railway at work and in motion.

I expose these photos on board using my Lumix LX7.

Irish Rail ICR at Heuston Station, Dublin.
Passing an Irish Rail Mark 4 set led by locative 229 as we departed Heuston Station.
It’s a bit strange to make a novel view such as this one, while being only a very short distance from my apartment in Dublin. At left is the Wellington Testimonial in the Phoenix Park, a monument I can see from my window.
Rolling along at speed on the Cork-Dublin main line in quad track territory in suburban Dublin.
Kildare.
Clara.
Paused for a station stop at Clara.

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Enterprise 201 Leads Cravens at Connolly.

Friday morning, 6 September 2019, I took position at the far end of Dublin Connolly Station platform 4 to photograph RPSI’s Empty Cravens arriving from the Inchicore Work in preparation for boarding and departure of the annual Steam Dreams excursion. (More on that tomorrow!).

I wanted to make both long telephoto and wide angle views of the train. To accomplish this I could use my FujiFilm XT1 with a telephoto and then switch to my Lumix LX7 as the train approached.

However, for the sake of convenience instead I opted to work exclusively with the XT1 for this sequence, and fitted the camera with a 18-135mm zoom lens.

FujiFilm XT1 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 photo.

There’s no one ‘right’ way to execute an image (or images) but different equipment choices will produce varied results.

One reason for my using the XT1 for the whole sequence was a function of the lighting conditions. My Panasonic Lumix LX7 is an excellent camera in many respects. However, I’ve found that it has a slightly narrower dynamic range, probably owing to smaller file size.

In many situations this subtle difference doesn’t matter, but with Friday’s lighting, I wanted to be able to pull in sky detail in post processing, and from past experience the XT1 RAW files leave more to work with than those from the LX7.

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Irish Rail 222 with Mk4 x 2.

That’s right!

First time I’ve seen something like this.

Just luck, I was on my way to the LUAS.

(Just in case it’s not obvious: Irish Rail’s Mark 4 sets have been typically seen at Islandbridge Junction with more than just 2 carriages.)

Photograph exposed with my Lumix LX7.

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Tracking the LIght Views Cuauatemoc!

Mexican Sailing Ship Docks in the Liffey.

This was my second encounter with Cuauatemoc.

No, no, not the legendary Aztec Emperor! He’s been gone for centuries. (Although back in ’79 I explored a pyramid near Mexico City. . . .)

Im’ referring to the majestic  Mexican sailing ship that bears his name, which has docked in the River Liffey at Dublin’s Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

Yesterday I met fellow photographer Mark Healy for a photographic journey in the Dublin Docklands. This tall ship was our focus.

Seven years ago I photographed the ship on a previous visit.

When we arrived the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins was on deck, speechifying (in Irish, I think?). The sailors stood a attention.

It was as close I’ve had to a political encounter in a fair while.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.

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Belmond at Blackhorse—Lessons in Light

Yesterday, the final day of August 2019, I joined fellow photographer Paul Maguire in photographing Belmond’s  Grand Hibernian on its run from Heuston Station over the Branch to Connolly (before it continued on to Belfast).

We selected a vantage point on Dublin’s Blackhorse Avenue and timed visit to minimize the waiting.

In short order flange-squeal emanating from the Phoenix Park Tunnel announced the approach of Belmond’s train before it came into sight.

I opted to use a FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens in order to include the castle-like McKee Barracks on the west side of the line.

Bright sun made for a contrasty scene.

082 leads Belmond’s Grand Hibernian at Blackhorse Ave in Dublin. File adjusted.

I mitigated the visually distracting effects of excessive contrast, I adjusted the camera RAW files using Lightroom. Simply by using the program’s ‘sliders’, I lightened shadows, tempered highlights, and locally adjusted exposure in the sky to allow for better detail in the clouds. I also warmed the colour-balance, while making a slight increases in overall saturation. The adjustments took less than a minute of my time.

The light was rapidly changing and shortly after the train passed a cloud eclipsed the sun. I’ve included an unadjusted image of the clouded scene to show the difference in light levels.

Unadjusted and uncompensated camera JPG file to demonstrate the relative change in lighting as result of a cloud eclipsing the sun. I could have ‘opened up’ (let more light in by adjusting the aperture and/or shutter speed) but I exposed manually for this stark contrasty view instead. Don’t squint, there’s no train in this one!

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Windsor Locks to Islandbridge

Aer Lingus has a neat direct flight from Hartford, Connecticut to Dublin.

I made a view with the Lumix LX7 looking down on the old New Haven Railroad bridge across the Connecticut River at Windsor Locks from my window seat above the wing.

And just a few hours later (and only minutes ago), I caught Irish Rail 082 leading the down IWT Liner from my standard fall-back location at Islandbridge Junction. Also with my Lumix.

EI130 over the Connecticut River on August 26, 2019. The railroad bridge is by the split in the river at lower center right.
Irish Rail 082 leads Tuesday’s (27 Aug 2019) down IWT Liner at Islandbridge Junction.

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Irish Rail 225 Crosses Gardner Street in Dublin.


It was just an ordinary day when I made this impromptu view of Irish Rail 225 working a Mark 3 push pull set on Dublin’s Loop Line crossing over Gardner Street Lower.

What was common in 1998 seems pretty neat today. I’m glad I exposed the slide!

To make the most of this photograph, I scanned the slide using a Nikon Super Scoolscan5000 then imported the TIF file into Lightroom for contrast and exposure refinement plus colour balance and colour temperature adjustment.


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Tara goes Thump in the Gloom of Night!

It was dry evening a few weeks back, when photographer Jay Monaghan and I ventured down to Dublin’s North Wall yards seeking the laden Tara Mines train.

First we caught it arriving from East Road, then we legged it down to Alexandra Road to make photos of it arriving at Dublin Port.

This one of the only places in Ireland where tracks share space with a road, making it a distinctive place to picture trains.

I’m fond of this atmospheric trailing view exposed in black & white using Nikon F3 with an old-school Nikkor non-AI f1.4 50mm lens.

My film choice was Superpan 200, processed using multistage development.

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Faces of Steam: Portraits of RPSI’s train crew.


Working with a Nikon F3 with f1.4 50mm lens loaded with Fomapan 100 Classic, I exposed these portraits of some of the men working Railway Preservation Society’s 18 March 2019 trips from Dublin Connolly Station to Maynooth.

 I processed the film in a non-standard way to obtain a period look while giving photos optimal tonality in a contrasty situations.

First: I pre-soaked film it in a very dilute bath of Kodak HC110 (measured 3 parts per 1000 with water, plus wetting agent) for about 7 minutes at 72 F;

Second: primary developer consisted of Ilford ID-11 1 to 1 with water at 69 F for 6 minutes;

Third: following stop bath, two fixer baths, and a thorough 10 minute rinse, I toned the negatives in a 1-9 selenium solution (outdoors to avoid breathing toxic fumes) for 8 minutes. This was followed by several rinse cycles and a final rinse in distilled water.

Negatives were scanned in colour to retain the selenium tint.

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Busy Time on the Branch—Views from Dublin’s Conyngham Road.

On Monday afternoon, 15 April 2019, I made this sequence of photos from Dublin’s Conyngham Road.

In just a few minutes I photographed four trains passing over the Branch that connects Islandbridge Junction with lines to Connolly Station/North Wall yards.

Exposed using my Lumix LX7; files adjusted for colour balance and contrast using Lightroom.

At 1452 (2:52pm a Hazelhatch-Grand Canal Docks ICR passed; note the signal with feather at left).

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TESCO Tram Prowls Dublin Streets.

Yesterday (Monday, 15 April 2019) I made these photographs of LUAS Tram 5003 working Green Line trackage in the Dublin City Centre using my Lumix LX7.

This is one is decorated for the Tesco supermarket chain and is one of four trams presently wearing colorful full-body advertising liveries.

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Dusk at Dublin’s North Wall—April 2019.

Wednesday evening, 10 April 2019, I paid a visit to Dublin’s North Wall freight yard with fellow photographer Jay Monaghan.

I made this view looking toward the old Granaries sidings and beyond to Dublin Port and the Poolbeg Power Plant.

Exposed handheld using a FujiFilm XT1 with f2.0 90mm prime telephoto, ISO set at 6400.

Brian Solomon is Traveling today and Tracking the Light is posting on ‘auto pilot’.

Exposed handheld using a FujiFilm XT1 with f2.0 90mm prime telephoto, ISO set at 6400.

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Spring in Dublin: Grand Canal Docks Railcar at Conyngham Road.

Minutes ago (on 4 April 2019) I made this view from Conyngham Road in Dublin as an ICR working a Grand Canal Docks-Hazelhatch service exited the Phoenix Park Tunnel and crossed the lattice bridge over the River Liffey.

Spring is in bloom and the trees are just getting their leaves, yet it is freezing outside with a harsh nip in the wind.

Exposed using my Lumix LX7; RAW file imported into Lightroom for colour and contrast adjustments.

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Tram said ‘Click It’—So I thought, yes, I’ll do that!

Tracking the Light is on ‘auto pilot’ while Brian is traveling.

Here’ the LUAS banana yellow advertising tram crosses the River Liffey in Dublin.

On the side of the car it says ‘click it’. Gosh, I’m glad I brought my Lumix!

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Trains along the Royal Canal in Drumcondra.


This week Tracking the Light is on ‘auto pilot’ while Brian is traveling.

On 23 March 2019, I set up in Drumcondra along the Royal Canal on Dublin’s north side to photograph trains working the Newcomen Line.

Normally the visually intriguing Newcomen line trackage is only lightly used during midday with most moves scheduled for weekday rush hours.

Instead, Irish Rail typically routes trains on the parallel double-track line via Drumcondra Station; however on the weekend of 23-24 March 2019 works on that line resulted in diversions to the Newcomen Line.

I made these views using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.

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Ordinary and Extraordinary.

DART at Blackrock.

Last Thursday I used my Lumix LX7 to make this view of DART electric trains serving Blackrock on the shores of Dublin Bay. Nothing remarkable here.

Except that this line opened in 1834 as the Dublin & Kingstown and represents Ireland’s oldest railway line and is considered as World’s first suburban railway.

Well that’s extraordinary, isn’t it?

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Elusive ‘Raccoon’ leads the RPSI Cravens Transfer at the Gullet.

I made this photo on the morning of 18 March 2019 using my FujiFilm XT1.

I’ll admit that if you’re not closely familiar with Irish Rail’s Dublin operations my title to today’s Tracking the Light post might seem cryptic.

Two of the Irish Rail 201 class General Motors diesels, 231 and 233, are painted in a minimalist silver, black and yellow livery. These are colloquially known in the enthusiast community as ‘raccoons’ (or ‘badgers’).

Engine number 233 has been shy lately and rarely seen out on the mainline.

RPSI stands for the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland.

RPSI owns an historic set of Cravens-built passenger carriages.

These are stored/maintained at Irish Rail’s Inchicore works (repair shops), and when they are required for an excursion, Irish Rail makes a transfer run across Dublin to deliver them to Connolly station for boarding.

The graded three-track line from Islandbridge Junction to Inchicore runs through a cutting along Con Colbert Road known as ‘the Gullet’.

While I’ve covered most of this previously, I figure it doesn’t hurt to review the esoteric every so often to avoid confusion.

Tracking the Light is on Auto Pilot while Brian is Traveling.

Irish Rail Sperry at Dublin’s North Wall

Tracking the Light is on auto-pilot while Brian is traveling.

Last week I exposed this view of Irish Rail’s Tara Mines train alongside the Sperry rail defect detection train at the North Wall yards in Dublin.

I was on a image-making wander with fellow photographers Mark Healy and Paul Maguire.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm prime telephoto.

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LUAS Yellow ad-tram at St Stephen’s Green.


Last Friday (22 March 2019), Mark Healy and I met in the Dublin city centre to seek out an elusive tram, recently dressed in a yellow advertising livery.

A steady rain was falling by the time we found it.

I made these photos with my Lumix LX7. In post processing, I adjusted the camera RAW files using Lightroom to improve colour temperature, make the contrast more appealing, and restore texture to the afternoon sky.

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Irish Steam: RPSI at work with Great Northern Railway 85—18 March 2019.

Connolly Station.

Connolly Station.

Here are some more digital photographs from Monday’s (18 March 2019) Railway Preservation Society of Ireland steam trips behind Great Northern Railway 85.

Runs were scheduled to depart Dublin Connolly Station at 1100 and 1505 and operated between Irish Rail’s regularly scheduled trains.

RPSI’s trips were very well patronized.

Special thanks to everyone at RPSI and Irish Rail for a great railway experience!

Check out RPSI’s site for details about mainline steam and diesel trips in Ireland: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com/programme-of-public-trains

Maynooth.
Hi-tech adjustments at Maynooth.

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Irish Rail’s Grand Canal Docks at Night and the Sperry Train.


—Some nocturnal views of Dublin suburban operations—

Working in the gloom of night has its challenges and benefits.

It’s especially challenging when the camera I intended to make film photos was suffering from a flat battery, again (so I thought).

One of my Nikon F3s was again showing signs of no electricity. Changing out the batteries on an railcar, I began to suspect something else . . .

Anyway, last week Paul Maguire, Jay Monaghan and I arrived at Pearse Station as a potential location to picture Irish Rail’s Sperry train that was making its run to Bray to inspect rail conditions.

We decided to try the next station down the line, and traveled on a DART electric train to Grand Canal Docks. With my Nikon dead in the water, I opted to work with my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm digital cameras instead. This changed my perspective as I’d hope to make black & white film photos.

Grand Canal Docks viewed from Irish Rail’s station of the same name. Lumix LX7 photo.
DART at Grand Canal Docks. Lumix LX7 photo.
Irish Rail 29000 series CAF-built diesel train. Lumix LX7 photo.
A Howth-bound DART at Grand Canal Docks, FujiFilm XT1 photo.
Irish Rail 086 leads the Sperry detection train at Grand Canal docks. FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 prime telephoto.

As we waited on the platforms for the Sperry train. I made photos of the DART and suburban diesel railcars, which dominate operations on this route.

Diesel haulage is the attraction of the elusive Sperry train; and on this evening Irish Rail 086 did the honors.

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Oh yeah, about the F3T’s battery problem. Later, I discovered that the plastic cartridge that holds the batteries appeared to have developed a short. Luckily, I have a spare F3 and swapped out the cartridge solving this difficulty.

RPSI The Midlander—excursions from Dublin to Maynooth 18 March 2019.


On Monday, 18 March 2019, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland operated its annual The Midlanderexcursions from Connolly Station along the Midland route following the Royal Canal to Maynooth.

This resulted in an uncommon visit by Great Northern Railway (of Ireland) engine number 85 to the  historic Midland Great Western route.

The trains were well patronized and reportedly sold out.

I both traveled and made photos line-side as two trips were operated; the first departing Connolly at 11am, the second just after 3pm.

Connolly Station.

Connolly Station.

Maynooth.

On the return run passing Claude Road in Dublin.

GNR 85 at Connolly Station.

See the RPSI’s site for details about mainline steam and diesel trips in Ireland: https://www.steamtrainsireland.com/programme-of-public-trains

More photos coming soon!

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Green Night in the Irish Capital: All Lit for the St Patrick’s Day Festival.


Below are a few more views of Dublin buildings coloured with green light for the 2019 St Patrick’s Day Festival.

Exposed digitally using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 cameras.

Trinity College at College Green.
Dublin’s Custom House.

Irish Rail’s Connolly Station on Amiens Street at dusk.

Loop Line Bridge over the River Liffey.

Brown Thomas on Grafton Street.
Harp shaped Becket Bridge in the Dublin Docklands.
LUAS Green Line at St. Stephen’s Green. Royal College of Surgeons at the right.

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Tracking the Light EXTRA: Bus-Tram Collision in Dublin 16 March 2019.


Radio media reported that a bus-tram collision occurred after 7am this morning (16 March 2019) at the intersection of Benburb and Queen Streets on Dublin’s north side.

A bus bound toward the City Centre on Queen Street collided with eastward Red Line tram (unit 3003) heading toward The Point.

The leading section of the tram was derailed and there was damage to both vehicles.

News media have reported eight injuries and that it may hours before the tram line is open to traffic.

Looking east on Benburb Street. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .

I exposed these photos minutes ago.

I find this accident especially shocking since I’ve often watched trams pass at the adjacent pub, and I travel this route regularly, having been on a tram to Bus Aras just last night.

Benburb and Queen Streets were closed to road traffic.

I’ll post more photos to this site shortly. To make photos quicker/easier to load I’ve lowered the resolution. Hi-res images from my cameras are significantly sharper, but might slow down this site.

Tram 3003. View looking east on Benburb Street. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .

Looking North on Queen Street, with Benburb Street and tram behind the photographer Bus was traveling southward toward Dublin City Centre. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .
Looking south on Queen Street at the intersection of Benburb Street. View of the eastward section of tram 3003. City Centre toward the left. Photo at 0830 16 March 2019.

Looking east on Benburb Street. Exposed with a Lumix LX7 .
Looking south on Queen Street toward the intersection of Benburb Street. Damaged bus on right.
View of the eastward section of tram 3003. City Centre toward the left. Photo exposed at about 0830 16 March 2019.


Looking east on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1

Looking east on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.

Damaged bus on Queen Street.

Looking south on Queen Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.


Looking west on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.


Looking west on Benburb Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.


Looking north on Queen Street. Lo-res view Exposed with a FujiFilm XT1.

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Greened Buildings at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin.


It’s become a ritual in Dublin to bathe famous buildings and bridges in green light for St Patrick’s Day.

Last night, I made a big walk around the City Centre to capture the atmosphere.

At St. Stephen’s Green, I photographed a LUAS Green Line tram paused for passengers adjacent to the Royal College of Surgeons.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1 digital camera with 90mm prime telephoto mounted on a mini Gitzo tripod.

More green to come!


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Irish Rail 071s at Islandbridge Junction—Two Photos on 14 March 2019.


A little while ago I made this pair of photos at Islandbridge Junction in Dublin.

In a repeat of a few weeks back clouds were racing across the sky making for wild changes in the quality of light from moment to moment.

First up was today’s (14 March 2019) IWT Liner from Dublin’s North Wall to Ballina, County Mayo. This had 073 in retro orange. A few minutes later, Irish Rail 080 came around with an empty LWR (Long welded rail train).

The clouds foiled my first effort. But breaks in the cloud allowed for respectable telephoto view of the LWR. On the downside, my 50mm colour slide of same won’t be as impressive as the clouds quickly dampened the light again.

Such are the challenges of photographing moving trains in Ireland.

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