Tag Archives: #Northern Ireland

Some Favorite Ulster Transport Exhibits

The other day I described my techniques for photographing in the subdued light at the Ulster Transport Museum in Cultra. [See: http://briansolomon.com/trackingthelight/ulster-transport-museum-at-cultra/(opens in a new tab)].

Below are a selection of the exhibits that caught my eye.

All photos exposed with my Nikon Z7-II.

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Final Photos of Great Victoria Street?

The present NI Railways Belfast Great Victoria Street station is a creation from the 1970s . Functional, but not pretty, this is a busy city centre station.

The new Belfast Grand Central Station is under construction nearby. Over the coming months this modern facility will replace the older station.

I made these views of Great Victoria Street during our visit to Belfast at the end of March.

Although it isn’t pretty, I thought it was wise to document the old station arrangement, including in the Durham Street overpass, before progress sweeps this into history. I doubt these images will win any contests but they may make some interesting comparison views for our next Belfast visit!

View from the carpark of an NI Railways 3001 series railcar approaching Great Victoria Street.
Nocturnal view from platform 3. Lumix LX7. Note the Durham Street overpass in the gloom above the train.
View from Durham Street looking down at platform 1. The new Belfast Grand Central can be seen underconstruction to the right of the old station. Lumix LX7.

Photos were exposed using my Lumix LX3, LX7 and Nikon Z7-II digital cameras.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

NI Railways—Vistas from Downhill Demesne.

The weather was rapidly changing when we walked across the grassy plateau of the Downhill Demesne located west of Castlerock, Northern Ireland.

Although it was bright and sunny, we could see dark clouds over the Foyle estuary to the west.

NI Railways operates an hourly service between Belfast and Derry, and one of our objectives was to capture views of these trains running along the coast. For my money, some of the finest views of trains in Ireland can be made from this plateau. The fee is putting up with the weather.

We timed our arrival well. A Derry bound train passed just a few minutes after we found a suitable overlook. Minutes later dark clouds obscured the sun, the wind kicked up and soon we were pelted with hail and soaked with icy rain. Before the eastward train to Belfast came into view the sky started to clear.

This pattern repeated itself about an hour later. Such is the price of getting great scenic photos of NI Railways!

Nikon Z7-II photo from the Downhill Demesne.
Trailing view: Lumix LX7 photo of a Derry bound NI Railways train from the Downhill Demesne. You can see the rain coming!

Tuesday evening (April 9, 2024), I am presenting a program on our recent travels in Ireland and the UK to the Harrisburg Chapter NRHS. My program is scheduled to begin about 6:30pm at: Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, 61 Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.


Belfast’s Glider

In 2018, Translink introduced a new bus service using stylized articulated buses called Gliders.

The short version is that the Gliders are buses that look and sound like trams (complete with LUAS Citadis like ‘bong bong’ warning signals), but operate on the road.

While Kris and I were walking around Belfast last week, I made of number of photos of the stylish Gliders on the move through the city streets.

I have to admit, that while I’ve photographed the Gliders, I still haven’t traveled on one.

Tracking the Light Takes a Look at Buses!

Great Victoria Street Station

Kris and I walked around the corner from the Europa Hotel in Belfast to make these views looking down from Durham Street on to the NI Railways platforms at Great Victoria Street Station.

This shows the station in transition. The new Belfast Transportation Hub is under construction in the background. See:


Exposed with a 24-70mm Nikkor zoom lens set at 70mm.
Exposed with a 24-70mm Nikkor zoom lens.
For this photo I used an adpater to attach my vintage manual focus, Nikkor f2.5 105mm prime lens to my Nikon Z6 mirrorless digital camera. This classic lens offers a lightweight telephoot travel option. It can be used on both my film and digital Nikons.
Although focusing manually takes practice, the lens is extremely sharp and works well on the Z6 body.

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Titanic Belfast

Last week Kris and I visited Titanic Belfast. This museum tells the story of Belfast, its role in ship building, and the most famous ship built there—the ill-fated Titanic.

The musuem is housed in an unusual-shaped purpose-built building.

I made a variety of photos of the building and its stories.

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On This Day: Downhill Co. Derry

Five years ago, photographers Stephen Hirsch, Denis McCabe and I visited the cliffs at Downhill, Co. Derry in Northern Ireland to photograph NI Railways running along the beach.

These cliffs offer one of the most spectacular views of the railway in Ireland.

I made this image using my FujiFilm XT1.

This morning, I interpreted the Fuji camera RAW file using Adobe Lightroom for presentation here.

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NIR-Derry 5 April 2002

NI Railways had a minimalist presence in Derry, Northern Ireland when I visited there on 5 April 2002.

The railway station consisted of a 1960s-era bus shelter style building and a single platform serving two tracks, situated flush with the River Foyle.

I made these photos while boarding an NIR 80-class railcar bound for Belfast.

My camera was a rugged Contax G2 Rangefinder fitted with 45mm Zeiss Planar lens and loaded with Kodak Tri-X black & white film. I used a red filter to alter the black & white tonality and boost contrast.

For me the film’s contrast and stark spring lighting was well-suited to the minimalist railway infrastructure.

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