Turtle Socks

Flowers from Mars

Two kettles of the preserve represent a pond and, below, a bog. Here is a photograph from the observation platform using the IPhone 7. I brought along the Canon dslr and 100 mm “macro” lens for the stars of this show…..

….purple pitcher plants (scientific name: Sarracenia purpurea). In past years, the central observation deck cut-out, hosted healthy pitchers. Today, invading high bush blueberries from the bog margin, crowded out the pitchers and the only flowering plant were among the grasses 8 to 10 feet away. My goal was photographing the extraordinary flowers.

Each flower rises from the base on a strong stalk. Here are the pitchers, also called “turtle socks”, flooded with sunlight.

A flower unlike any I have experienced, like the carapace of an insect, the reproductive element underneath a hood.

The posterior, there are only bracts.

I have, somewhere, macro images of the pitcher, with the downward facing hairs. Brought the wrong lens to capture this at a distance.

Click Me for the first post of this series.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Cottages on Loughan Bay 03 a repost

Romance of Ruins

….continued…..

In this multi-part blog series:

Part 01: the romance of the ruined cottages of Loughan Bay was introduced, the following questions stimulated:  “Who were the people who lived here?  Why did they leave?  Why is nobody here now?”

Part 02: the scene was set, the townland of Loughan named and visualized.

Click this link for Part 03…..

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills, All Rights Reserved.

Torr Head Crooked Horizon Problem 4

What solutions do you see? Please post your solutions in comments. Thank You

A third technique to solve a tilted horizon, first described this post, is the counterpoint to the second technique and a variation of the first technique. Instead of building out, this solution is to crop the blank space also removing a portion of the image.

Here is a Photoshop screen capture from just before the crop is executed. The grid of fine lines is the Crop tool. For example, on the upper right corner a portion of Rathlin Island, the water, a slice of land are removed along with the blank portion.

Note from the Photoshop screen capture, the blank space along the upper margin is NOT removed. To do so will ruin the composition, the top of the hill on the upper left would be removed. Instead, I used the second technique to copy the sky over the blank portion left after cropping.

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

The second solution post describes how copying content onto the blank space can cause duplication of image features. In the above example, I need to perfect the image, modifying the clouds OR perfect the copy process to avoid the duplication.

The end result is a view of wildflower meadow, foreground, coastal sheep pastures running up the high hill. Named Greenanmore, the hill is a site notable for a neolithic passage tomb. The distant land across the North Channel water is Rathelin Island.

See this post for a description of the foreground wildflowers.

Here is a slideshow of the corrected images of this series. To visit from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.
Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Crooked Horizon Problem 3

What solutions do you see? Please post your solutions in comments. Thank You

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Here is the second approach to correction of the tilted horizon problem that was first described this post.

A time intensive technique is, after straightening the image, to build out the blank sections. Here is an image after straightening. Corrected image size increases with degree of tilt, measured by the degrees of correction with the area of size increase being blank. It is this blank space that is filled by this technique.

The technique is to open a copy of the image, leaving the original unchanged, then, with Photoshop Lasso tool, select a portion to copy to clipboard, then to the blank space. A great deal of time is consumed by the trail-and-error approach required.

The sky was the simplest, the cliffs most difficult. The grass and flowers were not a difficult as they first appear. I varied feathering with sky the highest (30 pixels), grass and flowers at 10 pixels. Another general maxim is to run the lasso line through pixels the most similar to each other. After pasting use the Move tool to place the new layer.

A common effect to avoid is duplication of image elements. For example, after copying there are duplicates of flowers. This can be corrected through use of the Erase tool to reveal original image elements under the copied layer.

The cliffs on the upper left were impossible to correct. I solved this corner by running the Lasso line through the sky, water and grass. As a result the space between Rathlin and the “mainland” is wider.

See this post for a description of the foreground wildflowers.

Here is a slideshow a straightened, uncorrected and straighted, corrected images. To visit from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.
Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Crooked Horizon Problem 2

What solutions do you see? Please post your solutions in comments. Thank You

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

Here is one approach to correction of the problem described in my last post.

In Photoshop, make a copy of the file and crop out reference to the crooked horizon. In this case, my focus is the wild flower meadow. The raw image was large enough leave enough pixels for a usable image.

A portion of the ocean water was filled in using a technique I will explain tomorrow. See this post for a description of the wildflowers.

Here is a slideshow a straightened, uncorrected and straighted, corrected images. To visit from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.
Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Crooked Horizon Problem 1

What solutions do you see? Please post your solutions in comments. Thank You

Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.

For this photograph using a handheld Sony Alpha 700 dslr, taking in the foreground wildflower meadow, I neglected to maintain a level horizon.  

Leveling the image results in too much cropping of this view from Torr Head, north. The best approach is to level the camera. When using the handheld technique, I found many lenses have guides in the view finder the horizon can be lined up against. This technique is useful for a tripod mount. Later camera models have a feature that displays a level, handy for use with a tripod. For the handheld technique, these cameras provide a viewfinder leveling grid.

The next few days I will explore some solutions to the problem of corrected for a crooked horizon.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Wildflower Meadow

can you see any other flowers/plans in this photograph? Please leave a comment if you do.

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We parked below the Coast Guard station, headed toward the height of Torr Head. I was stopped in my tracks by the hillside meadow wildflower profusion. 

Here are a few I identified, listed by common name: Bluebell, Daisy, Meadow Buttercup, Sea Campion, Yarrow.  We love daisies and buttercups around home.  We spotted Sea Campion on the Dingle Peninsula, as well.  Yarrow is common through Ireland.  I don’t recall seeing bluebells anywhere else. 

It was the bluebells in this photograph that clued me into why I took a photograph of the hillside.  The view north takes in coastal sheep pasture looking on a portion of North Channel and the Irish island Rathelin.

The web page I used for identification was wildflowersofireland.net . Great information and links to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland with a distribution map.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Loughan Bay Ruins, County Antrim

Deserted Cottages above the Irish Sea

We pulled off the side of Torr Road for this fine view on the way to Torr Head to take in this view of the Irish Sea.  The steeply rising distant headland is the Mull of Kintyre. Loughan an Lochan, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Michael Wills – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

We parked on a turnout above the Loughan Cottages, near this farmer’s sheep pen.  He drove up in a huge tractor and conversed with Pam while I was below shooting the cottages. He made a good impression.

Loughan Bay Farmer – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

Roofless walls of a cottage more substantial than the other deserted ruins above Loughan Bay, with two fireplaces a walled porch with a view. A number of outbuilding foundations lay around. The integrity of the walls, chimneys and gables speaks to the quality of construction. A freighter in the North Channel of the Irish Sea is visible in the distance above the upper ridge. Beyond is the island of Islay, Scotland, about 30 miles distant. Loughan an Lochan, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

I am happy to report a series of thirteen (13) photographs of these ruins were accepted for publication by Getty.  You can click any of the photographs in this posting for my Getty portfolio.

Loughan Cottages Ruins above Crockan Point – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

The land slopes steeply to a rocky beach.

Ruin Above Loughan Bay – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

A thick growth of ferns, grass on the gable was once a home with a view of Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre 13 miles across the North Channel of the Irish Sea.  The Isle of Sanda just visible on the right of the far gable.  A landform named Alisa Crag is just visible in the distance, to the left of the nearest gable. 

Single Room Loughan Bay Cottage – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

Please browse my reasonably priced stock photography. License a photograph, download and use it for your website or blog. Click this link to browse all my Getty IStock Photography offerings.

Or click this link or any photograph or this link to select a print with custom framing from my “Ireland” Fine Art Gallery.

Interested in learning more about this site?  I have a series of postings on Loughan Bay.  Click for the first posting in this series.

Copyright 2018 Michael Stephen Wills, All Rights Reserved.

Loughan an Lochan Ruin 03

Romance of Ruins

….continued…..

In this multi-part blog series:

Part 01: the romance of the ruined cottages of Loughan Bay was introduced, the following questions stimulated:  “Who were the people who lived here?  Why did they leave?  Why is nobody here now?”

Part 02: the scene was set, the townland of Loughan named and visualized.

In this Part 03, some contemporaneous people are introduced, more information on the environment provided, some previous residents named and imagined.

Michael Wills with View of Loughan Bay
On the way to Torr Head we stopped at this spot in Coolranny Townland to take in this view of the Irish Sea. The land overlooks Loughan Bay toward the Mull of Kintyre and Sanda Island, Scotland. County Antrim, Northern Ireland.  Coolranny borders Loughan Townland on the east.

To understand the full beauty of a place, it is necessary to live it, to experience the seasons, approach the land from different aspects; pass the same place many time, noticing overlooked features, enjoying old favorites.  We did our best in this single day and took the exploration of this Antrim County coast slow, savoring all the views we noticed as this is a once in a lifetime experience.  Imagine our amazement to find Scotland so close at hand.  In the past, on a fine day the trip across the North Channel, up eastern Kintyre peninsula shores to Campbeltown at the head of Campbeltown Loch, was easier than a land crossing to a closer town.

I picked Campbeltown because my great great grandfather, a sea captain, emigrated from Scotland to County Louth where my great grandmother, Anne Campbell, married John Mills.  In this way Captain Campbell escaped persecution for his Roman Catholic faith.

Anne Mills

Late in her life, Anne Mills posed for this portrait.  I can tell great grandmother Mills is facing north from these clues:

— the press of the eternal east wind on her dress, against her left left and flowing away from the right.

— the sun shadow on her cheek.  It was around noon.  With the sun, at this latitude, in the south the shadow from her right cheekbone is darker than the left.

Stressed Costal Hawthorn
Rowan Tree directional growth from a constant east wind, County Antrim on the Torr Road nort of Cushenden.

A few miles before Loughan Bay, at Coolranny, are informative placards describing the area.  I thought the white flowering trees, or shrubs, on the slopes were Hawthorn.  On revisiting my capture of the placards I learned these are a different plant named Rowan Tree, aka Mountain-ash.  This wind stressed specimen is an typical example of Rowans on this coast, stunted and little more than a bush.  This individual is slanted westward from a constant and stiff east wind, as with Anne Mills’ portrait.  Residents, past and present, of this coast know this damp, persistent wind well.  Note the lack of blossoms on the east side, blossoms that ripen to small dark red fruit called poms (also called rowans).  The leaves turn red in the fall.  More time, for the fruit to form and leaves to turn, was necessary for me to be certain my identification of this, as a Rowan, is correct.

Loughan Bay Farmer
We parked on a turnout above the Loughan Cottages, near this farmer’s sheep pen. He drove up in a huge tractor and conversed with Pam while I was below shooting the cottages. He made a good impression.

On this day, Friday, June 6, 2014 I did two rounds of shooting the cottages.  The first, handheld, with a Sony Alpha 700.  Upon returning to the car for the Canon, Pam was talking to a friendly sheep farmer who pulled up in a large tractor pulling a tank.  It turned out we parked below the turnout for his sheep enclosure built on the hill west of Torr Road.  His flocks grazed the surrounding land. He and I talked, too briefly, about the hard lives of the people who lived here.

The Coolraney placard, up the road, claimed the cottages were deserted in the 19th century.  I found evidence, in the 1901 Irish Census, of three Roman Catholic families, 19 men, women, children, living on Loughan Townland.  In Part 02 of this series, setting the stage, Loughan is sized at 112 acres, a single photograph captures Loughan entire.  These families had nowhere else to live, in Loughan, other than the cottages.

The smallest, and poorest, the poorest of the poor, family was 32 year old Mary Corbit and her two children, 10 year old Mary and Robert, 2 years.  The Corbit family lived in a one room, stone walled, house with a wood or thatch roof.  Unlike the other families they had no outbuildings, structures to house livestock or to support a farm operation.  The house owner was Marj Delargy.

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Here is a single room house among the ruins, four low walls, the east/west with intact gables, the stones collected from the hillside.  The west wall higher up the slope, the floor now thick with fern.

Little Mary most certainly took care of Robert for part of the day.  Did Mary, with Robert along, gather rowans, and other forage?

Single Room Loughan Bay Cottage
A thick growth of ferns, grass on the gable was once a home with a view of Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre 12 miles across the Irish Sea. The Isle of Sanda just visible on the right of the far gable. Alisa Crag just visible in the distance, to the left of the nearest gable.

Mary Corbit: head of household, occupation laborer.  There is a footnote to Mary’s “Marriage” entry as Married, “husband at sea.”  The “C” of her census signature exactly like my mother signed her name Catherine.

CorbitMaryCensusSignature

Mary Corbit and her children were not listed in Loughan Townland for the 1911 Census.

….to be continued…..
Copyright 2017 Michael Stephen Wills, All Rights Reserved.