A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.
17 March 2015
You won't be hearing from us that St. Patrick wasn't Irish. We're not one to ruin a party. Besides, we're sure you already know.
Not ourselves having the wit to be Irish (as far as we can tell), we haven't been stashing away annual albums of the parade, green beer and shiny paper hats. So we had to dig deep into our archives to find a St. Patrick's Day shot.
But that just demonstrates the depths of our historical expertise. These hail from 2001. The very day, too, Pat.
You'll have to forgive us for capturing them in North Beach, the Italian section of town. That's where the party was and it would have been rude to suggest it move.
Where, after all, would it go?
Our contribution to today's Irish festivities, therefore, is necessarily limited to what we could find then in North Beach.
And that would be the image of that green Vespa below.
In those days, the snake we handled was a Nikon E990. These two images were both shot at ISO 100 and f5.5 with a shutter speed around 1/200 second and an 8.2mm focal length. One-handed, if memory serves.
Both greatly benefited from a Photoshop CC 2014 session with the Camera Raw filter. Nothing fancier than that. And nothing less than that, either.
Getting back to the Irish, as one must on St. Patrick's Day, we received a nice little tip from reader Aaron about Burning Man artist David Best's 75-foot wooden temple in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has an inconvenient tradition for wooden temples of holding bonfires to celebrate the victory of King William of Orange over Catholic King James in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. And in keeping with that tradition the Irish government has paid for Best's temple "to be set ablaze," according to the BelfastLive.
This burn, though, will be a little different.
While the project itself has been a two-year undertaking, the actual work required six weeks. The temple, built from birch plywood, was laser-cut to Best's design and assembled by local unemployed young people, many of whom acquired computer design skills in the process, making them a good deal more employable.
They aren't just unemployed, though. They are both Catholics and Protestants working together to honor those who died in the Troubles, according to the Daily Mail, which has a very nice collection of images of the project.
As the Daily Mail explains, "During the Northern Irish conflict in the late 20th century, more than 3,600 people were killed and thousands more were injured as paramilitaries and security forces fought each other over a period of 30 years."
The temple features hand-written commemorative panels made by over 100 young people of the area.
So when the Catholics and Protestants light this bonfire, it will be to celebrate peace. Which is quite a different thing than victory.
If we ruled the world, we would declare St. Patrick's Day a day of worldwide peace, a one-day truce, a break in the action. Arms would be laid down. Matches struck. Beer would be green and shiny paper hats would blow down the street, dancing wildly away with every silly idea borne in the mind of man.
But, as we said, we're not one to ruin a party.