Shooting the Queen Mary 2 on Dublin Bay
Yesterday morning, 20 May, Matt O'Brien and I were up ultra early to shoot the Queen Mary 2 as she arrived on her first visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Carolyn on the Harbour team organized a 6am boat for us from the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School - it was their latest rib, the Rash, that was expertly crewed by Kenneth Rumball and Glynn Williams. The Harbour has a full schedule of cruise ship visits in 2015 that began with the Royal Princess last week - where I did a dry run (literally!) to meet people and get a feel for the scale of these marine giants!
The full gallery of QM2 shots is here - and some of the highlights are below along with a few words of the story of the morning. The main aim of the trip was to get views of the liner from the sea with coastal landmarks, such as Dun Laoghaire, Killiney Hill, the Poolbeg Chimneys and Howth in the background - as well as dramatic closeups of the ship itself. For the coastal landmark shots, we had to get 1-2km out beyond the ship so that we were far enough away to both frame it in my 70-200mm telephoto lens AND get the landmarks reasonably large in the background (telephoto compression). As it wasn't always possible to change lenses as required in the conditions, I also did panning shots for later merging with Lightroom's new panorama feature - these shots are in the composites gallery. The trick here is to leave plenty of room in the frame to allow for boat movement as you pan.
Happily it was a fine morning with bright sunlight. However, the previous day's winds had left a bit of chop on the Bay, as you will see from the white horses! So, it was only possible to shoot when we were stopped or travelling slowly - salty spray and DSLRs do not mix!! There are also some shots from land from the Forty Foot, Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbour after we docked.
Leaving the Harbour shortly after 6am with the QM2 on the horizon.
With Killiney Hill, Dalkey Island, Bray & the Sugar Loafs in the background.
White horses off Dun Laoaghaire!
Dwarfing the Poolbeg Chimneys!
Dramatic view of the bow - with a tender being lowered.
The first tender heading in to Dun Laoghaire
Our skipper Kenneth and crew Glynn from the Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School - on their brand new 12 seater rib the "RASH" with twin 200 horse power Suzuki engines! Many thanks to them for their skill in dealing with the sea conditions and the numerous positioning requests from the photographers.
On our way back in - with the tender and the safety boat.
Off the Forty Foot
Off Bulloch Harbour with The Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head in the Background
Dalkey Photographer John Fahy striking a pose for me - thanks John!
The telescope at Coliemore Harbour erected in memory of John De Courcey Ireland. I'm showing two versions because even when I stopped right down, I couldn't get both the telescope and the ship in focus at the same time. So I took separate shots with one or the other sharp and then layered one with the 'scope in focus underneath one with where the ship was sharp. Then I did a crude but easy focus stack where I just erased out the blurred 'scope from the top version - simple enough even for me!
Composite with Killiney Hill
Keywords: Co., Cunard, Dublin, Dublin Bay, Dun Laoghaire, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, John Coveney Photography, Queen Mary 2, cruise liner, cruise ship, www.johncoveney.ie
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