Bangor by the Sea

Ballyholme, Bangor

Ballyholme Bay, Bangor, is known for its sandy beach and promenade. It’s a popular destination for dog walkers, joggers and people just out for a stroll. The usually calm water is a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts, particularly for windsurfing and sailing.

The photograph above was taken with an iPhone 8, which I think is about five years old. I’ve reduced the highlights slightly in Lightroom but that’s all.

Meteorological Spring

Ballyholme Beach
Ballyholme Beach

Meteorological Spring starts today, 1st March. At 7.5C with a cold wind it didn’t feel like Spring but to mark the occasion I went to Ballyholme for a walk on the beach and of course brought a camera. I shot some video clips but as always, remembering this site I got some still images as well.

I was glad to get back to the car. On the beach 7.5C with a cold wind wipes any thoughts of Spring from your mind.

Pickie to Pier

Pickie to Pier Swim 2022

The Pickie to Pier swim in Bangor leaves Skippingstone Beach, just past the Pickie play area and finishes at the RNLI launch ramp at the base of Eisenhower Pier. It’s a distance of around 800 metres and about 200 swimmers take part.

After a 30 year lapse the swim was relaunched in 2019. It was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid, but returned in 2021.

This year the swim took place, for the first time in the evening, on Friday, 8 July 2022.

Belfast Lough

Rainbow, Belfast Lough

Another rainbow, this time Belfast Lough.

I had been at the shore testing a new camera and turned to leave when a girl shouted “Look, look, a rainbow.” I turned and fired off a few exposures with the camera on program as it faded.

Rainbow, Bangor

The end in sight

The vaccinations are rolling out as quickly as we could have hoped and in April it’s expected that up to 40000 people a week will be vaccinated. The infection rate is dropping with less people catching the virus and hospital admissions falling.

Our government has published a plan for exiting lockdown and getting back to normal. Anyone familiar with Northern Irish politics will know this should be taken as a positive sign for the future –  they have all managed to agree on something. We are critical of our leaders, often with good reason, but looking at the way some European politicians have acted during the pandemic we should probably try to complain yes in future. That’s as close as I come to commenting on politics.

I’m looking forward to being able to travel again, Not necessarily abroad but just around the country. I was in Carrickfergus recently and it’s the farthest from home I have been for two months or more. Sometimes I still have difficulty believing that this lockdown is actually happening. I know it has all been necessary but governments having power to tell us who we can spend time with and where we can go should always be a concern.

On the photography front my experiments with images from my iPhone continue. I’m not sure if I mentioned it previously but I’ve bought a Gopro so I’m experimenting with that as well. I said previously that I’ve been mostly using Hipstamatic and wouldn’t be distracted with the many other apps available. I should’ve known better. I’ve rediscovered Snapseed. I had installed it on my phone some time ago and forgotten it was there. I continue to send images off but no sales so far. I’m enjoying creating images on my phone so no pressure.

When things get back to normal I’ll probably start shooting some images for stock again but on a more casual basis than in the past.

Ballyholme, Bangor, Northern Ireland DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR0280.JPG

Harland and Wolff Shipyard, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Royal Hotel, Bangor, Northern Ireland DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR0308.JPG

Eisenhower Pier, Bangor, Northern IrelandDCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR0316.JPG

Not taking stock

Wet and Windy Bangor

I’ve reduced my output for stock even further over the past month. I’ve sent a few images to Alamy but that’s about it. I’ve been taking photographs of things, people and events that attract my attention with no aim in mind other than improving my processing skills and enjoying the images.

The government is introducing another lock down because of the pandemic although it’s being called a circuit breaker this time. It doesn’t sound to be as severe as the first lock down and hopefully it won’t last too long.

The weather recently has been much better than we expect for this time of year and this helps to keep peoples spirits up.

These photographs are from one of the not so good days although as you can see people still manage to get into the water and enjoy themselves.

Seat in the rain
Seat in the rain

Ballyholme, Bangor
Ballyholme, Bangor

Pay telescope
Pay telescope

The Royal, Bangor

Royal Hotel, Bangor

It doesn’t seem like six years ago but the Royal Hotel closed in 2014. I sometimes had lunch there and coffee when it wasn’t lunch time. I didn’t know it then but the hotel dated from 1773 although it had been rebuilt in 1932. When people said it had old world charm they weren’t making it up.

Rumours talk of it being developed into apartments but then that’s often the case when a large building such as a hotel closes. There’s a ‘To Let’ sign above it offering four restaurant/cafe units but unfortunately with the current Coronavirus pandemic and the expected economic consequences things don’t look good for the near future.

The small fenced off area in front of the hotel with tables and umbrellas is for patrons from the Rabbit Rooms restaurant nearby. The pavement outside the Rabbit Rooms is fairly narrow and many diners, sensibly with the threat of Covid 19, feel more comfortable outside so they’re using the space outside the Royal. Outside dining of course depends on the weather – always risky in Ireland.

Royal Hotel, Bangor detail

Tables outside the Royal Hotel, Bangor
Tables outside, Royal Hotel

Tables outside the Royal Hotel