It’s a Girl!

baby I’m delighted to announce that my partner, Manuela, gave birth to a baby girl in Tralee General Hospital.

baby2The time of birth was Saturday, May 9th at 8:52pm.

We’re going to name her Róisín Elena – the Elena for Sant’Elena, the island in Venice where my partner was born.

The new baby weighed 3.3kg, and was quite tall. She barely fit into her newborn clothes.

It was a long labour, but all was well in the end. We’re both delighted!

I can go to bed happy.

I just wanted to say thanks to all the people who have wished us well over the pregnancy including our families, our friends, our customers, the people following over on Twitter and the readers of this blog!

There’s new little ice cream eater in this world!

And if her mother and father are anything to go by, she’ll have some appetite!

Model Citizen

 The ice cream man had to turn model yesterday, as I had a visit from top photographer Catherine Karnow, who has done excellent work for National Geographic, among others. She was sent by my alma mater, who are writing up something on the book for the alumna magazine. It was an interesting morning, but I hardly think I’ll be stepping out on the Milan catwalks any time soon…

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Two Scoop Cone

 The other day, I set out to take some photos of a two scoop cone, and I’m kind of proud of the results.
I’m very lucky in photographing ice cream (never an easy job) in that I have an ice cream shop right there to help me, and so have a pretty good chance of getting a good looking cone. All that’s left then is to try to capture it before it melts.
With these photos, I set up simple blue and green sheets of paper next to the window in the office upstairs and used the natural light and the camera on a tripod with a fairly slow exposure.
The photo on the right was my brother’s favourite, and it’s aready up as a poster in our shops.
It’s still astonishing to me how quickly one can do things if you do it in house (well, not the poster printing)…
Anyway, it was a good creative break in a season that keeps getting busier. I’ll be doing more scooping than blogging, so please bear with me if I don’t post quite as regularly as I should…
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Gratuitous Cake Photo

Strawberry Cake My brother wanted me to take a couple bird’s-eye photos of cake slices to help standardise the decoration and presentation in our shops. When he brought up this slice of strawberry cake with strawberry ice cream, I couldn’t help zooming right in for a close-up since it looked so yummy. Needless to say, this slice didn’t make it back downstairs intact…

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The D300 is Here!

3 tubsI had my first opportunities to play with my new toy – the Nikon D300, which arrived promptly from Conns Cameras in Dublin. I took the photo above for Food and Wine, who will have us as part of their “Hot 100” in next month’s issue, without hardly tinkering with the settings. Not bad for a camera straight out of the box!


The thing I noticed first off is its ability to render colour accurately and dramatically. The reviews I had read pointed to this, and it really does seem to be excellent.

There’s much more punch to the colours than I had with the D80, and it also seems to reproduce subtle variations and shades with much greater accuracy.

UnaOf course, one of the first items on my agenda was running over to visit my little niece, Una, who (along with her brother Conor) has to put up with an uncle who keeps pointing a camera at her.

I think the photo on the right is a good example of what I was talking about above – there is good colour detail on her quite pale face, with lots of pinks and whites, while at the same time her dark blue of her eyes look as they do in real life – not under-exposed.

Chances are with my previous cameras, the face would have been over-exposed or the eyes too dark.

I should point out, as well, that all of these photos had only very minimal adjustments in Photoshop. I hope do be spending a lot less time tinkering on that particular program!

Cat and Apple TreeThe final test was to see how it handles very low light. I had heard that the D300 is much better in low-light situations (although naturally not as good as the D3, which is meant to be astonishing).

Low light is a big issue here in Ireland, since so many of the days are positively murky, and I love using natural light if at all possible.

I took this photo of Gatsby, the ice cream cat, at twilight using 1000 iso, and the shot is perfectly usable. There is some noise, but not nearly as much as I would have expected.

All in all, I’m very impressed with the camera, and I can’t wait to play some more. I don’t think I’ll have any excuses at all if my photos don’t improve!

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