Old Mellifont Abbey | ND & Grad Filters

I took myself over to Old Mellifont Abbey in blue hour yesterday evening to practice with my ND and grad filters. The Old Abbey was as noted on the Heritage Ireland website, “first Cistercian monastery in Ireland founded in 1142 by St Malachy of Armagh, its most unusual feature is the octagonal Lavabo c. 1200. The Visitor Centre houses an interesting exhibition on the work of masons in the Middle Ages with fine examples of their craft on display.”

The old abbey is located in a secluded area of County Louth, about 10 minutes from the town of Drogheda. Having done little research before my visit, the site was a complete surprise to me and it was fantastic to have the place to myself, allowing me time and space to practice in the peace and quiet. Not everyone’s idea of a top Saturday night, but I enjoyed it! :-)

For the shots shown below, I used a Cokin ND 8 filter together with a graduated ND 4 filter and set the speed of the shutter to 2 seconds. Given that one of my tripod legs is a dodgy (and I’ll have to invest in a new and better tripod soon), I was limited to how I could set up the shot on it to some extent.

As anyone with a smidge of DSLR interest is aware, filters are used to balance the sky with the ground. By focusing on the abbey, the colours – I think anyways – blend in well together and give the sky (in the image on the left) a delicate dusting of pink. Without the filters, the ground and ruins would be silhouettes against a grey sky. Below is a comparison of two images – one taken without a filter (left) and the other with the same set up as before:

The photographs of the field aren’t of particular interest: I just took them to compare the end results. I actually prefer the non-filtered version but it would have been impossible to get a decent image (including the detail of the ruin’s walls) without the filters.

Oh, and I’ve been updating (finally) my Instagram page – you can check it out here (or as the About page of this blog. Comments & constructive criticism welcomed – obviously positive comments preferred! ;-)

#Ireland #CountyLouth #OldMellifontAbbey #Cokin #NDFilters #GradFilters

[May 2018]