The Mullroy Bay II wallowing half submerged at high tide – lit with orange filters on an array of 5,000,000 candle power handheld lanterns.
I was invited by Marc Holden of Firehorse Imaging to attend and photograph an extremely unusual event on Saturday 15/11/08. Local artist Sheelagh Broderick was inspired by the half submerged hulk of a disused trawler, The Mulroy Bay II, to highlight the plight of the local fishing industry, and the effect it’s having on West Cork’s coastal communities.
Sheelagh contacted Chantelle Stewart of Guerilla Lighting and together they hatched an intricately coordinated plan to light the stricken vessel from the water. They used two RIBs and an army of volunteers armed with 5,000,000 candle power handheld lanterns and filters to pick out the vessel in the darkness.
I’d been given a Manfrotto 055ProB tripod with the amazing 322RC2 trigger-grip ball-head for my birthday the day before, so jumped at the chance to put the combination to the test. Still, I was VERY wary of the poor low-light performance of my trusty old Nikon Coolpix 5700.
Focussing was a huge challenge, as was time between shots (each was an 8 second long exposures + 8 second “noise reduction” exposure + write time to the card) – but a couple of the images came out OK – including the one they used (without acknowledgement… grrr!) with an article in the Southern Star.
… and the same vessel lit without the orange filters.
The view from the other side of the vessel.
Trying to use a tripod from a RIB moored to a buoy gives interesting results….
As an exercise in low light photography it was extremely challenging; as an experience it was wonderful… racing around Baltimore harbour to church strand on RIBs in the pitch black was invigorating… if a little chilly… and Sheelagh’s hospitality at the house before and after the event was fantastic.