This photograph is entitled “Cobh Waterfront”.

It was taken a few years back from the afterdeck of the old Swansea-Cork ferry, quite late on a summer evening.

I had just obtained my first digital camera, a Fuji “bridge” camera with a completely incomprehensible instruction manual and impenetrable menus.

The original photograph was quite flat and lacking in vibrance.

I had also just acquired my first version of Photoshop processing software. I was delighted to find that I could bring the picture to life with the software by using the brightness, contrast, and colour saturation facility.

The light that evening only held for the time it took the ferry to leave Ringaskiddy and pass Cobh waterfront, 15 minutes after this was taken it was dark.

Always keep your camera to hand, otherwise you will easily miss shots like this! Remember that photographs taken in unpromising lighting conditions can often provide pleasant surprises.

The Fuji did not have a huge pixel count, about 6 megapixels as far as I remember, but I have enlarged this picture up to A2 (approx 20” x 16”), using the slightly grainy quality to great effect.

I made a coloured border to match the colour of the tower, using the “canvas size” facility in Photoshop.

Tip of the week for photographers: Keep your camera clean!

Many good pictures are spoiled because of smeary finger marks on the lens, scattering light and causing serious lack of contrast.

Use a fine cotton handkerchief, and obtain a little bottle of lens cleaning solution from your camera shop.

Chris O’Dell BSC is the senior tutor at the Wildlife Film School ( where you can join him and others on exciting digital photography courses in West Cork.