Famous for boat building and not just the Titanic, the Harland and Wolff cranes (Samson and Goliath) are an established trademark of the city of Belfast. I had paid the area alongside the also famous Titanic film studios in the past, see here but I have never seen it quite like this.

In December the Norwegian oil rig, the Blackford Dolphin, arrived all the way from Brazil following a three month journey. The sixty day contract to allow 600 workers to embark on a complete refurbishment under the Samson and Goliath cranes is worth millions.

It could be a unique view for Belfast and definitely one worth seeing at night if you around the Titanic area. The Blackford Dolphin oil rig lights up the Belfast sky and even on a Sunday night, sparks from the welding work fall like snow.

Blackford Dolphin, Harland and Wolff

I packed the Fujifilm X-E2 and the 14mm and 23mm lenses. I suspected that I would concentrate on shooting with the 23mm f/1.4 to capture the lights from the rig whilst trying to keep the sky as dark as possible (which isn’t easy in any city). After a number of captures with the 23mm I discovered a rather large puddle so decided to employ the 14mm to try and capture the rig, the cranes as well as their reflection.

Blackford Dolphin, Harland and Wolff

It was a challenge, I was shooting 10 second long exposure photographs but was attempting to time the shots between some strong gusts of wind. If you want to learn how to capture long exposure photographs like this check out the long exposure ebook.

The Blackford Dolphin is a temporary visitor to Belfast so see it while you can. Some called it the unofficial Belfast Christmas tree and I can see why.


The Long Exposure eBook
The Fujifilm X-E2