Black and White

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under Landscape

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The first photographs were black and white. Ironically if colour had been possible all those years ago when the medium was ‘born’, pioneer photographers would still have chosen to shoot some subjects in b&w. Why?  Well, it’s an abstraction of reality; you could say it makes us visualise our world in a different way. Robbed of the distraction of colours we see the familiar with new eyes. This is why I chose black and white to record the powerful sky I saw over the South Beach in my hometown, Arklow.  

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'Old' Castlemacadam Church, Avoca, Co Wicklow

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under Landscape

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About 6 miles from Arklow you’ll find the ruins of 'Old' Castlemacadam Church, Avoca. An imposing sight, even in the overgrown state I found it when I last looked (if it has been ‘tidied up’ since, I apologise).  It has a haunting quality; ‘elegant decay’ is the nearest term that springs to mind. I took this picture some years ago on Kodak Infra Red film – this material sees infrared energy rather than the visible light that our eyes see. Notice how the blue sky is rendered black and grass is turned white. I chose this technique to enhance the ‘ghostly’ aura from the place; ironically, I shot it on a bright sunny day; the ‘eerie’ quality is down to the film. The picture has been used many times, including in a programme of a London theatre as well as a couple of photographic magazines. 

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Billy O'Neill Shoemaker

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under Projects

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When you come to think about it: they are fewer and fewer people today working with their hands. In the past, on most towns’ electoral register you could find plenty of: tailors, blacksmiths, thatches, joiners, dressmakers and the like. Skilled men and women, justifiably proud of their trades and the status it conferred on them. Yet today many of them find they and their skills are unwanted in our ‘knowledge economy’. I have personal experience of this; my father was a watchmaker.

So when I heard that Billy O’Neill, a local shoemaker was closing his shop on Arklow’s Wexford Road I knew it was too good a chance to pass up. So I’d like to share with you some of the pictures I took of Billy in his workshop a week before he colsed up for the final time.

Film or Digital?

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under Awards

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“What do you miss most now that you are completely digital and no longer shoot with film?” I’ve been asked this more than once or twice – I suppose every photographer hears that question. I could say digital has some areas that fall short: some of the classic emulsions (that what us photographers called film) like Kodachrome and Fuji Velvia have yet to be equalled by any digital camera sensor for their outstanding tone range and colour reproduction. But for me it was a camera, I miss my Hasselblad SWC. Made in Sweden, it combined the precision of a Swiss watch and the strength hardened steel. The legendary Carl Zeiss optical company designed the lens in the 1950s. Nothing came near for its distortion-free images - lines were always parallel it never failed to deliver brilliant colour reproduction and contrast; oh I could go on and on!  For interiors it had no equal, no wonder the camera was in every good architectural photographer’s camera bag.  I used my Hasselblad to capture one of my favourite images: Trinity College Dublin’s iconic Old Library building. This magnificent building celebrates its 300th anniversary this year. Work started in May 1712 and it took another 20 years to complete the building.  Many famous students of the college like writer Jonathan Swift, philosopher Edmund Burke and artist Mary Delany were amongst the ‘regulars’. More information on this wonderful building see: tcd.ie/library/tercentenary.

Irish Professional Photographers Association's Video

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under Wedding

I have been a member of the IPPA for nearly 20 years. During that time I have learned so much from the many colleagues I met there. The association has over 300 members working in virtually every area of professional photography. The IPPA prides itself on running training programmes for its members; this keeps all of us 'up to speed' not just with the latest technological developments but importantly, gets our creative juices flowing. Each year sees a busy schedule of seminars, talks from leading experts and of course their 'IPPA Photographer of the Year' competition which receives literally thousands of entries. All members must be fully insured and adhere to a code of conduct. Recently the IPPA commissioned a short video for couples choosing a photographer for their wedding. It only lasts a minute or two, hope you like it. TO SEE THE VIDEO JUST CLICK ON THE TITLE 'Irish Professional Photographers Association's Video' ABOVE

 

 

Engagement shoot in Wicklow

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under Engagement Shoot,

Just a few weeks to go before their wedding Maria and Craig travelled to Wicklow where we met up for an engegement shoot. Here are just a couple images from that day.MCes.jpg 

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Heather and Colin

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under Wedding

Dodging the showers was all part of Heather Kinch and Colin Darby's wedding in St Saviour's Church, Arklow.  Happily the weather improved later that afternoon allowing us to stop off at Ballymoney Beach for 10 minutes of pictures before going on to the reception at the nearby Seafield Hotel. 

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