Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Living on your western shore, saw the summer sunset, I asked for more, I stood by your Atlantic sea & sang a song for Ireland. These are some words from the song "song for Ireland." How often I have stood on our Atlantic shores waiting for the sunset & could hear these words in my head as I appreciated the beauty of this mystical country. A country for it's size that has an incredibly diverse landscape, a landscape that has captured the hearts & minds of artists, writers etc. for millennial.As a photographer standing on our shores watching the waves crashing on to shore, seeing the light dance across the water,or a distant boat heading out to sea all you can do is try your best to bring the beauty of the scene as it unfolds in front of you to the people who will view your image. You make the decisions how to compose the image, do I wait for the sun to drop a little further in the sky, will I silhouette the boat against the light or include those rocks in the foreground.Then when you have made all the decisions set your aperture & shutter speed, perhaps double checking your meter readings you press the shutter & create a moment in history. The reason I double check everything is simple I am still using film cameras, I do not have the luxury of looking at my image on the LCD screen & deciding to make changes by re-shooting. It is my personal opinion that this is a good thing, it slows you down, it makes you aware of what can go wrong. I often in fact urge my photography class who use digital to pretend they have only 24 or 36 exposures. To pretend they are using film so that they to will slow down & try to go home with 24 great shots rather than 124 shots with only a few great ones in it. Going back to the song, Ireland really needs to sing at the moment, to lift peoples spirits, to get people to listen, but most of all to get people to come here, to see & appreciate this beautiful country for themselves.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
As photographers we have never had to work so hard. The advent of digital photography means that more people can produce high quality images with even the most basic compact camera. Many will never need or want to know how or why their images was captured in such a way, all they need to know is they like it, if they don't they delete & try again. It is getting harder & harder to make a living from photography as more & more enter the realm trying to make some extra money from something they love. That is exactly how I started,a hobby became an obsession & eventually I decided that as photography was the only thing that I was ever really good at I was going to give it a go. So I am not or could not have a go at anyone else, we all have to start somewhere, you love photography & you see potential to make some money great. I suppose all I can really ask is that you do not sell yourself short, put a real value on your work & try to do yourself justice every time. It is easy if you already have a job to settle for a little extra, but remember by doing that you maybe depriving someone else who is depending totally on their photography part of their income. I have had to compete in the past for work with people who have a good salary every month, who naturally can afford to beat my price for a job, & the only winner is the company who can probably write the cost of against tax anyway. I have always encouraged peoples interest in photography, but at some stage we have to stop & ask the question where is photography going, will newspapers continue to pay for high quality images or will they start to settle for mobile uploads from who ever happens to be on the scene. Will the work be there in the future for the photographers who would risk life & limb in order to make sure that image of war is on the front of your paper as you have your morning coffee. I have probably forgotten more about photography, than some photographers will ever bother to learn, but when it comes down to it does anyone really care ???????.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I have been fortunate enough to visit most if not all of the counties of Ireland at this stage. There are aspects of every county that are stunningly beautiful & will keep any visitor en trawled.In recent years however I keep returning to Connemara & in particular to the area near Cleggan & Claddaghduff. These are small rural villages that rely heavily on tourism to supplement incomes. The nearest large town is Cliffden, a town that is picture postcard in its perfectness. The number of artists,from many artistic disciplines who live in this area give real testimony to the natural beauty. In short you would want to be dead not to appreciate what this area has to offer. The beauty of the Sky road out of Cliffden would leave the most ardent traveler wondering if they have ever seen anything as beautiful.Looking out across the Atlantic towards some of the many Islands of the coast, it can hold your attention for long periods,as the light dances & flickers on the ocean. You can also visit the some of the islands via the mail boat from Cleggan or if you do not fancy a boat trip you can drive across the strand to Omey Island at low tide. Park up the car & walk across to Omey, this island is truly magnificent. You can also take a trip to Letterfrack & visit the Connemara national park, walks & audiovisuals on Connemara for those that do not fancy walking. Continuing on to Lennane & the Majesty of Killary Fjord, Irelands only Fjord.Again you can take a boat trip on the Fjord or just drive around & explore the area which has much more to offer. I have visited this area 7 times in the last 2 years & each time I leave it looking forward to my return, after that I cannot say more.