What was your path to becoming a Landscape Photographer & What was your first camera?
Coming into 2020 I had been getting pains in my arm and I thought it was referred pain from my neck injury but by June I was doing a kids GAA training session I found myself getting really out of breath too so after getting bad pain in my chest and arm. I went to the Doctor, and they said something wasn’t right so I ended up in Hospital and seeing consultants they did an angiogram and they said I needed Heart Stents as I had some blockages and that if I hadn’t of gone about it, I would have had a heart attack within months. The following week I was back getting the heart stents in, and they discovered that one was so bad they could only do that one that week and that I would have been dead within 3 months without action. That frightened the life out of me big time. I just couldn’t get my head around that not so long before I was running marathons and now I was on the operating bed been told I had a bad heart. I got the 2nd stent done 3 weeks later and all I could think about was getting back out with the camera. About a week later myself and Paul Egan went in around Dublin one evening and I lasted about 2 hrs before I was exhausted. But I kept getting out and about and found I was constantly learning. I have struggled for a while since the heart scare with tiredness and also sometimes mentally with motivation to get out but having a group of guys to meet up with is great. Photography has now become my stress release.
I was finally persuaded by family that I should start posting on this thing called Instagram to show off some photos. I hadn’t a notion about what it was all about but quickly started to find other photographers and was getting inspired by shots these photographers were posting. It was in December of 2020 that I was in the Phoenix Park taking shots of the deer and another photographer came up and said hello. It was Keith from @dublincityphotography and he was super sound and chatting away. When I looked up his page, he had thousands of followers and here he was chatting to me. I went home that evening feeling 10ft tall.
A couple of months later I started to notice another photographer @Ipaulimages and thought I recognised him. I eventually showed his picture to my wife and said yep that’s him. He had worked with my wife almost 20 years ago and had even been at my wedding! I reached out to him, and we met up and have quickly become good buddies again. Also, from Instagram I have met Nial from @kingoffat1981 and Phil from @Philstagram and so many others but the 4 of us get out as much as we can.
What was your favourite Landscape Adventure Story since becoming a Photographer?
What was your worst in-the-field experience as a landscape Photographer?
Sunrise or Sunset & Why?
Where is your favourite Location in Ireland to Photograph & Why?
What is your favourite photograph, that you’ve taken to date, & Why?
In April this year I did a workshop with Bernard Geraghty and we went to Glendalough and it was a lovely still morning with nice rolling fog and we were down by the lower lake and I got a lovely shot of the trees coming through the fog but also managed to get the reflections on the lake. Even though it was April it had a real Autumnal feel to it.
What equipment / Setup are you currently using?
Top Tip for anyone starting out?
Get onto manual and just get out and practice. Bring your camera everywhere with you. Do a workshop. Last year I did one with Sean O Riordan and this year I did one with Bernard Geraghty and I have another one booked with Sean for during the summer when I am on my hols over in Clare. I find them really good and for me there is nothing like learning while in the field so as good as youtube is and I have watched hours and hours there is nothing like been out with the camera. Another one would be to try meet up with people. 90% of all photographers I have met through Instagram are so nice and have no problem in giving advice. If you find a group and they are better photographers, then yourself it’s only going to help you learn your trade.
Best Advise you’ve personally been given?
I have gotten some good advice from some really good photographers but probably the best advice I got was from Paul Egan and it was to get a full frame camera as I would see the difference it would make to my photos and straight away I could.
Who is your biggest inspiration as a Landscape Photographer.
Funny story about bumping into the 2 guys was that last year on my holidays I was staying in the lighthouse keepers’ cottages attached to Fanad Lighthouse. I woke up one morning where I had planned to go to The Great Pollet Sea Arch and when the alarm went off I looked out the window and couldn’t even see the actual lighthouse the fog was so thick. So, I stayed in bed and after probably 30 min I got up as I knew I wasn’t going back asleep. I had all my gear ready so was out the door within 5 min. But as I was walking to the car, I could hear voices coming across the headland and through the fog. I could recognise a bit of what was been said and it felt like the guys were within 20 yards of me. As I drove out through the gate 3 lads came walking across the road through the fog, Mark, Sean and Rory. I just cracked up laughing. I got out and said hello and couldn’t believe how nice and sound the guys were.
On my last workshop with Bernard he was showing me some of his photos on his phone and I would just love to get one of his shots and I’d be happy. He has hundreds if not thousands of shots not edited and not shared.
Who is your favourite Irish photographer at the moment ?
He will kill me for saying this and I am so lucky to call him a mate but I just love Nial O Connell’s work at the moment. He has an amazing eye for seeing something out of nothing and his editing is class. To top it all off he is so helpful with edits to myself and the lads. There has been times where 3 of us have been crowded into a 6 ft space trying to get a shot and we will be happy with our effort and then Nial will show us what he got and it’s just amazing. His recent photos from his Donegal road trip are just so good.