What was your path to becoming a Landscape Photographer & What was your first camera?
I’ve always enjoyed creating images and when I was younger I would spend hours sketching. My interest waned as I got older however as I didn’t have the time or the desire to sit for hours sketching (once spent 10 hours drawing a car engine). Then I bought a smartphone. I was immediately hooked on taking snapshots when going on trips and editing them on the phone. My wife noticed a 6 week DSLR photography course that was due to begin in Athlone and suggested I sign up. I didn’t have a DSLR, never even held one but I went anyway and took notes for a week. After that I bought a Canon 1000D second hand on Done Deal. We covered a bit of portraiture and lighting on the course but I wasn’t really interested in that. I was more interested in jumping in the car and driving to Clonmacnoise at golden hour to try and get this thing called a sunstar that some guy on youtube told me about. Or looking up how to do long exposures. I messed around for a few months after that making all the mistakes beginners make and had more questions than answers. Then I noticed this video of a guy on facebook giving a quick photography lesson in a field in Kildare. His name was Bernard Geraghty and it turned out that he did landscape photography workshops and tours aswell. I signed up for a few and built from there by setting myself a challenge to go out and practice at least once a week. I’ve always been more interested in landscape photography. It’s time in my own head away from stresses like work. There’s a real craft to it and I can get lost in it the same way I did sketching pictures years ago.
What was your favourite Landscape Adventure Story since becoming a Photographer?
I’m not actually sure. There’s certainly a couple of moments that I think really helped push me on with photography. The first moment was my first photgraphy tour. It was a tour around Kerry for a few days with Bernard. There were a few photographers on the tour that were much more advanced than me and I learned so much from just listening to them and watching how they worked. How to manually focus properly, using different aspect ratios, working out the best exposure times, blending multiple images, composition. The best education though was just watching how an experienced photographer works. The planning that goes into choosing a location and why. And always having a plan B. That tour sparked easily the biggest jump in the quality of my own photography personally. I’m no Marc Adamus but now I was confident enough to get going on my own little trips and be able to research things properly like the weather, position of the sun, tide times etc. All that seems elementary now but when you don’t know it – it’s daunting.
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?
I don’t have a particular favourite. It would probably be one that I remember went to plan. I have a sunrise shot from Warrenpoint I’m pretty pleased with. Got up during the middle of the night. Drove 2 hours to Warrenpoint praying that sunrise would be good and it was better than good. It feels like a reward for effort every time I look at that shot. And it’s a good memory of a great days shooting with Keith Arkins and Chris Trainor. Other than that I recently took a shot in Shannonbridge that I’m very happy with because I had it planned out in my head before I travelled. Where the sun would set, where I would set up the camera, my camera settings etc and it worked out pretty much exactly how I wanted. The payoff for forward planning in Landscape photography can be huge (Just as long as a rogue cloud doesn’t come and spoil everything).