I’m an original ‘Derry Girl ‘ – even went to the school that the Channel 4 series is based on so the humour resonates with me! I was very sporty at school and have always loved the great outdoors – as kids in Derry we were always swimming in the sea in Donegal though I haven’t taken up sea swimming in Dublin….. yet!
Moved to Dublin over 30 years ago for work and family reasons. And although I was desk bound at work, my love of hiking and sailing was nurtured here. I live in South Dublin so I’m close to both the coast and the Dublin / Wicklow mountains. I was grateful for that during the various Covid lockdowns as I could still photograph the coast ….though the novelty of shooting those famous chimneys was wearing thin.
What was your path to becoming a Landscape Photographer & What was your first camera?
What was your favourite Landscape Adventure Story since becoming a Photographer?
Being an admirer of Ansel Adams, I really wanted to go to Yosemite National Park and shoot there so I planned a trip for February 2020. Luckily I have a daughter who lives in California which, by US standards, is pretty close to Yosemite.
So my husband and I set off from LA in our rented car, stopping in Fresno to pick up the compulsory snow chains for the car. The Yosemite park rangers can stop you and fine you if you don’t have them with you. My husband kept pointing out that there was no sign of snow so why did we have to spend 100 dollars on snow chains but I wasn’t deterred by the lack of snow in Fresno. By the time we hit the southern entrance to the park, there really was no snow anywhere so we were able to drive straight to our accommodation without the need for snow chains. In the morning, we headed into Yosemite valley to be told that there had been a very early thaw that year and little prospect of more snow in the next week or so. The knock on effect of this was there was no and I mean zilch water on Horse Tail Falls so the phenomena was never going to happen in 2020. Despite this, we drove past scores of photographers every evening around sunset with their long lenses pointed towards the falls. Not sure what they were expecting?
So much for planning my trip in February!
What was your worst in-the-field experience as a landscape Photographer?
I’ve had a few of these over the years but recently myself and another photographer Olive Gaughan were with renowned photographer John Hooton shooting a Kerry beach at dawn. The tide was going out so we left our backpacks at a safe distance on the beach, something I never usually do. The light was breaking beautifully so we got totally absorbed in taking our shots. Suddenly John shouted a warning, freak wave was breaking, we literally ran back with our cameras and tripods but alas, the wave got to the backpacks first. They were floating when we got to them. I couldn’t believe I had been so stupid. Such a basic mistake. Spent the rest of the morning trying to dry everything out and get the sand out of the backpacks. Thankfully nothing was damaged, lesson relearned and I’ll never get complacent again about a retreating tide….
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?
What equipment / Setup are you currently using?
Top Tip for anyone starting out?
Best Advise you’ve personally been given?
Who is your favourite Irish photographer at the moment ?
However the person who stood out for me this year is professional photographer Daragh Muldowney. Daragh produced a book called Beacons which is the culmination of 3 incredible trips to Lake Baikal in Siberia. The artwork and layout of the book is quite stunning – definitely the best Irish produced photography book I have seen this year.
Further afield, I have just read Jimmy Chin’s There and Back Photographs from the Edge book & was blown away by his stories and images. Stunning