Irish Professional Photographer’s Association Awards 2017
I was blown away to become Landscape Photographer of the Year at the 2017 IPPA Awards held in the fabulous Carton House. Somehow I have received IPPA Awards in various disciplines since joining in late 2009. I like to think I am a versatile photographer and I guess having become Architectural, Fine Art, Commercial and now Landscape Photographer of the year illustrates that. Each discipline influences the other and helps me create what I believe are quite unique images for my clients.
Here you can see the 4 images which were part of my winning panel and how some of them look printed and finished. All 4 can be bought as limited edition Prints. Click the images to see them in my Shop.
I just got great news. I was accepted into the RHA annual exhibition for the 5th time for my photo from a horse Stud not so creativly titled “Horse Rugs, Stud Farm 1”. Delighted. It is always a challenge getting accepted into what is Ireland’s top selected Exhibition. The 1.3m wide photo is printed on beautiful Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl Paper, mounted on Dibond, laminated with a clear protective laminate and finished with a beautiful stained solid Ash Tray Frame. The look and finish of the Ash Tray Frame is stunning. I have been using it on the last number of dibond pictures. I work closely with my printer to select a stain that works perfectly with the subject matter of the photo.
The exhibition will take place in the RHA from 23 May to 12 August 2017. Please do pop in and have a look. You can also check the photo here in my online shop.
A Dublin Landmark photographed before it’s redevelopment
Boland’s Mills, Grand Canal Dock in Dublin is a well known landmark, located on the corner of Ringsend Road and Barrow Street. As is obvious in the name it is a former Flour Mill which was once owned by the Boland family. Boland’s bakery was located nearby in what is now the Nama Building on Grand Canal Street Lower. Both sites were occupied by De Valera and his forces during the 2016 Easter Rising. The bakery was actually De Valera’s headquarters!
The Boland’s Mills site is comprised of concrete silos on the Ringsend Road side, which were built between the 1940’s and 1960 and an older protected brick building from the 1800’s on the Barrow Street side.
The mill ceased production in 2001. Since than it has remained derelict. However, soon it will be completely redeveloped into a major new development of offices and apartments to serve the thriving Grand Canal Dock Quarter. The brick building will be preserved. While the more recent silos will be demolished.
Boland’s Mills is an austere structure that allways fascinated me. It stands proud along the water way and makes a real statement to it’s modern slick neighbours. You either love it or hate it. I always thought it could make a great cultural centre like the Tate in London. It reminds of Berlin somehow. Looking very much like some of the clubs I used to go to. E-Verk certainly comes to mind. :o)
I was delighted to get the chance to photograph a serious of fine art industrial photos of the inside of the site recently before they are demolished. I knew very little about the inside. I found some photos online in my research but it was still pretty much an unknown entity before entering. The place was amazing I have to say. Some of the spaces were like a movie set. From the insane concrete forms in the ceiling, located in the flour store area to the offices frozen in time. I have to say it is the first time I photographed somewhere with surgical gloves. I think every pigeon in Dublin has at some stage frequented the place!
I was delighted with the end result and well worth the visit. I love visiting these old sites. You get such a sense of it’s history and the past.
Photos in a Dublin Residential Development – A Fresh Approach in Ireland
Recently I was commissioned by architects to supply 4 large photos in a Dublin Residential Development. It was a new and refreshing approach by our client, which I have not previously experienced in Ireland.
I like most people live in an urban environment. I currently live in the same apartment since 2008. I barely know my neighbours. I barely know anyone’s name in the complex. Occasionally our paths meet in the lift or on the Landing. This usually involves a bit of small talk. Of course I’m Irish so somehow the weather always sneaks it’s way into our brief conversations! Beyond that, there are no interactions. We know pretty much nothing about each other.
This is in stark contrast to my earlier youth, growing up In County Sligo. Some of my best and oldest friends were my neighbours.
But what was the fresh approach. The owners of a Residential Development in Central Park, Leopardstown decided to create a really cool communal area where the residents and tennants could interact and actually get to know each other. There is a gym, chill our area, a work area (if you must), a games room with fussball, games console, snooker table TV area and a children’s play area. Even a large kitchen and dining area where groups of people could come together over a meal.
I was so impressed with our client’s approach. Of course it makes perfect sense from their point of view. It would be a huge incentive for new tenants and owners to choose this property and it brings a little humanity into the daily lives of the inhabitants. It’s so easy for people to feel lost in a city. I believe this is something very positive which can only be encouraged.
In addition to providing these facilities, the client also decided to display a number of art pieces around the common areas. Having photographic art or any art for that matter around you greatly improves the quality of life in the workplace or home. Included in their selection were 4 of my my Photos. All were large pieces, printed on Durst Lambda Photographic Paper and mounted on high grade scratch resistant Acrylic. The largest image was a 5 x 1.2m high forest panoramic photo of the stunning Gougane Barra Forest Park. At this size you are transported to the scene almost as if you are there. A perfect piece for it’s chosen location.
I’m still on cloud nine after winning 4 awards at the 2015 National IPPA awards on Sunday night. It was a fantastic evening and the IPPA should be proud to have such a wonderful pool of talented photographers in multiple disciplines. I won architectural and Commercial/Advertising Photographer of the year as well as best singled image in both categories. For anyone that is interested here are the panels of 4 images in both categories as well as the best single image in each.
The 1st 4 images are from the winning Commercial/ Advertising portfolio. All are from the amazing Guinness Storehouse. The 1st image is the best single image in Commercial/ Advertising
The 4 images you see below are from the winning Architectural Portfolio. 2 are from the Guinness Storehouse and 2 are from a beautiful house I photographed for the very talented Darmody Architects. The 1st image is also the winning best single image in the Architecture Category.
If you would like to check out my galleries of the 2 projects than just click here for The Guinness Storehouse and here for the house by Darmody Architects.
The first house in Din Lapghaire is very close to my home my home and it was the 1st time I used my Sony A7r. Since thing I have photographed almost all my architectural work on this fantastic camera. It is a completely revamped old industrial building. It was converted to a lovely multi level contemporary home with a terrace looking over the roof tops in Dun Laoghaire.
The 2nd project shown on Room to Improve was a beautifully restored old school house in Kiltiernan County Dublin. It included a lovely timber clad contemporary extension. It is always great to see a beautifully restored old structure and it’s a perfect example of how the traditional and contemporary can coexist hand in hand.
The last house I photographed was a fascinating 1970’s rural home near Mullingar. It had already a lot of architectural merit and just needed to be brought into the 21st century to compliment the lovely existing lines in the home.
It was great fun seeing the homes I photographed on tv and was interesting to see how the guys on Room to Improve filmed the projects.
An Animal Feed Plant in Meath. A Treasure Trove for Fine Art Photos!
I photographed a forest in County Meath earlier this year. I had a great days shooting. I was happy with the knowledge that I got the shot that I wanted. I packed my bags and drove off in the dark. I only drove a few hundred meters from the woodland exit and I drove past some sort of industrial building. A large door was open enough that I was able to get glimpse at what was inside, just with my peripheral vision as I drove past. I slammed on the brakes and reversed. I sat there with a feeling of electricity running through my veins. I knew looking through the gap in the door that this place was a treasure trove full of potential for fine art photos. I felt an instant connection to the place. I could not quite understand why. However shyness took the better of me. I felt awkward that I would be intruding. So I drove off. A couple of hundred meters later I slammed on the brakes. I turned around. I stopped the car. I turned around again to go home. I stopped the car. I said to Hell with it and I went back. I shyly walked inside the building from the dark and saw a lone man driving a fork lift. I explained who I was and would he mind if I photographed his amazing Shed! He looked at me a bit bemused. Probably thinking I was let out for the day.
The man was Robert. He is the owner of the company. Thanks to his kind generosity I ended up spending 3 Sundays photographing this amazing building full of dials and knobs and pipes and all sorts of machinery like from a science fiction movie. I loved every minute of it. For me they are some of my most rewarding photos that I’ve every taken. You might think they are stupid and pointless but I love them. I could sense there was so much history, life, memories, love, blood, sweeat and tears tied into this place and it was a pleasure to capture a series of fine art photos of an amazing industrial Location. Thanks Ropert. :o)
I’m supplying a lot of commissioned high resolution image licenses to Corporate Clients these days. New clients come to me when they want something above and beyond what’s available from stock libraries. Often clients have a specific scene which they would like photographed. The image will have a predetermined aspect ratio due to it’s proposed location. The aspect ratio is often huge. I’ve supplied images up to 13 x 3m high! In fact that’s what got me started on my forest panoramics.
The level of detail possible with my hasselblad medium format Digital Back combined with the amazing resolving power of my hand built Schneider and Rodenstock lenses is incredible. My latest super wide panoramics have the equivalent resolution of a 250 megapixel medium format camera! But I don’t just stop there. Instead of just supplying an image file way smaller than the printed image like you get with stock libraries, I size the image using advanced algorithms to the output size. I than sharpen the image at the output size so you get the absolute highest quality image possible.
Printing of High Resolution Image Licenses
The quality of the image is also dependent on the printer. I can of course just supply the finished image file to the client but I also give the option of supplying the actual printed image, where I would work with the guys in the Copperhouse. The Copperhouse can even instal the image for the client. This removes all the stress from the client and they can be assured of the highest possible quality during every step of the process.
The images can be printed on a wide choice of media, including Wallpaper, Vinyl, Dibond and best of all Acrylic for the real wow factor.
It’s really hard to get the point across about the level of detail with words so I thought it was better to upload a recent image along the Dublin Quays which you can view here. The printed image will be 12.7 x 2.6m high! The image is still only a fraction of the original file but it gives you an idea of the immersive detail achieved.
I’m also attaching a preview of the image below as well as some other images where I was commissioned to shoot specific locations and supply high resolution image licenses.
Recently I took a series of architectural photos of a beautiful home in Dublin for the very talented Darmody Architecture. It consists of a beautifully restored Georgian House and a brand spanking new stone clad extension. The existing house has a lovely classical style and the character of the building has been preserved very tastefully. Much of the internal surfaces in the contemporary extension are finished with fair faced concrete. I LOVE fair faced concrete and there are some wonderful examples of it in the house. The windows and large sliding door offer a great view back to the spacious garden and the stone cladding matches the tones of the existing facede. A beautiful home indeed.
I love taking dusk photos of the buildings I photograph. It’s the one time (or second if you want to wake everyone up at 5!) of the day when you can visually open up the inside to the outside and makes the building come alive. It appears almost as a living entity. The light levels inside and out even out during the magic hour as long as the internal lighting is turned. It becomes possible to peek inside the building and see how it works from the outside.
You can see more examples here of Darmody Architecture on their website.
This summer I was commissioned by Diageo to photograph the Guinness Storehouse. Located at James’s Gate in Dublin City Centre, it’s one of the most iconic structures in Ireland. In fact it’s the most visited tourist destination in the country. Photographing the building was a dream come through. The lighting is very subdued in the building and shooting was quite challenging. The client required a full set of marketing photos encompassing architectural photos as well as photos of the visitor experience throughout the Site. Most shooting was carried out of opening hours to have the building free to myself. I used my architectural, fine art and commercial photography experience to produce images which capture the raw character of the building. The guys at Diageo have been amazing and supportive. A dream client. I enjoyed every minute of shooting the place.
Guinness of course is an institution in Ireland and the Storehouse is well worth a visit. Especially the Connoisseur Bar where you can get probably the best tasting Guinness on the planet! Here is a link to the Storehouse in case you want to find out more about it.
For the first time I used a 35mm camera system. Mainly a Sony A7r and Canon Tilt Shift lenses. I also occasionally used a Canon EOS 5D Mark iii when shooting hand held model shots. I must say the Sony A7r was a delight to use. The electronic viewfinder was a revelation coming from shooting with the Hasselblad H3D and it’s terrible screen. The quality of the sensor, the incredible dynamic range and the portability of this tiny camera (and I mean TINY) is amazing. Shooting with the Hasseblad on a view camera would not have been possible on this project, simply because of the short shooting windows I had to photograph the place. Speed and a view camera do not go hand in hand! Plus the subdued lighting suited the Sony better. I could use higher iso when required and the higher dynamic range really suited the subject. I did miss using the view camera shooting the project and was great to get to use it again recently.
Here you can see more photos of the project in my portfolio gallery