Cork

Gallery ICA

Gallery ICA

For some months now, a selection of my photos have been on display in Gallery ICA, a well situated gallery in the heart of Kinsale. I first got an email from Haydn Shaughnessy about a year ago, asking me if I’d be interested in displaying my work in his upcoming gallery. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity, as did several other artists including fellow photographer Donncha O Caoimh. The gallery started life in a very scenic spot overlooking the bay up in a building behind the Pink Elephant restaurant in Kilbrittan, but moved to it’s new home across from the yacht club (between the Trident hotel and Actons hotel) in Kinsale.

Gallery ICA

It’s great to see the photos finally hanging in well made frames, printed with the gracious assistance of Hewlett Packard, who gave the use of one of their first Z3100 12 ink printers in Ireland to Haydn for a couple of day’s of intense printing. The results were staggering. Up till then, I’d seen my photos printed at 30×20 inches. He printed a few test shots that were 4 feet high. That’s slightly surreal. I guess now I can start making wallpaper out of my photos!?!

Both the quality of the paper and the print itself speaks volumes. It’s all too easy to get digital photos printed today; Walk into any chemist and you can have any number of prints within an hour. It is still quite an art form (as far as I’m concerned anyway) to print properly and onto paper that compliments the type of print. The printing exercise with the HP Z3100 was a great success.

Gallery ICA

I won’t go on at length about the other artists in the gallery, I’ll leave it to you to take a trip down to Kinsale and pop into the gallery to have a look at the unique artwork. Finally, much credit is due to Haydn on the truly stellar amount of time and energy he’s put into both organising the creation and the ongoing operation of the gallery. I for one am hugely grateful for the exposure that having my prints there has allowed me and even more so because he actually sold a print of mine a couple of weeks ago! Here’s hoping for a long and busy Christmas shopping season!!

Fota Wildlife Park Meetup

For anyone interested in spending what could be an enjoyable day in a wildlife park shooting animals (in a good way of course), be at the front entrance of Fota Wildlife Park tomorrow morning at 11am. Bring your zoom.

Ray Lamontagne in the Opera House

Recently (as recent as last week) went to see Ray Lamontagne play to a full house in Cork’s Opera House. It definitely does, even if it’s a bit late and half-assed, deserve a mention. I’d been of the opinion for some time that he’d put on a great live show if the albums are anything to go by. Couldn’t have been more right. Our seats were front and slightly right of center, perfect as far as I was concerned but lacking in legroom according to my significant other.

Ray was preceded by a performance by Leona Naess who was just the ticket and complimented nicely the performance to come. I and I’m sure many people in the audience were surprised how soft spoken Ray actually is, given the unbelievable sound he’s capable of making. After the first couple of songs, I started to wonder if he’d interact with the audience at all, or so a recent article on him would have had me believe. He thanked the gathered masses profusely for generous applause, made some jokes and overall remained hugely polite. All that despite a few people in the audience that I think would have liked to reorganise his chosen play list.

All to be expected with a boisterous Corkonian crowd however and that of course is half the charm of going to a gig in Cork. It was an amazing gig with amazing talent from both the main man himself and his band. I can only imagine he went onto Limerick the following evening and played to yet another capacity crowd. Before anyone asks, yes; I’ve been kicking myself quite hard since the gig last Thursday that I didn’t bring my camera. Front row and all. Could have gotten some amazing shots (maybe) but I decided not to chance it as I didn’t really feel like getting booted out of the Opera House. That didn’t seem to bother the rest of the crowd, who’s flashes lit up the room throughout the whole gig. Ahh, it’ll do me no harm to have one night without the ol’ camera!

Mountain Trek

The unnamed waterfall
A Bit Bigger

Almost. More of a trek by car. Started in Kenmare, home of the fish & chips I’d been hearing about. Home of the most expensive fish & chips in Ireland. Bah! From there down the mountain road to Bantry and through my favorite tunnel, straight through the mountain. The photo doesn’t do it justice by half.

Hole in the mountain #3

Instead of going straight around the normal ol’ boring path into Glengarriff, we took the turn off to a small townland down in the valley. Then, back up the valley to the super remote Barley Lake. Quite literally on top of a mountain. Great spot for fishing, but pack the wellies!

Barley Lake

The walk from the ‘car park’ is interesting and very long. That’ll go some way toward explaining why I don’t have any shots closer to the lake. Combination of no wellies and horribly lazyness. From there onto the location of the top photo, the unnamed waterfall. There was a mountain walk adjacent to the waterfall path called ‘Esknamucky’ so if pushed I could apply that title, but I won’t. Only a short walk from the parking area and definately worth a visit. Stopped by there just as darkness approached so managed to get some decent long exposure shots despite leaving the neutral density filter in the car. D’oh!

Stream

As you might expect, there are more of this kind of thing on flickr. The same flickr that I’ve now exceeded 4,000 photos and 50,000 views. Phew! Seems like alot of work has gone into it…

BarCamp Ireland

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Held last weekend at the new WebWorks building near the city hall, Cork. The whole thing seemed to come off very well, a huge success by all accounts. Lots of familliar faces there, most of which I’ve photographed and stuck up on flickr. I ended up arriving late and leaving early due to poor organisation (and being wickedly tired) but managed to take most of it in anyway.

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The WebWorks building is quite impressive, if a little devoid of tenants at the moment. Anyway, the rest of the photos I took that day are up on flickr. Well, some of the photos I took are anyway.

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Cork & Cameras, a bewildering mix

Ok, so ya get the expensive stuff on the internet because you’re saving money, right? You get the small fiddly bits locally, because you can and because the rip-off Ireland phenomenon doesn’t screw you over as much as it would with say a camera body or a lens. So if you need a filter or a battery, a memory card or even a lens cap you can pretty much just walk straight in off the street and get it. Unless you live in Cork it seems.

Without mentioning any names, even though it’s blatantly obvious, it’s impossible to get alot of the smaller inexpensive stuff in Cork. Three times now I’ve been foiled in my attempts to get insignificant bits & pieces and it’s a case of three strikes, you’re out. First time was a filter, second time a couple of lens caps and most recently, this weekend I tried to get an off shoe flash cord. Sounds hugely technical but in reality it’s only a cord that connects a flashgun to a hot-shoe on the top of the camera. In other words, something that every shop should stock. Ok so maybe one shop might be out of stock, but all three??? I was even told in one shop that they’d have to order it in and didn’t have a clue how long it’d take. That normally means at least 2+ weeks.

Considering I can get pretty much anything I’ll ever be looking for within 3 days from ebay, it leaves me truly quizzed that anyone would bother to even try local shops anymore. In fact, if enough people were introduced to the ebay ways and means, would it spell the demise of local shops altogether? If I was to mount a part-time protest, could I possibly encourage these shops to stock up or die off?

When you think about it, what do they do?

  • Sell consumer point & shoot cameras
  • Sell pro-sumer cameras, dslr’s and the like
  • Sell pro level cameras
  • Sell accessories for all of the above
  • Bits and pieces like lenses, tripods
  • Print photos
  • Give advice to customers

So, with the exception of the last two items, everything else can be had on ebay for a fraction of the price. I’ve found that at least 75% of the time, a local shop will have to ‘order in’ the item you’re looking for. That means a wait of at least 1 week, often more. So, on an expensive item (like my lens on the right) I can save around €1k and get it into my hands in 3 days. As for getting prints, I always use Photobox. They’re significantly cheaper than anything I’ve ever found locally, can be just as quick and are 100% perfect quality. Advice? Has anyone ever gotten any useful advice in a local shop? Anything that couldn’t be found with just a few clicks on google? No, I thought not. With all this in mind, why would anyone shop locally? Why why why?!?

I would simply love to start importing camera gear and selling it at below Irish retail to anyone interested. Take rip-off Ireland outside and give it a swift kick in the family jewels. I’d even go as far as publishing a price list in the local media. For example, take a common photojournalist camera, the Canon 1D Mark II N. In Ireland, you’re looking at €4,000 ish. That’s a pretty conservative estimate too.. Or, from ebay, a smidge under €3,000.

So, anyone want anything?

Surf School

Surf School

Possibly one of my favorite shots. Printed and framed a load of shots recently and for some reason I keep looking at this one. For some reason I love it. Such a lucky shot. Was taken leaving Inchidoney on a bitterly cold day; just about to get into the car and spotted this over my shoulder. Delving into the bowels of flickr to get to this one, a good sign that I’ll have to post some new photos soon.

UCC

Saturday night/Sunday morning. UCC. Sigma 10-20. That is all.

The Presidents Office

Crane

The Crest

Back Alley #1

More here.

A Small bit of Saturday evening excitement

I stress, a small bit… It’s not exactly the great fire of London or a scene from a Hollywood movie, but anyone familiar with Douglas (Cork) will probably know that on the Carrigaline road there are a couple of abandoned houses used regularly by ‘youngsters’ for the purposes of ‘gatting’. Well, now there’s one less…


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Snapped quickly before the Gardaí arrived and gave me a short, sharp lesson on pissing off. Nothing too dramatic, more to find out where the plume of smoke was coming from that suddenly wafted in front of the house while I was watching TV and browsing eBay. It begs the question, how much longer until the next abandoned house gets the same treatment? A few more of these.

Midleton Show

It’s all a bit horsey (and poney..ey). From a few Sunday’s ago just outside Midleton in Cork. A few of the more select shots from the day.

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Stinky Breath?

Stubborn

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Jiminy Jillickers, I just realised it’s been ages since I posted much. I put that down to the fact that I’ve been out taking photos for ages and am only now getting chance to sit down and process them. Until I get chance to post more, there are alot more of this event on flickr. Enjoy!