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?
It was an amazing trip from start to finish – it was July with sunset around 1am and sunrise around 4am so we typically slept from around breakfast until lunchtime and then spent the rest of the time photographing. One particular night stands out though and that was the trip to one of the islands, Kalsoy. We got a late evening ferry across but there’s no accommodation there (or there wasn’t back then). So we drove up to the tip of the island and hiked to the famous Kallur Lighthouse for sunset. There’s quite a thin ridge over to the viewpoint and on either side there are massive, must be 500m drops into the ocean. We had all watched Mads Peter Iversen’s Faroe videos before we went and he says at this point ‘if you slip, you die’ – so we all had that in our heads as we walked across (or in Alistair’s case, bum shuffled). After sunset, surrounded by puffins, we just slept on the headland until sunrise when we had a Faroese beer and the whole experience was just amazing. It was real edge of the world type stuff and I’d go back in a heartbeat. It was also funny because Chris kept being attacked by small birds which he described as ‘birds of prey’, but that was overstating it somewhat…
What was your worst in-the-field experience as a landscape Photographer?
Sunrise or Sunset & Why?
I’d have always said sunrise, 100%. Quieter roads, less people, more chance of reflections with less wind, more chance of frost, ice and snow…just a nicer, more peaceful time to be out and about – and still with the whole day ahead of you. I’ve done most of my photography at sunrise as when Erin was younger it was easiest for me to get out and take photos whilst everyone else was asleep.
As I get older though, sunset becomes more appealing….!
But no. It’s still sunrise. Final answer.
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?
I think it’s probably ‘take less photos’ – it’s linked to the past answer – but it’s all about being more deliberate and considered, rather than scatter-gun and rushed. There’s sometimes a place for the latter – but if you can avoid it, do. The other one is ‘always revisit locations and get to know them’ – it does make a difference – you can see it in people’s photographs and compositions – if it’s somewhere they know and really understand, it comes across.
Who is your biggest inspiration as a Landscape Photographer?
I don’t think there’s one in particular – but there’s maybe a certain style I like. I’m all for epic vistas and locations so the likes of your Mads Peter Iversen’s etc are great to look at – but actually the ones I enjoy most are the photographs which you can ‘apply’ to our local landscape for inspiration – maybe more accessible types of location. There’s no point looking at a 3,500m high pointy mountain and thinking ‘how could I apply that to Ireland’, but there are some photographers, like Bruce Percy, where their style can be applied to our local landscapes. I saw him talk at a presentation in Bangor, County Down and he really inspired me to have compositions which went really low to the ground – there was one stood out from the Bolivian Altiplano, a detailed foreground with sand patterns and then distant mountains. The closest thing I could think of was Murlough Beach with the Mournes behind – so a few days later I was down lying amongst the sand ripples at sunset trying to apply that style to our local landscape.
Who is your favourite Irish photographer at the moment?
Maybe this could be seen as a cop-out because he’s not as active as he once was – but it genuinely is, and always has been, Stephen Emerson. Outside groups on Flickr, Stephen was the first ‘proper’ local photographer I discovered – he seems to have a class shot of every class location in Ireland, and in class locations to boot. It looks like a completed bucket list of photos to me!