Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Slowly but surely this blog is drawing people in,people from all over the world.
The reason for this seems to be recommendation.
So I would ask you now at the top of this post,if you like what you see please use the sociable tab
to tweet or share this url on facebook or any other services.
Today I had one hundred referrals out of nowhere after someone from RTE tweeted this url.
On Saturday last I was visited by wall street journal (online) video journalist
who is touring europe making a series of reports about the economic recession.
He had been referred to my blog by the good people over at
although his motive was to find and interview a person in mortgage difficulty he spent over an hour filming an interview with me about my leaving dublin project and the people I had met in the last 7 months.
SO heres hoping I make it through the edit,and if I do I am visually well presented!

Last sunday I had the pleasure of making work in the centre of town with with a young Chinese lady
who is about to leave this country.
She was a close neighbor of mine and I watched her mother tend to her baby daughter in the local park or near to her house.
Her name is Ruochon Guan And she is returning to China after 9 years in Dublin.
Her young child who is a year and a half old moved back ahead of her last april with her grandmother.
Needles to say she can't wait to hold her again,and although she will miss Dublin town nothing will take from the joy of this reunion.
We wish her a happy flight and it was Indeed a pleasure working with this gentle person.
Hugh,and Artur lit up the scene whilst Gemma Geraghty filled with a little metz.
Big thanks to you all and a special thanks to Ruochon Guan
I have 3 shots lined up for the next 2 weeks so it looks like this project is heating up.
Its really holding my interest and I hope its working for all of you.
last week I also contacted by Email those photographers who expressed an interest in my type 55 polaroid project so watch this space for further developments.
Please comment as it will help shape my destiny!!(and content)

Friday, 17 September 2010


Wow,what a busy week that was.
There is no doubt that most of the population wished they where leaving Dublin this week
after the babblings of our Taoiseach.
What a guy!!
but he wont go away without a big sloppy fight,thats for sure!!
For me it was 4 trips to the 40 foot in Sandycove, Dublin,to case the scene for our latest caper.
Leaving us was Bernard Tyeres, A telecoms expert on his way to better things in London.
Let us wish him well!
this is some of what he had to say about leaving Dublin.

"I'll miss the good things about
Dublin (tasty Guinness, rashers, sausages, the 40ft Foot), but it's time to
experience some more of the world.
There are plenty of things I won't miss, but overtime I'm sure I'll forget them.
I'll be sad to be moving a little further away from my family, but in the world of
modern communications, I will probably be closer in some ways. And London
is only 50 minutes on a plane.

For me I have always had a love/hate relationship
with Dublin. When I wasn't here, I enjoyed coming back, when I was here, I
always enjoyed leaving.
Dublin has changed immensely in the past 11 years, in some ways good,
(walk down Grafton street and listen to the languages spoken, more cultural
differences, a change in mentality),and alot of ways bad (ridiculous property
developments, the whole Celtic tiger “I deserve it” mentality, living on credit,
terrible wastage of public monies, politicians continuing with the small-minded
attitudes), but it still has along way to go."

The 40 ft is surely one of the most magical locations used so far on this project.
The constant stream of air craft on flight path to dublin airport,
the ferries arriving and departing,
the bailey lighthouse flashing you every minute,
all of these things are screamiing for your attention,
but very quickly you are absorbed into the the environment and you loose your self in the beauty of this ancient secluded bathing place.
Whilst there I met fellow photographer Barry Delaney see his work here
Artur,and Brian again played a stormer,with Louise Roden coming along out of curiosity!
Don Sheehan helped put the final part of this work together.
To all of them, Bernard included, I am very grateful.
Big thanks Again to Noreen Bowden of Global Irish who has helped to shine a light on this blog and especially the Leaving Dublin project.
Thanks also to Darragh Shanahan for the lead on this one.
And Finally, lets hope Mr Cowan finds his way home!!
Please use the sociable buttons on the left to share tis content with your friends.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


Some time ago I alluded to a technical problem I was having re data storage and archiving.
Discs break down,they go faulty,you have to pay data recovery guys a small fortune to recover your stuff.
but all is not lost when its lost!!
Number one there is data rescue thats good for starters!!
Then there is a hard drive docking station,an invaluable device which allows you to mount an internal hard disk as an external device.
If you are buying an external drive please buy a unit which has a single drive inside.
If this goes faulty its most likely going to be the interface thats fried ,so you can break the case open and pop it into your docking station.
If its a unit with more than one drive
your fried electronics are the glue that holds this together as one device on your desktop and you cant
recover the drive unless you buy the same controller circuit(messy)
Raids,multiple disc arrays,are all the rage right now but with the advent of solid state drives we will all be changing our storage over in the next few years.
So right now we need a cheap and safe way of storing our data until the time comes to migrate it to the next standard.
my solution is the following.

Use Adobe lightroom as your file management system.

Store your files in one location on your home computer(a second internal 1tb or 500gb disc)

As a further backup plan you could also use a program such as disk tracker to record the contents of your disks for lightroom independent search purposes.

When the disk is full remove it from your machine.

clone the removed disc using a device such as the Integral copy station box it and label it and place it on a shelf.(Storing the copy in a safe location)

Install a fresh empty disk Name it and start over again following the same process.

If you need to revisit your archive to access a file Lightroom will tell you what disk the the file is on.
you then simply mount that disc in your desktop dock and hey presto you have access!!

With a1tb drive costing something like €60 this form of data archiving is pretty cheap relative to external raid devices,or other Archiving methods like the drobo or gtech gspeed.

To soften the blow of this techie posting I have included a beautiful picture from 1996 shot in a Dublin national school.
Its a shot of a simpler time when all photographic images could be put in a little sleeve and housed in a book.Again it shows the bravery of children when confronted with the unknown(in this case me!!)
It was shot on film,neopan 400 rated at 800 and processed in microphen.
the camera was a mamiya RZ using a wide angle lens(me and the subject were at fairly close quarters)
oh happier simpler days!!

To all my friends wishing to join me in the type 55 project now is the time to make your choices of images and to mail me your low res versions so I can see if we have a show(my gut feeling is we will have two!!)
get me at for this!!

I am back on the streets of Dublin next week for another Leaving dublin shot, so lets go!!
please use the sociable button on the left to share via facebook,twitter,and stumbleupon

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Some days life throws you a ball and you have to run with it.
Up till now most of the "leaving Dublin" process has taken at least a week to a week and a half to get together. The final work really benefits from the process of planning and consultation with the sitter.
last weekend however,I picked up a lead form the Gallery of photography facebook page and followed it on to find that the persons involved where away for the weekend and leaving for Australia(via south Africa) two days after they returned to dublin.
So thanks to mobile phone email and facebook contact I was able to chat to Rae about location,
scout it on sat,post pics on monday,and make a decision that nigh on a location.
Last evening We met for the first time at the Suir rd luas stop on the Grand Canal.
Rae Green and Her husband,Clay Crighten are heading back to clay's home town of Rockhampton Australia,stopping off at South Africa for 5 weeks along the way,for one last adventure.Then Its back to find a new home and try to build a quality life.The type that is difficult to carve out in a slowly stagnating Ireland at the moment!
Good luck and good fortune to you both It was a pleasure to work with you on your last assignment before the flight!!
Techniccally we took a slightly different tack than usual because of the location.
we used on snooted bowens light as our main light, a barn doored (improvised by Brian and Artur) pair of metz 45's from behind to give depth to the sitters(you gan see some higlights on clay's neck and Rae's cheek,they are subtle yet significant).
All this was combined with a shutter speed of 1 second to allow some burn in from the ambient lights.
then we added some small sharp details from a 10 second exposure for a little more depth.
After the final edit a bleach bypass filter set to 30% opacity was applied on a layer.SO THERE!!
As always Artur Sikora,and Brian daly took it all in their stride And Hugh Mc Cabe Arrived ahead of us to welcome Ray and Clay on set.