Sunday, 24 October 2010


You may remember in a previous post I alluded to the fact that I was a very capable printer of all photographic and high end artistic projects. Recently I have been involved in 2 projects which have and will be the subject of much media coverage. So, I just wanted to get this off my chest and state it for the record that I did all of the printing for the current show in the National Photographic Archive in Meeting House Square Dublin and about 40 prints for the 20th anniversary show in IMMA also in Dublin

The show in the National Photo Archive is called Power and Privilege and documents the central position held by the big house in irish society from the early days of photography right up to the withdrawal of the British state from the 26 counties that now form the Republic of Ireland(1858-1922).
It is a fascinating collection of images and its power is greatly helped by the presentation.
During the preparation of the exhibition I worked very closely with the curatorial team in making key decisions about sizing, paper type and the means of production. Most of the work came straight from glass negatives and was processed by photographing the plate on a lightbox with the Amazing Hasselblad h3d 50 and the totally sharp Hasselblad H Series HC Macro 120mm f/4. The work was then optimised by pulling it through phocus (hasselblads capture software) then into photoshop for batch inversion from negative to positive, then into lightroom for fine tuning and on into silver fx pro for final adjustments and toning.

This all sounds fairly straight forward but there is one extra ingredient in the mix that some misguided individuals don't value too much these days! And that is the human touch of deep experience.You can't come to photo processing from a standing start and get it right just because you have the right gear, and the tools are only of real value to those who know and understand their true depth. I have worked with glass plates for some 14 years and I know what I am looking at and this has been a major contribution to the look and success of this show (but it is actually invisible and this is how it should be). If you want to see good reproductions from glass plates and small original prints this show is a must.

The Moderns is a huge undertaking by the Staff and Friends of IMMA at Kilmainham and draws from the core collections of IMMA but includes works from other collections like the National Museum, National Library and the Hugh Lane Gallery. Again I was delighted to be asked to shoot and print the works from the National Photographic Archive and some works from the archives of Dublin's various architectural practices. If you are considering hiring me to do your printing, the works in IMMA that I have printed are the following: Six photographs shot by Elinor Wiltshire, four by Fergus Bourke and five prints from the Roger Casement collection. Also in the design section I made some 25 prints from various architects back catalogue these include shots of RTE, Busaras, Ard Na Crusha. etc.

Bye the bye if you are into original vintage photographic prints there is a real treat for you in the Gallery of photography also on meeting house square.
The collectors Eye is an amazing exhibition which give great insight into one mans quest for the greatest
photographs of Irish interest and beyond.Sean Sexton(the collector in question) is a man with great passion for all the emotions a photograph can convey,I met him one night in the gallery a few nights before the opening,and I was blown away by his huge aura and enthusiasm for all things photographic.
It should be up for 3 more weeks or so,so don't miss it.

So to finish this post and get to the point,I am still trying to pull together a type 55 exhibition for next summer.See some of my here
I had a good response to an appeal for contributors but I am still waiting for work from all but one of those who showed an interest.
The Idea is to marry my skill in scanning and printing to put together a memorable show of the finest photographs in this medium,representing Ireland ,Europe and the U.S.A.All in homage to this fine and now,never to be revived films.Probably one of the best tools for expression in black and white photography
I am hoping this post will jog some memories or indeed catch some users of this film's attention and send them my way.
There is no structure or theme to this show save that of the beauty that exists within the frame of a sheet of type 55. If you feel you have some good examples of this please contact me at
I really want to get this post to a maximum amount of Artists using this medium so PLEASE,PLEASE
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Thank you!

Monday, 18 October 2010


Aside from those forced to leave Dublin in the recent months please bear a thought for those who have left in order to see another side to life. Only to find that things
have changed so much here since their departure that there would be no prospects of employment if they wished to return!
This weekend I met Trish O Gorman and Stephen Gill,A couple who left Ireland a year and a half ago,shortly after their wedding,to sample life in Sydney Australia.
It looks like they will be there for some time yet as things will not be good for a return home for some years to come.
Heres what Trish had to say about the experience,
"We had both spent time in Australia previously. I backpacked there for a year when I was 21 and Stephen had been there a couple of times to visit his brother who lives in Sydney. It's somewhere we both loved and we thought it would be nice to go and live somewhere new for a few years so Sydney was an easy choice!

I work in Public Relations and Stephen works for a Civil Engineering company

We left Dublin in January 2009 and have lived in Sydney since April 2009. We were happy to leave when we did as it was something we had planned. We do miss friends and family back home though. We've been back twice since we left and really enjoy visiting home again and spending time in Dublin catching up with old faces and places.We really love life in Sydney and the outdoorsy, fun and laid-back lifestyle that goes with it. That's not to say that Dublin isn't somewhere we'd consider living again in the future however as we both love the city. I had lived here for ten years before we left and could definitely see myself living here again."
thanks again to Artur Sikora and Hugh mc Cabe who lit up the night again and fought off the Stoneybatter foxes!!
Thanks to Jeannie Wenham for putting me in touch with Trish and Stephen.
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Friday, 15 October 2010


Before I start there are some thank you's I have got to say!!
Big thanks to Andy Jordan for being so kind to me with his video edit!
you can see his wall street journal online piece on Ireland here
Big thanks to Noreen Bowden of globalirish for putting my name out there
Big thanks to photoireland festival for the banner headline on their blog
Big thanks to Daniel Scully for connecting me with the people in IMMA last week (perfect timing)
Big thanks Johanne Mullan for taking time out in a very busy week to organise security clearance at IMMA for us.
Big thanks to Kim Haughton for putting Jonas my way.
And big thanks to Artur Sikora for shining the light so right!!

It was a pure delight to have to scout a location in the grounds of IMMA, at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Autumn was in the air and leaves and conkers were all around, the sun was low and every inch of the formal garden exuded beauty. So I made several shots thinking about the final composition and where my sitter Jonas Voss was going to sit within.
On my way back up from the garden I was drawn to a piece of limestone sculpture and noticed it position relative to a stairwell. Although very obvious and literal I saw this stairwell as a fitting route for the exit of the sitter after he had performed on the stage here in Dublin.
I shared this thought with Jonas and after reviewing my tests he agreed with me that it was the place to do this shot.
Jonas hails from Copenhagen capital city of Denmark, it was a pleasure meeting and working with him after our email banter!
He is moving to London one of the big destinations for departers of these shores. Google was his employer here and from the following I feel he is moving to the London office. So here is what he had to say..

"No one lives 5 years somewhere without getting it under your skin, and as you realize you are about to leave, you start noticing what you appreciate about the place, and the things you'll miss. I never planned on being here for 5 years, and initially arrived thinking I'd stay here for 11 months on a contract. My time here has always felt a bit temporary because of that I guess.

I'm moving to London, which is great, but I'll miss the compact nature of Dublin. Everything is around the corner here, which I really like. I'll also miss the laid back attitude, the optimism, and the friendliness of the citizens of Dublin, they certainly made my 5 years here worth it.

I've really enjoyed the musical and cultural scene in Dublin, I've never been to so many, and such diverse concerts in my life, and seen artists that would never come through Copenhagen, so that has been a treat.

I'm happy to call Dublin a place I know, and can feel comfortable in.

I'll be working in technical operations in sales, sort of a minor geek role you could call it.
I've always enjoyed coming to IMMA, I think it's a great exhibition space in the city, and not least for the garden outside. Few museums has great outdoor areas where you can sit before you take in the art inside, or where you can have a sit afterwards, and digest the impressions, while looking at symmetry of the place. The place has a certain tranquilizing effect on me".

As mentioned above Artur Sikora iluminated proceedings and Kim Haughton caught it all on camera!!
Once more I say Big thanks to all (especially all who have read till the end)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Oscar makes the arrangements by phone!

To start I have to say sorry to Jana Andrew,and especially to Oscar.
When I left them last tuesday night I told them I would be editing the next morning as I was expecting a call re work later that day!
Well I started to edit and the phone rang at about  eleven o'clock and i haven't had a minute to myself till now
Could this be the start of the recovery we have all being waiting for?
I don't think so,but its great to be busy again if only for a little while!
So its late sunday night/monday morning and I am delighted to say this edit has worked out well 
and shows Andrew Wilson, Jana Vourgourakis,and Oscar wilson,all of who are leaving any day now to return to Los Angeles.
For the adults of this party its a return home but for little Oscar its a trip into the unknown.
 Living in Dublin has been his longest stay in any city  so far,so Los angeles is going to have to show him parks at least as good as St Stephens green and the Ivy gardens,(both just across the road from where they have lived for the last year).
Jana picked Camden lane as the set for this shot as she enjoyed playing here with Oscar on their way to and from town.That said it has a different feel to it at night as it is right beside a couple of nightlubs and a large bar
Although they knew on arrival that they would be only here for 1 year both Jana and Andrew really enjoyed living and working in Dublin and are sad to leave it.
I wish them the best of luck back home and hope that their life journey takes them back here again so as Dublin can benefit once more from their company!!
Brian Daly,Artur Sikora,and Hugh McCabe lit up the night,whilst several happy dubliners passed us by on their way here and there!! 
Remember for the purely visual you can trip over to my viewbook portfolio site where I have a page dedicated to this project (among others)
Thanks for stopping by and please comment and share this page via the sociable buttons on the right!!

Friday, 8 October 2010


If you have stopped here before you may remember I was interviewed by a roving american reporter by the name of Andy Jordan.
Andy works for the Wall Street Journal online edition,and recently he took a tour of Europe to make a series of short films about the current European economic depression.
Last week he published the firs of these reports, a piece on Spain online click here to see it.
In the course of our interview we talked about my current leaving dublin project and how it relates to the current economic situation.Whilst here he also talked to trinity college economists the minister for finance,and amongst others, one of my portrait subject Bernard Tyeres.
After this experience my hopes are manifold.They are as follows
1 I make it past the first edit.
2.I did not misrepresent myself as a result of nerves
3.My images are used to illustrate the piece.and
4. my work receives a boost in traffic and this results in benefits including new work!!

 In preparation for this I have put together a view book site.
Its meant to be an online portfolio and I am hoping to use it as a bounce along with this blog.
The aim I suppose is to give readers a little bit more depth, and a way for me to show the purely visual side to work without all the text that comes with the here or on the main title above to access the site and enjoy.The shot above is featured on the site in a gallery called type 55.
Myself Artur,Brian,and Hugh were out on the street again last tuesday,but editing is slow due to work load.
I hope to post the final image over the weekend.
please comment on the site and let me know if there are weaknesses and /or strenghts
OH it all helps!! believe me!
thanks david

Friday, 1 October 2010


There is no doubt about it this country definitely shut down over two years ago.
Most in business believed it was a short term thing and all would be good again pretty soon.
But hey you and me, the guys trying to make it on a weekly basis, the fellow operating without a salary,
we know more than the average Bank or state employee about the real state of the economy.
For the moment its peaks and troughs all the time(or as the Dude put it gutters and strikes).
You just dont know what any given week is going to throw at you.
When the building boom finally stopped Lynn Murphy found herself out of work and moved to Australia.
She has been there for 18 months now and has found a life.
She returned to Dublin some weeks ago for a friends wedding and she found herself reflecting on the past life she had here.
Here is what she had to say
"I was home for a wedding of a good friend from school, the visit was long overdue. It has been an odd few weeks being back, cathartic in some ways as I was able to see for myself everything that is going on - as opposed to just hearing about the tales of horror from friends and family and the papers. In other ways though it has renewed my love for my home city - its beauty, the friendliness of the people, how they keep on kicking never losing their sense of humour despite all the doom and gloom. The visit has also been good as it has confirmed for me that I know I made the right decision in leaving. The experiences I have had since I left have for the most part only been positive - travel broadening the mind and all that malarkey. I know how lucky I am to be living in such a beautiful place as Sydney. And as I said the other night being away has made me appreciate what I have at home - great friends and a wonderful family. No matter where I live, Dublin will always be my home.

I was working for the interior design store Haus in Temple Bar, it came to an end as it was just no longer possible to keep trading once the market went dead. Now, in Oz, I'm working for a similar company that carries alot of the same product but operates on a much bigger scale and the experience to date has only been positive. Professionally it has been fantastic to see variations between different consumer markets - how companies treat the same product so very differently."

She misses Dublin dearly! a feeling I believe that is shared by all the others I have photographed so far.
There is one and only one common thing that holds all of these people together and that is given the opportunity,and circumstances being right to provide them with what they needed,they would all willingly stay in this our great little town,Dublin.
It has always been my intention to show our city as a central part of this project ,and so far I think this has been the case and long may it continue.
I wish the best to Lynn in the future and I really hope she makes it back to Dublin if that is where she needs to be.But for the meantime Sydney beckons,and by now she has most likely left,and that could,but for the odd wedding,be for good!!
Artur Sikora,and Gemma Geraghty helped to reveal the beauty of Dun Laoighre harbour ,Its beauty like this that will hold us together.
It hurts me to think of Sean Fitzpatricks hidden €100 million loans,and how this and all the other hidden black business has left the ordinary citizen of Ireland Paying and Paralyzed unable to eject those clinging to the charred reigns of power.But Hey we have got to realise that some day maybe soon the dominoes will start to topple in our own Dáil and Ironically it might be someone like Michael Lowry who leads the revolt.
Big thanks again to Lynn and to Louise o Connor for alerting her to this project.Please keep looking and alerting friends on the move to this project I really want it to get BIG.
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