Friday, 25 March 2011


Worldwide a lot has happened since my last post.
I was delighted to hear that my good friend Keiko Furamoto and her family were all safe and well after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami. A total disaster which will have far reaching effect on a lot of people for many years. In Libya the United Nations have declared a no fly zone which should lead to the end of the Gadafi regime, although this could get worse before it ever gets better!! Closer to home things seem to be hotting up in Europe again!

Well we are only a few weeks into the life of the new Dail here in Ireland and I have to say I am an aweful less irritated by the new crew than I was by the old crew. I am delighted to see that so many have either retired in fear of rejection, or have just been rejected. The batty days of the two Brians and a whole bunch of Mary's are well behind us no doubt. But, it remains to be seen if our new crew can unravel the  tangled web woven by the two Brian's on their retreat. Europe should take its share of the blame for our sad situation but I don't think thats going to happen easily!
Still thought things are pretty tough and I can see all the uncertainty continuing for some time. Yesterday as some predicted Portugal joined the party and now we only await the failure of Spain to send the European project into meltdown. I wonder can they pull it off and get it all back on the rails. Well thats one world stage now on to another.
For me the "Leaving Dublin" project is an inspiration. Every time I go to shoot I meet people who are meeting the challenges of life head on and getting on with it, no messing around just taking the bull by the horns and going for it!!
This week was no exception, I met with Raissa Oliveira Do Prado, a Brazilian who has been living in Ireland for almost a year. Raissa who is a marketing specialist came to Ireland to learn English and to de-stress herself. Her hope was that time spent in Ireland would refresh, de-stress and prepare her for meeting new challenges back in Brazil. I suppose for her it was interesting to be in a country in flux during her stay. Chatting with her on the night it was clear that she loved her time here, the people, the places and the slower pace of life. Considering that she comes from a city of 11 million inhabitants the pace of life in Dublin must have been relatively crawling when compared to Sao Paulo. She has left now and no doubt has enjoyed a reunion with her family before setting out on the next chapter of her life, a new job with the addition of english, a little older and a whole lot wiser after her year out!!
Raissa chose the Pheonix Park, she lived just across the river in the Coombe and the parks of Dublin were pretty special to her especially this one and St Stephens Green.
On the stage that night she performed beautifully and after, enjoyed the peace and quite of that moonlit night in the city centre park. The bandstand is located in the hollow beside the Zoo.
Sadly it looks like it has been some time since it has seen a performance and the beautiful white seats wait patiently for  noise, merriment and mischief (perhaps even some music) to once more populate the stage.
As always Artur Sikora and Hugh Mc Cabe hoofed the light around the location with ease. No rain this night so no complaints.
Big thanks to Mariane Goldberg in Sao Paulo for putting me in touch with Riassa

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Thursday, 17 March 2011


There is a lot to be said for having a positive mental outlook, and no doubt about that!
Time after time I have met people, who when faced with adversity have triumphed because of their wish to have a life fulfilling. On this shoot I met a very positive young man who was about to leave for Sydney Australia. Conor Savage is an online manager for an Irish bookies,  Paddy Power.
They have recently acquired an Australian arm and need to lever Conor's expertise to make it happen efficiently on line. So without having to look for employment on arrival, without having to reskill, without having to sit grueling interviews, or work bars, or fruit pick until the right job comes along, Conor is out of here!! EASY!!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


There is no doubt about it.One of the largest groups Leaving Dublin are young graduates.
On the eve of our general election last week I met with Michelle Ellis and Claire Mc Dermott.
Michelle(left in our image) is a graduate of commerce and has recently been awarded a masters degree.
Even with this postgrad qualification she remains unemployed and as she put it, in an effort to remain positive about her future,she is leaving for Vancouver Canada.

Saturday, 5 March 2011


Niall Judge and Roisín O'Connor are off. They have had enough. Life in Dublin has become very tough. No real prospects in the financial services sector and shrinking wages and a deteriorating health service, make for an untenable position for Niall and Roisín respectfully.
Like so many they are looking out into the world to find a place where their skill sets are needed and valued beyond the subsistence wage they can achieve here. That coupled with a better lifestyle should leave them both feeling a lot better about themselves and gives them a common stage on which to play out life in a more meaningful way.
So Niall and Roisín are off to Singapore a centre of world trade and one of the real asian "Tiger"economies.

When Niall suggested to me that the Pheonix Park would be a good spot he mentioned the Papal Cross as something that would remind him of happy times spent walking and training in the large flat green space that played host to a papal visit way back in 1979.
About ten years ago I made some polaroid stereo pairs using a linhof 4x5 camera and some instant colour print film. One of these images has stayed in my mind and it featured the cross in sharp focus away in the distance framed between two trees and shining forth white against a blue sky. I quickly set about incorporating this version of the cross into my composition for Niall and Roisín's portrait as I thought they might be impressed. When I sent my proposal to the couple this is the one they chose as being the place they would like to shoot. Needless to say I was delighted.
On the night it was raining a little and it proved to be a difficult shoot as working in the dark without the aid of public street lighting made things quite tricky. But with a good crew all is possible.
Artur Brian and Hugh all came together to transform a tricky situation into a joyous outcome.
Even a trip by car to illuminate the cross was no problem as we synced by phone across the parks black void.
Niall and Roisín should be happy that there passage between on ex celtic tiger to the real thing has been marked by the creation of this dramatic parting shot. In fact for me it feels like we buried the beast in the Pheonix park that night!!
Big thanks to Niall and Roisín for keeping it together on such a miserable night.
And also huge thanks to Brian, Hugh and Artur, the right guys in the right place at the right time!!
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