Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cara Magazine Cookery School series

Commissioned by Fran Power at Cara this is our third portfolio featuring some of the best cookery schools and their teachers in Ireland. It was great to meet these great chefs and I was particularly happy to photograph Darina and Rachel together in Darina's own kitchen. During the shoot we were also treated to some delicious food, most notably lunch at Ballymaloe and at Lyons with Clodagh and tea with Eimer Rainsford and Catherine Fulvio !

Monday, December 5, 2011

Irish Magazine Awards

Last week I was thrilled to find out that I had been nominated for The Irish Magazine Awards, Photographer of the year prize. The awards ceremony was held at The Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin and I was delighted to be invited along by Richard Power, MD of Image publications. The award was presented by Grace Aungier and was for the feature we did for CARA on the racing industry in Ireland.

Here's my original post on this shoot.

Tullamore Dew

These ads were created by McCann in Paris and art directed here in Dublin by Shay Madden, Creative Director at McCann Erickson in Dublin, to be run in France as part of a global campaign. We shot the background images at the Tullamore Dew visitor centre and the portraits in my studio in Dublin. The retouching was done by Stefano Cherubini at Happyfinish in London. Paddy Daly at Yoke Productions produced the casting and Suzie Coen was the stylist.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mary Byrne album cover

I was delighted to be commissioned by Universal Music to photograph Mary Byrne for her new album. Produced by Phil Coulter, it's a collection of classic love songs and one or two originals by Phil himself.

We shot a number of looks over the course of the day and Mary was a true pro. Billy Orr did hair and make up and Catherine Condell did Mary's styling. It was great to finally work with Catherine ( I've been trying to for years!)

Thanks to everyone for all their hard work and especially to Mary for giving us such a great shoot.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cara Magazine Musicians

This is our second shoot for Cara, the Aer Lingus in-flight magazine. It was shot over 2 days at Odessa in Dublin city centre. Lauren McCreery was the stylist and Brown Sugar did hair & make-up. I did my own colour grade and retouching for this shoot. Odessa is a great location but quite difficult to light so we used all the 7b's and used a little bit of daylight also. It was great to meet all the artists and to talk to Lisa Hannigan a little bit about her new album. A big thank you to Lisa and the other artists, Matthew Jacobson, Claudia Boyle, Padraic Keane, Bressie and Jennifer Walshe for their patience and time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brown Thomas Marvel Room window display shoot

It takes two weeks for the the design team in Brown Thomas to create their now famous Christmas window display. So to hide their secret elf-like activities they commissioned designers Cody Delahunty to design vinyl displays to put in the window. In this case something to help launch The Marvel Room inside the store. The two images were shot using merchandise from the store which my assistant Sylvie launched into air and some of which we rigged in a falling position. I'm particularly pleased with the 400 or so images of the scarves. They formed some amazing shapes. The only way to get those lovely curves in the ribbon was to photograph lengths falling through the air. Tony Gold put the images together from a working rough we did at the time of shooting. To freeze the motion we shot using the LEAF 40mp back on a Mamiya RZ at 400th of a second and with 2 7A Profoto packs set quite low to reduce the flash duration.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book cover shoot for Mary Byrne

O'Brien Publishing commissioned me to shoot the cover of Mary Byrne's coming book, which is coming out next week I think. Since then I was commissioned by universal music to shoot Mary for her forthcoming album. It's been produced by the brilliant Phil Coulter and I'm really looking forward to hearing it. Once again it was great spending time with Mary, she's a great woman and worked really hard all day to give us lots of options. My hunch is that they'll use one of the first images we shot that day. She's such a pro she nailed it in the first 20 minutes!
I'm afraid you'll have to wait until November to see the results though. As soon as the album is out I'll post some of the images.

And here's the final cover :

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BMW shoot on the Mamiya RZ67 Pro II for Chemistry

In addition to shooting digital DSLR and HD video, I have purchased an Aptus II, by Leaf, which is a digital system that I can use with my Mamiya RZ cameras to create very high res files. 

The system renders exceptional skin tone and highlights. Coupled with the Mamiya system which synchronizes at high speeds with my PROFOTO lighting, liquids can be photographed and captured at very high speeds which cannot be achieved with DSLR cameras.

When art director Adrian Fitzsimon from Chemistry, commissioned me to shoot an image for a BMW ad, I decided to shoot with my new LEAF Aptus 8 40mp digital back. It was great to be working with the Mamiya RZ again after 5 years and I was delighted that the incredible lenses were up to the job just as much as they were when shooting film. I love the skin tones the LEAF produces and in terms of composition so good to be shooting to the Aptus 8 format rather than DSLR. I'd like to thank Joerg Hagitte from Probis Media Solutions in Hamburg, where I bought the LEAF, for his excellent advice and speedy supply of the equipment.

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Corporate portraits for Espion

For their new website designed by DesignWorks .

Monday, September 5, 2011


I was researching for an upcoming project recently and found some work by the late Yousuf Karsh that I hadn't seen before. I particularly liked these portraits, despite both being made in 1936, I was surprised how modern they look, especially 'Grey Owl'. He was, and I quote from the official website, 'The English gentleman Archie Belaney (who) became so obsessed with the culture of Native Americans that he transformed himself into Grey Owl. He lived as a tribesman, taking an Indian wife and described vividly the life and everyday struggle on the Indian reservation'.

The image must have been even more striking in 1936 than it is now when you consider the the style and formality of the lighting that was the norm at the time. Perhaps Karsh himself liked to shake things up from time to time and shoot from the hip.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paul Fusco's "RFK" photobook

I was fascinated by the Channel 4 documentary, 'Bobby Kennedy: The Last Journey' about the photographs taken by Paul Fusco from a train carrying the body of Robert F Kennedy to his final resting place in Washington. The train travelled through miles of waiting people hoping to pay their respects and as the train passed,  Fusco photographed the people with a 35mm camera using Kodachrome film. The images have the wonderful colour that you would expect and a little motion blur which also adds a point of focus and stillness to the faces of all those people. The photographs tell the story of that day but also of that time and it was inevitable then that the documentary film makers tracked down and interviewed some of the people waiting to see the train that day in June 1968. The book has been beautifully produced with really great scans of the original slides. If I can find a place where the documentary can be seen I'll post a link.

Aer Lingus TV

After having won a recent pitch for Aer Lingus, Irish International art director Paddy Geraghty asked me to shoot a portrait of Aer Lingus cabin crew and pilot for a TV ad he was working on. We cast the crew from Aer Lingus staff and shot in the glass walk way at the new terminal 2 at Dublin airport.
The retouching was completed by Jeff bennett. For the techies among you, we shot on a Nikon D3X using the 14-24mm 2.8 lens and Profoto lighting.

Irish Examiner ad on teens' porn addiction

Fortunately we didn't need to buy 10 blow up dolls, just a choice of 2. We photographed 'it' in various positions around the hero of the piece and then Stefano Cherubini from Happyfinish in London put the images together for us. Lauren McCreery was the stylist who dressed the doll and confessed to being horrified by the fact that the uniforms were size 9-10!!! The final result is quite shocking but I'm glad to say the 48 sheet poster remained in place all over Munster without being banned! The art director was Nicole Sykes at Chemistry, Dublin.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Recent Work in France

I recently had lunch with my family at Le Caillau in a beautiful valley full of vinyards in the heart of the Cahors region in south west France. Chas and Caroline Sharp have restored an old vineyard and created a cafe, restaurant and gite. The happy coincidence of the visit was that they needed photographs of the finished accommodation in the the gite for their website and a number of on-line guides. I spent a lovely morning taking photographs and in the evening while I waited for the sun to go down over the view from the bedroom (see image above), the rest of my family enjoyed their dinner in the restaurant!

I also did a quick video of the place and the pottery workshops (see below).