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Auroras, Lies and Camera Sensors


The increasing popularity of aurora photography in recent years has produced some stunning imagery from unlikely latitudes. However all is not as it seems. There are implications for the wider integrity of photography.


We’ve all seen those images over the past few years (popping up in our Facebook feeds or in the media) depicting spectacular displays of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights from Great Britain, Ireland or the lower 48 in the US. Regardless of the location, they’re pretty amazing images. But beneath the wow-factor and thousands of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ lurks a nasty little integrity issue ...

Photography and the Impermanence of the Landscape

I'm lucky to live not far from the Irish Atlantic coast in west County Sligo. The constantly changing light and the wild moods of the ocean mean there's always something to channel for inspiration.

A favourite location of mine lies at the end of Enniscrone beach, which is a massive spit of sand and dunes, with the ocean on one side and the tidal mouth of the Moy estuary on the other. It's about two kilometres long and backed by dunes up to 40m high. At its far ...

Top 10 Images of 2014

In no particular order, these are my favourite images from 2014:


1. Dunluce Castle, Antrim

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is one of the most photographed locations on Antrim's superlative Causeway Coast. Conditions on this May day were not what I had hoped for - a bland sky and little wave action in the sea - but I had worked for a couple of hours on compositions that were technically solid but uninspiring. I'd pretty much given up on the scene when I spied the cave at the bottom of the cliff facing the castle. After two hours of leisurely camera work, I ...

Autumn in Erriff Woods

It is said that the native forests of Ireland were once so extensive that a squirrel could cross from one side of Ireland to the other without touching the ground. We now have one of the lowest densities of woodland cover in Europe. Here and there are scattered fragments of those ancient woodlands, such as here on the banks of the Owenmore River in County Mayo.

Autumn in Erriff Woods

This remnant of old-growth sessile oak is tucked away in the Erriff Valley at the northern foot of Maumtrasna Mountain. It isn't hard to find though, and you pass right through the northern ...

The Landscape Photographer's Process - Working a Location

Rosserk Abbey at sunsetIt's no surprise that the vast majority of images taken of landscapes fail entirely to illicit a positive reponse from people who see them, and often are accompanied by the apologetic 'it doesn't do it justice' as the photographer looks accusingly at their camera. You see it time and again at any scenic overlook the world over. Person jumps out of car, takes out their camera, proceeds to stand in about the same place that the last hundred people did before and takes a hurried snap. Unsurprisingly, this is not the path to photographic nirvana. Photography is after ...

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