I’m 37 and from Banbridge. Hobbies include photography, following the mighty Banbridge Town Football Club who won the Bob Radcliffe Cup on Boxing Day, trying to kick a football myself, travelling, hiking, walking, keeping fit and watching Major League Baseball – particularly the not so mighty Toronto Blue Jays.
I can’t pinpoint how or when exactly. I always appreciated a good photo and often wished I could take similar myself. I owned a couple of compact point and shoot cameras and was always trying to take good pics when travelling but could never take anything like the great photos I seen elsewhere. Eventually got a DSLR and gradually learnt more and more new skills in how to take better pictures. Now it’s a good excuse to get out of the house and into the fresh air of the outdoors.
Is it your full-time gig?
My photography is purely a hobby, my main job is a software developer in Belfast.
What do you most like to shoot?
My favourite type of shooting is cityscapes at dusk when the sky is that dark blue and all the buildings are lit up. Having said that landscapes are a close second, I love shooting around the Mournes, Slieve Doan and Slieve Muck would be my favourite two peaks. I also enjoy photographing local forest parks especially in the autumn time, especially Glenariff and Tollymore.
Would you say you have any influences?
It’s hard not to be influenced by other local photographers I follow online but I also get my inspiration from photography vlogs I watch on YouTube.
What’s your go-to software for editing?
I do 90% of my editing in Adobe Lightroom. I sometimes do a little bit of Photoshop for focus stacking or exposure blending but I’d never Photoshop something in that wasn’t there when I was doing the shoot. That’s cheating in my opinion!
And what are you working on at the minute?
Nothing specific. I’m hoping for some snow or a big frost before the winter is over. Its been very mild this year and there’s been no snow and hardly any frost so unfortunately there’s been little chance for the typical winter photography. I’m also considering selling my photography in person in fairs etc rather than just online so I’m looking into getting mounts etc for that.
Do you have any future projects planned?
Don’t have any projects planned as such but I’m off to the Isle of Man for a week later this year so hopefully do some shooting there. I’ll probably go on a city break in Europe somewhere too to do some cityscape photography. Plus I really need to get up to the north coast more in the summer time for some sunset photography and if I can squeeze in a trip to somewhere on the Wild Atlantic Way at some point would be good too.
What do you enjoy most about photographing in the mountains?
I would just enjoy the mountains even without photography. It’s just a great place to get away from everything and clear the head. I always take my camera up with me but don’t always take pictures. But when that late evening sunlight shines on the Mournes it is a magical place. I love spending a day hiking in the Mournes and stopping at Grahams in Rathfriland on the way home for an ice cream! Definitely beats sitting at home watching Netflix all day!
And finally, give us your “golden rule” for photographing the great outdoors…
Plan, plan, plan! I’ve very rarely fluked upon a great photo. I’ve always planned by checking the weather, sun direction, cloud cover, cloud levels and the wind! I use resources such as The Photographer’s Ephemeris, Yr.no, SkippySky, Met Office, Google Maps and Google Earth. And always have patience – much to the annoyance of my walking friends – you just never know if that light will get better!