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Kitesurfing at Sunset, Portugal

There’s a fairly Mahler-esque feeling around this place lately so I want to drop some colour back in.

Sunset Kitesurfing

Happy colour, not dark, dramatic, brooding colours.

This was taken in Portugal about 2 and a half years ago – oh god it’s really that long since I did those trips. This one in particular had a big impact on me personally, if not photographically although I got a couple of nice photographs. Strange the way things shape out sometime.

So it’s Saturday of a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland and I am looking out at a white sky. I will probably give a trip to Sligo tomorrow to have a look at the kitesurfing if the weather looks like it might be reasonable. I’m past the stage that I’ll stand in the pouring rain to take lousy photographs at low shutter speed, particularly given the pile of other tasks I have on my desk at the moment. No point in misusing time in appropriately. I’m not sure what else to do with myself – I have been toying with trips to Antrim as well. Somehow, the last lot of landscape photographs, from the short – mega short – trips to Galway, Clare and Kerry have rekindled my interest in landscape. I don’t know why exactly. I think it’s because I don’t drag the 500 mm zoom around – it weighs a tonne and I hate lugging it with me. Also, there tends to be less sand.

A couple of things to note. Have a read of this – Prairie Light Images – on photographic style. I’m interested in this post for a couple of reasons and one of those is that another photographer told me I had a very distinctive style of photography. That he could identify a photograph taken by me (no matter what the subject), often linked to the way I process photographs. Given the riff-raff collection of photographic subjects I have, I found this rather surprising. In particular I found it surprising given the extent to which some people told me they preferred this or that or the other of the photographs. The flowers went down particularly well with some people, the kites with others, the landscape with others. Some provoked strong negative reaction. And I got pasted for daring to process a photograph and on one occasion, for using a filter to prolong an exposure.

It would appear – somehow – that I do have some sort of style. I just can’t see it myself because I look at so many different things. I do know that from a subject point of view, I’ve always been heavily influenced by marine photographers from France like Philippe Plisson and some of Yann Arthus Bertrand’s stuff. And I have a heavy interest in photographs by Robert Doisneau and Ansel Adams. However, when I look at my own photographs, I don’t always see much input from those influences. I see more from people like Colin Prior and Liam Blake, two outstanding landscapers from Scotland and Ireland. The word I would use for myself is derivative.

I also draw on the photographers around me to some extent. Lucky them :-)

Okay, enough introspection and some photography news.

Wasn’t aware of this bookseller before but with the opening of a new branch in South William Street Dublin, I will look at giving a trip in there to evaluate today. Their website is here.

Via the wonder that is the collective hivemind of twitter (look I don’t follow any sad pathetic famous people like actresses and popstars) I have come across Ben Collins and will give a special shout out for this photograph called Seacombe Wave.

I somehow missed this from Paudie Scanlon a few weeks ago – I’m split between a bunch of feedreaders lately and am not quite on top of reality. I do like it though. The colours are kinda restful. Also this from last week sometime.

And some stuff from Philippe Plisson…For some reason, always my favourite stuff. Image number 3 of the lighthouse was the first print I ever bought. It cost 350FF at the time which was a fairly big chunk of money for me at the time, living in Brittany.

It’s been a while since I namechecked Donncha. Really like this one.

Okay. I think that’s it for now – I believe today is the day that New York Times is doing its 3.15 call – I won’t be anywhere able to do it but for anyone who gives it a shot….way to go.

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