Photography, photojournalism

day out in Dublin

I was in Dublin today: First I was in getting some large size (70cmx70cm) prints made for RHA submissions. I learned something new regarding scans: Last year i scanned a 120 negative with an older model epson 4490, and this year I recently had the same negative scanned with a top of the range drum scanner. Surprise, surprise, the epson scan was slightly sharper – even with the crappy neg holders. No more expensive drum scans for me then. I have my eyes on a Nikon Coolscan 8000/9000 or an Epson V700.

Next up was a visit to the Gallery of Photography to see the Steve McCurry, World of Colour exhibition. I was amazed just how large one can print a 35mm negative while still retaining sharpness. Some of the prints were probably up to 1.5m wide, and were still pin sharp at close viewing distances.┬áIm assuming most of the photos were taken on slide film – probably Kodachrome. Overall, a great exhibition of world cultures by one of the best known photojournalists.

After this I made my way up to Annes Lane to the Kerlin Gallery to see Paul Seawright’s Volunteer exhibition. The Kerlin Gallery is neatly tucked away in a quiet street in the heart of Dublin, and I was only made aware of it following a publication in last weeks Irish Times weekend supplement.

Seawright’s Volunteer series is a photographic survey of post 911 North American landscapes. large format prints aproximately 125cm, loads of crisp detail and for the most part muted colours. A very interesting set of images. my only complaint is – and this applies to other photography exhibitions too – when the images are set behind glass, it makes it really hard to stand back and study the picture without being distracted by the background. Incidentally Seawright has a free book download which makes for interesting viewing and reading:




Ireland’s ghost estates

Irelands economic crisis is visible throughout the landscape. Some 2850 unfinished housing estates lie dormant around the country as a result of the collapse of the construction industry.

The extent and scale of the problem is massive, and the government have yet to come up with a clearly defined solution. Their best offering so far is to establish yet another taskforce – at the taxpayers expense.

People who were unfortunate enough to have bought a house on these unfinished estates have to live with health and safety risks everywhere; some even have open sewers. One ghost estate I visited had a single woman living there. the estate was clearly littered with building materials, and was fast becoming a dumping ground for electrical goods, toys, used nappies, etc.

During the boom times, developers received up to 870 million euro in tax breaks, the Irish people are now paying for the banks’ poor decisions, and now we are supposed to fork out more hard earned cash to finish/demolish these ghost estates.