art, music, Photography

Song & Dance Man

Oil painting portrait of ‘The Man’, by Irish artist Kevin O’ Neill. Prints available directly from Kevin.

If you are an artist based in SE Ireland and want your work digitised, please contact me.

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art, Ireland, Photography, photojournalism

Living Art Project

Wexford Arts Centre recently commissioned me to photograph a workshop as part of the Living Art Project. The class was run by Orla Bates, and took place at St. Ann’s NS, Rathgarogue, New Ross.

Orla is very good with the children, and they were all enthusiastic, creating some great work. SB_LA_20140129_0131_web

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cinema, Photography, surfing

Singlefin: Yellow, Surf Documentary Review

Title: Singlefin: Yellow (2004)

Director: Jason Baffa

Starring: Beau Young, David Kinoshita, Devon Howard, Daize Shayne, Bonga Perkins, Tyler Hatzikian (shaper/surfer).

Genre: Documentary/sport

Running time: 70 min.

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Written, directed, and produced by Jason Baffa, Singlefin: Yellow charts the journey of a surfboard around the world as it is shared by a community of surfing friends.

Inspired by the spirit of nineteen-sixties surfing, California based shaper Tyler Hatzikian builds a board, surfs it, passes it on to a friend, who then repeats the process.

Shot in economical 16mm format, the film has a nice grainy feel. Faded colours, and weird colour casts all add to the atmosphere of the documentary. It has a real sixties feel; even the clothing/wetsuits have a retro look. The only real reference to the twenty-first century is a short clip of Devon Howard tapping away on his laptop.

There is plenty of nose-riding footage shot from the beaches – possibly a little to much. Visually the documentary could benefit from a little more camera angle variety. However, editing is tight and the surf footage is real good, as all participants are world class surfers.

As the board travels to well known surf breaks in California, Australia, Japan, Hawaii, and Mexico, Baffa explores some of the history and culture of surfing. Along the journey each talented, mellow surfer describes their experience surfing Yellow, and share their philosophies on surfing and life. Daize Shayne is the only female surfer included, and although her section is a little short, it’s probably a reflection of the largely testosterone fueled/filled surf world.

The film flows smoothly from one section to the next, and in-transit footage of the board making its way from departure lounges to arrivals provides visual variety and a little respite from the waxing lyrical.

“Surfing is there for everyone to enjoy. Surfing is a truly beautiful thing to do, and something that can change your life forever.” – Beau Young.

The accompanying soundtrack adds real depth to the documentary: A carefully selected collection of offbeat folk, rock, jazz, and electronica tunes, by relatively unknown West coast artists like The White Buffalo, enhances the tone and mood.

The surfboard acts as a common thread throughout the documentary, and provides Baffa with the means to explore the spirit of surfing: It’s more than just competitions, sponsorship, and money. It’s about sharing the waves, friendship, new experiences, and having a good time.

This is a beautifully crafted documentary that will appeal to anyone vaguely interested in surfing. It’s got great cinematography, music, and an underlying message, and once the credits were finished rolling, l passed on my copy of Singlefin: Yellow to a surf friend.

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Ireland, Landscapes, Photography, photojournalism

Storm Surges at Kilmore Quay

The fishing village of Kilmore Quay is taking a real hammering lately. In fact, coastal towns all along the South and West coast of Ireland are suffering the effects of winter storms and huge swells that seem to be timing their arrival in synchronisation with spring tides. The result: Amazing display of the power of mother nature.

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I knew a set of big waves was coming in but I was too busy trying to get a good photograph. This one gave me a good soaking.

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SB_20140205_0060_webThe surges were so powerful that I couldn’t help but think of the Tsunami footage from Thailand in 2006.

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Never before have I seen such powerful torrents inside the harbour. Huge amounts of water swirled and flowed, while the boats and ropes heaved and groaned.

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SB_20140205_0187_cropThe image above is a 100% crop of the previous image. The small Saltee Island lies approximately 4km offshore. I don’t know the height of its peak, but the breaking wave looks to be at least equal to the height of the Island, which I’m guessing is around 50-100m high. The wave in the foreground is probably around 5m high.

We are due another storm this weekend. Batten down the hatches….

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