I am not a commercial photographer. Though it's true that sometimes certain tasks or purposes are foremost in my mind, in general I can shoot what I like. I don't need to distinguish between shots taken for fun, for documentation, or with artistic intent. And that works just fine for me.
Apparently, in order to be a success, one must carefully select and present only one's best work to the public. With over 6,000 photos on Flickr I am not sure if I have taken that advice to heart. As near as I can tell I uploaded 1160 photos in 2012 and many of these were from events I was covering. My goal in those cases was to be thorough, so this inflated the total significantly. So I've certainly slowed down. I tend to be a lot more reluctant now to press the shutter.
Nonetheless, selecting only a few images to represent an entire year is difficult for me. After some consideration I managed to filter the flow down to 11, which is close enough to a Top Ten for me.
The shot that tops this article is taken from a bridge I cross every time I walk from home in Corbally into Limerick city proper. Since I live on an island I need to cross a bridge somewhere, and in fact have five choices. "Abbey River Under Mist" is the best landscape shot I have taken of my neighbourhood.
There is a "wildlife sanctuary" close to where we live, though you wouldn't know this piece of marsh, surrounded as it is by commercial and residential "development", has any special status. The last couple of years I've watched a swan couple raise their family in this confine. I never tire of their beauty. "White Guardian" is named for the most pertinent parental function.
"Under The Streets" was taken on the walk "Limerick City: Underground Unknown and Forgottens", conducted by Softday on World Listening Day. I created a composition from field recordings made on the day, which you can hear on soundcloud.
"Alexis Clancy Times Five" is a synthetic image created from the "Coda" book launch at the Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD). Alexis presented this as part of Culture Night in Limerick, 22 September 2012. It is difficult to do his multidimensional work justice in a photograph; I am happy with this attempt.
I took this photo in a pub in the county. A year later I returned with a print but the man had passed away in the meantime. So I gave it to the publican and he was grateful to have something by which to remember a spirited regular. It may not be a great shot technically, but I love something about this "Sandwich Man".
I often shoot the sound improvisation events that comprise the music scene I love. It's greatly satisfying when the subject approves of my photo. This particular image of Katie O'Looney is from a performance with the Quiet Music Ensemble and Quiet Club. It was part of the Cage Day "Inlets" event at Glucksman Gallery, Cork, 27 January 2012.
Ireland is in a very sad economic state indeed. "Gull Observes The Collapse Of Capital" was shot in Dublin, where most of the thieves and liars live.
You've probably noticed that I like black and white. But not exclusively. If colour performs a function I will retain it. "New York" was shot in... Dublin!
"Nihilist Spasm Band" is a portrait of the infamous noise group performing at nuit blanche (16 June 2012) in their home-town of London, Ontario. They've changed a lot over the many years I've seen them, but haven't changed at all.
"Blue Window" is my very favourite image from the many I took while in Ljubljana for a poetry festival. Not only was my work well received, but I got to discover how amazing Slovenia is!
I believe that "Touch.30" is an image good enough to be on a Touch record cover. I was recently in London for this celebration (part seminar, part festival) of the label's three decades in operation. Met a lot of fun people, heard a lot of great music, drank some nice bitter, ate a nice meal at a German pub, walked my feet off, and recorded a few hours of urban sounds.
Reviewing these photographs, I am most amazed by how many include people, since I am not much of a portrait photographer. Or so I thought! It also strikes me that my initial predilection for macro shots and detailed images of formal patterns and textures has seemingly given way to other concerns. I suppose we will see what 2013 brings.
As always you can click through each image for larger versions in Flickr. By all means let me know what you like! And yes, photos are for sale as prints, if you would like to support me. (Email for details.)