Bringing back the bacon!


In yet another epic event BPC managed to smash even more records in a day of drama and excitement for the large crowd of photographers who attended the Annual SACC POTY at Horse & Jockey on Sunday. The Blarney contingent (pictured above), in keeping with their own tradition was one of the biggest, and kept their colours flying throughout the day which began with an early departure from Cork to ensure that entries were submitted before the 10.00 am deadline.  In summary the Club won 8 medals with Paul, Kevin, Henry and Seamus and 7 Honourable Mentions Paul, Henry and Seamus (a total of 15 awards) and to crown a really great day Paul Reidy won the overall award for the best image of the competition. Other members had images fly past the minimum requirement to go through to the IPF Final indeed there were a couple of images that got top marks ( 27 ) just missing the final select for the top spots.


The absolute highlight of a very long and successful day for Blarney Photography Club occurred right at the end of the presentation of prizes when it was announced that our own Paul Reidy had won the best overall image and would bring the Seamus Scallon trophy back to Blarney after an absence of one year.

The man who shot the great war

A startling collection of previously unseen photographs featured in a new documentary provides a fresh perspective of life and death in the trenches during World War One. Belfast man George Hackney was a keen amateur photographer in the innocent years before the outbreak of war, and when he was sent off to fight in 1915, he took his camera with him.

Unofficial photography was strictly illegal, but this means his snaps have a candid quality that capture the often mundane aspects of life in the trenches, as well as an almost unbearable sense of poignancy as many of these men never made it home.

Hackney himself lived into his late 80s, and his collection was donated to the Ulster Museum before his death in 1977.

However, the photographs sat in the archives unseen by the public, until a curator showed them to a filmmaker. Its director, Brian Henry Martin, says a series of lucky coincidences helped to unlock the secrets of this treasure trove of insight into life and death on the Western Front.

“I was first introduced to these photos in the Ulster Museum’s archive by Dr Vivienne Pollock in 2012 while working on a documentary about the Ulster Covenant, and it immediately raised so many questions,” he says. Mr Martin believes his significance will only continue to grow in stature.  “We eventually tracked down about 300 photographs, but there’s maybe 200 more out there,” he says. “I think in a way, the George Hackney story is only beginning and he will become the definitive photographer of World War One in Ireland.”

Workflow and backUp


I ‘ve been asked about Lightroom best solutions for backing up and I though i’d share my method! This graphic best explains the setup. All my RAW images are uploaded to an external Drive ( Drive 2 ) that way my computer hard rive is clear of all large files. The Lightroom Catalogue which automatically stores on the computer hard drive. I have set create a catalogue backup every time I close down Lightroom. This can be  set in Lightroom’s preferences and I have this backup going to the external drive alongside the RAW files. On another Hard Drive ( Drive 3 ) I use a piece of software “SuperDuper” to copy everything on Drive 2. This gives me a mirror of Drive 2. I also have a backup of the computers Hard Drive  which goes to an external Hard Drive ( Drive 1 ). Let me know if you have other solutions that work for full belt and braces approach to backing up!! Mark


Famous Photo of the Month


Starving Child and Vulture by Kevin Carter

Last year I read The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War an autobiographical book by Greg Marinovich and Joao Silva about themselves, James Nachtwey and Kevin Carter a group of four South African photographers active within the townships of  South Africa during the apartheid period. Kevin Carter knew the image  of death. As a member of this group of photographers who chronicled apartheid-­era South Africa, he had seen more than his share. In 1993 he flew to Sudan to photograph the famine racking that land. Exhausted after a day of taking pictures in the village of Ayod, he headed out into the open bush. There he heard whimpering and came across an emaciated toddler who had collapsed on the way to a feeding center. As he took the child’s picture, a plump vulture landed nearby. Carter had reportedly been advised not to touch the victims because of disease, so instead of helping, he spent 20 minutes waiting in the hope that the stalking bird would open its wings. It did not. Carter scared the creature away and watched as the child continued toward the center. He then lit a cigarette, talked to God and wept. The New York Times ran the photo, and readers were eager to find out what happened to the child—and to criticize Carter for not coming to his subject’s aid. His image quickly became a wrenching case study in the debate over when photographers should intervene. Subsequent research seemed to reveal that the child did survive yet died 14 years later from malarial fever. Carter won a Pulitzer for his image, but the darkness of that bright day never lifted from him. In July 1994 he took his own life, writing, “I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain.”

Chasing the light-night!


Marek Biegalski portrait, nature & landscapes photographer visited the club last night. A slight delay due to unforeseen circumstances just served to whet our appetites for a superb night chock full of amazing images. Born in Poland in early 70’s, he has lived in Ireland since 2006. He is a self-taught photographer. His work captures sublime moments of light and surrounding, which is a result of meticulous planning and preparation.
Marek is an artist who seeks out patterns within the landscape and the hidden link between reality and the imagination. This approach also spills over into his fine art images and portraits. He went through his latest work from Lofoten and some portraits as well award winning and Irish landscapes. Marek has established a Photography Tour company that shares the knowledge marek has built up over the years. A big thanks from Blarney Photography Club. For further information check out his website at

Going from strength to strength

Blarney Photography Club managed to get a 4th place position in a challenging competition of 25 clubs in the IPF Shield. Henry O’Brien was awarded an honorary mention for his Colour Print. This represents significant progress for the club. The selection committee put in a lot of hard work selecting and organising printing and finishing  the works. The members who supplied images including all those who didn’t make the final selection did a great job. To jump 14 places from last years 18th to be just a few points outside the top 3 is brilliant. With 1st place going to Dundalk and 2nd Palmerstown and 3rd place to Offshoot from south county Dublin Blarney had to fly the flag for outside The Pale! Special thanks goes to Fergal, Cian and Charlie who helped with the selection Rory and Paul for additional duties including setting the files to print. Ger who kept us all on the straight and narrow.  Next year it’s a podium place!!