Gunner’s Off Camera Flash

Those lucky few who attended on the eve of the long week-end were certainly very glad that they did and were treated to a really super presentation by the “Gunner”. The Gunner’s presentation introduced members to the concept of off camera flash, and using the Club’s new “tethered” system cable the audience were able to see at first hand the results literally straight out of the camera. Utilising a well-practiced “instructional technique” and a style all of his own the Gunner explained and demonstrated as he went along just what he was going to do, how he did it, and the resultant images were immediately available on the big screen for the audience to enjoy and appreciate just what had happened. Using 1, 2 then 3 light set ups then 3 light & projection. We got a superb overview of lighting concepts and techniques.

3 light set up – Photo: Henry O’Brien
Studio Session-077-Edit-Edit
3 light set up and back projection: Photo Henry O’Brien

Famous Foto of the Month


Guerillero heroico by Alberto Korda 1960

The day before Alberto Korda took his iconic photograph of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, a ship had exploded in Havana Harbor, killing the crew and dozens of dockworkers. Covering the funeral for the newspaper Revolución, Korda focused on Fidel Castro, who in a fiery oration accused the U.S. of causing the explosion. The two frames he shot of Castro’s young ally were a seeming afterthought, and they went unpublished by the newspaper. But after Guevara was killed leading a guerrilla movement in Bolivia nearly seven years later, the Cuban regime embraced him as a martyr for the movement, and Korda’s image of the beret-clad revolutionary soon became its most enduring symbol. In short order, Guerrillero Heroico was appropriated by artists, causes and admen around the world, appearing on everything from protest art to underwear to soft drinks. It has become the cultural shorthand for rebellion and one of the most recognizable and reproduced images of all time, with its influence long since transcending its steely-eyed subject.

Millimetres V Pixels

When converting DPI/PPI to mm for printing purposes you should have a minimum of 12 pixels per mm. See the attached scale for printing the perfect image.PixelRatio This is just for reference against your own calculations. The left column follows the format and the mm size for your print and then you follow across the pixel dimensions to supply the printer. Most users/printers would prefer the size without bleed and they normally add 5 or 10 mm of paper/stock so that the print can be easily mounted. So For example I normally print 2:3 the ratio of my sensor with print size 37.5 x 25 ( 10 x 15 inches ) This means that according to the scale that at 300 dpi resolution I need pixel dimensions of 2953 x 4429. You can also use an online calculator like the one here PIXEL CALCULATOR

The Photography Táin

In the first century, a raid on the Cooley Peninsula was immortalised in a cycle of epic tales. That Táin by the tribes of Connaught was led by the wonderous Queen Medb. In the 21st century a similar Táin took place. A little further south from Cooley on a bend in the River Boyne a tribe from Munster led by their warrior hero chairman settled and stood to do battle! The photography world shook when the littlest big club in Ireland swept all before it in the raid North! In a weekend of unprecedented achievement at the IPF Photographer of the Year and the Nature Competitions several members received Medals, Honorary Mentions and the Club Chairman was elected Photographer of the Year.

The Results : Paul Reidy Advanced Gold Colour Print Open Theme,  Advanced Silver Colour Print Open Theme,  Mark Gorman Advanced Honourable Mention – Colour Print Themed. Charlie Lee Advanced Gold – Natural World Theme. Eddie Kelly Advanced Nature Honourable Mention-Colour Print Themed. Seamus Mulcahy – Nature Intermediate Gold – Projected Theme, Nature Intermediate Silver – Colour Print Open Theme, Nature Intermediate Bronze – Open Print Theme. Intermediate Honourable Mentions in Print Open and Themed as well as Projected.

Paul’s Gold Colour Open Print was also judged to achieve him the title Photographer of the Year. Congratulation to all who entered as well as the achievers on a great weekend that shines a spotlight on our terrific little club. A few of the pictures are below. gold-medals


Famous Foto of the Month




A portrait of Winston Churchill photographed by Yousuf Karsh during the darkest days of World War II reveals a leader resolute in the face of crisis. The year was 1941; Churchill was visiting Canada, and the Nazi puppet government in France had just sworn to wring the neck of Britain like a chicken. Staring straight into Karsh’s camera, Churchill’s eyes are steely, almost obstinate. Moments prior, he had stood in the Canadian parliament, hands on hips, and announced passionately: “Some chicken! Some neck!

When Karsh took the iconic photo—the one that would grace the cover of Life magazine and launch his international career—he was a young man, excited but nervous about photographing the historic figure. MacKenzie King, former prime minister of Canada, had first noticed Yousuf when he was photographing a meeting with FDR. King asked Karsh if he would photograph Churchill during the Canadian visit, and Karsh agreed.

To prepare, Karsh practiced with a subject similar in stature to Churchill from the waist down. He set up his equipment in the speaker’s chamber in the Canadian House of Parliament, a huge Tudor apartment that was used for the speaker to entertain guests. Wrangling hundreds of pounds of photography equipment, Karsh next waited patiently for the moment when Churchill would finish his speech and exit the House of Commons and enter the speaker’s chamber.

On the tail of his impassioned speech, Churchill came striding into the chamber, arms outstretch, hands open: in one, somebody placed a glass of brandy, in the other, a Havana cigar. It took a moment, but Churchill soon noticed the small, young photographer standing amid his mass of  equipment.

“What’s this? What’s this?” Churchill demanded.

Karsh realized, suddenly, that no one had told Churchill that he was to have his picture taken. “Sir, I hope I will be worthy enough to make a photography equal to this historic moment.”

Churchill, reluctantly, acquiesced—sort of. “You may take one.”

One picture, one chance.
Read more:

Twenty First… the World!!

Another milestone in the history of the club. Our first entry into the FIAP World Cup and we have been ranked 21 out of 177, a fantastic achievement by any standard. Congratulations to Cork Camera Group who were 23rd and especially Dundalk who managed an impressive 9th place. ( Looks like it’s not only Soccer up there!! )  Ireland were brilliantly represented by all the clubs who entered a sure sign of the healthy state of our photography. The panel selected is shown below along with all the individual images.fial-wc-for-web-etc-2

Slide Show of individual Works.

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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.”