Longford's New Photography Book Creates a Bang
A unique photography book, hard as it may seem, is about to be launched in Longford. Photography books these days are ten-a-penny, but Bang, Bang, She Shot Me is a publication with a difference.
The 100-page book is different in its emphasis on fun and creativity, and is initially aimed at second level students, but can be used by anyone looking to take photography up as a hobby. There's also a strong emphasis on photography as an art form, which only adds to its uniqueness.
The book emerged from the success of Longford School of Photography programme, which is now entering its third year. Programme director Shelley Corcoran devised a course to work with transition year students in the county, with support from the County Arts office and VEC, who previously established the Midland College of Photography.
Shelley spends two hours in each school every week during the school year, going through various photography techniques, technical aspects of photography and photography as an art form.
"It is kind of a text book where students can go and have a look at techniques and understand how to take a photo, but it's also a showcase of their work from the past two years as well," Shelley explained.
County Longford Arts Officer, Fergus Kennedy, added, "There's a particular emphasis in the book as well; we didn't want to write another manual on how to take a photograph with a DSLR camera.
"The emphasis in this book is on art photography; it's on developing students' visual awareness and encouraging them to express themselves through the medium of photography. We take a kind of fun approach where chapters are a little left field in topic.
"The whole idea is to reach out and engage young people in the fun of photography in the hope that they will take it more seriously and acquire the technical skills in greater depth afterwards."
Shelley hopes that the images in the book will inspire students to take photos and with text to explain each photo, the student will be able to take similar quality photos themselves.
"It's detailed enough for people to know what aperture, ISO, shutter speed is, and there are photographs to illustrate what the technical side is, but there are probably a larger amount of chapters that are art-based, like exploring different themes, emotions, moods and that kind of thing. The technical aspect (of the book) is just a means to an end.
"The book really emphasises that photography is an art form."
The book will be used as a curriculum support for the future students taking part in the photography module tutored by Shelley, but will also be available for general sale through the Midland College of Photography website. The book was designed by Noel Strange. Read more about Bang, Bang, She Shot Me.
Fascinating Photography Courses for Beginners
Are you tired of always cutting grannies head off in family photographs? Why does your favourite pet have evil looking red eyes in every photograph you take? Why do the photographs you take on a beautiful sunny Spanish beach always come back as grey as a wet Tuesday in Strandhill? Why does everyone tell you that your digital camera is simple to use when it remains a complete mystery to you?
Take the mystery out of digital photography and have these questions answered for you by joining the new Introduction to Digital Photography Course commencing on Tuesday 12th March for seven weeks at the Midland College of Photography Templemichael College Longford. The new course is aimed at the absolute beginner photographer who simply wants to learn how to take photographs of special family celebrations or holidays. The course will also provide a useful introduction to photographers who wish to take up photography as a hobby but don't know where to start. The seven week will explore such subjects as; using camera buttons, landscape, use of light, composition and better head shots.
The course content will be heavily influenced by the specific interests of the students, questions and input from students will be actively encouraged. No previous photographic experience is required and if your ambitions are modest this is the course for you. However this course offers an excellent starting point for beginner photographers who wish to develop their hobby through subsequent, more challenging photography courses that will be offered by the Midland College of Photography.
For photographers who have completed the beginner's course or who are just a little more confident in their abilities as a photographer there will be a course for improvers.
Digital Photography for Improvers runs for seven weeks starting on Wednesday 13th March at 7.30pm will cater to the needs of the confident beginner and will deal with such topics as: light, medium, aperture, shutter speed, composition and optics. The course is ideal for someone who has learned a little about photography, is beginning to become familiar with the manual settings of their DSLR camera and who might like to study photography at a more serious level at a later date.
Course fee is €100.00 for seven weeks starting Tuesday and Wednesday 12th & 13th of March from 7.30 - 9.30pm in Templemichael Community College numbers are limited and spaces may be reserved by contacting County Longford VEC Adult Education Office at 043 45474 and for further information about the course contact the County Arts Office 086 8517595
National Newspaper Looking for Photos
The Irish Independent are looking for weather related photos to include on their website. For more information visit their site.
IRISH WRITERS, By Ursula Burke
Curated by Karen Downey
Exhibition opening Thursday 1 March, 6pm
Exhibition runs from 2 to 30 March 2012
Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan
Irish Writers is a series of contemporary photographic portraits of Irish women writers. Writers photographed include Moya Cannon, Marina Carr, Anne Enright, Rita Anne Higgins, Jennifer Johnston, Paula Meehan, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Medbh McGuckian, Sinéad Morrissey and Mary O'Donnell. Originally commissioned by Cavan Arts Office to accompany a literary festival dedicated to women's writing, the portraits stand as a contemporary visual record of significant women writers of fiction, poetry and drama working in Ireland today. The commission aims to highlight and support increased national, and international recognition of women's writing from Ireland in recent decades, and modestly proposes to render the face of Irish women's writing more visible. The exhibition consists of twelve portraits. The portraits are also presented in the form of a poster entitled Irish Writers.
‘Of all photography's grand illusions the most unnerving is that of eye contact, the imagined encounter with the photographed person. No amount of theorizing, or of simple sane logic, can ever really take away that lingering sense that we are being looked at from within the image, a sense that is capable of renewing itself again and again as we return to a familiar or treasured picture.' (David Chandler, Professor of Photography, Plymouth University, UK) The analogy of ‘being looked at from within the image' seems appropriate to the experience of literature and poetry. Discovering oneself in a character or situation in a work of fiction has a similar, uncanny quality. Eye contact with the writers in these portraits is unavoidable. Their gaze is compelling, the close framing and backlighting pushes them forward, towards us, inviting us to engage with them. Ursula Burke has created a different space of encounter with individuals whom we know, for the most part, through the written word.
The Irish Writers portraits follow in a long tradition of studio portrait photography developed around the gaze and the relationship between photographer, subject and viewer. In the earliest daguerreotype portraits, subjects were required to hold their pose for exposure times of two minutes or more, which often resulted in stern, wide-eyed expressions. Early modern portraiture, such as that of the French photographer Nadar, employed the subtle effects of light and shadow to enhance the intensity of the gaze and to imply psychological depth. Chiaroscuro techniques drawn from classical painting were used to create brooding, atmospheric portraits, which sought to reveal the inner truth or essential character of the subject. In the post-war years, through the iconic work of photographers like Irving Penn,Richard Avedon, David Bailey and Robert Mapplethorpe among others, the studio portrait became less about expression and more about performance. The studio became a space of open interaction, where photographer and subject collaborate on the creation of an image.
Ursula Burke is interested in this process of collaboration between photographer and subject in the construction of an image and an identity. Through her PhD studies, she has researched questions of representation, particularly representations of Irish identity and the role of photography therein. Her Irish Writers portraits represent a series of encounters, and a series of creative collaborations. Her subjects appear at ease, confident, and very much engaged in the process. We, as viewers are beckoned into the relationship, invited to take a closer look and to consider what these women have to say.
New Master Classes at the Midland College of Photography
Three master classes are set to take place in the Midland College of Photography on September 24th:
Date: Saturday September 24th
Time: 10.30am -12.30pm & 2.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue: The Midland College of Photography, Templemichael College, Longford
To Book: 043 33 45474
For more information contact The Arts Office Longford County Council Tel: 086 8517595
1. Photo Essay
Facilitator: Andy Mason
Telling a story in more than one photograph.
This includes choosing the subject matter, how to photograph an essay, photographing, and selection of images.
Telling a story through photographs has a long tradition. Before the advent of television, magazines such as "Life" were the media through which a (news) story could be told. These photographic essays gave the photographer a chance to follow a story more closely and were therefore able to give the subject matter more depth. Still, in spite of all the modern media, these Photo Essays are widely used today and can be found in magazines such as The Sunday Times Magazine or National Geographic.
During this Master Class the participants will be given an overview of several important Photo Essays. A guideline will be given on how to approach such an essay together with some technical tips. Each participant will photograph a small essay. The results will be discussed in the class. The process of selecting the "best" photos for the essay will take place during the afternoon resulting in a series of essays.
This Master Class is intended for people with a reasonable amount of photography experience.
Andy Mason has over 30 years experience as a freelance photographer and as head photographer of a well known studio in The Hague, The Netherlands.
2. Architectural and Industrial Photography
Facilitator: Brian Flanagan
This course examines the cameras and materials necessary for photographing new and historic structures, their locations, exteriors and interiors. The course is aimed at intermediate level non-professional photographers who want to improve their knowledge of natural, available and controlled lighting techniques. Topics will include the zone system, product photography (such as reflective surfaces), technical cameras and the right equipment for different jobs.
Course tutor, Brian Flanagan, began working professionally as an architectural and industrial photographer since 1982.
3. "The Face" Portraiture for Intermediate Photographers
Facilitator: Shelley Corcoran
The Portrait Photography lesson is designed for photographers that want a better understanding of portrait lighting patterns and posing techniques
- Techniques of Portrait Lighting
- The ‘Key' Light
- The ‘Fill' Light
- Three Basic Lighting Patterns
- High Key
- Low Key
Posing both Children and Adults. The lesson will cover using available/natural light and also studio lighting and equipment such as soft boxes, kill spills, reflectors.
Models will be provided on the day.
Shelley Corcoran is a graduate of the Institute of Art Technology and design Dun Laoighre where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Photography. Shelley is a national award winning photographer who in recent years has returned to Longford where she runs her own photography studio specialising in portrait photography and she also facilitates the Midland College of Photography Longford Schools Photography Programme.
The Collector's Eye Exhibition at the Gallery of Photography
This fascinating exhibition offers an intriguing glimpse into Sean Sexton’s photography collection – one of the finest and most extensive held in private hands today. It provides a rare opportunity to view some of the earliest photographic records ever made in Ireland as well as extremely rare early daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. In addition, it includes an eclectic range of work, from fanciful 1910’s early flight through to dramatic images taken by soldiers in WW2. With over 100 original vintage images on display, the exhibition charts one man’s passionate journey through photographic history.
14 October - 21 November
Gallery of Photography
Meeting House Square
Phone: 01 6714654