Monday, June 26, 2017


Click on any image for a larger version

Time flies and it's that time of year again. In fact I nearly missed the first act but just caught it in time.

Michael Edwards's Photo Competition is off again and the first club has already been exhibiting during the month of June. Full marks to Michael and Dermot for taking on the burden of another year's competition and to Donaghmede Shopping Centre for donating the exhibition space.

The theme this year is OUR TOWN and the idea is to illustrate what makes where we are from special. I think expectations are for the positive rather than the negative


As usual, I intend dropping in each month and, without prejudice to what the judge may eventually decide, bring you a few photos from the current club which appealed to me for one reason or another.

[Update: a small rosette beneath the photo indicates that it has now made it to the final]

The shot above is of the remains of the old Roman Catholic church and graveyard in the centre of Raheny village. It is taken from an unusual angle and the mixture of flash and natural lighting gives it an eerie air. I even thought for a moment that I could see gravestones.

You might think the choice of subject here a bit pedestrian but just try and imagine Raheny without Macari's chipper.

The clouds and the cyclists give context and interest to a piece of street sculpture that often looks bereft just sitting there in an open space.

The iconic Dublin chimneys set the context and the Bull Wall, now more frequently referred to as the wooden bridge, reassures us that we are on the Northside. The reflection of the golden clouds in the foreground warms it up nicely.

Again the chimneys with some very nice light and shade.

Finally, the end of the line as old meets new in Howth.

The timetable for the competition is shown below. As I understand it entries for the public, as distinct from the club, section need to be in by early October.

Club Date
Raheny 3rd June
St. Benedict’s 1st July
Howth 29th July
Sutton 26th August
Swords Viewfinders 23rd Sept
Club Finalists on Display
& Public Entrants
w/b 5  November
Winners' Presentation
and Reception
16th November


Again this month the chimneys are prominent. It just goes to show that, however unaesthetic they may be in real life, Dublin has taken them to its bosom and they are now part of us.

Photos from the general Clontarf area should not be surprising but there are also some from town. The Ha'penny Bridge is always a magnet for photographers and when you get the right lighting it can be a bit surreal.

This offers an alternative to the 200 year old bridge - a modern perspective of an area where the old is giving way to the new, with the view itself taken from what I assume is the top of Dublin's first skyscraper.

I don't want to overdo the black and white but there is a fair amount of it in this month's exhibition and that it always welcome.

An unusual and slightly ominous perspective on Ireland's Eye with just two hints of warmth in the lighthouse and the sunset.

Finishing up in Howth in the boatyard on the West Pier. Almost like a graveyard but probably just intensive care or even an annual makeover.

As usual, Benedict's have lots more stunning work on show and it is well worth a visit.



This month it's Howth and as usual they don't disappoint. Lots of lovely stuff an much to think about. I could have reproduced a raft of good photos but I have tried to confine myself. Again this is a selection from among those that appealed to me for one reason or another.

There is just something about this picture from Inisheer that conveys roots and abandonment, but also an elusive vitality that got to me.


Sunrise in a graveyard is a really imaginative combination and there is resurrection in the air whether it is the dead arising to meet their maker or the living dead about to come out and devour the passengers in the passing No.32 bus. Provocative stuff.

I know this graveyard. Eoin MacNeill is buried just to the right of the church and Gordon Brewster is buried just behind the photographer. I am related by marriage to Eoin MacNeill and Gordon Brewster died in my mother's shop (The Gem) in Howth.

St. Annes

This is a view of the former Roman Catholic church through the ruins of the former Church of Ireland in the centre of Raheny village. Both churches have been replaced. The latter by All Saints (1889) and the former by Our Lady Mother of Divine Grace (1962).


This is black and white at its best - sheer power.

The photo is of Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter EI-ICA. It was taken in Dún Laoghaire in August 2016 at the RNLI open day. She is a sister ship of the Sikorsky S-92 (EI-ICR), RESCUE116, which crashed at Blackrock, Co. Mayo, on 14 March 2017 in the course of a rescue mission and with a loss of four lives. The helicopter in the photo has also participated in such rescue missions.

Just for the record, rescue designation, as opposed to registration, simply refers to the base from which the helicopter is operating on the day and there are four of these: Dublin (RESCUE116), Waterford (RESCUE117), Shannon (RESCUE115) and Sligo (RESCUE118).


This is definitely Howth. It says so. But Lord what is it? Somebody is losing out here and I don't think it is the seal.


Click on any image for a larger version

Sutton, as always, have put up a very good show and very much in keeping with the theme of Our Town.

The selection from this month's exhibition reflects both what I liked and what I could reasonably try to reproduce. There were many others which appealed to me but which were a problem to reproduce and some of the photographs included here are not free of the problem.

I have referred elsewhere to the difficulties posed by the use of glass. Depending on the lighting conditions. it can produce multiple reflections which not only inhibit reproduction but also interfere with the live viewing of the photographs.

Given that you don't know precisely how your photo will be lit and what outside lighting might interfere with it, my advice is no glass and a matt print </end of rant>.

The photo above is very much on message, including as it does three of Dublin's iconic buildings from three different eras, the Custom House, Liberty Hall and the Spire.

Just as a general comment, I notice that there is a lot of explanatory material accompanying the photos this month. So there appears to be a slight bending of the rules here as the initial requirement was for a single word (location) only. It remains to be seen whether this proves an advantage or otherwise.

This is quite a daring composition along with its excellent lighting. I was sort of tempted to think it might have been cropped differently but on reflection would go along with the photographer.

A bit of nostalgia is never out of place and this old steam engine trespassing on what is clearly an electrified line appealed to me. You can always remind me that the Enterprise and the local suburban locos travel the line daily but the latter locos are modern diesels and the Enterprise thinks its an airplane.

This appealed to me as a cheeky photo. It conjures up the various nicknames applied to some off Dublin's monuments though I don't have one for the Beckett Bridge. To fully appreciate it you'd have to get rid of the glass and the harp strings would then be clearly visible.

While the glass really interferes with this one I have included it as it's a very dramatic photo (and statue). I hadn't been aware of this statue in Burlington Road and will make a point of checking it out when next I'm in the area.


Some very nice shots in the Swords exhibition. Unfortunately the glass/reflection problem seemed worse than usual for some reason.

This is a most unusual and imaginative shot, of the (old!) Central Bank building in Dame St.,which appealed to me. Avoiding the temptation to include the globe itself and just use its awning as part of the photo is, I think, an original idea. I haven't seen it before anyway. The juxtaposition of straight lines and curves is very pleasing.

The idea of a nun going into the snug for a tipple, if that's what it is, made me smile

A most intriguing shot. I like the prominence and stability of the lamp post against the backdrop of the distorted reflections of the Georgian houses, presumably actually behind the photographer. Can't quite figure it out in real life though.

This is actually a very good shot making fine use of the Beckett Bridge and the Conference Centre. Unfortunately the only angle I could find to eliminate the reflection of lights actually incorporates me in the frame. Worth your while to drop in and see the real thing.


We are now at the last stage of the competition and the finalists are on display. The final will be on 16 November in Donoghmede Shopping Centre.

I'm reproducing the different club finalists in panels below. This is really to allow people to check what got through rather than to illustrate individual photos.

Click on any image for a larger version







You can see the final HERE.

I would just add a general qualification/apology to any of the photographers who may be looking at their own photos on this post. There may be slight variations in lighting and perspective from the originals as I photographed the exhibits on the wall under the prevailing lighting and in some cases had to do a little post-processing to get back as near to the original as possible. There are also some serious problems remaining for some of the photos behind glass.

Thanks to the clubs for permission to reproduce some of their entries.


  1. Many's the Long Ray and a Single I brought home from Macari's.

  2. Some nice shots. I wouldn't have labelled the "Final" photos, makes it pointless to go down to the exhibition now that I know I am not in te final.

    Some better photos than the seal, The seal doesn't meet the theme "Our Town" in my opinion whether it was taken in Howth or not.

    Good luck to every one

  3. Pat G

    They were grouped by clubs. They are on public display and my understanding is that once the adjudication for the final is made unsuccessful photos are returned to the clubs so people can check with them whether they are through or not.

    The finalists had already been on display for a week by the time I got there.

    As to the content, the rules were fairly fluid and clearly the seal had been accepted for entry into the competition and subsequently in the adjudication for the final.