Wild Atlantic Way blog
The scribblings of an artist and photographer living in Ireland's south west
Irish Lighthouse Calendar
Ever since I started taking pictures of Irish lighthouses, back in the 1980s I have dreamed of making a lighthouse calendar. It has been something I wished for, but unable to do simply because of the costs involved. In the 90's I supplied pictures for the Commissioners of Irish Lights calendar, and I also had some of my shots featured in other companies calendars, but never in one of my own until now.
Since 2014 I have been producing a calendar for the Beara peninsula, which sold well and I was pleased with. However what I wanted was a big calendar to show off my photography. The Beara calendar was a small scale production, and bought mostly by people who live here on the Beara peninsula. Some copies started heading out to the States and I began to gain some confidence.
In October 2016 I was diagnosed with cancer of the oesphagus and spent much of the following months doing chemo either side of a major operation to remove the tumor. I felt life was too short to hang around and not do a lighthouse calendar, and then out of the blue a local company offered a calendar producing service that suited me down to the ground.
I tried out some picture ideas, some fonts, and then went for it
Going through cancer changed my outlook on life. I thought nothing of risking all by getting a new and much better drone. I lashed out on a Phantom 4 pro plus with a 20 mega pixel camera which took the Mizen picture above.
In August one of my pictures of Skellig Michael was chosen by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to give to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a framed print. The picture appears in my calendar on the December page. I took the shot from the Irish Lights Eurocopter 135 with my trusty Canon EOS 5D mk 2 which I used for thousands of pictures
A year ago when I knew I was in trouble I bought myself Canon's new EOS 5 mk iv that takes 30 mega pixel images, and has a fabulous control system. I thought well if I'm going to snuff it I might as well enjoy the last days of my life and if I survive I will have a really great camera. No point leaving the money in a savings account as savings accounts pay next to no interest
My doctor told me I would survive and would be pestering her for many years to come, so I told myself I would get through it all and put up with whatever was thrown at me. Heavy chemo drugs, a 12 hour operation, and here I am a year later cancer free with a super camera and a fabulous drone
So I produced my lighthouse calendar and I see the orders coming in from all over the World, which makes me really happy
People are asking me to sign the calendar as I did with my books, feels truly great and I am glad I went ahead and brought it out
I would like to thank Sue Hill for her support, and buying 30 of the calendars for sale at the Mizen Head, Ireland's most south westerly point
The calendar is also on sale at Kilbaha Gallery near the Loop Head lighthouse
It is also on sale in Castletownbere at Loop de Loop and Hook Head lighthouse
and you can order it off my website
oil on canvas. Paddy and Mick taking sheep to the island
Roancarrig lighthouse in Bantry Bay was the very first I shot for my lighthouse postcard series, because my sponsor had a salmon farm close by and I wanted to show him my appreciation by shooting Roancarrig first. That was way back in 1993, long before other people were taking pictures of Irish lighthouses
Nowadays it is easy to fire up a drone and go out to these lighthouses, as I did for these pictures. These were taken using my DJI Phantom 4 Pro plus which has a 20 mega pixel camera
The granite tower is just for show these days, the light in it no longer works, replaced by that metal tower you see stood beside it
This island was used in the Neil Jordan movie 'Ondine' starring Colin Farrell. The house was put on the market for €150,000
I shot a video out there. I hope you enjoy watching it
I wanted to see how far my Phantom 3 drone would fly, as I have experienced distance problems, so I chose a perfect wind free day to test its distance. I flew over Inisfernard an island off the Beara coast. I got almost to the end of the island before the red warning, about 2km from where I held the base controller. On the way back I became aware of three jet skis tearing up the Kenmare Bay. Inisfernard translates as the Island of the Big Man