Big Feature in Climb Magazine

18th May 2015

David Flanagan has a great article about Irish climbing in the current edition of Climb, which has seven of my images in it. The indoor wall where I started my climbing career had stacks of this magazine and I used to sit and drool over the images of this exciting new world I was entering into, my chalky, gripped hands turning pages to reveal ever more exotic photographs of people doing amazing things in incredible places. It kept me enthusiastic and filled me with dreams of realising my own humble aspirations in the climbing world.

The only time my name will be beside Steve McClure's on a climbing related list.

Having been interested in photography since I was a teenager it wasn't surprising that I combined the two interests and while for the most part I just climbed, I sometimes put a bit more effort into making climbing images. It's great to see my own photographs in the same magazine that inspired me when I started. I hope there's somebody in a climbing gym somewhere whose palms are sweating at the sight of some photograph I took.

Fair play to Dave for putting the article together and getting a lead feature in such a big climbing publication. If you're keen on Irish rock then any of Dave's three guides (Bouldering in Ireland, Bouldering Essentials and Rock Climbing in Ireland) are sources of information and inspiration you can't be without. Get them at his website.

Get the issue, get the guidebook and get out in places like this!

Climbing photography as been low on my list of priorities recently, due in no small part to the fact that I haven't been climbing as much these past two years as I thought I might. I had hoped to do another Irish climbing calendar for 2015 (never happened) and have notions of one for 2016 but at the moment it's looking unlikely as other things take priority. It's amazing how smoothly everything went when I was out making photographs for the calendar in 2013. Every time I went out to get an image I came back with one, and while some of them may not be amazing they were good enough for me back then. I totally took it for granted until a few failed photo shoots this year when things didn't go to plan and I came away without even having pressed the shutter button.

Looking through the rest of the current Climb issue I see plenty of inspiring images from the UK. A lot of the battle in climbing photography is having a subject to focus on, and with such a big scene across the water I imagine it's a bit easier to get things done. Not only are there more people around, there are more people operating at a high standard and harder routes generally look more impressive. Living in the south of Ireland (on the opposite end of the country to where more of the hard route development happens) means I've felt a bit limited at times. Then there's the fact that if you're going to make photographs you lose climbing time, which is a precious commodity at the moment! I'm not sure how many more climbing images I'll be able to try and make in the foreseeable future but hopefully there'll be a few moments here and there.

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