I fell into photography in a roundabout way, I didn't begin with the idea of buying a DSLR and learning about how to use it. My first camera was a point and shoot; when I bought it I couldn't have imagined what it would lead to.
Several years ago, while going through a rough patch, I was encouraged to take up the idea of Artist Dates, a practice outlined in Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way that's designed to 'feed the soul' and unblock creativity. Someone suggested buying a camera and taking it out for walks in the city, so I bought a little compact and started taking it with me on trips and walks just to take quick snaps of things that made me happy.
Around the same time I'd opened a Flickr account to share ideas with a graphic designer friend, and I'd started exploring the huge amount of excellent photography on there. I was drawn particularly to film images from Polaroid and toy cameras, so decided to pick up my own Holga and began playing around with it.
The results were fun. I can't say that I was ever really all that great with the Holga, but I enjoyed learning how to use it and having rolls of film developed. The excursions with my compact and Holga sparked something, I enjoyed being able to capture scenes that pleased me. I started wishing for greater control of the images I was taking, which inevitably lead to buying my DSLR, a Canon 450D.
I've always been a creative person. By that I mean I've always had these urges to reflect and respond to life and living in one artistic form or another. I can't help it, it bubbles up inside of me until I find some way to express it. In this way writing and music have both been big parts of my life, but it seems now that photography has eclipsed them.
I find myself driven to reflect back the beauty I see in this world, I know that sounds cheesy but it's true. I grew up in a creative home where a love and admiration of nature and life was encouraged. That must have rubbed off because I constantly find myself in awe at the world, and photography has become the perfect way to express this.
I'm a very visual person, I get distracted easily by light and colour, much to my husband's frustration when we're simply trying to get from A to B and I'm dawdling over whatever catches my eye! Capturing the beauty I see in the world around me is my main aim, I want to reflect it back and create further beauty myself. In any creative endeavour I've undertaken this is what drives me. My writing is equally enamoured with this world and harmony is what I'm drawn to in music, it seems natural that harmony is also what I want to capture with my camera. It makes me very happy to create an image I consider beautiful.
I'm very much drawn to images of nature, I love to get out into the solace of the countryside with my camera, it's almost meditative and helps me to relax. Dawn is my favourite time of day to take the camera out, I love the stillness and silence, and of course those first rays of light are magic.
I use a Canon 450D with a 50mm f1.8 for most shots, although some of the ones you see here were taken with a Nikon D3 and Zeiss 100mm f2. I also love to play around with a Lensbaby Composer and Diana Mini. Next year I hope to upgrade to a Canon 5D and expand the lenses I own! I'd love to delve into film photography, but it may not happen for a while. In terms of post processing I use Photoshop CS5 for pretty much everything now. I actually really enjoy the process of sitting down with an image and experimenting with colour, texture and light.
The last year has been a good one for me, I've had some magazine features, taken on some jobs and my blog made it to the finalists list in the photoblog category of Blog Awards Ireland. I hope to keep developing my skills and eventually take on more jobs; I'm particularly interested in the more creative style of wedding photography that's been seeping in here from the US.
My main aim now is really to just get better, both in terms of taking shots with the camera and with post processing in Photoshop. I hope that my next image will be better than the last, and that my understanding of photography will continue to grow. I'm also trying to expand my view, I tend to focus up close on details and forget about the bigger picture, that needs to change.
I'm not sure what else to include here! I've loved reading Daire, Sinead and Maggy's posts, it's a great idea to allow members to write about their work and show a little more of what they do. I look forward to reading all the ones that come after me!
If any of you feel like connecting you'll find me on Twitter and Instagram, or you can visit my photoblog City of Blackbirds
i am a big fan of your work! i love the examples you have posted here! beautiful! i also can relate to a lot of what you say about being inspired by light, colours and the world around you. i feel like that myself!
i must have a look at your blog now
Thanks for the write-up Éadaoin. I think your work/art is great. The images have a very light feel to them and always beautiful.
Btw, I thought you were a guy who had an usual fascination with cup-cakes!!
Ha! I'm afraid to say that's not the first time I've been mistaken for a man on the internet! I'm glad the record has been set straight now though
Just wondering how you achieve your vintage look in PS? Do you tweak RGB curves by hand or have a few actions?
Really love that shot of the Eiffel Tower
For that look I usually tweak the RGB curves in PS - usually concentrating on the blue and red curves. But it varies, sometimes I use layers of solid colour af different blending modes & opacities, and sometimes I use textures. It usually starts with a curves adjustment layer though.
Almost forgot to mention that I often use Levels adjustment layers too - there are so many different ways to play around with colour!
Thanks! That was taken with the Lensbaby Composer, hence the soft look.
Some damn fine and sweet photography Eadaoin...
and holga love going on there too \o/
(the world needs more holgas, holga-esque shooters)
The Holga is a lot of fun! Unfortunately mine seems to have a shutter probably now and leaks a lot of light onto the film, so I haven't used it in a long time. I know leaks are supposed to be part of the experience, but this one is a bit much. Must see if I can pick another one up soon
Love those first four square images! Did you shoot them with your Holga?
Hi Antorra, yes they were taken with my Holga one frosty dawn in Tipperary! I was using Reala film from Fujifilm.
A beautiful piece of writing - very expressive and lovely images too....
Hi not sure what to say to you about your images but I have to commend you on creating an original style, I often see images posted on here but I can usually tell when one of the images is yours. So sincere congrats and keep up the great work
Beautiful soft images. Very atmospheric. Love the daisies