May 17, 2021: The Killarney gallery is open again!
Achill Island Smithwick's Shoot
I like a beer. I'll admit to that. Now, you might think the only thing we brew here in Ireland is Guinness. In fact, so effective is their marketing, you might think it's the only thing we make here at all (other than actors, writers and musicians). Let me tell you, that's not the case. We make plenty of things. And we have a rich beer culture as well. It's not just Guinness. It's not even just stout. We make the whole gamut. Lagers, pale ales, red ales, the lot. And our craft beer sector is booming.
I mention this because one of our national brewers, Smithwick's, hired me to take a photograph to promote its 2017 New Year's Eve event on Achill Island. While Smithwick's is owned by the same company that owns Guinness, it is known for red ale rather than stout.
Smithwick's wanted a very specific photograph of the sun going down over Achill Island, off the west coast of County Mayo. Problem was, they needed it quickly and the weather forecast on the days I was available wasn't great. But a professional photographer is never put off by anything as trivial as the weather. I have a friend who once took a picture for Specsavers that you would swear was done on a sunny summer's day. Except it was taken in the tipping rain in January. Besides, as a landscape photographer, I know that the weather in Ireland is unpredictable. Perhaps I'd get lucky?
There was another problem. I had advised Smithwick's that the best photograph would be an aerial picture. They loved the idea. There was the small issue that the batteries for my drone were still in transit from Chile. (They've been in transit since the end of August and still haven't arrived at the time of writing.) Fortunately, Copter Shop Ireland, with whom I've built up a great relationship, stepped in and helped me out.
The final image isn't what Smithwick's had in mind initially. Nevertheless, they were realistic in what they expected me to achieve in the short amount of time available. And we're all very happy with the photograph that I was able to get.