On Tuesday 19/5/15 a group of ECCG members fulfilled a long-held item on our bucket list when we visited Giles Norman, Ireland's foremost black and white photographer, at his gallery at 45 Main St, Kinsale, Co. Cork.
Giles, himself, was on hand to show us around the gallery and we were eager to hear about his photography methods and workflow.
Having been heavily influenced by street photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau in his early years, he has adopted their style of 'travelling light' with just one handheld camera and one lens which is incredible when you scan his gallery and take in the wonderful images he has captured in this way.
He claims to be not concerned with the technicalities of photography so much as the composition of his images preferring instead to concentrate on what he sees through the view finder and capture the decisive moments as they happen.
Hanging in his gallery is this insightful passage:
"Every image we see, has its perfect composition and the closer we get to that the better the photograph. It's the difference between a bad photograph and a good one, a good photograph and a great one. It's the fundamental being of both landscape and street photography, the one thing you must learn, the one thing your camera can't do for you. My advice to any aspiring photographer is to concentrate on composition and let your camera do the rest. Most cameras have an automatic program mode, find it, use it, trust it. Don't look at your camera, look through it, because while you are looking at it, moving dials and changing buttons, the clouds have moved, the light on the sea has disappeared, the couple kissing are now talking, the photograph is less than it could have been, the image has lost it's perfect composition".
- Giles Norman
Often times we are guilty of getting caught up in the 'gear' that goes with photography, mistakenly thinking that it is essential in getting THE shot. Not so and Giles is living proof of this fact.
Giles's first publication with Collins Press, a book entitled 'Ireland Timeless Images', was published to coincide with his 25th year in business and he is currently working on his next book, a collection of images of Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way.
Many thanks to Giles and his wife, Catherine, for hosting ECCG at the gallery.