ECCG Welcomes Martin Janowski


East Cork Camera Group were pleased to welcome local photographer, Martin Janowski to our scheduled meeting at the Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 3/2/15. Martin gave a presentation of his work which is a rich diversification as can be seen on his website.

Based in Whitegate, Martin is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, specialising in people, interior and architectural photography.

Find out more about Martin at the following links:

m. 0851196916



John Finn, ARPS, visits ECCG


John Finn and Denis Barry

ECCG were delighted to welcome Carrigtwohill-based photographer, John Finn, ARPS, to our scheduled meeting at the Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 21/10/14.

Being a long-standing stalwart of the photographic community, John was long since on our wish list of speakers and, when he attained his Associate membership of the Royal Photographic Society earlier this year, it was definitely time to extend the invitation which he immediately accepted.

It is a pleasure indeed to listen to a speaker who knows his or her topic intimately, has complete command of the subject and can deliver the message with passion, enthusiasm and humour and this, in a nutshell, is what John delivered to us in his presentation.

He started with the trials and tribulations and eventual elation of achieving his ARPS Distinction and then moved on to show examples of his other work including the lighthouses of Ireland, art nude, travel, infra red, macro and street photography. All exquisite, all inspiring but none more so than the sight and sound of a person who has already spent decades taking photographs and still retains the enthusiasm to push on, try something different and see where the new roads lead.

Every now and then we photographers need an injection of inspiration to keep going and we thank John for providing it in abundance on this occasion.

You can follow John and see his work on his website, blog and Flickr gallery at the links below.



Flickr Gallery:



ECCG hosts award-winning Photojournalist, Mark Condren


Mark Condren

East Cork Camera Group was delighted to host Irish Independent photographer and three-time P.P.A.I. Photojournalist of the Year, Mark Condren, at our recent meeting at The Midleton Park Hotel.

Mark's presence at the meeting was a long-awaited event and had been in the planning for some time. While we anticipated something special from the man, the fact that we were joined by photographers from Fermoy, Cork City and Ballincollig, all eager to see his presentation, heightened the expectation of the full house attendance and he didn't disappoint.

Going through his slideshow, Mark showed some brilliant work: news, politics, topical, poverty, crime, unrest, sad, happy, funny - they were all there and from all over Ireland and the world. The images were fantastic but hearing the stories behind them brought them alive to a point exceeding their native two dimensions. This was not a surprise of course, as anyone familiar with Mark's work, will identify with the unique perspective and intrinsic quality that is its hallmark.

A native of Castletownroche, Co. Cork, Mark worked with 'The Corkman' before moving to the 'Sunday Tribune' and then to the 'Irish Independent' where he currently works. An award winning photographer, Mark won his first P.P.A.I. Photojournalist of the Year award in 2009 and followed it up with another win in 2010, came second in 2011 and won it again in 2012. Considering that this competition is open to the top photographers in their field from the thirty-two counties of Ireland makes this a staggering achievement and speaks volumes for the esteem in which his work is held.

Mark Condren-1In 2012 Mark published his stunning, hard covered book entitled "The Guards: Behind the Scenes with the Men and Women of An Garda Síochána" - a photographic representation of twelve months of unprecedented access to the Gardaí (Irish Police) as they went about their daily work. Self-funded, the book was launched by An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny, TD and all profits from the book were donated to Temple Street Childrens' Hospital, Dublin.

The inspiration for the book came from photographing his father's last day on the beat in his native Castletownroche in 2009. Sergeant Larry Condren served in the Garda uniform for thirty seven years and, as he followed his father around the village, it dawned on Mark that a photography book like he had in mind, had not been done on the Gardaí before and so the seed was set. Having been granted permission to join and photograph members of the force across the length and breadth of the country for twelve months, Mark set about recording their daily work and compiled a selection of images that really grasped everything from the seemingly mundane chore of operating a checkpoint in rural Ireland to the adrenaline-inducing arrest of criminals in inner-city Dublin.

The book was a resounding success and was sold out within a week! If you have a copy of it, hang onto it as it is out of print and not likely to be reprinted any time soon.

Following his presentation, Mark answered questions about his job and the reality of being a photojournalist. Being in a camera club environment, camera settings were mentioned in the hope that there was some magic formula that would enable us to bring home a shot approaching the quality of one of his. Mark said that in his line of work you must be ready for the shot so, while settings are important, they are not as important as getting the shot. "What's the point in being precious about being in 'manual' and missing the shot", he said and in that, I think, there is a lesson for us all, especially those of us who sometimes agonise over f-stops, ISO and other technicalities when what we should be doing is concentrating on 'getting the shot'.

Well done Mark on an inspiring presentation, an enlightening talk and a revealing Q&A session.

Mark Condren-2

Mark with the Group

Photographs (except for Mark's portrait at the top) by Finbarr O'Shea.


Michael O’Sullivan – Photographic Artist

Michael O'Sullivan addresses ECCG

Michael O'Sullivan addresses East Cork Camera Group

ECCG recently invited Cork photographer, Michael O'Sullivan to address the Group. The air of anticipation was evident in the large attendance who were eager to pick up some morsel of expert knowledge that might make the difference in making their 'next great photo'. He did not disappoint.

As he prepared beforehand, it appeared that he had brought along a veritable collection of his work as he created stacks of his mounted images in readiness for his presentation.

Michael thanked the committee for the invitation to talk to the Group and complimented the great atmosphere he always found among the members of ECCG whenever he attended.

He said his involvement with photography went back a long time and there are very few areas of it that he hasn't experimented with at one time or another. Despite this, he has become known for certain types like landscapes, portraiture and 'dark stuff' etc. because of various panels he has produced over time to gain distinctions from the Irish Photographic Federation and Royal Photographic Society (Michael holds Fellowship Distinctions from both organisations).

Photography for him is an ongoing journey and the day he gets bored with it or comes to a state of stagnation is the day he will quit it, he said. While he does quite a lot of portraiture and PR work, landscapes are his 'hobby'. He likes nothing better than to go off into the wilds of West Cork and immerse himself in the natural beauty of the place regardless of weather conditions.

He said that too often photographers get stuck in a rut, see a photo they like and try to emulate it instead of wondering how they can apply what they like in the photograph to their own photography and give it their own expression. Landscapes aren't new, portraiture isn't new but when you're trying to gain distinctions, you must show that you are pushing the boundaries in your work to communicate your vision and show the judges something they haven't seen before. There are varying views on how that should be - some people are all about the vision while more are all about technique. There's a balance to be struck. Michael then showed his images, one by one, and spoke about the inspiration and execution of each finishing off with his 20-image panel with which he was successful in attaining his Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society.

Several hours later, after Michael had exhausted his audience with mythology, superstition, famous painters, photographic technique and exquisite photography in his trademark fast and humerous delivery, ECCG chairman, Tom Tattan, normally not one to be stuck for words, declared his mind blown, which was, in a nut shell, an accurate assessment of Michael's rich and knowing presentation.

Michael stayed on for quite a while afterwards answering questions and talking photography to the members who were all suitably impressed and inspired by this modern-day photographic artist.

See more of Michael's work here.


“This is a Slide” – Mick Fenton Educates the Group

Mick Fenton

I thought I was reliving my childhood when I walked into the group's meeting at The Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 12/3/13. Taking pride of place in the center of the room was a slide projector set up on a projector stand and aimed at a portable projection screen at the top of the room. Several full slide magazines were arranged underneath the projector and a power cable snaked along the floor. Yes, I could have been 5 years old again as this was a common scene at home, once or twice a year back in the 60's, when we would all gather for a slide show and giggle at the sight of our own faces and those of family and friends projected large in front of us. Even then, we were aware of the magic of these shows. The clarity and sheer size of the images as well as the cinematic feel of the darkened room, even if it was our kitchen, lent an air of a special occasion to those times.

It would have been a familiar scene to the owner of all this equipment too. Mick Fenton, a founding member of ECCG, grew up in the same era as me and was treated to similar slide shows by a neighbour which instilled in Mick a lifelong passion for photography which he still enjoys over forty years later.

When ECCG was founded in 2000, there was one member with a digital camera. Today, Mick Fenton is the only member still shooting film, not because he refuses to 'progress' but rather because his love of film and the images it produces is stronger than all the hype and advertising that has converted the rest of us. It was with a sense of great expectation then that we looked forward to this talk and slideshow by a man whose photographic integrity is intact. To add to the air of a special occasion, two more of the four co-founders of the group, John Joe Joyce and the current chairman, Tom Tattan, were also in attendance. Unfortunately the remaining co-founder, Pat Walsh, was unable to attend.

Tom Tattan got proceedings underway. He spoke about the early days of the group when the magic of the darkroom was what it was all about and the efforts that were made by the founding members to get the group off the ground. He expressed his delight at having a 'photographic purist' like Mick to share his knowledge with the group and gave him the floor.

Mick spoke briefly of the testing time it was when the group was being set up. A group was originally suggested over dinner, after a shoot, in Kenmare on a bank holiday Monday and those present agreed that they'd give it a go. They contacted Mary Tobin and Liam Supple who were then secretary and chairman, respectively, of the Dungarvan camera club who gave them direction and invited the Midleton contingent to their annual exhibition a few weeks later. Following the exhibition, an extended meeting of the founding members was held in a nearby restaurant where they proceeded to clean the place out of tea and scones over several hours as they debated and decided on the path which they would follow in setting up the group. From those humble beginnings the group went on and is still around and vibrant today.

Mick attributed its success to the commitment of the officers and members of the group over the years. "It was an honour and privilege for me to have been chairman of the group for several years. The group is only as strong, not as the officers are, but as the members are - if the commitment comes from the floor, the officers are under pressure to organise, research and step up to fulfill the requirements of the group", he said. The group made good contacts in neighbouring clubs around the country which was a fantastic help. He also paid tribute to the many professional photographers who were prepared to share their knowledge with them over the years.

Explaining his own love of the film medium, Mick acknowledged that digital was a fantastic medium too. He recalled an old photographer who refused to move from slide film to digital who compared both to oven cooked and microwaved meals: "there's nothing wrong with a microwaved dinner", he said, "but you can't beat sitting down to an oven cooked one!". Mick acknowledged that photography is a personal thing - what one person likes, another might not and that's fine.

This is a Slide!

Leading in to his slideshow, Mick looked at his audience, held up a small square of plastic and announced "This is a slide" and proceeded to educate the people before him on the whole process of slide photography, many of whom had never shot slide film or any film for that matter. The slideshow consisted of over 100 images of landscapes, seascapes, portraits and macro all shot on Fuji Velvia slide film using a Canon EOS3 camera (that has no LCD screen at the back!).


The images were, without fail, sharp, well exposed, well composed and had clarity and deep colours rarely seen in other media. For this post, I have scanned some of the images for the digital slideshow below but must say upfront that the scanning process has done no favours to the images. Highlights are blown out, shadows have gone to complete black with some softness introduced where none existed. That said I hope this will give you an idea of the treat we were afforded by Mick who has kindly offered to have some of his images properly scanned for future posts on this site. Mouse over the image below to activate the slideshow controls.


Mick gave the the back story to all the images but with the caveat "what happened in Prague, stays in Prague!".

Tom Tattan thanked Mick for his effort and help over the years and for the fantastic slideshow and insight he gave to the group. All adjourned to discuss matters further over refreshments afterwards.

Photos from the night: Dave Edmunds

See more images from the group here.