Finbarr O’Shea LIPF


IPF President, Michael O'Sullivan FIPF, FRPS, presenting the award to Finbarr O'Shea LIPF.

ECCG member, Finbarr O'Shea, was awarded a well deserved Licentiate of the Irish Photographic Federation at the IPF Distinction Sitting at the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Church St, Portlaoise on Saturday 5th March 2016.

Well done Finbarr!

Click here to see Finbarr's successful L-panel.



One-Light-Portraits with Michael O’Sullivan

MOSullivan Workshop JB-3

Why is it that of all the genres of photography, photographing a fellow human being in a formal setting can be one of the biggest challenges? It is a curious thing because while most of us feel a bit daunted at the prospect, those who do it well do it very well and with seemingly little effort. But there's the rub: we're around long enough to know that the easier someone can make a task look, the more accomplished they are at it. Therefore, with March themed for portraiture in the club, we needed some questions answered and hopefully some secrets shared on the topic.

So the hunt was on for a speaker/tutor who would demystify the techniques, share some knowledge and yet still keep it simple enough that we could go forth with basic equipment and achieve some decent results. A big ask. Yet, when we considered the question, agreement came quickly and we were delighted when Michael O'Sullivan FIPF FRPS, current IPF President and member of our neighbouring Cork Camera Group, agreed to do a mini workshop on the subject at one of our regular meetings.

Having had Michael speak and show his images several times previously, we were really looking forward to this workshop and we weren't disappointed. Starting with a single on-camera flash and a simple omnibounce, we were quickly acquainted with terms such as hard and soft light, shadows and highlights, broad lighting, short lighting, split lighting and rembrandt lighting while projected images of our wonderful model, Cassie, appeared courtesy of the magic of tethered capture into Lightroom, demonstrating each point, good and bad, in turn.

Modifiers, from reflectors and brollies, beauty dishes and softboxes, big and small were all covered and then it was on to a single off-camera flash controlled by a radio trigger enabling directional light to be placed practically anywhere on a set. While he demonstrated this with a studio light, Michael did remind us that the same effects were equally possible with hotshoe flashes mounted off-camera.

Technical issues, such as colour balance and exposure settings as well as the problems caused by poor ambient electrical lighting and light bouncing from some coloured walls or where a ceiling is too high to bounce light to/from were all discussed and strategies suggested for surmounting these problems. On set safety for everyone on such a shoot, especially where lights and modifiers are mounted on stands, was an equally important part of the workshop.

Michael OSullivan-029

All of this in so little time and all delivered in Michael's own inimitable style. Unreal!

While there are many photography 'experts' out there around the globe just a mouseclick away, we are fortunate indeed to have the calibre of Michael on our doorstep who can, in person and in a matter of a couple of hours or longer, deliver and demystify the nuances of the subject. Thanks a million Michael and, of course, Cassie, for a fantastic mini workshop.

All of Michael's images in this post  are straight RAW captures taken in our meeting room with only one light.

See more about Michael here:
Twitter: @MOSPhotoIreland , @OSMPhotography
Irish Photographic Federation:

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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.