My light painting developed as a way for me to process and deal with the loss of my father. I was bringing light to my own dark place. The lights I use briefly brighten spaces, illuminate and change them. Just like the people we meet in our lives do. In photography we make a lot of our subjects having nice light, whereas in my light painting I am trying to make the light into a nice subject. Essentially for me is all about bringing Light to Dark Spaces and Overlooked Places.
I am the third in a generation of photographers in my family. My Grandfather was a keen amateur and once vice president of The Irish Photographic Society. He was awarded distinction with the FIAP the international Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), the worldwide body for photographic art .
My Father also had a distinction from FIAP, he and my Mother were award winning professional photographers working mainly in the commercial and advertising business in Ireland, who's careers spanned several decades.
Me, well obviously I have a lot of family history to live up to when it comes to photography. I have exhibited in London and Dublin. My work has been featured in the Irish Times and the Guardian newspapers. I was runner up in the NME awards for festival photography in 2010. In 2016 I won the 'No Filter' award in the SNAPYS, the Irish independent Instagram awards and was nominated for awards in three other categories. I recently had an appraisal of my work by the Irish Photography Federation and was awarded a Licentiateship by them (LIPF). I am currently working towards a distinction by FIAP and if I achieve this goal I will be the third generation in my family to hold this distinction.
For me Photography is a meditative process. A healing medium for when I have no words left. A way to communicate, a way to recharge and re-center myself. When I look through a viewfinder my life outside its frame disappears and my focus (if you will forgive the pun!) lies wholly with the scene coming through the lens.
Mindfulness is something that is being promoted these days as something that is good for ones mental health and as a pursuit photography can really be an excersize in mindfulness. You are not just seeing through your lens but reading and trying to understand what you are viewing. Being aware of the environment that surrounds you, then trying to capture that scene photographically and by doing so translate what you felt and saw looking through the lens to the viewer of the final image.
I find with light painting the mindful side of photography is amplified even more. Finfing yourself in a completely dark space having to imagine in your minds eye how you want that blank space to look. Then having to sequence each bit of light that you add to an image, therefore becoming very aware of the importance of ones every movement and your place within a space. One wrong move and the whole shot is off.