Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin
Many years ago in very rural Ireland, namely Malin Head, I found a little green bird bouncing around our rather bare and barren garden. I was interested and wanted to know what it was. So for my 12th birthday I was given a bird book and a pair of binoculars. The more I learnt about birds, the more I wanted to know. So much so I started to find scarce and rare birds, but I had no way of recording them, except as little hand sketched drawings.
As the years went on, I wanted to record my sightings either on film or digital format, so I invested in my first Nikon SLR. As the digital age progressed, so did point and shoot cameras. These cameras allowed me to photograph birds through a telescope. However, I was frustrated with the quality of Digiscoping. I constantly wanted to do better.
In 2006, I bought a Nikon D80 and Sigma 150-500mm lens and began photographing birds in a serious fashion. Numerous websites and magazines in the UK and Ireland became very interested in my photographs of rare birds. I got a number of photographs published throughout Ireland, the UK and front covers as far afield as Australia and India.
So it all began with the birds. Now I capture numerous subjects, birds, general flora and fauna, landscapes and the spectacular night sky. I seek to highlight what can be seen and experienced therein. I often hear people saying, ‘I didn’t know you could see them/those/that in Ireland’. I have developed my photography to be awe inspiring with a touch of education and I will, in the future, aim to keep showing people the wonderful heritage, flora and fauna that is to be found across Ireland. My home place in the far north of Ireland and in Ireland’s most Northerly point, namely Malin Head is very important to me. I love to show people what the area has to offer from its beautiful landscapes, nightscapes, wildlife, heritage and folklore.
I have a simple life ethos and I am one who loves making photographs and spending time outdoors. I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on personal projects and travelling to the 4 corners of Ireland. I make my bed in Cork, but Donegal is my home and where better to get the inspiration than in some of the wildest spots in Western Europe!
With time I like to think I have advanced and so did the camera gear, upgrading to Nikon D90 and subsequently Nikon D7100 camera and the wonderful 11-14mm F2.8, which anyone with an interest in the night sky shouldn't be without. For my birding I use a Nikon ED111 Fieldscope and Nikon Monarch Binoculars.
I really love my photography and I spend a lot of time refining, perfecting and even obsessing over my work… It is a passion, which I hope comes across in my photographs.
“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” Don McCullin