Irish Cricket Part 2- group shots.

A major part of this project is to shoot a variety of cricket teams in a proud gladiatorial style. Having shot numerous groups in this style over the years. It’s always a challenge to get everyone looking ‘right’ in limited time as the cricketers had often finished their match with food, drink and a change of clothes being their main concern. Invariably a few have either been blinking, laughing and smiling or looking in the wrong direction. I have been shooting a variety of positions along with variations of holding different items of equipment. This often creates tough decision making when editing, for example the cricketer in the foreground might look perfect but the one to the right’s bat would be at another preferred angle or another cricketer has moved resulting in him being obscured. Also when shooting, consideration is given with the changing light with cloud and sky variations. It’s very much ‘work in progress’ as I have many more team set ups to achieve next season such as women, male and female juniors with more emphasis on arranging the full team (as you can see only 9 in some) and wardrobe (no shorts!).

Merrion CC.Teamsetupsun192l copy

Merrion1stbl copycopy copy The images below are of The Theatrical Cavaliers at the St Columba’s school.

Set at the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Its has the oldest original pavilion in the country. Inside has a list of all school teams dating back as far as 1850 to the present day.

Next week Part 3 – Cricket Portraits.

Irish Cricket Project Pt 1

Merrion CC.

During this summer I’ve been shooting a personal project ‘Irish cricket’ which has often been dismissed over the years as a colonial sport in Ireland. Overshadowed by the more popular Hurling, Gaelic football, Association football (often known as Soccer so as not confuse with Gaelic football) and Rugby. Cricket was never my sport but visually it was what attracted me to this ongoing project. The helmet, the pads, bat and ball, stumps/bail and of course the stylish ‘Cricket whites’. I have been compelled to create ‘set up’ team portraits as well as individual ones. With the help and co operation of Merrion and St Columbas in Dublin and numerous visiting teams.

Merrion CC

The Theatrical Cavaliers Cricket club

Merrion CCThe Theatrical Cavaliers CC at St Columba’s Cricket Ground.nets2l_1 copy.jpg

Fascinated by the behind the scenes at the matches in and around the pavilion, I shot documentary style images of the cricketers especially the batsmen, (I will be shooting women’s cricket next season) who are waiting in turn to perform. Also the scorers, friends and family watching. Pets included. I didn’t want to shoot as a sports photographer with the usual action shots which have been done so well. The history is interesting which I’ll feature in the next post. With the increased presence of multiculturalism, the impact of South Asian communities has enriched Irish cricket and has contributed to a revival of the sport. Its rarely been seen on Irish television nor would you see a village green match or hear the equivalent of John Arlott (BBC tv/radio) or the wonderful GAA RTÉ commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Cricket in Ireland is organised on an all-Ireland basis. Following the team’s success in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, the sport’s popularity increased. The country was, until 2017, an associate member of the International Cricket Council and played in tournaments like the World Cricket League and ICC Intercontinental Cup, which are qualifying rounds for associate teams for the Cricket World Cup and ICC World Twenty20. Ireland qualified for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, the 2011 Cricket World Cup and 2010 ICC World Twenty20. In the 2011 World Cup, they beat England in the group matches. This major upset caused a wave of nationalistic pride resulting in the newspaper headline ‘England toasted by Johnston, Mooney and O’Brien’ which references these cricketers with their namesake, the name of a well known Bakery!
In 2017, domestic cricket in Ireland was recognised as first-class cricket for the first time. In recognition of their progress as a cricketing nation, Ireland were granted Full Member (and hence Test) status for the men’s national side. Ireland played their first men’s Test Match against Pakistan in May 2018, losing by 5 wickets. Ireland’s women cricket played a test match prior to full membership in 2000, coincidently also against Pakistan.Cricket Ireland announced the recipients of six part-time professional contracts for members of the senior women’s national team, in what is a landmark step forward for the game’s development. This year The mens test team played England at Lords. Despite a great start the experience of the home team proved too strong.
part 2  Next Week.
The Theatrical Cavaliers Cricket team at St Columba’s

Dublin’s coastal Dart.

white rockpassing train bcopyWhiterock copy copyKilliney dart frombeach copyWhiterockdartlookinbackcropedWhiterockdartlookinbackWhiterockdartlsunriseb copyWhiterockdartlookinbackcropedb copyWhiterocksurfbDuring my two day shoot at this chosen location, my main objective was to shoot the Dart train in a coastal setting within the boundaries of Dublin county. The Dublin Area Rapid Transit system, officially and popularly known as the DART, is an electrified rapid transit railway network serving the coastline and city centre of Dublin. The service makes up the core of Dublin’s suburban railway network , stretching from Greystones at its southernmost terminus to Howth and Malahide in north county Dublin. The DART serves 31 stations and consists of 53 kilometres of track, and carries in the region of 16 million passengers per year. See previous post on this location . Next week is Howth!

Aviva!

In 2010 I did a shoot for a BBC publication featuring the ex Ireland and Lions rugby player Fergus Slattery. One of the shots was to feature him at the building of the new Lansdowne Rd stadium, that was soon to be renamed The Aviva Stadium. Once it was officially opened in May of that year I returned on numerous occasions to photograph it from the various locations. This contemporary piece of architecture set amongst the residential surroundings in the capital city proved to be visually inspiring for me to create this series. It is solely owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the current stadium is controlled by the IRFU and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) through a 50:50 joint venture known as the Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company (LRSDC). The joint venture has a 60-year lease on the stadium; on expiry the stadium will return to the exclusive ownership of the IRFU. The stadium’s roof is designed to undulate in a wave-like manner so as to avoid blocking light to local residences.12535b5c-copy5d5d15e5f-copy5g67a8a9a10a16a-copy17-copy

Grace and Glory – The inner sleeve

These portraits were shot for the inner sleeve of The High Kings new album- Grace and Glory.
I set up a studio in The Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran Co Donegal, in between sound checks and dinner. Such a pleasure to work with. Finbar 3b_wBrian 1b_w 2Martin banjo h_constrast 2B_WGavin with MandoB_W_ed

Grace and Glory

I recently shot the cover of the new album by the acclaimed Irish traditional band The High Kings entitled Grace and Glory. In between sound checks at the hotel I shot on location in Bundoran on the Donegal coast. Martin Furey, Finbar Clancy, Brian Dunphy,and Darren Holden all braved the elements with their usual professionalism. Afterwards it was back to the hotel to set up a studio to shoot portraits for the inside of the cover, followed by live shots during the gig. http://www.thehighkings.comgg-cover-titles copy copy copygraceandglory-11am