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Urban Ocean: Gulf of Mexico

Transocean Development Driller rigs in squall at Deepwater Horizon disaster site.
Transocean Development Driller rigs in squall at Deepwater Horizon disaster site.

It has taken not much more than half a century to turn the Gulf of Mexico into an Urban Ocean, dotted with 27,000 abandoned wells, and nearly 4,000 active platforms, interconnected by an incredible 40,000km of pipelines. At sea, no matter where you are in the northern Gulf of Mexico, you can see the blinking lights of an oil platform, a small steel city unto itself, or perhaps a rusting ghost town. The Deepwater Horizon disaster, in April 2010 drew attention to this industrialisation of the Gulf, and hinted to the public the existence a scarred landscape that exists just over the horizon from the shorelines of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. In September 2010, I worked on board a Greenpeace ship carrying out research to measure the impact of the oil spill, from where I got to observe the oil rigs drafted into the Deepwater Horizon site dwarfed by powerful rainstorms, and the wildlife that still prevails – the hummingbirds, the sperm whales, the flying fish and the powerful rainstorms.

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Masters of the Irish Harp

Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin

A recent addition to Dublin’s low-rise skyline and spanning the Irish capital’s River Liffey, the harp-like silhouette of Santiago Caletrava’s Samuel Beckett Bridge is a technical marvel bordering in Celtic Kitsch. These qualities attracted me and my camera – even to the point of doing long picture exposures on cold snowy nights. It’s paid off, with several of my images of the bridge now being used by Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, for a Lyric FM CD compilation of Irish harp music.

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Age and youth

Age and youth - walker and graffiti door on Sloterkade, Amsterdam.
Age and youth – walker and graffiti door on Sloterkade, Amsterdam.

Age and youth – walking aid and graffiti door on Sloterkade, Amsterdam. This scene has been fascinating me for months. The stairs, with the hint of a white rail, an elderly person’s walking aid locked to the wall, a garage door covered in unintelligible graffiti, the growth of the green plant. The blue of some of the spraypaint matches the walker, while the word ‘suicide’ appears on the glass above. The word again, again and again.
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The Herbalist

Herbs in the window of abandoned Herbalist Shop, Rethymno, Crete
Herbs in the window of abandoned Herbalist Shop

An abandoned herbalist’s shop in Rethymno, Crete. It was owned, apparently, by Panajiotis and or Dimitrios Kontogianis – at least that’s what it says on the packets of dried herbs in the window. Other fragments of clues – a faded, stained photograph of the proprieter, leftover belongings. What happened here? Where did they go?

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97 Minutes in Barentsburg

Bust of Lenin in Barentsburg, Svalbard
Bust of Lenin in Barentsburg, Svalbard

I am staring at a forest, a painting of a forest. A door opens in the forest, and two men climb out. They close the door, then walk away.

The forest, or rather the painting of a forest, is in the Russian coal-mining town of Barentsburg, about 1200km from the North Pole, one of three inhabited settlements in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

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Martha Van Der Bly: Repulsion

Martha Van Der Bly

For a couple of years now, actress and filmmaker Martha Van Der Bly and myself have been threatening to team up and work on a photographic project together. Great idea, but hindered by our never being in the same location for more than five minutes. Back in April, we spent two Sunday afternoons developing some ideas…

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The Things I Found On Bull Island

Armchair on Bull Island © Dave Walsh 2009

Bull Island is a new world, less than 200 years old. Grown from a mere sandback after Captain William Bligh (of the Bounty) made his 1801 proposal to stop the silting of the Liffey by constructing of the Bull Wall, the island is today a UNESCO biosphere reserve – a protected area that by definition is supposed to demonstrate a balanced relationship between man and nature.
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Fata Morgana: Arctic Mirage

Fata Morgana on Joe Island, Nares Straight, north west Greenland

There is something unnerving about watching reality bend before one’s eyes. There is what one “knows” to be true, and that which
one can see through a telephoto lens or binoculars – with Fata Morgana, the two are difficult to reconcile. Something is happening on the
horizon. Icebergs twist and change shape, move, disappear, elongate. Islands rise from the sea. The earth warps.

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Greenland Self Governance


I was fortunate enough to be in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland on June 21st 2009- midsummer’s day, when Greenland celebrates its National Day. There was further cause for celebration – following a referendum last year, Greenland has decided on ‘self governance’ and on June 21st moved from ‘home rule’ to a new state of autonomy from Denmark. Here’s some of my images…

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Hourglass dolphin and my website featured on Photoshelter

Dave Walsh Featured Photoshelter Photographer 

Well, the nice people at Photoshelter have featured my website and my hourglass dolphin image on their front page for all of June! Amazing… (under the ‘images’ tab on the frontpage slideshow). Photoshelter reckon that 40,000 photographers use their service, so it’s very cool for them to be pushing my work. I feel very honoured – thanks to everyone at Photoshelter…

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