New Work

15 Bird Portraits

Common Shag, The Saltee Islands

European shag, or black cormorant, Saltee Islands, off the coast of Co. Wexford, Ireland. This belligerent looking shag was not happy about me climbing down the difficult path to the nearby gannet colony, and made a great show of hissing and expressing its distaste for humans.

In late 2020, I started pulling together a series of bird portraits, images made all over the world, over a long period of time. I believe the beauty, diversity and strangeness of birds is often overlooked, so I wanted to share that with my followers on my Instagram account.
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Gravel Road, Col de Jou, Pyrenees

The road escapes. Col de Jou, Pyrenees Orientales, France

Gravel road, Col de Jou, Pyrenees Orientales, France

 

This is an image I made at the end of 2020 in the Pyrenees, France. I think of this as one of my “cycling photographs” – I wasn’t on my bike when I made this, but I had ridden up this climb earlier in the year, and it’s pretty epic. The image works for me as there’s a convergence of angles, with a curve allowing the road to slip away, unseen.

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The Challenge of Photographing Trees and Forests

Late afternoon sunlight touches a treetop in the Massif de Canigou, Pyrenees Orientales, France

Late afternoon sunlight touches a treetop in the Massif de Canigou, Pyrenees Orientales, France. View large on my portfolio site.

Photographing trees and forests – I always find this difficult. How to make any sense of the beautiful organic chaos without just re-creating something in a dull, or cliched way? How to express the feeling of being out in the woods to someone who doesn’t know the place you’ve been?

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Bruxelles est Charlie: photos

Bruxelles est Charlie

Bruxelles est Charlie

On Sunday, January 11th 2015, I joined 20,000 other residents of Brussels of all creed, origin and colour for a peaceful march in the name of tolerance and freedom of speech, following the appalling carnage carried out in Paris – starting with the Charlie Hebdo killings. Here’s the images.
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Ms. Moose and the Porcupine Quills

Moose encounter, Glen Creek, Yellowstone National Park

We almost bumped into Ms. Moose on the way back from Electric Peak – she, and her offspring, Junior, were foraging on the banks of Glen Creek. We came within a few metres of them before stopping still, and backing off a bit. The two moose took off out of the water, and onto the trail ahead of us. We gave them a few minutes to get ahead, then moved slowly along the path. After 50m or so, we spotted Ms. M at the other side of the narrow creek, alone. Junior was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly she took off, and made to head us off on the path. We retreated, and ended up the path, farther back then when we had first encountered. She followed us, quickly but not aggressively, with a sense of purpose and authority, and didn’t get too close. When we reached open country, she escorted us no further. After a short pause, she made a quick turn and galloped away down the path. After a few minutes, we followed, even more tentatively than before. Neither Ms. Moose or Junior were anywhere to be seen; the path then opened out into flat, sagebrush country, with willow bushes on the right. We kept a close watch, but we didn’t see the moose family again.

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The Breakfast Bear

Black Bear, Blacktail Plateau Drive
Black bear, on the Blacktail Plateau Drive in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. We came across this black bear munching on Bearberry Honeysuckle (Lonicera involucrata – aka twinberry) early one morning. Although we sat there for several minutes watching the bear consume breakfast, we were completely ignored until it decided that it eaten all it could reach, and crossed the dirt road, giving us one straight glare before heading into the bushes in search of seconds.

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A Micronation Once Again: The Saltee Islands, Wexford

Atlantic Puffin, Saltee Islands, Wexford

Off the coast of southeast Ireland lie the two small Saltee Islands. Their simple, low-slung landscapes, four or five kilometres of the Wexford fishing village of Kilmore Quay belie their layers of history, folklore and bizarre stories. On approach, there are few warnings of the extent of the islands’ abundant wildlife, but more than 220 species of birds live, nest, or migrate through the Saltees, including gannets, fulmars, kittiwakes, puffins, shearwaters, razorbills and guillemots, all completely unfussed by human visitors. Curious grey seals eat fish scraps from the hands of fishermen, and stalk daytrippers who walk the cliffs – their big doe eyes staring up plaintively from the azure waters below.

Nothing is ordinary here. So I didn’t write anything ordinary.

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The Cold Edge: The Book

The Cold Edge Book by Dave Walsh Polar Photography
To celebrate the launch of the Cold Edge exhibition of my polar photography in Dublin, on September 13, I’ve created a beautiful 60-page eponymous book, The Cold Edge, via Blurb – print and iPad version. I’ve brought together some of what I hope are ethereal, emotional photographs of the unforgiving wilderness, wild animals and blue icebergs question our romantic relationship with remote, harsh and pristine environments. Images that resonate with a quiet tension; all may not be right in the Garden of Eden.
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Arctic Tern, Angelic

Arctic Tern, sterna paradisea, hovering near the dog yard Ny Alesund, Svalbard. Arctic terns migrate more than any other species bird – up to 35,000km per year for some birds, as the travel to Antarctica and back, and can enjoy two polar summers. The terns nest in the tundra in the scientific research centre of Ny Alesund, where they lay eggs, and tend to attack passersby in self-defence.
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Tulip Mania: Photographing People Photographing Flowers


Woman in blue jeans photographing flowers at the Keukenhof


Photographing flowers and undwear at the Keukenhof

Photographing People, Photographing flowers. An ugly, and probably mildly tasteless set of images, where I photograph people photographing flowers, and often show off their backsides along the way. Images made on April 2011 at the Keukenhof tulip show at Lisse, Netherlands.

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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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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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