Thursday, April 12, 2018

Noel Hillis, Corporate photographer in Ireland

Here is a selection of some of my favourite commissioned images from the past 12 months.
Two of my favourite cover shots of 2017 were of Eóin McManus of Three Ireland and Ronan Doherty of ElectroRoute, with thanks to the editors of Eolas Magazine and Energy Ireland’s Renewable Energy Magazine.

This corporate portrait of Paul Roche was photographed in front of the "wall of letters" for Capita, at their premises in Dublin.

This cityscape showing the proliferation of cranes on the Dublin Skyline was photographed for An Bord Pleanala’s Annual Report.

This portrait of Pat O’Doherty, CEO of ESB was photographed for Eolas Magazine

Economist, Dan O’Brien was photographed at City Hall for Estates Gazette.

The Ceann Comhairle, Sean O’Fearghail was photographed at Leinster House, for Eolas Magazine. For those reading outside Ireland, the Ceann Comhairle is the speaker of the Irish parliament.
One of a series of event photographs produced for Keynote PCO at their 10th anniversary party, at Number Twenty Two, in Dublin. 

One of a series of business portraits produced for Lidl, showing people at work.

Asa Tynell from the Swedish EPA was photographed for Energy Ireland.

My favourite business moment of the year happened during this PR shoot for William Grant and Sons.

Reflections on a conference! One of a series of conference photographs, produced for the Transport and Climate Change Summit, at Dublin Castle.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Corporate Portraits for websites

Having worked previously with John Higgins, I was delighted when he asked me to provide corporate portraits for his new company, Retirement Life. John is a former CEO of the Retirement planning council and he established Retirement Life to deliver retirement planning workshops and advice, to companies and prospective retirees.
Working with Alastair McDermott at, my brief included producing both formal and informal business portraits and well as photographing John preparing and facilitating a workshop. In addition to supplying photos for print, the website would be ultra responsive, so it was important to supply strong images that would work in both landscape and portrait formats on smart phones and tablets as well as on desktops.

I'm glad to say that my clients were very happy with the photographs and that the website works really well. As in the modern world, people are living longer after retirement, the service provided by John and his colleagues is a valuable resource.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Jane and Brendan McKenna celebrated at LauraLynn

Jane and Brendan McKenna, founders of LauraLynn House were recently honoured for their work at LauraLynn, Ireland's Children's Hospice and presented with a book of memories.

It was wonderful to be involved in such an outpouring of gratitude from families, friends, volunteers, supporters and staff.

You can see more photos from the event here

Monday, February 19, 2018

Photo essay from along the Border in Ireland

In the Brexit referendum held in June 2016, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland voted to to leave the European Union. As it now stands, on March 29th 2019, the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland will become the only land border between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Last October, I documented a journey taken by journalists from Eolas Magazine as they travelled the length of the border in Ireland, from Carlingford Lough in the east, to Lough Foyle in the west. The objective was to report on on how Brexit might affect businesses and communities on both sides of a border, that has been all but invisible for the past 20 years.  

There are almost 300 recognised crossing points along this border and at least 30,000 people cross this invisible line every day. The border in Ireland bisects towns, roads, farmland, businesses, communities and families. As we travelled almost 500km along border roads that criss-cross the frontier without hindrance, we spoke with people who cross the border daily to work, to socialise, to access education and healthcare services.

Below are some of the photographs and you can read full article, with more photographs in the current issue of Eolas Magazine. You can also read the online version here.

Martin McVicar is CEO of Irish exporter, Combilift, which has invested €45 million in a new factory in Monaghan, just south of the border (left). Eamon Fitzpatrick runs a fuel and hardware business, which is literally on the border - his shop is in the north and his petrol pumps are in the south (right).

Community representatives;  Fr Joe McVeigh, photographed with one foot across the border line, Ken Funston, offered us an alternative local perspective and Betty Holmes, who was concerned about the future of cross border cancer care.

The Irish border, clockwise from top left, Looking south across the border bridge separating Belcoo in Co. Fermanagh and Blacklion in Co. Cavan; top right, the border line is along the right hand side of this road between counties Armagh and Monaghan and between the house and the road; bottom right, a road sign with bullet holes, outside Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan in the south, as the road enters Co. Fermanagh in the north, bottom left, a monument to ‘the border busters’, a local community effort to reopen border roads closed by the British Army, during the Troubles.

Community representative Cathal Short, photographed at a crossing point between counties Monaghan and Armagh on the Fane River. This is one of many unmarked crossing points that will be on the border between the EU and the UK after Brexit.

Friday, February 2, 2018

My most frightening photograph

If you follow my work on Instagram, you will know about my love of walking in the hills. Last September, in Chamonix-Mont Blanc, in the French Alps, I photographed my most frightening image. This is it below.

So what exactly is so frightening about this photograph? It is just a simple image of the tail of the Bossons glacier, photographed on the lower slopes of Mont Blanc, almost at an altitude one mile up in the air.

Well, this is the view of the Bossons glacier photographed from the same spot, on my first visit in 1987.

When you compare the two photos side by side, then perhaps you will realise why I was in such a state of shock. The Bossons glacier has all but vanished from the lower slopes.

This is no small block of Ice. It is about 7.5 km long, with a surface area of approximately 10 km². When I was here in 1987 and I looked down on the glacier, I watched climbers trying to get across it. 

In 2017, when I looked down, all I could see was bare rock and I needed my telephoto zoom lens to get close enough to the glacier, to photograph the tail and meltwater.

It is just as dramatic when comparing the view from across the valley. You can see the Bossons glacier falling below Mont Blanc like a long tongue when photographed in 1987 and it looks much less impressive in 2017. There really is a big difference.

Les Bossons is one of Europes lowest lying glaciers and also the fastest moving. It falls down the slopes of Mont Blanc, replenishing itself at a rate of almost 300m per year. However, it has retreated just under 1 km in length in the last 30 years. You can see that in 1987, the tail came almost level with the entrance to the Mont Blanc tunnel (bottom centre of pics) and the lower area of the glacier in 2017, was much thinner, exposing much more rock.  

Summer avalanche, Chamonix-Mont Blanc 2017 - The top of the Bossons glacier is on the right.
While glaciers have been in slow retreat for a couple of centuries, this rate of retreat has accelerated dramatically over the last 20 years. And it is happening on more than 90% of the monitored glaciers in the world. For the latest figures see the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) website. 

The climate is changing on a global level, but when you see something like the dramatic disappearance of the Bossons glacier up close and watch summer avalanches from the melting ice,  it really makes an impact. Melting glaciers are like the canaries in the coal mines and perhaps we need to start paying attention to this warning - soon!

Les Bossons Glacier on Google Maps 

Friday, January 26, 2018

The end of an era in Churchtown

I was really sorry to hear about the closing of Churchtown Stores, my local hardware shop in Dublin. The Flood brothers will be much missed on their retirement. It has always been a a joy to visit this Aladdin's Cave and they literally stocked everything from a needle to an anchor. I was lucky enough to work with them on a commercial photography project a few years ago. Their like won't be seen again!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Belated Happy New Year - from the Road Less Travelled!

Happy New Year - from the Road Less Travelled!

I hope that the rest of the year is as exciting as our New Year's day walk was. This landscape photograph of the Sugarloaf in Co. Wicklow was photographed from the Fairy Castle Summit of Two Rock mountain, which overlooks the city of Dublin. 

Have a wonderful 2018!