Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Environmental Photography

Having photographed him many times, I have listened to Professor John FitzGerald, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC), expressing disappointment, at how little the Irish Government is doing to combat climate change.

Ireland is one of the worst performing members of the EU in tackling the changing climate. According to the CCAC Annual Review published in July, "Ireland is not on track to meet its 2020 or 2030 targets, or to decarbonise its economy by 2050." 

It went on to say that "Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions increased again in 2016, with the projections of emissions to 2035 showing that we are completely off course in addressing the challenge of climate change.” 

Well, I'm a photographer and they say that a picture is worth a thousand words:
The photo above is of Dublin seen through the smog, from Fairy Castle on Two Rock mountain, which overlooks the city. It was photographed during the recent "beautiful" Irish summer. 

This week the IPCC published its special report on global warming of 1.5°C, which highlighted the absolute urgency to introduce measures that reduce emissions. It suggests that there are 12 years left to keep temperature rises to a maximum of 1.5 degrees, after which even a half a degree increase, will significantly increase the risks of drought, floods and extreme heat and its consequences for millions of people.

In Ireland we need to start playing our part - and soon! - or it will be a very sad legacy that we leave for future generations.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Best Camera!

While I think that I am reasonably skilful with a camera, I have never been fully happy with my "phone" photography skills.

I am also aware that while more photos are taken globally every day than ever before, unfortunately, most of them are not very good. So I felt that I needed to do something to up-skill.

Having finally upgraded my phone to a "3 generations old technology" iPhone 7 - which does have a nice camera - I discovered that The Gallery of Photography in Dublin, were running a smart phone photography workshop, with the multi talented Brendan Ó Sé. 

Well, I figured that its never too late to learn a new skill or a new way of taking photographs, even for a seasoned professional like myself.

This course was wonderful, it got my creative juices flowing and reinforced my belief that a photograph is taken by a person not by a camera. 

I have always said that the best camera is the one that doesn't get in the way when you are taking a photograph. And by knowing what your camera can do (be it a phone or a DSLR) and working within that knowledge so it becomes second nature, you become free to take beautiful photographs. 

These are some photos of random strangers, that I produced on my standard iPhone 7 during the photowalk, which is the practical part of the workshop. While I think I need more practice, I was quite happy with them.

Thanks for all of the tips, Brendan!

Brendan Ó Sé will be running further workshops at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin. See The Gallery of Photography website for more details.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Conference and event photography

I love Dublin’s main conference centre, the CCD and I seem to have spent a lot of time this Summer, working on various conferences in this iconic building. This includes one event with more than 3,000 delegates. 

Now that's a lot of people to photograph!

So it was nice to get some quiet time between sessions to produce this panoramic view of the auditorium, surely the most spectacular conference room in Dublin.

You can check out my conference and event portfolio on my website.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Photographing the Leaders

Clockwise: An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, leader of Fine Gael, Micheál Martin TD, leader of Fianna Fáil, the main opposition party, Brendan Howlin TD, leader of the Labour Party and Mary Lou McDonald TD, leader of Sinn Féin.
When I photograph powerful people in business or in politics, I try to show a little of their human side, while respecting their position. These people are time sensitive, so being prepared and ready for all possible situations means that I can concentrate on getting the best image possible. Have a look at my website for more examples.

Photographed above, are the leaders of Ireland’s main political parties. My thanks to the editors of Eolas Magazine for commissioning the photos.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


When I'm not pursuing my day job as a commercial corporate photographer, I like to relax by photographing the landscape. I am often called on to provide landscape images as part of my day job, but photographing personal landscapes is such a wonderful release. One of my favourite locations is Tuscany. Waiting for the light to be perfect, I couldn't be happier than capturing the beauty of the Val d'Orcia and the Crete Senesi.

These images are among a collection available as limited edition prints, post cards and posters. Send me a note for more information.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tractor on Tour - 10 years on

Top: Jill Barrett, Russell guarding the tractor, The start of Tractor on Tour 2008.
Bottom: Jane McKenna, Jill, Louise and Russell, Jane receiving the first instalment of the funds raised from Jill in 2008.
One of the first things that I photographed when I opened my professional photography business 10 years ago, was to document my cousin Jill Barrett as she, along with her cousin Louise and their mascot Russell, drove a large tractor around the 32 counties of Ireland. The aim was to raise money and awareness for Children Hospices in Ireland. Jill raised €100,000 in 2008, most of which went towards the building of LauraLynn House, the first children's hospice in Ireland founded by Jane and Brendan McKenna, The balance was donated to children’s hospices in Northern Ireland.

Top: Jane McKenna and Jill Barrett outside LauraLynn House, Tractor on Tour in Dublin 2018.
Bottom: Louise and Russell collecting in Dublin, some of the many collectors collecting in St Stephen’s Green in 2018.
So I was delighted this year, to document the 10th anniversary tractor run and collection in Dublin last month. After a visit to LauraLynn house with Jill driving an even bigger tractor than 10 years ago, Jill with an army of collectors continued to raise money and awareness for Ireland's Children's Hospice, LauraLynn. 

Russell - the Newfoundlander, still going strong in 2018 and at the start of Tractor on Tour in 2008.

And after 10 years, even Russell was still able to play his part!

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.