Wogan captures beauty of Cooley in new publication

Margaret Roddy

Published 20/11/2013 | 05:20

An image by Damien Wogan.

The beauty of the Cooley peninsula is captured in an impressive new book by local landscape photographer Damien Wogan.

The Clogherhead photographer has realised a long held ambition with the publication of his book 'The Cooley Peninsula – A Photographic Journey' which will be launched in St Brigid's Hall, Dunleer on Saturday November 30th at 6pm.

A selection of images from the book will also be on display at the launch.

Featuring over 100 stunning images, the book represents seven years' work for Damien and showcases the beauty of the Cooley peninsula through the seasons.

Damien, a graduate of DkIT, first got interested in photography while living in the United States and it was hill walking which led to him discovering the wonderful landscape of the Cooley peninsula.

'I used to do a bit of hill walking and got into photography that way,' he recalls. 'I found that I had a real passion for the outdoors, for being out in the landscape, and then I found myself getting attracted to photography.'

'It's about getting out in the fresh air and getting outdoors to clear the head.'

As he began to notice the changing quality of light in the early morning or late in the evening, he quickly became hooked on the hunt to capture those special moments of the day known to photographers as 'the golden hour'.

For Damien, much of the satisfaction of photography is in planning and preparing to catch that special image, even if it means getting up at 3am so he can hike to the top of Slieve Foy to capture the sunrise.

'I love the whole creative process. Researching what the weather will be like, the tidal times, sunrise and sunset, and also moonrise and moonset,' he explains.

'Photography for me is not sitting in front of a computer, not about the camera or the gear, but simply about taking the picture as it appears to my eyes. If people like it, that's a bonus.'

It was a comment by a friend who admired his photography, pointing out that his photographs were simply sitting on his computer, that prompted Damien to put the book together.

He decided to focus on the Cooley peninsula as he feels that it is the most distinctive landscape feature on the north east coast.

'You can see it from as far away as Wicklow and, when you are travelling north, it dominates the landscape.'

'It's particularly beautiful and it's got everything for the landscape photographer – rugged coastlines, mountains, a couple of valleys and forests.'

The book represents many early mornings and late evenings as Damien returned again and again to locations to ensure that he got the image he wanted. 'There's a lot of waiting around, a lot of patience, and a lot of wet clothes,' he says. 'You do have to put yourself out but that's one of the things I love. You get to places where other people don't get to see. That's where the passion comes from.'

Damien pays tribute to his wife Fiona for supporting him in his photography and in this project. He has dedicated the book to her and their three children. Printed by Castle Print in Galway, 'The Cooley Peninsula' is a handsome hardback book which would make an ideal Christmas present and should do wonders for the promotion of north Louth as a destination for photographers, hill walkers, and anyone who appreciates natural beauty.

Priced €29.99, the book is available from Carroll's bookshop, Park Street, Dundalk, the Tourist Office, Carlingford, and from Damien's website,www.damienwoganphotography.com

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