Wednesday 17 July 2019

Views from above bring sunshine to your day

Ken Sweeney

FOR 20 years, Kevin Dwyer was the aerial photographer of choice for Irish builders.

By helicopter, he travelled the length and breadth of Ireland to photograph their ambitious developments and impressive headquarters.

Along the way, he took his own images of the country's rivers and lakes, coast and mountains, ancient monasteries, cities and towns.

And these images now feature in a photography book called 'Dwyer's Ireland -- A View From Above'.

"You could say my career as an aerial photographer crash-landed with the Celtic Tiger.

"Those helicopters I was flown around in, owned by the big developers, have long since been repossessed. My last corporate job was in January 2009 and my phone hasn't rung since," Mr Dwyer said.

But what the retired photographer does still have are the breathtaking aerial shots: From Ballycotton Lighthouse on the Cork coast; to the Little Skellig off Kerry; to Tramore Strand on the northern shores of Co Donegal; and Station Island, Lough Derg, Co Donegal (featured on the book's cover), a place of pilgrimage since 445 AD when St Patrick visited.

"From the first helicopter ride I took in 1989, I have always been amazed by how different things looked from up high.

"This was something I always wanted to share with people, giving them a new view of something they knew well, from a fresh angle and perspective," added Mr Dwyer.

And in bright sunshine, it should be said. All the landscapes in 'Dwyer's Island' are captured in very un-Irish weather.

"One American reviewer criticised my Irish landscape work because they said the sun was always shining. It's fair criticism but if you want our country to look beautiful, you have to photograph it when the sun is out."

And the 65-year-old believes his sunshine shots are exactly what we need right now.

"Photography that is bright and cheery in these dull and dreary times -- that's what's I'm offering," he joked.

'Dwyer's Ireland -- A View From Above' is published by Collins Press at €14.99.

Irish Independent

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