Tuesday 26 March 2019

Local photographer's new book puts Louth on the map

Stunning images invite readers to rediscover county

One of Mark's pictures in the book
One of Mark's pictures in the book
Mark Duffy

Margaret Roddy

Local photographer Mark Duffy has travelled the length and breadth of the county as he captured stunning images for his book 'Rediscovering Louth' which goes on sale this week.

A proud Dundalk man, Mark hopes that the book will put Louth on the map as people realise the incredible beauty of the scenery to be found in Ireland's smallest county.

Mark is a passionate self-trained photographer who got into photography almost by accident, when he decided to make a GoPro time lapse video showcasing Dundalk and the surrounding countryside.

The video, which took him over six months to complete, became an internet hit when he posted it in January 2016 and it has been viewed over 82,000 times on YouTube alone.

He was encouraged by its success to take up photography and his background in graphic design means he has a keen eye when it comes to composing a shot.

Mark quickly mastered the skills required to take captivating photographs, mostly taken around Co Louth and he gradually built up a following as he shared his images on social media.

He now has 33,000 followers on Instagram, 7,000 followers on Facebook and 4,000 followers on YouTube where he shares his photographs, mainly landscapes, as well as tutorials on photography and photo editing.

Having amassed thousands of images from around Co Louth, Mark says that the idea of compiling them into a book only came to him in July.

He thought that the photographs would make a wonderful book showcasing what the county has to offer, from megalithic tombs to Norman castles, from quaint fishing villages to bustling towns.

'Over the years I had visited lots of places like Roche Castle and Cuchulainn's Castle which aren't as well known as they should be as well places which are photographed all the time so the challenge is to show those places in a different light.'

'I then realised that there were places I'd never been to in the county, so from the end of July to the end of September I spent a lot of time visiting locations that I hadn't been to before as I didn't want to leave anywhere out.'

As he says in his introduction to the book 'the aim behind this book is to pull back the curtain which has overshadowed this gorgeous county for far too long and let us all stand proud and say, "Yes, this is my home and isn't she a beauty!"'

Mark has certainly achieved his aim of capturing the beauty of Louth as the book features a hundred stunning images of Louth's towns and villages, as well as its coast, mountains and woodlands.

The book, which is divided into four chapters, takes the reader on a virtual tour of the county, from the stunning views of Carlingford Lough to Drogheda.

But not content to capture images of Louth's natural beauty and rich built heritage, Mark decided that he would provide background information about all the locations featured in the book.

He has researched the history of each place, making the book a rich source of reference for locals and visitors alike.

Mark also shares details of how he captured the photographs and gives advice on the best place to visit the locations to get the ideal shot. These tips will make the book a big hit with photographers as well as being a great keepsake for visitors. It will, of course, also be enormously popular with emigrants who will relish the glorious images of their native county.

'Louth Rediscovered' will be available from Roe River Books, Park Street, Visit Carlingford tourist office, Carlingford, and O'Brien's Ardee.

Mark is also selling the through his website, with a special offer of a limited edition print as well as the book for €35.

The Argus