Ed Mooney who lives in Kildare, Ireland enjoys everything medieval and historic. He finds plenty of inspiration in the Irish countryside. He has taken a special interest in photographing old ruins, churches and cemeteries in Ireland. Ed not only photographs old ruins, but with his keen fascination of history, he will even give you a history lesson in his presentation.
Ed uses a Nikon D40, a Nissan Flash, a good tripod with a circular polarizing filter. He also uses Photoshop CS6 to do most of his post processing. “I always shoot in RAW and colour, most of my images are converted to monochrome.”
“It all started for me back in 2011. I had just gotten my first DSLR and joined the local camera club. With my deep interest in History and Mythology I soon started shooting old castles and churches.”
I contacted Ed for a Question/Answer interview recently:
Tell our readers a little about yourself Ed.
I’ve been married to Hazel for five years; we have three kids and live in Kildare. Typical day Mon – Fri sees me getting up at about 05:00am for work in Dublin, yes I also keep a day job, to pay the bills. The kids keep you busy so I try to bring them with me when I go out on the road shooting. Our eldest son Ryan has already shown an interest in Photography. Ava prefers to pose in front of the camera, like most little girls and Dylan our youngest has inherited his Daddy’s addiction for exploring. Most of my previous hobbies have been taken over by my photography. I used to be big into Rugby, Playing Bass Guitar, Medieval Re-enactment and Martial Arts, but there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do everything, so when I decided to concentrate on photography a few years ago these other pursuits dwindled.
How did you start? I noticed on your blog, you are a photographer. Where did things begin for you?
I am not a professional Photographer. And will never call myself one. Yes I do some jobs and get paid for them, which is really cool, but that’s not what its all about for me. If I had to hold down a day job for the rest of my life, but could still continue shooting, then I would be happy. Don’t get me wrong, we all need money, but sometimes I have seen money get in the way of what’s important. If I can continue to learn my craft and capture images that please me then Im stoked. Anything else is just a bonus. It all started for me back in 2011. I had just gotten my first DSLR and joined the local camera club. With my deep interest in History and Mythology I soon started shooting old castles and churches. At the time this was just for fun and the images were not that good. But then I started blogging and everything came together for me.
What are some of your favorite subjects you enjoy photographing?
Without a doubt it has to be ancient ruins, its about 90% of what I shoot. I still do the odd wedding, festival, event and some portrait work, but my passion is in researching, exploring and shooting these ruins. In Ireland we are blessed with a rich heritage and the landscape is littered with these ruins. I guess you could say Im a bit of an Indiana Jones with a camera.
How do you incorporate your website/blog (how often do you post, do you post everything you produce, etc.)
Not everything I shoot gets published, family events remain private. Client work only gets published if the client is happy to do so. Everything else is fair game. All my online presence is linked. My website, Blog, Facebook, Flickr, etc. They are all linked. If I put something online, it goes everywhere. Social Media plays a huge part for artists in getting their work noticed. My blog, specifically, has been responsible for a number of connections. One of which saw some of my images published in a book, unfortunately it was not my book.
Ed was recently published in Snapshot, a Dublin Photography School Magazine.
How has photography changed over the years?
That’s a tricky one, Im still a newbie in Photography, but I would say the biggest change over the last few years would have to be the move to digital. It has made photography more accessible to the public. Expensive rolls of film have been replaced with relatively inexpensive memory cards. Camera’s, lenses and various kit can still cost a fortune, but once the initial investment has been made, you are good to go. You can now shoot a few thousand shots at a time and it costs nothing. The film equivalent would set you back a small fortune. Some say that this has perhaps affected the skill levels. Back in the old days you had to get the shot right first time in camera, whereas now you can keep shooting until you get it right, or fix it later on a photo editing program. I always try to get it right first time, it saves on time, later when you edit your images. There are still some purists out there who only shoot film, but they are a dying breed. There is one in our local camera club who is a real character, and will always slag off digital photographers, in a friendly way of course.
What is the best advice or tip you can give to young people who are considering getting into photography?
I guess the best advice I would give anyone, would be to join a local camera club. You learn a great deal from them, and there is always someone willing to help you out. Learn your craft, then get out into the field, so to speak and shoot what interests you, not what every other person is shooting. If you can shoot stuff you like then you are not as likely to lose interest, you will learn more and develop your eye much quicker. Most importantly have fun.
Anything else you would like to add?
I keep an Interactive Ruin Map which shows all the sites I visit. It is accurate to Google street view and is a great source for anyone whom wishes to see these fantastic sites for themselves.
Edward Mooney is a freelance photographer who lives in Kildare, Ireland. He enjoys photographing old churches, cemeteries and ruins. Inspired by the work of the late Simon Marsden, Ed captures stunning images raising the awareness of Ireland’s ruins for future preservation.
Photo Credits and Links