Who am I?

A journalist student from Dublin, Ireland. I'm looking to show the world a view through my camera's lens and where I point it. You may even learn something about photography along the way! Weekly blog posts about my adventures.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Surf's up!

This weekend just gone, I went away with my youth club from Greystones, to the beautiful Portrush in County Antrim for our annual surf trip! The end of November is actually not the worst time to go surfing in the cold Atlantic Ocean because it still has some warm water from the summer just gone believe it or not!

Situated near the top of our stunning country is Portrush. With the 5 millimetre wetsuit on we hit the waves with the surf project and we couldn't have chosen a better weekend for waves. If you have never surfed before, I recommend this small little surf town.

Portrush, Co Antrim. Photo: Andy Waller
The town has everything you could need after a long day in the water! I knew it was going to be a great weekend for taking snaps and for most of the weekend the weather was kind and the onshore wind was spectacular! The waves came in fast and strong!

Portrush Beach, Co. Antrim. Photo: Andy Waller

After our Saturday morning surf, we went for a (freezing cold) walk along Portrush beach which gave me time to snap away. This was the time to chat to the youth and build relationships and friendships which was one of my favourite parts of the weekend. Also a film crew was following us around for the weekend to make a promo video for 'The Surf Project', who facilitated the whole weekend for us. Keep an eye our for this video as there's a scene of, yours truly and one of the lads walking along the beach chatting!

Portrush beach, Co. Antrim. Photo: Andy Waller

Portrush town, Co. Antrim. Photo: Andy Waller
This town though almost seems as if it was built for surfers to come along and check it out. There was even a reply to one of my tweets when I said where I was travelling up.

People are so friendly up there!

Caves, Portrush beach, Co. Antrim. Photo: Andy Waller
The pictures this week are all taken on my phone as I had no room in my bag to pack my camera! The scenery however had me in Awh for the whole weekend! Which just made the surfing more fun in that I got a view from the water, coming in on a wave! 

It was like Portrush was waving us off as we left on Sunday afternoon too with the sky like it was in the next picture! The whole weekend was stunning and great fun! I want to go back Portrush so i'll be seeing you soon! 

Portrush send off! Co. Antrim. Photo: Andy Waller



Monday, 9 November 2015

Can Ireland qualify?

With the big European Qualifications just around the corner for the Irish mens football team, I will be looking at some photos taken from Mr Martin O'Neill's first game in charge of the boys in green in the Aviva Stadium way back on the 15th of November 2013, 2 years ago! I was there as an official photographer for the game. This was my chance to really start showing my photography skills and on the day I was taking pictures for two of my reporter friends who wrote about the game.

I had my 18-55mm lens and my 55-300mm lens and a full battery to make sure I wouldn't miss a moment! alas I sat at the wrong end of the stadium and couldn't really see the goal action as it was all up the other end of the pitch but I got some good photos. including this pose from the man himself just before kick-off.

Martin O'Neill, Ireland vs Latvia 15/11/2013
Using my 55-300mm lens, I could zoom right up close to O'Neill and take this shot and I still wonder what was going through the new managers head. I use this lens mostly for close up shots of a small area. It can zoom in very close to a certain object or person and give detail through the focus. I use it a lot for sports matches or when I'm somewhere with an amazing view and I'd only want to get close to something that I can't see from such a far distance.

I still want to get a 55-500mm lens but they're expensive, so I may be saving for a while!

Using my wide angle lens, 18-55mm, I can get a lot more into frame when the object of the picture is a lot closer. In the picture below, I had swapped my lens around as the action kept coming down the right side of the Ireland attack and so it was right in front of my pitch side seat. The picture is of Ireland's Robbie Keane controlling the ball as referee Andreas Ekberg (Sweeden) awards the free-kick with this, look of disgust on his face.

Left to right: Wes Hoolahan (Ire), Ref, Andreas Ekberg and Robbie Keane (Ire)
Having the two lens handy means I can think more about pictures before I take them. I take everything into account before I press the shutter, lighting, aperture, focus and so on. Once the perfect picture is lined up, snap and it is forever saved. However on a night of football or sports action, you don't really have a lot of time to think about these scenarios. A lot of sports photographers put their cameras on rapid fire and they take 20 to 30 pictures in a few second to try and get the 'perfect picture'.

Well that night I got really lucky. I took one of my all time favourite photos. It was totally by chance. Robbie Keane was running into the box as a through ball was played to him. The Latvian goalkeeper, Andris Vanins, came out and grabbed the ball, just outside his box! I caught the moment he had it and realised where he was and at the same time, Robbie Keane screaming at the ref for a free-kick!

Left to right: Robbie Keane (Ire) Andris Vanins (Lat) 
The national team haven't had much luck in the past with big, two-legged qualifiers, as even this month we remember that famous French handball that kept us home from the FIFA World Cup.

As Ireland take on Bosnia-Herzegovina away on the 13th November and at home in the Aviva Stadium on the 16th November. Be there and support the boys and help them get the France next year, where we might meet the old enemy. @AndyIWaller Andy.

The Ireland team celebrating a goal vs Latvia 15/11/13 Aviva Stadium