Black Friday sale is live - CODE 'BF25' for 25% off ONLINE ORDERS over €150

Two Sides to Every Camera

There are two sides to every camera: a front and a back. And I am definitely happier at the back. So when the late great Derek Davies asked if he could do a small feature on me for his RTÉ Out of the Blue TV series (over 20 years ago), I reluctantly agreed. I began my photographic career in Kinsale when I was 18 and I like to think of myself as an Irish photographer and I hope that other people see me that way, but unfortunately my accent begs to differ, and I'm tired of explaining myself: my English beginnings and my Irish conversion. It's a personal story with its own complexity, many contradictions and it’s hard to articulate. I tell you all this by means of explaining why an Irish photographer with an English accent prefers one side of a camera over the other.
-
As the title suggests, Out of the Blue was a documentary series about the sea and how it shapes Irish lives in different ways. The particular angle that the programme envisaged for me was where I found my inspiration for my seascapes, so when I was asked if I knew of a suitable location, I instantly suggested the secluded beauty of Nohoval Cove – a tiny inlet only a few miles from Kinsale where I took one of my first popular images. With the location agreed upon, Derek, myself and his crew all bundled into a couple of cars. Their camera equipment took up most of one car, and mine was hung around my neck, along with a whole lot of fear and trepidation. Would I sound knowledgeable? Would I be insightful? Would I be understandable?! Would I sound English? Would I sound Irish? Would they need subtitles?! Luckily Derek was a pro and seeing my nerves, he quickly put me at ease. I’m not quite sure what I said because I don’t like to rewatch these things, but it must have made some sense because it didn't all end up in the RTÉ bins, and I had my ten minutes in front of a camera before hurriedly returning to the other side, my side. 
-

Click here to watch Giles Norman in Out of the Blue

-

A black and white image of Nohoval Cove with a clinker-built boat in the foreground.
-
This photograph of Nohoval Cove (referenced above) is one of my earliest images, taken 35 years ago, and it's still very popular in the gallery. Also known as Nun’s Cove, this rugged inlet is a hidden gem along Cork’s east coastline. I often return to Nohoval Cove, trying to recreate this image, but alas the clinker-built boat is long gone, and with it, the heart of the photograph.
 
Back to Journal