Two Ardglass amateur photographers go head to head for the craic.
When does a snapper evolve into a photographer? When their work is valued by the people in their community and their skill level is recognised.
In Ardglass, two best friends enjoy a daily photography battle to see who can get the best photo and deliver the knock-out punch. It is a no-holds-barred contest… but Christopher Feenan has the edge on Sean Laird, but for how long?
Christopher, who works at Ardglass harbour, said: “I first started taking photos properly a year ago when I got a Canon Powershot camera for my birthday.
“I also use my iPhone too which is always very handy. The functionality on these smart phones now is amazing. I’ve had quite a few of my photos published so far in different outlets.
“The competition with Sean seems to drive me on a bit in a fun kind of way. I’ve had 78 photos used by the BBC, many during the breakfast programmes and the weather, and many of these were with my iPhone.
“And I’ve had images of boats and the Ardglass harbour featured in the The Skipper, Fishing News and Marine Times, and had photos in Belfast Live… and in Down News.
“We just love promoting our home town of Ardglass and the wider Lecale area.
‘I drop my photos onto Facebook and Instagram. Sean and I have collaborated on a couple opf projects and have done photos for Ardglass Golf Club, local B&B’s, and Ardglass Ales, and we have helped promote the Ardglass community garden at the bottom of Hill Street in the centre of the town.”
Sean Laird uses a new Pro Max iPhone and added: “I also do video work mainly and try and help local businesses along the way when I can. Everyone is getting it tough at the minute with this Covid-19 epidemic.
“I only got into photography just a few months ago through Christopher. I sent one of my photos of to Belfast Live and it had thousands of hits. That got me going. But I enjoy doing wee videos – they seem to be very popular.
“One of my favourites was when I covered Storm Brendan. It was quite a howler of a storm and certainly shook Ardglass up.
“We are all about cheering people up. Just now we are all living in quite dark times with the effects of the Covid-19. And there is no sign of it letting up yet.
“I’m still waiting for my first photo to be published on the BBC – it will be hard catching up with ‘black belt’ photographer Christopher, but the fight is on,” Sean joked.
“We also have support from a couple of younger snappers, Gavin O’Shea and Stephen Moore. They are also very keen to get going into photography.
“I’ve signed up for a free photography course organised by Downpatrick DEA that Jim alerted me too and I think Stephen is intereste din it too. It’s four introductory sessions which should help get me the basic skills I need to get going into photography properly. I’m looking forward to them and improving my skills.
“So Christopher and myself will continue our photographic duel, cameras at ten paces,” Sean laughed. “It brings out the best in us and is brilliant craic.
“There are some terrific views around Ardglass and we’re just happy to be able to capture them as best we can.”
Ding ding! Round two!