Featured Photographer: Kieran O’Connor

18 July 2013

In a new feature to the NSW Tales blog, we aim to highlight some of the great photographers we have in NSW. By nature photographers are story tellers, content creators and all have their own vision of a place. Our first feature photographer is Kiama based photographer Kieran O’Connor.

Here is a background to his photography and passion in his own words and be inspired by his wonderful  images:

My introduction to photography started through traditional art; being a landscape painter I used a little point & shoot to capture reference photos for my work. It grew on me very quickly and I was fascinated at the concept of recording a moment in time, a personal moment.

My love of photography took off and eventually overshadowed my desire to keep painting. I found more joy through the lens than I did through the paintbrush. I’ve been lucky enough to have always lived near the coast and I am constantly inspired by the oceans ever changing wild beauty. There is no better fulfillment than standing on an empty beach as the sun rises and taking those moments home with me and then sharing them with others. I want viewers when looking at my work to feel something. I want to pull them into a scene and have them feel as if they can almost smell the salt spray or feel the water lapping at their feet. I hope you enjoy viewing my work as much as I enjoy creating and sharing it.

I moved to Kiama not too long ago and have not regretted that decision since. The area is simply beautiful and an absolute haven for a seascape photographer. Being a small coastal town there are many locations to shoot in such a small area so I am quite spoilt in decisions on where to photograph. As you drive through Kiama you’re hit with that wonderful smell of salt air, it’s hard not to be inspired as a photographer.

Website:  www.kieranoconnorphotography.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KieranOConnorPhotography
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116696943168863559388/posts

Kiama rock pool

Kiama rock pool Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Kiama at dawn

Kiama at dawn. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Easts Beach, Kiama, NSW

Easts Beach, Kiama. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Rangoon Island, Minnamurra

Rangoon Island, Minnamurra. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Bombo Beach

Footprints along the sand – Bombo Beach. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Pheasant Point, Kiama, NSW

Rainbow over Kiama, – taken at Pheasant Point, Kiama. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Bombo, Kiama

A double rainbow appears after some light rain at Bombo. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Pelican bombo Kiama

A pelican sits and admires the view at Bombo. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Port Kembla

An afternoon storm rolls in at Beach, Port Kembla. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Storm Bay, Kiama

Sunrise at Storm Bay, Kiama. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

afternoon at Kiama, NSW

Late afternoon at Kiama. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Long exposure Kiama

Long exposure taken at Kiama. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Kiama lighthouse

Image taken at sunrise with Kiama lighthouse in the background. Kiama. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Wollongong City beach

Sunrise on Wollongong City beach, Wollongong. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Pheasant Point, Kiama

Taken during sunset at Pheasant Point, Kiama. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

Rangoon Island, Minnamurra

Rangoon Island, Minnamurra. Image Credit: Kieran O’Connor

  • Will Hawk

    Nice shots, but they are edited to the max. I just wish photographers these days would simply take more time with lighting and composition before they take the shot, rather than just edit afterwards. I’ve been a pro photographer for 40 years and I DON”T use editing software. Bet my comment isn’t published.

    • Kieran O’Connor

      You’re quick to judge Will Hawk. How do you know they are edited to the max? None of these images are HDR or are multiple exposures blended. I used a grad filter for the sky on all of them, I guess you consider that cheating, being a purist??..

      I shoot in RAW and if you know anything about photography you’ll know raw files are untouched, flat and lacking in contrast, saturation etc. They require editing to bring them back to life to at least resemble the scene you saw when shooting. Raw files are just negatives only the darkroom is now a computer. If you shoot in jpeg mode and think you’re not editing your photos, you’re kidding yourself. You’re camera just did. Changed the white balance? Guess what? you just edited your photo. Well technically your camera just did.
      I don’t know what makes you think I didn’t spend time with “lighting or composition” you cant fake lighting or composition in software. If you can it’s no longer photography. It’s digital art. I shoot 100% of the time when the light is favourable, either dawn or dusk. I don’t know any photographer worth a grain of salt that simply walks out his door clicks the shutter and hopes he can edit a masterpiece. I spend way less time at the computer than I do actually taking the photo. I spend a max of 15 minutes editing a photo, anymore to me is just too time consuming.

      I invite you to come shoot with me and see my process and see if my work is all edited. You may be surprised I have found alot of purists or other photographers who complain or hate on post processing are just angry they have no idea how to edit a photograph through software so they insult or degrade another persons work to make them feel better, and then say “I’m a purist, I don’t use any editing software.

      Regardless, Photography is not about capturing exactly what you see. It’s about the photographers vision and how they see the scene and interpret it through their own mind.

      • garyhayes

        Well said Kieren – I have no idea what is in the air in the last year or so, but I see so many comments now from “so-called photographers who know what they are talking about” calling mine and others images which we have slaved for 4am drives to dark locations for dawn shots or tripping over cliff edges at sunset, to be told we have faked it, or over saturated it or it is ‘photoshopped’ – makes my blood boil. BTW appreciate your work – https://www.facebook.com/garyphayesphotography

      • Racheal Christain

        Kieran I get where you are coming from. I have found a few so-called purists coming out to say that my work is edited, like it is a dirty word or something. I laugh when people like Will Hawk say things like this, for exactly the same reasons you point out in your comment.

        They forget that some of the most famous image editors of all time include photographers like Ansel Adams, along with famous wedding photographer Joe Buissink. They are known not just for their style, but for the art of process by inspection, an editing style in film photography.

        Photography is an art form, and like all art forms it grows and develops with the digital age. I do edit my pictures, some of them quite heavily and you know what I like them, other people like them, and they sell. So if anyone has a problem with what type of photographer I am I really don’t care, because I love doing it and really that’s what it is all about.

        One of the worlds most loved photographers Trey Ratcliff aka ‘Mr HDR’ is also a victim of photo ‘purists’. Many photographers sit there and pick on his work, but why should he care what they have to say when he has 8,719,648 followers and 124,910,884,175 view on Google+ alone.

        I am a professional photographer and I have come across so many people who are shooting in jpeg and not editing their images. I don’t say horrible things about their images and criticise their work. Although they are the first to point a finger about how I should be capturing and processing my images.

        They also forget that a camera only captures around 5 to 6 stops of light. Whereas the human eye takes in around 11 to 12 stops of light. Therefore the camera will never be able to capture what a human can see. That is why light adjustments are needed to recreate what one was actually seeing when they were there.

        Also I do think it strange for a photographer to say they have been around for 40 years and not even show up in a google search…..anywhere.

        Unlike Will Hawk, I have heard of you Kieran, and have been a fan of your work for some time. Your seascape photography is gorgeous and makes me want to get back to the coast. :)

  • certaintyisararethingthesedays

    odds on it is…