Ardee woman Geraldine Feehan exhibited her photos at the DeeHub in the town over the weekend – but unlike her fellow Ardee Photography Club members, her selection included the winning entrant of the Ardee Credit Union Amateur Photography competition.
A total of 16 members of Ardee Photography Club, which began life in July of 2015, exhibited the best of their shots at the group’s first ever exhibition on Saturday and Sunday and Geraldine was doubly delighted to be showing off her work after her photo of the Riverside Walk at night was selected amongst high calibre competition to be the best in the Ardee CU contest.
Geraldine considers herself new to photography and still a novice, having first taken up the art when she joined the club two years ago. Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie on Wednesday, she was thrilled with her win.
“I’m delighted, really surprise but delighted!” she said. “I’m new to photography. I only started when I joined the Ardee Photography Club when it set up there a couple of years ago. I put in a couple of photos but I never expected to win.” Geraldine, from Debidy Lane, was the overall winner while the ACU Marketing Committee also chose 12 other winners in the competition, with another of Geraldine’s shots included in that selection too.
“I’ve always love taking pictures but joining the club was my first introduction to photography. I love it.
“The club is amazing. It’s very friendly. There are a lot of beginners there,” she continued. “A lot of photography clubs are people who know what they’re at but we have a lot of beginners. The people who do know what they’re at are very good at sharing their knowledge and sharing their equipment. It’s very supportive.”
The group meet every second Thursday in the DeeHub – sometimes simply for a chat and to discuss the craft but they embark on outings too. They started off locally; around the town, at Tinure graveyard (a trip Geraldine insists was “spooky”), Rathescar Lake and Stephenstown Pond before venturing further afield to the likes of Powerscourt and the National Stud.
Next on the agenda for the club, with a small but enthusiastic core membership, is a trip to Dublin city centre to capture the Christmas lights there next week.
“Life is busy,” Geraldine admits, “so I don’t get to go out much but when you go on a trip like that, you get a few hours to yourself to focus on it and get lost it in for a few hours.”
That said, the talented amateur snapper says photographers in the Ardee area need not travel to far for worthwhile subjects to focus the lens on.
“The winning photo was taken on one of our first nights out as a group, on the Riverside Walk,” she tells us. “I even borrowed a tripod that night, that’s how new I was to it.
“You don’t have to go far at all. It’s all around you. You just have to train your eye a little bit. I’m not brilliant at that but it comes with practice. There’s loads around Ardee, there’s so much history.
I liked that the area (the Riverside Walk) has quite a negative image around town at the moment and it just looked so beautiful in that light, at night, with nobody there. I was looking at that part of town in a different way, the way it should be.”
The first Ardee Photography Club members exhibition was a big success, with members selling a good number of prints on the day and since then. “Funnily enough,” Geraldine says, “the club is going two years, but we never printed a photo in that time. Everyone in the club was blown away over how good they looked.
“The exhibition was great for everyone, to get a little buzz around the place. We’re all looking forward to doing it again next year! A lot of the clubs are very competitive but the Ardee one – everyone in the club had the same amount of photographs, there’s no star in the club. Everyone gets the same. We all picked our five or six best. It’s very fair and it’s a very nice club. You don’t always see that. It’s a lovely group.”
Our man with the camera Adrian Crawley paid a visit to the DeeHub over the weekend to catch up with some of the members and snap them with their own exhibits.