EUGENE LANGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

 

 

The Dark Art of Distilling Whiskey.

 (L-R) Ploughed field ready for planting barley. Early barley ready to shoot up. The happy 'Whiskey Cattle' of Ballykeefe Farm

(L-R) Ploughed field ready for planting barley. Early barley ready to shoot up. The happy 'Whiskey Cattle' of Ballykeefe Farm

The Dark Art of Distilling

A lovely trip to Kilkenny that was hugely enhanced by a visit to Ballykeefe Distillery, Callan, Co Kilkenny. This is a new whiskey distillery, Morgan Ging filled his first casks in 2016. He had a long held desire to open a distillery in the Family Farm Distillery tradition. Way back in Ireland the landscape was dotted with family farm distilleries. The farmers grew their own grain for the distillery and produced their own whiskey and then fed the highly nutritious leftovers to their cattle. Anything the cattle couldn’t eat was used to fertilise the land.This tradition continues in Ballykeefe Distillery, the Ging family grow their own barley for the distilling process from which they make whiskey, vodka, gin and poitín. They also source their water from their own aquifers.  Morgan Ging’s family has been farming for a few hundred years so you can expect that he knows something about farming. They brought over award winner and walking encyclopedia of distilling knowledge, Jamie Baggott, to distill and eek out the best flavours of their Ballykeefe whiskey, gin, vodka and poitín.

 Details from Distillery

Details from Distillery

Stepping inside the visitors centre the interior is lightened up with a series of well designed displays explaining the history and process of whiskey. And even mentions the gem that the earliest reference to whiskey distilling known, is in the 700 year old Red Book of Ossory, where three vellum pages of the text are given over to the distillation of Uisce Beatha (Water of Life i.e. whiskey.) So Kilkenny is officially the source of whiskey making. So much history behind Ballykeefe.

It was here I met Master Distiller Jamie Baggott. Jamie comes from Herefordshire in England and is an international award winner for his distillations. His intimate knowledge of the process is astounding. Jamie brought me around the distillery explaining the process from start to finish. A group of four French whiskey enthusiasts joined us for the tour.

 Ethanol flows clearly at the 'Cut'.                                                       Jamie Baggott assesses the cut.   

Ethanol flows clearly at the 'Cut'.                                                       Jamie Baggott assesses the cut.

 

The mash is heated in the beautiful copper stills and the different alcohols are removed and kept as required. The ‘Cut’ is where the bad alcohols are separated form the good ones.  I found this fascinating. The first type of alcohol, methanol comes off at 64.7ºC. Quickly followed by acetone. Both have their uses but this is the stuff that made poitín makers blind in the past. After some time and an increase in temperature of the mash the good good alcohol, the heart - ethanol, pours out. The volume of alcohol is 78.1º at this stage and is suitable for the next stage of the process. This goes on to become whiskey.

 Some of the Ballykeefe Distillery product. 

Some of the Ballykeefe Distillery product. 

The alcohol is put into bourbon barrels to age for a minimum of three years and gives the whiskey its colour. For gin - Jamie uses his talent to vapour infuse high quality botanics into the finest quality potato spirit that can be sourced, already 6 times distilled it is then distilled a further 6 times through the bespoke copper rectification column and hey presto we’ve got the highly regarded Ballykeefe Dry Gin. The vodka is bottled from the very same alcohol as used for the gin with nothing added. After all Gin is essentially flavoured vodka. 

If I remember a fraction of the knowledge that Jamie passed on during that visit I would be impressed. He made the trip a wonderful experience. So next time you are in the area you know what to do. And it makes a lovely day trip from Dublin, about two hours by car, just outside Kilkenny.

 (L-R) Whiskey ageing in bourbon barrels. Morgan Ging founder of Ballykeefe Distillery. Jamie Baggott Master Distiller.

(L-R) Whiskey ageing in bourbon barrels. Morgan Ging founder of Ballykeefe Distillery. Jamie Baggott Master Distiller.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography feel free to contact me at any stage

Eugene Langan PhotographyStudio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3

e-mail: langan@indigo.ie - tel: 353(0)872597907 - web: www.eugenelangan.com

 

The Maker's Hand

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Delighted to be associated with the celebration of craft in the upcoming RDS exhibition, The Maker's Hand, celebrating 50 years of the Craft Awards in the RDS. I got to photograph a range of items for the exhibition - lace, glassware, a silver watch, medals to name a few. But the saddle won me over. A thing of beauty. A complex and beautifully crafted piece made by Rev Kenyon Homfray, which picked up top craft makers award back in the early nineties. Nice to see the Irish Times using the shot in an article about upcoming exhibition. Well worth visiting if you are anywhere in or near Dublin. The exhibition opens to the public from 21st June.

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A link to the full Irish Times article: here

 

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography feel free to contact me at any stage

Eugene Langan PhotographyStudio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3

e-mail: langan@indigo.ie - tel: 353(0)872597907 - web: www.eugenelangan.com

 

 

Claude Monet in Finglas!

Not far from my studio in Stoneybatter in Dublin runs the Tolka Valley Park. It goes from Castleknock to Glasnevin along the river. It is a beautiful walk in an area that was once semi derelict and under used. Over the last 10 years Dublin City Council worked on wetlands, ponds and reed beds along the Tolka Valley. This time of year, with the early summer flowering of the wild plants growing in the valley, is a particularly good time to visit. 

 

 Yellow Iris in abundance by the water lilies.   

Yellow Iris in abundance by the water lilies.

 

Most spectacular are the water lilies growing in the ponds. There appear to be at least two varieties when I visited over the June Bank Holiday Weekend. But they are abundant. They attract all sorts of interesting insects including bumble bees, damsel and dragon flies.

 

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So don’t even think of taking the plane to Paris and visit Monet’s Water Lily paintings at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Or travel to Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny - the source of the water lily paintings. 

Go to Finglas. Claude Money has arrived in Finglas in the form of the wetland ponds and Tolka Valley Park. And it won’t cost you a cent.

The whole area is designed to slow down and absorb water reaching the Tolka itself and thus preventing flooding in a wonderfully imaginative way. The wetlands and reed beds clean the water entering the river by naturally filtering run off water that flows into the river. The water quality of the Tolka now supports trout and other fish. I saw a king fisher along its banks recently.

The variety of plant life is stunning. Queen Ann Lace lines the pathways.

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Buttercups gild the neighbouring fields.

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Planted wild flower meadows show their splendour with poppies, cornflowers, cowslips(the last few from spring),dog eyed daisies and vetches. Really pretty.

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And if you need a refreshing cup of peppermint tea you can harvest it fresh from the water's edge.

 Fresh Peppermint.   

Fresh Peppermint.

 

 

Well done to Dublin City Council for designing such a beautiful parkland along the Tolka River. Not only is it a really pretty attraction but is also working away during heavy rainfalls by acting as a flood defence mechanism. Brilliant!

All the images shot on an old Motorola Smartphone by the way. 

If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography feel free to contact me at any stage

Eugene Langan PhotographyStudio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3

e-mail: langan@indigo.ie - tel: 353(0)872597907 - web: www.eugenelangan.com

PREPARING FOR YOUR NEXT PRODUCT OR STILL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHIC SHOOT.

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Here are a few suggestions on what to expect and what you might do to get the very best from your next photographic shoot. I'll try explaining what goes on before, during and after your photographic shoot of your product. It is relevant for   all still life subjects such as  food, bottled spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks, packaging, medical devices, jewellery, electronic equipment, smart phones… most items for still life photography.

To start, it is a good idea for you to know how you want to portray your product. The clearer the image/brief in your mind the easier it is to execute that vision. You can discuss this with your photographer and your design and marketing team.  You might also look at your leading competitors imagery or go to the best magazines and web sites in your industry and see what is current and fashionable. This will also help you to decide what you do not want. 

THE BRIEF

The ‘Brief’ is an explanation of your idea in words and with visual references you have gathered from your research. It will dictate how the final image will look. The brief can be put together with the help of the photographer and designer too and should cover the following areas

 Image Use.

  1. Where will the image be used - web site, social media, print for billboard or magazine or brochure...

      This can dictate how the image will be photographed from a technical stand point.

 

The look of the final image.

  1. Style of packaging/web site/brochure/ad the image will be used on
  2. Is the style traditional or modern
  3. Will it be earthy and organic or slick and stylised.
  4. Will it be bright and airy or dark and moody.

Propping.

  1. What sort of props and background do you want to use.
  2. Cutlery, plates, wooden surfaces or linen table clothes, reflective or matt surfaces.
  3. Colours used in shot.
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Location of Shoot.

  1. Will the shoot be at the photographer's studio.
  2. Will the shoot be at an appropriate location - a castle or elegant house, a farm yard, a landscape etc…
  3. Can we shoot in the client’s production area or warehouse
  4. Are there facilities to cater for the shoot, in the studio or on location, such as ovens, cookers, freezers, electricity, bathrooms, water and so on.

 

All these factors can be discussed with your photographer in advance of the shoot. This allows all aspects of the shoot to be organised in advance before the meter starts to run.

You, your designer, if you are working with one, and photographer should discuss the look and style of the final image you require. The photographer should be able to help you move in the direction you choose and again when this is discussed before the shoot it really helps with efficiency during the shoot.

I would recommend using a graphic designer at this early stage. They can prepare rough versions of the final designed piece whether it is new packaging, a web site, an ad or brochure. Indeed you can use a nearly finished look mock up  at this stage that you can use to discuss with your colleagues and peers.

Mock Up.

Having a mock up before the shoot helps everyone visualise the final result with the photograph. The photographer optimises the photograph in the space on the artwork. If the image is square, rectangular or round the important elements in the photograph will be in the prime position on the pack, web site, ad or brochure. The photographer also ensures no logos or type are blocking important parts of the image.

Food Styling.

If your product is food - a very important person to have involved at an early stage is the Food Stylist. This is the person who will cook and prepare the food for photography, not for eating. They can bring a vast knowledge to the early stages of any shoot with ideas to help present your product at its best. Apart from preparing recipes and food suggestions they will bring the black art and skill of making sure the ice cream won’t melt, the sausage skin remains intact, the steam rises out of the hot soup and the melted cheese on the pizza looked perfect.

 Working in the studio.

Working in the studio.

 

THE PRODUCT.

This is your area of expertise. Whether you are producing food or computer components you need to get perfect examples of your product in front of the camera. 

So if you are supplying food for the shoot send as many samples as possible. If you are dealing with frozen foods send twice that amount - you can never tell how they will look when they defrost. If your food product is made of different components such as pizza, send extra pizza bases, tomato sauce, salami, cheese etc. as this will help the Food Stylist get the best from the ingredients.

If not yourself, have a competent colleague select the items for delivery to the photographic studio or location. Have the items delivered a day or two prior to the shoot. This way it can be checked and confirmed that everything has arrived safely. You don’t want to discover this on the day of the shoot.

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THE SHOOT.

Ideally you or a decision making colleague should attend the shoot. You know your product and how it should look. And you know what you want at the end of the process. 

The product will be set up on the surface and background - this could be pure white or an atmospheric rustic set. The photographer will do preliminary shots of the lighting set up and then when the photographer is happy the client will be invited to comment. 

This is the time for you to speak. Everything can be changed at this stage. Your opinion is valued. You will not be hurting anyones’ feelings. So speak out even of you feel it is a minor issue. Remember you will be using the photograph for the next couple of years and you need to be fully satisfied with its look.

When the shoot is completed the photographer will need to convert the images into files that you can use, normally jpegs.(See my blog Jpeg vs Tiff and other file formats). Minor retouching is normally included in the quoted cost but more complex retouching will need to be discussed regarding the final costs. In my studio there is a turnaround time including shooting day of 3 days unless some complex retouching is requested.

MODEL RELEASE.

If you are using people in your shots you should have each person sign a model release form stating how the images are going to be used and what specific agreement has been agreed with them. This should be fair for both you and the model and will save you and your models from any misunderstandings that might develop in the future.

COSTS.

Here is a list of the likely costs that you may need to deal with. Only some of these items will be relevant to specific types of photographic shoots

  1. Photographer’s fees
  2. Stylist Fees
  3. Food Stylist fees
  4. Model fees
  5. Propping costs and hire charges
  6. Computer Retouching charges
  7. Do you have all the usage rights you require?
  8. Potential location charges
  9. Overnight and travel charges

If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

A Sound Hand on the Tiller

Here is a portrait of Wally. I photographed him in my studio in Dublin recently where we spent a lovely time  together working on this portrait. As you may have guessed from the photograph, Wally is an avid sailor. He has sailed over vast areas of the ocean, north and south. He even worked on the sea at one stage. He built his own 50 foot sailing boat out of steel by himself. He was involved in restoring the Asgard which is now on display in the National Museum of Ireland in Collins Barracks, not far from the studio. And if you are in need of an odd shaped shackle or a scuttlebutt, if Wally doesn't have one he knows who to point you to. With his vast knowledge of the sea, boats and sailing Wally is the man you would like to have on the tiller when things get challenging.

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography feel free to contact me at any stage

Eugene Langan Photography, Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3

e-mail: langan@indigo.ie - tel: 353(0)872597907 - web:www.eugenelangan.com

Dinosaur Foot Prints found on concrete in North Strand, Dublin.

Dublin, April 1 2018.

 Likely theropod footprints?

Likely theropod footprints?

Scientists and palaeontologists are flummoxed by the discovery of what appear to be theropod foot prints in concrete on the major Dublin thoroughfare, the North Strand. Not since the discovery of the Valentia Island dinosaur foot prints has there been such excitement in palaeontology circles in Ireland. A photographer sipping coffee in a near by Cloud Cafe made the fascinating discovery. 

“I looked down and there they were. I could sense immediately that these foot prints were no ordinary foot prints in concrete…” explained the talented Dublin based photographer.

City officials were anxious to cordon off the area to preserve the prints. But it being the Easter holiday weekend in Ireland no such protection manifested itself.

Local businesses are looking forward to the unexpected windfall of palaeontologists, fossil hunters and tourists to the area. Local representative Thaddeus Rubble is working with local developers and community representatives to drum up interest in a proposed new interpretative centre to be built near the site.

Here is an artist’s impression of what the North Strand may have looked in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Using photography, the photographer has expertly brought us back to between 205 and 66 million years ago - giving us some sense of what it may have been like back then.

 What it may have looked like in the Jurassic Period on the North Strand.

What it may have looked like in the Jurassic Period on the North Strand.

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 A theropod poses with Easter Eggs having eaten an Easter Bunny.

A theropod poses with Easter Eggs having eaten an Easter Bunny.

If you wish to discuss palaeontology contact The National History Museum of Ireland.

If you fancy a nice lunch sometime go to Cloud Café on the North Strand, Dublin 1.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

Professional Photographer and his useful Four Legged Assistant

 No. Not yet! Wait. No. Wait for it...

No. Not yet! Wait. No. Wait for it...

Luigi waits patiently for the light to fall just right. He will bark once when the sun goes in and twice when it comes out again. Such a useful dog. At a recent location shoot on Dublin Citys' North Quays, Luigi surpassed himself with an innate knowledge of light and shade. As cold as it was he stayed with the task in hand. That was up to the moment the mobile Barista appeared near by - when he immediately gave in his notice and sat, big eyed, looking at customers sipping coffee and eating pastries and, Luigi, hoping to share a morsel. 

After being reprimanded Luigi went back to his post. Photographers based in Dublin and across the world should never underestimate the usefulness of a dogs ability to retrieve a stick during a photographic shoot. The stick, a primitive Swiss Army Knife of sorts, can be used to fight off local youths and octogenarians or scratch ones self when and where necessary. It is also useful to poke possible Animal Rights Activists if they interfere with Luigi's tasks.  And, don't forget, a stick is always useful to have leaning against the tripod as a warning to wayward clients. 

 When SatNav fails I find Luigi is great at directing us to the next photographic assignment.   

When SatNav fails I find Luigi is great at directing us to the next photographic assignment.

 

I haven't even mentioned Luigi's great sense of direction. When my GoogleMaps stops working and my SatNav gives up its ghost - Luigi is there to gently bark into my ear when I need directions.

"Where is the next photographic assignment Luigi?' I ask.

He barks once for right turn, twice for left turn and three barks for straight ahead. Its a great way to get around Dublin and equally good when travelling all over Ireland.

Most importantly Luigi does all his work for a bowl of dry cribble in the morning and one in the evening. Oh, and a bed to sleep on. As a business plan, hiring a four legged photographic assistant has to be a winner. I am checking with Intreo - the Irish State employment agency - at the moment to see if I can get some sort of subsidy for Luigi's employment costs. Or maybe I should contact the Department of Agriculture, there is bound to be a grant. Or even the DSPCA. If anyone out there can give me any leads there I would be very appreciative. I'm thinking of getting Luigi to sign a 'zero hours contract' - that would make my business even more profitable. Or the possibilities of having him as an unpaid intern - umm! My bank balance is drooling at the thought. The problem for Luigi is that he is useless with a staple gun and his first reaction to a photocopying machine is to piddle against it. So you can see it is not all plain sailing when working with Luigi.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of labour law or photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

Snowy Scene at Studio

Photographic Studio under snow in Dublin. March 2018

Well that was some snow storm. I have never seen so much snow in Dublin. There were metre high drifts all around the studio in Stoneybatter and Smithfield. It looked fantastic. Pity about the bedlam it caused.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS

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Spent a morning with Food Stylist Clare Wilkinson. She came up with lovely food recipes. It was great working with her. We got this seasonal wreath made with home made biscuits, mini mince pies, preserved fruit, berries and icing sugar. Wonderful. A couple of more shots below with a Christmas twist.

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

And Speaking of Exposure...

My client, Strong Roots, who produce the loveliest frozen vegetables recipes, got a mention in J. Walter Thomson Intelligence weekly. It has been a pleasure to work with Strong Roots with their innovative ideas and great sense of style. A style that you can see immediately in their packaging, their recipes and the ingredients they use.

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Some more photographs from the same photoshoot.

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

 

As Seen in Harpers Bazaar

Just got a lovely nod from my client Loulerie mentioning that Harpers Bazaar have used one of the shots we did together recently. Congratulations to Loulerie for that. 

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

SuperValu Food Academy Participants

It is always a joy to meet people who are enthused about what they do. And so it is with the participants of the SuperValu Food Academy. I get to photograph participants occasionally. They are an exciting group of diverse individuals loving what they do. For me, as photographer, what makes it fun is not knowing where the photograph will be taken until I arrive at a location - and then the magic begins. Allowing the portrait to grow organically using the chosen location. Always coming away with a beautiful portrait of the participant with their product. Its been a treat. Thank you to all who sat for me. And sorry for not being able to fit you all ini below. It was great working with you all.

Here is a selection from past work below.

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From top left: Oluwayemisi Akintokun - Brian Kenny - Lina Gautam - Aoife Martinho & Dominic Breslin - Debbie Crowley - Oliver Nolan - Gerry Scullion - Ken McHugh - Laura Dowling - Rebecca Tidey - Mihaela Bozocean - Erica Sheenan

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From left to right. Michael & Donal Birmingham & Derry Clarke - Gunmoo Kim - Eimear Fahy - Ivan Varian - Mindi Keane - Jack Fu - Maureen O'Donnell - Adam Hoban - Patricia Darcy - Augustin Mamba - Michelle Kinnear -Naveen Bachari.

Remember where you saw them first.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

 

Is This Ireland's Most Handsome Postman?

Spent a few hours in the studio photographing this handsome postman for An Post. Delighted to see An Post using it for their recently updated livery.

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Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

 

Loulerie. Bespoke Jewellery Web Site. Behind the Scenes

Louise from Loulerie contacted me to assist with the photography for their new web site. It was fun. From working out options and background to shooting the pieces. Photographing jewellery has its own challenges and we took them in our stride. Below you can get some idea of the preparation that we went through to get the final shots.

 Working out background colours.   

Working out background colours.

 

 Supplying options.   

Supplying options.

 

 Selecting the ranges and rough layouts for jewellery   

Selecting the ranges and rough layouts for jewellery

 

And below some of the shots in use on the Loulerie web site. 

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.

 

Ready for Christmas with Cuisine de France

                      Evelyn O'Grady of Cuisine de France does some nifty Food Styling for the Christmas selection

                

          

 

 Evelyn did such a wonderful job both writing the recipes and food styling. Both savoury and sweet. Yum! 

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of photography just contact me at:

Eugene Langan Photography

Phone: 00.353.(0)87.2597907      e-mail: langan@indigo.ie

Studio Eight, 32 North Brunswick St., Dublin 7. D07 TWX3. Ireland.