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The Story Behind the Image

Meet Frank.

My brother owns this image and has it at his cabin in Northern Wisconsin. This past summer when I was up there I turned the corner and found it hanging in a new spot. I stopped and took time to think about Frank and my days photographing Ireland.

I spent years traveling Ireland and photographing the country and the characters I met. Those where the days of film. Some of it was b&w and some of it was infrared. It’s where I fell in love with photography.

My business at the time was creating customized tours of Ireland for small groups. I didn’t travel with many of the groups but there were a couple of photography workshops that I joined and facilitated. I met Frank on one of those workshops.

In Connemara at the time you could spend the afternoon on a Galway Hooker. For those who don’t know, a Galway Hooker is a traditional sailing boat that is indigenous to the west of Ireland. It’s a strong black wooden boat with beautiful red sails. Built originally to move turf from Connemara down the western coast of Ireland.

There was nothing modernized on the boat and the captain and crew spoke Gaelic as they hoisted those huge red sails. The experience was a complete throwback in time. And there were only 12 of us on board…..all with our cameras.

The weather was remarkable. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it was warm and the wind was blowing.

I’m fairly confident that the captain and crew had no idea how many photographs would be taken of them that day. But they didn’t seem to mind. (That’s one thing I love about the Irish, they don’t stop and pose for images…..they just go about their business and pay no heed to what you are doing.)

The other thing about the Irish is that you never really know if they are telling you the truth. Frank had lived most of his adult life in Boston and was once a boxer. He had recently returned to his native Connemara. His tale went on to say that he nearly killed a man with his hands. I guess it doesn’t really matter if that was true or not. But every time I see this image I think of Frank and his boxing days.



Would love to hear your thoughts about this image in the comments below. 

With all good wishes,



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