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Svalbard’s Global Seed Vault back in the News

Svalbard's Global Seed Vault back in the News

The Global Seed Vault, located the top of the world, on the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, is back in the news.


Hans Island Debacle Nearing A Solution?

Hans Island Debacle Nearing A Solution?

Our ship approaches a smooth dome of barren rock, worn clean by several millennia of glacial endeavor, in a lonely Arctic waterway, farm from the nearest human settlement. It’s July 2009, and I’m board the Greenpeace ship Arctic sunrise, on a four-month expedition with glacialogists and climatalogists on Greenland’s glaciers – and how they’re reacting […]


Book Cover: A Book of Migrations

Book Cover: A Book of Migrations

In all my years as a writer, I’ve written many book reviews. But I’ve never before reviewed a book that uses one of my photographs as its cover. I’m talking about The Book of Migrations: Some Passages in Ireland, by Rebecca Solnit, which has been a joy to read, and an honour to become connected […]


Arctic Tern, Angelic

Arctic Tern, Angelic

Arctic Tern, sterna paradisea, hovering near the dog yard Ny Alesund, Svalbard. Arctic terns migrate more than any other species bird – up to 35,000km per year for some birds, as the travel to Antarctica and back, and can enjoy two polar summers. The terns nest in the tundra in the scientific research centre of […]


Tulip Mania: Photographing People Photographing Flowers

Tulip Mania: Photographing People Photographing Flowers

Woman in blue jeans photographing flowers at the Keukenhof Photographing flowers and undwear at the Keukenhof Photographing People, Photographing flowers. An ugly, and probably mildly tasteless set of images, where I photograph people photographing flowers, and often show off their backsides along the way. Images made on April 2011 at the Keukenhof tulip show at […]


Urban Ocean: Gulf of Mexico

Urban Ocean: Gulf of Mexico

It has taken not much more than half a century to turn the Gulf of Mexico into an Urban Ocean, dotted with 27,000 abandoned wells, and nearly 4,000 active platforms, interconnected by an incredible 40,000km of pipelines. At sea, no matter where you are in the northern Gulf of Mexico, you can see the blinking […]


Tasmanian Devils in Sierra Magazine & New Scientist

Tasmanian Devils in Sierra Magazine & New Scientist

I’m pleased to see that one of my Tasmanian Devil pictures has shown up in May/June edition of Sierra Club magazine, in an article called Sympathy for the Devils. UPDATE June 28th: This image has also been used by New Scientist article, “Tasmanian devils were sitting ducks for deadly cancer”.


Album cover for Dacianos: Fables for Another Time

Album cover for Dacianos: Fables for Another Time

My friend, distant cousin and co-conspirator Barry Kavanagh has seen fit to use my portrait of him – made on the fly one night in Dublin’s Long Hall pub, on the cover of the new Dacianos album, Fables for Another Time.


Masters of the Irish Harp

Masters of the Irish Harp

A recent addition to Dublin’s low-rise skyline and spanning the Irish capital’s River Liffey, the harp-like silhouette of Santiago Caletrava’s Samuel Beckett Bridge is a technical marvel bordering in Celtic Kitsch. These qualities attracted me and my camera – even to the point of doing long picture exposures on cold snowy nights. It’s paid off, […]


Age and youth

Age and youth

(click to see larger version) Age and youth – walking aid and graffiti door on Sloterkade, Amsterdam. This scene has been fascinating me for months. The stairs, with the hint of a white rail, an elderly person’s walking aid locked to the wall, a garage door covered in unintelligible graffiti, the growth of the green […]


The Herbalist

The Herbalist

An abandoned herbalist’s shop in Rethymno, Crete. It was owned, apparently, by Panajiotis and or Dimitrios Kontogianis – at least that’s what it says on the packets of dried herbs in the window. Other fragments of clues – a faded, stained photograph of the proprieter, leftover belongings. What happened here? Where did they go?


Extreme Environment Photographic Competition Shortlist

Extreme Environment Photographic Competition Shortlist

This imag of a “Ribbed Iceberg”, in Kangerdlussuaq Fjord, East Greenland, from on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise in 2009, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Extreme Environment competition, run by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, in Hobart, Australia. The Extreme Environment Photographic Exhibition brings together some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring […]


97 Minutes in Barentsburg

97 Minutes in Barentsburg

I am staring at a forest, a painting of a forest. A door opens in the forest, and two men climb out. They close the door, then walk away.
The forest, or rather the painting of a forest, is in the Russian coal-mining town of Barentsburg, about 1200km from the North Pole, one of three inhabited settlements in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.


Martha Van Der Bly: Repulsion

For a couple of years now, actress and filmmaker Martha Van Der Bly and myself have been threatening to team up and work on a photographic project together. Great idea, but hindered by our never being in the same location for more than five minutes. Back in April, we spent two Sunday afternoons developing some […]


Vending Machines: Coined Consumerism

I don’t doubt that I often make pictures of strange objects – but it’s a little bizarre to see one’s image turn up in a book like Christopher Salyers’ Vending Machines: Coined Consumerism, published by Mark Batty.


The Things I Found On Bull Island

Bull Island is a new world, less than 200 years old. Grown from a mere sandback after Captain William Bligh (of the Bounty) made his 1801 proposal to stop the silting of the Liffey by constructing of the Bull Wall, the island is today a UNESCO biosphere reserve – a protected area that by definition […]


Polar Bear Encounter: Late Night With Nanuk

This story was first posted as a blog on the Greenpeace Climate blog in August 2009 – while I was on board the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, off the coast of Greenland as part of a four month expedition investigating climate impacts in the Arctic.


Fata Morgana: Arctic Mirage

There is something unnerving about watching reality bend before one’s eyes. There is what one “knows” to be true, and that which one can see through a telephoto lens or binoculars – with Fata Morgana, the two are difficult to reconcile. Something is happening on the horizon. Icebergs twist and change shape, move, disappear, elongate. […]


Greenland Self Governance

I was fortunate enough to be in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland on June 21st 2009- midsummer’s day, when Greenland celebrates its National Day. There was further cause for celebration – following a referendum last year, Greenland has decided on ‘self governance’ and on June 21st moved from ‘home rule’ to a new state of […]



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