on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Beara Peninsula

A Connection to the Landscape

Norman McCloskey

Norman McCloskey has been photographing the landscape of Ireland, in particular, the south-west since 1992. Although he has travelled all over the world, it is the Irish landscape that he has a deep-rooted connection to and a passion for working in. Having studied photography and worked in the editorial side of the industry for 18 years, he opened his gallery in Kenmare in 2015 which has been a great success.  His work now forms part of private collections all over the world and has a growing list of commercial and private commissioning clients.


Charlotte Parkin

Charlotte Parkin

Head of Marketing & Sub Editor for On Landscape. Dabble in digital photography, open water swimmer, cooking buff & yogi.

When Norman McCloskey started photographing The Beara Peninsula 25 years ago, little did he know that this project would inspire him and change his life in more ways than he could ever realise. Norman talks about his connection to the landscape and the development of his project.

You graduated in 1995 from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology having studied photography. Tell us about how you chose this as a career and how this shaped your approach to photography.

Looking back now it seems like it was all meant to be and I had a perfect plan, but the reality I think was down to luck and good timing. I had made a great move from my city upbringing to the beautiful surroundings of Kerry in the southwest. I had just graduated from college studying computer programming and had offers from universities in the UK to continue studying there. But I left it all behind for a complete change in life at the tender age of 21 and soon after discovered photography. Apart from being a bad guitarist but a passionate music fan, it was the one thing that really ignited a spark of real interest and passion in my life up to that point. After two years of enjoying my life filled with photography and devoid of any real pressure to do anything else, reality kicked in and I realised I had to start thinking about a career.

Photography was the only thing that I really and honestly wanted to learn and so I applied for a course in Dublin with the help of a friend who by chance was also applying. The course was called 'Commercial Photography' but it was anything but that. It was art college and had very little structure or clear idea what it was we were supposed to be doing. Initially, I felt I'd made a huge mistake and I knew this wasn't preparing us for a career of any sort, but soon I began to see and learn a whole other side to photography and my passion for it only grew. I continued to work on my landscape work, which of course in art college was completely dismissed as meaningless and trite. But I had huge resources of cameras and darkrooms so I made the best of it. I discovered the work of John Davies, Bern & Hilla Becher Joel Meyerowitz and Edward Weston, which I was very comfortable absorbing alongside my staple diet of Ansel Adams.

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