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Photography

Back in 2007, I began the process of chasing FIAP acceptances, awards and the badges that go with that. For those not familiar with FIAP and the process, I will take a few words to give some context. FIAP or Federation Internationale Art Photographique to give it its full name is the UNESCO world body for photographic art.

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Nepal, Stories, Travel
Dharmanagar is a village and Village Development Committee in Bara District in the Narayani Zone of south-eastern Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 2,934 persons living in 478 individual households. Its about 160km south of Kathmandu and  right on the border between Nepal and India. The village is a mainly rural village with people generating income from agriculture. Our connection with this village is Action Aid and its child sponsor program. The child were are sponsoring, Sujit live here with his family and when we decided to visit, we also requested to stay with the family – a request which they kindly granted. Sujit and his extended family action aid-92 The journey down from Kathmandu – a mere 16
0km took us nearly 8 hours. The road down was a bit like Bolivia’s famed road of death. This wound its way through the mountains, at times properly paved and at times no more that dirt and rubble. The road was fairly badly damaged by the earthquake action aid-7 action aid-8 Despite this, the  journey down was enthralling, made better by our young driver who was extremely careful.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking action aid-9
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General
Update: – I’ve installed a gallery manager called Envira and it seems to be extremely responsive, in addition, I have dramatically changed the menu structure for the galleries.  To check it out, please have a look  under  “My photography”. All of the Morocco and Nepal galleries are build with the new gallery manager.

I have held off updating the galleries on the site as I’ve not been happy with the operation or performance of the current gallery manager – Nextgen. I have finally settled in a new gallery manager and will start to both update the site with new images and convert the old ones. Thanks for bearing with me as I get this completed


Gerry
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Environmental, Photography, Wildlife
Lockdown, thankfully, beginning to end, gave me the opportunity to focus my photography a little closer to home. One project I’ve wanted to do for a while is to document some of the new life in Castletown. As you might know, any photography that involves wild birds at or nears their nests is illegal under the Wildlife act 1976. So, I contacted the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and filled out an application form and became licensed under the act.

For anyone thinking of going down the route. The process is simple enough. Fill in the application form and submit. It is almost certain that you will get a follow-up call for the national parks and Wildlife Service regarding the purpose and process you intend to use. 

The whole process was straightforward and the people involved were extremely helpful

The gallery below is the result 

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Wildlife

So, like a lot of people, I’ve been restricted to a very narrow area around my home, first 2km and now widened to 5km this week. This has forced me to re-look at my local area and in particular, Castletown estate. This is the grounds of a grand estate house, built-in 1722 for William Connolly,  the then speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

After a narrow escape in the 1960s, from being “developed”, it was eventually taken in ownership by the state and is now an OPW property. It is a fantastic  resource for the people of Celbridge and it grounds   provide a haven for all sorts of wildlife.

I started taking my Fuji 100-400mm lens on my daily walks through the park and photographing the wildlife I came across on my walks. The gallery below is the result.

For more information on Castletown estate, please visit http://www.castletown.ie


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Nepal, Photography, Stories, Travel

My wife and I have been sponsoring children via the Action Aid charity for over 30 years.  Our current sponsored child lives in the village of Dharamanger on the Nepal-India border. This is an area of Nepal that has suffered the ravages of war over the centuries and is economically extremely deprived up to this day. We planned our holiday this year to include a visit to our sponsored child. Our plan was to stay with the family in the village and that’s exactly what we did! Over the course of 3 days, we were granted a unique opportunity to meet with our sponsor child, his family and wider friends and community. To say that we were made welcome is an understatement We have seen first-hand the impact that Action Aid is having on the ground to people’s lives – not just the children. We met a young man who was destined to work in the fields and is now qualifying as a teacher. The village has several challenges and we want to be able to help. The costs of all the projects will be €25,000  Most of the fund-raising will go to a school extension and child care facilities to allow young women earn a small income in the fields. What we are planning to do is organise a walk in Glendalough. (see Maps) The main walk will be the white route which is 9 km and should take around 3 hours to complete. We can also organise a subset of that for those who cannot manage the white walk. The date for the walk is Saturday April 8th. More details will follow as we get closer. What we are looking for is participation and/or  sponsorship. Anyone wishing to participate, please contact us via the email addresses below and anyone wishing to donate can do so via iDonate on this link: https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11362026_nepal-schools-project.html or contact me via gerry.kerr@gmail.com or trish via kerrtrish1@gmail.com Details of what the funding is to be used for is outlined in this document from ActionAid http://www.gerrykerr.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/School-Project-Nepal.pdf Thank you    Gerry & Trish

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Camera Club, Photography
The Irish Photographic Federation (IPF) run a distinctions program with three levels – licentiate, associate and fellowship.  Over the years I’ve applied for and successfully completed the first two stages and this year applied for my fellowship.  The process involves submitting a panel of images and a statement of intent. The judging, by a distinguished panel of judges happened and I’m delighted to say that I was successful. For more information on the IPFs distinctions process, see this link http://irishphoto.ie/distinctions/ The panel, based on a village in Nepal is: Link to larger version https://goo.gl/Jy2bce

Statement of intent

After many years travelling across Asia, I was privileged to be given the opportunity to stay in a small village in Nepal earlier this year. The village of Dharamnager is 170km from Kathmandu but decades behind. Dark nights with no electricity or running water, harsh sunlight, mud & brick huts in dark shadow, extreme heat and extreme humidity made the conditions challenging. To immerse myself in the life of the village, I stayed with a family in very simple accommodation. The warmth and generosity was extraordinary and for a lot of the people, I was the first westerner they had ever seen. My goal was to capture the people and their lives as reflected in their environment, faces, character and emotions – young and old – at work and at play. My approach was to get up close with a wide angle lens and make a strong connection with the subject. I have chosen a monochrome medium to remove distractions and focus on texture and contrast. Young men were in scarce supply with most of them working in the middle east or Kathmandu. However, a certain happiness shines through, especially in the children. People had time to talk with me – no rush and no phones!
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Nepal, Photography, Stories, Travel
Kathmandu was our first destination this year and  given that we intended to travel last year, we were concerned about how much damage had been done to the city From what we’ve seen, typically, the newer part of the city is relatively intact, however, the older parts of the city have significant damage – in particular, the main Darbar Square has been devastated.


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Nepal, News, Stories, Travel
We visited Nepal this year and the highlight of the visit was a side trip  to an Action Aid project in Dharamanger, about 160km south of  Kathmandu. The village is where our sponsored child lives and it was something that we had planned  with Action Aid Ireland well in advance. It was an amazing, humbling experience and we were treated like royalty. This is a collection of images from the village and the journey down.  It was an amazing experience and we met some extraordinary people. I hope to come back to this in a later post and talk about some of the people who most impressed us.  Action Aid are doing amazing work here and deserve every support. For more information, please see http:/www.actionaid.org



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