“I really love my photography it’s a passion which I hope come across in my photographs.”


Rónán McLaughlin is synonym of artistic talent. His photographic work causes immediate fascination and drives you straight to another Universe, a beautiful and unlimited dimension where landscape, flora, fauna and Irish starry nights are the protagonist. Through his camera look, Ronan shows his passion and enthusiasm for the photography and wildlife. His career started looking at and taking pictures of birds, and now he captures prodigiously the beautiful Irish ecosystem. Originally from Malin Head, (Donegal), Ronan lives, currently, in Cork with his family. His photographs have been featured in Birdwatch, Wings and Birding World magazines, Dutch Birding to name few, as well as his photographic work has been published in several Irish and UK websites and magazines. Among his pictures, one of his favorites: a fascinating Boreal Aurora in Maling Head, where his son appears with him.

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How does your photography passion arise? Do you remember your first picture?

My passion for photography arose many years ago. I like birdwatching and wanted to start making records of the birds I would see or find. I used to use a sketch book and pen to draw the birds I would see, however as time progressed I wanted a more permanent way of saving my records. So my photography started with photographing the birds
I remember my first photography, it was a truly awful shot of a flock of Barnacle Geese at Malin Head in Co. Donegal.

How many photography equipment do you have? Please describe your current equipment and its advantages.

My current equipment is Nikon cameras and often Sigma Lens. I use a Nikon D7100 & Nikon D90, Lens include Sigma 150-500mm lens as well a Sigma 18-35mm F1.8, Tokina 11-16mm F2.8, Nikon 50mm, Nikon 70-300mm.
I have always used Nikon cameras, but I also use Nikon birding telescope and binoculars. It is equipment which is tough and durable, but also equipment that I am very familiar with.

What are the applications you prefer to use to retouch your pictures?

I use Photoshop CS3, and old programme, however it is my preferred choice for processing picture files.
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Would you explain us any trick to take a good landscape picture?

I try not to use tricks but let mother nature do the work and capture a scene in its best possible light. However I will use Cokin ND grad, and Lee filters if I want to try and add a bit of drama to a scene.

How do you develop the instinct to know “when to push down the button”?

I don’t think it is something you can learn. I think it is an instinct, if I look at a scene and I like it, then it will probably look well on camera.

What pictures did you learn from? Who have been your big masters?

With the abundance of pictures on the internet and all the great photographers that exist, I don’t think I could pinpoint one specific photographer or where I have learned. I suppose if a scene looks good to the eye, it will look good on camera.
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As wild landscape photographer, what’s your opinion about the progressive destruction of our biologic richness? Have you thought about using your pictures to report that destruction?

It sometimes is heartbreaking to watch the devastation that man has caused to our planet. I am very passionate about the environment and I have used my pics to report on such destruction.

What has been the picture you felt emotionally speaking most connected to? And the most risky one to take?

A picture of the Aurora Borealis at Malin head, Co. Donegal in the Rep. of Ireland is my favourite shot. It features my son and I. it’s emotional to me as it was his first time to see the Aurora. It means a lot to me as the lighthouse in the distance was the birthplace of my great grandmother; this picture has pride of place, framed in my home.
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Do you think technology and digital edition is reducing the difference between professionals and amateurs?

Modern technology has made it so easy for virtually anyone to become a photographer, and yes the lines are blurred. However it is not everyone who can produce quality photographers. There is still a place for professional photography.

Tell us please three jobs you feel most proud about, explaining briefly what inspired you in each.

One of my recent favourites is a picture I had planned for over a year. It is a picture of an arching Milky Way over Esky Bay at Malin Head, Co. Donegal. I wanted to capture the full arch of the Milky Way, to achieve this it had to be done on a date with no moon and clear skies. So I was at the behest of mother nature. However in March, I managed to achieve the picture I wanted.
I love the night sky, and this year I wanted to achieve a better picture of my son and I under the Aurora Borealis. 2 weeks ago I think I managed to achieve this, as we had an excellent Aurora show. It makes it better when you take these pictures close to your home.
I have always wanted to achieve a breaching whale picture. I have tried for a few years now to get a breaching Humpback Whale. Unfortunately I haven’t as of yet, but I do have a breaching Minke Whale which I am proud off.

What is that picture you are eager to take but, for the time being, you were not able to?

I have tried over the years to capture a breaching Humpback whale off the Irish coast. I have one poor picture from a number of years ago, but it is a poor effort. I hope that someday I will capture this scene.
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I didn’t set out to be a photographer… It just kind of happened!

“Many years ago in very rural Ireland, namely Malin head. I found a little green bird bouncing around our rather bare and barren garden. I was interested and wanted to know what it was. So for my 12th birthday I was given a bird book and a pair of binoculars. The more I learned about birds the more I wanted to know. So much so I started to find scarce and rare birds, but I had no way or recording them, except as little hand sketched drawings.
So it all began with the birds. Now I capture numerous subjects, birds, general flora and fauna, landscapes and the spectacular night sky. I seek to highlight what can be seen and experienced there in. I often hear people saying, ‘I didn’t know you could see them/those/that in Ireland’. I have developed my photography to be awe inspiring with a touch of education and I will in the future aim to keep showing people the wonderful heritage, flora and fauna that is to be found across Ireland. My home place in the far north of Ireland and in Ireland’s most Northerly point, namely Malin Head is very important to me. I love to show people what the area has to offer from its beautiful landscapes, nightscapes, wildlife, heritage and folklore.
 I have a simple life ethos and I am one who loves making photographs and spending time outdoors. I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on personal projects and travelling to the 4 corners of Ireland. I make my bed in Cork, but Donegal is my home and where better to get the inspiration than in some of the wildest spots in Western Europe….I really love my photography and I spend a lot of time refining, perfecting and even obsessing over my work… It is a passion, which I hope comes across in my photographs.”  Rónán McLaughlin.

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