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Happy Mayo snapper shoots winning images

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Westport photographer shoots winning images

Áine Ryan

HE has shot some of The Mayo News’s best and most artistic photographs, so it is no surprise that Michael McLaughlin was an award-winner at ‘the Oscars’ of Irish photography, the Irish Professional Photographers Association (IPPA) awards last weekend.
Indeed, the Westport photographer won in two categories: Best Pictorial Portfolio and Best Open Art and Creativity Portfolio. These were among 37 top awards presented in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin to the crème-de-la-crème of Irish photographers.
The categories cover a wide range of photographic disciplines.   
“I took the four photographs in the Best Pictorial Portfolio while travelling in  Peru and the Himalayas.
The four images have to work together as a unit while also evoking the sense of place. There was the sandhu (holy man) and the boy washing clothes in a tributary of the Ganges; it is a special place in the river where people also wash themselves and there is a place nearby on the river bank where there were funeral pyres.
Then there is the shot of Machu Picchu and a Peruvian grandmother with her grandchildren in Cusco,” said Michael McLaughlin yesterday.
He explained that his other winning photographic montage was based on the Olson house in Maine, made famous by the artist Andrew Wyeth.
“Ron Rosenstock, who has brought his students to Mayo for years, introduced me to this famous house when I visited him.
I liked the contrast of the timber grain and the snow. The strong composition of something very simple attracted me to shooting these images,” he said.
While Michael McLaughlin also entered press and landscape photographs in the competition he confirmed that ‘his heart was really in the artistic categories’ in which he was the winner.    
The IPPA (Irish Professional Photographers Association) was founded in 1949 and has over 350 practising members throughout the country.
The awards took place in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin, on Sunday night last.
Thirty-seven awards were presented across a wide range of photographic disciplines.
The overall winner, Photographer of the Year was Peter O’Donnell while Henk van Kooten won the inaugural IPPA International Photographer of the Year.

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