On cloud nine
Having been a professional lifestyle photographer for over three generations, I didn’t realise how hard I was pushing myself until I began photographing skies – over Ireland and Georgia USA where I lived for six wonderful years.
While I’ve shot advertising, editorial, annual report photography for multinational clients and filmed for BBC Worldwide, doing so was led by an end result – telling specific stories in words and often art directed by other creatives.
Photographing clouds, I do what I like when I like.
Heading to north west Northern Ireland with a bunch of amature shooters and photographing The Dark Hedges and surrounding landscapes, I didn’t bring the SLR camera’s everyone else had with them. I thought I’d test my skills and shoot with an old iPhone3GS.
Knowing the picture editor of The Irish Times, from my days as a staff photographer at Belfast photo agency, Pacemaker, the newspaper ran a feature on my my sky work, resulting in a Manhattan based movie producer buying a limited edition print of a iPhone shot of brooding clouds north of Ballintoy.
Since then, 2015, I have learned to appreciate the stillness and strength of the Irish landscapes I walk through and photograph, by standing still, calming my mind and appreciating the privilege of being in that space.
More abstract that my original skyscapes, and often depicting cloudlike beings in an ethereal world, my most recent work is of skies over Newtownabbey and the Cave Hill, Belfast, and is in private collections in Manhattan, London, Paris and Munich.
I very much hope you enjoy my skies as much as I did creating them.
Stephen S T Bradley (stephenstbradley.com)
creative director, Bout Yeh
Night On Witch Mountain Redux – limited edition. City of Belfast Playing Fields, Mallusk, N. Ireland
Wonderworld – limited edition. Bird flying within enormous cloud formation, Cave Hill, Northern Ireland
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