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Top awards for local photographers

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By Michelle Crean

Five Kerry photographers proved that they’ve an eye for the perfect picture as they received prestigious awards for their work on Friday night.

Well known Killarney photographer Valerie O’Sullivan, Bryan O’Brien, Stephen McCarthy, Darragh McSweeney andJerry Kennelly all received an award at the annual Press Photographers Association of Ireland annual awards night in the Ballsbridge Hotel, with photographers from across the island of Ireland in attendance.

Awards were presented across nine categories;news, daily life and  people, nature and the environment, politics, sports action, sports feature, portrait, art and entertainment and reportage, alongside a dedicated award for multimedia.

Valerie was awarded 2nd in the Nature and the Environment category outstanding image of an ESB van arriving to Valentia Island Lighthouse during storm force Eleanor.

Bryan O’Brien from The Irish Times received the Multimedia Award, Stephen McCarthy from Sportsfile received 1stplace in the Sports Action category, Darragh McSweeney received 2nd in the Portrait category, while Tralee man Jerry Kennelly received 3rd in the Portrait category. Photographers Julien Behal and Brendan Moran received Merits for the work they submitted.

The judging panel was chaired by former Picture Editor, The Irish Times, Dermot O’Shea, and included acclaimed Photographer and Photography Commentator, Eamonn McCabe and, Former Picture Editor, The Herald, Glasgow, Jim Connor. The multimedia award was judged by Michael Lee, RTÉcameraman and Philip Bromwell, RTÉ News video and mobile journalist.

“The fact that there was five photographers from Kerry that won is great,” Valerie O’Sullivan, told the Killarney Advertiser yesterday (Thursday).

Valerie explained that she planned her photograph - knowing that the storm was raging and cutting off power across country.

“I rang Ger Kennedy in The Moorings and asked what time the tide was turning and about the swell. I then went to Cromwell’s Point and was shooting away when an ESB van arrived. I mean what are the chances of an ESB van turning up to Valentia Island Lighthouse!”

And she added a big thank you toESB Networks, as well asFáilte Ireland, especially Brendan Griffin, who secured the sponsorship for the awards night.

ThePress Photographers Association of Ireland ‘Press Photographer of the Year 2019’ Exhibition, featuring 101prints, will be available to view at the RDS, Dublin Airport and a number of other locations throughout the country. See www.ppai.ie for exhibition tour updates.

 

 

 

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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