Dictator’s debut gig

My good mate Richard Doran-Sherlock has teamed up with James Walmsley, Megan Riordan and Robin Ball for a new project called Dictator. I went along to their debut gig in The Workman’s Club. They have some great tunes, and even though Robin was being subbed on drums by Phil Doran, who only learned the set a few hours before the show, the rhythm section was really tight, driving the strong vocals and well-written songs. Here are some shots!



My Gear

If you’ve been wondering why things have been a little quiet here, I should mention that my gear was stolen while I was shooting a job in Colombia. They got my camera, lenses, cards, accessories, phone and laptop. I’m hoping they’ll all be replaced soon, so I can get back up and running, and in the meantime I’m working on the footage I brought back from the trip. Thanks for checking in 🙂

Ben Keenan Signature


[dropcap]A[/dropcap] little month late, here’s some background on 2012, the video I made with the wonderful Nathalie about our year together. We shot this on our 5D Mark IIs and the 16mm-style footage was shot by Nathalie on an iPhone 4S. She has some wonderful shots from our trips over on her blog, which she recently revamped, so it’s definitely worth a look.

We cut the video on Final Cut Pro X on my 13″ MacBook Pro over three or four evenings with a strict deadline of midnight on New Year’s Eve. We got it done by seven or so and headed out to dinner to ring in the new year, knowing our project was finished and live – a lovely feeling!

Like pretty much all of my video work, it’s been added to my portfolio.

Film Shots

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hough I’m quite busy at the moment, I couldn’t help but try out some of the bells and whistles on my new site. Here are some of the film shots I’ve shot in the last couple of years.

I have a bag of undeveloped film I promise to get done some time this year. Watch this space!

Ballymaloe Cookery School

[dropcap]G[/dropcap]rowing up, I had the good fortune to visit Ballymaloe almost every summer. My family would stay in the cottages that were used the rest of the year as student housing for the Cookery School. We had access to the freshest, most delicious food, in the most beautiful surroundings. We stopped going when I was about ten years old.

I visited again once more in 2007, right before I produced my biggest project to date at the time, The Chronoscope. I don’t remember much from that family occasion, except a powerful feeling of peace I got from the place, my tense muscles uncoiling as I turned the corner into the grounds of the farm where the school, gardens and accommodations are nestled.

Nathalie had the wonderful luck of being gifted with a prize for a course, accommodation and meals for two in Ballymaloe this year, and we chose a subject we knew nothing about: seafood. We had both intended to take a lot of photographs of the food we’d be working with, but the course was impressively intense, so what follows is a more reflective post than I’d expected. I hope fish-centric culinary photos are to follow, now that I’ve upskilled, but you’ll have to do with this trip down memory lane with me instead. If it’s any consolation, I think the school in Shanagarry, Co. Cork is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland.


The Avenue

The Tree House

High Life

Cleaning Time


Pink Cottage


Scarecrow Lady

Pink Cottage

Tennis Courts

Shell House






Ferns in sunshine




[dropcap]I[/dropcap] do get to know quite a few actors in my line of work. I’ve never taken official headshots, but I often can’t help myself when I’m around an actor, I do tend to take their photo’s. Here are a couple of great guys I’ve worked with over the years.

Tim is a wonderful actor, great fun and a tremendous voice-over artist.

Tim Dillard

This was taken on the set of a piece we were working on together in 2006. Cathal’s a really talented artist and has a great flair for improvisation. He brought a lot to the projects we worked on, can’t recommend him highly enough.

Cathal Sheahan


Going to a gig in Whelan’s recently, I had the pleasure of catching The Magpies opening for Myles Manley. I didn’t get too many shots, sadly. They were really good though, had a nice bluesy sound, and a tight rhythm section.





Indian Statue Garden

A month or so ago I visited The Indian Statue Park and walked Victoria’s Way with some friends, a bizarre patch of Eastern culture with a tech twist in the middle of Co. Wicklow.

Passing a plaque dedicating the park to Alan Turing, you enter the park along a “Birth Canal” (ahem).

2012,  - 01 of 08.jpg

Here there’s a large green area with a selection of statues in various poses.

2012,  - 02 of 08.jpg

You can then enter Victoria’s Way, an almost hidden path through the forest, which comes out into clearings featuring very large sculptures. They are all evocative, some of them more striking than others.

2012,  - 03 of 08.jpg

2012,  - 04 of 08.jpg

2012,  - 05 of 08.jpg

2012,  - 06 of 08.jpg

The clearings provided oases – quiet spaces where we reflected on the imagery without really intending to.

The park is easily accessible from Roundwood, cheap to get into and well worth a wander. I went back again a few weeks later with some friends and a macro lens on loan from Nathalie.


I don’t generally photograph with much of a thesis in mind, but here are some textures that I liked exploring.


Cobwebs In Sun

Wee Bird







Christmas Day





Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a wine country south of San Francisco, an emerging market, newer and cheaper than the Napa Valley. Nathalie and I took a tour of the vineyards – I managed to taste a lot of wine, though I had to do a lot of spitting as I was driving. This also led to us buying FAR more wine than we should have, making our return trip tricky, expensive and a little messy. Still, no regrets.



Wine Country

Big Sur

Treebones Sky

At the very beginning of January, Nathalie and I drove from San Francisco down to San Diego. Nathalie has some gorgeous shots from our stay at Treebones. I found myself hypnotised by the Pacific.




Californian Skies


The Grand Canyon

Several years ago I visited The Grand Canyon and discovered the most beautiful landscape I’d ever seen. I had only gotten my first camera (it was really quite a while ago!), so I struggled to do it justice, but given the vistas before me, it wasn’t tough to get gorgeous shots.
Road to the Canyon

A Grand Canyon

Beautiful Grand Canyon

Hazy Canyon

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon - Couple