The COW-boy ‘tographer Shoots Gaelforce West 2017

Croagh Patrick Gaelforce

Ye haw! After a 7am in the mornin’ hike up the misty holy mountain known as Croagh Patrick, I set me down and wait for the participants to arrive. (All photos here over the next few days).

I got ma brand spanky new sign with me so now every dog gone person will know where to find ma photos (or at least they would if the thang didn’t keep blowin’ all o’er the place) cos it’s a gosh darned cryin’ shame when folks don’t get to see tharselves in action.

I unholster my camera and fix my thousand yard stare into the distance for any sign of them thar crazy fellers who be thinkin’ it’s a fun thang ta do ta be kayakin’, cyclin’, and then runnin’ up a holy mountain just for the pure enjoyment of it.

Now, I gets to thinkin’ that people useta only be exertin’ tharselves like this when huntin’ for game, afore folks got civilised, back when they didn’t have no Tescos or Dunnes Stores ta go git their rations in.

Nowadays folks be half killin’ tharselves just fo’ the sheer enjoyment of it and that’s just plum crazy when ya think about it.

Hell, it’s gotta be just as crazy totin’ a camera and sittin’ on a mountain to catch me some pictures of such folks but it sure makes sense that crazy folks doin’ crazy thangs aught to have a crazy person ta catch it all on camera for posterity.

Moments come and moments go, same as lives do, but pho-tos can last forever so it kinda surprises me that 99.9% of folks don’t never want to buy no pho-tos from me.

Mayhap folks don’t buy no pho-tos cos they ain’t got no trust in no COW-boy ‘tographer. Ayuh, mayhap that’s what it is.

Today I got with me a moo-sic box to help people with thar moo-tivation at a point in the race where thar surely gettin’ tyred.

Songs of choice include The Clash’s “I Fought the Law”, Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff”, and Mumford and Son’s “Little Lion Man” and all the folks goin’ by loves these tunes so much that they delightedly says so to me.

I guess folks like such moo-sic cos everybody gets sick and tyred of being oppressed and conditioned by the multitude of cages that society puts us all in and ever’body feels like a fuck up at some point or other. Hell, I done felt like a fuck up most of my gosh darned life.

After a spell of settin’ ‘n’ waitin’, I spots the first feller.

Gaelforce West 2017 Winner Photos

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! and that there’s my first shots fired of the first man up the mountain and he’s just about as focussed and serious lookin’ as a man in some kind of Injun tribe chasin’ down a buffalo except that thar ain’t no buffalo he’s chasin’.

This here feller clearly just wants the satisfaction of knowin’ that if thar war buffalo that he’d be the best gosh darned buffalo chaser they is, so that every well heeled rancher from here ta Texas would wanna marry his sweet daughter to him, so as he wouldn’t become one of them lonesome types be settin’ in the saloon drinkin’ whisky between times when he had enough coin to get his-self some comp’ny in a cat house.

There’s quite a bit of time afore the next feller comes by and I’m already feelin’ kinda tyred on account of  bein’ up since 5am. Thing is, though, I don’t quite feel right in myself ‘less I gots at least 2,000 pho-tos to process on a Sunday mornin’

One of ma first pics of the day that I feel happy with is this here feller who looks like he’s walkin’ on the edge of a cliff.

2017 Photos Gaelforce West Music

Afore long it’s the same old thing. Frame, focus, shoot, adjust exposure,frame, focus, shoot, lock exposure. Everytime I do this kinda thing I gets closer to being the best gosh-darned camera slinger in the west.

Out of every half-dozen folks that go by I gets ‘preciation for the moo-sic I done spent 3 hours preparing the night afore.

Seen as how I’m settin’ in the mud with moo-sic takin’ my photos, a lot of folks comment “Hey, you have it easy. I wish I had a job as easy as yours!”

“Sorry, ma’am,” I feel like sayin’, but don’t, “takin’ all these pho-tos today is ’nuff to keep me goin’ from 5am this morning to 5pm this evenin’ and then I gots to process them and by the time I’ve done that I’ll’ve worked about 40 hours on somethin’ I don’t even expect to recoup my petrol on!”

Needless to say, what I do is not easy. Nor is it a job. Cos folks get paid for jobs. What I do is a passion, but that’s not to say I’m cheap cos I ain’t cheap.

Many organisers completely ignore ma hard work e’en though it benefits them. I can understan’ that, but I can tell ye it can be awful disappointin’ knowin’ that you put so much work into takin’ lovely pho-tos of folks but dey ain’t neva gonna see them cos some organiser’s ain’t allowin’ it.

I’m always much obliged ta capture moments for folks. Hell, today I e’en dished out free hugs and played me some Metallica for a feller. I likes to be a part of folks havin’ tharselves a good time.


After an exhaustin’ day, and sat-is-fied I done ma best, I makes ma way down the mountain to ma auto-mo-bile.

St Patrick ‘parently got rid of all-o-the snakes in Ireland from this mountain.

I ain’t sure ’bout none of that kinda stuff but I do know that thar is gold buried in the mountain.

Having said that, I don’t really believe that the gold is in the mountain. I believe, as I once said afore, that the real gold is in the hearts and minds of folks that be choosin’ to climb it.



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