Several stunning photographs captured in Kenya have helped Tallaght man Michael Finn to win the coveted Best Wildlife Photographer award at the Bank of Ireland IPPA Professional Photographer of the Year Awards.
The Irish Professional Photographers Association (IPPA) announced Michael as the winner at the awards ceremony held in Carton House, Maynooth on Sunday May 7th.
However, it was a life-changing medical incident that saw Michael take the plunge and head to Kenya on safari to pursue his passion in 2015.
Prior to leaving the Tallaght grandfather had a major heart-attack during which he was clinically dead – and the massive health scare promoted Michael to throw caution to the wind and go on the safari he had always dreamed of.
Although he only started shooting wildlife in his late 40’s the Aylesbury man has proven time and time again that he has an eye for the photographically fascinating with some outstanding pictures in his collection.
His impressive shots have earned plaudits from across the globe including an excellence award from the Federation of European Photographers and another win at the Nature’s Best/Windland Smith Rice Awards run by Best Nature Magazine and The Smithsonian.
He returned from Kenya in November 2015 and does have plans to take another major photography trip in the future but is now concentrating on his book.
The Aylesbury man told InTallaght: “Although I have plans for other trips, I have nothing arranged yet. I have spent most of my time since returning processing the images, making selections and designing the book which I had always intended would be the result of my safari.”
However, after an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of the book Michael is now exploring other avenues to bring the book to the public.
He said: “I am now in the process of trying to raise corporate funding and Kenyan ambassador, his excellency Richard Opembe is assisting me in this endeavour in the hope of using the book to promote tourism to Kenya by Irish people.”
Michael will be displaying 30 of the award-winning images from his trip on two large 8ft by 4ft boards at Tallafest 17 on June 24th in Tallaght Village.
For more information visit Michael’s Wildlife Photography Facebook page.