Daniel Comerford’s Creativity in Composition
Photographer Daniel Comerford combines clever composition and an eye for colour in this series of flicks and edits, presenting his perspective, Dublin, Amsterdam and our FAC x SafeHaus event in Wigwam.
My names Dan Comerford, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Dublin city centre. I grew up in Stoneybatter/Cabra and am still here and still enjoying it. I like to think I’m a photographer but I’m not 100 percent sure if I can call myself that just yet. Aspiring photographer, maybe. I’m doing a degree in Digital Marketing and I’m nearly half way through, which is a very nice thought.
I have always been fascinated with technology and cameras in general, making short videos with my friends and just generally messing around with cameras, but I never really took it seriously. Then one day I took one or two photos on my phone and really liked the way they looked. I think I was about 15. I continued messing around with my phone till one day I bought a shitty bridge camera for 100 euro in Argos. I started taking photos at parties and just going around and seeing what I could capture. That was great fun, but I didn't really learn anything about camera settings and the rest. One day I realised that the old film cameras that were lying around my house could actually take pictures, so I bought a roll of film from a friend and started taking some more pictures. When I got my first roll back from the camera shop, I was hooked.
As I’ve progressed my photography, I thought about how my environment affects it. I have a very love hate relationship with Dublin. There’s certain bits that I really like and others that I hate. I like how it’s very small and you will usually know someone who knows someone; for the most part, people are nice. I don’t like the general attitude towards drinking, where we all complain that there's nothing to do except go out and drink, so we just go out and drink. We gotta start organising our own fun, without drinking. Probably easier said than done, but there are a few people at the moment in Dublin who are organising sober fun around the place. More of this would be cool.
I think for me to really love Dublin, I’ll have to come back from living abroad to really appreciate it as a whole.
I suppose my style has been influenced from way back, too. There have always been loads of photobooks sitting in my living room that my parents have accumulated over time, but never really paid any attention to them. One day I opened a book called ‘Dubliners’ by Tony O’Shea and spent hours looking at the photos. The pictures were just street photos of Dublin in the 1980s, but the place seemed so foreign and strange. Like a real snapshot of what Dublin was like in that time. It didn’t seem like the pictures took a lot of skill or effort, but still looked really good and told a story. I think at the moment the aim for me is to have a portfolio that I think look really nice. That sounds really simple and innocent but as long as I achieve that I’m happy. One day I hope that my photographs tell stories.
At the moment, most of my photos are just of things that I’m doing, and who I’m with. I’ve done a few shoots for small brand and nights, but I’m trying to gradually ease myself into the professional side of things. I’m pretty self-conscious about the work I produce and am finding it hard to put a value on what my photos are worth (for shoots etc.) I wouldn’t want to take money from someone to produce something that I wasn’t proud of. I think I’m trying to get to a level where I feel like I am competent enough to do shoots professionally. For now, I’m practicing on friends.
One day I’d love to combine my photography skills with other mediums, maybe have some sort of clothing brand. I know that’s a very cliché idea in Dublin, but if I could make clothes that I would wear, then why wouldn’t others? I’d just like to have something tangible that I could be proud of and wear. Nothing special, just good quality t-shirts and hoodies with cool prints on them. At the moment I’m doing a screen-printing course in ‘Damn Fine Print’, so hopefully I’ll be able to print a few designs by the end of it.
By the end of 2019 I’d love to have an exhibition, either my own work or as a collective.
Follow Daniel on Instagram for more here, shop his prints and check out his compositions below.