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A stolen camera leads to drone footage going viral

February 9th, 2017 7:15 AM

By Jackie Keogh

Galley Head as photographed by Michael's drone recently.

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AFTER his camera was stolen, a young West Cork man focused more on his drone and ended up producing a four-minute aerial ode to West Cork that has gone viral.

Since he posted it online, just a few days ago, 25-year old Michael McCarthy has seen the number of views of his MMC Photography video climbing towards the 12,000 mark.

Michael, who works in the family business, JMC Parts in Reenascreena, has always had an abiding interest in photography.

‘It’s a hobby,’ he said, ‘but one that’s made easy by the fact that we live in such a spectacular part of the world.’

Michael told The Southern Star that his camera was stolen last September. He had just come back from Iceland, where he revelled in taking some spectacular landscape shots, and someone broke into a parked car to steal the tail-lights, but came across the camera and other items that were not on display, and took them too.

As an 18-year old, Michael said he had used his summer job money to buy his first camera, a Canon 500D, which he described as ‘the beginnings of a proper camera.’

In 2014, he upgraded that to a Canon 70D, but has been without a hand-held camera since it was taken in September.

‘I am working to buy a new one. I am planning on buying a Canon 6D MK11, when it comes on the market,’ said Michael, who, in the meanwhile, devoted all his spare time, energy and attention to the use of the drone he bought last April.

‘Obviously, the handheld camera is the better camera but because I didn’t have one I took the drone out, more with the intention of trying to replicate the videos I’d seen online.

‘I went out a lot over the summer because the weather was so good, and I was lucky to get some good snow scenes at the start of January. But I was incredibly lucky last Saturday – January 28th – when I got the final shots of ducks flying past the James Fort block house.’

The four-minute video, which can be seen on the Southern Star’s Facebook page, is the culmination of nine months’ work, and it is absolutely stunning and proving hugely popular with viewers.

Michael admits he is happy with it, and delighted with the online feedback. ‘The biggest trick with the video is getting the right music,’ he said. ‘I bought the track online from a specialised company and it is the perfect background music.’

Michael said photography is a hobby but he is keen to name-check the well-known photographer, Stephen Bean. 

‘Having done a night course with him at UCC,’ said Michael, ‘I found him to be a great teacher, a great source of inspiration. He certainly pointed me in the right direction.’

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