James (15) is on a high as drone photo goes viral

June 3rd, 2016 7:20 AM

By Siobhan Cronin

This stunning photo of the famous oratory at Gougane Barra was taken by Drimoleague teenager James Tidmarsh and has since gone viral, garnering thousands of fans on social media. The 15-year-old Rossa College Skibbereen student has taken many super drone photos with the quad copter which he built hi

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A DRONE photo of Gougane Barra by a 15-year-old West Cork student has gone viral.

James Tidmarsh’s stunning photo (see page 1), which shows the beautiful oratory and island from the air, was an instant hit when he posted it on Facebook recently.

After being shared by the popular site ‘Best Photos of Baltimore’, the image went viral, with over 1,000 people sharing it across the globe, and many more sharing it from their own pages. There were also almost 300 comments on the photo, which garnered universal praise for the young photographer.

James, a fifth-year student at Rossa College, is from Drimoleague, and took the photo with his custom-built quad ‘copter. ‘I am as keen on the design and electrics of the quad ‘copters as on the photography,’ he told The Southern Star.

‘Gougane Barra is a place which has great significance to so many people around the world! I’m very pleased that so many people have enjoyed seeing my photo.’ James also sent the photo to The Southern Star, because he had earlier been delighted that we had used another one of his stunning aerial shots – of Castledonovan Castle.

‘I first posted the image as a quick instagram screen shot in the car, on the way home from Gougane Barra, as I had been taking video footage, though I haven’t finished editing the video yet!’ explained James. ‘It was just ‘liked’ by a few of our friends and then this week my Dad saw a photo of Gougane Barra on the ‘Best Photos of Baltimore’ Facebook page and forwarded it to them. 

He shared the photo to his group and, in the last couple of days the interest has gone mad …. it has reached over 140,000 Facebook users in a couple of days. My Mum likes how lots of the comments are people’s memories of when they visited Gougane Barra, including quite a few engagements, weddings, and the fact people all over the world are seeing it.’

James said he had built quite a few remote control planes and gliders, but moved into quad copters in the last couple of years. ‘I buy all the parts online, so the postman is kept very busy. I have three different quads at the moment – a 250mm, 450mm and 580mm. They are for different types of flying, situations and filming,’ he said.

The Gougane Barra photo was taken on St Patrick’s Day and while James has a magnificent collection of photos of the West Cork coastline and iconic landmarks, he is a particular fan of Gougane Barra, which he visits a few times a year with his family.

‘I like going there to take photos,’ he said. ‘My family like walking and they usually drag me along. Also if you pick the right time, like we did, there can be just a few people around.’

James says he isn’t quite sure what he’d like to do after school, but engineering might be an option. ‘I’m studying construction, engineering, design communication graphics and physics for Leaving Cert.  I’m particularly interested in the design and electronics involved in building my own quad ‘copters and anything else that can fly. Before college I might do a one-year media course at St Johns in Cork.’

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