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Perhaps it has something to do with the lockdown, and a real need to get out there in Greystones’ wide open spaces, but the entries this year were ever-so-slightly out of this world.
It was a truly spectacular line-up, with the public vote – and the judges – shifting that no.1 spot almost daily.
When it came to two of the main judges, professional photographers Phil McDarby and John McGowan, even in the closing days, their top picks went through a few changes.
For Phil, it was Robbie Godsil’s Lockdown Light #2, Neil Connolly’s Cliff Walk Barcode (“Just love the Cliff Walk from this angle – beautiful”), Afterglow by Dave Daly (“Incredible light”), Bray Head by Brian Dempsey and late arrival South Beach Explosion by Marc Diamond.
For John McGowan, it was Greyrocks by Matheus Santos, Sail Away by Odeta Burokaite and Nocturnal by Glenna Timmons.
When it came to the public vote – coming in through comments here, our social media, emails and texts – the choices spread wide, and all were wonderful – including Amy O’Halloran’s Spot The Ball, Boom! by Marc Diamond, Glen View by Neasa Hayes, Greystones Rockpools by Leah Kelly, Heart Of Glass by Robert Madden, Homeward by Declan Nessan Shaw, Ladies Of Pleasure by Sophie Power, Just Before The Morning by Kevin Hackett, Rain Cloud, South Beach by Susan Campbell, Sea Spa by Barbara Connolly, Sign O’ The Times by Dave Daly, Sunrise Swim by Aileen Quinn, The Limit trio by Sarah Whelan and Wild Blue Yonder by Susan Alas.
In the end, it was as much about the feeling as the photography, and that might just explain why the winner of the Greystones Rocks Brian Keeley Award 2020 is In Flow by Ann McInerney [above]. Man, the joy – and the beauty – in that shot. And it pretty much screams Greystones Rocks. And the late, great Mr. Keeley would have loved it.
A big thank you to everyone who took part, to all the judges and the voters, and to McGovern Estates for sponsoring this year’s competition.
Throughout September, these daily photo entries proved to be a real tonic. You can go check out the full 2020 gallery in hi-res right here.