Dan Lenihan

WHY me?

It’s the question I asked when seeing the photographic assignment for Monday morning — ‘David Cannon at Kinsale call Michael 10.30.’

Knowing who David Cannon is, a world famous sports photographer, I’m thinking, ‘what’s he going to make of me?’

On the way to Kinsale thoughts are racing through my head: where will I take the picture? Hope the light is good. Don’t keep looking at the back of the camera to see if the exposure is right, I tell myself. Heading past Cork Airport the mist and fog started to fall. This is a great start, I thought: no backdrop for my picture.

But as I got nearer to the Old Head the fog lifted slightly and the confidence started to grow and I thought, ‘well, why not me? This is a great opportunity’.

In the bar David was finishing up his interview with our sports journalist Michael Moynihan. I waited a while as he was sorting time sheets for a game of golf. He announced to his friends there were a couple of cry-offs (with no invitation coming I can only presume he had heard of my golf skills).

He apologised for suggesting a location on the balcony for the photograph; I said what about the glass railing, won’t it spoil the picture? You’re right, he said.

One up I thought, as we made our way to the course.

When taking his picture he asked if I could capture the light in the lighthouse. No problem I thought, and my counting skills came to my rescue as about every seven seconds I hammered on the motor drive and captured the light.

Two up.

But it was all square when he brought me to the cliff edge with the lighthouse in the background. The sea splashed onto the cliffs below the fairways and the lighthouse in the background. What a contrast — a perfect location.

You knew he’d done this before.

Delighted with my pictures, I suggested a stock picture at the front of the clubhouse with David holding his book. He was understanding, knowing I needed a selection of images for the sports desk.

We said our goodbyes and as he walked away I noticed a smile on his face. Clearly the thought of meeting a world-class photographer must have been in his mind.

I also left a happy man, knowing I’d captured a picture of a special man in a special place.