Joe Mahon on hunt for local ‘snappers’ for UTV competition

"Lesser Spotted Journeys" presenter, Joe Mahon, who is calling on all local amateur photographers to send in their photographs of their "special places" for the "Lesser Spotted Snapper" competition.
"Lesser Spotted Journeys" presenter, Joe Mahon, who is calling on all local amateur photographers to send in their photographs of their "special places" for the "Lesser Spotted Snapper" competition.

To celebrate UTV’s new series, “Lesser Spotted Journeys,” popular presenter, Joe Mahon, has called on all budding amateur photographers from Derry and Donegal to enter this season’s “Lesser Spotted Snapper” photography competition.

The new 12 part series, which sees Joe travel the length and breadth of Ireland, gets underway on UTV this day week, Tuesday, September 15th at 8.00 p.m.

Entrants to the competition are being asked to submit images of their most loved and special places, with the overall winner crowned as the “Lesser Spotted Snapper” of 2015.

Commenting in advance of the competition Joe said: “Four years ago when we last ran the ‘Lesser Spotted Snapper’ photographic competition, we received over 6,000 entries and simply we were overwhelmed. Not just by the volume of entries but the calibre of the images.

“We discovered that the country is populated by thousands of extremely gifted amateur photographers who are able to combine technical skill; an eye for composition and a deep appreciation of the beauty and wonder of our Ulster landscapes,” added Joe.

“I’m genuinely excited to be putting out this call once again to see how others capture the nooks and crannies that mean most to them.”

‘Lesser Spotted’ has been bringing audiences off the beaten track to some of the most intriguing and unknown corners of Ulster since 1995, but this new series will see Joe widen his search to all-Ireland for the first time.

From Glenshesk, one of the lesser-known Glens of Antrim, to the parish of Kilcommon in North-West County Mayo, the Derry man will be journeying to some of the most beautiful places in Ireland.

“To think I have been exploring for 20 years is remarkable,” continued Joe.

“I’m really not quite sure where the time has gone. I’ve met so many extraordinary people and learnt so much about different cultures in that time but I thought after two decades the time was right to explore a little further so that’s how ‘Lesser Spotted Journeys’ was born.

“In the first episode of the new series we travel to the heritage village of Ballyknockan on the shores of the Poulaphouca Reservoir in County Wicklow, a place with an extraordinary story.

“From the barnacles on the rocks on Lough Hyne in County Kerry to the Anglo-Norman heritage of Carlingford, I’ve tried lto leave no stone unturned in revealing the hidden beauty and secrets of Ireland.

“Hopefully this series is just the beginning. Given the wealth of places and people waiting to be discovered I think we could have enough material to explore with ‘Lesser Spotted Journeys’ for another 20 years.”

Any photographers wishing to take part in the ‘Lesser Spotted Snapper’ photographic competition can find full entry details and terms and conditions at www.u.tv/snapper

In addition to Joe Mahon, the competition will be judged by UTV presenter, Rita Fitzgerald and award winning photographer, Hugh Russell.