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5 minutes with... Bill Bradshaw

Bill Bradshaw, renowned international photographer, writer and most importantly cider enthusiast will be joining forces with us here in Armagh for the Armagh Food & Cider Festival in September. 

After graduating from my photography degree, I moved back to Somerset and was asked to document a local project teaching school children about Somersets apple and cider heritage and their importance historically. When the project was over I didn’t want to stop so I kept exploring cider farms and the wider culture that surrounded it.I released it had something about it that I found fascinating and it became a personal project that continues to this day, 15 years later!

Some of the initial photos I did in the early days still hold a lot of value for me, I think my overall awareness of cider was low then and I was able to concentrate on the visual aspects of what I was doing more than anything. The image I am most known for is probably my falling apple image – which was undesigned and just something I stumbled across one sunny autumn day. Its proved very popular worldwide and I think its something to do with capturing the feeling of excitement people have for cider in such a natural place, without any people in it. Orchards are such still places – to capture some movement really brings it to life.

I haven’t tried much cider from Norther Ireland but what I have had was very pleasant. I’m always interested in peoples differing approaches based on the fruit they can get hold of or choose to grow. I love tannic cider fruit because that’s what I’m used to but I’m always impressed that people can also make interesting ciders using non-traditional fruit – which I think it much more difficult to achieve.

One of the most interesting things I have realised is how cider making is so different, yet exactly the same all over the world. We all need apples, a mill and a press and yeasts, but differing apples, mills, presses and yeasts give rise to plethora of flavours and approaches which makes for quite a spectrum of diversity within those confines. The most fascinating differences though are the local customs and traditions which are entirely different too in every part of the world. The space between the similarities and the differences is where I tend to point my camera.

I’m really excited about my visit over to Armagh and can’t wait to get a taste of both the ciders created there, but also the chance to uncover some of the culture that I hope to show off to the rest of the world.

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Bill will be hosting two events which are part of this years Armagh Food & Cider Festival.

Cider Discovery Dinner with Bill Bradshaw & Real Cider Discovery Tasting with Bill Bradshaw.