Winter is not the best of seasons for photographers, at least not for press photographers.
Typically in our business the early days of January are moribund, the highlights being a New Year’s dip and a few stray walkers, the odd opportunistic photocall to get things moving again.
Light is the raw material of photography and the early months of the new year bring it back slowly. The worst days are those of utterly dull flat light but on brighter days the low angle of the sun is actually better than summer light which is higher and unforgiving. As spring approaches the days lengthen and the light improves.
Working outdoors in the cold requires layers of clothes, good coats and hats and thick soled boots especially necessary for "doorsteps", the painful waiting games played with politicians and those appearing in courts.
The art of the photojournalist is partly that of making something aesthetically interesting, sometimes turning sow’s ears into silk purses. Professionalism means turning in good usable pictures in from every assignment. At The Irish Times we are proud of our photography and we try to avoid the obvious, the clichéd and are always looking for something fresh, something different for our readers in print and online.
Here is a small selection of our favourite pictures by our staff and regular freelance photographers through the first three months of 2015 - from the dull days of January to the better light of spring.