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20th Dec 2016

Sarah Downes Documents Dublin In Black And White On Instagram – And It’s Magnificent


“I wouldn’t even call myself a photographer; I’m more of a snapper.”

Pretty modest words from someone whose keen eye for Dublin has manifested itself in the wonderful dublinisblackandwhite Instagram account – an account that combines wit, personality and cracking photographs, and one in which you could easily get lost for hours on end.

But despite all that – and a following that’s rapidly growing from its current base of just under 6,000 – Sarah Downes is pretty proud of her lo-fi approach towards documenting the capital.

“I take all the photos on my rather battered phone with it’s cracked screen. But hey! It still works!”

City Hall, one of the city’s overlooked charms

The little details so many of us forget to focus on

Dame Lane in all its subdued glory

Pride of the city

“I set up the account about eight months ago for no particular reason really, other than sharing some B/W photos of Dublin,” says Sarah.

We live in such a fast paced, selfie obsessed world. People forget to stop and look. We’re glued to our phones and disconnected with the world around us.

There is so much beauty around us, beauty even in the mundane fleeting moments of life. The more you look, the more you notice.

Light reflected on wet cobbles

Parliament Street by night

Beckett Bridge

Regram from @pelu00

Showing face

The DART at Seapoint

Regram from @photosbyjohnk

Don’t get me wrong, I love colour but sometimes it can be too distracting. Black and white photography strips everything back; we have no choice but to focus on the subject.

Dublin has an undeniable charm, Black and white photos seem to compliment that charm.

Sarah Downes


Looks like rain Ted

Light pouring in through Grattan Bridge

Life’s an open door

All of the lights

And the account is about far more than Sarah’s own experiences of Dublin.

“Every now and then I let different people showcase their black-and-white photos of Dublin for a week on the account,” she says.

“I’ve gotten some lovely feedback from Irish people and Dubs abroad who follow the account – although sometimes I am responsible for making them feel homesick!”

Coming in to land



From above

Regram from @sinefadaad

Through the cracks on Dorset St

And even where there’s colour in abundance, Sarah’s style manages to capture something altogether different

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