April 23 2015

I wish I had more time to sit down and document all the things that have happened recently, but I seem to be playing catch up with so much at the moment. Hopefully, things will calm next week and I will get around to recording all the great things I have experienced in recent weeks.

Here are two images from the recent short trip to Tokyo. Is there anywhere in the world where the people are as obsessed with keeping dry as in Tokyo? Everyone, except this for this guy it seems, carries an umbrella.

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Conform?

This iPhone shot was taken late on my last night in Tokyo. It had been raining for more than 24 hours solid. These young people are handing out flyers to passersby to attract them into their nightclubs and bars. They didn’t hand any to me. I must be getting old.

Shibuya Night

Shibuya Night

 

 

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April 17 2015

A quick post today. Need to find time to document all that has happened in the past week. Am truly honoured to have won the Mira Mobile Photography prize. Click through to see details.

Posting two shots today from Tokyo. One taken in Shibuya and one in Akihabara. This one taken in Shibuya was shot through a transparent 500 yen umbrella. The four days I was in Tokyo I constant rain for three of them. It does allow for beautiful colour reflections.

Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya, Tokyo

The iPhone shot comes from Akihabara – also known as Electric town as it is full of electronic shops which attract huge numbers of tourists. I saw this bus approach with a wonderful, circular window at the rear of the bus which framed this elegant lady reading a newspaper. I had to get a shot of it. I took my life into my own hands and hopped over the barrier and into the traffic. I had to get as close as possible to get a good shot. I think the poor woman was shocked to see this crazy foreigner approaching her. I got a few shots. In the end we shared a smile and a bow. The bus went on and I was stuck in between two lanes of traffic. All just to get that shot.

Tokyo

Tokyo

April 15 2015

Things on my mind today:

1. Fuzziness – after a marathon journey  26-hour home from Tokyo, I am super jet-lagged.

2. I am behind in the work I need to do.

3. I have so many images to work through and so far it looks like I will be doing a lot of deleting.

4. That is normal.

5. First impressions in photography, should not be taken too seriously .

6. To be confirmed….

Here is an iPhone photograph of my photo on a billboard in Harajuku, Tokyo. It was a beautiful experience to see my image in different locations around Tokyo. Unbelievable to actually believe I have a photograph on display in Tokyo.

Harajuku, Japan

Harajuku, Japan

I got my Fuji X100t back from the repair shop. Well, actually a new one to replace the old one. I used it a lot in Tokyo and had fun. I should update my review some time soon. This one had me in a dilemma – black and white or colour. My jet-lagged head says colour. Might change to black and white upon readjustment.

Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya, Tokyo

News: I won the Mira Mobile Photography Prize. Super happy, as you can imagine. Thanks to all for the kind words and congratulations!

April 6 2015

Today a dash of Ireland. The first image is from Ladies’ View in Killarney. A view made famous by Queen Victoria, and her ladies-in-waiting, who, by all accounts, loved the view. She was a regular visitor to Ireland during her reign. I was lucky while there that a foxy-headed, young lad was bobbing around while I was there and added to create an even more Irish scene.

A boy at ladies' view

A boy at ladies’ view

The wonderful thing about Irish villages is the colour and pride people take in their houses. Passing through Irish villages on a sunny day, you get to see beautifully painted houses with lovely flowers in all the windows. We love the sun in Ireland, but the sun….

Keep Walking, Sunshine!

Keep Walking, Sunshine!

 

April 3 2015

Things on my mind today:

How love changes like a song heard in the wind; sometimes faint, sometimes strong, but always heard;

Believe – achieve! Kiss this future…

Committed to the future

Committed to the future

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

Mobile Journalism Conference, Dublin

The World's First Ever Mobile Journalism Conference

The World’s First Ever Mobile Journalism Conference

When my turn came to speak, the nerves had gone and were replaced with a feeling of ya, this is it and I’m going to enjoy it. The excitement really began when, along with the other six speakers who were part of the panel for smart phone photography, we got miked up. Ya, this was it. Here I was in the National Convention Centre in Dublin all miked up, all ready to go and talk about what I do on the stage of the world’s first ever Mobile Journalism Conference – Mojocon!

The Sn

The stage is set

We took to the stage and sat in the order we were to speak. I was to the left of Andy Butler who was first up and to the right of Michael Kistler, Dan Berman, Nicki Fitzgerald, Dan Rubin and Jack Hollingsworth. We were assigned ten minute slots which would be announced by the ringing of a bell. Our moderator, Patrick Hamilton-Walsh (what a pleasure it was to get to know Patrick), introduced us one by one. Andy was first up to talk about his website and e-magazine, MobiographyBack in October, 2014, when the organiser Glen Mulcahy contacted me about putting together a panel of people from the world of mobile photography, Andy was one of the first names that popped into my head. I have great admiration for the work he does in promoting and showcasing mobile photographers on his site and e-magazine. Andy gave a well-structured and informative presentation that was well received by the large audience. Then came my turn and up I went.

On stage

On stage

Earlier in the day, I had heard one of the speakers at another session say that for every minute of your presentation there needs to be an hour of preparation. When he said this, I immediately started to do my calculations and doubt began to creep in. Had I my ten hours of preparation done? But really the truth was that I could not get the mathematics of the calculation right, so I abandoned it. I was pretty much prepared. I had my slides, a little video clip of me showing how I do post-processing on the phone and I had written out an accompanying text, and for good measure had a few jokes thrown in. Earlier in the week, my wife had sat and listened to me rehearsing. Asking her how it was elicited – ‘it’s fine, but you need to slow down a little’. I am a fast talker, I suppose. Earlier in the afternoon with Michael Kistler and Andy Butler we had more rehearsals and again the advice back was “slow down!” Conscious of this, I tried to pace the delivery just that little bit more slowly. I think I managed it OK, but the thing that got me was that damn clicker for the slides. Coming towards the end of the presentation, I clicked twice and was unable to get back to the previous slide. I missed the chance to get my little joke in about selfies and to compound things, the bell rang and it was like being back in school. I wrapped things up there and then and only in later presentations did I realise that I still had more time and I should have just kept on regardless. However, all in all, it was fine. I got to tell the story of my mobile photography journey: from an iPhone 3g to billboards and posters all over the world.

As soon as I sat down, the reflection process began and has not stopped. If the conference goes ahead next year and I get invited back,  I have decided that I am going to bring my own bell and ring it at random intervals and allow it to soothe and relax me throughout.

My photo on a billboards in San Francisco and Chile

My photo on a billboards in San Francisco and Chile

Next up was Michael Kistler, a photographer based in Hong Kong, who gave a solid and well-structured presentation dealing with the many myths and false claims associated with mobile photography. He finished his presentation with a slideshow of his images. I really liked this style, because it showed a confidence to allow his photography to speak for itself, without need for voice over as the images were shown. I am a big fan of Michael’s work and was chuffed to see his presentation go so well.

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“Man! Stop phoning my camera! What are you phoning my camera for?” This was one of the many funny lines from the larger-than-life Daniel Berman, the founder of the Mobile Photography Awards (MPAs). Dan stole the show. He introduced himself to the audience as Ted Cruz, cracked a few jokes and had them in the palm of his hand from there on in. Dan showed some of the amazing mobile photography images that have won at the MPAs and spoke of how many of these have been sold for large amounts. When one of the slides did not show and he was left with a black screen, his showmanship shone when he told the audience that “this image is called black and I sold this to a gallery in San Francisco for $40,000.” Dan!

Daniel Berman

Daniel Berman

 

I did not envy Nicki being up after Dan, but she managed very well. Nicki runs the well-known iphoneographycentral.com with Bob Weil. She spoke of the fine work her site showcases and then walked the audience through the processing of one of her own images. Again, it was a very interesting to see how she creates her images and what apps she used to do this.

Nicki Fitzgerald

Nicki Fitzgerald

 

Dan Rubin is one of the biggest names on Instagram with more than 750,000 followers, but this really is a very small part of what Dan does, as he is a successful man in many fields. I was very impressed with Dan throughout the day. He was a calming and supporting influence on us novice presenters. It was great to watch Dan go through his paces. Clearly he is a polished presenter and he engaged effortlessly with the audience.

Dan Rubin

Dan Rubin

The final man on our panel of speakers was the guy known as Photo JackJack Hollingsworth. Jack is very well-known in photography circles. wefollow.com has Jack listed as the 11th most influential photographer on Twitter. Jack’s presentation was big on numbers and stats, which are always interesting to learn, but what I liked about Jack’s talk was the emphasis on how to become a better photographer. Simple, become a better person. Art from the heart. 

Jack Hollingsworth

Jack Hollingsworth

Coming off that stage, I was buzzing, or skipping with delight as Andy Butler would call it. What an exhilarating feeling to be involved in something like that. Walking off stage, I was met by people congratulating me, telling me how well I had done, how much they liked my work. Together with the other speakers, what had been a collegial, supportive dynamic before the session, was now one of exuberance and delight. It was over and now we could relax and enjoy ourselves. And that is what we did. The organisers had arranged a meal in a lovely Thai restaurant. The food, the wine, the conversation, the atmosphere, everything was just perfect. A night to remember!

Day two of the conference was about taking things to the street. Together with Michael Kistler and 15 other people we hit the streets surrounding the Convention Centre. Had I been asked about photo walks before I would have probably replied that I was not a fan of them. The idea of large groups of people in a herd moving together snapping in unison, would have been a right turn off for me. But the truth is I was completely wrong. Ya, we all followed the same route, but the diversity of images we got was incredible. How could so many different things have been observed?  It just goes to show how different everyone’s perspective really is. The location opposite the Convention Centre is a great one for a photo walk. There is some spectacular architecture around that area and plenty activity too. The weather held up, even though rain had been forecast. We used the hashtag #mojocononthestreet and curated images posted to Twitter and Instagram to organise a contest with donated prizes from iProlens. In hindsight, we should have a raffle for the prizes as it really was so difficult to choose among the entered images. That is the only regret I have about the conference.

Taking Mojon Con to the Streets

Taking Mojon Con to the Streets

Here is a little clip of an interview Richard Donelan, of Start Up TV Ireland, did with Michael Kistler and myself.

It was the most amazing experience. I have spoken at and attended many academic conferences, workshops and seminars through the years, in many countries, but none compared to this. There was a buzz about the place that was matched with the sense of excited anticipation the speakers and attendees shared. Here were the leading lights in the future of journalism, coming together from all over the world, wanting to learn, wanting to share, wanting to take the next step in the evolution of mobile journalism together. To be a part of this, as a visual storyteller, a photographer was a true privilege. It has invigorated and inspired me. I met so many nice people over the weekend. Thanks to Jack Caffrey, Claire Byrne, Maeve Heslin, Margaret Ward, Richard Donelan, Juan Muñoz Fernandéz, Phyllis Stephen, Niki Mustain, Ricky Fosheim, Shadi Rahimi, Sue Llewellyn, Alison Gow, Micheal Mac Suibhne, Harry Guinness, my fellow Man Utd fan – Patrick Hamilton-Walsh, and Sinead Cassidy who was always available before and during the event to ensure everything ran smooothy. It was a great pleasure to share this experience with you all. Hope our paths cross again.

I cannot end this piece without acknowledging the work that Glen Mulcahy has done in bringing all of this together. This was the first event of its kind any where in the world. As a fellow Irishman I am very proud of Glen. It took a lot of imagination, vision and persistence to get this event off the ground. That it was such a success is so pleasing. Kudos to you, Glen!

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The Great Glen Mulcahy

 

Here’s to MojoCon 2016! 

Kiss the future...

Kiss the future…

 

 

March 26 2015

What I like about the Fuji x100t is that what you get straight out of the camera is a top class image quality. The few shots I have posted to Flickr with it have all had minimal post processing, which is a good thing. Looking back at older photos, I do see when I over-processed images, and you know it makes me cringe. But that is the journey. It is all about learning and evolving.

This x100T image was created in the Duomo in Milan. The world-famous cathedral. Like many cathedrals and churches they have become tourist sites, but still are places of worship. I was struck by this man’s composure and demeanour. I studied him for a while as he sat in front of the altar deep in prayer. I envy people who have faith, because the feeling of being loved is the most special feeling of all, and I can only imagine what the sensation must be to feel the love of a god, a creator. When I was a child, I felt God’s presence and never doubted it. When I entered adolescence, that feeling left and it has never returned.

I got a few shots of this man in prayer, both with the Fuji and the iPhone. Then I lit a candle for my friend Liam who had recently passed away, said my own little prayer. Thanked God for the many blessings I have and continued on with being a tourist in a church.

Being Heard

Being Heard

The iPhone image was also taken in the same cathedral. It shows more tourists.

God's Tourists

God’s Tourists