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Writing the title to this blog piece finds me asking ‘Is that for real? Is that me?’ Apparently so. On Tuesday I will take to the stage in Apple Store in Regent Street with the great Dan Rubin, in an event sponsored by Knomo bags and accessories. I am really looking forward to this event, as you can imagine.
Preparing for this has been a great opportunity to reflect on my photographic journey and see where I have come from and what has brought me here. Looking back at my early iPhone images I can see the things that caught my eye are pretty much the same. It is very cool to look back and see how my eye has developed and with it how my style has also evolved. Have had to choose some categories of images also to talk about and to select a few shots in each of these. This has been fun too, but as I always say – life is hard when there is choice. Narrowing down the sleection is not the easiest thing to do, but I am happy with the end result.
To say I am impressed with Dan Rubin would be a huge understatement. Of course, I had heard of him and was aware of his work, but I did not get to meet him until the Mojocon event in Dublin last month and like everyone else I was struck by how kind and humble this guy is. In preparation for this event he has been so professional and I am heading into this assured that everything is in place and that it will be fun.
Got to say that Knomo the sponsors have been so great also in arranging flights and hotels for me and sending me on some of their products. I have always had a case for my iPhones, but their quality never seemed to match that of the iPhone. The Knomo case is different. For the first time, I feel I have a case fit for the iPhone. It’s a snap on leather case and provides a great grip which is perfect for shooting.
They were kind enough to allow me to choose a bag also and I know I am repeating myself now, but life is easy when there is no choice. All the bags look so good. In the end, I went with my heart and selected one from their range called Kinsale. Being a proud Cork man, how could I have chosen anything else as Kinsale is my favourite town in Ireland. The bag is perfect for travel and the finish on it is so impressive. Looks cool and does a great job.
Knomo also make a great range of organisers and this one I like particularly as it has a mobile charger included: perfect for those longs days travelling or out shooting street. A big thanks to Knomo for these top class products.
So, all set for London! All set to take the stage with Dan Rubin. How cool!
I had thought I was not going to post another from this series of blur photographs from Copenhagen, but they keep drawing me back in. I cannot seem to settle on a uniform style, but perhaps they don’t need it. Some look good in colour and others need to be reduced and constrained and only black and white can do that.
In saying that, despite the way I work through images, I am coming close to producing a coherent series. One of the challenges that I encounter is that I present images consecutively from locations, but very often later I find that an image from one place can easily complement one taken in a very distinct location. All of this is the process. I may write about the frustrations I encounter with this process, but it is how I work.
Mark T. Simmons, a friend whose work I really admire, posts sporadically on Flickr, preferring to work on a series of images before posting them. When the series is complete and you spend time looking through them you realise the craft that has gone into the creation and curation of the series. His series of images from Istanbul is coherent and there is a cohesion in style and you move from one image to the next carrying with you the emotion and impact of the previous image. I envy his patience and attention to detail. I look back at my images and my series are short – usually between 3 – 5 images and then I get restless and take things in a different direction. Recently, Mark gave me some good advice about working on and presenting a series of images and I have begun to learn from that. If you have not already seen Mark’s work, his series on Istanbul is a good place to start.
So here is today’s image. Would love to hear your reaction to it. Leave a comment below, or on Flickr.
Writing this blog entry is a discipline I set myself. I try to do it every day, but life gets in the way. I am trying to document my photographic journey and trying to learn about myself and how and why I photograph. Very often, I write about the DSLR shot first and by the time I arrive at choosing (I rarely know what I am going to choose) an iPhone photograph I am too restless to continue writing. This is where I am today. I need to go now and choose a photo, post it to Flickr, download a lower resolution size for the blog and then write a little about the image.
Autumn is fully installed now. Mornings arrive later and night falls that bit earlier each day. It is my least favourite time of year. I feel a tightness in my chest as winter gets its grips. Darkness, so much darkness. Gloom and decaying greyness.
What is needed is early morning jazz music to soothe us slowly into the rhythm of the new week. Back to work for me today. Back to work after a long break. Always difficult to readjust. Am listening to – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’. And already I am feeling less – less what? Less everything.
To accompany this dour and dull image of a rainy Tokyo I have chosen an iPhone image of a tree in the rain. And we all know what trees should do. They should cheer the fuck up.
Have a moderately acceptable Monday. Prepare yourself for disappointment.
Quick note on Flickr. You can disable comments but not disable faves. I would like to be able to disable faves. I think they are pointless anyway. I have always used them as a means to identify photographs I have already seen. I fave every photo I look at. Sorry, if that disappoints some, but I have over 60,000 faves. I rarely look through them. I have noticed in the past year that views have increased dramatically. Before the new and so awesome version of Flickr, I was averaging about 500 views per day. A daily post would be seen about a 100 times, get about 20 or so comments and about 30 – 40 faves. Now, a photo is seen about a 1,000 times, gets about 80 – 100 faves and about 15 – 20 comments.
Yesterday, I had reached over 300 views and over 30 faves but only had 1 comment. Flickr have made it so easy to consume photography that people spend as little time as they can on photos. On the Flickr app, double click and a star appears obscuring the image and scroll quickly to the next and repeat. Dozens of photos can be consumed in a matter of minutes. On the desktop version, the page with your contacts – sorry followers (how much do I hate that term!), you can just single click on the star and consume with even more convenience.
Time to contract, I think. I have, for the moment, abandoned Instagram because of this trend of scrolling and clicking. Perhaps if the fave button was disabled – if this was an option – then people might be more inclined to view the photograph and even write a comment in reaction to what they have seen. Good idea, bad idea?
Anyway, rant suspended, I don’t subscribe to the rant over idea. If I want to resume the rant later, then it is nice to know it is there waiting for me to pick up from where I left off.
Photographs for today. I am still in the Shibuya underground station. It is past midnight, edging close to the time of the last train. Commuters are streaming out of trains and I am there in wait, camera poised and ready to capture the moment. I have one or two more in this series to show. I love the fluid colours in them.
The iPhone image for today is another taken as people are waiting for the train to leave the station. I was pretty lucky with the commuters I got in shots like this. Usually they responded well to me, sometimes smiling or like the photo other day when they guy gave a wide-mouthed exclamation. Today’s image is a little out of focus (when did that ever bother me?)and grainy, but his expression is tender and warm.
you seeing art and me trying to make it art, a gallery on Flickr.
Another gallery of people looking at art. Why do I like shots like these so much?
Very honoured to be featured on Stephen Cosh’s blog.
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