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 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

March 23 2015

More images shot in Milan. This first one created with the Fuji x100t (which is sick and recovering in the Fuji hospital in the UK – wishing it a speedy recovery) in a underground station in Milan. We had a marvellous time while we were there, but one of things I wish I had was more time to create photographs. The woman blurred out in the image is my good and patient wife whose holiday was punctuated with my photographing. Had she not been with me, I would stayed and worked these locations much more, but I had to work quickly here. Now, don’t get me wrong. I would not have changed anything about the two days we had in Milan. But of course, I do see photographic opportunities lost. 🙂

Punctuating Patience

Punctuating Patience

 

In Milan, I was struck by the strong characters I encountered. The men had such expressive features. This iPhone image is one of those. I saw this man in a stopped tram staring at me. As I approached with the camera, his gaze intensified.

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Milan

 

March 3 2015

First of all, a very big thanks to all who passed on their good wishes to me yesterday in relation to my photo appearing in the Apple iPhone World Gallery. I really appreciate it. Thanks!

If any of you are in any of these cities, you might get to see my shot. If you do, please send me a photo of it. I’m told it is on display in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Charlotte Lousiana, Bogota Colombia, Berlin, Hamburg, Milan and Kuala Lumpur. I still cannot believe it, to be honest.

Back to my daily posts to Flickr. Here is a shot I got in Dublin the weekend before last. I am still learning with the Fuji, but I do like its colours. With this shot, the strong shadows and the vivid colours of the shop display caught my attention. It wasn’t the easiest of shots to get because it is on one of the main streets heading into the city centre in Dublin and the traffic, as you can imagine was very heavy. I like the shadow of the little boy who had just run across the street.

Dublin

Dublin

This iPhone image is another in my series of reflections. I have been to this location in Cork a lot and still am not fully happy with the shots I get. But isn’t that what it is all about?

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River Lee Reflections

 

Apple iPhone World Gallery

I am always on here talking about how much I love my photography and the enjoyment I get from it. Ever since I joined Flickr and began to post with regularity I have been lucky. The truth is that Flickr has allowed me to learn so much, and in turn, it has brought my own photography to places I could never have dreamed of.

One of these is my inclusion in the Apple iPhone World Gallery which went live today. As part of this, iPhone images were selected as part of a campaign promoting the photography done on the iPhone. My image, I have been told, will be seen on billboards in 77 cities in 24 countries. How cool is that! Here is the photograph they will be using.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Back to today and back to the Fuji and this image taken in Dublin the weekend before last. If I find a location or a scene that I like, I tend to work it and nearly always will try to get shots with both cameras. This scene is just crying out to be photographed. I was lucky that I could get behind the woman as she picked out bread from her plastic bag to feed the birds. I tried to get both hands of the man and woman in the frame.

Things to do on a first date

Things to do on a first date

 

The iPhone image is another from this same scene. This one is taken with the iPhone. I rarely would post two photos of the same scene on the same day, but wanted to as this shows the way I tend to work when out shooting.

Things to do on a first date

Things to do on a first date

 

Fuji X100T

Buy books not gear. That’s what those with all the best gear tell us. People owning Leicas costing thousands and thousands of Euro and they tell us not to have G.A.S – gear acquisition syndrome. So often these are the very same people who get gifted new cameras by the manufacturers. Buy books not gear, they tell us, but imagine all the books they could buy if they sold their Leicas.

Anyway, for a quite a while I had been thinking of getting a more compact camera for street work. I was tired of lugging the heavy Nikon around with me and the idea of having a  little, discreet light camera appealed to me. I did my research and the camera that kept popping up as the best in the category was the Fuji X100T. The reviews all seemed to say the same thing: If you have the previous model – the S – then there is not much point in the upgrade, but if you do not have the S at all, then separate yourself from your cash (all €1,200 of it) and get yourself closer to that camera of your dreams. The reviewers raved about the X. Ken Rockwell calls it “The world’s best digital camera“. Eric Kim, who was gifted one, loved it. The Fro Knows Photo guy claims he “can’t say enough good stuff about this little camera”.

So, what do I say about it?

It is light! It looks cool. It fits in my pocket, a little uncomfortably, but it fits. I like that I can use the LCD screen to view an image as I am taking it (but that eats up the battery). If you want you can switch between the OVF and EVF, and there is even this little box that can appear on the bottom right hand corner which allows you see a zoomed-in-close detail of the image. The customisable function buttons are cool. You can operate the camera on silent mode which allows for better candid shots. The image quality straight out of the camera is impressive. Images are crisp and sharp. I like the fact it has a fixed lens and that there is no zoom. This forces me to compose with greater care and to zoom with my feet. This will make me a better photographer. The WiFi allows for remote control access, but I cannot, as yet, imagine a scenario to use that. Apparently, it is great in low light, but I have only been out twice with the camera, both in daylight, and I haven’t had the chance to check it out at night yet.

What I don’t like?

I find myself asking did I get a shot there. I like the silent mode, but it is a little unnerving. I think I need to get back to the clicks to signal a snap.

Image review – I like to see the shot I have just taken pop up on the LCD screen once I have seen it. This does not happen with the X100T. You have to press the play button and wait until a second or two for it to appear. Apparently, I can mess around with the power saving options and this will speed up the process.

The WiFi – it does not allow me to send a RAW file, and I like to only shoot in RAW, so I can’t see the advantage of this. I can put the settings to RAW + fine and the fine file is transferrable. But this would get very messy later on when uploading files to the Mac. I would have duplicate copies of images and need to manually sort the RAW files out. No. I think this is a gimmick which I will leave alone.

Battery – having being so used to the Nikon D7000 battery and hardly ever having to worry about it, I was pissed off to see how quickly the x100t’s battery quits. I have ordered two spare batteries, but why should I need to?

Purple haze – I love shooting into strong sunlight. I love high contrasts and shadows and again was annoyed to see that not unlike the iPhone 4 you get this awful purple haze when you shoot into strong sunlight. So, I have ordered a lens hood, but again why should I need to?

Can I blur the fuck out of things? Can I do it with the ease and grace of the Nikon? Not really. I am still learning with this camera and even though I had in on MF the other day, for some bizarre reason the camera swept back into auto focus and the blurred image I was trying to get disappeared, leaving me damn frustrated as I tried to fix the settings.

Overall, I do not like the camera. It is very different to the Nikon and I am a creature of habit. I want my old camera back! But, and this is the thing, all of this is good, it will make me learn. It will make me see the world in a different way when I am out shooting. It will push me along in my evolution as a photographer and that is why I wanted it. Comfort zones are all fine and dandy, but I need to be challenged. I want to experience the frustration of not getting the camera to do what I want; it will make it all the sweeter when I get it right. This camera will drive me crazy, I know that. But I also know I will grow to love it and that it will be with me on many great adventures to come.

Sure, it is a good thing to buy photo books and not spend all your money on gear, and I do see the point those with the already-acquired expensive cameras are trying to make, but at times it is nice to buy some new gear. Here’s to the new adventures! Here’s to the Fuji X100T.

This is one of the first images I took with the X100T.

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Photographic Serendipity

 

And here’s an iPhone image taken in Dublin last weekend. A blurred one. Got to love the blur.

This future cannot wait

This future cannot wait