May 7 2015

Two days ago, on the fifth day of the fifth month my little boy James turned five. He fills my days with joy. Here we are together looking into a puddle, in a shot inspired by fellow Apple World Gallery photographer, Cielo De La Paz.

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Happy Birthday

 

This shot was taken last week with the Fuji X100T in London. Did not shoot a lot with this camera while in London. The iPhone was much more employed.

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The music may have stopped, but the dance continues

 

 

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2014: My favourite images

Each year, I like to take some time and look back at the photographs I posted to Flickr. (Here are links to previous years – DSLR &  iPhone) Being a nostalgic sort, this is something I enjoy very much. The thing that surprises me is how much I forget and how distant these scenes seem from now. The old saying – it seems like yesterday –  is one I have never been able to connect with. Yesterday seems an age away for me. Heading back and seeing what I posted twelve months ago seems like another life.

It has been a very good year. I got to see new countries: Taiwan and Denmark; and revisit places I love: Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, London and Berlin. Really cool. I like this little exercise of looking back, mainly because it is an exercise all about believing in the future. Twelve months ago none of these images had been realised. One of the reocurring feelings I get as a photographer is that I will never create another photograph worth anything. It is something experience each time I head out with the camera. But I know that I will. I know I will learn and get better. I will be here twelve months from now looking back at 2015 and getting excited about 2016.

In 2015, I posted 241 photographs on the DSLR account and 248 to my iPhone account, making a total of 489 images. That is a lot, by any standards, and to whittle it down to one image from each account for each month is not an easy task. But here we go.

We started the new year visiting a beach to the east of Cork. It was a wild and windy day and darkness was settling in almost as soon as we arrived. There is something about the sea which is so quietening. I could stare at it without any awareness of time passing. When I lived in Spain, in Badajoz a city whose river had dried out, I missed water so much. Coming from Cork, with our city centre an island that the River Lee surrounds and only being a stone’s throw away from the sea, I need water. I need to hear and smell it.

This image I have chosen as my favourite for January is one of my little girl, Sumi-Anna, staring out to sea. I stood behind her as she stared. Captivated by her, wondering what ran through her mind as she looked out. Wishing for her all she could ever wish for herself. As a parent, I find I take so many images of my kids with their backs to me, walking away, bravely, without me. Not waiting for me, not needing me to hold their hand. The first steps of independence. This is preparation of a sort. I know one day it will come that I will not be wanted. They will need to express their independence. For now, there is still some hand holding and I will hold tightly while I can.

January

January

And now on to my beloved iPhone. Fun! That is what the iPhone is all about. It puts the phun in iPhunography. Don’t get me wrong, I like photography with the DSLR too, but it is too heavy, too complicated and too  visible. The iPhone is light, fits my hands, does not require too many calculations and it is discreet. And did I say it was phun? It is!

A series of images that has got me a lot of attention is the one of people walking in the corridor where my office is. I have gotten some beautiful images there. Check this and that. The one I am choosing for January is a little different to the others in that the colour is brighter. I love the faint outline and the sense of motion.

January

January

Have I chosen your favourites. Check these links to see. iPhone – January  & DSLR – January

August 28 2014

August 28 2007 is a day I will never forget. I became a father on that day to a beautiful little girl we called Sumi-Anna. Sumi is Korean and Anna, well Anna is international. Growing up I had many dreams, ambitions, desires. But the one that burned and burned was to become a father. I had to wait for this for what seemed like always; what seemed like never. But it came like that old cliche – when I least expected it. And that moment when we left the labour room, my wife with our newborn in her arms and us holding each other’s hand was the greatest feeling I have ever experienced in my life.

Before becoming a father, I read and was told by everyone that it would change me; that I would not recognise myself when I became a father. I looked forward to that so much, eager as I was to leave my old life behind. Around the time she was born I remember checking to see if this was true and honestly, then I felt no different. Fast forward a few months and I could not recall how life was like before she was born. Everything had changed.

Being a father is the hardest job I ever have had. She is seven today. She woke at 6 in excitement. She and her brother played as quietly as exuberant little children can as their parents try to get just that little bit extra sleep. As I am writing this, she is singing around the house.

We have a little birthday tradition. We get a double decker bus into the city centre and sit at the front on the top deck. We go for a smoothie and a little cake and after that we head to Waterstone’s where she picks out some new books. Along the way, I will try to get photographs of the two of us together. Today, I let her take photographs. She loves it when I give her the camera. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she tells us ‘ a photographer!’

On the bus, I ask her will you remember this and before she responds she looks at me, tilts her head a little, gives me a smile and shaking her head from side to side she says: “Daddy, of course I will. How can I forget my birthday? On the way home, we try to get the seats at the front upstairs again. Luckily, we do. The bus bobbles along and Sumia is non-stop chatter. I hold her hand and wait until next year. I won’t forget these days either.

The photograph I chose to post on Flickr today is one of my very favourites of Sumi-Anna. It was taken when she was just over two years old. Taken in the back garden of my parents’ house. My mother (Sumi-Anna’s bestest friend) was sitting on this little bench reading Candide. Sumi-Anna was playing in the garden. Granny was reading. This caused curiosity. She toddled over, took the book, turned it over and over in her hands and then sat down, opened it up upside down and stared for the longest time at the indecipherable text. As fortune would have it, I had the camera with me.

This image we have printed and it hangs in our bedroom.

Happy Birthday, Sumia! Juah!

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Happy Birthday

The iPhone image I chose for today is one of her playing in the garden on the swing. This summer has been fantastic by Irish standards. It has been raining the past few days and makes you realise how few days of rain we have had this summer. I hope as she gets older exuberance is never far.

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Sumi-Anna