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

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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 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 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

The Story of my ‘Shot on iPhone’ Photograph (Milan)

A week has passed since I last posted an update to this wonderful story. In this time, I have seen or been sent by friends images of my photograph on display on billboards or posters from cities all over the world: Santiago, San Francisco, Yokohama, Bógota, Bangkok, Berlin, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Berlin, Boston, Philadelphia, Hamburg – the list goes on. And I can say that it still is the most amazing thrill. Nothing I could ever have dreamed up. My photo on billboards and posters all over the world! And now the print campaign is starting too.

Seeing the image pop up in cities across the world and being sent photos of friends standing next to it has been so cool, but I had to see it for myself to believe it; I had to see it with my own eyes. A few days into the campaign my wife encouraged me to travel to get to see it. The options in Europe were Berlin, Hamburg or Milan. I had previously been to Berlin and Hamburg, so Milan it was. Checking airlines, I saw that Ryanair had an early morning flight out of Dublin into Milan on Saturday 14th and a late evening one back the following day. I booked it there and then. The only downside to this would be that I was travelling on my own. We have two small kids and no babysitter at the moment. So it looked like I would have to travel on my own. Luckily, my sister who lives in Dublin got on to us and offered to mind the two kids for the weekend so as to allow myself and my wife to go together. We were delighted.

Cork is about a two and half hour journey to Dublin. We left around 7 in the evening, arriving in Dublin at about 9.30. The kids slept most of the way up, but woke with excitement when we arrived in my sister’s house. After some time getting them to settle, we went to bed too. After getting very little sleep we were back on the road heading to the airport at 3.30 in the morning on our way to Milan to see my photograph on a billboard.

A little after 12 p.m, we arrived at our apartment. Our host gave us a map of Milan and my wife, who can read these things, worked out our route to where the billboard was. We would need to take the metro and change at one station and then exit at Moscova station on Corso Garibaldi in the centre of Milan. We were getting closer. The trip there took about twenty minutes and when we exited the metro station on to Corso Garibaldi we were unsure whether to take a left or right turn. Fabio, a guy I had met on Twitter had previously sent me  an image from there, so we had some idea of where to look for it, but take the wrong one and we could be traipsing this long street that runs through the centre of Milan for ages. We could not believe our luck when we turned right and within a matter of seconds we saw it. There it was. My photograph – huge on a billboard! We both looked at each other in amazement. I reached for the camera and began to click.

Corso Garibaldi, Milan

Corso Garibaldi, Milan

The billboard was located in  a little area with a newsagent’s kiosk and some benches for people to sit – and admire my photo :-).  We got down there and surveyed the area, walking all around, trying to see it from different angles. It was very cool to observe people passing by looking up at the image as it got their attention. I had in mind before coming to get a shot of myself standing in front of the billboard with my iPhone in hand showing the original image on the iPhone next to the billboard, to convey the idea of ‘from a screen of four inches to a billboard in a major world city’.

Now, like many ideas this is all very well in concept, but to convert this to reality can prove tricky. My wife is a very patient woman. For the longest time, she tried. What I wanted was to have the iPhone to the right of the billboard, showing the original image and the scale. But to get them both in focus was difficult and to avoid a glare from the iPhone was also not so easy.  One I particularly like is the one below. I think she managed a fine job in getting this one of the scene.

Milan

Milan

Nowadays, selfies are obligatory and while I may not be the biggest fan of them, I think I am entitled to get one on an occasion like this.

Me and my photo

Me and my photo

While we were there a few people stopped to take shots of the photo and normally, I would not be the most boastful of people, but I could not help myself in asking if they liked the photo and to tell them that I was the photographer. ‘No!?’ they replied. ‘Yes!’, I replied, showing them the original. One guy, Marco, even took a photo of me under the image.

After that, we set about seeing as much of Milan as we could in the short time we were there. Travelling with a photographer must be like having a dog on a long lead. You think they are next to you and then turn around and see they are miles back, perhaps not sniffing a lampost like a dog, but there they are, camera in hand trying to get that shot. How she puts up with me I do not know. I know I would not be as patient. We got to see sights, Duoma, Galleria Vitoria Emanuele, La Scala theatre, Sforsa Castle and we spent the evening in Navigli, which is a really cool area, before heading back to see the main attraction in Milan; this time to see it lit up at night.

We only realised it would be illuminated when my wife saw another ‘shot on iPhone‘ photo near our apartment all lit up. With great excitement we got back to Corso Garibaldi and seeing it in the dark of night brightly lit up was something I will always remember. We found a cafe with window seats that allowed us to look out directly at the billboard. It was very cool when the waitress seeing me with three cameras set up facing the billboard asked if I liked it. She was so surprised when I told her it was mine. She called the other waiter to tell him also. I got many shots and little videos while there. This was the easily the highlight of the trip, sitting with my best friend and love of my life and sharing this magical experience.

All lit up in Milan

All lit up in Milan

The next day, we returned to say goodbye to the billboard. We continued with our tour of Milan, having a wonderful lunch by the canal in Navigli and later strolling along the banks of the canal. We arrived back in Dublin at about 11 at night. Drove to my sister’s house, collected our kids and drove home to Cork. Got snapped by a police car patrolling for speeding on the way (the wrong kind of photo), but got home safely. Milan will always have a special place in my heart.

The image being on display around the world is so cool, but the things I will remember will be the delight of family and friends in sharing this with me. There have been so many little incidents along the way of this story which I will never forget. So many examples. Here’s one. I get a comment on a blog post from Christelle who tells me she has seen the photograph on the back of a French photography magazine, Polka. I make contact with her and she offers to send me the magazine by post. I tell her I will pay for post and packaging, but she declines the offer. Fábio, one of the 77 photographers selected by Apple, sees it on a Swiss national newspaper and tells me he will send it by post to me, also free of charge.

Then there is Marta, from Colombia, who was on the lookout for my image. She sent me an email with lots of photos of my shot on a poster at a bus stop in her hometown. I had asked her to see if she could find it in Bogotá, bus she is from Medellin. In the email, she tells me that she was on a bus passing this bus stop when she saw the image. Paré!! (Stop!) she shouted at the driver! Got off and took this photo to send to me.

¡PARÉ!

¡PARÉ!

 

Please click here to see more of Marta’s work.

From Chicago, my friend Michael sent me this shot taken opposite the image in one of the main train stations in the city. I like the human element in this. Please click here to see more of Michael’s work.

Chicago

Chicago

Then there have been ones from total strangers who have been kind enough to make contact with me and send me images. This one from Sydney, taken by Norman Ma, is a particularly cool one.

Sydney

Sydney

And this one from Santiago, Chile is my favourite. Chile, for so long, has been one of my dream destinations. I would so love to visit and to get there now to see this would be a dream come true. Anyone want to send me there!? A huge thanks to Roberto for sending me this. How big is it!?

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

One other really exciting thing was to see that the world famous Saatchi Gallery posted my photograph on their Instagram page to represent Apple’s Shot on iPhone campaign. I was really pleased with this. To catch the eye of this gallery is something cool. Maybe someday it will be hanging in one of their galleries.

Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery

On Thursday, a newspaper article in the Irish Independent appeared with the photograph of my two ex-students sitting in front of the photo in Shibuya. They will be delighted when I send them a print copy of the newspaper, and a little surprise also when I get to see them next month.

Again, I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support. It has made this so special.

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. Visit my website. 

 

March 12 2015

Have been so taken up with the Apple ‘shot on iPhone‘ experience that I have not posted new photographs on here for a while. Since buying the new Fuji x100t, I have been out a few times with it. I still need to get control over this camera but I am happy with some of the shots I have managed.

This first one is one I got on Cork’s Grand Parade (what a fancy name for a street – I would guess when they were giving it its title they had images finely dressed ladies and gentlemen sauntering along on sunny summer days in mind). The building the guy is standing in front of has been derelict now for a long time. I like that we cannot see this man.

This future is now. Kiss it!

This future is now. Kiss it!

The second photograph is another Fuji one and part of the ongoing series of images of reflections I am working on. This was shot into the venetian blinds of the windows of a bank opposite a church in the city centre of Cork.

Cork

Cork

And on to some iPhone images. Advertising works! Inspired by some of the landscapes shots on the Apple World Gallery I found that when I was out I was framing landscape shots and thinking could I do that? Don’t know if I want to, but I do know I like trees. And we all know what trees need to do.

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

The most recent iPhone shot is one that was lying in the archives until it popped out when I was looking through them. Not sure how I missed this one from Taipei last year. I love the colours.

Taipeie

Taipeie

I will post an update to ‘The story of my ‘shot on iphone’ photograph’ on Monday.

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