May 13 2015

I wrote a while back about my experience at the Apple ‘Meet the iPhone Photographer‘ event in London. You can read about it here.

I got notification on Monday that the podcast went live. You can watch the full interview here or if you prefer you can listen to it. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id993249071

Choosing one image from Korea here today, but it is an image from last year. I cannot go too long with posting ordinary photographs. Every now and then I need to shake things up and put some punk rock in my photography. So here is a creation.

The pip-pop life span of worries

The pip-pop life span of worries

 

 

The iPhone image is from London. I enjoyed London so, so much. This was shot on the bridge to the right of Millennium bridge. Its name escapes me. The passerby didn’t.

Committed to the future

Committed to the future

 

Advertisements

Someday I will just drop off this world

When I was a child in school the teacher told us the world was not flat, that it was round. I had never thought of the world having shape. He seemed too pleased to tell us this. He said people had believed we could just walk and walk and eventually would fall off the edge of the world. He demonstrated by walking his two fingers along his desk, stopping and looking to see if we were looking and then dangled his two fingers over the edge and screamed a little until it changed into a laugh. We all laughed too.

Falling off the edge of the world, he said. How ridiculous is that, he said. One boy, one who always loved asking questions, asked but how come we can fall of the edge of our seats. The teacher smiled at him and said it was because of gravity. He said it again, but this time he said it more slowly, breaking up the sounds and telling us that was why; gravity was the reason. The boy asked what gravity was. The teacher said it was a force that kept us fixed to the ground. The boy asked what a force was and the teacher smiled again, scanned the whole room, bit on his bottom lip and said it was gravity, gravity was a force that stopped us from flying away. Another boy said we could not fly away because we had no wings. The teacher said if there was no gravity we wouldn’t need wings, we could just jump and fly. I said why would we need to jump. He said because we would be on the ground. He jumped to demonstrate. I said but isn’t gravity what keeps us on the ground. He said yes. I said without gravity we would not be on the ground so how could we jump. He scanned the room again and said I had all the answers. I said that was a question. I said how could we jump if we were not on the ground. The teacher laughed. He said he would like to walk me to the edge of the world and let me fall off. He laughed again. The class laughed too. I said if we got to the edge of the world I would push him off. He did not laugh. The class laughed. But the world is round he said. You couldn’t push me off he said. He began to laugh. I said I would not be walking anywhere with him anyway. This time we all laughed.

The teacher picked up an orange from his desk and held it out. He rotated it in his hand and told us the world was like the orange.

 

9871660456_738af03d8e_z

Someday I will just drop off this world

Undressed heads

Bokeh heads, bubble heads, belisha beacon heads, so many names have been given to the series of blurred photographs of people passing on the street with their heads transformed into spheres. I like to call them undressed heads.

Choosing a personal favourites could not go by without one from this series. The one I chose is from a short trip to Luxembourg city in early spring. The old town there is very beautiful and in parts has a fairytale charm. There are wide pedestrians streets flanked with old-stone buildings, which I imagine date back centuries. Here we have three figures approaching, a couple to the rear and an individual a little in front of them. I like the depth this distance provides the image. The processing is with Lightroom to undress the heads, then for the textures I used Snapseed.

So, there you have a week of my personal favourites. Thanks to all for coming to see them. I would love to hear some feedback in the comments as to which was/is your own personal favourite.

9476130762_e575a4602a_z

The Unbeckoned

Forgeternity

– Is it easier to forget or to remember? I said
– Is it easier to forget or to remember? He said. Why are you asking?
– To forget seems much easier. I mean, we don’t even to have to try, things just slip away. but we have to try to remember things, don’t we?
– You ask the strangest things, he said. The strangest things.
– How do you know? Are your trying to remember other things, other strange things I have asked you. I said.
– No. He said. You just do.
– Maybe you forget the normal things, the not-strange things I have asked you. I said.
– You don’t ask normal things. He said. They are always weird.
– No, they’re not. I said.
– OK. He said. It must be easier to forget. It has to be, he said, otherwise our heads, our heads would just explode.
– Would they? I said. So, I said, what is the difference between forgetting and remembering? Can we choose to forget? I don’t think so.
– Give me an example? He said.
– An example? OK. Things that make you happy; what are they?
– Things that make me happy? What has that got to do with remembering or forgetting? He said.
– See!
– See what? He said.
– You have to remember. You have forgotten. I said.
– No. No, I haven’t. He said.
– So…
– OK. What makes me happy? What makes me happy? Ehm… He said.
– How about what was the last thing to make you happy? I said.
– The last thing? The last thing was… it was…Ya, got it. Waking up this morning and knowing I did not need to get out of bed to get to work. That made me happy. And as for something that made me sad, well not sad, but that just fucking irritated me. He said. The last thing to irritate me…
– Ya, I know, I know. I am irritating you. I said. But stay with me. What was the last thing you forgot?
– I forgot. How do I know what I forgot if I have forgotten it. He said.
– Maybe it is something you realized that you had forgotten when you remembered it.
– Right, OK. He said. Waking up and realising that I did not have to get out of bed made me happy. I had forgotten that, then I remembered it.
– So, is it easier to forget or to remember?
– Well, I can tell you. I can tell you that I won’t forget this conversation and I won’t forget how fucking annoying you are.
– Easier to forget, so is it? I said.
– I’m trying to remember why the fuck it is that I spend time with you. He said.
– I never forget that. I said.
No?
9066802406_ffbb9e617e_z 9018586630_6cd90dc1de_z

A decent man

I guess I can appear strange to onlookers when they see me taking photographs of blank walls or raindrops forming on car roofs. It is something I am aware of as I am out shooting. It can be inhibiting at times, particularly in Cork, especially with the big and bulky DSLR. The iPhone is a much more discreet photographer’s tool.

Anyway, there I was on a side street off Grafton Street, Dublin, camera pointed at a blank wall waiting for tall, skinny, and hopefully, colourfully clothed people to pass by. Tall, skinny, and hopefully, colourfully clothed people! Yes! For the type of photographs I am looking for, (blur) tall, skinny, and hopefully, colourfully clothed people make the best images. More on that in later posts. So, I am there; waiting. Always looking around waiting for the image to take form, and I see raindrops on the rooftop of a parked BMW. I have to take a photograph of it. I have to take two photographs of it. As I setting the shot up, I sense I am being watched and ya, I am. There behind me peering through a shop window is a well-dressed gentleman with the most quizzical of looks on his face. Curious, bewildered, and thinking what the hell is this fool doing taking photographs of car roofs. But as we exchange glances, I see a wonderful smile appear on his face and he nods hello to me.

Now, I rarely ask people can I take their photograph. There are many reasons; mainly I would not feel confident that they would oblige and secondly, neither would I feel confident of a good result. Portraits are not really my thing.
But, for some unknown reason I found myself gesturing with the camera to this stranger behind the window, enquiring as to whether I could take his photo or not. He nodded and smiled and I raised the camera and shot. I nodded in return to thank him and went on my way.

As I said, I normally do not do portraits – family ones, yes, but otherwise it is not for me. Maybe in years to come this will change. I do like the result here. I imagine this man as softly spoken, kind and gentle. A loving father, a good husband, a faithful friend; a decent man.

8574586900_7834dc71a0_z

A decent man (Dublin, March 2013)

Little beads of dew sparkling in the sunlight

A sunny morning here in Cork yesterday. Looking out my window I saw the little beads of dew sparkling in the sunlight. It looked beautiful. I grabbed the camera, switched lense to the 55 – 200mm, and stretched out on our drive, lying on my stomach I got a few photographs.
These are straight out of the camera. For once, I made no Lightroom adjustments.
Of course, in my haste to get out (and also to get back in before neighbours saw me lying on the ground) and take the shots I forgot to change the settings on the camera. But still I think the result is nice.

8379097483_8c68f7f104_c

8379101885_b983398de1_c

8380183376_b8d361825c_c

8383534354_52bb634e15_c

Blur will save the world

I have often been asked why I shoot blur and what it is about blur that appeals to me so much. I have no stock answer prepared for this. I guess it brings me back to the magic that was analog photography back to the days when you would take limited photographs, a time when each shot was calculated not just in composition but also in cost. Those shots only came to life once developed and more often than not the whole roll could disappoint. If there was one shot from a roll of 36 I would be happy. Very often there would be blurred images or images with light leaks which I would immediately view with disdain only to find myself coming back, studying them, making out what the image might have been – should have been and seeing that in this form there were so many possibilities.
Moving on to digital photography it took a long while to become confident enough to experiment with blur. I remember in my early days on Flickr being so hesitant to post this shot, thinking people would disregard, even ridicule me because of it. Gradually, I found myself looking through the viewfinder, selecting focus, experimenting with depth of field and my eye would wander from the in-focus object to the beautiful blurred out background, to the wonderful and harmonious blend of form and colour.
Trying to see what can be seen and how to see it. It sums up my outlook on photography. Blur is another way to see, and conversely another way not to see. WIth blur ordinary can become extraordinary; mundane – magical. Just look at these shots from some of my favourite photographers. Serap –  Michael –  Nikita_70 – MimoOlga 
Mistakes. I love mistakes. The best things in life are the results of mistakes. Blur is often seen as the biggest photographic mistake. “But I can’t see it” people say. Of course you can, I reply. What you see is it!
I don’t know. I sometimes feel guilty. I get to see these amazing places with these amazing scenes, these amazing people, architecture – life at its most electric, and what do I do? I push the auto focus button down and blur it all up.
Sorry! But hey! This is it. This is how I would like the world to be. In some ways, it is how I see the world.
As I became more active on Flickr and as i began to post more and more blur I set up my blur group and gave it the absurd title of Blur will save the world. The group has many active users and some absolutely amazing art. Click through, put on some of your favourite music, pour yourself a cup, a glass of your favourite drink and enjoy the wonderful art there. You won’t be disappointed.
I am a little pedantic on the types of photographs I select from the pending images queue. For me the image must be fully blurred; no selective focus. People have different opinions on what blur is, but for me the group is about fully blurred images only.
As the blog develops I will bring you the best images from Blur will save the world on a regular basis.
For now, click that auto-focus button off and begin to see what can be seen.
And back to the opening question – why do I like blur? Well, blur soothes, blur heals, blur reveals, blur lets you choose. Blur the kiss. Kiss the blur. Blur will save the world…
Here are some of my early blur shots