Category Archives: A Flickr Year

My favourite non-iPhone Photos of 2016

Moving on from yesterday’s favourite 2016 iPhone photographs, now is time to review and select my favourite Fuji x100t and Nikon D7000 photographs from the past 12 months. Usually, to do this I just go back over the photos I have posted to Flickr in the previous 12 months, but this year I really did not post a lot to Flickr, and the reality is that most of my best photographs are buried deep in my iMac.

So, to do this I actually need to go back through the images, select and edit them. All will be from the period of March to September. Reality is those two cameras lived in a dark drawer for most of the year. What is they say about the best camera you have?

This won’t be categorised chronologically either; just 12 of my faves – today – December, 31st, 2016! Reality is tomorrow I would choose a different twelve.

A mother’s love (Varanasi, July 2016)

Our guide in Varanasi brought us to a shop to convert our 500 Rupee notes into 20 Rupee notes to give to the people we photographed. He said we needed to do this. I had not intended to shoot posed portraits. I don’t shoot like this, but with a wad of 20 Rupee notes I felt obliged. India has characters who turn your head and stop you in your tracks. The likes of people you have only seen in documentaries or magazines like National Geographic, and being a naiive photographer you want to satisfy your dreams of getting a Steve McCurry like image.

I parted with many 20 rupee notes and got some posed photographs. Unsatisfied with most – experienced as an artificial exchange. Then this guy approached me on a crowded and chaotic street and with gesture indicated he wanted me to photograph him. In the time it took to understand him we were locked in eye contact. When I hoisted the camera he shot his eyes to heaven and for the three or four frames I shot he did not look into the lens. You know, I don’t remember if he asked for money or if I offered it. 

A mother’s love

Bangkok: The slow rhythm of patience (April, 2016)

Had a discussion with a friend of mine about photography and how we use it to interpret what we experience. I told him that very often when I arrive in a city it overwhelms me and to begin with everywhere I point my camera seems to be the wrong place. I said it takes time to slip into the rhythm of a city, to feel its pulse beat in time with mine and then it just becomes instinctive. 

Bangkok was like that. An assault on the senses. The smell of petrol fumes fused with lemongrass. The hum of the constant traffic. The neon and fresh fruit stalls. The swell and sway of people always on the move. The welcoming smile and the 100-mile gaze. The searing heat. At every turn there was something which got my attention; something which I had to capture in a frame.  I had not visited the red light district on my last visit to Bangkok, but this time we were brought on a little tour by a Japanese friend. Impossible to compute it all. The luxury of photography allows time to reflect. Let the camera see.

Bangkok: The slow rhythm of patience

Jakarta (April, 2016)

Arrived in Jakarta from Bangkok in the evening and it felt darker. There was no neon. I remember finding this place and being struck by the colours of the woman passing. I huddled down between two cars and defocussed and began to shoot. I like the image as it seems, to me, to capture the colour, the light and the movement of that evening.

Jakarta

Blur will save the world (Tokyo, April, 2016)

Shooting on the street is frustrating. I recall listening to a podcast with Rinzi Ruiz (a fine photographer) and he said that if you see it, you have missed it. And you know it is true. That decisive moment is elusive, and so much relies on luck. Shooting in Tokyo is electrifying. I love it. The way I work is that I will shoot for a while with the iPhone, then the Fuji, but I usually leave the Nikon for those sweet moments when I push things out of focus and transform what I see into something more beautiful, something less real, something that soothes and arouses, something that is only mine. You do know that blur will save the world?

Tokyo: Blur will save the world

Jakarta (April, 2016)

In Jakarta we visited the animal market. We came across this scene below. The little boy was learning how to train pigeons. I imagine he is the same age as my little boy. The guys training him were patient, encouraging and kind. The pigeons were obliging. Myself and Elfie (seen here behind the little boy) stayed here for about 20 minutes, shooting the scene. Enthralled by the spectacle.

Jakarta (April, 2016)

Varanasi (July, 2016)

Photography is about memories. It is where yesterdays go, as my little girl told me from the back of the car when she was about three years old. Much of my photography is me trying to learn, to internalise and understand what I am experiencing. Then there are the real moments. The purposeful shots we create of loved ones; the photos we would run back into a burning house to retrieve.

Day was breaking and we were on a small boat on the River Ganges to see the sun rise. The sun rose but the clouds did not part. We finished a conversation about toast and took photos. We laughed a lot.

Varanasi (July, 2016)

On Duty (Delhi, June, 2016)

This was shot through the back window of our car moments after arriving in Delhi. The Indian adventure was ahead of us.

On Duty (Delhi, June, 2016)

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

I just love this guy. I was sitting in the back of the car as we made our way through the Delhi traffic. Camera in hand should a shot appear. We were stopped in traffic on this roundabout when this guy on a motorbike pulls up next to us. Instinctively I raise the camera and click, and then smile. Then the guy astonishes me as he takes off his helmet and his glasses and shoots me this beautiful big beaming smile. You got to love India!

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Every picture tells a story, but photographs can lie. And this one does. Looking at it, it is conceivable that you believe it to be a Buddhist monk sitting high up on the roof of his monastery meditating as he contemplates the beauty of the Himalayas. But, the reality probably was that this was the best place in the monastery to get online. As we approached him we saw him shuffling as he tried to conceal his phone under his robes.

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Shibuya Scramble Crossing (April, 2016)

The first time I saw the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in 2012 I stopped and I just stared. Two thousand people crossing when the red man is replaced by the green man. I have been back to Tokyo many times since and this never gets stale for me. I can look at it for hours. It is something else.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing (April, 2016)

Things to do in Tokyo at night (April, 2016)

Most of the time I am in Tokyo it is only at night that I get out to shoot. This one was taken on a photo walk with the Laurence Bouchard.  It rains a lot in Tokyo. But it makes it all the more intriguing. I like the high contrasts, and little mystery in this shot.

Things to do in Tokyo at night (April, 2016)

Vienna (June, 2016)

Really should include a photograph from Vienna. Here it is.

Vienna (June, 2016)

I have rushed this and really should have spent more time in preparing this review, but there you have it.

2016 has been incredible to me. So many people to thank. So many people who along the way who have in some way enabled me to express myself. In no particular order I would like to thank Ben, Elfie, Saad, Arik, Andy, Nikki, Glen, Dan R, Dan B, Simon, Jack H, Judie, Ankit, John, Mark, Brian, David P, Albion, Thomas, Serap, Jen, Teppo, Cielo, Laurence, Tadhg, Michael V, Darren, Joanne, Janine, Nora, Sir Cam, Paul M, Tim B, Johnathan, Lee, Ruby,  Kevin D, Randy, Dave, Brian, Kieran, Richard and Seiya. And then those loved ones who know who they are – thanks!

2016 – My favourite non-iPhone photographs

2017 – believe – achieve – kiss the future…

Also posted in My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My favourite iPhone photographs of 2016

2016 was another great year for my photography. I had some wonderful opportunities to travel and shoot in places like Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo, Kyoto, Vienna, Hong Kong, Delhi, Ladakh, Varanasi, Mumbai, Seoul, Daegu, Shanghai, Dublin and of course, Cork. Thousands and thousands of photographs shot on iPhone 6s, 7 plus, Fuji X100T, Nikon D7000 and Sony Xperia Z5.

It has become customary for me to select my favourite photographs of the year over the past number of years. It is something I have really enjoyed, but it is time consuming. Christmas can be a good time for this, or as I have found this year it can be the worst. All I want to do is chill out, watch TV, play with kids and eat and sleep. Oh and drink a little too.

Each morning I wake up and say today will be the day I get it done and each night I find myself saying: Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll do it.

So, tomorrow has arrived, the year has almost ended and it is time to present my favourite iPhone photographs of 2016.

January

I rarely post photographs of family. Am protective of their privacy. This one, shot with the Olloclip macro lens is one that I particularly like. My wife is a patient woman. I know, if roles were reversed,  I would never wait while she tries to get the shot. Full series here.

January, 2016

February

This photograph, shot in the Glucksman gallery in Cork, is one I use in workshops to demonstrate the need to examine the borders of your images when composing your shots. I was focussing on the girl in foreground and her reflection when I saw this man appear in the top left. With a quick reconfiguring, I got him into the frame and adds a little more to the shot.

February, 2016

March

March was magical. Invited by Monogram Asia to come to Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta to present my photography was an incredible opportunity. I met some truly wonderful people on the trip and made lasting friendships. This shot was taken on the docks in Jakarta. These workers were taking a short break. More here.

March, 2017

April

Blur will save the world, you know. But I still don’t know how. This shot is the result of frustration. Image stabilisation has improved so much on iPhones. I just can’t blur like I used to. But with the Olloclip Studio case and its lanyard holding the iPhone safely I violently swooped and shot in burst mode to get this shot. You can see the whole series here.

April, 2016

May

This is where I begin to cheat a little and choose images that were not taken in the actual month. This is another from Tokyo in April. I have a series of images of people in transport, shot through glass to create layers, distortion and reflection. This bus driver was stopped at the lights in Shibuya and standing in front of him I saw it appear. I knew at the moment of shooting that I would convert it to black and white.

May, 2016

June

Vienna! What a beautiful city. Enjoyed shooting there a lot, especially as I had beautiful summer sunshine for my stay there. This shot is one I waited for. Attracted by the zig-zag reflections of the sun slipping down the metro steps, I knew someone stepping into the scene would add to it. Patience meets luck.

June, 2016

July
There are so many iPhone images I could chose from my trip to India in July, but the one I am going for is this one from Delhi. Images have to have different entry points to work for me. I like this one because of this.

July, 2016

August
Shanghai! Again, many I could choose from but the one I have gone for is this one shot on the Shanghai subway. There is something beautiful about photography that allows for connections. Eye contact is something I try to get in images. It engages the viewer, I think, but what I like about it is the split second of contact created between the person in the frame and myself. There are times it is electrifying.

August, 2016

September

Another image from Tokyo. Sometimes things just appear in front of you and when you see them it is too late. Other times, things will wait. Then you get lucky. So much of photography is luck. Luck and patience.

September, 2016

October
I was so happy when my kids told me their happiest memory from the summer was going to the river with me in the evenings just before the sun set, when the day’s heat had cooled. They would play in the water and I would try to get photographs or I would just sit and watch them be little kids enjoying summer. This shot was after a torrential downpour. They loved jumping over the puddles and I loved it too.

October, 2016

November
iPhone 7 plus. Dublin. Sunshine on a graffitied wall. Wait for someone to enter the frame and snap.

November, 2016

December
And back to Cork for the last one. Comparatively, I don’t shoot a lot in Cork. I tend to store it all up and shoot intensively when away from home. There is something freer about being off home turf. In saying that, I have projects about Cork on the go and quite possibly these will become much more personal and precious to me as the years pass. This is another shot of reflections. Another instance of patience.

December, 2016

2016 has been incredible to me. So many people to thank. So many people who along the way who have in some way enabled me to express myself. In no particular order I would like to thank Ben, Elfie, Saad, Arik, Andy, Nikki, Glen, Dan R, Dan B, Simon, Jack H, Judie, Ankit, John, Mark, Brian, David P, Albion, Thomas, Serap, Jen, Teppo, Cielo, Laurence, Tadhg, Michael V, Darren, Joanne, Janine, Nora, Sir Cam, Paul M, Tim B, Johnathan, Lee, Ruby,  Kevin D, Randy, Dave, Brian, Kieran, Richard and Seiya. And then those loved ones who know who they are – thanks!

2016 – My favourite iPhone photographs

2017 – believe – achieve – kiss the future…

Also posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Inspiration, iPhone 6s, iPhone photography, My own favourite photographs, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My favourite image of 2014

12 months of photographs from Wicklow, Dublin, London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Hong Kong, Seoul, Busan, Geochang, Tokyo, Kyoto, Taipei and the People’s Republic of Cork. Having gone back over the images I posted in 2014, the DSLR image I keep coming back to is this:

15359969966_665a136e8a_z

My favourite photograph of 2014 (DSLR)

I gave it the title Slow releasing melancholy. There is something so soothing about melancholy. In the distance, through the dribbling raindrops you can see Tokyo in the evening high up from Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. Tokyo does mood so well. The observation deck of this skyscraper had low lights and the gentlest of jazz music playing in the background. I could go on and write more about this image, but it is all yours. See what you want to see and feel whatever the image frees in you.

I posted an iPhone photograph of my son in the art gallery of the university I work in on the last day of 2014, not only because I love the image, but because I knew I wanted to have it posted in 2014 because it is my very favourite image I took with the iPhone in 2014. James is four now and a happy and healthy, little boy. He is curious, but quickly distracted and this image captures it all for me. The framed photographs got his attention for a few seconds. He scanned them and disregarded them and moved on.

 

16153078951_7ee6b8095c_k

My favourite photograph of 2014 (iPhone)

So here you go, here are the 12 images for DSLR and iPhone which stood out for me. Thanks for all the visits and feedback. Here’s to 2015! Everything will happen. Believe – achieve.

mosaic7f484ea42a89e725e65c26f28d06759ccbaa1efa

My favourite iPhone images of 2014

 

 

mosaicd13c86728a00e0082e9f92d04e5f507136a928fc

My favourite DSLR images of 2014

 

 

Also posted in iPhone, James, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – December

And on to the final month of the year: December. This will bring a total of 11 images chosen for both DSLR and iPhone. 11 months as I didn’t post anything to Flickr in the month of April. My friend, Michael Veltman, suggested I should choose my favourite image of 2014 to make up the 12 photos for the year. So, tomorrow I will try to choose one image that is my very favourite from 2014. This will not be easy. Maybe you could help me. What is your favourite image of mine in the past 12 months?

In December, I had a short visit to Berlin to attend a conference and in the evenings I got out shooting. One evening I took a walk along one of the main shopping streets – a street whose name I cannot recall. This wonderful building lit up in white stripes to contrast with the black of the building was eye catching and I knew I had to get a few shots of it. I got a few of passersby blurred out as they crossed the intersection in front of it and headed up the street. Passing a black van and seeing how the lights of the store lit up on the side of the van got me thinking and composing. I stood on the side of the street and waited for cars and passersby to come. The results are below. Click on them for the large version. 

16110408705_1312dc22fe_m 15504798754_34e5db7eea_m16117697722_91e43aea3f_m

 

 

 

 

And in this little series the one I like most is this:

15950820159_fd547d82eb_o

December

 

December was probably the best month for images posted to the iPhone account. There are so many that I really like and choosing a favourite from this month is very difficult. I could easily choose any of the following images. Click on them for the large version. 

15817695937_29300432ea_m 15504794114_ec2a85817d_m 16010151365_e0fe4bb312_m

 

 

 

 

 

Also, any of these could easily be my favourite:

 

15464030544_9fdb4b6fa8_m 16136906015_3a97b1608f_m 15810366590_02b5d4cc04_m

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the one which I like most is this taken in Copenhagen. Reflections are another way of seeing and so often they can transform the ordinary to the extraordinary. Any time I see glass or a shiny surface I am looking to see what it reflects. This old and dirty window in Copenhagen had not been cleaned in years and the grime gave such a beautiful texture. All I had to do was wait for someone to enter the scene and in what was a ready-made frame.

Reflections in a forgotten window frame

December

Also posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – November

November saw more photographs from Copenhagen. Choosing my favourite DSLR for November is very easy for me.

15688138816_d724c7c766_k

November

I struggled with processing this image and wrote about it here in November. I posted other similar images in the month which I also like:

15111580013_616976ae63_m 15765336402_961c66d4a2_m

November has been the easiest month for me to choose my favourites. This iPhone image stands out for me. It is a simple, straight-up street shot.

15128288403_343c362f06_k

November

Only one month left and then to choose my favourite image of 2014. Thanks for all the visits.

 

 

 

Also posted in Inspiration, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – October

October saw me visit Copenhagen for the first time and how I loved the visit. It is one the coolest cities I have ever been to. The people are calm, friendly and also very cool. In the week I was there I managed to get in as much shooting as possible and had some good fortune while doing so. Having cycled all my life, Copenhagen was a delight for me. The guy who I was renting an apartment from left me use of his bike for the week. This allowed me to get around the city with ease and to see as much as possible in a short time.

I really do not think I have ever visited anywhere and come back with so many images that I liked. With the DSLR, I loved these images taken on a sunny evening on the main shopping street in Copenhagen. You can click through to see the large images.

15376196827_b6d55ea3d6_q15001637533_046e8d0165_q15404061437_6806dd5c2c_q

 

 

 

 

 

But the image which I like more than any that I got in Copenhagen has no recognisable features that can link it to the city of Copenhagen. It is a classic bokeads image. I have been doing fewer and fewer of those in recent times, and I do think it is something I need to get back to. I gave this one the title of “The weight of other people”. There is a theme of loneliness in these images, a yearning to be able to hide; hide from others and hide mainly from ourselves.  Other people should keep us buoyant. If they don’t, cut them loose.

October

As I was saying, I was so pleased with the images I got in Copenhagen and those shot with the iPhone were also great. Here are some of my favourites – you can click through to see the large images.

15375653159_23498e46cc_q15606359265_8d4c4d639b_q15572003192_c947b5815d_q

 

 

 

 

 

But the one I like most (even more than this one) again has no recognisable features of Copenhagen, but it is my favourite.

15574716766_7b8cc1f24a_k

October

Only two months to go! What will be my overall favourite from 2014?

 

 

Also posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – September

September saw 58 photographs posted to Flickr. A perfectly even split of 28 to each account. This is probably the hardest month yet to choose a single image. I had the great fortune of getting some good night shots around Shibuya, Tokyo. Is it OK for me to say that I love some of my own images? I think it is. And this short series of three, I just love.

15122765081_2c843c3b92_q15115700605_1bbab54acf_q15127028171_24aea62da5_q

And here are others which sing for me too. 

15079199149_3493fe0679_q 15256029465_26d045687d_q 15245532655_d19cc30338_q

 

 

 

 

 

These three are special for me also.

15153032837_3259aedc77_q 15329540795_710b3b812e_q 15315826541_906867dbb5_q

 

But the image which gets my vote, the one which brings me in and keeps me there is this one. Taken on a rainy day in Tokyo, you can see Tokyo going about its business in the distance through the raindrops on the window.

15359969966_665a136e8a_z

Of the 28 iPhone images posted to Flickr in September, the one I like most is this one, taken on a wet night in Shinjuku. This girl appeared from around the corner behind me and I had to quickly snap to get her in the frame. It is a lucky shot, not in focus, but who cares about that. This photograph hit Explore number 1, a nice little bonus.

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

 

 

Also posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – August

Writing about August on January 1st, 2015. Happy New Year! It is going to be a great year. Believe and achieve. That is my maxim for 2015. Everything will happen.

The first thing to happen is this continued review of last year’s photographs. In August, 54 photographs of mine went up on the two accounts. There was a mix of images from Cork, Dublin and Korea posted to the DSLR account. Photographs created on the iPhone followed the same pattern.

Looking back now, I see the short series of images I tend to present. There were these images taken in Korea of people with umbrellas.

Korea14810433369_8bdf0b5b8e_q

15013992591_c89459c8cb_q

But the ones that I love from August are those in this series taken in Daegu. These images are me getting close to my vision of how beautiful photography can be. 

14718611557_4f08ea4e30_q 14707782310_7c149481af_q 14687907837_5ee2f45732_q (1)

And my favourite image of the month: A Daegu delight.

14881884224_4bd5d1ec4b_k

August

With the iPhone, the one I love most is this taken of my brother in-law’s wife.

photo (8)

August

 

Thanks again to all. Happy New Year!

Also posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – July

July was all Japan. I posted 56 photos to Flickr in 28 days. Choosing a favourite from the DSLR images is easy for a change. I’ll never forget the excitement I experienced when I first caught a glimpse of Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The black and white lines of the pedestrian crossing were vast open space as the traffic stopped for the red lights and then those lines were eaten up as hundreds of people hurriedly crossed. I watched it over and over again. Later I crossed it over and over again. I could never get enough of the place. Nothing makes me feel more alive than being in the swell of humanity surging across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. I got so many photographs of it in the two times I have been to Tokyo, but this one is my favourite.

July

July

Finding a favourite from the iPhone images of that month is not so easy. There are so many I really like. I could have chosen any of these:

14554714714_b3ea3c35c6_q

Ununiforming the individual

14563546955_62e27065ea_q

In life it is not what happens to you

14631632484_e43992b36b_q

Shibuya

14503192777_e532769142_q

Distances

14545122809_799de78d32_q

Street Portrait

14767584183_b55b972dd8_q

Faint heart

14785398643_86128291cb_q

This nagging knowingness

 

 

But the one I keep coming back to is one I wrote about when I posted in July. One that is part of a series of images I am working on related to the concept of distances. There is something which captivates me about this.

July

July

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Thanks for all your support and kindness in 2015.

Kiss that future…

 

Also posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – June

In June, I posted a total of 56 photos to Flickr; perfectly divided into 28 DSLR and 28 iPhone images. So many to choose from.

 Beginning with the iPhone, I am torn between these images – to see them large click through

14300693170_f2d57b35ed_q

The man I used to be

14247724947_7a613bd3e4_q

Taipei

14335886019_801f344143_q

Empowerment

14526061031_19e9b7dc9e_q

Not only trees need to cheer the fuck up

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image I find myself looking at most is Empowerment. I remember I was on my way back to my hotel in Taipei when I came upon this gentleman who was standing still as he read a notice on the closed shutters of a shop. I was struck by his pose and rigidity and the shadow he cast on the shutters. There is something about that image which quietens me and sets me daydreaming.

June

June

Of the 28 DSLR images, again it is hard to make a choice between these images – to see them large click through

14320675338_defb30d165_q

Taipei

14373592506_9bf1a6b816_q

I sort of want you to stay

14194018830_2e64e508fc_q

Seoul

14274896830_52a8d9772c_q

What is left is only leaving

14437015664_06326dbf2a_q

because of the times when the last thing you say is the last thing I hear

14392299543_c15d7c1a3d_q

Nunca sea la ultima, sino la penultima

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end, the image I am most drawn to is I sort of want you to stay. This was taken in Seoul. With camera ready I was walking around on a cold early spring evening when I walked past this entrance to a bar.  I had passed when I realised that the girl on the phone would make a nice shot. Without time to get the settings right I shot a few frames. As soon as I got the first one, she changed her pose and the scene changed. This photo has been my most popular on Flickr this past year.

14373592506_e847a84a4a_k

June

Also posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |