Tag Archives: february 2013

February

Throughout 2013, I used the iPhone more and more for street photography. Being a phone and not a recognisable camera makes it ideal for close up street portraits. The technique I use is to have the camera turned sideways and held at my waist and my finger on the shutter. As people approach, I try to wait until the last moment before releasing. It allows a down-low perspective. Throughout the year, in various places I managed to get some good shots using this technique. You can see them here in this Flickr set.

Choosing an image for February is easy. The shot below was taken on Cork’s Washington Street. The man was bounding towards me bristling with purpose as he strode. He was tall and wearing a hat, which always makes for good photographs. Once I saw him, I got the iPhone out, opened up Instagram and held my finger on the shutter until the last moment, avoiding a collision, and got the shot. I gave it the title I have a plan.  Looking at it now, with months passed, I do think I would like to change the processing a little on it. But, isn’t that always the way?

I was very pleased when it was chosen for the Apps Uncovered feature on the excellent iphoneographycentral website. If you haven’t been to that site yet, get over there. It is excellent.

So, there is February. Thanks to all for the visits and kind words.

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February

Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Should I just Flickr off?

As many of you will be aware by now, Flickr launched a new version of its photo sharing site last Monday. I knew this change was coming as I had been railroaded into a test version on both my accounts for a few weeks prior to the launch. To say the new version has not been met with enthusiasm is an understatement. As I write there have been over 23k posts on the thread for feedback in their help forum; some are furious, others annoyed, but most are disappointed. Gone is the ease of use. Your landing page, where your recent comments, faves, and notes were available, has changed. Now it is a cascading roll of images, mainly ones you commented or faved and these could be ones you have long forgotten. It is impossible to locate your own photographs. It is not customisable.

Your photostream is now a wall of images on black. Ya, you can edit it to get something close to the old version, but it is not the same. While I like it to view the streams of other photographers, I would like if textual information was available under the photos as it had been before. Very often I write accompanying text for my uploads. Now these are not visible unless you click on the image. And when you click on the image it brings you to an on-black view. All fine and dandy, but if you have a dark image, the image loses clarity.

Having two accounts I like to post in the first comment a small size image of the photo I am posting on the other account. It allows contacts to click through. Now with the new format for comments with so few actually showing, it means that when I go over a few comments those comments made at the start are not visible; rendering the link to the photo from my other account being hidden. In the past few days, this has meant views on my images on my iPhone account have dropped. And do not get me started on why we have to scroll down, away from viewing the image, to make our comments. It becomes a memory test. How difficult would it be to allow a sidebar, or a box directly under the photo to allow us write our comment as we look at the image? This is a suggestion I have made many times to Flickr; one I made when I was in the test version of the new version also. Did they listen? No!

The worst thing about all of this is that I have had emails from contacts, friends who have said they are leaving. Now, that is so sad. These are people who have given me so much. Photographers I have learnt so much from. I cannot imagine a Flickr without them. How hard would it be to create a customisable version for paying customers? Pros. We all paid our 25 bucks a year to have ad-free, unlimited uploads, and stats. But with the new policy of Flickr – it is all about volume. They want to attract those happy snappers who click click relentlessly and upload vast volumes. Users who will accept and consume the barrage of advertising that will go with their free accounts. We, who pay the 25 bucks will not see those ads, rendering us useless to them. What they gain from our subscription is chicken feed in comparison to the pots of gold they will gather from advertising.

As I write this blog post, Flickr has stopped. I cannot get it to load. I had uploaded my images for the day on both accounts but cannot get them to load now. The widget that showed my Flickr photos on the right of this blog post has stopped working too.

What to do? Change is always met with resistance. We are creatures of habit. What works well for us, we become comfortable with. Yes, there are good points to the new layout and design of Flickr, but there are many faults. It needs fine tuning. I hope that is what is happening in the background at Yahoo!, that they are taking on board the criticism and suggestions and working towards providing a platform for photographers to share images and also, even more importantly, to communicate and learn from each other. If they do, I will stick it out. On Monday, they said Pro accounts were to be abolished. On Tuesday they rolled back on that. I would like to think they will do something similar with the layout and design.

If not, what are the alternatives. I was on 500px, but it did not appeal to me. I disliked the dislike button, more than anything. Many contacts have already moved to ipernity.com. It looks like old Flickr. Redbubble is another option. At least there you can view an image and see it at the same time. Instagram is just for fun. Here on the blog, I really should post more photos, but the interaction cannot be the same as a Flickr-type platform. What are your suggestions?

For now, I will flickr on. But if things do not improve I very well might just flickr off.

 

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Why is it so foggy, Daddy?

We all need a little colour in our lives

We all need a little colour in our lives

 

– It’s too foggy, Daddy. How can he see?
– Too foggy?
– Ya, I can’t see him. Is that China?
– China?
– Ya. In China it is always foggy.
– How do you know that?
– I saw it on Sesame Street.
– Ya?
– Ya.
– Is that a man, Daddy?
– Ya, it is.
– Is he sad?
– Sad? I don’t know. Does he look sad?
– It’s too foggy, I don’t know. Why is it so foggy, Daddy?

(wife) – Yes, it is too foggy, Brendan.
– Foggy!?

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A week of my own

Looking back on the images I posted to flickr this week I have chosen the following ones as my favourites of the 14 I posted to both accounts.

What ties us, you say, is not a knot

What ties us, you say, is not a knot

This was taken aboard a small tourist boat in a lagoon in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. A lagoon should be a peaceful place, but there were too many boats, too many tourists like me. This rope was lying on the front of the boat, its frayed texture attracting me. This image lay in my archives since being in Vietnam last year. This week I ran out of new images and had to raid those archives. This was one which caught my attention. Now, of course the image is over processed (Snapseed is a fine piece of software), but I do like the result.

My horse just left town with my man on it. I am not alone, I have you in my sights.

My horse just left town with my man on it. I am not alone, I have you in my sights.

The thing with the iPhone is that you always have a camera with you. And like a good old-fashioned gun slinger, you got to learn to draw that weapon fast when the image appears. This long-legged lady bounded towards me as I was sitting in the reception area at work. I whipped the phone out, kept it at seat level and snapped as she walked past. I just knew I would love the result.

skinny boy solo walk

skinny boy solo walk

I love the corridors in work. Light streams in so nicely and by pointing the iPhone down and quickly turning it back up and clicking you can get some really, lovely, streaky blur shots. And what better for making people look skinny – well blur of course!

Perry Como

Perry Como

On the little walks on my breaks in work I have the iPhone at the ready and shoot as I go. I am scanning the scenes ahead, trying to fix on interesting looking characters. This guy, sombre and anxious looking, approached . The huge stone wall behind gives a nice background to the image. Why the Perry Como title? Not sure, but when I was a little boy we used to listen to a lot of Perry Como – and one of my favourite songs of his is Catch a falling star, which came to mind when I saw this guy.

Arousal

Arousal

An old one i had been meaning to post for a while. I took this in the airport in Berlin while killing time. The sun was obliging and the result of the light on the metal is quite pleasant.

I wonder what images I will post here next Sunday.

Posted in My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

9 blur images

The sun is shining through my window. I have Lenotyne Price playing on Youtube and I am selecting my favourite 9 images from Blur will save the world for this week. Some beautiful blur images this week. Thanks for sharing these in the group.

My favourite images this week

My favourite images this week

From left to right – paolobarzman – Hans Maso – sonia……. – mugijo – Arte Borroso – ηeliʘ – Ade Santora – fotobananas – *Be@te* on/off

This is what I was listening to as I selected these images:

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Feed the habit

I have an addiction. I am a Flickr addict. It is the first site I hit each day. And I hit it a lot each day. To feed this habit I have to post each day. Each day to my two accounts. My DSLR account and my iPhone one. A few years back, I was a Flickr lurker. Posting irregularly. Then the Flickr thing just clicked for me. The social aspect of it. The fact that each day I could see photos from all over the world from people who, in turn, would come and see what was coming out of my little corner of the world. How wonderful that is. The opportunity to share, to support and to learn is priceless. I have learnt so much from Flickr. Taken steps on to photographic paths that I feel I would never have gone on except for Flickr; except for the support of Flickr contacts. Posting an image on Flickr and seeing the comments come on stream is a little buzz. A little joy each day. A fix.

But Flickr needs to be fed. Fed with photos. Nourished on new images. Not only new images, but evolving ones. Each day. And it is not easy. This week, I dried up. Photographic reserves shrivelled up. I had nothing new to show. I had to raid the reserves. And that is not what I want to do. I want new images to show. I want to experiment and learn.

So, this morning I headed out. Down town. Cork city. A cold morning. Camera swinging in front of me, alert to compositions. iPhone in my pocket. Excited, I was. Put me in a big city and I am in my element, but in my hometown is not a big city and I am not anonymous. I become so conscious of people noticing what I am doing. I see their puzzled, suspicious looks. “What is he taking photographs of?” “Why?” “He’s taking a photograph of a wall.” “Was he photographing me?” It is not that easy. But I persevere. My Flickr condition demands it.

Eventually, I got some shots. Some to be deleted once they hit the computer screen and some to be worked on. Either way, I got out. I got some new photographs. And I can relax for a few days. I have my feed for Flickr.

Here are a few from this morning.

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Feeding that Flickr beast

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F5

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Entrance to The English Market, Cork, Ireland

This is not easy.

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Flowers die: Electronic images live forever

Last Saturday, we went to Cobh, a small island to the east of Cork city. We lived there before for a short period before moving back to the city. It is a picturesque harbour town. Its main claim to fame is that it was the last port of call for the doomed Titanic. The town has a wonderful seafront promenade and the dramatic Saint Colman’s cathedral perches high on a hill looking over the town.

I went there with the objective of getting photographs, of getting out and using the DSLR, not just the iPhone. It is a hard task to get two new photos every day for both my Flickr accounts. Down there I found a little daisy (the day’s eyes as they called – they open when the sun comes up and close when it sets). I had my prop. In the photos below you can see how I plucked the daisy from its roots, thus killing it and exploited it to my own end, positioning it in poses to suit my photographic needs. Ya, I killed that little flower. But flowers dies: Electronic images live forever.

Here are some of the images from that trip. The first one, with no flower, hit Flickr’s explore this week and wow – I was amazed to see the number of views it got. It seems that getting into Explore now returns far more views than ever before.

Cobh, County Cork, Ireland

Cobh, County Cork, Ireland

The day's eyes

The day’s eyes

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The day's eyes

The day’s eyes

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