Tag Archives: writing

Florence International Photography Awards

IT was a great honour to win ‘Best in Show’ at the Florence International Photography Awards with my iPhone photograph of Shibuya Night. Here is a little background piece I wrote about getting that shot on iPhone image

It was still lashing rain when I got out of the taxi in Shibuya. The driver left me in front of the entrance to my hotel. A little up ahead from me, people were heading for the last late-night trains home in a procession of umbrellas crossing that famous zebra-striped pedestrian crossing. The neon lights were rushing colourful reflections on the black and white street. A countdown had begun. In a short few hours, four to be exact, I would be leaving Tokyo. What to do: Head to the hotel room or stay out in the rain looking for that one last photo? I looked at the hotel entrance and saw the dimmed lights of the lobby and then looked at the scramble crossing – resplendent in the rain – and without hesitation headed there.

With my transparent, plastic umbrella held over me in one hand, my iPhone in the other and my Nikon swinging from my neck, I waited at the crossing for the green man t0 appear. At this late hour there were many fewer than the average 2000 people who cross at peak time during the day. I had been shooting through the plastic of the wet umbrella with the iPhone all day. I liked the bokeh it created and the somewhat surreal gloss it gave to the images, but as I waited for the green man to signal I had been looking at that man opposite me, that man who had been peering down at me for the past few days. That man with his hand open at his face and his fingers curved over his eye staring at me, and below him was this cackle of late-night hawkers handing out flyers for bars and clubs. I knew my frame.

The green man popped up and I moved with the others as we began to cross. I stopped about halfway to get some shots. There is about a two minute window to get across when the green man is up. A long time in photography. The green man began to flash and in an instant I was the last man standing in the centre of the crossing. Still, I stayed there in the centre. I did a slow pirouette, taking in the vast scape of all that is the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The air was fresh. The only sound I heard was the rain water as it splished and splashed under my shoes and I was saying to myself: All of this will just be a memory tomorrow, but I am here now; here now.

The squelch of tyres on the wet of the street alerted me to the oncoming traffic. Eyeballing the taxis I weaved my way to the safety of the other side of the crossing.

There in front of me, sheltering under plastic white umbrellas, were the late-night hawkers, shuffling about and handing out their flyers to those they perceived were the demographic the bars or clubs were trying to attract. Glances were thrown at me and clearly I did not fit that demographic.

Left alone, I began to frame the shot. There, among all the guys was this one girl, dressed in high heels and a mini skirt; her head bowed, engrossed in her phone. And above her, to the left this man overseeing it all. Click! I got it.

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Shibuya Night: Best in Show at the Florence International Photography Awards

The countdown clock still tick-tocked my time away in Tokyo. The rain would not stop and I was getting tired. Things run their course and time in Tokyo was coming to an end. I waited for the green man to replace the red man and I crossed the Shibuya Scramble Crossing for the last time, leaving the neon of Shibuya for the low-lit lamps of the hotel.

The next day, sat on a plane heading home, I reviewed my images on my phone. This one I stopped on. Using the new version of Snapseed, I did a little editing. A few days later, I posted it to Instagram and then later to Flickr. It hit Explore, got more than a thousand faves. Then I entered it in the Florence International Photography Awards and to my great surprise it won ‘Best in Show’.

So glad the dimmed lobby lights of the hotel were no match to the rain-drenched Shibuya Scramble Crossing at night.

The adventure of photography. 

Posted in iPhone, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts, Street Photography, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

January 23 2015

Things on my mind today:

The things we fear most, rarely happen.

The things we dream to achieve, we rarely achieve, but in trying we achieve things we cannot dream.

There is only one road to travel and with each step we take we create a new one and destruct the used one.

 

Two photos today:

Tokyo Night

Tokyo Night

 

 Trees need to cheer the fuck up


Trees need to cheer the fuck up

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

January 8 2015

Back to daily posts. Have been compiling my favourite images of 2014 over the past two weeks or so and arrived at the end of it yesterday. I have to say I am very pleased by the feedback friends and contacts have provided. But time to look forward now and begin to post new images. But there’s the thing. It is not as simple as that. Over Christmas I was looking back at the photographs I go through 2014 and I realised there is still a lot of work there for me. I posted this image to Flickr back in September.

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Trypophobic Tokyo

And I knew I had found something new to develop. This resulted in this post on Monday.

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Trypophobic Tokyo

And leads on to this post today.

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Trypophobic Tokyo [3]

Photography is a great hobby and a hobby must be fun.

And talking of phun! What is more phun than the iPhone? Nothing, I tell you! And to prove it, here is a shot of me having phun with my iPhone.

Trying to see

Trying to see

 

 

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – February

You got to love yourself is the title I gave to this photograph which looking back at February is my preferred from that month. I took it on a cold Sunday morning. Reflections always catch me. I love that they present different ways of seeing. This man reflects in a cafe window; a cafe that caused much controversy when it opened. The reason being is that it was built right in front of the entrance to a city centre park and resulted in obscuring the view of the decorative and old entrance. It was a stupid place to locate it.

February

February

When I started this blog a couple of years back my objective was simple – I wanted to write. Nothing gives me more pleasure than writing but I tend to write in spurts. I have so much archived away – short stories, poems, essays. I needed to begin to write and felt a blog would be a good way to do it. Maybe, I don’t know. I still have not done it consistently or done the hard part – rewriting. Maybe 2015 will be the year.

My preferred iPhone image from February is one that I wrote a short accompanying text to. I will let it there and you can read it and take what you will from it.

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We sat in the car, neither of us driving, each sat at our own window. The rain and its drops ran on mine and through yours the wind it whistled until you yourself wound it closed. Try as we might we never would reconcile the rain and the wind, but that car, it brought us both to where we are now.

 

Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

December 1 2014

On my final day in Copenhagen out shooting street, I got a number of street portraiture photographs. This man suddenly appeared in front of me, I hadn’t much time to compose the shot. I admire people like this. It takes great strength and conviction to carry this look off and I feel he does it well. I got another of him as he walked off. He was wearing white shorts, white knee-high socks and black boots. I salute you, sir!

Conviction

Conviction

And today is the last in the little series of iPhone photographs taken of people kissing. A nice way to enter this new week.

Connected

Connected

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

November 29 2014

Number 4 in the series. Click, click as another cyclist enters the frame. Have one or two more to post, but I may get bored and move on.

Location [4]

Location [4]

Public displays of affection or PDAs as Americans like to call them. I think they are great. What a world we would live in if our instincts were suppressed. I am very curious about distances, particularly in couples, and an embrace shared closes physical distances. Is it the case here?

Distances

Distances

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

November 27 2014

Continuing this little series. Standing on the opposite of the road to this pool of light from the street lamp, waiting for a human element to enter the frame.

Location [2]

Location [2]

Malmo is a 25 minute train journey from Copenhagen. This is a world-famous tower, one the lady in tourist office told me with pride about. With dismay, she responded to my telling her I had never heard of it. “It is world famous”, she repeated. It is a nice tower, though.

Malmo

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

November 25 2014

When I met Thomas Toft in Copenhagen he brought me to this very cool building with the most wonderful circular landings on each floor and doorless elevators that never stopped. You had to hop in and later hop out. Super cool.

I couldn’t resist taking a number of photographs of from the top floor. Looking down was really beautiful. Here is an unprocessed image.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

And here is a zoom burst image converted to black and white with some sliding on the contrasts and highlights.

Lulling you to sleep

Lulling you to sleep

I do not like to take photographs of homeless people. It is too easy and selfish. However, I am posting this image of a guy begging on the street in Copenhagen. I was stopped there taking photos of passersby and he was an obstruction, standing as he was in the middle of the road, causing people to swerve around him. He annoyed me, but in reality I was the obstruction. This was his patch and here was I, a damn tourist with an expensive camera snapping passersby. I watched for a while and saw how people passed him like he was a concrete bollard.

Concrete

Concrete

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

November 24 2014

Final in the series brings this to your screens – a man framed in a slight blur, wearing a light blue pullover and darker denim trousers standing before a piece of predominantly blue art that has a standard lamp with a blue lampshade to its right. Serendipitously photographic.

People looking at art [4]

People looking at art [4]

To add to the series, here is one taken with the iPhone, using the app – Manual. I had been trying to get blurred images with the native iPhone camera – but the image stabilisation is just too damn good. Manual allows full control – besides aperture. Have a good week. Surprise yourselves.

People looking at art

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

November 5 2014

Choices. Life is difficult when there are choices. And without choices life is not worth living.

Using Lightroom for post processing gives you millions of options. Literally. There are presets and so many sliders to drag. The combinations are endless. Very often when processing I rush to finish, getting to a point where I find myself saying – enough! Usually, the main choice is either to process the image in black and white or leave it in colour.

I have this series of images I took while in Copenhagen that I really like, but I just do not know what way to go with them. I have not posted on Flickr somedays in the recent past because I am frustrated as to how to present these shots. Sometimes, I am in black and white and content and then I click and the colours appear and I say to myself I cannot have these without the colours. I work through the images and after about three or four of them I have to leave it because I get vexed. No matter what I do, no matter how I process these images I am not satisfied. I keep thinking they could be done differently and because of that I just want to leave them; even delete them.

This has not happened before. Usually, post processing is swift and pleasing; the part of the photographic process I enjoy. The work has been done and you work with what you have. But this little series…

Here is a version. I may delete this later today. I may post the whole series in the coming days or they may never see the light of a Flickr day.

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Immersion

And then there is my favourite child: The iPhone. It never causes me such distress. It sings and dances for me. iPhunography! I was so delighted to find that when I wanted to change my Instagram handle @nadnerb (brendan in reverse) that the first name I wanted had not been taken. Over a 100 million Instagram users and nobody thought of the name iPhunography. To me it is so obvious. Fun +iPhone + Photography = iPhunography!

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Fragility

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |