Category Archives: James

Favourite 2017 Shot on iPhone Photographs

OK – I have tried to start this so many times in the recent weeks and each time I tell myself I will get it done tomorrow, knowing full well that I will wait until the last moment and then rush it through. But hey – once I get it done, ya?

Choosing my 12 favourite photos was so easy before. All I needed to do was head over to Flickr and see what photos I posted in each month of the year and from that choose a favourite shot. Not so anymore. This year I posted virtually nothing to Flickr until September, so for the first time ever this end-of-year-review is being done via Instagram. Here are my Instagram stats for the year: I posted 272 photos to my main account and 186 photos to my second account (the one I keep for shots without people in them). That is a lot of images, but then I travelled and shot a lot in 2017.

I could do the easy thing and allow an algorithm decide what my best 9 photos were, but you know, they weren’t. You can see them if you wish here and here. I prefer to spend some time with the images, recall where I was, what I was doing and how it felt. That is why we create images, no? To make memories. So here are my 12 favourite shot on iPhone photographs posted to my main Instagram account in 2017.

So, January took me to Iceland for the first time. Stumbled across this artist’s house on the seafront. The sun was setting and it was freezing.

Reykjavik (Shot on iPhone 7 Plus)

February and I was on my way to Cyprus to open the exhibition for the Mobile Photography Awards in Limassol. I guess it was here that I began to change my approach to street photography. Not sure why or how, but I began to engage more with people on the street as I shot their portraits. Much like candid photography, people’s first reaction when you ask can you take their photo is one of curiosity. What is it that I can see about them that makes me want to photograph them? Self-consciousness smothers that initial curiosity and the task then is to engage with them to get them to relax. I tend to tell people about myself, revealing myself a little, as I shoot. I ask them questions. I am polite and respectful. I shoot a lot in these moments.

This guy here had no English. I smiled a lot. He stared at me. He smiled when I showed him the photo.

February: Limassol (shot on iPhone)

March was a month at home and not a lot of shooting, bar the Holi Festival in my university, so I was posting shots from previous trips. This one of a bus driver in Seoul I love. I remember knowing that I would stop to shoot it when I was waiting for the green man to appear. I just love shooting into glass and the layered distortion the reflections create.

March: Seoul

April was a full on month for me. I was in Korea and Japan with work and then home for a few days before heading back out to Thailand for the most amazing experience of Monogram Asia’s first 8 x 8 Street Photography Conference. Another highlight of April was the being out on the streets of Cork for the 24-Hour Project with great people. Choosing an image I shot in the month of April is damn hard, but it is not so hard to choose one I posted in that month. Photography is all about memories and connections. My favourite for April is this one shot on the 24-hour Project in late night Cork. May not be my best photo in April, but it is the one which makes me think of the absolute craic I had with Tim, Dee, Judie and Jonathon. 

April: Cork. 24-hour project

And on to May and really there can only be one shot for May. I have written quite a bit about how I began to shoot more asked-for-portraits and how much I began to enjoy it. This one was shot in Bangkok on a very hot morning on a photo walk with Sheldon Serkin and Renzo Grande. Here’s the thing. Once I got the shot I knew it was a good one, but I did not know whether it was better in the original colour or to convert it to black and white. Shel and Renzo thought it was a no-brainer – black and white all the way. I still have a thing for it in colour. What do you think?

May: Bangkok

June: In April in Seoul I stayed in Myeondong. It is probably the busiest shopping district in Seoul and with that comes much activity; perfect for street shooting. My maxim about photography is: Trying to see what can be seen and how to see it. This shot is an example of this. The bright neon lights, the taxis, the taxi drivers. Bringing them all into one frame was not easy. Shooting it on an iPhone at night even more difficult, but I love the result.

June: Seoul

July brought me to back on my travels, back to Hong Kong and then on to Korea again. I shot a lot in this time, but did not post in July. I did share this photo on Instagram though – a photo from Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. A photo which is part of my Rehearsing for a date series of images of people alone in locations where you might commonly find dating couples.

July: Tokyo

August and I am on the beach in Busan stopping people asking if I can take their photo (and they not getting upset that I did not ask if I could make their portrait). Honestly, this is something I felt I would never have been comfortable doing, but now I cannot imagine not doing it. There is something so wonderful about it. I made some really great connections this year shooting portraits. This guy was great fun. He took delight in telling me he knew Conor Mcgregor when I told him I was Irish. Honestly? Conor McGregor?

August: Busan

In Bali, I had Bali’s best motorcyclist as my guide, but I sadly proved to be Bali’s worst motorcycle passenger in this time. I loved Bali. Big thanks to my buddy Gathoe for showing me around Bali on his bike and for bringing me to the kite festival on that first day I was there. I skipped off the beaten bath a little to find these kids playing football.

September: Bali

I tend not to post photos of my kids. This is just a personal thing for me. Probably am too protective of their privacy. But this is one of my little boy that I love. No great timing here to get the decisive moment; no just finger kept on the shutter to shoot in burst mode and then to later select that decisive moment. My little HCB shot.

October: James

November is a bit hard for me. I am torn between this, this and this, but have decided to choose this one in the end. The edited image is a little distant from the original, but I knew that in taking it I would be able to go on many creative routes with the photo.

November: Seoul

And this brings us to the end of a year of shot on iPhone photographs. Life is difficult when there is choice and truly I could have gone in so many different directions with these selections. In the end I opted for all colour, could just have easily gone all black and white as I love many of the photos I shot in black and white this year, particularly when shooting with Provoke.

So, here is it – the final image to make up my 12 favourite shot on iPhone photographs from 2017. A photograph shot in Dublin, and one which is part of my This gap between us will be filled with love or loss series.

December: Dublin

Thanks to all for your kind support throughout 2017.

Here’s to 2018 and the unexpected, the unimagined it will bring.


Also posted in A Flickr Year, Best of year, iPhone, iPhone photography, Summer 2017, Travel 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:


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.



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.


My favourite iPhone images of 2014




My favourite DSLR images of 2014



Also posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

October 20 2014

The mornings are darker now. Just 8 a.m and still not bright. How I dislike winter? My little boy, James, is an impatient 4 year old and asks when will he be 5. I bring him to the tree in our front garden and together we stand there as the wind rushes through and clears the tree of its leaves.

“When the leaves come back on the tree, James, then it will be your birthday?”

“Did the leaves bring me, Daddy?”

“No, the leaves didn’t bring you, James.”

“Will the leaves bring me presents?”

“They might, you never know.”

“Why do the leaves fall off the trees?”

“The wind blows them off.”

“Will the wind blow them back on when my birthday comes?”

“No, new little leaves will grow and the wind won’t be able to blow them off for a long time.”

“How do the leaves know it will be my birthday? Do the leaves have birthdays too?”

“I don’t know, lovey. What do you think?”

“No, leaves don’t have birthdays, that’s silly, Daddy. Is it a long time to my birthday, when is it, Daddy?”

“I told you, when the leaves come back on the tree, then it will be your birthday.”

“But there are still some leaves on the tree. Look!”

“I know. But soon they will be gone and then we will have to wait until the new leaves grow.”


Winter, I hate it! My birthday will come when the leaves come back on the trees and I cannot wait for it. Spring! don’t mind getting a year older either.

Two more shots from the centre of Copenhagen this morning. Two more shots with beautiful sunlight. The first, with the DSLR, has eye contact – the connection. Catching this elevates an image. It allows a story to emerge more cleanly.


A collision of coincidences in Copenhagen

And how lucky to get a sunflare like this.


See the beauty in me


Also posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


There can only be one photograph I can choose from June, 2013, and that is this one of my little boy James doubting what his daddy tells him and needing to check for himself. When the long nights of summer come in, it gets harder to get little children to go to bed at their normal time. Outside it is still daytime, there is still sunshine and there is still lots to do and lots of time left for a little boy for playing and mischief. So, when his dad brings him upstairs and gets him into his pyjamas and tells him it is nighttime and that little boys must go to bed now, that little boy has to doubt it.

– But it is not dark, daddy!

– It is, James, it’s bedtime now. Come on.

– No! It’s not. It’s still daytime. Look.

Then he wriggles free and runs across the bed, stands on his little tipitoes on the radiator, pulls the blinds up and over his head and peers out and of course he is right.

– It is not nighttime! It is not, Daddy.

– But it is bedtime, James!

– Oooh!

I was delighted for two reasons. One, because he being a little rebel and I love that. Why should he not doubt what I am telling him? I hope he doubts me more and more. I hope he corrects me and helps me to learn as  time goes by. And secondly, I love it because it made for a great photo opportunity.

So, my little rebel, continue to check things for yourself. And that’s June!



Also posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A Flickr Year – January

Next year will be my eight year on Flickr and what a marvellous photographic journey it has been. When I go back and look at the photos I posted in 2007 and look at those of this year, I see how I have evolved. One of the things I have liked to do over the years to select 12 of my favourite shots – one from each month, at the end of the year. Traditionally, I would post a collage of these together on 31st of December and write a little about each photo. Seeing as I have a blog now, I have decided to write a little more about the twelve I select to represent this year’s photographic journey. When I say twelve, I really mean 24, because I will do the same thing for my iPhone account.

Looking through the photos for January, the one that jumps off the page to me is the photo of James, my son playing in the sunlight and shadows in our living room. With my job, I am lucky in that some of my work can be done from home. This also means that I get to spend a lot of time with my two kids. Time that seems to pass so quickly. I try to make myself realise the fleeting and precious moments I get to spend with them as little children; not always with success when they are driving me crazy when I am trying to word an email (or a flickr comment).

They say having a boy and girl is a gentleman’s family. They say that boys will break your house and girls will break your home. Whatever they say may be true, but the thing I do know is that a little boy is so different to a little girl. My little fella is full of life. I spend most of my time telling him not to touch this, to put that down, to do this, to not to do that, to stop, to stop, to stop… and then his face will light up with a look that is married to mischief.

And then, there are the times he will come when I am sat in front of my computer, push my swivel desk chair around and climb up onto and into me and lie in my arms, make eye contact with me and the world stops. Stops until he starts pulling the hairs on my chin or he reaches out to bang on the keyboard and that instant, when he is still in my arms, when we are together in a silence is gone.

Then with a wriggle and a jump he is off to immerse himself fully in the next thing that will get his enthralled attention for the next few moments. But we are still together.

One of the things to get his attention on a cold January morning was the stripes of shadows that fell on our living room wall as the sun shone in. He danced among them unnoticed for a while until I realised that it made for a fine photograph. Predictably, as soon as the camera came out, the camera got his attention and he walked away from the wall and shadows to come to inspect the device I was pointing at him.

– Go back over to wall, James. Do what you were just doing again. Go on, good boy.

– Daddy’s camera.

– Yes, daddy’s camera. Go on, go back. Look, look at the shadows. Can you make shadows for daddy?/

– Shadows!

And he did. So often with kids they delight you and you want to capture this delight on camera, but once the camera comes out the moment is gone. And they are right. They are instinctive, given to whims and impulses. They rarely recreate a scene, a look or a mood for you. But this morning he did and I managed to get the shot of my little boy being a little boy.

Time will come and he won’t be enthralled by sunlight and his shadow or have his father asking him to ‘go back and do what you were just doing…”, but I hope this photograph will enthral him and bring him back to the wonder he felt that morning.


January 2013

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