Tag Archives: abstract photography

November 1 2014

Three men today step into my Flickr stream. Three proud men. Saw these guys approach in Copenhagen and knew that I could blur them up. Their almost-uniform appearance caught my eye as I was wandering around Copenhagen’s shopping area.



Keeping with a theme of threes, here is an iPhone image of three subjects observing us.


Televised Revolutions

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

October 31 2014

What an utterly miserable day it is here! Rain, wind and the greyest of skies. Halloween too. A manufactured corruption of an Irish tradition. Meh!

But life goes on. Clouds part. Sun shines. Here is an image taken in Copenhagen. In the distance you can see the sun.


Kiss that future

While in Copenhagen, I met Thomas Toft. If you have not checked out his photography, then you are in for a treat. A wonderful photographer and a great guy. One evening we cycled out to this wonderful location. Thanks again, Thomas!


God will send a sign. When he does be prepared.

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

October 22 2014

Photography is fun when you experiment. This shot here of the flipped shadows is an experiment. I always liked shots like these but never tried it out. Standing at the intersection on the main shopping street in Copenhagen with the sun shining in your face and looking down to avoid and noticing these long shadows of the pedestrians waiting on the other side is a signal. Get that shot. I have to say that there are some whose shots like these are much better and if you want to see good examples of these here are two of the best: Michael Kistler and Thomas Toft.


Self esteem

Not to be unfair to the iPhone, I got a few shots  shadows with that also. But today I won’t post those; instead here are two people trying to evade their shadows.


Shadow Evasion


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

September 11 2014

(13 years have passed. Have things improved? Is the world safer? Will atrocities like 9/11 happen again? To live in times of peace is the greatest luxury and taking it for granted is the greatest folly.)

To photography: Yesterday, I was in Tralee for the day. Tralee is a the capital town of Kerry. It is a small provincial town with a population of about 25,000 people. I had hoped to get a few photographs while there, but like so many times out on the streets it was a frustration. Am using a 50mm lens and, while I like it for family portrait shots, I am not sure if I like it for street work. Maybe a 35mm would be better; ya?

Today’s image is another taken in the late evening in the side streets around Shibuya. It shows the contrast in the early morning character of Japanese and the late evening character. Early in the morning I cannot imagine this couple stopping to pose when they see a foreigner with a camera. Ya, of course, alcohol plays its part in this too, but alcohol brings out what is inside. And inside is a playfulness and a curiosity. I had myself set up to shoot passersby with this interesting backdrop. This couple appeared and instead of just passing on by, they stopped and invited me to take their photographs. I obliged. When they came to look at the result, they were so surprised to see their blurred up selves. Lots of wide-mouthed and raised eyebrows exclamations. How much fun is that!


Photographic Punctuation Photo Booth

The iPhone photograph is one that fits into a series of images called “This nagging knowingness”. The series is about the things we carry with us, that do not leave. Things that are never too far from the surface. The failing effort we put into forgetting. Seeing sleeping people or people with their eyes closed in refuge in public places makes me think of this.

photo (29)

this nagging knowingness

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

September 8 2014

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself is a series of images I have been working on for a while now. The images, after post-processing, look so different and distance from the original. I do not start out with the intention to reduce and change them so dramatically, but the emerging images seems to be so right. The title I give these images came to me so quickly when I went to post the first one on Flickr. The characters do not want to be seen and the blur conceals but reveals at the same time. They remind me of depression. There are times you want to hide away from the world, not make eye contact, not be seen, to just dissolve and to hide yourself from yourself (if that makes sense).

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself

The iPhone image is similar in theme. There are times we do not want to be seen. City life is like this. We are immersed in crowds. Often alone. Fully visible, but wanting to be unseen, anonymous. Here are some other iPhone images with a similar theme.

photo (24)

Today I will be mainly hiding from myself

On a side note, despite the gloomy tone of this post. I am feeling quite cheerful and enthused about the week ahead. The sun is shining and I have energy.

Here’s to a good week.



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

September 7 2014

Yesterday, I was struck by a comment a contact posted on my photo. Eli said:

“It is easy sometimes to take for granted just how incredibly talented you are! Such a brilliant series…it is as if you have sketched this!”

And it made me realise that I am the one who takes these things for granted. I take it so for granted people will visit the photos I post. I take it so for granted they will hit fave and comment. Ya, I get generic comments – one word comments – but I have a group of contacts who take time to say something from the heart about what I post. And when I post it is them I am thinking of. It is their comments I look for and read. And ya, I take it for granted.

I get thousands of views, hundreds of comments and faves on my photos each day and I have become so blasé about it. But it is incredible to think that what I am posting interests people. When I started out on Flickr I could not work it out. How did you get people to visit and comment? One way I saw was to post in the post 1 – comment 3 type groups. Funny thing is that they say comment – but it’s not. You just paste a logo in the comment box. And in some of these groups they police things and if you have posted 1 and not commented on 3, they contact you and warn you that this will not be tolerated, that you have to paste that (usually very ugly) logo on to 3 photos or you will be banned. I ran with those groups for a while, but the thing that got to me was seeing how ugly the stream of comments were below my photographs. I used to look enviously at the photos of others who had none of these hideous graphic logos under their photos. No, they had text comments; they had conversations going on. And even more intriguing was these people were getting their photos into Flickr’s Holy Grail – Explore!

How? Took me a while, but then I got it. Flickr – or photography in the new millennium is all about the social interaction and pasting an ugly gif and thinking you are engaging with someone is not social in any way. It is anti-photography – it is anti-social. Most people in these groups do not view the photographs they are viewing, they just rush to hit C on the keyboard (well I hope they know that keyboard shortcut!) and then ctrl+V and click comment and they repeat on the next photo until they reach the safety quota to avoid the group sweeper who will come and email to threaten with a ban. So, I stopped posting to these groups and I did a cull of my contacts. I had hundreds. A few, a very small few were regulars who came and used words instead of GIFS to comment. I kept them. And then with each post of theirs I went and commented about how I felt about the photograph, and you know what, they did the same in return. Slowly, my list of contacts grew and then out of the blue in 2009 I hit Explore! I was super-thrilled. From that my contact list grew again and I kept up the reciprocation.

Today, I have about 3,500 contacts, but I my own contact list is about 250. More than this is not manageable. Of the 3,500, I would say very few are active contacts. There is a relatively small group of people who come visit my stream on a regular basis. Views have increased enormously since Flickr changed how they record stats. Faves also. Now people can rush through a stream double clicking on an iPhone to fave or clicking on the stars under the photos if on a computer. You don’t need to open a photo up to fave, or comment. But comments have fallen in numbers since the new version of Flickr arrived. It is so easy to just click fave – hit F or double click on the iPhone.

That is why the comments mean so much. That is why last night when Eli posted that comment that it stopped me. I really should not take this community for granted. Flickr has allowed me to develop and grow as a photographer so much. It has allowed me to reveal who I am. And I am very grateful!

This relationship goes on!

Yesterday, I posted this shot of a couple making their way across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Today, as promised, I am posting an in-focus photograph of the pair. With that then, I will leave Shibuya for a while. Thanks to all for the great feedback on that series of images. It means so much.


Forever Shibuya [2]

 Have posted lots of photographs from the Shibuya crossing in black and white but here is a colour one from there shot with the iPhone. It is a simple blur photograph of people in motion as they cross. The colour gives it a warmness and is not as harsh as the the black and white can be.

Again – thanks to all for coming here or to my Flickr accounts.

photo (23)

Seen in Shibuya




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

September 3 2014

Reading my friend Mark’s comment yesterday made me a little jealous. I would love to be heading back to Japan. It really is one of my favourite places on the planet. Since I have been back I have been annoyed with myself that I did not stay out later and/or get up earlier to take advantage of the time there to get more shots. In saying that, I did take hundreds, but I cannot help thinking of all those photos that I missed.

This is the second of the series of photos taken last at night at Shibuya Scramble Crossing. In this one, you can see the character a little more closely and see how animated he was. I got a great kick out of this. The effect to get the blur is a zoom blur. Defocus and set your focus if that makes sense. Then as you snap zoom as quickly as you can. It is a fun way to get some shots. And what is photography if it is not fun.


Tokyo Nights [2]

And talking about fun; nothing funner than iPhunography. It gets harder and harder to get good blur images on the iPhone with all the panic for image stabilisation. The disregard for blur photographers is so disheartening. This was taken in an eki (Japanese for station – a very helpful word to know as the districts in Tokyo all centre around the eki). I covered the lens with my finger and as I hit the shutter I pulled my finger away.




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


It might be 2015 by the time I get this end-of-year review finished. Work always seems to get in the way of the important things in life.

November was a fine month for mobile photography. What? It was a fine month for photography, full stop! I am not a fan of that term – mobile photography. Since when were cameras not mobile?

Anyway, back to November and back to a month that saw the first of these type of images. I posted a blog before on the technique of creating these. In fact, it is quite easy. The corridors in my workplace are a little treasure trove for photography for me. I have taken so many images there of the students passing along the long corridors. The light can be so good there. The two tone floor of grey and white and the grey of the walls allow for a minimalist look that I love. To get the inky brushstroke images of people walking along these corridors is easy. The trick is to get them in motion on the white-coloured portion of the floor; have the iPhone pointed down and then turn it up quickly as the shutter is released. This gives the blurred-out form to the figures. I then import it to Snapseed; turn up the brightness and contrast and convert it to black and white. This gives a black figure on a white background. Then import it to Instagram; use the willow filter and hit the brightness button and it all turns grey. And you’re done. It is simple and fun.

The photo I am choosing for November is the first of these. In the corridor, I noticed this tall and skinnyish guy standing outside one of the classrooms. I knew instantly that he would make for an interesting form in a blurred-out image. I snapped and apped and was going to go with the background as white until I hit the brightness button on Instagram and the creamy grey background appeared. I was smitten. In the weeks ahead I managed to get more shots like this. The second image below has proven to be my most popular photograph ever. It got to Flickr’s Explore, hit number one for a short while and gained thousands of views and hundreds of faves. While it is a nice image and one that I have received a lot of positive feedback on, it is not my favourite. The one of guy is a better image, I feel. There is more left to the imagination about it. The woman is elegant and graceful, but there are so many images that look like that.

As I said, November was a fine month for photography. Looking at the archive I can see many images I am proud of. And this is invigorates me to get back out and shoot more. And that is just what I will do this morning.

Have a great Sunday. Thanks for passing by.




Always leaving

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


And we arrive at the year’s end. It has been a fine photographic journey with many highs along the way. The year started off with my licensing this image to a media company in New York who used it for an educational campaign. It is particularly nice as it is a shot of my little girl and her granddad. Also, along the way in 2013, I was featured in a few online art publications. One for Opticks and the other for The Chicago Art and Literature Center. I was among the ones who were shortlisted in the Irish Times Amateur Photographer of the Year, and towards the end of the year, I had four images accepted into the Cork International Salon Competition, with this image winning a ribbon. In February, my images will be exhibited with the other winning and accepted images here in Cork. This will be my first ever participation in an exhibition. All very pleasing and keeps me positive about the year to come. And I must say thanks to those who supported and inspired me.

And so to choosing an image for December, a month with some shots I really like. In the end it comes down to two images. One from a little series of a woman waiting outside Cork’s Opera House for her friend to arrive and the other, which was taken just around the corner of a woman in stride reflected in a shiny, black tiled wall. In the end, I have chosen the former. There is more of a story to be imagined about this photograph, I feel. What do you think?

Tomorrow, I will try to choose my favourite image of 2013. Then on January 2nd, the fun begins. I will do an end-of-year review for my iPhone account.



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


Three more images to make up my selection of favourites over the past twelve months. On to October, a month that sees a lot of photographs taken on rainy evenings in Cork city centre. For me, there is no real stand-out image in this month. None that jump off the page for me, which makes choosing a favourite a little difficult. In fact, looking over the images of the past few months, I do not see a lot of colour or sunshine or brightness. There just seems to be a lot of gloomy, moody, dark photographs. Bring on the sun.

Anyway, the image I like most is this one. I took it on a quiet Sunday morning in the city centre when there were not a lot of people to be seen on the streets. A combination of rain and a need to rest, I imagine. On North Main Street, the shutters of a bicycle shop were down; bright, yellow shutters, which gave a great backdrop to a photo. All I had to do now was wait for a passerby. And I waited in the rain until this guy dressed in red and black and with an umbrella passed. Click! Shot got. I moved on. Maybe you prefer a different photograph; which one?

So, this is October. Only two months more to go.



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