Tag Archives: Brendan Ó Sé Apple

May 20, Cork versus Clare

What do Irish soccer captains, carpenters turned bus drivers, young lads on the lash, and kids refusing to support the county they were born in have in common? The love of hurling.

With grey clouds hovering over the newly-renovated Pairc Uí Chaoimh the newly revamped Munster championship got underway yesterday with Cork hoping to take their first steps towards regaining their Munster crown and the hurlers of Clare looking to build momentum towards winning their first Munster championship since last winning it in 1998.

Cork and Clare in the pre-match parade

With the teams level for the ninth time and heading into eleven minutes of added time due to the injury Cork’s Robbie O’ Flynn picked up, Cork pulled away  thanks to Seamus Harnedy’s goal. The match was a real tit-for-tat affair and could have gone either way, before ending 2-23 to 1-21 in Cork’s favour. Clare will rue the chances they missed, but should benefit from the game and head into their clash with Waterford next week in better shape.

As you will know from following my blog here on hurling posts, I am first and foremost a Cork supporter. In no way, do I try to hide that. My dream scenario every year is Cork winning. Full stop! Sadly, it does not happen. Yesterday, was special for me. It was the first game of my project where Cork would be playing. I hopped on my bike at about 12:45 and made my way down the Pairc.

The minor match had a 2 p.m throw-in and when I arrived at the stadium there was a good crowd milling around. One of the first people I met was David Meyler, son of Cork’s manager John, and captain of the Irish soccer team. He was there with his buddy Peter Kelleher and good enough to stop for a photo and a quick chat. What does hurling mean to you? I asked him. I’ll tell you that at about 6 o’clock, he told me. 

Peter Kelleher and David Meyler

“Going on the piss together before the game.” “The banter!” “Winning!” These were some of the responses these five Clare characters gave me when I asked them what they enjoyed about going to hurling matches together. “Win or lose, we have the craic.”  These guys were in great form and reminded me of my younger days when I used to enjoy a pint or two (many) before (during and after) games with my own friends. Happy days!

Michael Curry, Cillian Gregan, Austin and his brother Evan McMahon and Eibhear Quilligan

What about in school; do your classmates try to wind you up about following Clare? I asked young Lewis O’ Gorman. A young man born in Cork, but who refuses to follow the county of his birth. “I don’t care, he said, making his father James proud. I’ll always follow Clare.”  Lewis plays hurling for St. Finbarr’s in Cork, but dreams of togging out for the Clare hurlers. I was really impressed by this young man.

Lewis and James O’ Gorman

“Oh, they try, believe me they try, but I keep them in line.” Gerry Costello, the bus driver for the Clare hurlers, a Limerick man, told me the lads try to wind up about being from Limerick but he gives as good as he gets. “Ah, they’re good lads, really, he said. They’re never any bother.” Gerry, a carpenter by trade, has been driving the bus for the Clare hurlers for 6 years. The highlight? “Ah, sure it has to be 2013.”  I heard a lot about 2013 yesterday. 

Gerry Costello. Bus driver to the Clare hurlers

“The excitement, I love it. There’s no other sport that has it.” Joe Casey, from Crosshaven in Cork, a steward for years loves hurling. “Where else would you get it?”

Joe Casey

I cycled from home to the Pairc yesterday. Took me about 30 minutes. Denis Joseph McClean flew in from Birmingham, England for the game the day before. He has been doing it for years. “I never miss them. Not once since 1966.”  he told me. Myself and my two brothers go to all the games together. Sadly, his two brothers, Chris and Noel, were unable to make the match, but Denis will continue to come for as long as he can. “My best memory of the Cork hurlers was seeing Joe Deane score the winning free in the 1999 All-Ireland final against Kilkenny.” The day it was lashing.” I said. “Ah, we don’t remember the rain at all,” Denis said. 

Denis Joseph McClean

Brothers Paddy and Donal Brassil get together for Clare games. Paddy lives in Carlingford in the north of Ireland and Donal in Blackrock in Cork. Paddy, the elder brother, told me the best goal he ever saw was Paddy Kenny for Tipperary against Cork in the 1952 Munster final. Donal listened patiently as he recounted the tale and with a glint in his eye and a broad grin he told me: Me, I don’t have a favourite goal. I have three of them! he said. As a Corkman, he didn’t have to say anymore. I stood in the Hill in 2013 as Shane O’ Donnell, in the game of his life, scored 3 goals in 18 minutes against Cork. If I were a Clareman, I think they’d be my favourite 3 also.

Paddy and Donal Brassil

In the end Cork came good and saw off the challenge of Clare. Tipp, who lost to Limerick, are up next for Cork in Thurles next Sunday in one of hurling’s greatest rivalry. Clare host Waterford in Ennis. In Leinster, Dublin fell short at the end again, conceding late points, giving Wexford their first win. Kilkenny beat Offaly as expected, but Kevin Martin’s men did put up a good fight before Kilkenny pulled away towards the end.

So far, this year’s championship has produced some cracking games and we are only two weeks in. A long way to go to the final on the third Sunday in August. Exciting to think of all that lays ahead.

Seamus Harnedy lining up for a pop at a point

 

#totheheartofhurling

 

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Today at Apple

Today at Apple. Well, last Saturday at Apple in their brand new Singapore store on Orchard Road for a photo talk and walk. It was great fun.

I got into Singapore on Friday morning and after a quick meeting with Apple staff, where I was told that the talk had reached maximum occupancy in 24 hours, my good friend Arik Chan – whose photos populate this post – and I hit the streets to scout for good photo opportunities.

Now in a big city on a busy Friday evening of course you are going to find them. I was looking for shots which could guide the participants the following day when we headed out as a group.

I have been on a new photographic path since I began to shoot in Portrait Mode. Why? Two reasons: 1. It slows me down – which is always a good thing to help you improve. And 2: it means I get to engage with people on the street. I get to talk to them as I shoot.

Singaporeans are a friendly bunch. Here are some of the portraits I shot.

iPhone Portrait Mode: Singapore

iPhone Portrait Mode: Singapore

iPhone Portrait Mode: Singapore

We had been worried that the weather might not be kind to us. The talk was scheduled was 5 p.m. At 3 p.m on our way to the store it was lashing, but I had a feeling this would not last.

The structure of the talk was to give a background to myself and my work and to guide and inspire them as to the type of shots we could get on the one-hour photo walk.

Here we go Reviewing some of my favourite photos Some of the participants

I love photo walks. Everyone walks the same route, passes the same things, but sees things so differently I am always amazed at the shots participants bring back; very often shots I wish I had gotten myself.

Shooting

With a group of 50 people it is not easy to give individual attention to each person. So with the help of some Apple staff we broke up into 3 groups and I spent 20 minutes with each.

Look up

It was a blast. Particularly seeing people putting what they had learnt into immediate practice.

Putting Olloclip into action

When we eventually got back to the Apple Store for a 30 minute review of each other’s shots I found myself exclaiming – “Wow!” – many’s the time. If you check the hashtag #todayatapple you can find some of their shots.

Reviewing photographs

I got to thank Monogramasia for their continuing support in all I do. Means a lot! Thanks to Olloclip also – really appreciate the backing. To Apple’s excellent staff in Singapore and of course, to the wonderful people who came to the event and made it such a fun experience for me.

With some of the participants

And last, but not least, to Arik Chan for these great photos of the event. Check Arik’s work here and here.

With my good friend, Arik Chan

Until the next time, Singapore…

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Street Photography, Workshops Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

iPhone Portrait Mode

“But it’s not a real camera!”

2017, and we are still hearing that.

Bangkok -iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

At the recent 8 x 8 Street Photography Conference in Bangkok I gave a talk on how the limitations of the iPhone resulted in my experimenting and pushing things creatively. It was a fun talk, but a talk that had impact. One that got people thinking, and one that has encouraged people to embrace mobile shooting.

Galway – iPhone 7plus Portrait Mode

For me, moving from film to digital changed the way I shot simply because I was able to review the images immediately and shoot more. Result being I made more mistakes and I learnt more. But once I began to embrace shooting on the iPhone it changed the way I see; it changed the way I think. Why? Again, it is simple I went from a situation of having a camera – a big, heavy DSLR (that I love to this day) sitting in a drawer only taken out on occasion, to one where I had a camera with me 24/7. Gone were the times when I would see a scene and say to myself:

“Oh, I wish I had a camera with me.”

I always had a camera with me. And instead of passively happening upon photographic opportunities, I was now actively seeking them and actively creating them. I began to see, think and create photographically.

Bangkok – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

Sure, there were limitations. Small sensor which meant poor quality images in low light. But this allowed me to experiment and create images like this in low light conditions.

iPhone 5 (2013)

No zoom? Ya, and that meant I had to zoom with my feet and get in close getting the shot. I also began to discover how perfect the small and discreet iPhone was for street work.

iPhone 4: 2012

A fixed lens? Again, this resulted in more considered compositions. More awareness of what to leave in and more importantly what to leave out of an image. When I look back now at the images I shot with the iPhone I can see how particular I was about composing images; the attention I gave to what I was photographing in an image, and what I was not photographing (what to omit) in a frame.

Tokyo – iPhone 6, 2015

No changeable lenses? Well, there are add-ons – great lenses like the Olloclip ones. But again, I did not want to use them straight up. No, I wanted to experiment and see what else they could do. Macro lens portraits? Ya, why not?

iPhone 6: 2016

And the latest imperfection that causes people to say: “But it’s not a real camera, though, is it?”

Portrait Mode is Apple’s attempt to mimic the bokeh effect that real cameras can achieve. It creates a depth-of-field effect blurring out background and making your subject in the foreground stand out. Can a phone camera really do that? Sure it can!

Tokyo – iPhone 7 plus Portrait Mode

Again, it is something I can achieve with so much more ease on my Fuji or my Nikon, but for some reason it feels differently on those cameras. Working in Portrait Mode with the iPhone is frustrating. You get notifications from the camera telling you to move closer, mover further away, place your subject within 2.5 metres until the DEPTH EFFECT in bright yellow appears. I imagine in years to come we will look back at these notifications and marvel at them. For now, it is slow. It is frustrating. It is hard to use in low light. But here’s the thing: because it slows you down, you become more considered about composition paying more attention to what to leave in and what to leave out of the shot. You become more deliberate about getting things in focus to achieve that depth-of-field bokeh effect.

Seoul – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

And it has changed how I shoot on the street. It brings me closer to the those I am photographing. I have to get close and I have to slow down. Where before I was in close but I was on the move, now I am close but I am with them. This has meant a change. Before I would rarely talk with people on the street. Sure, I would exchange a smile, at most a small few words. Now, I find I am engaging, exploring, getting to know the people I am making portraits of. I could not have imagined this before getting the iPhone 7 plus.

Tokyo – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

Take this one encounter from last Saturday’s MojoCon photo walk in Galway. I saw this man approach. Before I would have slalomed towards him, got in close and shot a burst of images, not looked back and carried on to the next character who caught my attention. This time, I went up to him, introduced myself and asked if I could take his photo (I think the make your portrait or take your portrait thing is nonsense – it is not the collocation of words – it is how something is said and the manner it is said). Sure, he said. I thanked him and began to compose the frame. I told him I was from Cork, up in Galway for a conference and asked him where he was from. He was from Oranmore, about 10 miles from Galway. He had come up by bus. Usually did, he said, on a Saturday afternoon. What did he like to do here, I asked. Place a few bets, have a few pints. Today was a bad day, he said. He had lost and he now had time to kill before he headed back to Oranmore, but at least it was a fine day. Did I like Galway, he asked. I told him I did. I showed him the photos. He nodded his head as he looked at them. I thanked him. We shook hands.

Galway – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

It is a departure for me to engage so much with people on the street. I never had much problem getting in close to get the shot, but I was, could I say shy or even embarrassed to engage with people. Shooting on Portrait Mode has caused me to slow down – focussing takes time – it is frustrating and you do miss shots. But on the plus side it results in a new, fresh approach in street photography for me and it is invigorating.

 

Galway – iPhone 7 plus – Portrait Mode  

But it’s not a real camera, ya? No, it is so much more than that. It’s a wonderful springboard for creativity and experimentation, fun and learning. Embrace its limitations.

Kiss the future…

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Inspiration, iPhone, Photo Talks, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

24 Hour Project Cork

24 hours on the streets making photos? Sign me up!

And off we go into the night…

What? What is it all about?
The 24 Hour Project gathers street and documentary photographers from around the globe to share in real time as they document the human condition of their city. Photographers share one photo per hour during twenty four hours. It has been running for three years and gathering momentum each year as it grows.
What is the idea behind it? Well, to get out and document your city over a 24-hour period. Why? To raise awareness of worthy causes. Last year it was human trafficking and this year it was the refugee crisis.

It was quite quiet on the streets of Cork

So, how did it work out in Cork? I retweeted a tweet from the Renzo Grande the founder saying we should do it in Cork. And we did!
And I got to say it was definitely the most fun I have had on a Friday night in Cork – sober! (was really a Saturday, but felt like a very long Friday night)
Laughed so much with Tim Bingham, Dee McCaffrey, and Judie Russell, and later on with Jonathan Leahy Maharaj and Martin on the streets of Cork.
Shot loads on both iPhone and my trusty Nikon D7000.
Big thanks to Renzo Grande and big admiration too. What a noble and worthwhile idea. Can only see this get bigger and bigger.
Here’s to next year…

Had to run into the middle of the road to get this shot. Thankfully I had had a few ristrettos

Another lone guy cycling home

Snapping the snapper (Tim)

A couple passing over Nano Nagle Bridge

So interesting to see the herons arrive at the English Market at 05:30 to get fed

A view to City Hall as sunrise approaches

And the City Hall reflecting in the River Lee

An early morning view of the Holy Trinity

The Port of Cork

Jesus heals broken hearts
(Doctors heal everything else that’s broken – the sign on the doctor’s surgery to left below the main sign)

The River Lee

Parliament Bridge

The Hoy Trinity

The Holy Trinity

Into to the light of the new day

Oliver Plunkett Street

Flight

Getting ready for the new day

Hurdy Gurdy Man

Wouldn’t be Cork without some rain

And the people who made it so much fun: Tim, Judie and Dee

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, iPhone, iPhone photography, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Photography and Technology

Whenever my photography seems to lack inspiration I tend to follow a similar path. I look back at photographs I made years back. Usually I find my answers there. It is funny how images reveal themselves over time. Features which once appeared prominent recede and elements unpronounced now reverberate. Funny how technological advances seem to have shaped my photographic journey. Back in the old days shooting with a Pentax SLR and being careful and considered with each exposure and having to wait to get the film developed before ever seeing what I had photographed to now shooting digitally on a phone (ya, a phone) and being able to instantly see it and within minutes share it on global platforms; wow, how things have changed! And still, perhaps, the basic elements are still the very same: light, composition and emotion.

Shot with Pentax Film SLR (Prague: 2001)

Pentax SLR (Prague: 2001)

Over the past year or more I have done a lot of interviews, presentations and workshops and these have allowed me to reflect on my photographic journey and inspect the path I have taken as a photographer. I cast my mind back to my old film SLR that I had in the 90s and which eventually was traded in for a Nikon S1. The reality is that I probably use the iPhone more in a month that I ever did with that old SLR I had. It spent most of its life in a drawer and was only taken out for holidays and even then I rarely shot more than a few rolls of film. It was just too expensive.

Shot with Pentax Film SLR (Amsterdam: 1998)

Shot with Pentax Film SLR (Amsterdam: 1998)

The first digital camera I got was a small, compact Nikon S1. I brought it on my first ever trip to Asia and I just loved it. Why? For two main reasons: 1. I could instantly see the shot I had made and 2. I was able to shoot until I filled the SD card. The restrictions and limits of shooting with film had gone. Result: I shot much more and like everything in life, the more you practise, the more mistakes you make, and the best thing about mistakes is that allows you to learn.

Taken with Nikon S1 (Peru: 2006)

Shot with Nikon S1 (Peru: 2006)

Being able to see the image instantly freed me from the disappointment of shooting film and discovering that I had messed up the shot and there was no possible way to get back to the location and time to correct it and shoot again. I know there are the purists who feel you need to get things right in camera, and ya, I do try to get it done in camera, but isn’t it OK to make mistakes and learn. Sure it is!

Henri Cartier Bresson’s: Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” is one of the most-widely known quotes to do with photography, and it is one I feel is outdated today. The reason being is simple. Bresson’s quote is often used to present the idea that the more you practise the better you will become, and while it is wrong to disagree with that, it does imply a linear, incremental improvement. Coming from an education background, I believe the learning process is never as simple as this, and when looking at it through the lens of artistic creation it seems to suggest that we are incapable of creating something of artistic merit in our initial stages of expression. It brings to mind a couple of  Picasso’s quotes: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” and “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Shot with Nikon S1 (Dublin: 2007)

Shot with Nikon S1 (Dublin: 2007)

This supports my belief that very often we can instinctively create something without a technical awareness of how we achieved it. Looking back at images I shot many years back. Seeing these now, with years’ of experience of shooting and viewing images, I realised that back then I was capable of creating photographs which, if I were to shoot today, I think I would be proud of.

It got me thinking further about his quote. 10,000 photographs. Just think about that for a moment. 10,000!. Back in the days of film I had an SLR. It was rarely used. I would have shot a few rolls when on holidays and another few throughout a year. Do the math on this and you can see that in a given year, I would have shot about 8 rolls of film. That is 8 x 36, making a total of 288. Continuing with the calculations you can see to get to 10,000 probably would have taken me about 35 years. Or in reality – never.

However, with the new digital technology,  things changed. There was the reduced cost and the ability to store so many images. This resulted in shooting more and more, and like many things in life: The more you practise, the better you become. It’s like most learning experiences I have had. There is no easy route to it. You learn by doing.

As I began to shoot more with the compact Nikon S1, I wanted to get myself a DSLR to create what I expected to be better images with the more technically advanced DSLR. Sure the technology allowed me to make better shots, but still the reality was that I was shooting only on occasion. It really wasn’t until I got the iPhone and as a result that I had a decent camera with me all the time, did I actually begin to shoot on a regular basis.

Shot on iPhone 3g (Cork, Ireland)

Shot on iPhone 3g (Cork, Ireland)

This photo above was shot on the iPhone 3g. I can still recall the time. Here was one of those scenes you encounter that makes you go: “That would make a great photo!” and just walk on by because you had no camera with you. But I had! I had the iPhone. Still I did not think the technology was advanced enough in the 3g to make a good shot, but in reality it is not too bad. There is a storytelling element to the image that I like.

With the iPhone I had a camera that was perfect for street photography. It was small, discreet, fast and allowed me to get in close on the streets to capture moments and candid portraits that I probably would not have made without this camera. In turn, because of this new approach, I was becoming braver with the DSLR also and making more effort to get storytelling images on the DSLR. I was shooting much more, and enjoying it much more. Technology meant that unlike before where sharing your photos meant passing around prints to friends and family, now you could upload a photo to Instagram or Flickr and you had the potential of it being seen all over the world. And from this came another vital factor in my photographic journey: viewing others’ images.  I am not sure how many photographs I see on weekly basis, but I guess it is in the high hundreds. This accelerated the learning process even further, and in turn inspired me to get out and create more images.

Shot on iPhone 4 (Lisbon: 2011)

Shot on iPhone 4 (Lisbon: 2011)

Sure, there were technological limitations with the iPhone back then: poor zoom, poor image stabilisation pushed me to be creative. I zoomed with my feet, and the poor image stabilization; well it led to this:

Shot on iPhone 5 (Cork, 2012)

Shot on iPhone 5 (Cork, 2012)

As I look back and see how obstacles like poor performance in low light resulted me in pushing the camera to create, it excites me. Back in April of this year in Tokyo I wanted to produce those type of images on the iPhone 6s, but couldn’t with ease. The technique of intentional camera movement I used with the iPhone 5 just did not work anymore. The technology had improved and unintentional camera shake was now corrected with image stabilisation. I experimented again and discovered that violent intentional camera movement could produce aesthetically pleasing blurred images on the iPhone 6s. I was delighted!

Intentional camera movement with the iPhone 6s (Tokyo, April 2016)

Intentional camera movement with the iPhone 6s (Tokyo, April 2016)

And this brings me back to today and makes me look to the future. Technology has shaped my photographic journey. Had they never thought of putting a camera on a phone, I am sure I probably would have given up on photography. Why?  Because to stay motivated you have to perceive progress. A camera left gathering dust in a drawer for most of the year just does not help. I would still be far from passing those 10,000 photos that Bresson claimed would be my worst. No, having the iPhone with me 24/7 and from that beginning to see and think photographically it put me on a path and pushed me towards reaching my potential. Still not there yet, but still on the path!

Tokyo (iPhone 6s, April, 2016)

Tokyo (iPhone 6s, April, 2016)

Each year the advances that are made in camera technology are amazing. The battle going on among camera phone manufacturers is fascinating to observe. Regular camera brands are struggling to stay ahead, and then throw this new camera from Light – the L16 –  into the mix. Have you seen this? This device is a potential game changer. It combines the fit and feel of a smartphone with the technology of a DSLR using the device’s multiple lens (up to 16 different lenses) to shoot photos at the same time, then computationally fuses them into a DSLR-quality image. Add in its wifi capabilities and wow, it is some camera!

It sure is an exciting time to be a photographer.

Kiss the future…

Varanasi (iPhone 6s. July, 2016)

Varanasi (iPhone 6s. July, 2016)

 

Posted in iPhone, iPhone 6s, iPhone photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

B a n g k o k

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Mobile Photography Workshop: Dublin

I was in Dublin on Saturday at the Gallery of Photography for another Mobile Photography Workshop. Saturday was a beautiful sunny spring day in Dublin. The workshop was slightly delayed at the start due to the technical difficulties of having to go through three iMacs before one worked properly with the data projector and the truly bizarre situation of the iPhone 6s not working with the lightning to VGA cable and the iPhone 6 working. Then to compound things, I was not able to AirDrop photos between the two phones, meaning the images I had put together to demonstrate Snapseed were unusable. Thankfully, having a back up phone with me allowed me to use other images for this purpose. But I was looking forward to showing new images from recent trips. Got to say thanks to Darragh in the gallery for his patience and help.

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Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

Being a beautifully sunny day, the photo walk around Dublin city centre was great. Some of the participants chose to head off on their own to get images and the others and I stayed together. Photowalks are always such fun and they always amaze me in that we can be walking down the same side of the street, apparently seeing the same things, but in reality we observe things differently.

Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

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Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

One of the guys on the course, James, showed me a new part of Dublin that is really cool to shoot in and we got some good shots there. I have one more workshop before summer in the Gallery of Photography in June. It is sold out, but I am planning some exciting things for autumn. Stay tuned.

Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

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Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

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Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

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Mobile Photography Workshop, Dublin

 

Posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

iPhone 6S and Nikon D7000

That’s the way it goes most times I post to Flickr. One iPhone 6s shot and either a Fuji X100T or Nikon D7000 image. Sometimes I feel I should just have the one Flickr account and post whatever photograph I want to that account, rather than separating iPhone from non-iPhone. I set up my original Flickr account back in 2007 and then when I first got on to Instagram I set up a second one just to populate it with images taken on Instagram. And ever since I have kept the two accounts separate. In some ways it makes sense.

Today – two photographs. This first one was shot on iPhone 6s and is straight out of the camera. Another for the series of images: Trees need to cheer the fuck up

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Ya know the thing about trees

The Nikon image was taken at the Web Summit back in November. A little bit of fun.

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Vacuuming decimal points

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Shot on iPhone 6 Books

This year has been a year of surprises. Things I could never have imagined have happened. Seeing a photograph I shot with my iPhone going up on monstrous billboards around the world, winning competitions, being invited to speak at events like Mojocon and Apple’s Meet the iPhone Photographer. To say it has been a magical ride is a bit of an understatement. I have loved every minute of it.

On Friday, just after I had gotten home from work there was a ring at the door and my neighbour was standing there with a package that she had taken from the courier for me. Puzzled as to what it could be I thanked her for it and took it inside. It was heavy. I quickly opened it and was struck by the brilliant white of the box. I ripped the transparent wrapping off. Saw a pair of white gloves and got even more puzzled. Then  I saw the text: World Gallery 2015. Apple! Shot on iPhone 6! Wow! What was this? I opened it up and saw inside two beautiful, pristine white books; one for the photographs and one for the gallery of images posted around the world.

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Naturally, I looked for my own photo, but seeing those of the friends I’ve made over this campaign added to the surprise and thrill of it all. I called my wife to tell her. ‘Apple have sent two books.” I said. “They’re beautiful! And there’s a pair of white gloves with them too!” “White gloves?” she said. Why?”

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It really is a beautiful way to round off this wonderful experience. These books will be treasured. I have always been conscious of the fact that I would not really be able to appreciate the scale and impact of the Shot on iPhone 6 campaign until it had passed. Having these books as mementos is a perfect way to relive the experience again. Seeing the excitement of my mother leaf through the books wanting to see every page and learn about every photograph was a precious memory.  Telling her who the photographers are and how I know them reminded me of the connections I have made through the year with people like Jen and Cielo from the U.S, Satoshi from Japan, Teppo from Finland, Fabo from Singapore, Karla from the Phillipines, Flavió from Switzerland, WB Novak from Poland, Ahmed from Saudi Arabia, Freek from The Netherlands,  and Debbie from Dubai. We shared such excitement together. Who knows what more is to come.

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My little girl Sumi-Anna was very busy with school and parties on Friday that I hadn’t the time to show her the books until Saturday morning. She put on the white gloves and with great care looked through the books until she found her daddy’s photograph. “Wow!” she said. That’s your photo, Daddy. It is everywhere!” Treasured moments.

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On Friday evening, I was contacted by Cult of Mac who wanted to run a feature on the books. I gave them a short interview and a few of the images I had posted on Facebook. Very soon thousands of people had read the interview. Over the weekend, a number of publications have contacted me about publishing more of these photographs. I have suggested as part of this agreement they will make a donation to the Irish Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children. A very worthy cause.

cult of mac

It really has been so special. I realise how fortunate I have been and am so very grateful to all the kind people I have met on this journey. Big thanks to all. Kiss the future…

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Photographing Tokyo

For a photographer, Tokyo is such a treasure. It is an electric city, buzzing with life and energy. It has some of the most amazing architecture and despite some crazy laws about taking photographs in public (you cannot silence the shutter sound on a smart phone, for example) the people are really friendly and respond really well to having their photograph taken. I love the city and feel that some of my very best photographs have been made there.

In my last little trip there in April, I did not have much time to myself and it never seemed to stop raining the whole time I was there. I did manage to get out at night and with the rain and all the neon lights, it makes for a beautiful environment to shoot in. Here are a few of the images I shot one night there.

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Shibuya, Tokyo

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Shibuya, Tokyo

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Shibuya, Tokyo

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Shibuya, Tokyo

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Shibuya, Tokyo

 

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