Tag Archives: Fuji X100T

February favourites

February and photography and finding favourites. Ya, why not?

Cyprus. I had never been before. My good buddy Dan Berman asked me to go to represent him and the Mobile Photography Awards in the opening of the exhibition in Limassol.

This was nice. Some sunshine, some good food and the chance to hit the streets of Limassol and make some frames.

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.

Limassol (shot on iPhone)

Truth is that in the month of February this year I did not shoot anything that was not on the iPhone. My real cameras lived an unloved life in a dark drawer. So, I need to go and choose a shot which I posted to Flickr in February, but one which was taken in Delhi the previous July. Is that allowed? Of course it is. This is my blog. I can do whatever I want. (insert smiley face)

This shot is in some way similar to the one above from Cyprus. Neither of the two characters in the frame could speak English and neither seemed too bothered that I wanted to photograph them. I like that the guy on the left posed for me and the guy on the right didn’t. The funny thing is that when I showed them the shot, the guy on the right reacted more excitedly than the other.

Delhi (Fuji X100T)

Delhi (Fuji X100T)

March coming up. Check out January here.

Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, iPhone photography, Street Photography, Travel Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Shibuya, Shibuya

I read once, that those you see in your dreams are those you have seen in real life. Those passersby whose faces may never have registered with you, but somehow make their way in and resurface in dreams. Makes some sense, doesn’t it? The shutter of the eye snapping relentlessly and searing them to memory and they seeping into dreams.

Tokyo

Tokyo

How many people have I passed in my life, I wonder? How many faces? Millions perhaps. Sufficient stock for endless dreams, no doubt.

Shibuya

Shibuya

Tokyo is a bit like that with the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. In any given time up to two thousand people cross. Two thousand faces. There is about a four to five minute interval between the red man and the green man at the crossing. With the green man, there are two minutes for those two thousand people to hurry across. The waiting crowd swells and surges as soon as the green man signals. It is an electrifying feeling to be amongst it.

Shibuya

Shibuya

It is endlessly engaging in Shibuya.

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

So many faces.

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

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

Portraits from India

Before heading to India, my travel companion (who is a seasoned visitor to India) asked me what I wanted from the trip.

Leh, India. July, 2016

Leh, India. July, 2016

“To satisfy the stereotypical images I have in my head of India”, I replied. “You know the classic Steve McCurry type shots.”

“Who is he?” Not being a photographer, he hadn’t heard of him.

“You know that photograph of the Afghan girl; it was on the cover of National Geographic? That one, you know that? Steve McCurry… shots of India like he gets. Really dramatic, colourful scenes with equally colourful and dramatic characters.

“Oh, ya”, he replied and his left eyebrow raised a little as he responded.

“I want to shoot, shoot and shoot and get all the stereotypical images and then discover India for real.”

You cannot beat exuberance and naivety.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

Off I headed to India with a head full of imagined scenes I was going to shoot. Now of course I didn’t get those Steve McCurry-type shots, but I did try. Who doesn’t? It reminds me of the maxim I apply to life and to art:

Imitate – assimilate – innovate

I have written about this before. It goes like this: We absorb so much of what we experience it is inevitable that we imitate. It puts us on the path of learning and discovery. Then our own interpretation and style gets into the mix as we assimilate, and as we progress we use this as a springboard for our expression as we begin to innovate. But the thing is that it is not linear. At any stage in the process we are imitating, assimilating and (hopefully) innovating.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

In this spirit, I tried to satisfy those stereotypical images of India I had created in my head from seeing Steve McCurry’s shots. Now, of course I am no McCurry, but I did enjoy shooting these portraits.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

Funny though, when I look at these portraits now, it is not the person in the frame that I remember, but rather the immediate environment surrounding them and the sensation that I was missing out on something real, something more exciting than this paused-posed-and-paid-for moment. (Ya, in Varanasi you have to pay ten rupees (about €0.13) for a portrait. These guys are professionals.)  In India, it is impossible not to feel you are missing out on something. It is intense, overwhelming and relentless. It is like stepping back in time, but stepping on to a treadmill that is propelling you forward at speed. Your senses are bombarded and overloaded. It is hard to put into words, but unavoidable to try to capture in images. For me, the portraits were nice, but ultimately boring. What was happening around these people while I tried to get their portrait was much more interesting, and much more challenging.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

India!

 

 

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

Jakarta

We arrived at the Jakarta docks early on a Friday morning. The sun was not breaking through the clouds but the air was hot and humid. A guide was waiting for us to show us around. I don’t like being guided, especially when I am shooting. I need to react to what I am experiencing without distractions. I asked Eflie if the guide was going to be talking all the time on the tour. He said he would. Could he stop, I asked. Elfie obliged and the guide and I shared a nod and a smile and I went about photographing.

Jakarta - iPhone6s

Jakarta – iPhone6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: Fuji X100T

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

Jakarta: iPhone 6s

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

Best of 2015

It has become tradition at this time of year to look back at the shots I posted to Flickr and choose my favourite 12 – one from each month, for both my Flickr accounts. I have been doing this for the past number of years. You can see the past five years in this Flickr album for DSLR photographs.

This year has been a little different. I have posted far fewer images to Flickr than previous years. In 2014, I posted over 600 photographs to Flickr between my two accounts. This year, just under 200 to both. Why the change? Not sure. Maybe time. It is a time-consuming endeavour to post each day two photographs.

Anyway, it is something I enjoy to look back at the images posted each month and see my photographic journey of the past year. Some shots just jump out at me and have no competition in being selected and then for others I chop and change my mind a lot before settling on an image. Am sure the ones I choose may not be the ones you would. Why not let me know in the comments below.

January, saw me continue with an ongoing series of images: The pip-pop life span of worries.

16065428178_a4f3c4935f_k

J A N U A R Y

In February, I lost a close friend – Liam. This is not a photograph of him, but the pose reminds me of him when he danced – the sexy motherfucker. Miss ya; every day…

F E B R U A R Y

F E B R U A R Y

March: Shot in Cork with the Fuji X100T.

M A R C H

M A R C H

April: I spent 4 days in Tokyo and when I was not sleeping or working, I was on the streets shooting. Another shot with the Fuji X100T.

A P R I L

A P R I L

Another from Tokyo for May. Another blurred image.

17846130788_cd23de87e4_k

M A Y

June saw me go to Porto as part of my winning the Mira Mobile Prize. This image is titled: Rehearsing for a date.

18359061264_aea02bb406_k

J U N E

Back to Tokyo for July and another image I titled: Rehearsing for a date

18867371724_c9b0d825f8_k

J U L Y

To Tokyo again for August. What a location Shibuya is! How magical it is in the night rain.

19800083534_14a55e793c_k

A U G U S T

Becoming clear how much I love Tokyo. September:

S E P T E M B E R

S E P T E M B E R

In October, I had a very quick visit to the Tate Modern. This appeared in front of me.

21591219854_1951cdebba_h (1)

O C T O B E R

Some things you can’t go. I still love these bokeh heads and still believe I will create the image the series deserves.

22692568148_8d697f1c87_k

N O V E M B E R

Bringing the series to an end and I will cheat a little. This is a photo I shot in Kenmare on December 29th. It is my wife. Without her the lights go out. With her by my side, everything is possible. Kiss the future…

D E C E M B E R

D E C E M B E R

A review of iPhone photography for 2015 tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Posted in Uncategorized Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Shooting with Fuji X100T

I’ve had the Fuji X100t for a number of months now and have shot several hundred images with the camera. The reasons I bought the camera were because I wanted to work with a fixed focal length and I wanted to have a light and compact camera. I know I could have put a prime lens on the Nikon D7000, but I really wanted to get something more street friendly.

Cork: February, 2015

Cork: February, 2015

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about my initial reaction to using the X100T and it received a lot of attention, much to my surprise. I even got abuse from some people for finding fault with the camera and writing about it. (Another person objected to my use of the word fuck, and accused me of trying to be cool by using it.) In writing this follow up piece, I read back over that review to see if my first reaction to this camera had changed over time.

Here is what I wrote about what I liked about the camera in February:

It is light! It looks cool. It fits in my pocket, a little uncomfortably, but it fits. I like that I can use the LCD screen to view an image as I am taking it (but that eats up the battery). If you want you can switch between the OVF and EVF, and there is even this little box that can appear on the bottom right hand corner which allows you see a zoomed-in-close detail of the image. The customisable function buttons are cool. You can operate the camera on silent mode which allows for better candid shots. The image quality straight out of the camera is impressive. Images are crisp and sharp. I like the fact it has a fixed lens and that there is no zoom. This forces me to compose with greater care and to zoom with my feet. This will make me a better photographer. The WiFi allows for remote control access, but I cannot, as yet, imagine a scenario to use that. Apparently, it is great in low light, but I have only been out twice with the camera, both in daylight, and I haven’t had the chance to check it out at night yet.

So, of the above what has changed?

Well, the camera has not gained weight. It is still light and does not attract much attention on the street in comparison to the bulky D7000. I no longer use the LCD to compose and shoot. The customisable function buttons are good, but nothing special, to be honest. Operating on silent mode is a nice feature and does lend itself to getting discreet candid moments on the street. The image quality is top class – no doubt about that. The fact it has no zoom is probably the thing I like most about it. It results me being much more deliberate about composition and framing. Has it made me a better photographer? Not for me to answer. The Wifi? Have never used it either to transfer images or for remote control access. Night shooting – ya, I did manage to get some good shots at night in places like Tokyo, but have not done much shooting in low light conditions as of yet.

Tokyo: April, 2015

Tokyo: April, 2015

Six months down the line and what would I add to the list of things I like about the Fuji X100T? You know nothing new immediately comes to mind: no unique or previously-unknown feature of the camera have I discovered. I still love the camera’s size and weight and that it can be used on silent, but the thing I have grown to love more than anything about the camera is that it has changed how I approach street photography. With the Nikon, I compensated a lot. Too far away, zoom in. The Fuji is like a little child whose hand you have to hold to ensure it moves with you. I would like to think I am composing with more care now; seeing the scene with a more sensitive eye. The funny thing is that from a shoot I seem to be achieving fewer keepers from the photos shot, but the ones I do keep I am happier with. Maybe, I am just becoming more selective.

The other thing which has changed in my shooting is my preference now to go fully manual. With the Nikon, I was aperture priority most of the time. A little lazy, I know, but the Nikon was good at making those pesky calculations that I avoided. Now, I am more considered and leave neither shutter or aperture to the camera. Shooting like this does make me think why I ever bothered to shoot any other way.

Another thing I have come to notice is that I am making fewer and fewer blur images. For some reason with the Fuji, I find it hard to defocus to any degree of pleasing aesthetics. The Nikon is still the camera for that. I just do not enjoy out of focus photography on the X100T. I love it on the Nikon and some of my ongoing projects can only be done on this camera.

18359061264_aea02bb406_k (1)

Porto: June, 2015

Looking back at the article, I see the things I initially did not like: battery life, the wifi, purple haze when shooting into direct sunlight, image review and the focus being slow. Well, the battery life is still awful. I got around this by buying three extra batteries, which allows me not to worry about the camera dying while out on the street. The only thing is that to charge the battery takes a few hours. Surely, the battery life and the time needed to charge it can be improved. I don’t use the Wifi and feel this is a gimmick I can do without possibly because I shoot much more with my iPhone than any other camera and I like keeping all my work separate. The purple haze have not noticed that so much. Not so pressed about instant image review. But the thing that still gets me about this camera more than anything else is that it is too slow. I have missed shots because of it. I don’t power the camera off between shots. I want it to be ready to respond quickly, but there have been so many times that I see something I want to shoot and the time taken to frame, focus and shoot means the moment is lost. The camera is too slow. Talking to one or two otherX100T users, I am glad to learn I am not the only one experiencing this. The Nikon is much faster and coming from that, from a situation where I would not miss shots to this is frustrating.

 

The reason I came to write this post this morning is that I was looking at a series of images I shot last week in Dublin and realised that these were shots I would probably not have gotten before when I was using the Nikon D7000. The reason probably being the ability to zoom. I was walking along a busy Dublin street with the sun to my back, meaning the light was on the people in front of me. Just how I like it. I was attracted to this gentleman standing on the steps of a bank waiting for his bus to come. His beard, clothes and stance all caught my eye. I pulled up as close as I could get and began to frame. Before I would have been distracted by those passing in front of me and probably would have waited to get a clean shot of him. Not now. Now I want that activity in my photos and not having a zoom meant that I could not avoid it either.

20937723112_18bb955987_k

Dublin: August, 2015

I got a few frames and then braved it out and got in front of the character and shot two more shots. One with eye contact and another, a split second later, without.

Dublin: August, 2015

Dublin: August, 2015

Dublin: August, 2015

Dublin: August, 2015

So, six months in with a new camera where do I stand on it now? I like what I wrote back in February:

Overall, I do not like the camera. It is very different to the Nikon and I am a creature of habit. I want my old camera back! But, and this is the thing, all of this is good, it will make me learn. It will make me see the world in a different way when I am out shooting. It will push me along in my evolution as a photographer and that is why I wanted it. Comfort zones are all fine and dandy, but I need to be challenged. I want to experience the frustration of not getting the camera to do what I want; it will make it all the sweeter when I get it right. This camera will drive me crazy, I know that. But I also know I will grow to love it and that it will be with me on many great adventures to come.

It is true. I bought the Fuji to learn and to improve as a photographer and I believe I am on the way and you know what – I am enjoying it. It is challenging and frustrating – just like I wanted it to be. When I am heading off for a few days somewhere or out on a photo walk the camera I leave at home is the Nikon. The Fuji X100T comes with me. It can, and does, drive me crazy, but slowly but surely I am growing to love it.

Kiss the (Fuji) future!

Tokyo: April, 2015

Tokyo: April, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

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

Sligo

Landscape photography is not my forte, but I do enjoy photographing beautiful locations in Ireland. Through the years, I have gotten to visit most parts of Ireland, but one place I had never been before was Sligo. I had seen the images of Benbulben and could not believe there was such a mountain like this in Ireland. For years, I had wanted to come to see it with my own eyes and to get in some photography here. This year we planned our family holiday to spend a few days in Sligo.

The one thing you cannot depend on in Ireland is the weather. The first day there was a typical Irish summer’s day – cloudy, muggy and misty. We drove from the hotel out to Mullaghmore beach and with the low-lying cloud we actually drove past Benbulben. Later on the way back, the cloud had cleared and the sun came out and we could not believe we had actually driven past this earlier in the day. I stopped to get a few shots.

19636398279_8ff6fc0490_z

Sligo, Ireland (Fuji X100T)

19815651912_c778ee31ce_z

Benbulben Mountain (Fuji X100T)

19796816536_c4eb2f42d5_z

Benbulben Mountain (Fuji X100T)

I realise I these are not the best landscape shots and that the Fuji is not the best camera for this type of photography, but I did enjoy it. Any feedback – constructive criticism – is very welcome. I wish I had more time to photograph this at different times of the day, but with small kids in tow it is not the easiest. Here are a couple taken with the iPhone.

19200510534_708ab9e99c_z

Benbulben Mountain (iPhone)

19635113560_da14c4233c_z

Benbulben Mountain (iPhone)

 

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

April 15 2015

Things on my mind today:

1. Fuzziness – after a marathon journey  26-hour home from Tokyo, I am super jet-lagged.

2. I am behind in the work I need to do.

3. I have so many images to work through and so far it looks like I will be doing a lot of deleting.

4. That is normal.

5. First impressions in photography, should not be taken too seriously .

6. To be confirmed….

Here is an iPhone photograph of my photo on a billboard in Harajuku, Tokyo. It was a beautiful experience to see my image in different locations around Tokyo. Unbelievable to actually believe I have a photograph on display in Tokyo.

Harajuku, Japan

Harajuku, Japan

I got my Fuji X100t back from the repair shop. Well, actually a new one to replace the old one. I used it a lot in Tokyo and had fun. I should update my review some time soon. This one had me in a dilemma – black and white or colour. My jet-lagged head says colour. Might change to black and white upon readjustment.

Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya, Tokyo

News: I won the Mira Mobile Photography Prize. Super happy, as you can imagine. Thanks to all for the kind words and congratulations!

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

March 26 2015

What I like about the Fuji x100t is that what you get straight out of the camera is a top class image quality. The few shots I have posted to Flickr with it have all had minimal post processing, which is a good thing. Looking back at older photos, I do see when I over-processed images, and you know it makes me cringe. But that is the journey. It is all about learning and evolving.

This x100T image was created in the Duomo in Milan. The world-famous cathedral. Like many cathedrals and churches they have become tourist sites, but still are places of worship. I was struck by this man’s composure and demeanour. I studied him for a while as he sat in front of the altar deep in prayer. I envy people who have faith, because the feeling of being loved is the most special feeling of all, and I can only imagine what the sensation must be to feel the love of a god, a creator. When I was a child, I felt God’s presence and never doubted it. When I entered adolescence, that feeling left and it has never returned.

I got a few shots of this man in prayer, both with the Fuji and the iPhone. Then I lit a candle for my friend Liam who had recently passed away, said my own little prayer. Thanked God for the many blessings I have and continued on with being a tourist in a church.

Being Heard

Being Heard

The iPhone image was also taken in the same cathedral. It shows more tourists.

God's Tourists

God’s Tourists

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

March 12 2015

Have been so taken up with the Apple ‘shot on iPhone‘ experience that I have not posted new photographs on here for a while. Since buying the new Fuji x100t, I have been out a few times with it. I still need to get control over this camera but I am happy with some of the shots I have managed.

This first one is one I got on Cork’s Grand Parade (what a fancy name for a street – I would guess when they were giving it its title they had images finely dressed ladies and gentlemen sauntering along on sunny summer days in mind). The building the guy is standing in front of has been derelict now for a long time. I like that we cannot see this man.

This future is now. Kiss it!

This future is now. Kiss it!

The second photograph is another Fuji one and part of the ongoing series of images of reflections I am working on. This was shot into the venetian blinds of the windows of a bank opposite a church in the city centre of Cork.

Cork

Cork

And on to some iPhone images. Advertising works! Inspired by some of the landscapes shots on the Apple World Gallery I found that when I was out I was framing landscape shots and thinking could I do that? Don’t know if I want to, but I do know I like trees. And we all know what trees need to do.

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

The most recent iPhone shot is one that was lying in the archives until it popped out when I was looking through them. Not sure how I missed this one from Taipei last year. I love the colours.

Taipeie

Taipeie

I will post an update to ‘The story of my ‘shot on iphone’ photograph’ on Monday.

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