Tag Archives: India

Delhi

Objective for January is to create a gallery of photographs on my website for India. I have been so lazy in getting this done (apologies to those who have been asking me to put one up).

It seems so long ago that we were in India. When I see the photographs and see the light and sunshine in so many images, it looks so distant to me, viewing them now in winter.

These two photographs were both shot in Delhi within the first hour of being there. I don’t think I had ever travelled somewhere with so many imagined images of what I might see. But as soon as we stepped out of the air-conditioned airport into the heat of the Delhi night, I knew one thing was not exaggerated: How hot India is. I felt the legs of my trousers cling to me as I began to sweat. Pulling my suitcase along we crossed this little road. I stopped in the centre and with one hand on my suitcase and the other on the iPhone; I snapped.

Delhi Airport (iPhone 6s)

Into the Delhi night in our air-conditioned car we went with our driver Manpreet. I sat in the back of the car. My friend sat in the front. This was to become the norm as the trip went on. About twenty minutes on we were stopped in traffic and this rickshaw pulled up behind us.

Delhi, June, 2016 (Nikon D7000)

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, iPhone 6s, iPhone photography, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

My favourite non-iPhone Photos of 2016

Moving on from yesterday’s favourite 2016 iPhone photographs, now is time to review and select my favourite Fuji x100t and Nikon D7000 photographs from the past 12 months. Usually, to do this I just go back over the photos I have posted to Flickr in the previous 12 months, but this year I really did not post a lot to Flickr, and the reality is that most of my best photographs are buried deep in my iMac.

So, to do this I actually need to go back through the images, select and edit them. All will be from the period of March to September. Reality is those two cameras lived in a dark drawer for most of the year. What is they say about the best camera you have?

This won’t be categorised chronologically either; just 12 of my faves – today – December, 31st, 2016! Reality is tomorrow I would choose a different twelve.

A mother’s love (Varanasi, July 2016)

Our guide in Varanasi brought us to a shop to convert our 500 Rupee notes into 20 Rupee notes to give to the people we photographed. He said we needed to do this. I had not intended to shoot posed portraits. I don’t shoot like this, but with a wad of 20 Rupee notes I felt obliged. India has characters who turn your head and stop you in your tracks. The likes of people you have only seen in documentaries or magazines like National Geographic, and being a naiive photographer you want to satisfy your dreams of getting a Steve McCurry like image.

I parted with many 20 rupee notes and got some posed photographs. Unsatisfied with most – experienced as an artificial exchange. Then this guy approached me on a crowded and chaotic street and with gesture indicated he wanted me to photograph him. In the time it took to understand him we were locked in eye contact. When I hoisted the camera he shot his eyes to heaven and for the three or four frames I shot he did not look into the lens. You know, I don’t remember if he asked for money or if I offered it. 

A mother’s love

Bangkok: The slow rhythm of patience (April, 2016)

Had a discussion with a friend of mine about photography and how we use it to interpret what we experience. I told him that very often when I arrive in a city it overwhelms me and to begin with everywhere I point my camera seems to be the wrong place. I said it takes time to slip into the rhythm of a city, to feel its pulse beat in time with mine and then it just becomes instinctive. 

Bangkok was like that. An assault on the senses. The smell of petrol fumes fused with lemongrass. The hum of the constant traffic. The neon and fresh fruit stalls. The swell and sway of people always on the move. The welcoming smile and the 100-mile gaze. The searing heat. At every turn there was something which got my attention; something which I had to capture in a frame.  I had not visited the red light district on my last visit to Bangkok, but this time we were brought on a little tour by a Japanese friend. Impossible to compute it all. The luxury of photography allows time to reflect. Let the camera see.

Bangkok: The slow rhythm of patience

Jakarta (April, 2016)

Arrived in Jakarta from Bangkok in the evening and it felt darker. There was no neon. I remember finding this place and being struck by the colours of the woman passing. I huddled down between two cars and defocussed and began to shoot. I like the image as it seems, to me, to capture the colour, the light and the movement of that evening.

Jakarta

Blur will save the world (Tokyo, April, 2016)

Shooting on the street is frustrating. I recall listening to a podcast with Rinzi Ruiz (a fine photographer) and he said that if you see it, you have missed it. And you know it is true. That decisive moment is elusive, and so much relies on luck. Shooting in Tokyo is electrifying. I love it. The way I work is that I will shoot for a while with the iPhone, then the Fuji, but I usually leave the Nikon for those sweet moments when I push things out of focus and transform what I see into something more beautiful, something less real, something that soothes and arouses, something that is only mine. You do know that blur will save the world?

Tokyo: Blur will save the world

Jakarta (April, 2016)

In Jakarta we visited the animal market. We came across this scene below. The little boy was learning how to train pigeons. I imagine he is the same age as my little boy. The guys training him were patient, encouraging and kind. The pigeons were obliging. Myself and Elfie (seen here behind the little boy) stayed here for about 20 minutes, shooting the scene. Enthralled by the spectacle.

Jakarta (April, 2016)

Varanasi (July, 2016)

Photography is about memories. It is where yesterdays go, as my little girl told me from the back of the car when she was about three years old. Much of my photography is me trying to learn, to internalise and understand what I am experiencing. Then there are the real moments. The purposeful shots we create of loved ones; the photos we would run back into a burning house to retrieve.

Day was breaking and we were on a small boat on the River Ganges to see the sun rise. The sun rose but the clouds did not part. We finished a conversation about toast and took photos. We laughed a lot.

Varanasi (July, 2016)

On Duty (Delhi, June, 2016)

This was shot through the back window of our car moments after arriving in Delhi. The Indian adventure was ahead of us.

On Duty (Delhi, June, 2016)

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

I just love this guy. I was sitting in the back of the car as we made our way through the Delhi traffic. Camera in hand should a shot appear. We were stopped in traffic on this roundabout when this guy on a motorbike pulls up next to us. Instinctively I raise the camera and click, and then smile. Then the guy astonishes me as he takes off his helmet and his glasses and shoots me this beautiful big beaming smile. You got to love India!

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Every picture tells a story, but photographs can lie. And this one does. Looking at it, it is conceivable that you believe it to be a Buddhist monk sitting high up on the roof of his monastery meditating as he contemplates the beauty of the Himalayas. But, the reality probably was that this was the best place in the monastery to get online. As we approached him we saw him shuffling as he tried to conceal his phone under his robes.

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Shibuya Scramble Crossing (April, 2016)

The first time I saw the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in 2012 I stopped and I just stared. Two thousand people crossing when the red man is replaced by the green man. I have been back to Tokyo many times since and this never gets stale for me. I can look at it for hours. It is something else.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing (April, 2016)

Things to do in Tokyo at night (April, 2016)

Most of the time I am in Tokyo it is only at night that I get out to shoot. This one was taken on a photo walk with the Laurence Bouchard.  It rains a lot in Tokyo. But it makes it all the more intriguing. I like the high contrasts, and little mystery in this shot.

Things to do in Tokyo at night (April, 2016)

Vienna (June, 2016)

Really should include a photograph from Vienna. Here it is.

Vienna (June, 2016)

I have rushed this and really should have spent more time in preparing this review, but there you have it.

2016 has been incredible to me. So many people to thank. So many people who along the way who have in some way enabled me to express myself. In no particular order I would like to thank Ben, Elfie, Saad, Arik, Andy, Nikki, Glen, Dan R, Dan B, Simon, Jack H, Judie, Ankit, John, Mark, Brian, David P, Albion, Thomas, Serap, Jen, Teppo, Cielo, Laurence, Tadhg, Michael V, Darren, Joanne, Janine, Nora, Sir Cam, Paul M, Tim B, Johnathan, Lee, Ruby,  Kevin D, Randy, Dave, Brian, Kieran, Richard and Seiya. And then those loved ones who know who they are – thanks!

2016 – My favourite non-iPhone photographs

2017 – believe – achieve – kiss the future…

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

A mother’s love

We all want to be seen and still we all want to conceal, distort and control what we reveal. It happens on occasion that people will come up to me and want me to photograph them. It is not something I like. I prefer to see something that attracts me in a person and try to capture that in a candid, unguarded way. It works better for me. I understand more from this.

But this character in Varanasi, India intrigued me. He approached me on a crowded and chaotic street and with gesture indicated he wanted me to photograph him. In the time it took to understand him we were locked in eye contact. When I hoisted the camera he shot his eyes to heaven and for the three or four frames I shot he did not look into the lens.

A mother's love [2]

A mother’s love [1]

A mother's love

A mother’s love [2]

A mother's love [3]

A mother’s love [3]

(I have been asked about the title. I find titles can detract much from images and rarely add to them. Addition is dilution and all that, but in this case the title came to me and I ran with it. Apologies if it deflects)

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pompidoo: A great camera bag

When Pompidoo Bags invited me to do some work with them, I jumped at the chance.

High up in the Himalayas with the Pompidoo Tokyo bag. (photo: Richard Delanty)

High up in the Himalayas with the Pompidoo Tokyo bag. (photo: Richard Delanty)

Straight up I am not a fan of those big bulky traditional camera bags with logos splashed across them. I have inspected some of them in camera stores and they’ve always struck me as being just too cumbersome and even a little ugly.

In action in Hong Kong (Photo: Y Ó Se)

In action in Hong Kong
(Photo: Y Ó Se)

I tended to opt instead for a messenger style bag; one that fits comfortably. Sure they are not designed for cameras, but you can get a camera into them. However, when I saw the range of bags from Pompidoo, I knew these were bags designed by people who have the awareness of the needs of a photographer and the creative ability to come up with a bag that actually is functional and stylish.

In action in Hong Kong

In action in Hong Kong

Being on a trip in Asia in the past few weeks, I have used the Tokyo bag (I just got to love the name!) all the time. From Hong Kong to high up in Himalayas to the streets of Seoul it has been with me. What I love about the bag is that it is not flashy. For the type of photography I do, the last thing I need is to look like a photographer. The aged-looking raw leather is soft and even if it does pick up a scratch or two along the way it will only add to the look. The bag is minimal in style. There are two compartments which easily accommodate my Nikon D7000 and my Fuji X100T. There is a front pocket which is perfect for other accessories like extra batteries, chargers, SD cards and so on. The high-quality European production is built to last and serve you through the years.

IMG_3386

Inner compartments of the Pompidoo Tokyo bag

Inner compartments of the Pompidoo Tokyo bag

The padded inserts in the bag offer reassurance when packing my suitcase. I can just put my gear into the bag and the bag into my suitcase. No need for bubble wrapping like I used to do before.

All in all, the bag has two things which are winners for me: It doesn’t look like one of those flashy, hey-I’m-a-photographer-with-a-big-bag-of-gear bags; no it is discreet and stylish. And the second thing is that it is that it does the job.

So, if you are like me, that you do not want to be a walking advert for a company with a big, bulky camera bag, Pompidoo’s Tokyo bag is for you. Check them out.

Pompidoo offer a range of stylish and functional camera bags on their online store. Go check them out and if you like one, here is a 10% discount codeBrendan10%. It is valid until August 31, 2016.

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

Hong Kong and India with the Sony Xperia Z5

Been travelling around India for a few weeks and before that had a few days in Hong Kong. Shooting with the Sony Xperia Z5 is great for those wide angle shots.

Below you can see some photos from the iconic Victoria’s Peak in Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour, the magnificent Taj Mahal, the monasteries of Leh, in the Himalayas, and the stunning Pangong Lake on the India China border.

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Leh, Ladakh

Leh, Ladakh

Leh, Ladakh

Leh, Ladakh

Pangong Lake, Ladakh

Pangong Lake, Ladakh

Pangong Lake. India China border

Pangong Lake. India China border

Pangong Lake, Ladadhkm (this lake borders India and China)

Pangong Lake, Ladadhkm (this lake borders India and China)

 

 

Posted in photograph posts, Sony Xperia Z5 Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |