Tag Archives: iPhone 6

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.


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?”


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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This photograph

Exactly a year ago, I posted a photograph I had taken a few weeks previously in Copenhagen. Truth be known it was a photograph I was not sure of. I had been trying to get the contrasts right in the image and just wasn’t happy with it. In fact, I was unsure whether I would post it at all. In the end I did share it on Flickr, but held off posting it on Instagram until it first had gone live as part of Apple’s shot on iPhone 6 campaign on huge billboards all over the world. It is such a funny thing how we can see our own photographs. The slightest flaw can deter us from sharing. Thankfully for me I got over that flaw and did share it on Flickr. A year on now, and I realise that had I not posted it, had I allowed my over-critical eye to rule, the most magical experience of my life would never have happened.

A year ago today I posted this photograph

A year ago today I posted this photograph

Copenhagen is such a cool city. I was there on a university exchange visiting the University of Copenhagen for a week. It was the first time I had ever used AirBnb and it was a really good experience. Peter, my host, met me on my arrival. He had everything ready for me and had gone as far as lending me his bicycle for the week and mapping out my route to the university. He also left me four bottles of local beer in the fridge. I knew it was going to be great week!

I arrived in Copenhagen on a Saturday. The day previous I had bought the new iPhone 6 on its release day in Ireland. The 6 was bigger than the iPhone 5 I’d had. I was unsure of how to grip it and very anxious that without a case I would let it slip out of my hand. Undeterred, I set about shooting in Copenhagen with it and very soon discovered the easiest way to shoot with it was to use the volume buttons as the shutter.

As the week went on, I was getting more and more used to it and had managed to get one or two good shots with the new iPhone. Prior to coming to Copenhagen, I had contacted a Flickr friend of mine, Thomas Toft, whose work I am a big fan of. We arranged to meet late Wednesday afternoon in the city centre and the plan was to cycle out to this park with those crazy curved white lines that I had seen in so many of Thomas’ photos.

Thomas Toft and myself

Thomas Toft and myself

It was an early autumn day in Copenhagen. The sky was clouded over, but it was not too cold. After about a 15-minute cycle we arrived at the park. Like many places you have seen in photos, when you get to see them and the chance to shoot it for your appears, at first you feel a little lost and apprehensive as to how you can interpret and present the scene. I knew I wanted to get the sense of movement of the lines, but I was unsure whether it would work best blurred or in focus. As it turned out, it had to be in focus.

It was great being with a fellow photographer. If I am asked to give advice to aspiring photographers, one tip I would always give is to spend time with other shooters. You need it. I find I discover a lot about my own photography as I am chatting with others. Being there in Superkilen Park in Copenhagen on the greyish autumn day with Thomas is a memory I will never forget. Our conversation rarely strayed from photography and we bounced ideas off each other on how we would shoot this place. After a while, we changed location to get a different perspective from the top of the hill. It was here that I knew I would be able to compose the shot I wanted. From this vantage point the lines flowed down and away from me. The sense of movement I wanted was there. Now all I had to get was a human element and as we chatted and waited people began to pass through the park. I took about 5 shots in total from this position. Later, back in the apartment, reviewing my images I saw that I had one or two that were OK. I really liked this one, and the other, the one that would go on to be seen all over the world – well, that was OK.

Last one to leave

October 31st, 2015, I posted it on Flickr and wrote this blog piece about the two images I was posting on that day. You can see that I wrote virtually nothing about the image. For me, it was, at that stage, just another iPhone photograph. But the really curious thing is the title I gave it. Now, I am not a religious man. I have a God-shaped socket, but no plug fits it. But yet, I gave this photograph the title: God will send a sign. When he does, be prepared.

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

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

So many times this year I have reflected and tried to work out what that sign might be and why I gave the shot that title. For me, titles either come or they don’t. If they do, it is swift. This was swift. Looking at the image, I recall feeling that the four people were all independent actors, unaware of and disconnected from each other, but at some moment something could happen that would cause them to be together, or to need each other and when it happened, they would need to be ready.

Of course, as things turned out, with Apple licensing the image and it going viral around the world and all the attention it brought me, I began to think of a personal meaning for this title. And you know what, I do not have a fully-formed idea about this, except to say that I believe it means that I need to push this as far it can go and to make the most of the talent I have been given.

Since the Shot on iPhone 6 campaign went live in March such brilliant, unimagined things have happened. Along the way, I have had many accolades and successes, visited new and exciting places, gained exposure and had the chance to showcase my work in so many different formats and areas, but the thing that struck me from the very beginning was the reaction of family and friends to my success and how supremely fortunate I was to be able to share it with the people I love. A good friend of mine, Liam, passed away after a long battle with cancer just weeks before this started. When we used to meet up, he wouldn’t burden me with how he was, but would want to know about what I was up to. I would tell him the little stories about my photography and he loved to hear them. The only regret I have about this year is that Liam did not live long enough to share this with me. He would have loved it and he would have loved taking the absolute piss out of me about it too.

At the moment, I am trying to put together a series of images of the billboards and posters from around the world that I am going to frame and hang at home. I was lucky to get to see billboards for myself in Milan and Tokyo and these will be great ones to get framed, but it will also be so cool to do the same with some of those sent to me from Flickr friends and also from people who I had never known before, but who took the time to get and send me a shot of the billboard in locations all over the world.

So much has happened in the year since I posted the photograph. So much unimagined adventure. And the amazing thing is that things just get better and better.

Kiss that future…

Brendan Ó Sé Mobile Photography Workshops

Brendan Ó Sé Mobile Photography Workshops

Posted in My own favourite photographs, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Apple iPhone 6 TV Advert

My Shot on iPhone 6 story continues. This time I have a photograph of mine, which I shot in Berlin last December, in the latest Apple iPhone 6 TV Advert, which aired the U. S last night. Apple is really promoting the camera on the iPhone 6 and  it makes me excited to think how great the camera on the new iPhone will be if they are pushing this one so much. You can see my shot in the centre of the screen from the 7th to 9th second. 2 seconds!


This shot is one of a series I got back in Berlin last December on one of the main shopping streets. I was in Berlin for a technology in education conference and had been at it all day and the only time I could get out to shoot was in the evening. Berlin in December is cold. The sun sets early in the evening. I can still recall the biting wind. I headed out wrapped up, but without gloves, as I needed to be able to use my fingers to control the cameras. Usually, when I set out on a photo walk, the first while is frustrating. You are ready, super alert and willing with all your might for that photograph to appear. It rarely does. Patience is required.

I was about an hour out when I passed this magnificently lit up store front. I had never seen anything like. The brilliant white lines of light against the black of the building. Beautiful. I had found my location. Using the Nikon D7000 I shot some motion blur images of pedestrians and cyclists passing the store. It was OK, but not what I had imagined. It needed something else. I head off, a little despondent. About twenty metres up the road, as I was walking along, I passed this parked,highly-polished black van. A few steps passed it, I stopped and said out loud: hang on, hang on. Nodding my head in excitement, I knew I had to go back. And I was right. There on the side of the van that flanked the road were the reflections of those brilliant white lights. Yes!

Click, click. Review – meh! It needed a human element and it needed me to be careful. At times, when I am out shooting I can find myself lost in the moment, unaware of my surroundings or who is around me. Here I was standing at the side of a parked black van on a busy Berlin street at night dressed all in black. Did I want to get myself killed? No! But I did want to get that shot. I waited and using the Nikon, I shot a few frames with cyclists passing and realising I had ridden my luck, I left. Two or three minutes down the road, I stopped again. I had to go back. I had to get some shots with the iPhone. I did not want to be in a position later regretting lost opportunities. I got back to same position, hung in as close as I could to the van and again waited. In the distance, I saw this guy approaching on a bike. I readied myself and hitting burst mode as he came and passed I got the shots. I could leave.


Berlin – Shot on iPhone 6

The iPhone does reasonably well in low-lit conditions. I am sure the new release will see great improvements in this area. Comparing it to the Nikon D7000 shot, it does stand up well.

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Berlin – Shot on Nikon D7000



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Four seasons in one day, but never a full summer

“Let’s head to the beach this weekend” 

“Ya, great idea. I could do with a swim.”
Weekend comes and it is a wash out. You just cannot make any plans. 
That is what most people complain of when the topic of Irish summers comes up. But it is true – you just cannot plan.
We are into the last month of the summer and it is safe to say it has been one of the least warm in living memory. The mercury has not risen above 20 degrees. Most days it hovers around 14 – 16 degrees. Most days it rains. Most days there is a wind that bites.
I know we have it good in many ways here in Ireland. We are coming out of the worst recession to ever hit this country, but I wonder how many of us would swap Greek weather for their debt. Would the Greeks swap their debt for our weather? I doubt it. They may have crippling austerity, but they have blue skies. Could it be possible for us to invest in research and see if somehow we could just slowly slip our way down to the Portuguese coast? Could it?
What we call summer is passing quickly. Soon the kids will be back in school and the dark winter nights will creep in. Kids love the beach and love the sea. Yesterday morning, I checked the weather on the iPhone and saw that there were semi-cloudy conditions between 2 – 5 p.m and temperatures getting into the high teens. The high teens! Excited about this I suggested to my wife that we head to Inchadonny (a spectacular long beach in West Cork) for a picnic. Within a hour we were parked up and picnicking in the car. It was easier, warmer, and less blustery to have it in the car.
Irish beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. With our inclement and likely-to-disappoint weather, the beaches are not surrounded by big, high-rise hotels. Fields of green stretch out for as far as the eye can see. What should be crowded beaches full of people enjoying all that a sunny summer’s day can offer are starkly the opposite. So few people. I got chatting to the lifeguard:
“What’s the summer been like? Has it always been this quiet?”
“Today’s busy, boy.” “Some days you might have a handful of people.”
“Ah, sure, they say August might be better.”
“This is August; August the first.”
Anyway, the kids loved the picnic and loved playing in the sand, digging holes and being buried up to their necks in it. We did not brave the water. It looked freezing.  We can hope, I suppose, that they promised better weather might come in this month of August. The temperatures might even topple over twenty. We might see blue skies and that damn wind might turn into a breeze.
Looking on the positive, I did manage to get some Shot on iPhone 6 photographs yesterday. Hope you like them.
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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015) Apparently, Becky said yes.

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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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.


Sligo, Ireland (Fuji X100T)


Benbulben Mountain (Fuji X100T)


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.


Benbulben Mountain (iPhone)


Benbulben Mountain (iPhone)


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Coming back to old photographs

When I was in London for the Meet the iPhone Photographer event back in April, one of the questions put to me by an audience member was if I could reshoot a photograph which one would it be? My immediate response was that I did not know; it wasn’t something I spent time thinking about. But with a little time to gather my thoughts I realised that I would revisit every shot and I doubt if I would want to replicate anything in the process. Every photograph is a small step in the learning how to become a better photographer.

Do photographs change over time? Do you miss something in a shot when looking at it the first time around? I am not so sure. But with time we do see things differently. Often photographs will sit overlooked in my iPhoto library (I use this for storing – Lightroom for processing) once I have selected the handful I want to work with for processing. Time will pass and often by chance I will open up the folder and it never ceases to surprise me how images I had glossed over now get my attention. What is that happens?

Over the next couple of months I have set myself objectives in things I want to get done. One of these is to get order into the way I store and categorise my images. It is chaotic at the moment. So much so, that in May I lost over a thousand images when I inadvertently deleted a desktop folder connected to Lightroom. The lesson has been learned.

Over the next number of weeks I will be going back over old folders, pulling out old, overlooked images. Should be fun. Should be informative. I know it will get me back into the groove of that imitate – assimilate – innovate cycle.

Here is an image taken in March. The guy in the image is Michael Kistler. The location is up on Richmond Hill in Cork. The view is Cork’s northside. The church steeples can be made out – but not sufficiently. And that is good – because it obliges me to get back up there and shoot again. All part of the learning process.


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June 14 2015

Time is passing so quickly and I am realizing I have not been posting to Flickr with any regularity. The days of posting two shots every day seem so far gone, but I have just been too busy lately. My plan is to get back into serious Flickring from next month. I have photographs from Milan, Amsterdam, Tokyo, London and Porto to share.

This week I will try to post more from Porto. I had a fabulous time and am almost finished my blog post about my experience there. For today, I am posting two images: One with the Fuji taken in the back alleys of Riberia. This labyrinth-like cluster of lanes and alleyways is a wonderful place to explore. Looking up you will find old ladies resting on the railings of their balconies, while below them their freshly-washed laundry dries in the sliver of sunshine that finds its ways down these narrow lanes.


Porto: June, 2015


I found myself using the iPhone much more while in Porto. There is something so perfect about this camera for me. You cannot be in Porto and not notice the love of colour the locals have.

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Porto: June, 2015

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April 17 2015

A quick post today. Need to find time to document all that has happened in the past week. Am truly honoured to have won the Mira Mobile Photography prize. Click through to see details.

Posting two shots today from Tokyo. One taken in Shibuya and one in Akihabara. This one taken in Shibuya was shot through a transparent 500 yen umbrella. The four days I was in Tokyo I constant rain for three of them. It does allow for beautiful colour reflections.

Shibuya, Tokyo

Shibuya, Tokyo

The iPhone shot comes from Akihabara – also known as Electric town as it is full of electronic shops which attract huge numbers of tourists. I saw this bus approach with a wonderful, circular window at the rear of the bus which framed this elegant lady reading a newspaper. I had to get a shot of it. I took my life into my own hands and hopped over the barrier and into the traffic. I had to get as close as possible to get a good shot. I think the poor woman was shocked to see this crazy foreigner approaching her. I got a few shots. In the end we shared a smile and a bow. The bus went on and I was stuck in between two lanes of traffic. All just to get that shot.



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

April 3 2015

Things on my mind today:

How love changes like a song heard in the wind; sometimes faint, sometimes strong, but always heard;

Believe – achieve! Kiss this future…

Committed to the future

Committed to the future

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

Trees need to cheer the fuck up

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