Tag Archives: iPhone

Mobile Photography Workshop in Hong Kong

I am very excited to announce a Mobile Photography Workshop in Hong Kong in conjunction with the Maritime Museum on Saturday, August 26th from 1 to 5 p.m. You can register for it here.

Hong Kong is one of my favourite cities and I have loved shooting there over the years.

Mobile Photography Workshop – Maritime Museum – Hong Kong – August, 26th

Hong Kong street life is electric, be it during the day or at night. Such a wonderfully vibrant location. Here are a selection of my favourite photographs from Hong Kong over the years.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

You can register for it here.

Look forward to seeing you on the 26th August.

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

Cork versus Kerry

I won’t get into the match. The less said about it, the better. Suffice to say the little boy in me who dreamed of Cork beating Kerry in Fitzgerald’s Stadium yesterday left the stadium with about 10 minutes still to go in the game as Kerry strolled past an awful Cork team.

But winning isn’t everything as they say. Usually they say this only when you lose. I never say it when we win. But, no, yesterday was about being with friends, catching up. I drove down with a good friend who was home from Australia and who wanted to bring his two kids to their first Munster Final. It was great just to be with them.
Down in Killarney I met up with Tim Bingham and we shot the streets for about an hour before the game began.

Thirsty supporters need their beer. (shot on iPhone 7)

Two confident Kerrymen. (shot on iPhone 7)

(shot on iPhone 7)

Two Kerry lassies. (shot on iPhone 7)

An always-confident Cork fan. (shot on iPhone 7)

A cheerful Cork fan. (shot on iPhone 7)

A barber’s delight. (shot on iPhone 7)

Another delight for a barber. (shot on iPhone 7)

A Kerry fan. (shot on iPhone 7)

A Kerry lassie. (shot on iPhone 7)

Beautiful red hair. (shot on iPhone 7)

Making memories. (shot on iPhone 7)

Some of the crowd. (shot on iPhone 7)

Careful now! (Shot on iPhone 7plus)

That is a big plaster. (shot on iPhone 7 plus)

The lads. (shot on iPhone 7plus)

Shot on iPhone 7plus

An 99. (Shot on iPhone 7 plus)

Some pre-match entertainment (shot on iPhone 7plus)

Some food before throw-off. (Shot on iPhone 7 plus)

A family day out. (shot on iPhone 7 plus)

Game on! (shot on iPhone 7plus)

All to play for. (shot on iPhone 7plus)

The crowd. (Shot on iPhone 7plus)

Kerry lording it over Cork. (Shot on iPhone 7Plus)


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

Shandon Street Festival

Beautiful sunshine in Cork today for the Shandon Street Festival. Headed up there with fellow Cork photographers Johnathan Leahy Majaraj, Dee McCaffrey, Gerry O’Riordan, and Tim Bingham who may not be from Cork, but is an honorary Corkman.

Shandon Street is home to the iconic Shandon Steeple and is the symbol of Cork. You cannot come to Cork and not visit to ring its bells and climb to its top for the magnificent panoramic view of the city.

The following photos are of the scene, the crowd and some of the characters of the day. They were all shot on iPhone and processed on Snapseed.



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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


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 , , , , , , , , , , , |

8 x 8 – Street Photography Event – Bangkok

Shooting street doesn’t get much better than on the streets of Bangkok. See it and you’ve missed it, is one of the old sayings about how quickly things happen on the street, and how easy it is to miss that moment. The great thing about Bangkok is that there are just so many moments.

That is what makes this event – 8 x 8 – in Bangkok, organised by Monogram Asia, so exciting. Combine the dynamic, cinematic streets of Bangkok with some of the best street photographers currently shooting and you have a killer combination. I must say I am honoured to be on the line up with photographers whose work I admire so much. It will be a thrill to get to know people like Eric Kim, Gathot S, Xyza Bacani, Chatchai B, Sheldon Serkin, Olly Lang, Rammy Narula.

Bangkok. March, 2016

Here’s how it works. First, there is a three-hour photo walk around the highly-photogenic streets of Bangkok. Each of us will take a group of 8 people on the walk, along the way sharing tips, guiding the participants, and heightening that sense of photographic awareness –  to get that shot

With me, we will be shooting on mobile. That could be an iPhone like me, or a Samsung, a Sony or any one of the great cameras that are on smart phones these days. And you know what? We will be the lucky ones. Why? Who wants to lug around a heavy DSLR? Who wants the world to know you are taking a photograph when you raise that big camera up to your eye? I know I don’t. Sure, I like to shoot with a Nikon DSLR and I also use a Fuji X100T, but the best shots I get, the most fun I have in photography is with the iPhone. It is the perfect street camera. It is fast – one swipe and you are ready to shoot. It focuses correctly and quickly on auto. It’s discreet and allows you to get in close to your subject without startling them to get great candid shots. I could go on and on, but let’s keep the tricks for when we meet in Bangkok.

Bangkok. March, 2016

One of the things I am really excited about is all the conversations about photography and street shooting we are going to have. Lots of this will be informal, but there are two days of formal talks and lectures planned. Big names like Take Hayo (Big Head Taco) Bellamy Hunt (Japan Camera Hunter) and Paul Yan are pencilled in to speak. Then there’s the photo exhibition of the guest artists which is open to the public, as are the stands for all things photographic that will be on display on the same day.

So there you have it. 8 x 8 Street Photography Bangkok. This will be the street photography event of the year. Want to be a part of it? Click here for all details. 

See you in Bangkok.


Bangkok. March, 2016

Bangkok. March, 2016

Bangkok. March, 2016

Bangkok. March, 2016

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, iPhone 6s, iPhone photography, Street Photography, Travel 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)


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How to work out a workflow for thousands images?

Yes, that is right, I have thousands and thousands of images all shot over the past 5 months in Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Toyko, Cork, Dublin, Vienna, Bratislava, Hong Kong, Delhi, Leh, Varanasi, Mumbai, Seoul, Daegu, Geochang, Shanghai and Jeju island.

Thousands of images shot on four different cameras: mainly iPhone, then Fuji X100t, Nikon D7000, and then some on a Sony Xperia Z5.

Where to begin?


I have series in mind, sure. Have begun on some of them already. But the main problem I have is storage. I back everything up numerous times: Google Photos, Flickr, MacBook, external harddrives. But the main devices I use are my iMac and iPhone for storage and, more importantly, editing. And I am constantly getting notifications of Storage Almost Full.

What to do? It took the best part of three days to get all the images (and videos) off the devices and on to the iMac. Before doing this, I had to delete over 100 gigs of photos just to free up space. And I am still nearing capacity on a 1.2tb on the iMac.

The way I like to organise things is like this: I import all photos onto iPhoto. I like the way it creates events and I can give them titles. It is easy to find images from certain locations then.

Then I go through the selection process of choosing (non iPhone – all of those are done on the iPhone) images to edit. The ones I like, I drag over to Lightroom and do the editing there. From that there is another selection process for images to post to my various social media platforms.

This is the way I have worked for years, and there probably are better ways to organise it all, but people do what they are used to doing.

One of my favourite quotes is this:

“Reduce Everything You Want to Do to an Action You Can Do Right Now.” Jason Randal

And for me it is this blog post. This articulation of what I am feeling. It clears a little space – just like deleting gigs on the computer – and allows me to take the next little step.

My father gave me the best advice in life: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Very often I feel I should have the answers myself; that I should be able to cope, and that perhaps asking for help or advice is an admission of failing. It is not.

My wife gives me the good advice.

I asked her. I said: I do not know where to start. I have too many images.

She said: What is your favourite place that you have been in the past five moths?

I said: Tokyo.

She said: Start there.

I am starting.




Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone 6s, iPhone photography, My own favourite photographs, 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.


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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


I like writing. I like writing about the background to images, but sometimes it just becomes noise and distracts the viewer. A bit like titles. I used to title all my photos before, but now unless a title pops into my head, I don’t bother.

So, in that spirit, here are three photographs from Bangkok.

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Bangkok: March 2016

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Bangkok: March 2016

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Bangkok: March 2016


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

Little India, Singapore

I really loved this experience of visiting Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple in Singapore with my friend Elfie (Monogram Asia). This was something new for me and I was fascinated by the rituals taking place and the music playing in the temple. The people were welcoming and it was a great opportunity to observe and learn. 

I have put together this little photo essay of images shot on iPhone 6s below. The final black and white image was shot with the Nikon.

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Shoes at the entrance to the temple

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Bells on the entrance door to the temple

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Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple

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Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple

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Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple

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Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple

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Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple

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Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple


Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu Temple (Nikon D7000)

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