Tag Archives: Kiss the future

Goodbye to the iPhone 6: Hello to the iPhone 6S

The Apple iPhone 6 has been such a special camera for me and until this week I was reluctant to trade up for a new iPhone 6s. But eventually I decided it was time and this week I went and bought myself a brand new camera – I mean iPhone. Well, you know what I mean.

I have shot thousands of photographs with the iPhone 6; easily my all-time favourite camera. Even if I say so myself, I believe I have got a lot of good photographs with it in the 14 months that I have had it. It has been with me every day and I have used it in Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Sligo, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Vilnius, Berlin, Porto, Milan and Tokyo. How fortunate I have been to get to travel to those locations.

In writing this blog post I have looked back at the images I shot with the iPhone 6 and there are so many good memories which spring from the shots. No surprise then that the first image is my most well-known image: that Apple shot from Copenhagen taken back in October, 2014. You know the funny thing about this photograph is that it was a shot I was never happy with. In the post-processing stage, I struggled a lot with the tones in the centre of the image. Photography can be a little like home decoration – you do up one area and what does it do? It shows up how in need of redecoration another area is. In the end, I left the image as it was in my camera roll and was not even going to post it to Flickr (I never posted it to Instagram at all until it was on billboards around the world). When I did post it with a conversion to black and white, it got a great response and caught the eye of Apple’s representatives. The rest is history as they say.

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

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

Berlin was next on my travels. It is a city I have been to three times; always in December. I really would love to see it summer time. When I was there I shot a lot with one of my favourite apps for iPhone photography – 1-hour photo. Using this app, you can only shoot in black and white and the novelty aspect of it is great fun. Like the old days with film, your shots are processed in an hour. The results I love. The black and white tones are really beautiful.

The shot I selected for this blog piece is one I shot on a cold night in Berlin, just off Alexandrs Platz station. Reflections are something I use a lot in my photography. I was struck by the melancholic look on this woman’s face as she waited for the bus to drive off. I stood back a little and did not focus the camera to achieve the layered effect.

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Berlin. 2014

In a recent interview I did with 121 clicks I was asked about what photographic experiences I would like to relive. I thought about it for a while; thought about the places I have been, the shots I’ve made and then I realised that the most precious times are the ones spent with family and friends. The shots of strangers mean little, but those of loved ones mean so much.

One of my all time favourite photographs is this one taken in the Glucksman Gallery in Cork of my little boy, James. I often bring the kids to this gallery and they love to run around and from time to time, the art does get their attention – but never for long. This one here shows the split second (and that is all it was) when James’ attention was taken by the photographs on the wall. The shot I got after it shows how quickly his attention moves to the next thing.

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Beautiful James

 

In March, everything changed. My fifteen minutes of fame arrived and I loved it – who wouldn’t? My photograph of that crazy park in Copenhagen went up on billboards and posters all around the world. This was simply magical. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a thing. The excitement I experienced in getting emails and tweets from people who found my image in the wild was just wonderful and this is the thing that will stay with me long after the campaign.

I was fortunate to get to see the shot on billboards in Milan, with my wife, and in Tokyo also. It is hard to put into words the sensation of seeing a photograph I took on a small, little camera up on a huge billboard where literally thousands of people can see it. One of the most beautiful moments of the Shot on iPhone 6 experience was sitting by the window with my wife in a cafe in Milan and looking out at my photo all lit up on a big billboard. It was a surreal and wonderful sensation.

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All lit up in Milan

 

In April, two great things happened: I won my first competition – Mira Mobile Prize and I was invited to London to be interviewed by the great Dan Rubin for Apple’s Meet the iPhone Photographer in their Regent Street Apple Store. Looking back at the year I have had, there have been many accolades and prizes, but this experience was the one I enjoyed most. I was nervous on the day, but Dan made it all so easy for me. I really enjoyed the day we spent together and the hour on stage talking about my photographic journey.

When I was in London, I had the chance to get out and shoot with the iPhone and some of the images I got while there I love. This one has to be one of my all-time favourite photos. I was on Blackfriar’s bridge on a gloriously sunny spring morning. The sun cast a shadowed pattern of the bridge on to the footpath. I waited until someone passed to get a human element and I was lucky. This lady wearing black and white runners walked into my frame. Click!

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London. April 2015

Winning the Mira Mobile Prize was super special. I got the news late at night in Tokyo. It is true what they say about first times being special. Anyone who enters a competition dreams of winning it. Why else enter? When I learned I had won I cried tears of joy. The next day, Irish media picked up on the story and I made headlines news on RTE (Irish state broadcaster). It probably was a quiet news day, but still!

My prize for winning the Mira was an all-expenses trip to Porto. I travelled out there in June (read about it here) and had a wonderful 5 days there. What a great town it is. I spent my time wandering the streets shooting as I went. My favourite Shot on iPhone 6 image from there is this one of this guy sitting on the beach as the waves crashed on the rocks right in front of him. I stumbled upon this guy and was so surprised to see him there. What was he doing?

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Porto

 

In June, I also got news that this photograph (you can read more about the background to it here) won two competitions. The first was Mediteraneo Foto Festival and the second was the Florence International Photography Awards. The same image would later go on to win first place in the Stark Awards. I was particularly pleased with that one because it was not a mobile-only competition.

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Shibuya Nights

In July, we went on a family holiday to the north-west of Ireland, to Sligo. Now, Irish summers are usually disappointing. We crave sunshine but rarely get it. This summer was no different, but we did get to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland, and for anyone that has not seen Belbulben, you have to! It is the most impressive mountain in Ireland. You can see it here smothered in the greyest of Irish summer clouds.

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Sligo. Summer 2015

 

My memories of my childhood are happy ones. I recall walking to mass with my mother, hand in hand, and I would be incessantly talking and asking questions. My favourite question to her was: “When will it be my birthday?” Funny how we as kids love our birthdays so much and want them to come sooner and sooner and then as we get older we want them to not to come so damn fast. Each year, I have a little tradition with my two kids. We get the bus in town and sit on the top deck at the very front. Then we have some treats in a cafe and head to the bookshop to get some books. I love it and so far they do too. Not sure how long it will last for, but I do hope it will be a happy memory for them.

Here are two photos of them on their birthdays. First, my little boy, James, and myself on his fifth birthday. 

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James (birthday number 5)

And then, my little girl – Sumi-Anna – on her eight birthday looking over the River Lee in Cork.

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Sumi-Anna (Birthday number 8)

In October, I travelled to Vilnius to shoot the gig of Tomas Sinicki. What a great experience that was. I used my three cameras for it, but the one I enjoyed most was the iPhone. It was particularly good fun to see the reaction of the photo journalists when I switched from the Nikon to the iPhone to get my shots. Tomas is a class act. His mix of punk, rock and folk music really brought me back to my younger days.

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Tomas Sinicki

 

In November, I had mobile workshops in the Lewis Glucksman Gallery , Cork and in the Gallery of Photography in Dublin. What a great experience it is to be able to share my passion for photography with like-minded people. I love the photo walks we go on when we are out and about. This shot here was taken on the doorstep of the Glucksman Gallery and forms part of an ongoing series of images I have titled – Trying to see the good in people.

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Trying to see the good in people

This year had its sad moments too. In February, I lost one of my best friends, Liam, to cancer. There has not been a day pass since that I have not thought of him. The one regret I have about this year is that he was not there with me to share it. He would have loved it. I took this photograph on a morning walk. The sun hitting the tree and casting its shadow struck me. Miss you, Liam!

Liam

Liam

And on it goes…

Am excited to think about the photographs I will get with this new iPhone. Have not had much time to get out shooting with it; possibly will do so over the Christmas break. Here is a shot I got yesterday.

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Kiss the future

 

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Shot on iPhone 6 Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Instagram

Instagram is great with numbers. It calculates how long has passed since you posted in minutes, hours, days and finally in weeks. My Instagram feed goes back 238 weeks, which can be more easily understood in 4 years and 6 months. That is a long time of regular posts and a long time swiping up to get to that first Instagram post to establish how long I have actually been using Instagram. There was a big broohaa about Instagram last week when it updated and allowed non-square images to be shared. This was a great update to what already is a fabulous platform for sharing photographs. But here’s an idea Instagram – why not give us a time option so we do not have to endlessly swipe up to see photographs we posted all those hundreds of weeks ago. Wouldn’t it make sense? Put a little calendar icon there for us and let us make that trip down memory lane without exhausting our poor thumbs.

My first-ever Instagram post (238 weeks ago)

My first-ever Instagram post (238 weeks ago)

Instagram, love it or hate it, there has been nothing like it in the history of photography. I could bore you with statistics, but doubt I really would. People love them. Me too. So here goes. Instagram has 300 million active users. 75 million use it every day. I am one of the 75 million. If you are reading my blog, which nearly always has to do with photography, you are probably one of them too. More men than women use Instagram and the second most instagrammed food is Sushi. Now to find the most instragrammed food; well, you will need to google that for yourself.

Here are some of my own statistics as of September 10, 2015. I have posted 2085 images. I have 1840 followers. I follow 266 people, and in the past week or so I have deleted more than 1500 of my photographs. I want, and will, delete many more. Why? Because Instagram is a photography cemetery. Who swipes up for that long to see what you posted 238 weeks ago. Really though, who counts time in weeks?

Despite the tiredness in the thumb, it was great to go back and revisit photographs. So many brought me right back to the moment of the shot – the associated sensation, the excitement,  and immediately I remembered if was I alone or with someone. I found it powerfully provocative swiping though those images; discarding and deleting so many, but some stopped me in my tracks and had me enthralled. In putting together this blog post I could have chosen from many images from hundreds of weeks gone by, but the ones below seem to represent my Instagram journey best.

Photographs of my kids are so special to me. I am very protective of their privacy and nearly all the shots I post of them are shot from behind. I think it is a combination of protection and preparation for when they will be independent of me. This is one of my all-time favourite photographs. One I commissioned a painter to paint and we have it large and framed on our living room wall. Their innocence and intrigue at the passing world outside the window forever captured.

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My children (204 weeks ago)

I was struck recently by this quote from Benjamin Disraeli: “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”  At first, it seems like a contradiction and from that you begin to question it to understand it and then realise how true it is. It leads me to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s quote about memories: “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” 

Looking back over my Instagram images, which are in actual fact only fractions of a particular second, I find they can catapult me back in time to that very moment I shot them. Like this one shot on a rainy, humid day from the passenger’s front seat of a car travelling from Ha Long Bay back to Hanoi. I was listening to The New Yorker fiction podcast of Junot Diaz – How to date a brown girl. I can still hear the low tones of the voice. What should have been a 90-minute journey was taking over four hours. My two travel companions were asleep in the back seat and our driver and I shared smiles and nods as he had very little English and I had zero Vietnamese. Outside the rain fell and fell. The hypnotic windscreen wipers swept back and forth many times before I saw the photograph appear. When I did, I was so pleased. The image shows a fraction of a second of a four-hour journey but from it sparks so many recollections of friendship, fun and shared discovery.

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Vietnam (177 weeks ago)

It was from this trip to Asia in 2012, that I really became a photographer and the reason being was that for the first time I had a camera with me all the time. In those five weeks in Asia I posted hundreds of images on Instagram from Hong Kong, Hanoi, Seoul, Daegu, Busan, Tokyo and Kyoto. It was so easy. The whole photographic process was made simple on the iPhone and Instagram: Shooting, editing and sharing all on one device. Back then my brother was in hospital for major surgery and Instagram allowed me to share my travels with him and take his mind off things a little. When I look back at those images now, the sense of distance I had from him was shortened with Instagram. It was hard being so far from home when he was so sick, but I knew he would want me to enjoy myself, and I did. It was wonderful to be able to share what I was experiencing with him on Instagram. Thankfully, he made a full recovery.

Busan (178 weeks ago)

Busan (178 weeks ago)

After having so much fun with the iPhone and Instagram in Asia, I decided that when we went for a short break in Barcelona later in the year that I would only use the iPhone. How freeing it was not to have the heavy DSLR and all those settings to manage. With the iPhone I was able to see and shoot and with Instagram edit and share. Perfect. It may be 159 weeks ago, but I would probably shoot this again exactly as I saw it back then. OK, I probably would straighten it.

Barcelona (159 weeks ago)

Barcelona (159 weeks ago)

With the iPhone I moved more into street photography. The camera, which was also a phone, which was also a music player, was perfect for candid street portraits. It allowed me to get in close without drawing too much attention, like in this shot.

Barcelona (159 weeks ago)

Barcelona (159 weeks ago)

How did the iPhone and Instagram help me to develop as a photographer? Well, I went from a situation where I would only take a camera out on occasion to having one always with me. Gone were the moments when you would see an image and curse the fact that you had no camera with you. The iPhone was always with me and because of that I was becoming more and more sensitive and alert to photographic opportunities. This image below is a great example of this. Here’s the story behind it. I was having an argument with my wife – as you do. Couples argue. We were at a function in Dublin and arguing over something silly that I cannot recall. While we were arguing these two cracks in the wall got my attention. The lines seemed in harmony and at the same time not. I was struck at how fixed and permanent they were; how distant, but always together. I got the shot and like always the first thing I did was to show it to my wife. That’s us, I said. She said nothing in reply, but gave me a look. We continued to argue for a little while after that, but I remember being very pleased that I had seen the shot and had got it.

Disagreement (120 weeks ago)

Disagreement (120 weeks ago)

Then there are ones of trees and how those trees need to cheer the fuck up. Sitting in a crowded hall at an education conference in Berlin my attention was drawn to the high glass windows and those trees that shivered in the cold and rain outside. I had not been in Berlin for 6 years. The last time I had been there I had a series of telephone calls that would change my life forever. As I sat lost in those thoughts, I was staring into the distance watching the rain run on the window and the trees shiver ever so gently a little beyond. I broke myself from that melancholy and photographed the scene.

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Berlin (144 weeks ago)

The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.”  (Alain De Botton)

Swiping down through the thousands of images I have posted to Instagram over the years, photographs from my travels dominate the stream. It is funny, but the ones that convey the sense of excitement most are shot in airports. Is there anywhere as exciting as an airport when you are about to head off on another great adventure? Although airports are never as exciting when you are making your way home.

Sometimes things just line up for you and you are compelled to see and shoot. This is one of those instances. I was on my way to Germany, via Amsterdam, queueing to board a plane in Cork airport and as we snailed along I saw the passengers embark at the far end of the plane. With the queue trundling along at no great pace, I had time to frame the shot.

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Cork Airport (126 weeks ago)

When I got to Amsterdam, I was snap-happy and shooting a lot with the iPhone. Airports are so often such magnificent examples of modern architecture and have so many elements a photographer looks for like great light and there probably is no other place where you can find so many people from so many cultures. For this image, I crouched down on the travelator and set up the shot. I shot a lot of images from this perspective as I waited for my connecting flight to Germany, much to the bewilderment (and sometime annoyance) of my fellow travellers.

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Amsterdam (126 weeks ago)

Instagram is much more than a photographic document of the past 238 weeks of my life. As I swipe down through the images I am drawn in and swept off to reacquaint myself with past adventures. I see my two children growing up. I see how I want to see and show and share the world around me. I see my photographic style emerge and evolve. I see me.

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Brendan (99 weeks ago)

Kiss the future!

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

Mobile Journalism Conference, Dublin

The World's First Ever Mobile Journalism Conference

The World’s First Ever Mobile Journalism Conference

When my turn came to speak, the nerves had gone and were replaced with a feeling of ya, this is it and I’m going to enjoy it. The excitement really began when, along with the other six speakers who were part of the panel for smart phone photography, we got miked up. Ya, this was it. Here I was in the National Convention Centre in Dublin all miked up, all ready to go and talk about what I do on the stage of the world’s first ever Mobile Journalism Conference – Mojocon!

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The stage is set

We took to the stage and sat in the order we were to speak. I was to the left of Andy Butler who was first up and to the right of Michael Kistler, Dan Berman, Nicki Fitzgerald, Dan Rubin and Jack Hollingsworth. We were assigned ten minute slots which would be announced by the ringing of a bell. Our moderator, Patrick Hamilton-Walsh (what a pleasure it was to get to know Patrick), introduced us one by one. Andy was first up to talk about his website and e-magazine, MobiographyBack in October, 2014, when the organiser Glen Mulcahy contacted me about putting together a panel of people from the world of mobile photography, Andy was one of the first names that popped into my head. I have great admiration for the work he does in promoting and showcasing mobile photographers on his site and e-magazine. Andy gave a well-structured and informative presentation that was well received by the large audience. Then came my turn and up I went.

On stage

On stage

Earlier in the day, I had heard one of the speakers at another session say that for every minute of your presentation there needs to be an hour of preparation. When he said this, I immediately started to do my calculations and doubt began to creep in. Had I my ten hours of preparation done? But really the truth was that I could not get the mathematics of the calculation right, so I abandoned it. I was pretty much prepared. I had my slides, a little video clip of me showing how I do post-processing on the phone and I had written out an accompanying text, and for good measure had a few jokes thrown in. Earlier in the week, my wife had sat and listened to me rehearsing. Asking her how it was elicited – ‘it’s fine, but you need to slow down a little’. I am a fast talker, I suppose. Earlier in the afternoon with Michael Kistler and Andy Butler we had more rehearsals and again the advice back was “slow down!” Conscious of this, I tried to pace the delivery just that little bit more slowly. I think I managed it OK, but the thing that got me was that damn clicker for the slides. Coming towards the end of the presentation, I clicked twice and was unable to get back to the previous slide. I missed the chance to get my little joke in about selfies and to compound things, the bell rang and it was like being back in school. I wrapped things up there and then and only in later presentations did I realise that I still had more time and I should have just kept on regardless. However, all in all, it was fine. I got to tell the story of my mobile photography journey: from an iPhone 3g to billboards and posters all over the world.

As soon as I sat down, the reflection process began and has not stopped. If the conference goes ahead next year and I get invited back,  I have decided that I am going to bring my own bell and ring it at random intervals and allow it to soothe and relax me throughout.

My photo on a billboards in San Francisco and Chile

My photo on a billboards in San Francisco and Chile

Next up was Michael Kistler, a photographer based in Hong Kong, who gave a solid and well-structured presentation dealing with the many myths and false claims associated with mobile photography. He finished his presentation with a slideshow of his images. I really liked this style, because it showed a confidence to allow his photography to speak for itself, without need for voice over as the images were shown. I am a big fan of Michael’s work and was chuffed to see his presentation go so well.

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“Man! Stop phoning my camera! What are you phoning my camera for?” This was one of the many funny lines from the larger-than-life Daniel Berman, the founder of the Mobile Photography Awards (MPAs). Dan stole the show. He introduced himself to the audience as Ted Cruz, cracked a few jokes and had them in the palm of his hand from there on in. Dan showed some of the amazing mobile photography images that have won at the MPAs and spoke of how many of these have been sold for large amounts. When one of the slides did not show and he was left with a black screen, his showmanship shone when he told the audience that “this image is called black and I sold this to a gallery in San Francisco for $40,000.” Dan!

Daniel Berman

Daniel Berman

 

I did not envy Nicki being up after Dan, but she managed very well. Nicki runs the well-known iphoneographycentral.com with Bob Weil. She spoke of the fine work her site showcases and then walked the audience through the processing of one of her own images. Again, it was a very interesting to see how she creates her images and what apps she used to do this.

Nicki Fitzgerald

Nicki Fitzgerald

 

Dan Rubin is one of the biggest names on Instagram with more than 750,000 followers, but this really is a very small part of what Dan does, as he is a successful man in many fields. I was very impressed with Dan throughout the day. He was a calming and supporting influence on us novice presenters. It was great to watch Dan go through his paces. Clearly he is a polished presenter and he engaged effortlessly with the audience.

Dan Rubin

Dan Rubin

The final man on our panel of speakers was the guy known as Photo JackJack Hollingsworth. Jack is very well-known in photography circles. wefollow.com has Jack listed as the 11th most influential photographer on Twitter. Jack’s presentation was big on numbers and stats, which are always interesting to learn, but what I liked about Jack’s talk was the emphasis on how to become a better photographer. Simple, become a better person. Art from the heart. 

Jack Hollingsworth

Jack Hollingsworth

Coming off that stage, I was buzzing, or skipping with delight as Andy Butler would call it. What an exhilarating feeling to be involved in something like that. Walking off stage, I was met by people congratulating me, telling me how well I had done, how much they liked my work. Together with the other speakers, what had been a collegial, supportive dynamic before the session, was now one of exuberance and delight. It was over and now we could relax and enjoy ourselves. And that is what we did. The organisers had arranged a meal in a lovely Thai restaurant. The food, the wine, the conversation, the atmosphere, everything was just perfect. A night to remember!

Day two of the conference was about taking things to the street. Together with Michael Kistler and 15 other people we hit the streets surrounding the Convention Centre. Had I been asked about photo walks before I would have probably replied that I was not a fan of them. The idea of large groups of people in a herd moving together snapping in unison, would have been a right turn off for me. But the truth is I was completely wrong. Ya, we all followed the same route, but the diversity of images we got was incredible. How could so many different things have been observed?  It just goes to show how different everyone’s perspective really is. The location opposite the Convention Centre is a great one for a photo walk. There is some spectacular architecture around that area and plenty activity too. The weather held up, even though rain had been forecast. We used the hashtag #mojocononthestreet and curated images posted to Twitter and Instagram to organise a contest with donated prizes from iProlens. In hindsight, we should have a raffle for the prizes as it really was so difficult to choose among the entered images. That is the only regret I have about the conference.

Taking Mojon Con to the Streets

Taking Mojon Con to the Streets

Here is a little clip of an interview Richard Donelan, of Start Up TV Ireland, did with Michael Kistler and myself.

It was the most amazing experience. I have spoken at and attended many academic conferences, workshops and seminars through the years, in many countries, but none compared to this. There was a buzz about the place that was matched with the sense of excited anticipation the speakers and attendees shared. Here were the leading lights in the future of journalism, coming together from all over the world, wanting to learn, wanting to share, wanting to take the next step in the evolution of mobile journalism together. To be a part of this, as a visual storyteller, a photographer was a true privilege. It has invigorated and inspired me. I met so many nice people over the weekend. Thanks to Jack Caffrey, Claire Byrne, Maeve Heslin, Margaret Ward, Richard Donelan, Juan Muñoz Fernandéz, Phyllis Stephen, Niki Mustain, Ricky Fosheim, Shadi Rahimi, Sue Llewellyn, Alison Gow, Micheal Mac Suibhne, Harry Guinness, my fellow Man Utd fan – Patrick Hamilton-Walsh, and Sinead Cassidy who was always available before and during the event to ensure everything ran smooothy. It was a great pleasure to share this experience with you all. Hope our paths cross again.

I cannot end this piece without acknowledging the work that Glen Mulcahy has done in bringing all of this together. This was the first event of its kind any where in the world. As a fellow Irishman I am very proud of Glen. It took a lot of imagination, vision and persistence to get this event off the ground. That it was such a success is so pleasing. Kudos to you, Glen!

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The Great Glen Mulcahy

 

Here’s to MojoCon 2016! 

Kiss the future...

Kiss the future…

 

 

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2014: My favourite images

Each year, I like to take some time and look back at the photographs I posted to Flickr. (Here are links to previous years – DSLR &  iPhone) Being a nostalgic sort, this is something I enjoy very much. The thing that surprises me is how much I forget and how distant these scenes seem from now. The old saying – it seems like yesterday –  is one I have never been able to connect with. Yesterday seems an age away for me. Heading back and seeing what I posted twelve months ago seems like another life.

It has been a very good year. I got to see new countries: Taiwan and Denmark; and revisit places I love: Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, London and Berlin. Really cool. I like this little exercise of looking back, mainly because it is an exercise all about believing in the future. Twelve months ago none of these images had been realised. One of the reocurring feelings I get as a photographer is that I will never create another photograph worth anything. It is something experience each time I head out with the camera. But I know that I will. I know I will learn and get better. I will be here twelve months from now looking back at 2015 and getting excited about 2016.

In 2015, I posted 241 photographs on the DSLR account and 248 to my iPhone account, making a total of 489 images. That is a lot, by any standards, and to whittle it down to one image from each account for each month is not an easy task. But here we go.

We started the new year visiting a beach to the east of Cork. It was a wild and windy day and darkness was settling in almost as soon as we arrived. There is something about the sea which is so quietening. I could stare at it without any awareness of time passing. When I lived in Spain, in Badajoz a city whose river had dried out, I missed water so much. Coming from Cork, with our city centre an island that the River Lee surrounds and only being a stone’s throw away from the sea, I need water. I need to hear and smell it.

This image I have chosen as my favourite for January is one of my little girl, Sumi-Anna, staring out to sea. I stood behind her as she stared. Captivated by her, wondering what ran through her mind as she looked out. Wishing for her all she could ever wish for herself. As a parent, I find I take so many images of my kids with their backs to me, walking away, bravely, without me. Not waiting for me, not needing me to hold their hand. The first steps of independence. This is preparation of a sort. I know one day it will come that I will not be wanted. They will need to express their independence. For now, there is still some hand holding and I will hold tightly while I can.

January

January

And now on to my beloved iPhone. Fun! That is what the iPhone is all about. It puts the phun in iPhunography. Don’t get me wrong, I like photography with the DSLR too, but it is too heavy, too complicated and too  visible. The iPhone is light, fits my hands, does not require too many calculations and it is discreet. And did I say it was phun? It is!

A series of images that has got me a lot of attention is the one of people walking in the corridor where my office is. I have gotten some beautiful images there. Check this and that. The one I am choosing for January is a little different to the others in that the colour is brighter. I love the faint outline and the sense of motion.

January

January

Have I chosen your favourites. Check these links to see. iPhone – January  & DSLR – January

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

October 31 2014

What an utterly miserable day it is here! Rain, wind and the greyest of skies. Halloween too. A manufactured corruption of an Irish tradition. Meh!

But life goes on. Clouds part. Sun shines. Here is an image taken in Copenhagen. In the distance you can see the sun.

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Kiss that future

While in Copenhagen, I met Thomas Toft. If you have not checked out his photography, then you are in for a treat. A wonderful photographer and a great guy. One evening we cycled out to this wonderful location. Thanks again, Thomas!

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

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

A year of iPhone photographs

Mobile photography? Hasn’t all photography always been mobile? I have never had a camera that was not portable. OK, only in recent years did I get a camera that also had other functions, but photography has always been mobile. If you check the statistics for uploaded photographyyou will see that nowadays the most commonly used camera is not a stand-alone camera, but a multi-functional device that has an inbuilt camera. More people than ever before are enjoying photography, and predominantly this is in the form of a smart phone that has a camera. In an effort to understand and deal with this phenomenon, the term mobile photography has been coined. But is it time to drop the mobile part? I think so.

There is irony in that on my part, seeing as I separate my traditional photography and mobile photography with two separate Flickr accounts. But hey! Contradictions and hypocrisy is what makes us humans interesting.

I completed my end-of-year review for my DSLR images last week and now I am beginning to look back at 2013 and choose my favourite images taken with my iPhone. You know, I will enjoy this more. The iPhone is more fun. Shooting with the DSLR, I feel more of a responsibility to adhere to and to achieve photographic standards; to manipulate the settings of the camera to good effect. But with the iPhone it is liberating. I point, I shoot, do a little post processing and very often upload immediately. Just fun! And what is the point of a hobby if it is not fun. I am not saying the DSLR is not fun, but I prefer the iPhone. It is lighter, more compact, less intrusive and it is a damn fine camera.

Looking back at the year of iPhone images, I am really pleased. There are a lot of good memories in those photos. The one I am choosing for January was taken on second day of the year in 2013. It was a cold, grey wintery day, but still all the family got together and headed to Inchadonny beach, which is about 50km from Cork. Kids love the beach. Last year we were lucky to have a good summer and many happy days were spent at the seaside. The image below shows my beautiful little girl, Sumi-Anna, playing on the sand, drawing figures. The sky expands above her and the Atlantic appears calm in the distance. The start of a new year with possibilities as vast as the sky, with love as forever as the ocean. Kissing that future…

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January

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

2013: My favourite photographs

I accept the futuredrudgeryA long-legged blonde with a large handbag walking into the frameRebel PedestriansIt can all end in an instant and all that will remain is youYou don't need eyes in the back of your head to face the future
Forever has no pauseirresistible urges to danceThis nagging knowingnessAll the world's a stage, but you are not my audienceGermanswallflower

2013: My favourite photographs, a set on Flickr.

Happy New Year to all. I hope 2014 brings you all closer to your dreams.
A full year has passed since I first posted on this blog. A big thanks to all who come and look at the photos I post and read what I write. It means a lot to me.
Here’s to kissing the future….
My resolution for this year – learn!

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