Tag Archives: Korea

January 18 2015

Things on my mind today:

  • Things to get done.

Here is an image from a day trip to Daegu last year. It is the final one in the little series of blurred colours in the rain.

Daegu delights

Daegu delights

And here is an image from Berlin taken with the iPhone.

Confidence that each step is the step which brings me closer to you

Confidence that each step is the step which brings me closer to you


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January 17 2015

Things on my mind today:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Future

Things that should be on my mind today:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Now

The future will take care of itself.





Been two times to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. Both times the sun shone and it was a dry day. Both times, I noticed these beads of water on the walls of the structures. From where do they come? There was no rain for days. Tears?



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2014: My favourite images – June

In June, I posted a total of 56 photos to Flickr; perfectly divided into 28 DSLR and 28 iPhone images. So many to choose from.

 Beginning with the iPhone, I am torn between these images – to see them large click through


The man I used to be






Not only trees need to cheer the fuck up







The image I find myself looking at most is Empowerment. I remember I was on my way back to my hotel in Taipei when I came upon this gentleman who was standing still as he read a notice on the closed shutters of a shop. I was struck by his pose and rigidity and the shadow he cast on the shutters. There is something about that image which quietens me and sets me daydreaming.



Of the 28 DSLR images, again it is hard to make a choice between these images – to see them large click through




I sort of want you to stay




What is left is only leaving


because of the times when the last thing you say is the last thing I hear


Nunca sea la ultima, sino la penultima







In the end, the image I am most drawn to is I sort of want you to stay. This was taken in Seoul. With camera ready I was walking around on a cold early spring evening when I walked past this entrance to a bar.  I had passed when I realised that the girl on the phone would make a nice shot. Without time to get the settings right I shot a few frames. As soon as I got the first one, she changed her pose and the scene changed. This photo has been my most popular on Flickr this past year.



Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2014: My favourite images – May

At the end of March we headed to Korea via Hong Kong. While in Asia I also got to visit Taiwan and Japan. Taiwan was a holiday, Japan was work, but I had the evenings and nights to get out and shoot. While away I didn’t post to either of my Flickr accounts and it was great. So, that leaves a free month and a little bit of a dilemma. In these end of year reviews that I do, I usually choose 12 images, but seeing as there is no posts for April, what am I to do? I’ll mull this one over. Any suggestions are very welcome.

So on to May we go. I came back from Asia with close on 80 gig of photos – a lot by any standards. Many are of family and I tend not to post those on my social platforms. But so many photos. I realise the way I work may not best serve my photography. I think I need to slow things down and see patterns and projects evolve instead of rushing to post. Series are categorised on my computer, and a little on Flickr, but a better way to present them online is needed. And that will happen.

Before heading to Asia I made a little promise to myself to be braver and to get those shots and not come back with regrets. Now, that is all fine and dandy, but when you have disobliging knees and a creaky back, getting that shot can also mean getting yourself back up off your knees after shooting. It is a comical sight, believe me. The image I like most from those I posted in May is this one taken in the Mong Kok district in Hong Kong on a rainy day. I saw this elderly lady approach and wanted to get her fully in frame so I bent down and snapped. As I was doing it, I heard her shouting at me and pointing to something that was behind me. Then I heard it. A car was coming and I had to get out of the way. Fast.




Committed to the future is a little project I have going on for some time now. A photograph can punctuate time and hopefully capture emotion. I am drawn to ones where commitment to what is to come is shown. This image taken in Seoul of two together holding hands as they wait for the signal to cross. Arrows point the way and opposite on the left a policeman is visible. I like the colours and the fact that they guy is carrying the bag.

There were many other images posted in May that I really liked, but this one resonates with me. Commit to the future now!




Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

September 30 2014

I got the new iPhone 6 yesterday and today my thumb is paining me. To navigate the bigger screen is not that easy. To get a good grip on the phone is not that easy and I am thinking to get good shots on the street will not be that easy. The iPhone 5 fitted perfectly in my hand and all areas of the screen were reachable with my thumb. This new iPhone 6 requires a little readjusting to reach those areas. I suppose with a little time I will get more used to it. I have taken one or two snaps of family with the camera and there is a noticeable improvement in picture quality. But the quality will only be noticeable when I feel comfortable with its size. Perhaps Apple should consider developing the iThumb; a fit-on extendable addition to your existing undersized-for-this-digital age thumb.

From thumbs to feet, here is an image I took on a subway train in Daegu, Korea. I like titles a lot. I think clever titles can add to an image and elevate the impact to another level. Conversely, poor titles limit a viewer’s imagination by corralling them into focussing on one aspect of the image to the detriment of others. When I am posting photographs, I think about titles. Sometimes they scream out at me and no time is lost. Other times, I take a little time just staring at the image and titles come. And then there are the times when nothing comes. These times, I usually give a location as the title. Lately, some photographs have been given the same title – as they are being worked into a series of images, such as Committed to the Future, This Nagging Knowingness, Today, I will be mainly hiding from myself, and my favourite – Trees need to cheer the fuck up! They do really!

When I took the iPhone shot below I had the title as soon as I saw it on the phone. Defeated in Musical Chairs.


Defeated in Musical Chairs

A little bit of mystery with my DSLR shot today. Taken in Kyoto after dark.



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

September 28 2014

Let’s start with the iPhone image today for a change. I usually start with the DSLR, but let’s mix things up a little. Somedays I think I am crazy having two separate accounts on Flickr for my iPhone and DSLR work. It all started when I first got into Instagram back in February 2011. I loved the way you could connect a Flickr account to it and upload the images to there directly from the app. The easiest thing was to set up a free account on Flickr. In those days, they had free accounts which allowed you to upload a maximum of 200 images. It all seemed good. Back then I had no idea that mobile photography would be something that I would get really into. It was just a bit of fun. Initially the photographs I took were snaps of things that got my attention, but after a while the potential to create more than a snap became apparent. Over time, the images I was shooting became better composed, more purposeful and the post processing improved also. Then while in Asia in 2012, it all took off. On the streets of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Hanoi and Seoul I really became addicted to using the iPhone 4. I knew I was in project mode and I knew that what interested me (people on the street) I was able to get with ease and discretion with the phone that was also a camera.

When I got back to Ireland in May 2012, is when I really began to think about the images I was posting on the iPhone account. Around that time, I started to pair an iPhone image with a DSLR image. Most days it works, but days like today, the images are not related, and that is fine too. Posting two images each day can be chore. At times, I get frustrated (OK more than at times – photography frustrates me all the time) as appear to be running out of quality images and I think to myself that I could make it easier by posting just the one image each day, be it a DSLR or an iPhone image. But I continue to post both.

Today’s iPhone image was taken in Daegu, Korea. When I went to Asia in spring I promised myself to be brave and to do all I could to get that shot. I did not want to get back home with regrets of not pushing myself to get in close to get a photograph. By and large, I was true to my promise, but of course, many shots went uncaptured. They always do! Not this one below, though. I spotted these two young fellas as I was wandering around. You got to love the fashion style of young Koreans. It is unique. Their hair overgrown and those dark and heavy-rimmed glasses. These two guys were in the back alley having a cigarette – I doubt it was anything illegal, as in Korea you do not encounter that. Everything about the scene called me to photograph it. The guy’s Hello on his t-shirt and two matching bags they were carrying. I entered the alley, focused on them and said “anyoung-a-sey-o” (Korean for hello), they turned and looked at me. Eye contact! And I snapped. Then I gave a little bow, which was returned, and thanked them with a smile. They muttered something in Korean and I went on my way.



The DSLR image is one of the last few images I will post for a while from Tokyo. I have some unconnected photographs that I like that I will post, but they don’t form a series like some of the recent images I posted from there. Or if you want, a series of unrelated images. I guess they have the fact that they are all taken in Tokyo in common.

This one is all about the colours for me, and the eye contact of the pedestrian opposite. Also, I love it because I know that my time in Tokyo is coming to an end (it was the last full day) and I am a nostalgic fool who gets all nostalgic without any adherence to the appropriate time to be nostalgic.

Have a good Sunday!




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

September 27 2014

My parents are fifty three years married and fifty five years together. They married at the average age for their generation, an age which would be considered crazy for today’s generation. I, myself, got married when I was 38 and in hindsight it was about the right age. If I reach the milestone of fifty three years of marriage, I will be 91 years old. Wow! When we see young couples demonstratively showing affection for each other in public, it is slightly irritating, but when we see an elderly couple displaying affection there is a such a tenderness to their love. A love that has withstood the storms of time. I am truly blessed to see the love my parents  share through the years. I have few real ambitions in life, but one would be to raise my family with my wife by my side and for the love we share to deepen and strengthen. If I could inherit one thing from my parents, it would be the key to a happy marriage. This is probably not something I will inherit, rather something I have grown up in and been a part of.



The iPhone image brings us back to Daegu, Korea. Taken of a girl on a bus. The reflections and the eye contact. Have a good weekend!


In and out of consciousness




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August 27 2014

The issue of privacy and intrusion is something I am always conscious of when I am on the street. I think if I am not, then I should leave the camera at home. I imagine these ladies felt I was a nuisance, but as a foreigner they would not have been surprised to seeing me take photographs. I came upon them on my walkabout the local market in my wife’s hometown. It would have been hard for them not to draw attention dressed as they were. These were two ladies who took pride and time in their appearance, and looked a little out of place in the market. They were engaged in animated conversation under their two umbrellas. I approached as discreetly as I could, not wanting to make my presence felt, not wanting to intrude, and I suppose not wanting to lose or convert the candid moment they were involved in. Positioning myself to their right, I set up the camera and shot. I think the little click of the shutter release alerted them and startled them a little. I don’t think I frightened them as instead of walking away from me, they walked towards me. As they did, I took another shot (see below). Then I lowered the camera, gave a bow and bows were returned and one muttered something in Korean to the other. The other nodded her head, then slowly shook it from side to side and glanced back at me still shaking her head. I raised and held the camera to my chest, smiled and thanked them in Korean – Gomapsamida!

Did I intrude here? I certainly interrupted and maybe I provided them with a little distraction and amusement on a wet day.

The two photos are best seen together, I think.


Everything there is to know is constantly being revised


We can start again

The iPhone photograph was taken on the streets of Daegu. This man approached and I could feel his eyes on me causing my eyes to meet his. I stopped before him, gave what I thought was a requesting look as I raised the iPhone, nodded a few times and clicked. All the while, he appeared expressionless as he gazed at me. I showed him the shot and slowly an awareness of how he looked dawned on him. He seemed happy and sad in the same instant. He looked away from the iPhone to me and gave the slightest of bows and walked on.

photo (1)


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August 26 2014

These two elegantly dressed ladies standing in the rain engrossed in conversation got my attention immediately. Intriguing to think what their story is. I got two shots of them. The second I will post tomorrow. Really the shots need to be seen together. Very often with street shots, I think the initial shot, caught candidly is interesting, but a second a moment after they realise they have been photographed would also be great to see.


Everything there is to know is constantly being revised


One of the things I like about Korea is encountering old guys who will shout greetings at you in their best American English. ‘Hey, buddy, how you doing!?’ Hearing this unexpectedly is so cool when you realise it is coming from an old guy who is across the street from you. The guy in the photo here shouted across at me and gave me a big wave. We met half-way, shook hands and continued on our way. I had expected a little more, to be honest. But I guess the greeting was the only English he had; the only English he learned from his time with American servicemen in the Korean war. You get to see a lot of elderly gentlemen like this man. All are dressed so well. It makes you think about them as young men in a war with their own countrymen. It makes you think of those young men who never had the chance to become old men.


The good fortune to grow old


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August 25 2014

Lightroom. Fantastic software for editing photographs, but scary if you move the locations of the folders where you store the photos. Last night, I decided to tidy up my cluttered desktop. The way I work with photos is that I use iPhoto for storage and mainly Lightroom and sometimes Snapseed for editing. When I want to work on a shot I drag it from iPhoto to Lightroom. I also use Snapseed for editing and this creates folders on the desktop. Why, I do not know or understand. Anyway, imagine my horror when I opened up Lightroom after my reorganising the desktop and clicked on a photo and the ‘cannot locate the image’ warning appeared! Appeared on over 400 images. I freaked. I googled. I searched. I located the missing folder and have vowed never to mess with it again.

Something similar happened when I used to upload directly from Lightroom to Flickr. I remember editing a photo I had posted to Flickr and reposting it and losing all the faves and comments I had accrued on the original posting. Another time, I deleted by accident an image in LR and it disappeared from Flickr. Now, I export to a desktop folder before uploading. Lesson: Do not trust Lightroom with uploading.

I am posting the last image of the series of With the slowest of jazz music playing. I have another 4 or 5 images to add to the series, but I find interest in the same type of images dwindles after about 4 photographs. I am posting the other images here on the blog and maybe sometime in the future I will post the others to Flickr also.


With the slowest of jazz music playing [4]









The iPhone photograph is distortion. An effort to recreate what I was seeing. Very often I am asked what I use for blur or to blur the images on the iPhone. I lower the camera, finger on the shutter and quickly lift it and release the image captured is blurred. You can see more of my technique explained in this video.

Have a good week. Thanks for all the visits.

photo (14)


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