Tag Archives: London

2015 – Everything will happen. Believe – achieve!

On January 1, 2015, I posted this to Facebook: Everything will happen. Believe – achieve! When writing that I could never have imagined the magical experience that was about to begin for me. Looking back at 2015 through the lens of the iPhone there are so many highlights and accolades: being part of Apple’s incredible Shot on iPhone 6 global campaign, speaking at the world’s first ever mobile journalism conference – MojoCon in Dublin last March, winning many awards for my iPhone photography, being invited to London to be interviewed by the great Dan Rubin as part of Apple’s Meet the iPhone Photographer, visiting Tokyo, Porto, Amsterdam, Vilnius, Milan and London, giving iPhone photography workshops in galleries in Cork and Dublin. But throughout it all, I knew the thing that would stay with me was the experience of sharing all this with my family and my friends and also the making of new friends on the way. I realised how fortunate I am, not just in receiving these accolades and experiences, but also to see the joy it brings those who love me. Seeing the wonder in my mother’s face as she saw photos of my Shot on iPhone 6 photo on billboards around the world, hearing my little girl scream with glee when she saw me interviewed on TV, and

I like this little activity I have each year when I look back and choose my favourite 12 images I posted to Flickr throughout the year. It is an interesting document to see my photographic journey over the previous 12 months and gives me an idea of where I am heading to.

OK, I am going to be honest, looking at the iPhone shots I posted to Flickr in January, none of them stand out for me. This allows me to choose 2 from another month later in the year.

February was a sad month for me. My good friend Liam passed away. A day has not passed that he has not entered my thoughts. This photograph of the sun shining through a leafless tree is for him.

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F E B R U A R Y

In March, everything changed. My photograph went up on huge billboards all around the world and I absolutely loved it. For about two weeks, I could not sleep. The excitement of it all was too much. I was doing newspaper and radio interviews and my stats on all social media spiked. I was lucky to be able to get to Milan with my wife to see the billboards for ourselves. This photograph tells the story of how exuberantly delighted I was to see my photo on a billboard.

M A R C H

M A R C H

April and I was in Tokyo. It rained non-stop for 3 of the 4 days I was there. Only having 4 days, I intended to make the most of it. This photograph, shot in Shibuya, was taken only a short few hours before my early morning departure flight. It would go on to win 3 competitions in 2015. You can read more about how I got this shot here.

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A P R I L

April was a great month. I also got to go to London for Apple’s Meet the iPhone Photographer. To be honest, this was my personal highlight of the year. Everything about this experience (read my blog post about it here) was wonderful. I got up early on the morning of the event and was blessed with the fine weather. I got out early to shoot and on that morning, I got so many good shots. This one here, that I posted to Flickr in May, is one of my favourites of the year. I stood on the road as I waited for a passerby to enter my frame. The graphic shadowed patterns of Blackfriar’s Bridge were so serendipitously complemented by the black and white runners of the woman who strode past. Click!

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M A Y

I am attracted to light and lines. This shot, posted in June, is from a wonderful photo walk at Mojocon in Dublin in March stopped me in my tracks. I love the simplicity of it.

J U N E

J U N E

July was spent in Ireland. We had a family holiday in Sligo. Mullaghmore is one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches. I was walking on the sand dunes behind the beach when I saw my little girl running towards her mother and brother. I can still hear their laughter.

J U L Y

J U L Y

For August, I am cheating a little and choosing two photos. The first is one is of my little girl on her 8th birthday and the other is from the trip to London. I could not leave either of these photos out.

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A U G U S T

A U G U S T

A U G U S T (2)

In September, I posted another of my favourite shots of the year. This is one that I ran across traffic to get to in Amsterdam. I saw this guy sitting on a bus stuck in evening traffic. He had this most intense glare. This shot is part of an ongoing series.

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S E P T E M B E R

It seemed to start to rain in October  and has not stopped yet. I was sitting in the car waiting for my wife to get back from the supermarket when I saw this guy leave and battle to hoist his umbrella. I had to snap!

O C T O B E R

O C T O B E R

In JuneI got to travel to Porto – my prize for winning the Mira Mobile Prize. I was met by Manuela and Joao, the organisers of the competition. Their kindness and hospitality will stay with me for a long time. Porto is a wonderful city. It has it all. This photograph, posted to Flickr in November,  was taken just outside Porto’s iconic Majestic Cafe. I got as close as I could get to get this portrait of this wonderful Porto gentleman. You can read my travel article published by Ireland’s state broadcaster – RTE – here.

N O V E M B E R

N O V E M B E R

In December, I upgraded from my beloved iPhone 6 to the new iPhone 6s. Late to the party, but still hoping to get to dance, I have been battling the elements and getting out shooting. This photograph shot last Monday (29.12.15) was taken in a hurry. We stopped at Ladies View in Kerry to look down on the Gap of Dunloe. It was wild. Storm Frank had landed and the wind and the rain were ferocious. My friend Richard stood taking in the vista. I stopped behind, framed the shot and snapped. We spent another a minute or so there before rushing back to the car.

D E C E M B E R

D E C E M B E R

And that is it! Bringing to close what was the most wonderful year ever in my photographic journey. Thanks to all whose inspiration, love and kindness drives me on.

Here’s to 2016! Everything will happen. Believe – achieve!

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Best of 2015

It has become tradition at this time of year to look back at the shots I posted to Flickr and choose my favourite 12 – one from each month, for both my Flickr accounts. I have been doing this for the past number of years. You can see the past five years in this Flickr album for DSLR photographs.

This year has been a little different. I have posted far fewer images to Flickr than previous years. In 2014, I posted over 600 photographs to Flickr between my two accounts. This year, just under 200 to both. Why the change? Not sure. Maybe time. It is a time-consuming endeavour to post each day two photographs.

Anyway, it is something I enjoy to look back at the images posted each month and see my photographic journey of the past year. Some shots just jump out at me and have no competition in being selected and then for others I chop and change my mind a lot before settling on an image. Am sure the ones I choose may not be the ones you would. Why not let me know in the comments below.

January, saw me continue with an ongoing series of images: The pip-pop life span of worries.

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J A N U A R Y

In February, I lost a close friend – Liam. This is not a photograph of him, but the pose reminds me of him when he danced – the sexy motherfucker. Miss ya; every day…

F E B R U A R Y

F E B R U A R Y

March: Shot in Cork with the Fuji X100T.

M A R C H

M A R C H

April: I spent 4 days in Tokyo and when I was not sleeping or working, I was on the streets shooting. Another shot with the Fuji X100T.

A P R I L

A P R I L

Another from Tokyo for May. Another blurred image.

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M A Y

June saw me go to Porto as part of my winning the Mira Mobile Prize. This image is titled: Rehearsing for a date.

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J U N E

Back to Tokyo for July and another image I titled: Rehearsing for a date

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J U L Y

To Tokyo again for August. What a location Shibuya is! How magical it is in the night rain.

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A U G U S T

Becoming clear how much I love Tokyo. September:

S E P T E M B E R

S E P T E M B E R

In October, I had a very quick visit to the Tate Modern. This appeared in front of me.

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O C T O B E R

Some things you can’t go. I still love these bokeh heads and still believe I will create the image the series deserves.

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N O V E M B E R

Bringing the series to an end and I will cheat a little. This is a photo I shot in Kenmare on December 29th. It is my wife. Without her the lights go out. With her by my side, everything is possible. Kiss the future…

D E C E M B E R

D E C E M B E R

A review of iPhone photography for 2015 tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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London England

I love London. I lived there in the late eighties in Brixton, a part of London which then was a little run down, impoverished and home to many fellow immigrants, but a place with a wonderful sense of community. I had been buying my breakfast of a bottle of lucozade and a sandwich, and the newspaper in the shop outside my bus stop only about a week when the shopkeeper told me – “Pay me at the end of the week, mate!”. I was quickly welcomed to the community.

I recall many the happy night as a young teenager I spent in the Prince of Wales pub near the tube station drinking pints of lager, with the local communists trying to recruit me to the party. The closest I got to joining the party was one Sunday afternoon when they roped me into carrying their bucket of paste for posting their posters around Brixton. I had never known what the “Post No Bills” sign meant in public places, but when the police pulled up next to us, shouting at us, I quickly learned. I also quickly learned that my  new friends‘ idea of communism did not stretch to waiting with the young naiive Irishman who was left there literally carrying the can while they scarpered. Thankfully, the police left me off with a warning and I left my communist friends off with a “Well, fuck them!

But I have happy memories of my time living in London. It was my first time living away from home, fending for myself. I worked in an Estate Agent’s office in Putney, employed for a reason I could never make out. OK, I made the tea, ran the envelopes through the franking machine and spent the day chatting with the beautiful Sonia, whose desk was opposite mine, but I cannot remember ever having anything in particular to do. My boss, Sidney, was an old-school English gentleman. He was very kind to me. My first week there he wrote me a blank cheque and told me to go buy myself a new suit on my lunch break. Now, I say a new suit which would imply I had an old one. I hadn’t. I had a trousers, a shirt and tie and a jacket. They matched in the sense they fitted me, but I guess to Sidney’s eye they didn’t match. Walking down Putney High Street I checked out what kind of suits people were wearing. In 1987, suit jackets had lapels that stuck up like arrows. I bought a blue suit that day and it had those lapels.

When I got home that evening, back to the bedsit I shared with two other Cork lads, I stood proudly in front of the mirror and took a shot of myself in all my grandeur and a few weeks later when I had the roll of film developed I sent the photo back home to my parents with a letter recounting my new life in far-away London.

Writing this now, the memories of living in London are flooding back. There were two major incidents when I was there. I passed through King’s Cross the night of the fire, the tube speeding through the black of the smoke. 31 people died. Then there was the huge storm that the ruined the reputation of meteorologist Michael Fish who told us all nothing would happen. I slept through it (impossible to believe), but what destruction I encountered once I stepped outside. Years later, when reading Damien Hirst’s book, his comment about how people pass by huge trees every day and think nothing of them, then one day a storm comes and fells a tree and people are awestruck. That morning, sitting on the upper deck of the bus passing Clapham Common and seeing so many trees that the storm had uprooted had me awestruck. (None of Damien Hirst’s art has ever had me awestruck though.)

Returning to London is always a little trip down memory lane for me. Looking back as a middle-aged man and thinking that I was there as a naiive and homesick 18 year old amazes me. I was just a boy then. I see London now as an adult and see how it has changed. It is a magnificent city, full of life and when you can find a Londoner in this metropolitian city, you find a polite and cheerful person who takes time to give you directions.

Here is a little series of iPhone photographs I took while there. A big shout-out to my friend Mark T. Simmons who I met while there. This set is for you, Mark.

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Except acceptance

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Patrol

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Baker Street

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Hot stuff

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A smile

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The man in the know

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Everything everywhere

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The London Underground

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A Londoner

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Why me?

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Friendly Bus Driver

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London Underground

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Into Soho

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Coo coo cool!

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Passengers

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This nagging knowingness

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On-the-spot Parking Inspector

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Can you believe it?

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I hate that man

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Committed to the dance

photo 3

Me and Miranda

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Cool Brittania

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Miss Sixty

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