Tag Archives: Mojocon

MojoFest 2018

Limitations.

Limitations make learning possible; make learning necessary. Limitations and not accepting them push us to be adaptive, to be creative, innovative and while we may not always succeed, we will achieve so much just by trying. That is what MojoFest is all about. Pushing beyond those limitations to discover possibility. That and having the best craic with the great folk that are MojoFest.

MojoFest

I spent three days at MojoFest in the National University of Galway this week. Three days learning about all that is possible using that small, but powerful device everyone carrie around with us: Your smartphone. We all have one, and at times it can feel like it has us, but we need to shake ourselves free from consumption and become creators. MojoFest brought together the very best of people doing that, and I left on Friday morning aware of my own limitations, but empowered and better equipped to overcome them.

My association with the event dates back to 2014, In March of that year I got an email from some guy in RTE (Irish state broadcaster). He said he had seen my mobile photography and would love to shoot a video of me. I read it and re-read it, really disbelieving it. RTE? Me? Video? The guy was Glen Mulcahy. In the video he shot I spoke about the limitations of dealing with low light on the iPhone 5 and because of this I discovered it allowed me to create beautiful blurred images. A year later Glen asked me to put together the photography panel for the first MojoCon (as it was called then) and since that event in 2015, I have been lucky enough to be involved each year. Glen is a guy who deals with limitations head on. At times this year it looked like MojoFest would not happen. But Glen embraced the challenge and the community got behind him and made this year’s event the very best of the four there have been.

Mr. MojoFest – Glen Mulcahy

Over three days, there were presentations and panel discussions in the mornings, and then the opportunity to put what you were learning into practice in the afternoons. In the evenings speakers and delegates got together to socialise in some of the great bars there are in Galway. The final evening was the first MojoFest Awards Ceremony with 16 categories, with some truly stellar and important work being recognised. One of those was this short film shot by Gisella Rojas which won the Thomson foundation award. I was privileged to win the Photography category and receive a trophy and cash prize. Very proud!

The fantastic David McCelland hosting the awards

One of the highlights for me was to meet up with Cielo De La Paz and Jen Pollock Bianco, two photographers who shared the magical experience of being part of Apple’s Shot on iPhone 6 campaign in 2015. Here I am with Cielo. Unfortunately, Jen left before the three of us could get a chance of a group photo. Thanks to my Renzo Grande for the photo.

Cielo De La Paz and my good self showing our #shotoniPhone6 photos

This is a very quick blog post about the event. To check out more and to see the presentations, follow MojoFest on Twitter and Facebook.

Oh, and I cannot go without thanking Tim Bingham. He made the event, and particularly the journey up to MojoFest, memorable. And if you are in Cork in the next month, do not miss out on seeing Tim’s exhibition in St. Peter’s Cork.

Here’s to 2019. Embrace those limitations and kiss that future…

Mojo Fun

 

 

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

iPhone Portrait Mode

“But it’s not a real camera!”

2017, and we are still hearing that.

Bangkok -iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

At the recent 8 x 8 Street Photography Conference in Bangkok I gave a talk on how the limitations of the iPhone resulted in my experimenting and pushing things creatively. It was a fun talk, but a talk that had impact. One that got people thinking, and one that has encouraged people to embrace mobile shooting.

Galway – iPhone 7plus Portrait Mode

For me, moving from film to digital changed the way I shot simply because I was able to review the images immediately and shoot more. Result being I made more mistakes and I learnt more. But once I began to embrace shooting on the iPhone it changed the way I see; it changed the way I think. Why? Again, it is simple I went from a situation of having a camera – a big, heavy DSLR (that I love to this day) sitting in a drawer only taken out on occasion, to one where I had a camera with me 24/7. Gone were the times when I would see a scene and say to myself:

“Oh, I wish I had a camera with me.”

I always had a camera with me. And instead of passively happening upon photographic opportunities, I was now actively seeking them and actively creating them. I began to see, think and create photographically.

Bangkok – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

Sure, there were limitations. Small sensor which meant poor quality images in low light. But this allowed me to experiment and create images like this in low light conditions.

iPhone 5 (2013)

No zoom? Ya, and that meant I had to zoom with my feet and get in close getting the shot. I also began to discover how perfect the small and discreet iPhone was for street work.

iPhone 4: 2012

A fixed lens? Again, this resulted in more considered compositions. More awareness of what to leave in and more importantly what to leave out of an image. When I look back now at the images I shot with the iPhone I can see how particular I was about composing images; the attention I gave to what I was photographing in an image, and what I was not photographing (what to omit) in a frame.

Tokyo – iPhone 6, 2015

No changeable lenses? Well, there are add-ons – great lenses like the Olloclip ones. But again, I did not want to use them straight up. No, I wanted to experiment and see what else they could do. Macro lens portraits? Ya, why not?

iPhone 6: 2016

And the latest imperfection that causes people to say: “But it’s not a real camera, though, is it?”

Portrait Mode is Apple’s attempt to mimic the bokeh effect that real cameras can achieve. It creates a depth-of-field effect blurring out background and making your subject in the foreground stand out. Can a phone camera really do that? Sure it can!

Tokyo – iPhone 7 plus Portrait Mode

Again, it is something I can achieve with so much more ease on my Fuji or my Nikon, but for some reason it feels differently on those cameras. Working in Portrait Mode with the iPhone is frustrating. You get notifications from the camera telling you to move closer, mover further away, place your subject within 2.5 metres until the DEPTH EFFECT in bright yellow appears. I imagine in years to come we will look back at these notifications and marvel at them. For now, it is slow. It is frustrating. It is hard to use in low light. But here’s the thing: because it slows you down, you become more considered about composition paying more attention to what to leave in and what to leave out of the shot. You become more deliberate about getting things in focus to achieve that depth-of-field bokeh effect.

Seoul – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

And it has changed how I shoot on the street. It brings me closer to the those I am photographing. I have to get close and I have to slow down. Where before I was in close but I was on the move, now I am close but I am with them. This has meant a change. Before I would rarely talk with people on the street. Sure, I would exchange a smile, at most a small few words. Now, I find I am engaging, exploring, getting to know the people I am making portraits of. I could not have imagined this before getting the iPhone 7 plus.

Tokyo – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

Take this one encounter from last Saturday’s MojoCon photo walk in Galway. I saw this man approach. Before I would have slalomed towards him, got in close and shot a burst of images, not looked back and carried on to the next character who caught my attention. This time, I went up to him, introduced myself and asked if I could take his photo (I think the make your portrait or take your portrait thing is nonsense – it is not the collocation of words – it is how something is said and the manner it is said). Sure, he said. I thanked him and began to compose the frame. I told him I was from Cork, up in Galway for a conference and asked him where he was from. He was from Oranmore, about 10 miles from Galway. He had come up by bus. Usually did, he said, on a Saturday afternoon. What did he like to do here, I asked. Place a few bets, have a few pints. Today was a bad day, he said. He had lost and he now had time to kill before he headed back to Oranmore, but at least it was a fine day. Did I like Galway, he asked. I told him I did. I showed him the photos. He nodded his head as he looked at them. I thanked him. We shook hands.

Galway – iPhone 7plus – Portrait Mode

It is a departure for me to engage so much with people on the street. I never had much problem getting in close to get the shot, but I was, could I say shy or even embarrassed to engage with people. Shooting on Portrait Mode has caused me to slow down – focussing takes time – it is frustrating and you do miss shots. But on the plus side it results in a new, fresh approach in street photography for me and it is invigorating.

 

Galway – iPhone 7 plus – Portrait Mode  

But it’s not a real camera, ya? No, it is so much more than that. It’s a wonderful springboard for creativity and experimentation, fun and learning. Embrace its limitations.

Kiss the future…

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Inspiration, iPhone, Photo Talks, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

MojoCon 2

Mojocon 2!

MojoCon 2016

MojoCon 2016

It is the brainchild of an Irishman – Glen Mulcahy. It brings together journalists from the four corners of the world to showcase how mobile technology is revolutionising how they create and distribute content. This was year two. Last year I helped Glen put together the panel of speakers for the mobile photography session, and this year I was fortunate and privileged to be invited back to give a workshop/photowalk with Nicki Fitzgerald. The event was held in the Aviva Stadium.

MojoCon 2016: Aviva Stadium

MojoCon 2016: Aviva Stadium

Day 1

The conference kicked off in style. Glen Mulcahy is many things, but when he tripped up stepping on stage, gathered himself and told this story about Meat Loaf, my admiration for him climbed a few more notches.

There were so many good talks to attend over the two days. Stand out speakers for me were John McHugh (Verifeye Media), Philip Bromwell (RTE), Conrad Messe (iPhone film-maker), Seán Mac an tSíthigh (RTE) and Molly Svenson (Ryot News). Of these, John McHugh was my favourite. He spoke with passion about what he has done (war photographer) and what he is doing with Verifeye Media – “a technology driven visual news agency for freelance journalists & accidental eyewitnesses.” You can read Irish Tech News article on John here. 

All of the talks of the conference will be posted on MojoCon’s Youtube page in the coming week. Check them out for yourself.

John McHugh: Verifeye Media

John McHugh: Verifeye Media

Of the many companies presenting their products in the exhibition hall, the one that I loved the most was the Samsung 360. Cathy O’ Flaherty was absolutely brilliant in showing the capabilities of Samsung’s phone and its 360 capabilities. Her own 360 video of her cat chasing the red dot of a laser beam was such a scream. She sure did work hard over the two days, but she was just as cheerful and in good spirits at the end of the conference as she was at the start. A great ambassador for Samsung.

Cathy O' Flaherty of Samsung

Cathy O’ Flaherty of Samsung

On the Friday evening, Bord Bia (Ireland’s food board) invited speakers and delegates to an evening of the best of Irish food, music and of course – craic (not that crack! Irish craic – good fun).

Bord Bia - The best of Irish food and drink (and craic!)

Bord Bia – The best of Irish food and drink (and craic!)

Day 2

The photowalk. Last year we had about twenty people who hit the streets with us. I guess this year word got around how much fun it was, but we were not prepared for such large numbers. About 60 – 70 people turned up. Here’s a shot I took – which Nicki later modified and pasted me into it. Big thanks to Paul Moore, Richie Donnelan, Andy Butler and Micheál MacSuibhne for help in guiding people as we moved on.

A group shot as we were waiting for the stragglers to come out of the train station

A group shot as we were waiting for the stragglers to come out of the train station

Many plans were put forward as to where to go. Very often at conferences people only get to see the hotel and the event venue. With this in mind, we agreed that it was best to head into the city centre on the DART (local train) and allow people to see a little of Dublin before they headed home. With such a large number, we needed some way of being recognised. What better than a pink balloon tied to your wrist?

Pink always was my colour

Pink always was my colour

It was such a sight to see all the people trooping down the steps of the Aviva and into the train station to queue up to get their tickets.

Here we go. #mojocononthestreet

Here we go. #mojocononthestreet

Sure, it was a little crazy and hectic,  but everyone was in great spirits. Even Andy:

Andy Butler - Mobiography Magazine

Andy Butler – Mobiography Magazine

But he did cheer up later in the walk:

Andy Butler: Mobiography

Andy Butler: Mobiography

At Trinity College we split up into two groups. Andy and I brought one group up Grafton St. direction, while Nicki and Paul Moore headed to Temple Bar. Here are some of the shots I got on the little walk.

Shot while trying to demo burst mode as the train trundled along. :-)

Shot while trying to demo burst mode as the train trundled along. 🙂

FullSizeRender 97

On we go

IMG_5228

Cliches with the Sony Xperia

One hour later we met back in the college and from there back to the Aviva. The curious thing was that the original 60 or so people was now whittled down to about 20. How did we lose so many people? Are they still out there on the streets posting their shots and hashtagging them #mojocononthestreet? I’m checking….

The photo walk was such great fun and thanks to Olloclip for putting up some great prizes for the competition. Myself and Nicki handed this hard job over to Andy (Mobiography) and Steve Muttram of Olloclip. You can see the winning shots here on Andy’s site. Here is the winning one from Micheál MacSuibhne, and before anyway gets on their high horse about exploiting homeless people – Micheál knows this man. They were talking. He asked Micheál to take the shot.

The winning photographer from #mojocononthestreet 2016 Micheál MacSuibhne

The winning photographer from #mojocononthestreet 2016 Micheál MacSuibhne

And with that MojoCon 2 was coming to an end. It sure was tiring.

MojoCon is tiring!

MojoCon is tiring!

In the closing address Glen told that MojoCon is a strong possibility. That was wonderful to hear.  It was great to meet up with old friends, make new ones, but sad to have to say goodbye!

Myself, Nicki, Sir Cam and Andy

Myself, Nicki, Sir Cam and Andy

Here’s to MojoCon 3 and one last shot from the photo walk:

Always!

Always!

This great video was released by RTE a few days after this blog post.

 

 

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

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.

sun-softly-soothing_15826362514_o

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.

shibuya-night_16622110653_o

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!

committed-to-the-future_17403258870_o

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.

peoples-republic-of-cork_21193936071_o

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.

in-another-life_21077582278_o

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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