Tag Archives: Nicki Fitzgerald

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. 🙂

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On we go

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

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!

The Sn

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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Mobile Photography

The most popular camera on Flickr is the iPhone. How crazy is that? The camera which is the most popular was not even made by a camera company and is a device that only has a camera function. It is not a stand-alone camera.  Imagine how the Nikons, Canons and Fujis must feel about this? Like so many innovations, those leading the field are so often taken over by others. Look at Paypal, Netflix and Spotify. None of those giants came from the world of banking, film or music. Those industries did not have their on the ball and have been left floundering.

Photography has exploded. Everyone has a camera now and everyone takes shots and shares them. Mobile photography is turbo-charging this growth in the popularity of photography. But hasn’t photography always been mobile? I think the mobile part of mobile photography will soon disappear. The quality of cameras, lens and apps on smart phones has improved incredibly over the past few years and we are not too far off a DSLR quality camera on a phone. It will happen and a time will come when mobile photography will no longer be considered an emerging genre or even a genre of photography.

For this reason, I am so happy to be around at this embryonic stage. There are some really great people out there pioneering the genre and promoting its acceptance into the mainstream. One of these is Andy Butler from England. His website – mobiography.net – and electronic magazine Mobiography is one of a kind. It has fantastic features, tutorials and showcases the work of some of the leading lights in this field. I really believe that in years to come, students of photography and those with a passion for it, will look back at this publication and website and it will serve as a valuable historical document of how photography went from being a hobby which was costly and only enjoyed by a comparative few to an activity enjoyed by millions. It is such an exciting time for photography. How will it continue to evolve? If we cast our minds back five years and consider how different the landscape was then to now, imagine what it might be like five years from now!

Being a part of this is something I take pride in. I was very pleased when Andy asked me to write a little piece on the image I am most proud of this year. I sent him a different photograph initially, but then closer to the deadline submitted the image below. It is exciting to think that in years to come people looking back at the time when everything changed in photography might come across my favourite image of 2014 and the little piece I wrote about it. I got to say thanks to Andy for this.

You can read about it here.

There are a few others out there who are doing incredible work promoting photography which at the moment is classified as mobile. In no particular order I strongly advise you to check out the sites of:

The App Whisper’s website – this is a one-stop-shop run by Joanne Carter. Everything you want here.

iPhoneography Central – another excellent and comprehensive website for everything to do with mobile photography run by Nicki Fitzgerald and Bob Weir. Also, check out their great book on mobile photography.

And to complete the list – iPhone Photography School – another excellent resource for everyone interested in photography run by Emil Pakarklis.

And the world’s best competition for mobile photography – Mobile Photographs Awards run by Daniel Berman.

 

Faint heart never won fair lady

Faint heart never won fair lady

 

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