Tag Archives: Portraits

A mother’s love

We all want to be seen and still we all want to conceal, distort and control what we reveal. It happens on occasion that people will come up to me and want me to photograph them. It is not something I like. I prefer to see something that attracts me in a person and try to capture that in a candid, unguarded way. It works better for me. I understand more from this.

But this character in Varanasi, India intrigued me. He approached me on a crowded and chaotic street and with gesture indicated he wanted me to photograph him. In the time it took to understand him we were locked in eye contact. When I hoisted the camera he shot his eyes to heaven and for the three or four frames I shot he did not look into the lens.

A mother's love [2]

A mother’s love [1]

A mother's love

A mother’s love [2]

A mother's love [3]

A mother’s love [3]

(I have been asked about the title. I find titles can detract much from images and rarely add to them. Addition is dilution and all that, but in this case the title came to me and I ran with it. Apologies if it deflects)

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

iPhone 6s Portraits

As a photographer, I am always looking for new ways of seeing things – news ways of creative expression. Portraits are not something I tend to do. Sure, I have so many candid street portraits, but straight up – asking someone to pose for a portrait – I rarely do.  But I have embarked on a series of portraits using the native iPhone 6s camera and shooting through the Olloclip macro x7 lens.
These portraits are intentionally blurred. I feel blur can reveal, and conceal at the same time. As a photographer, it allows me to present something that is personal – as some of these portraits are of family – and retain a level of privacy. As a viewer, it allows you to bring into focus what only you see. It may be a smile, a tilt of the head, an intensity of gaze or just the fluid form and colour.
It’s yours – see it as you want.
These are works in progress. I am sharing them now to see how they look together – to decide what direction to take the project on. Hope you like them. Feedback welcome.
iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

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iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

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iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

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iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

iPhone 6s Portrait

Thanks to those who have posed for these shots. 
Posted in iPhone Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Can I take your photo?

“Can I take your photo?”

It’s not something I find easy to ask. Take this situation I found myself in last Tuesday morning while waiting for a bus in Cork’s city centre. It was about 10 a.m. Town was quiet. There were a few people heading to work, some early-morning shoppers, delivery people doing their jobs, and then this striking character sitting on an electric fuse box outside a shoe shop. Wow!

Cork: August 2015

Cork: August 2015

Looking at it now, I am annoyed with myself. How did I miss the reflection? Usually, I am more aware than this. Another great opportunity lost. Anyway, this striking looking man was sitting; killing time. I was struggling. Should I ask him straight to take his portrait or be discreet and get a candid image? Hesitating, I furtively shot a few frames of him. I pretended to be looking in the shop window. I got a little braver and got another one or two of him, but all the while I just wanted to turn and tell the man that I found him fascinating and wanted to create a portrait of him. Street photography is difficult and, for me, even more difficult in my hometown. Put me outside Cork and I am much braver. Ya, I will rarely stop and ask someone for their portrait, but I will get down on my knees in front of them and shoot a frame or two. Nothing bad ever happens. But in Cork… I don’t know.

Cork: August 2015

Cork: August 2015

Cork: August 2015

Cork: August 2015

It was this shot, with him looking at his gold watch which got me. There he was, this man with a beard, grown over years, clothes aged and worn to their last and a gold watch that would not lie to him. I had the shot I wanted, but still I felt a need to connect with him; to thank him maybe, but in the short time I was there with him, we never once made eye contact; I never felt him aware of me. And then my bus came and the moment was gone.

On the bus, I began to kill time with my favourite pastime – processing images. I began to work on the shot above using Darkroom. I am growing more and more fond of that app. I have the alpha version of the yet-to-be-released version and it is great. What I love about it is that you do not need to import anything; when you open it all your photographs are there. The alpha version has some beautiful preset filters. If you have not tried it -rush to the app store. Your photos will love you for it. I ran the shot through it and this is conversion.

Cork: August 2015 (Processed with Darkroom)

Cork: August 2015 (Processed with Darkroom)

I cropped it to square to get rid of the distracting surrounds, did a little work on the contrasts, a little on curves (ya, it has curves) and this is the result. But I was not happy with the left side of the image – thinking it detracted from the main focus of the man. iPhone photography is great. Solutions are easily found. Snapseed has a great tool – brushes. I knew that I could isolate my character with the exposure brush – that and the vignette tool. Working on it on a moving bus is not the best idea, though. I worked a little on it, but finished it when I arrived at my mother’s house. While it is OK, I still want to do more on it. Things are never perfect.

Cork: August 2015 (Processed with Snapseed and Darkroom)

Cork: August 2015 (Processed with Snapseed and Darkroom)

I will revisit this image. The crop needs to be readjusted. There is too much negative space at the bottom of the image and the execution around the edges should be finessed more. A little project to work on. I rarely spend a long time on post processing. Usually my edits are rapid. Two to five minutes max. But this one, I will persevere with. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

I really would have loved to have asked him if I could take his portrait. I would love to find him again. Learn a little about him. Thank him.

 

 

 

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