Tag Archives: Shot on iPhone 6

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.



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.



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.



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!



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.



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.



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.




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.



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!



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.



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.



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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Goodbye to the iPhone 6: Hello to the iPhone 6S

The Apple iPhone 6 has been such a special camera for me and until this week I was reluctant to trade up for a new iPhone 6s. But eventually I decided it was time and this week I went and bought myself a brand new camera – I mean iPhone. Well, you know what I mean.

I have shot thousands of photographs with the iPhone 6; easily my all-time favourite camera. Even if I say so myself, I believe I have got a lot of good photographs with it in the 14 months that I have had it. It has been with me every day and I have used it in Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Sligo, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Vilnius, Berlin, Porto, Milan and Tokyo. How fortunate I have been to get to travel to those locations.

In writing this blog post I have looked back at the images I shot with the iPhone 6 and there are so many good memories which spring from the shots. No surprise then that the first image is my most well-known image: that Apple shot from Copenhagen taken back in October, 2014. You know the funny thing about this photograph is that it was a shot I was never happy with. In the post-processing stage, I struggled a lot with the tones in the centre of the image. Photography can be a little like home decoration – you do up one area and what does it do? It shows up how in need of redecoration another area is. In the end, I left the image as it was in my camera roll and was not even going to post it to Flickr (I never posted it to Instagram at all until it was on billboards around the world). When I did post it with a conversion to black and white, it got a great response and caught the eye of Apple’s representatives. The rest is history as they say.

God will send a sign. When he does, be prepared.

God will send a sign. When he does, be prepared.

Berlin was next on my travels. It is a city I have been to three times; always in December. I really would love to see it summer time. When I was there I shot a lot with one of my favourite apps for iPhone photography – 1-hour photo. Using this app, you can only shoot in black and white and the novelty aspect of it is great fun. Like the old days with film, your shots are processed in an hour. The results I love. The black and white tones are really beautiful.

The shot I selected for this blog piece is one I shot on a cold night in Berlin, just off Alexandrs Platz station. Reflections are something I use a lot in my photography. I was struck by the melancholic look on this woman’s face as she waited for the bus to drive off. I stood back a little and did not focus the camera to achieve the layered effect.


Berlin. 2014

In a recent interview I did with 121 clicks I was asked about what photographic experiences I would like to relive. I thought about it for a while; thought about the places I have been, the shots I’ve made and then I realised that the most precious times are the ones spent with family and friends. The shots of strangers mean little, but those of loved ones mean so much.

One of my all time favourite photographs is this one taken in the Glucksman Gallery in Cork of my little boy, James. I often bring the kids to this gallery and they love to run around and from time to time, the art does get their attention – but never for long. This one here shows the split second (and that is all it was) when James’ attention was taken by the photographs on the wall. The shot I got after it shows how quickly his attention moves to the next thing.


Beautiful James


In March, everything changed. My fifteen minutes of fame arrived and I loved it – who wouldn’t? My photograph of that crazy park in Copenhagen went up on billboards and posters all around the world. This was simply magical. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined such a thing. The excitement I experienced in getting emails and tweets from people who found my image in the wild was just wonderful and this is the thing that will stay with me long after the campaign.

I was fortunate to get to see the shot on billboards in Milan, with my wife, and in Tokyo also. It is hard to put into words the sensation of seeing a photograph I took on a small, little camera up on a huge billboard where literally thousands of people can see it. One of the most beautiful moments of the Shot on iPhone 6 experience was sitting by the window with my wife in a cafe in Milan and looking out at my photo all lit up on a big billboard. It was a surreal and wonderful sensation.


All lit up in Milan


In April, two great things happened: I won my first competition – Mira Mobile Prize and I was invited to London to be interviewed by the great Dan Rubin for Apple’s Meet the iPhone Photographer in their Regent Street Apple Store. Looking back at the year I have had, there have been many accolades and prizes, but this experience was the one I enjoyed most. I was nervous on the day, but Dan made it all so easy for me. I really enjoyed the day we spent together and the hour on stage talking about my photographic journey.

When I was in London, I had the chance to get out and shoot with the iPhone and some of the images I got while there I love. This one has to be one of my all-time favourite photos. I was on Blackfriar’s bridge on a gloriously sunny spring morning. The sun cast a shadowed pattern of the bridge on to the footpath. I waited until someone passed to get a human element and I was lucky. This lady wearing black and white runners walked into my frame. Click!


London. April 2015

Winning the Mira Mobile Prize was super special. I got the news late at night in Tokyo. It is true what they say about first times being special. Anyone who enters a competition dreams of winning it. Why else enter? When I learned I had won I cried tears of joy. The next day, Irish media picked up on the story and I made headlines news on RTE (Irish state broadcaster). It probably was a quiet news day, but still!

My prize for winning the Mira was an all-expenses trip to Porto. I travelled out there in June (read about it here) and had a wonderful 5 days there. What a great town it is. I spent my time wandering the streets shooting as I went. My favourite Shot on iPhone 6 image from there is this one of this guy sitting on the beach as the waves crashed on the rocks right in front of him. I stumbled upon this guy and was so surprised to see him there. What was he doing?




In June, I also got news that this photograph (you can read more about the background to it here) won two competitions. The first was Mediteraneo Foto Festival and the second was the Florence International Photography Awards. The same image would later go on to win first place in the Stark Awards. I was particularly pleased with that one because it was not a mobile-only competition.


Shibuya Nights

In July, we went on a family holiday to the north-west of Ireland, to Sligo. Now, Irish summers are usually disappointing. We crave sunshine but rarely get it. This summer was no different, but we did get to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Ireland, and for anyone that has not seen Belbulben, you have to! It is the most impressive mountain in Ireland. You can see it here smothered in the greyest of Irish summer clouds.


Sligo. Summer 2015


My memories of my childhood are happy ones. I recall walking to mass with my mother, hand in hand, and I would be incessantly talking and asking questions. My favourite question to her was: “When will it be my birthday?” Funny how we as kids love our birthdays so much and want them to come sooner and sooner and then as we get older we want them to not to come so damn fast. Each year, I have a little tradition with my two kids. We get the bus in town and sit on the top deck at the very front. Then we have some treats in a cafe and head to the bookshop to get some books. I love it and so far they do too. Not sure how long it will last for, but I do hope it will be a happy memory for them.

Here are two photos of them on their birthdays. First, my little boy, James, and myself on his fifth birthday. 


James (birthday number 5)

And then, my little girl – Sumi-Anna – on her eight birthday looking over the River Lee in Cork.


Sumi-Anna (Birthday number 8)

In October, I travelled to Vilnius to shoot the gig of Tomas Sinicki. What a great experience that was. I used my three cameras for it, but the one I enjoyed most was the iPhone. It was particularly good fun to see the reaction of the photo journalists when I switched from the Nikon to the iPhone to get my shots. Tomas is a class act. His mix of punk, rock and folk music really brought me back to my younger days.


Tomas Sinicki


In November, I had mobile workshops in the Lewis Glucksman Gallery , Cork and in the Gallery of Photography in Dublin. What a great experience it is to be able to share my passion for photography with like-minded people. I love the photo walks we go on when we are out and about. This shot here was taken on the doorstep of the Glucksman Gallery and forms part of an ongoing series of images I have titled – Trying to see the good in people.


Trying to see the good in people

This year had its sad moments too. In February, I lost one of my best friends, Liam, to cancer. There has not been a day pass since that I have not thought of him. The one regret I have about this year is that he was not there with me to share it. He would have loved it. I took this photograph on a morning walk. The sun hitting the tree and casting its shadow struck me. Miss you, Liam!



And on it goes…

Am excited to think about the photographs I will get with this new iPhone. Have not had much time to get out shooting with it; possibly will do so over the Christmas break. Here is a shot I got yesterday.

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Kiss the future


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Two photographs

Getting to that time of year when I look back and choose my favourite photographs posted to Flickr over the past year. I began to do this last night and the thing I noticed was this year I posted far fewer images to my two Flickr accounts than 2015. Last year, between the two accounts I posted close on 700 photographs. This year between the two it will just be over 200. Over the next few weeks, I will be choosing an iPhone photograph and a non-iPhone photograph from each month of the year and writing a little background as to why I have chosen those images.

For today, I am posting two shots. One DSLR, taken in Vilnius – part of a little series of images. The curious thing about this is that I had not a title ready for it, but when I uploaded to Flickr, from some reason the title I gave it was the same as the Apple shot. No reason why and not even sure why. But you have to go with these things at times.


God will send a sign. When he does, be prepared.


The iPhone image is from my trip to Porto back in June. I shot a lot from this scene. I like this particular one because of the bird in the scene. Hope you like it too.




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Spent three days up in Dublin last week shooting the Web Summit for Irish Tech News. You can check some of my shots from there – here, here and here. What a great event this was.  Such a pity that after 4 years that saw attendance grow from 400 people in 2011 to 42,000 in 2015 that it is now leaving Dublin. From next year and for three years it will be in Lisbon. Do hope it returns to these shores.

In a bit of a rush today, so here is a quick post. The first is a DSLR shot. I will let you imagine what is going on here for yourselves.

Web Summit 2015

Web Summit 2015

And this #shotoniPhone6 image is from Vilnius.




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Shot on iPhone 6 Books

This year has been a year of surprises. Things I could never have imagined have happened. Seeing a photograph I shot with my iPhone going up on monstrous billboards around the world, winning competitions, being invited to speak at events like Mojocon and Apple’s Meet the iPhone Photographer. To say it has been a magical ride is a bit of an understatement. I have loved every minute of it.

On Friday, just after I had gotten home from work there was a ring at the door and my neighbour was standing there with a package that she had taken from the courier for me. Puzzled as to what it could be I thanked her for it and took it inside. It was heavy. I quickly opened it and was struck by the brilliant white of the box. I ripped the transparent wrapping off. Saw a pair of white gloves and got even more puzzled. Then  I saw the text: World Gallery 2015. Apple! Shot on iPhone 6! Wow! What was this? I opened it up and saw inside two beautiful, pristine white books; one for the photographs and one for the gallery of images posted around the world.


Naturally, I looked for my own photo, but seeing those of the friends I’ve made over this campaign added to the surprise and thrill of it all. I called my wife to tell her. ‘Apple have sent two books.” I said. “They’re beautiful! And there’s a pair of white gloves with them too!” “White gloves?” she said. Why?”


It really is a beautiful way to round off this wonderful experience. These books will be treasured. I have always been conscious of the fact that I would not really be able to appreciate the scale and impact of the Shot on iPhone 6 campaign until it had passed. Having these books as mementos is a perfect way to relive the experience again. Seeing the excitement of my mother leaf through the books wanting to see every page and learn about every photograph was a precious memory.  Telling her who the photographers are and how I know them reminded me of the connections I have made through the year with people like Jen and Cielo from the U.S, Satoshi from Japan, Teppo from Finland, Fabo from Singapore, Karla from the Phillipines, Flavió from Switzerland, WB Novak from Poland, Ahmed from Saudi Arabia, Freek from The Netherlands,  and Debbie from Dubai. We shared such excitement together. Who knows what more is to come.

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My little girl Sumi-Anna was very busy with school and parties on Friday that I hadn’t the time to show her the books until Saturday morning. She put on the white gloves and with great care looked through the books until she found her daddy’s photograph. “Wow!” she said. That’s your photo, Daddy. It is everywhere!” Treasured moments.

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On Friday evening, I was contacted by Cult of Mac who wanted to run a feature on the books. I gave them a short interview and a few of the images I had posted on Facebook. Very soon thousands of people had read the interview. Over the weekend, a number of publications have contacted me about publishing more of these photographs. I have suggested as part of this agreement they will make a donation to the Irish Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children. A very worthy cause.

cult of mac

It really has been so special. I realise how fortunate I have been and am so very grateful to all the kind people I have met on this journey. Big thanks to all. Kiss the future…

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Apple iPhone 6 TV Advert

My Shot on iPhone 6 story continues. This time I have a photograph of mine, which I shot in Berlin last December, in the latest Apple iPhone 6 TV Advert, which aired the U. S last night. Apple is really promoting the camera on the iPhone 6 and  it makes me excited to think how great the camera on the new iPhone will be if they are pushing this one so much. You can see my shot in the centre of the screen from the 7th to 9th second. 2 seconds!


This shot is one of a series I got back in Berlin last December on one of the main shopping streets. I was in Berlin for a technology in education conference and had been at it all day and the only time I could get out to shoot was in the evening. Berlin in December is cold. The sun sets early in the evening. I can still recall the biting wind. I headed out wrapped up, but without gloves, as I needed to be able to use my fingers to control the cameras. Usually, when I set out on a photo walk, the first while is frustrating. You are ready, super alert and willing with all your might for that photograph to appear. It rarely does. Patience is required.

I was about an hour out when I passed this magnificently lit up store front. I had never seen anything like. The brilliant white lines of light against the black of the building. Beautiful. I had found my location. Using the Nikon D7000 I shot some motion blur images of pedestrians and cyclists passing the store. It was OK, but not what I had imagined. It needed something else. I head off, a little despondent. About twenty metres up the road, as I was walking along, I passed this parked,highly-polished black van. A few steps passed it, I stopped and said out loud: hang on, hang on. Nodding my head in excitement, I knew I had to go back. And I was right. There on the side of the van that flanked the road were the reflections of those brilliant white lights. Yes!

Click, click. Review – meh! It needed a human element and it needed me to be careful. At times, when I am out shooting I can find myself lost in the moment, unaware of my surroundings or who is around me. Here I was standing at the side of a parked black van on a busy Berlin street at night dressed all in black. Did I want to get myself killed? No! But I did want to get that shot. I waited and using the Nikon, I shot a few frames with cyclists passing and realising I had ridden my luck, I left. Two or three minutes down the road, I stopped again. I had to go back. I had to get some shots with the iPhone. I did not want to be in a position later regretting lost opportunities. I got back to same position, hung in as close as I could to the van and again waited. In the distance, I saw this guy approaching on a bike. I readied myself and hitting burst mode as he came and passed I got the shots. I could leave.


Berlin – Shot on iPhone 6

The iPhone does reasonably well in low-lit conditions. I am sure the new release will see great improvements in this area. Comparing it to the Nikon D7000 shot, it does stand up well.

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Berlin – Shot on Nikon D7000



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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.




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Four seasons in one day, but never a full summer

“Let’s head to the beach this weekend” 

“Ya, great idea. I could do with a swim.”
Weekend comes and it is a wash out. You just cannot make any plans. 
That is what most people complain of when the topic of Irish summers comes up. But it is true – you just cannot plan.
We are into the last month of the summer and it is safe to say it has been one of the least warm in living memory. The mercury has not risen above 20 degrees. Most days it hovers around 14 – 16 degrees. Most days it rains. Most days there is a wind that bites.
I know we have it good in many ways here in Ireland. We are coming out of the worst recession to ever hit this country, but I wonder how many of us would swap Greek weather for their debt. Would the Greeks swap their debt for our weather? I doubt it. They may have crippling austerity, but they have blue skies. Could it be possible for us to invest in research and see if somehow we could just slowly slip our way down to the Portuguese coast? Could it?
What we call summer is passing quickly. Soon the kids will be back in school and the dark winter nights will creep in. Kids love the beach and love the sea. Yesterday morning, I checked the weather on the iPhone and saw that there were semi-cloudy conditions between 2 – 5 p.m and temperatures getting into the high teens. The high teens! Excited about this I suggested to my wife that we head to Inchadonny (a spectacular long beach in West Cork) for a picnic. Within a hour we were parked up and picnicking in the car. It was easier, warmer, and less blustery to have it in the car.
Irish beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. With our inclement and likely-to-disappoint weather, the beaches are not surrounded by big, high-rise hotels. Fields of green stretch out for as far as the eye can see. What should be crowded beaches full of people enjoying all that a sunny summer’s day can offer are starkly the opposite. So few people. I got chatting to the lifeguard:
“What’s the summer been like? Has it always been this quiet?”
“Today’s busy, boy.” “Some days you might have a handful of people.”
“Ah, sure, they say August might be better.”
“This is August; August the first.”
Anyway, the kids loved the picnic and loved playing in the sand, digging holes and being buried up to their necks in it. We did not brave the water. It looked freezing.  We can hope, I suppose, that they promised better weather might come in this month of August. The temperatures might even topple over twenty. We might see blue skies and that damn wind might turn into a breeze.
Looking on the positive, I did manage to get some Shot on iPhone 6 photographs yesterday. Hope you like them.
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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015) Apparently, Becky said yes.

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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Inchadonny Beach, Cork, Ireland (Summer 2015)

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iPhone Photography Workshop

I gave my first iPhone photography workshop on Saturday morning at the Glucksman gallery in Cork. It was a great experience being able to combine my teaching experience with my love of photography. We had a good morning getting to know each other and learning about how to put the phun into iPhone photography.

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iPhone Photography Masterclass at the Glucksman Gallery Cork

With a limited time frame, I planned the morning to give an overview of my own photographic journey, followed by a look at the iPhone camera and its potential, then a walk through my tips and tricks for getting the best out of the iPhone camera and then an introduction to my favourite app for iPhone photography: Snapseed. Then we got out and about around the beautiful surrounds that the Glucksman gallery is situated on. For me, the university campus where the gallery is has to be one of the most beautiful locations in Cork.


The Long Corridor in University College Cork (David O’ Sullivan – click through for link to david’s Twitter feed)

The gallery itself is a wonderful example of modern architecture.


Glucksman Gallery (taken by Martin Jungkunz  – click through to go to his Flickr page)

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Steps leading up to the Glucksman Gallery – Brendan Ó Sé

I have done a few photo walks now and each time I am truly amazed at the different observations people will make along a short stretch. I particularly like this one from Martin. I have been working in UCC for years and probably have walked by the library building thousands of times, but I never stopped to see it. When I saw Martin’s shot I was really impressed.


UCC Library (Martin Jungkunz – click through to see his Flickr stream)

Caroline Smyth has a fine eye for composition. This shot of bikes is very simple, but very effective and I really like the rhythm of the wheels decreasing in size.

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Caroline Smyth – click through to visit her Instagram feed.

This other image from Caroline shows her looking for reflections. Again, it is a well-composed photograph and has really beautiful light.

Glucksman Gallery

Glucksman Gallery – Caroline Smyth – click through to visit her Instagram feed.

When we got back to the gallery, within the limited time remaining, I gave some one-to-one attention to each person as they had the chance to put into practice what they had been learning about Snapseed. It was great to see the fine shots that they created and to see everyone enjoying using Snapseed as they enhanced their images. Here are some of the images from the day.

Cristian Paradiso found unusual ways to see and compose, as is evident in these images.


Nice framing from Cristian Paradiso (Click on image to link to Cristian’s Facebook page)


Another interesting composition and some very cool processing from Cristian (Click on image for link to his Facebook page)

Linda Curtin found an unusual and creative way to see and frame with this cool image taken in the gardens of the gallery.


Very creatively composed image with a human element (Linda Curtin – click on image to link to Linda’s Twitter feed)

Valérie Maout created these two interesting photographs. I love the creativity Valérie shows here.

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Valérie Maout finds photo opportunities in unusual places

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Valérie’s creative selfie

The morning passed too quickly and one of the other things that came up in feedback was that some people would have liked for more time for discussion. Coming from a language teaching background, I am very aware of creating a student-centred learning environment and realise that we really did need more time to allow for this. We had some decentralised discussions, but it was a little too rushed as we had a lot to get through in the morning. After the session, I went for some Japanese food at the nearby Miyazaki restaurant, at the end of Friar’s Street with a few of the people who came to the workshop and it was great to continue our conversations over the food.

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Chica at the wonderful Miyazaki Restaurant on Friar’s St. Cork – Brendan Ó Sé

It has been great that since Saturday many of those who came along have been in touch with me sharing their images they made on the day. One of the things, I like to provide my students with in my teaching is the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom, and in today’s world with so many ways to connect it is so easy. I am also a firm believer in collaborative learning. Everyone comes with their own techniques and we all see things differently. We can all learn from each other. I know I picked up one or two new ideas on Saturday.

It is planned to have another workshop in October and I am really looking forward to it. I learnt a lot on Saturday and with the great and constructive feedback from those who came I am sure the next one will be even better. Thanks to Tadhg and Fiona at the Glucksman gallery for all their help and support in setting up the workshop. It is much appreciated.



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Landscape photography is not my forte, but I do enjoy photographing beautiful locations in Ireland. Through the years, I have gotten to visit most parts of Ireland, but one place I had never been before was Sligo. I had seen the images of Benbulben and could not believe there was such a mountain like this in Ireland. For years, I had wanted to come to see it with my own eyes and to get in some photography here. This year we planned our family holiday to spend a few days in Sligo.

The one thing you cannot depend on in Ireland is the weather. The first day there was a typical Irish summer’s day – cloudy, muggy and misty. We drove from the hotel out to Mullaghmore beach and with the low-lying cloud we actually drove past Benbulben. Later on the way back, the cloud had cleared and the sun came out and we could not believe we had actually driven past this earlier in the day. I stopped to get a few shots.


Sligo, Ireland (Fuji X100T)


Benbulben Mountain (Fuji X100T)


Benbulben Mountain (Fuji X100T)

I realise I these are not the best landscape shots and that the Fuji is not the best camera for this type of photography, but I did enjoy it. Any feedback – constructive criticism – is very welcome. I wish I had more time to photograph this at different times of the day, but with small kids in tow it is not the easiest. Here are a couple taken with the iPhone.


Benbulben Mountain (iPhone)


Benbulben Mountain (iPhone)


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