Tag Archives: travel

My favourite non-iPhone Photos of 2016

Moving on from yesterday’s favourite 2016 iPhone photographs, now is time to review and select my favourite Fuji x100t and Nikon D7000 photographs from the past 12 months. Usually, to do this I just go back over the photos I have posted to Flickr in the previous 12 months, but this year I really did not post a lot to Flickr, and the reality is that most of my best photographs are buried deep in my iMac.

So, to do this I actually need to go back through the images, select and edit them. All will be from the period of March to September. Reality is those two cameras lived in a dark drawer for most of the year. What is they say about the best camera you have?

This won’t be categorised chronologically either; just 12 of my faves – today – December, 31st, 2016! Reality is tomorrow I would choose a different twelve.

A mother’s love (Varanasi, July 2016)

Our guide in Varanasi brought us to a shop to convert our 500 Rupee notes into 20 Rupee notes to give to the people we photographed. He said we needed to do this. I had not intended to shoot posed portraits. I don’t shoot like this, but with a wad of 20 Rupee notes I felt obliged. India has characters who turn your head and stop you in your tracks. The likes of people you have only seen in documentaries or magazines like National Geographic, and being a naiive photographer you want to satisfy your dreams of getting a Steve McCurry like image.

I parted with many 20 rupee notes and got some posed photographs. Unsatisfied with most – experienced as an artificial exchange. Then this guy 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. You know, I don’t remember if he asked for money or if I offered it. 

A mother’s love

Bangkok: The slow rhythm of patience (April, 2016)

Had a discussion with a friend of mine about photography and how we use it to interpret what we experience. I told him that very often when I arrive in a city it overwhelms me and to begin with everywhere I point my camera seems to be the wrong place. I said it takes time to slip into the rhythm of a city, to feel its pulse beat in time with mine and then it just becomes instinctive. 

Bangkok was like that. An assault on the senses. The smell of petrol fumes fused with lemongrass. The hum of the constant traffic. The neon and fresh fruit stalls. The swell and sway of people always on the move. The welcoming smile and the 100-mile gaze. The searing heat. At every turn there was something which got my attention; something which I had to capture in a frame.  I had not visited the red light district on my last visit to Bangkok, but this time we were brought on a little tour by a Japanese friend. Impossible to compute it all. The luxury of photography allows time to reflect. Let the camera see.

Bangkok: The slow rhythm of patience

Jakarta (April, 2016)

Arrived in Jakarta from Bangkok in the evening and it felt darker. There was no neon. I remember finding this place and being struck by the colours of the woman passing. I huddled down between two cars and defocussed and began to shoot. I like the image as it seems, to me, to capture the colour, the light and the movement of that evening.

Jakarta

Blur will save the world (Tokyo, April, 2016)

Shooting on the street is frustrating. I recall listening to a podcast with Rinzi Ruiz (a fine photographer) and he said that if you see it, you have missed it. And you know it is true. That decisive moment is elusive, and so much relies on luck. Shooting in Tokyo is electrifying. I love it. The way I work is that I will shoot for a while with the iPhone, then the Fuji, but I usually leave the Nikon for those sweet moments when I push things out of focus and transform what I see into something more beautiful, something less real, something that soothes and arouses, something that is only mine. You do know that blur will save the world?

Tokyo: Blur will save the world

Jakarta (April, 2016)

In Jakarta we visited the animal market. We came across this scene below. The little boy was learning how to train pigeons. I imagine he is the same age as my little boy. The guys training him were patient, encouraging and kind. The pigeons were obliging. Myself and Elfie (seen here behind the little boy) stayed here for about 20 minutes, shooting the scene. Enthralled by the spectacle.

Jakarta (April, 2016)

Varanasi (July, 2016)

Photography is about memories. It is where yesterdays go, as my little girl told me from the back of the car when she was about three years old. Much of my photography is me trying to learn, to internalise and understand what I am experiencing. Then there are the real moments. The purposeful shots we create of loved ones; the photos we would run back into a burning house to retrieve.

Day was breaking and we were on a small boat on the River Ganges to see the sun rise. The sun rose but the clouds did not part. We finished a conversation about toast and took photos. We laughed a lot.

Varanasi (July, 2016)

On Duty (Delhi, June, 2016)

This was shot through the back window of our car moments after arriving in Delhi. The Indian adventure was ahead of us.

On Duty (Delhi, June, 2016)

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

I just love this guy. I was sitting in the back of the car as we made our way through the Delhi traffic. Camera in hand should a shot appear. We were stopped in traffic on this roundabout when this guy on a motorbike pulls up next to us. Instinctively I raise the camera and click, and then smile. Then the guy astonishes me as he takes off his helmet and his glasses and shoots me this beautiful big beaming smile. You got to love India!

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

Hello! (Delhi, June 2016)

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Every picture tells a story, but photographs can lie. And this one does. Looking at it, it is conceivable that you believe it to be a Buddhist monk sitting high up on the roof of his monastery meditating as he contemplates the beauty of the Himalayas. But, the reality probably was that this was the best place in the monastery to get online. As we approached him we saw him shuffling as he tried to conceal his phone under his robes.

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Leh, India. (July, 2016)

Shibuya Scramble Crossing (April, 2016)

The first time I saw the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in 2012 I stopped and I just stared. Two thousand people crossing when the red man is replaced by the green man. I have been back to Tokyo many times since and this never gets stale for me. I can look at it for hours. It is something else.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing (April, 2016)

Things to do in Tokyo at night (April, 2016)

Most of the time I am in Tokyo it is only at night that I get out to shoot. This one was taken on a photo walk with the Laurence Bouchard.  It rains a lot in Tokyo. But it makes it all the more intriguing. I like the high contrasts, and little mystery in this shot.

Things to do in Tokyo at night (April, 2016)

Vienna (June, 2016)

Really should include a photograph from Vienna. Here it is.

Vienna (June, 2016)

I have rushed this and really should have spent more time in preparing this review, but there you have it.

2016 has been incredible to me. So many people to thank. So many people who along the way who have in some way enabled me to express myself. In no particular order I would like to thank Ben, Elfie, Saad, Arik, Andy, Nikki, Glen, Dan R, Dan B, Simon, Jack H, Judie, Ankit, John, Mark, Brian, David P, Albion, Thomas, Serap, Jen, Teppo, Cielo, Laurence, Tadhg, Michael V, Darren, Joanne, Janine, Nora, Sir Cam, Paul M, Tim B, Johnathan, Lee, Ruby,  Kevin D, Randy, Dave, Brian, Kieran, Richard and Seiya. And then those loved ones who know who they are – thanks!

2016 – My favourite non-iPhone photographs

2017 – believe – achieve – kiss the future…

Posted in A Flickr Year, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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

Photography and Technology

Whenever my photography seems to lack inspiration I tend to follow a similar path. I look back at photographs I made years back. Usually I find my answers there. It is funny how images reveal themselves over time. Features which once appeared prominent recede and elements unpronounced now reverberate. Funny how technological advances seem to have shaped my photographic journey. Back in the old days shooting with a Pentax SLR and being careful and considered with each exposure and having to wait to get the film developed before ever seeing what I had photographed to now shooting digitally on a phone (ya, a phone) and being able to instantly see it and within minutes share it on global platforms; wow, how things have changed! And still, perhaps, the basic elements are still the very same: light, composition and emotion.

Shot with Pentax Film SLR (Prague: 2001)

Pentax SLR (Prague: 2001)

Over the past year or more I have done a lot of interviews, presentations and workshops and these have allowed me to reflect on my photographic journey and inspect the path I have taken as a photographer. I cast my mind back to my old film SLR that I had in the 90s and which eventually was traded in for a Nikon S1. The reality is that I probably use the iPhone more in a month that I ever did with that old SLR I had. It spent most of its life in a drawer and was only taken out for holidays and even then I rarely shot more than a few rolls of film. It was just too expensive.

Shot with Pentax Film SLR (Amsterdam: 1998)

Shot with Pentax Film SLR (Amsterdam: 1998)

The first digital camera I got was a small, compact Nikon S1. I brought it on my first ever trip to Asia and I just loved it. Why? For two main reasons: 1. I could instantly see the shot I had made and 2. I was able to shoot until I filled the SD card. The restrictions and limits of shooting with film had gone. Result: I shot much more and like everything in life, the more you practise, the more mistakes you make, and the best thing about mistakes is that allows you to learn.

Taken with Nikon S1 (Peru: 2006)

Shot with Nikon S1 (Peru: 2006)

Being able to see the image instantly freed me from the disappointment of shooting film and discovering that I had messed up the shot and there was no possible way to get back to the location and time to correct it and shoot again. I know there are the purists who feel you need to get things right in camera, and ya, I do try to get it done in camera, but isn’t it OK to make mistakes and learn. Sure it is!

Henri Cartier Bresson’s: Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” is one of the most-widely known quotes to do with photography, and it is one I feel is outdated today. The reason being is simple. Bresson’s quote is often used to present the idea that the more you practise the better you will become, and while it is wrong to disagree with that, it does imply a linear, incremental improvement. Coming from an education background, I believe the learning process is never as simple as this, and when looking at it through the lens of artistic creation it seems to suggest that we are incapable of creating something of artistic merit in our initial stages of expression. It brings to mind a couple of  Picasso’s quotes: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” and “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”

Shot with Nikon S1 (Dublin: 2007)

Shot with Nikon S1 (Dublin: 2007)

This supports my belief that very often we can instinctively create something without a technical awareness of how we achieved it. Looking back at images I shot many years back. Seeing these now, with years’ of experience of shooting and viewing images, I realised that back then I was capable of creating photographs which, if I were to shoot today, I think I would be proud of.

It got me thinking further about his quote. 10,000 photographs. Just think about that for a moment. 10,000!. Back in the days of film I had an SLR. It was rarely used. I would have shot a few rolls when on holidays and another few throughout a year. Do the math on this and you can see that in a given year, I would have shot about 8 rolls of film. That is 8 x 36, making a total of 288. Continuing with the calculations you can see to get to 10,000 probably would have taken me about 35 years. Or in reality – never.

However, with the new digital technology,  things changed. There was the reduced cost and the ability to store so many images. This resulted in shooting more and more, and like many things in life: The more you practise, the better you become. It’s like most learning experiences I have had. There is no easy route to it. You learn by doing.

As I began to shoot more with the compact Nikon S1, I wanted to get myself a DSLR to create what I expected to be better images with the more technically advanced DSLR. Sure the technology allowed me to make better shots, but still the reality was that I was shooting only on occasion. It really wasn’t until I got the iPhone and as a result that I had a decent camera with me all the time, did I actually begin to shoot on a regular basis.

Shot on iPhone 3g (Cork, Ireland)

Shot on iPhone 3g (Cork, Ireland)

This photo above was shot on the iPhone 3g. I can still recall the time. Here was one of those scenes you encounter that makes you go: “That would make a great photo!” and just walk on by because you had no camera with you. But I had! I had the iPhone. Still I did not think the technology was advanced enough in the 3g to make a good shot, but in reality it is not too bad. There is a storytelling element to the image that I like.

With the iPhone I had a camera that was perfect for street photography. It was small, discreet, fast and allowed me to get in close on the streets to capture moments and candid portraits that I probably would not have made without this camera. In turn, because of this new approach, I was becoming braver with the DSLR also and making more effort to get storytelling images on the DSLR. I was shooting much more, and enjoying it much more. Technology meant that unlike before where sharing your photos meant passing around prints to friends and family, now you could upload a photo to Instagram or Flickr and you had the potential of it being seen all over the world. And from this came another vital factor in my photographic journey: viewing others’ images.  I am not sure how many photographs I see on weekly basis, but I guess it is in the high hundreds. This accelerated the learning process even further, and in turn inspired me to get out and create more images.

Shot on iPhone 4 (Lisbon: 2011)

Shot on iPhone 4 (Lisbon: 2011)

Sure, there were technological limitations with the iPhone back then: poor zoom, poor image stabilisation pushed me to be creative. I zoomed with my feet, and the poor image stabilization; well it led to this:

Shot on iPhone 5 (Cork, 2012)

Shot on iPhone 5 (Cork, 2012)

As I look back and see how obstacles like poor performance in low light resulted me in pushing the camera to create, it excites me. Back in April of this year in Tokyo I wanted to produce those type of images on the iPhone 6s, but couldn’t with ease. The technique of intentional camera movement I used with the iPhone 5 just did not work anymore. The technology had improved and unintentional camera shake was now corrected with image stabilisation. I experimented again and discovered that violent intentional camera movement could produce aesthetically pleasing blurred images on the iPhone 6s. I was delighted!

Intentional camera movement with the iPhone 6s (Tokyo, April 2016)

Intentional camera movement with the iPhone 6s (Tokyo, April 2016)

And this brings me back to today and makes me look to the future. Technology has shaped my photographic journey. Had they never thought of putting a camera on a phone, I am sure I probably would have given up on photography. Why?  Because to stay motivated you have to perceive progress. A camera left gathering dust in a drawer for most of the year just does not help. I would still be far from passing those 10,000 photos that Bresson claimed would be my worst. No, having the iPhone with me 24/7 and from that beginning to see and think photographically it put me on a path and pushed me towards reaching my potential. Still not there yet, but still on the path!

Tokyo (iPhone 6s, April, 2016)

Tokyo (iPhone 6s, April, 2016)

Each year the advances that are made in camera technology are amazing. The battle going on among camera phone manufacturers is fascinating to observe. Regular camera brands are struggling to stay ahead, and then throw this new camera from Light – the L16 –  into the mix. Have you seen this? This device is a potential game changer. It combines the fit and feel of a smartphone with the technology of a DSLR using the device’s multiple lens (up to 16 different lenses) to shoot photos at the same time, then computationally fuses them into a DSLR-quality image. Add in its wifi capabilities and wow, it is some camera!

It sure is an exciting time to be a photographer.

Kiss the future…

Varanasi (iPhone 6s. July, 2016)

Varanasi (iPhone 6s. July, 2016)

 

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Shibuya, Shibuya

I read once, that those you see in your dreams are those you have seen in real life. Those passersby whose faces may never have registered with you, but somehow make their way in and resurface in dreams. Makes some sense, doesn’t it? The shutter of the eye snapping relentlessly and searing them to memory and they seeping into dreams.

Tokyo

Tokyo

How many people have I passed in my life, I wonder? How many faces? Millions perhaps. Sufficient stock for endless dreams, no doubt.

Shibuya

Shibuya

Tokyo is a bit like that with the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. In any given time up to two thousand people cross. Two thousand faces. There is about a four to five minute interval between the red man and the green man at the crossing. With the green man, there are two minutes for those two thousand people to hurry across. The waiting crowd swells and surges as soon as the green man signals. It is an electrifying feeling to be amongst it.

Shibuya

Shibuya

It is endlessly engaging in Shibuya.

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

So many faces.

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

Shibuya

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Seoul and Shanghai with the Sony Xperia Z5

Every camera has its charm and does something better than another. One of the reasons I love to shoot with the Xperia Z5 (read my review here) is the wide angle. It is so perfect for architecture shots that fill up the frame. The series of images in this post were taken in Seoul and Shanghai in July and August of this year.

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Two huge world cities. Seoul, for me, feels like the biggest city I have been in. I know Tokyo is probably bigger, but when I am there it gives me the sense of lots of small little towns centred around a train station. Seoul seems to just go on for ever and ever. Shanghai, the world’s most populated city, appeared quiet to us in August. I kept saying to my wife: “Where is everyone?” Sure, there were a lot of tourists around the tourist spots, but wandering around the city over the five days we were there, it did seem a little quiet.

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

I never will forget the absolute amazement we experienced as we ascended the escalator and came out on the circular walk way in the middle of those skyscrapers in Pudong. Wow! If you have seen the film Her, this is one of the locations they shot in. It is truly like time travelling.

DSC_0946-01-01

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

When you get to places like this you can end up with a pain in your neck as you tilt back as far as you can to take it all in, but you should not forget to look for other ways to see things. I loved the reflections of the skyscrapers in the rainy rooftops of cars.

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Getting to see Shanghai from one of these skyscrapers is a sight to behold. We were lucky the day we were there as the forecasted rain never came and the view from the IFC building of Shanghai was quite good. We had been told that the queues to get up to the viewing floor would take about 40 minutes, but we were lucky, we got up in about 10. It was well worth the wait.

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

However, this good weather was not to last and the forecasted rain did come. But hey, rain is just another opportunity to get shots. This one was taken through our hotel room window. You can see the Oriental Pearl Tower is obscured by the heavy and dark rain clouds. It was fun to watch the clouds pass and finally clear over this fabulous view.

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

A friend had suggested that a great place to get a view of the city was Hotel Indigo, and he was right. We got there just before sunset and the views were spectacular.

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Shanghai (Sony Xperia Z5)

Seoul

I spent three days in sunny Seoul this August. Over the three days I walked over 50km in the blistering heat. And I loved it. Seoul is flat and relatively easy to navigate and if you do happen to get lost like I did, Koreans are so friendly and helpful. (Read my experience here.) I loved shooting wide with the Xperia in Seoul. It seemed so perfect.

Seoul (Sony Xperia Z5)

Seoul (Sony Xperia Z5)

Seoul (Sony Xperia Z5)

Seoul (Sony Xperia Z5)

One of the most amazing locations in Seoul is the wonderful Dongdaemun Design Plaza. This is one of the many must-see sights in Seoul. Designed by Zaha Hadid and Samoo, this futuristic structure is a sight to behold, and in 2015 was the most hashtagged location from Korea on Instagram.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza. (Sony Xperia Z5)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza. (Sony Xperia Z5)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (Sony Xperia Z5)

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (Sony Xperia Z5)

 

 

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, photograph posts, Sony Xperia Z5, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Portraits from India

Before heading to India, my travel companion (who is a seasoned visitor to India) asked me what I wanted from the trip.

Leh, India. July, 2016

Leh, India. July, 2016

“To satisfy the stereotypical images I have in my head of India”, I replied. “You know the classic Steve McCurry type shots.”

“Who is he?” Not being a photographer, he hadn’t heard of him.

“You know that photograph of the Afghan girl; it was on the cover of National Geographic? That one, you know that? Steve McCurry… shots of India like he gets. Really dramatic, colourful scenes with equally colourful and dramatic characters.

“Oh, ya”, he replied and his left eyebrow raised a little as he responded.

“I want to shoot, shoot and shoot and get all the stereotypical images and then discover India for real.”

You cannot beat exuberance and naivety.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

Off I headed to India with a head full of imagined scenes I was going to shoot. Now of course I didn’t get those Steve McCurry-type shots, but I did try. Who doesn’t? It reminds me of the maxim I apply to life and to art:

Imitate – assimilate – innovate

I have written about this before. It goes like this: We absorb so much of what we experience it is inevitable that we imitate. It puts us on the path of learning and discovery. Then our own interpretation and style gets into the mix as we assimilate, and as we progress we use this as a springboard for our expression as we begin to innovate. But the thing is that it is not linear. At any stage in the process we are imitating, assimilating and (hopefully) innovating.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

In this spirit, I tried to satisfy those stereotypical images of India I had created in my head from seeing Steve McCurry’s shots. Now, of course I am no McCurry, but I did enjoy shooting these portraits.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

Funny though, when I look at these portraits now, it is not the person in the frame that I remember, but rather the immediate environment surrounding them and the sensation that I was missing out on something real, something more exciting than this paused-posed-and-paid-for moment. (Ya, in Varanasi you have to pay ten rupees (about €0.13) for a portrait. These guys are professionals.)  In India, it is impossible not to feel you are missing out on something. It is intense, overwhelming and relentless. It is like stepping back in time, but stepping on to a treadmill that is propelling you forward at speed. Your senses are bombarded and overloaded. It is hard to put into words, but unavoidable to try to capture in images. For me, the portraits were nice, but ultimately boring. What was happening around these people while I tried to get their portrait was much more interesting, and much more challenging.

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

Varansi, India. July 2016

Varanasi, India. July 2016

India!

 

 

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

Workflow

How to work out a workflow for thousands images?

Yes, that is right, I have thousands and thousands of images all shot over the past 5 months in Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Toyko, Cork, Dublin, Vienna, Bratislava, Hong Kong, Delhi, Leh, Varanasi, Mumbai, Seoul, Daegu, Geochang, Shanghai and Jeju island.

Thousands of images shot on four different cameras: mainly iPhone, then Fuji X100t, Nikon D7000, and then some on a Sony Xperia Z5.

Where to begin?

Tokyo

I have series in mind, sure. Have begun on some of them already. But the main problem I have is storage. I back everything up numerous times: Google Photos, Flickr, MacBook, external harddrives. But the main devices I use are my iMac and iPhone for storage and, more importantly, editing. And I am constantly getting notifications of Storage Almost Full.

What to do? It took the best part of three days to get all the images (and videos) off the devices and on to the iMac. Before doing this, I had to delete over 100 gigs of photos just to free up space. And I am still nearing capacity on a 1.2tb on the iMac.

The way I like to organise things is like this: I import all photos onto iPhoto. I like the way it creates events and I can give them titles. It is easy to find images from certain locations then.

Then I go through the selection process of choosing (non iPhone – all of those are done on the iPhone) images to edit. The ones I like, I drag over to Lightroom and do the editing there. From that there is another selection process for images to post to my various social media platforms.

This is the way I have worked for years, and there probably are better ways to organise it all, but people do what they are used to doing.

One of my favourite quotes is this:

“Reduce Everything You Want to Do to an Action You Can Do Right Now.” Jason Randal

And for me it is this blog post. This articulation of what I am feeling. It clears a little space – just like deleting gigs on the computer – and allows me to take the next little step.

My father gave me the best advice in life: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Very often I feel I should have the answers myself; that I should be able to cope, and that perhaps asking for help or advice is an admission of failing. It is not.

My wife gives me the good advice.

I asked her. I said: I do not know where to start. I have too many images.

She said: What is your favourite place that you have been in the past five moths?

I said: Tokyo.

She said: Start there.

I am starting.

Imitation

Imitation

 

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone 6s, iPhone photography, My own favourite photographs, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Pompidoo: A great camera bag

When Pompidoo Bags invited me to do some work with them, I jumped at the chance.

High up in the Himalayas with the Pompidoo Tokyo bag. (photo: Richard Delanty)

High up in the Himalayas with the Pompidoo Tokyo bag. (photo: Richard Delanty)

Straight up I am not a fan of those big bulky traditional camera bags with logos splashed across them. I have inspected some of them in camera stores and they’ve always struck me as being just too cumbersome and even a little ugly.

In action in Hong Kong (Photo: Y Ó Se)

In action in Hong Kong
(Photo: Y Ó Se)

I tended to opt instead for a messenger style bag; one that fits comfortably. Sure they are not designed for cameras, but you can get a camera into them. However, when I saw the range of bags from Pompidoo, I knew these were bags designed by people who have the awareness of the needs of a photographer and the creative ability to come up with a bag that actually is functional and stylish.

In action in Hong Kong

In action in Hong Kong

Being on a trip in Asia in the past few weeks, I have used the Tokyo bag (I just got to love the name!) all the time. From Hong Kong to high up in Himalayas to the streets of Seoul it has been with me. What I love about the bag is that it is not flashy. For the type of photography I do, the last thing I need is to look like a photographer. The aged-looking raw leather is soft and even if it does pick up a scratch or two along the way it will only add to the look. The bag is minimal in style. There are two compartments which easily accommodate my Nikon D7000 and my Fuji X100T. There is a front pocket which is perfect for other accessories like extra batteries, chargers, SD cards and so on. The high-quality European production is built to last and serve you through the years.

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Inner compartments of the Pompidoo Tokyo bag

Inner compartments of the Pompidoo Tokyo bag

The padded inserts in the bag offer reassurance when packing my suitcase. I can just put my gear into the bag and the bag into my suitcase. No need for bubble wrapping like I used to do before.

All in all, the bag has two things which are winners for me: It doesn’t look like one of those flashy, hey-I’m-a-photographer-with-a-big-bag-of-gear bags; no it is discreet and stylish. And the second thing is that it is that it does the job.

So, if you are like me, that you do not want to be a walking advert for a company with a big, bulky camera bag, Pompidoo’s Tokyo bag is for you. Check them out.

Pompidoo offer a range of stylish and functional camera bags on their online store. Go check them out and if you like one, here is a 10% discount codeBrendan10%. It is valid until August 31, 2016.

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Hong Kong and India with the Sony Xperia Z5

Been travelling around India for a few weeks and before that had a few days in Hong Kong. Shooting with the Sony Xperia Z5 is great for those wide angle shots.

Below you can see some photos from the iconic Victoria’s Peak in Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour, the magnificent Taj Mahal, the monasteries of Leh, in the Himalayas, and the stunning Pangong Lake on the India China border.

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

View of Victoria Harbour from The Peak, Hong Kong

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Leh, Ladakh

Leh, Ladakh

Leh, Ladakh

Leh, Ladakh

Pangong Lake, Ladakh

Pangong Lake, Ladakh

Pangong Lake. India China border

Pangong Lake. India China border

Pangong Lake, Ladadhkm (this lake borders India and China)

Pangong Lake, Ladadhkm (this lake borders India and China)

 

 

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Vienna with the Sony Xperia Z5

Had the pleasure of visiting Vienna last week on a university exchange. It is hard not to be struck by the grandeur of this European city. Below are a selection of photographs shot on the Sony Xperia Z5. It is a fine travel camera and I really enjoyed shooting with this while there.

Vienna has over 1.200 kilometres of bicycle paths. Being a bike lover, I really enjoyed this.

Vienna has over 1.200 kilometres of bicycle paths. Being a bike lover, I really enjoyed this.

With the River Danube passing through the city, there are many bridges.

With the River Danube passing through the city, there are many bridges.

Vienna was home to some of the world-renowned artists like Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. The Belevedere Museum is home to'The Kiss' Klimt's most famous painting.

Vienna was home to some world-renowned artists like Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. The Belvedere Museum is home to’The Kiss’ – Klimt’s most famous painting.

And of course it is also famous for its composers. Here is a statue of Mozart.

And of course it is also famous for its composers. Here is a statue of Mozart.

A visit to Vienna has to take in the wonderful architecture and vision of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

A visit to Vienna has to take in the wonderful architecture and vision of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. This is the entrance to his museum. I was lucky enough to get to see an exhibition of Martin Parr’s photography while there.

Here is another of Friedensreich Hundertwasser's famous buildings. Wouldn't you love to live here?

Here is another of Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s famous buildings. Wouldn’t you love to live here?

There are many beautiful churches and cathedrals in the city. Saint Stephen's cathedral is right in the heart of the shopping centre of the city.

There are many beautiful churches and cathedrals in the city. Saint Stephen’s cathedral is right in the heart of the shopping centre of the city.

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The city’s main shopping area.

One of the things I loved about Vienna was the amount of street art. Vienna has a wonderful canal area where young people gather in the evening.

One of the things I loved about Vienna was the amount of street art. Vienna has a wonderful canal area where young people gather in the evening.

In the evening the banks of the canal are lined with young people having a few drinks with friends.

In the evening the banks of the canal are lined with young people having a few drinks with friends.

The beautiful rooms of Belevedere Museum.

The beautiful rooms of The Belvedere Museum.

The Vienna underground

The Vienna underground.

Entrance to Karlplatz Underground Station

Entrance to Karlplatz Underground Station

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