Friday, 29 January 2010


a lot of my ramblings to date have been concerned with things Digital. But hey!! there is a far more sinister side to photography once controlled by people who conveniently located themselves in dark basements, and huddled over huge deep tanks of Dev and fixer etc. Oh yes the world of film.

I have avoided talking about this until I had a few credible articles under my belt as I did not want to be misunderstood. you see, I like both film and digital.
They are both very credible media but digital being now the more accessible, complete with instant feedback, has become the medium of the dabbler. Artists, architects, designers, and other creative professionals also use digital photography to document their work whilst the use of film and paper seems to be becoming a minority sport
it is my opinion,( being someone working in both mediums)in some ways that there is less to film photography than digital.
you get what you shoot,right there, shure you got to get it right first time,but that comes with practise,you can get use to that after a few years!!
anyhow! On with the show! Film! I love it.
so I have included in this gallery images shot and Polaroid type 55 film.
( my favourite black-and-white film of all time) it is my intention to continue this work into the future and may invite other practitioners of this medium to join me in an exhibition of type 55
images later in the year.
click the title above for the gallery of 5 images
for info on type 55 film click here
or see the previous article "photographing your breakfast is not a sign of mental illness"
thanks to those who have commented on previous posts please continue this practise
as it is a great help to me!!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


last week I met a young lady who was in ireland for 2 weeks to be a guest at a family wedding.
It had been a long time since we had met at another happy occasion also a wedding.
although born in ireland Ciara has spent most of her life in australia and is in possession of the best traits
both countries have to offer,in short she is a fantastic person!
Anyhow I thought that we could perhaps make a portrait in dublin city centre that celebrated her irish roots
and her australian sense of fun and adventure.When i asked if she was interested in this she almost jumped ,and said YES!!
so I set about planning,found a location,some help,some lighting,and away we went.
we did the shot around midnight,on custom house key,under a bridge over the river liffey.
Artur Sikora,and Brian Daly, helped out While photographer ,Donal Sheehan documented the proceedings and plied a frozen Ciara with hot choclate!
there is a little bit of symbolism involved in the shot . Ciara is sitting on 4 bales of turf a symbol of her irish home.The modern dress represents her confidence. Whilst her bare feet represent the dispossessed who first settled in australia over 220 years ago.
The shots used a snooted bowens esperit head with a travel pak battery. I was so impressed with this that I bought one the next day click here for the irish suppliers details.and yes i will be using it again soon, so watch this space for more location portraits!!
both shots where exposed @f8 for 3 seconds with a snooted esperit 500 at full power
All my thanks to Ciara for being a great person to work with!!.
click the title above for the full set of pictures plus documentation shots
the first two shots in the gallery are the two final shots from this project
Again please comment on this post as it will help to shape future entries

Friday, 22 January 2010

a metaphor for our times

Early last year i was walking down O'Connell street,Dublin.And I passed a building I had passed Hundreds of times in my life.It was the former main bookings office of Aer lingus,
the Irish national airline.This was in its day a beautiful example of Irishness, both in its look and in its ambiance.My lasting memory of this office the warmh which exuded from the people who confidently greeted you from behind the the service counter,as they tapped away on their green screens to bring you up to the minute information on pricing and availability of flights out of and into all of the main capitals of Europe and the U.S.A.

The entrance to the this building was beautifully crafted in polished steel and glass,very clean modernist lines,with a large double glass door which effortlessly swung open with the timidest of pushes.
The crowning feature of this design had to be the winged handles.
You could say this doorway was in itself a beautiful framing of all of Irelands aspirations as it prepared to fly as close to the sun as any other nation could manage.
Anyhow, this all changed when in the nineties aer lingus suspended selling seats from this, and all offices and retired to web based sales.
the Office closed and was never reoccupied.
So back to the day of my stroll.
In the past I had mused over the possible meanings of the wings being bound in chains but never ever read it as a curse.So on this snowy sunday morning in february 2009 I was shocked to pass the building to find,that not only had the chains been taken from the doors, but the wings too had been removed!Two months later the whole building was gone, around about the same time the country almost ground to a halt as the huge bubble that was the irish property development industry imploded on itself!

Personally I feel saddened that such apretty piece of our past can go almost unlamented.
I can only draw sollace from the fact that on two of the hundreds of times that i passed this way I was carrying a camera to document the passing of this little treasure!

for a gallery of both images click here
Please comment on this post as it will help shape the content in the future postings

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

a walk in the park

For the last two years or so I have tried to get out and walk locally.
during the summer months nothing pleases me more then waking early and setting off for a
stroll in through local streets and parks in the morning.
An hour spent in this way is a great boost to the day,and and fills me with the stuff which helps me cope with anything that the day can throw at me!
I always take my camera, standard lens,and a wide angle, with me on such walks.
I enjoy keeping my eye out for little things, In fact it would seem that most of my photographic endeavors are in or around little things.Not huge sweeping landscapes but trees,seats,leaves,bottles,keyholes,small artworks,etc.
early this year like many other european cities(and countries) we had a big fall of snow and I went out for 3 walks during this time.
click on the title above for a small gallery of pictures from these walks
the work was shot on a hasselblad h3d5o camera and the converts where done using nik softwares silver efex pro software for more on this see the previous entry on converting digital colour to monochrome

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

photographing your breakfast is not a sign of mental illness

So here we go into 2010 and enthusiasm is high"It's going to be a great year for me and nothing will stop that"
Is this the normal aspirational response to the start of the next chapter,after the contemplative christmas break and a pretty bad business year?
But hey!lets make this one a year of action,with projects taken off the high shelf, restarted,and completed.
In fact I have 3 such projects to revive.when I took the books down from that high shelve I was suprised to see that i started one as far back as 2006(also in january)
All of these projects are film based
The first project is portraits of people who live in my block of houses.
Its on 10x8 inch fuji provia.
it has mutated from an aspiration to photograph the entire population of my street in their respective houses(the block is more achievable number(12houses,36 people)).
The second is a project which will run for a long time and i have added to this last summer.
Its a hommage to polaroids type 55 film so far i have made 6 or 7 frames all good.
When polaroid announced they were ceasing production a lot of ebay activity got me 200 sheets at over inflated prices and i also aquired a flextight scanner specifically for this reason.
The third project I started in june 2008 shooting a shot a day,from normal life, on an old graflex 4x5 reflex camera gifted to me by photographer Brendan Doyle .I stopped after21 days.there was a combination some personal stuff ,and the realisation the the graflex could not do everything i wanted it to do (due to max app of f5.6 and limited shutter speeds.)
just before i stopped i noted that future shots should be made on the graflex only when it could cope with the conditions.
so i will endeavor to restart this one, perhaps in a few weeks time and shoot it on the graflex super d or a linhof technika
So this year i must keep my word and make more personal photographs, both film and digital.
And as I do so I must share them here especially the 3 projects mentioned above (for starters)
As photographers we must work,work,work, to capture all the vitality of life no matter how mundane it might seem. Once captured on your hard disc or film the passage of time adds greatly to the potency and importance of all your photographic endeavors!
So when you rise tomorrow morning please remember it is not a sign of a mental problem if you photograph your breakfast!
The more things you photograph the more you will learn about yourself, your subjects, your equiptment,your LIFE!!!!!