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Isolation.

Yesterday was the third annual Scott Kelby World Photowalk. I’d forgotten it was coming up. Anyway, this time, John Williams took us west rather than east. I tend to prefer east – probably because it takes me towards my more natural stomping ground of the sea. We wound up in tourism heaven, Temple Bar and had a walk around there, around the food market. I had a lot of fun with Faye.

When the dust finally settled and I took everything back off the camera, two photographs caught my attention somewhat unexpectedly. This was one.

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The reason for that was that I had been trying to collect an image for something like this. I was out on the 50mm at 1.8 but wasn’t quite getting the crowd with one individual in the razorsharp DOF so basically abandoned the idea until I got home.

The photograph has taken some composition by way of motion blur. It’s not the first time I’ve tried this – see here also:

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although obviously I fired in some halftone filtering here also.

I’m currently looking for a photographic project to grab me. I don’t quite know what’s wrong – it may be the lousy summer I had last year which left me with very few standout sports photographs, it may be the lack of challenge in the kite photographs at the moment – short of moving a camera onto a board, there is little for me to play with now that I have the wide angles working for me and stuff.

So yesterday I spent in Easons for about a half an hour before the Photowalk wandering around the magazine and book section. By the way, Easons are flogging Ocean by Philippe Plisson for 6.99 at the moment. It is definitely worth getting. (but that’s by the way).

I’m looking at larger projects at the moment; there’s a book project in the offing for which I have to go through the archive and pick 145 photographs and then start work on writing the accompanying text. But that will largely be based on historic photographs.

Amongst the things that have caught my attention lately is this piece that James Bowden did for Driftsurfing. Actually there are some nice things in that magazine altogether.

I did look at the photography magazines but they are not talking to me much at the moment so I went back to my first love, which is the surf magazines. I picked up two I think (meant to pick up Surfer Girl as well but forgot). There’s a very retro style about some of the surf magazines at the moment – you can see this in the James Bowden piece (and by the way, James Bowden blogs here). It’s not so common in some of the kitesurfing stuff which I suppose could be considered understandable since kitesurfing has a far shorter history than surfing.

So in addition to the book which I’m slowly putting together, and trying to find some of the lost photographs for (the loss of the dancingshades site has caused a lot of photographs just to get forgotten) I’m looking at putting some other smaller projects together. Again, the problem with them is they don’t call for much in the way of new photographs but amongst the interesting tools which I think I might use – which I’m shamelessly borrowing from someone else’s research – is issuu.

In other news, picked up a new book yesterday which, much to my surprise, Easons had – and they hid it in the computer section where they stash all the Photoshop bookage. It’s called Digital Masters: Adventure Photography and it’s by Michael Clark. I hadn’t heard of Michael Clark – I suppose it’s a sad reflection on my introverted little world that I know mainly the kitesurf photographers – but his website is here and I picked up the book because leaving through it – all too briefly – the photography in it was impressive enough, even in sports I’m not so au fait with (ATB for example) and I noted that he actually did have a piece on how to handle being an adventure photographer in terms of extraneous equipment you might need….Anyway, there’s some impressive stuff on his website and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the book.

Okay. Under the heading of community projects worth looking at, boards.ie/photography have been busy again. You’ll find their 24 hour magazine here. (and you wonder how I have heard of issuu).

O’Connell Street, Dublin

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This was taken on a flickr photography trip in Dublin two or three years ago. It’s one of those photographs which seems to have caught people’s attention. I know for example that there are three copies of it gone to Poland and it has caused discussion the one or two times it hit People’s Photography.

It’s the Millenium Spire in Dublin with reflections of Clerys and Clerys itself in the background. I like the photograph because it has somewhat of a film noir atmosphere about it. I can’t remember exactly how I did it but selective use of film grain looks like it was an option and I must have applied some filter at some stage because there’s a slightly cartoonish hint on the roof of the department store. I honestly can’t remember. It was processed with Photoshop Elements 5.0 because at that stage I had given up on constant memory issues with the Gimp – yes Donncha and Richard I know, it should work but at the time it didn’t – and I know that I never really knew PSE anywhere near as well as I now know Photoshop CS3. I suspect posterisation and I suspect selectively applied.

I have a yen to do this to the clock in Saint Stephen’s Green.

I missed an opportunity to do a fantastic timelapse last week because I just didn’t know something was going to be erected. I’m considering looking for clearance to do a timelapse of it coming down. My fingers are crossed.

Old things with a new eye

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I took this on my very first photowalk with “other” photographers about 3 years ago, in Kerry. It’s taken from Brandon Head as far as I remember.

I started going through old photographs last night to see what had changed in the way I look at photographs and noticed that the way I look at photographs, and their colours in particular.

This one is from Dollymount Strand:

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I’ve taken such a lot of photographs over the past 4 years that sometimes it’s hard to remember them all. So this exercise in part is a way to discover old friends languishing on a hard drive and it’s also a way to remind myself what I used to do before the kitesurfing and the filters and the macro lens.

More links:

via Tim Turnbull – open source digital camera in the works from Stanford University.

via everyone I know on twitter, a few people known to myself get reviewed in the Irish Independent.

via Amazing Photos: Sacramento Bee on the earthquake in Java.

the Big Picture at boston.com on the wildfires in California

Nice little list of places to photograph in Dublin courtesy of AnCatDubh on boards.ie.

Cork photowalk

Donncha of Inphotos.org is organising another photowalk down in Cork on September 26th. By all accounts the last one, whiche I had to miss, was worth not missing so if you’re free that weekend and they have some really good deals for travelling photographers (hint hint).

You need to leave a response on Donncha’s blog if you’re interested.

Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin

This is also from the Scott Kelby World Photowalk day which John McAwilliams organised.

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The bridge is still under construction; so it’s jailed behind bars for the moment. I really can’t remember how I took the photograph, but the processing involved some messing with the levels of black in the image, rejigging of the white balance, and then some desaturation.

Friends in high places…

I am not sure which friend in a high place pulled off this one for me but I’m guessing that either Ryan or John had a helping hand.

On September 6, I will be running off to Mondello to take photographs of JapFest as part of a photo walk organised by Mondello Park. I’m interested in doing it for a few reasons. Not very many people know that long before I ever took a picture of a surfer, my first lot of sports photography was at a Formula 1 race in Belgium in 1998 when anyone I actually cared about actually crashed out on the first bend of a rain sodden mess of a race. I haven’t done much car photography in years (yeah, I did do some back in the film days), so I’m going to have to do a little reading up on what the current trends are, and more to the point, whether I can get away with some of the things I’ve tried with cars elsewhere, like this one in the Ghosts in Clontarf photograph over on RiseCreatives. I got the colour effects using Photoshop white balance settings before desaturating.

So, it will be interesting…

Nails and Posters

The Scott Kelby annual Worldwide Photowalk was a couple of weeks ago.

I can’t quite figure out what I think of this concept to be honest; it’s possible that my view is slightly coloured by being a little underwhelmed by the last Kelby book which I read (about photography rather than Photoshop); that being said, some of his online tutorials are great.

Anyway, my sites started keeling over around then, so stuff didn’t get posted and fell between cracks. Most people who were on the walk will have seen the two I eventually handed over for judgment but I’m going to post them here.

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and

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It rained like hell at the start of that walk, and it also brought me back around the area that I had very recently nightwalked both in my own right and with Kyle Tunney, to the extent that I felt like I had an illicit relationship with the sculpture of the docker hauling in the ropes on the south quays.

Anyway, the nails were shot using Canon’s really nice 100mm 2.8 macro which I bought when I bought a new camera in February, and the Connolly Station shot of the posters and the people sheltering from the teeming rain with the standard kit lens that comes with a 40D. I actually like that lens a lot.

Docker I and Docker II

This is from Kyle Tunney’s Evening photowalk a few weeks ago.

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In fact, I’d done a photo walk there myself a few days earlier, and had shot it slightly differently on that occasion.

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This is actually a piece of public art which I was not aware of until that first photowalk. I do not do a lot of flash photography although strangely enough I do own more than one flash, so most of these things tend to be somewhat experimental.

Anyway, Kyle has some photographs from some of the other participants there on this page here if you’re interested in having a look.

Also, if you’re interested, occasionally I organise photowalks via twitter and via the Photobuddies thread on boards.ie/photography.