Shutter Insomniac

Regular Update

Dublin Grand Canal1moonOn the common occasion that I cant get a successful night’s kip I’ll venture out into Dublin’s darkness and see what I can shoot. This helps me use all the unspent energy from the day in the hope that when I return to bed I can finally get my forty winks. I thought I’d share with you the images I have taken over the last year which helped me drift off into a deep coma.

_MG_1660 _MG_1864 Creepy Blue Buildings

Speed in the Streets; F1 Bavaria City Racing Dublin 2012

Regular Update

Earlier in the year I ventured out into the Irish rain and tried to document the event of the summer.

In June Bavaria City Racing brought Formula 1 to the streets of Dublin. More than 100,000 spectators were expected to gather for an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon with Superbikes, Super cars, Touring cars, Formula 2, WRC, Drifters, and demonstrations from internationally celebrated F1 cars and drivers.

The map of the taken-over streets

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This is what I managed in the midst of the worst weather of the season._MG_6125_MG_6128

_MG_6139F1 McLaren wide1_MG_6157_MG_6237F1 Bavaria Dublin

I shot in three different locations. It was well worth the extra effort to talk to bar-owners in the city centre to let you up to the top of their buildings to allow you to shoot from above.

The Men of Clanbrassil Street

Portraits

The street I live on has seen much change in years gone by. It has moved on from the days it was nicknamed “Little Jerusalem” to the vast ethnic diversity that can be seen there today. I decided to go up and down the Dublin city centre stretch and show the business’s from circa 1960 to present day.

1960 Eddie Thornton’s Grocery Store

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1964 Gregory Conlon’s Curio Shop

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1975 James and Seamus Traver’s of Travers Photography

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2001 Khuram Khan Business Solutions

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2009 Waqas Baig New Image Barber Shop

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2010 Pasha Khan Style and Style

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All image credits to Shuttermaniac.

Stop Press! ACDC for free?

Uncategorized

It turns out that because I’m studying a course in the journalism faculty I qualify for a Press Pass (NUJ Card). I’m not really sure how it works but now as I have one, I’ll take you through my research into what it actually does, and see if it will get me free into the next ACDC concert.

The NUJ‘s Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936. The code is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to it.

Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

NUJ Code of Conduct

A journalist:

1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed
2 Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair
3 Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies
4 Differentiates between fact and opinion
5 Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means
6 Does nothing to intrude into anybody’s private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest
7 Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work
8 Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge
9 Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation
10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed
11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare
12 Avoids plagiarism
  The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code. The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

 

Instructions on how to go about applying for entry to event

Request access in advance either by phone or by mail. Put written requests on company letterhead. Explain why you wish to cover the event and any special requirements you have, such as equipment or crew members that you will be bringing.

Show up to the event promptly. Make sure the press pass is visible. Be ready for a security check.

Introduce yourself to marketing and press coordinators. Ask to be included on future e-mail lists to receive notification of upcoming events.

If you need to try to gain access to an event at the last minute, try showing up to the venue and asking to speak with the press coordinator. It’s possible that showing your credentials and explaining your need for access could get you in. But it may not work for more secure events.
  Know the rules and follow them. Once you are given access don’t go into restricted areas.

  Be prepared to undergo a background check.

  Simply designing a press pass using your home computer and printer will not be enough to gain you entrance into events.

  Do not misrepresent yourself.

Now all we need is for ACDC to come to Ireland.

 

“We can’t both have one my dear, I’ll be a gentleman and shave mine off..”

Portraits

But not in Movember.

It’s coming near to the end of the month, and all around the city the Moustaches are shaping up. The variations are endless and I’ve seen pretty much all that can be achieved from “the original” to “the Zappa” and everything in between. The Dali, Fu Manchu, Handlebar, Imperial, Horshoe, Pencil, Toothbrush, Walrus, Chevron etc……

The charity’s policy is simple.

“Once registered at movember.com each Mo Bro must begin his hairy journey on the 1st of Movember with a smooth, clean shaven face. If you join the campaign a few day late don’t worry, the Mo the merrier. For the entire month each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache and here’s where a few basic rules come in, there is to be no joining of the mo to the sideburns (that’s considered a beard), there’s to be no joining of the handlebars to the chin (that’s considered a goatee) and each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman.” credit.

In our local bar all five of the barmen were rounded up by the “Mo Sis” (The ladies must organise the gentlemen by distributing the collection pots and generally run each specific campaign). I’ve heard they raised a great sum of cash for the Men’s health organisations, and everyone who participated had a great time doing it.

When I saw the iPhone photos posted on Facebook I decided to rob them, and place the head-shots into the appropriate environment for each moustache.

This might cheer up the dull weather..

These edited images are going to be on full display in the bar on the official collection night. So if you happen to be in Dublin on Friday 23rd November then pop down to Ryans of Parkgate and donate a little towards a great charity. Just in case you’re wondering, it also happens to be the best bar for Guiness in the area too. You’re welcome.

Take a Long Walk off a Short Pier

Regular Update

The Howth Marina Shot Collection. Commissioned by Ray McCabe of McCabe’s Deli’s.

All image credits.

I was asked to think about taking a few shots for a new cafe opening down on the River Liffey by Mr. McCabe himself. He loved the fact that the opening was going to coincide with the Dublin Tall Ships festival arriving down the Liffey in late summer. As a result he wanted nautical themed pictures that would look great even when the festival was over and the ships had sailed. As his new branch is a stone’s throw from Dublin’s central artery, this made perfect sense. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided that the best place to fit the brief was the Howth Marina, situated thirteen kilometres north of Dublin. Emails were sent and within a day or two I had the location set. I packed a lunch, warm jumper and weatherproof jacket and set off. I knew Ray was looking for around eight images, so if I aimed for about ten to fifteen, he’d at least have a choice. Here are a small selection of the final prints I’ve chosen to show you which will give you an insight to what was going through my head that day with regard to fitting the brief and the customer’s specifications.

Finding texture is always a great way to make dirty old objects look pleasing to the eye.

Its always good to look up, especially when there are no options at eye-level. A fun and simple shot.

Always remember the target audience. I don’t want to give the coffee drinkers a headache before they go back to work. I tried to emulate the mood of the sleepy-head here with a peaceful shot of the yachts.

When looking up still brings no joy, look out.

Keep it simple, over-cluttered images are not easy to view. You wont win the hearts of the tea-ladies if you don’t. I figured if my granny didn’t like it, well…

Think about the main image. This could easily be the first image customers see. Treat the commission like a gallery. Each viewing should transition smoothly to the next.

The end of a long day in the office. Time to go home. Your collection is complete and the project is concluded. It’s also a peaceful image to send your viewer on his way.

I had the lass in the print shop finish off the days work which she then submitted to Ray and he was delighted. He just received a custom collection for a great price, and in the space of a couple of days. Aim to be a little cheaper and a whole lot more reliable. I think this small business tip should fare you well. Three jobs like this per week would make life very comfortable indeed and would make the Canon 5D mkiii seem ever that little bit closer to being mine. Ach, I’m dreaming again, till next time.

Quick Guide to Gig Shots

Technical

When asked to go down and take shots of your mates band make sure you do it justice. Every job you encounter will take you on to the next, so make sure it’s correctly executed. You can be sure that if you’re last shoot was a little lazy then you will only get half the cash for the next one if anything at all! You should be aiming to increase your income. Not eventually be that guy who works for free but it’s ok because he’s not that great. Even if it is your best pal’s first live performance do the best you can. I have to make it clear though, some free work is never a bad idea if you know it may lead on to another project.

  • In order to set up your camera correctly to allow for all available light in the venue, you’ll have to get down there the day before and check for yourself.
  • I usually bump up the ISO to 800 or 1600.
  • Change mode to monotone (Most will tell you not too but I get faster, clearer, sharper images when the camera doesn’t have to process colour).
  • Use a fast prime lens like the super reliable 50mm. Best investment I ever made and not a great expense either. For Canon. For Nikon. The 50mm prime lets in a whole heap of light with its shallow depth of field. This allows you pinpoint the exact location of your viewer’s attention.
  • Try to leave your flash at home. Good flashes are not cheap and this will ruin your hot-shoe connection if someone knocks it, trust me. Fixing your camera’s hotshoe and a broken flash will destroy your insurance policy.
  • Get to know the whole band, not just the lead guy, to the point that when you’re snapping away, they will not be distracted by your presence during a song. And when you want them to turn and face you, all you have to do is gesture slightly. Do not take the attention away from the stage!
  • Do hand out business cards. It’ll quickly get fans to leave you with some space to work if they think they are helping you promote their favourite band. Speaking of which use the Security guys if things get out of hand. Equipment damaged by beer and elbows quickly adds up. Think about insurance.

I think I’ve covered all the technical aspects, now it’s up to you to get out there and capture what makes this particular band special using nothing but imagery. As always I’ll leave you with a wee example. This is Worth and Bondi. I’ll stick a video at the bottom of the page for you. See if you can tell me what the drums are..

Here are the shots.

I’ll leave the comments open to you guys on this one.

 

“Bring the Camera to the Bedroom Darling…”

Technical

Ok so now I have your attention. I should make it clear that I’m not going to be showing you a boudoir session with the missus. Rather I’m going to show you how I made the bedroom into a fully functioning camera. Sorry if I appear to have misled you. There will be no provocative shots today. Ach well sure, maybe next time.

So again in class we were assigned a task to enhance our Photographic knowledge. For this project we were to build a camera from scratch. The only thing we couldn’t do was use a lens. Amidst the chaos of empty shoe-boxes, baked beans cans and biscuit tins. I decided that I would prefer to be inside the action to really understand what was going on. Since I’m far too big for a wee carton or container, I’d have to think outside of the cardboard box.  I wanted something I could walk around inside in. So there we have it, the reason I chose my bedroom.

This is how I set it up.

Black out the Window leaving a penny-sized hole.

Even though the window was not completely light-sealed, you should start to see the image projecting on the opposite wall or in my case, the wardrobe.

Fix any light leaks with black tape, you’re going to use plenty so stock up. I used everything from old bills and pizza boxes, to past birthday cards and even a magazine that was lying around. I hope someone had the chance to read it. For the print to take effect I knew I had t0 make a smaller hole. I made some apertures from a pinhole in a piece of tinfoil and attached it to card with plenty of black tape.

With the smaller aperture, you cant project so far from the light source. So I got a tripod and attached a cardboard mount for placing the Photo-sensitive paper closer to the light hole.

Make sure that there is no light in the room, except a red safe-light if you have one. I bought a red light bulb but it failed the paper test. Apparently not all red light bulbs will work. Be sure to check with Camera stores. You can buy a dedicated light here. Set up the dark room chemicals and use whatever space you can to be safe when the lights go off. At least in my room I can find the light switch when its dark. I had to do everything in the pitch black until at least 3 minutes of the print being in the Fix solution.

What it should look like..

Kitchen sink print wash

I’m almost there. I just have to remember to have a system in place to avoid all the possible reasons that could spoil my exposures, ie my girlfriend coming back from college early and opening doors and turning lights on. Safest thing I did was lock myself in and leave the key in the door.

The pinhole projecting the final image on to the photosensitive paper

Who would have thought this was possible from a blacked out window and a pinhole.

The final image took roughly 15 minutes to burn into the paper for the correct tonal values to be displayed.  The end result was pleasing to say the least and didn’t take as long as I thought to set up. And I didn’t get into as much trouble either from the missus. I definitely recommend you try this at home. Or anywhere you can find the space with a view.

Ach Well… That’s Showbusiness

Regular Update

News just in. I’ll keep it short-ish. This is obviously a faked picture. Noel Fielding and Phill Jupitus were originally holding an Ad for ‘Never Mind The Buzzcocks’ which was due to be aired in the next couple of weeks. I switched the Ad for the ‘Watson ACE’ lads for use on their Facebook page etc. The band feature often on the ‘Ray Foley Show’ on Today FM. Phil Jupitus was on the show recently and Ray Asked him how he came to know of the boys from Watson ACE. Apparently there was a very awkward silence on air. Phil had no idea what he was talking about. I’ll hold my hands up, my fault. Here is Watson ACE performing a single from their eagerly awaited album Backbone.

Its called ‘End of a love affair’

“Enda can kiss my left one!”

Portraits, Regular Update

Students and Teachers unite on the streets to protest for equality. Picture Credit

Three main unions came together with plans to march from the Dept. of Education to Leinster House for the ‘Valuing Education’ rally. The INTO, TUI and ASTI issued this letter to school stewards all over Leinster to attract numbers for their protest.

TO: SCHOOL STEWARDS IN COUNTIES DUBLIN, LOUTH, MEATH, KILDARE & WICKLOW

10th October 2012

‘Valuing Education” Protest Rally: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday 24th October, Molesworth Street

Dear Colleague,

For the past number of years there has been a sustained attack by Government on education provision. Each year on Budget Day, funding for education is being reduced, teaching jobs are being lost and opportunities for young people are being eroded. December’s budget is looming.

These are the reasons why your union is joining with the INTO and the TUI in a protest rally at Leinster House on Wednesday 24th October. We want to bring home to the Government why further cuts to the education budget will betray young Irish people, further demoralise our profession and undermine our capacity to rebuild our economy.

The protest rally will commence after school at 4:30pm and end at 6:00pm. Members in schools in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow are strongly encouraged to participate in this rally to demonstrate the strength of feeling of Irish teachers about the Government’s plans for further cuts. Given the acute difficulties and cuts faced by newly qualified teachers, we are particularly keen to encourage these members to attend the protest. Cuts in education mean fewer job opportunities for new teachers.

ASTI members along with colleagues from INTO and TUI will be gathering in Molesworth Street opposite Leinster House from 4:30pm. We will have banners and placards ready for members to collect. The government is currently preparing its plans for the budget in December. Protesting now gives us the opportunity to influence this budget debate.

I would like to ask you to join this protest and to encourage ASTI members in your school to attend as well.

Yours sincerely,

_________________________

Pat King

GENERAL SECRETARY

cc. Branch Officers and CEC members

This letter and many more like it were posted out to build interest and support for the concerned majority that are strongly opposed to the many issues presently facing educational systems in the country. The last four years have seen major cuts through these, what ASTI President calls, “anti-education budgets”. TUI President Gerry Craughwell stated “We currently have a situation whereby many of our talented, enthusiastic new teachers and lecturers are attempting to survive in part-time positions, with mere fragments of jobs. They are struggling to build a career on incomes which do not provide a basic standard of living. The TUI is here to demand that these teachers have a right to jobs, not just hours”

The starting salary this year for teachers will be up to 34% less than in 2010, according to the unions. The average cut being more than €11,000 yearly. Deputy General Secretary TUI Annette Dolan said that “up to 30 per cent of second level teachers currently work less than full-time hours and this percentage will continue to rise in the next few years”. The main concern by Dolan is that with the current conditions teachers may immigrate to Australia, or anywhere else there is demand. She hopes that the government restores the previous allowances to boost their mediocre income and stop Irish teachers seeking international employment.

On a brighter side, the rally showed a strong bonding of teachers, students, union leaders and representatives and even the general public. The noise of the protest could be heard on Grafton Street, which as you know is usually a nightmare to hear your phone on. The buskers of this particular day were drowned out by chanting students and amplified union speeches on loud speakers. The feeling was highly energetic and motivational. Not a single person hesitated at the chance to air their reactions to the speeches directed at Leinster House.

Some of the more creative of the crowd slightly altered their placards, including the hilarious “Enda can kiss my left one!” with another fellow student carrying the supporting “Enda can kiss my right one!” I think my favourite though, was the well-sported “Does this hoodie belong to anyone?” with the garment attached. The spotty faced teenager lugging it around was probably hoping for a Cinderella moment. I wonder if Prince Charming found what he was looking for.

While you ponder on that, this is the speech from ASTI President Gerry Breslin


The unions saw a healthy turnout and a great protest on the day. If anything it was a great experience for the students and a deafening wakeup call to the Dáil. Let’s hope the upcoming budget yields positive news for Irish Education.