Posts Tagged ‘Dublin’

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.

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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’

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.

I had the great opportunity of meeting Rupert Everett as he came to dine in the restaurant in which I work at the weekend. As I got to know the cast and crew a wee bit and I had a feeling that this wouldn’t be the last time I saw them. As it happened Mr Everett came in everyday that week after matinee and dinner performances and I caught up with him again on the Friday. He was over from London to do a week-long play called “The Judas Kiss”. Before I knew, the conversation led to my studying photography at Griffith College. After I mentioned that I was in the middle of a portraits and visual-diary project Mr. Everett invited me down to the Gaiety Theatre to take his portrait immediately after the matinee curtains fell. Initially he said that I would have fifteen minutes to shoot him on stage. Deep breath.

I had no idea what to expect  after striking up a conversation with the lighting crew in the Greenroom. The lads kindly joined me on stage as I asked for a little more light here and there. To which they called out a confusing yet impressive blend of letters and numbers, referring to an invisible person in the ceiling rig. I instantly had the light I needed. As it turned out I had only six minutes and thirty seconds to take a grand total of just twelve images. This very quickly whittled down to two when I got home to the laptop.

The final scene in “The Judas Kiss” is a dark and lonely Oscar Wilde monologue, and as such there had to be negative space engulfing him for the image to work.

Mr.Everett’s final scene from the play “The Judas Kiss”   Picture Credit

The closer, more intimate shot of Rupert was taken with my Argos-bought Canon 50mm prime lens, very quick and extremely sharp lens and a must for every camera bag. I’d like to thank Rupert for giving me the chance to take his picture even as the costume ladies were dying to get his outfit removed from his shoulders and back in storage. This was a remarkable experience and its inclusion in my college project scored me an ‘A’ for the effort.

As requested here is the Exif Data for the last shot.

“So how’s it going folks?!”

It appears I’ve stumbled into the ever-present world of blogging. As guided by my college lecturer I am here trying to think of something innovative or interesting to talk or ‘blog’ about. My view on blogging in its purist, non-Facebook, form was as Elliott Gould   (M*A*S*H) summed it up, “Blogging is Graffiti with punctuation”. Now perhaps this gentleman’s archaic view on this new medium of self expression, promotion and publication is as dated as an Elvis fan’s view on emerging Punk in the early 80’s. However, as new and strange as it is to me that someone actually gave a notion as to what my daily thoughts and observations for the day were, this is something I’ll have to embrace and tackle head-on as well as a Ayrshire Lad can. I come from an area where you would wake up to the sound of kids breaking into cars and the smell of dairy cow-shit  from the adjacent fields.

I live in Ireland, and have done on and off, for around ten years. I first stayed in a small tourist town in the West of Ireland and because of tourism seasonality ie, everyone left after summer and I was bored to tears, I’m now living in Dublin in the East. By weaving in and out of various Catering/ Hospitality roles, travelling the seven seas on the QE2 and even working in a vineyard in South Africa I’ve realised that there was only one common factor to my nostalgia when I look back. The very medium which has triggered the ‘going back to college education’ and therefore the very reason why I’m writing this blog now. Photography.

Curiosity has always driven me to explore new areas whether its Geographical or Coffee Shop Sociological. I travelled extensively throughout South East Asia on motorbikes, Hiked through Scotland and Ireland on boot and drank my way through most of the Western Cape’s vineyards on bicycle. Nothing entertains me more than sitting in a coffee shop sending tourists the wrong way up temple bar and watching as the rest of the world walks by. I love trying to hazard a guess as to what everyone is up to, perhaps conceiving world domination plans or how they spoke Espressonese before Starbucks made it cool ( or mandatory, as one College Professor found out the hard way).

By watching the world and its people I’ve developed a need to record or capture everything around me and my camera is the best tool I have to do this. I’m terrified that one day I’ll forget all these characters as I get older, incidently the reason my Grandmother keeps a box of photos beside the bed, and as such I’ve the compulsion to record everything for fear of memory loss.

Anyway I’ll knuckle down and hopefully nail this blogging medium, first to keep up to speed with the rest of the blogging world and secondly, to pass the blogging class.