First Public Photographic Event

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Sunday was interesting, my friend asked me would i take some pictures at his ordination in St Patrick’s Cathedral as one of the first Permanent Deacons in that part of Ireland. I wasn’t sure I was up for the task, but because he asked me, I gave it a go.

Upon arrival I discovered that if I wanted to take picture in the Cathedral I had to be with the press photographers and not the guests as I had expected. This was really amusing as all these guys had top of the end Canon or Nikon’s with massive zooms. While I had my Nikon D5200 and a few lens with me. In fairness they accepted me and let me be apart of the pack, and I did get behind the scenes places that a guest would not have been allowed to access.

So apart from school boy errors and a lot of learning, here are my images on Flickr. I hope you find them interesting and please do leave your comments.

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White Space Explored

I often post about #FlickrFriday a weekly theme competition on Flickr. Mainly because I enjoy the challenge and also because it forces me to try new things. If you haven’t taken part before, I would highly recommend giving it a go. A great way to see how others interpret themes and allow others to experience your work.

Last Friday’s theme was entitled #WhiteSpace and for me the White Album by the Beatles would be prefect to work with for my submission. With time scarce I used the disc and sleeve to make up the image and submitted it. However I have to say it was a real surprise to discover that it was immediately Explored on 23rd of September, the next day and to date has been viewed over 18,000 times.

It is an honour to be Explored on Flickr and this is the sixth time, but never has one of my images been so popular. I’m sure others have been Explored many times, but I am chuffed to be featured in this way. Perhaps it is because it is about the ‘fab four’ or that it fitted the theme so well, but for whatever reason that day my mobile just kept beeping as comments were posted. So I wanted to say thank you to everyone who viewed the image, and especially those who left me encouraging comments.

I would love to hear about what others know about Flickr Explore and how images are chosen. So please do feel encourage to leave comments in any of my posts on this blog.

No 7

This week I have been travelling around Ireland and between wifi signals, when I discovered that my image of travel documents (shot for #FlickrFriday theme #BusinessAsUsual) was selected to be featured on the Flickr blog. This made me very happy because I started entering this weekly challenge in January and this is my seventh time to be featured. Which is fantastic considering the talent submitted each week into the group pool of images.

See the blog here and the all my submissions for the year here.

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X20 Rwanda Images

As some might know I have been travelling in Rwanda as part of my job for an organisation called Tearfund. The visit involved leading teams that included a film crew, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Commissioner of the NI Victims Commission and some prominent church leaders. All interested in learning about the work of Tearfund and the Church in issues of poverty, development, unity and reconciliation, just 19 years after the genocide. There reflections can be heard as part of an interview on Radio Ulster’s programme Sunday Sequence here.

This is a photo blog and I have mentioned before that I decided to invest in a Fuji X20 for this and future trips. I discussed before how labour-some carrying DSLR equipment can be and especially when you already have a film crew with you, all you are attempting is to capture is stills for presentations and media. I have to say I am pleased with the camera and it certainly has met my expectations. Colour is vivid, images are sharp and it is a pleasure to use. Sure it lacks the variety of lens choices, but that really isn’t the point in this environment and the reason for output. Any fault in the images was user error and will improve as I get used to getting the most from this little travel buddy.

Click the above image to see a selection of photos captured from this trip and a few from the previous with a Lumix FZ100. You might agree that smaller is better for this type of travel and unobtrusive photography.

Double Exposure Self Image

Following the usual photography themed challenge on the #FlickrFriday group, I decided to try some self portraits for this weeks theme #DoubleExposure. The image above is the most striking and it conveys my favorite biography. Cartainly anyone who has spoken with me about books on theology, will know how much the life of Dietreich Bonhoeffer (Pastor, Theologian, Spy and Martyr) has influenced my own thinking and hopefully my life.

This interest grew from a visit to the holocaust museum in Israel, in which I came away wondering where the church was during this dark period in our history. I discovered a book by Eric Metaxas, journeying the reader through the life and death of Bonhoeffer. On the cover is an iconic portrait image of the man himself, with his round wire glasses taken during his time in a Nazi prison. That is the image I have used to double exposure over my own self portrait, in homage to his his lives story and the lessons for our lives still today.

Strangers We Meet

I met this gentleman while trying to take these landscape pictures and one of the moon. He approached me loudly from a distance, suggesting I take his picture, because I would never get a picture of an Irishman like him. I believe that might be true after our conversation and anyway, how could I refuse such an interesting character with a stick!

So I swung the camera around on the tripod and quickly fulfilled his request. As you can see there was no time for composition or even to consider focus. Just capture the moment, hope everyone is happy and get back to capturing my shoreline before the light was gone

However, the whole evening was full of people asking what I was looking at, what was it i saw and was I a professional. It seems a camera on a tripod convinces everyone you are a professional even when all you hoped for was a quiet night to better know learn your craft. Still it meant I got to take this gem of a photo. Feel free to let me know what do you think or share you stories of strangers you’ve met while out taking pictures.

Explored While Exploring The X20

So finally made a decision about which camera to get as a travel buddy. After selling my first image to a publishing house I bought myself a Fuji X20 enthusiast compact camera for travelling. I chose to get the retro silver version and got a great deal from Calumet Photography in Belfast. As you can imagine I couldn’t wait to go home to unbox this new toy, so instead popped into the Starbucks on Elmwood Avenue.

While there I submitted the above image taken with the X20 for the #FlickrFriday theme ‘Yesterday’ featuring a black and white print of an original Starbucks shop on the wall of the newly furnished Elmwood store. To my surprise this morning it was Explored.

Click the image to see other my other explored photos or if you would like to see the rest of my snaps taken yesterday with the X20 in Starbucks click here.