As anyone who's wanders these parts will know, I love portraits. I generally try little else with my camera other than trying to shoot a single moment. I'm not really into studio stuff or anything particularly constructed, I just want to capture something I see. Unfortunately I was having trouble snapping moments that didn't occur in perfect daylight. Any time I wanted to get something indoors I'd have to use the stock flash on my camera. This was just short of useless given that the flash is so harsh it causes anyone looking at it to blink and it lights skin up to the point at which the subject looks like something from Cocoon. So with this in mind I asked around and found a bargain of a lens on Amazon. I managed to pick up this beautiful little lens for less than a hundred euro and it's already proved itself to be worth far more. It's fixed at a nice fifty millimeter size with a 1.8 aperture. The low aperture means I can shoot without a flash pretty much anywhere without making a mess of the shutter speed. I've taken it out once or twice already and I'm so happy with what I've got. Here's some I've taken in the last week.
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
I better start this off by saying this has very little to do with art, it's more of a personal little project. I went to Donegal at the start of the summer with my friends, known as the Leader League (stop laughing). Before we departed I had this little idea to try and get as much of the trip on video as I could, between my friends Niall, Gemma and I. I'm a big fan of M. Shawn Crahan's random assortments of video from his many years of Slipknot touring and recording and I kinda wanted to give it a try. Record as much as I could get and then lay it out in a random assortment. I had also watched a montage video of another friends' adventures and wanted one of my own. So we recorded lots (and lots) of footage from the few days and when we got back I got to work on getting all my stuff cut. It started off at (I think) two and a half minutes long with no music, a bit Crahan-y. I showed it to my partner in evil Niall and he was all about it. With wide eyes and an ambitious grin he started thinking of what we could do with sound and the extra stuff from his camera. So a few weeks later I made my way down to his Tallaght home to start integrating his work too. Over two long days we laboured over about five hours of footage to extract the parts that made us feel like we were there again. It was long, stressful (Premiere is a prick) but ultimately incredibly fun and rewarding. After many hours, we finally have this: a seven minute montage with some music carefully selected and thrown on. I had an incredibly good time throwing this together and Niall did too. It may not seem like much to you and you may be questioning why you're reading this. That's cool, I just figure it belongs with other creations. And while it might not seem like much to you I'm extremely proud to have been a part of it. It was a complete labour of love and I know for a fact that it's going to bring smiles to the faces of those who you see in it, because it's damn sure brought a smile to mine.
Sunday, 7 August 2011
Accidents happen often in art. Be it a spilled container of paint or a slip of the pen, it sometimes works to make a piece better. I was sitting outside a bar in Manchester City on a sunny day with my sister and her fiancé, messing with my camera. I was telling a story about someone I know and how she shoots pictures. While trying to illustrate my point. I held my camera at chest level, aimed it roughly at my brother in law (Baz) and shot about ten images haphazardly. Without breaking conversational stride, I halfheartedly glanced at the camera to see what the pictures looked like and was pleasantly surprised to see that the picture was actually kinda cool. I didn't aim it with any sort of precision, I never checked shutter speed or aperture, and Baz himself was still listening intently to me, completely natural. Nothing about the picture was staged, and yet it's one of my favourite pictures to date.