Never to be accused of being last minute about anything. I was back home in Dublin in August waiting on my passport which I needed to travel to Spain the next day. These images are all from Grafton Street. Wandering around town (Dublin City Centre) or anywhere, for that matter, with a camera is great fun. Especially with digital, though the urge to look at the screen can end with a punch if you are trying to sneak a pic of a rough looking character, chiefly fat bankers. One of the only things I don’t like about street photography is that it has a name.
The sight of three generations of males in the window of a coffee shop runs in sharp contrast to the Dublin of thirty years ago where this scene would have taken place in the dark corner of the pub. Pints, shorts, peanuts, crisps and lemonade. Definitely seemed like a whole load more fun back then. While the three of them were definitely together, there was no eye contact or conversation between them. What hadn’t changed was, they were not going shopping.
There is a school of thought in photography that an image should not be cropped. Yeah OK, it is nice to see and capture an event in all it’s purity, but there are also times when you feel something and click. Later when reviewing the images it isn’t there. That familiar feeling of emptiness and head scratching as you realise they are all crap and you are unfortunately insane and imagined the whole thing. I like to go back over sequences that are a few months old, when my memories of the scene have faded. Quite often that feeling pops up again. Imperfect, poorly framed or exposed. Or in my case, often quite small in the frame. I spent most of the 80’s and early 90’s walking about with a telephoto lens, which seems to have had a long term effect on my sense of scene.
The second and third images here from M&S coffee shop on Grafton street were both feelings that there was something there that was interesting. On review months later the graphic composition of the light and the silhouettes of the people was so obvious in the first image, but quite small in frame. Latter was tilted and poorly exposed. I remembered at the time that the guy’s face was lit in a very interesting way but the reflected arm on the coffee was luck. Cropping, recomposing and exposing the images gave them new life and restored that feeling that there was something interesting when I was walking down the street. Something that I like.
Dublin has real character all the time. It is and feels like a cosmopolis. While it is far removed from the place I grew up, it still has an energy that is unlike anywhere else in the world. Also, luckily for me, mine was the last passport handed out on that day and we were in Orense the following evening for a well deserved break.
Halloween weekend we all headed up to Malin Head for a little sight seeing and a few laughs. We had a visitor over from Spain and thought it would be a good idea to show off a little of the country. Though explaining how we were going to drive head north out of the North to the most northerly part of the south without entering into an odd history of politics was difficult.
The sun was out and Banba’s Crown looked beautiful, but this is the most northerly part of the island and the wind was baltic. Standing straight was difficult enough, but then I thought it would be good for the girls and I to play a little game. It goes something like this. Stand facing the wind. Bare your teeth as far as you can while facing into the freezing cold wind. First to flinch loses.
Heyzus, the pain was unbelievable. We felt like our teeth were going to shatter as our heads were squeezed with the pain. That combined with the near suffocation as our breath was blown from our lungs. Good crack as we say. We laughed hard and I was impressed with the girls for being such good sports.
The abandoned buildings are more interesting than the view when you are a kid. Especially when it is freezing cold outside and you have refused to wear your sensible school coat.
There is a one eyed teddybear above the Monster logo.
The thought of going on a road trip with your seven year old kid, where there is just the two of you is amazing. No distractions. Lots of chat and an vain attempt at getting lost on this very small Island. Ended up visiting the folks.
Great thing about working in Ulster University’s Belfast School of art is there is aways something interesting going on.
An engineering researcher was clairvoyant when he said in 1994 that subordinates often make the best leaders:
Often with small groups, it is not the manager who emerges as the leader. In many cases it is a subordinate member with specific talents who leads the group in a certain direction.
Leaders must let vision, strategies, goals, and values be the guide-post for action and behavior, rather than attempting to control others.
Daniel F. Predpall