This colourful photo of a man outside The Crane Bar in Galway is one of my favourite photos. I have 10 canvas prints (20″ by 16″) of it on discount sale ($60/€52) for the next 5 days. It could make a great Christmas present. Please share with anyone who you think might like it.
The Crane bar is an old school, traditional pub in the heart of Galway city and is home to traditional Irish music each evening.
Although many photographer hobbyist love photography with a passion (addiction?) most go through phases when they’re very inactive, sometimes not taking any photos for months on end. It can be difficult to dedicate time to photography when you have a job, family and other commitments. There are many methods to stay motivated in photography, including the taking a photo every day, called Project 365, trying new styles of photography, create a book, use one lens only, entering competition/challenges and more. I like to take part in photo challenges, especially on Boards.ie photography forum.
Boards.ie Photography forum have fortnightly challenges, the photo with most ‘likes’ wins and the winner selects the next challenge. There’s no prize (expect for kudos…) but I find it a great way for staying motivated in photography, keep taking photographs and also for themes/styles that might be outside your comfort zone or just styles of photography that you wouldn’t normally shoot. What makes the challenge for me is that your entries have to be taken during the challenge period, thus making you ‘get out there’ with your camera. The past few challenges on Boards.ie have included ‘The Rules of Odds‘, ‘Water, unsalted‘ and ‘Symmetry.’
These morning dew drops were my 3 entries for Water, Unsalted, the last one (my favourite) is a crop from the 2nd picture and almost won. I used a 100mm f2.8 macro lens on my front garden to capture the early morning dew drops. Luckily no neighbours drove by; they’d have wondered what I was doing, lying down on my driveway at 7 in the morning. Which of the 3 photos is your favourite, and why?
Lastly what methods do you use for staying motivated in photography please?
I want to let everyone know that I’m now active on Instagram, you can find me at https://instagram.com/photoblog.ie/. I’ve had an account for a while but it was ‘hibernating’. I’ll be posting similar photos to what I post here- abstract, abstract and more abstract. Oh, and some other stuff too- patterns, everyday smiley faces and more. A lot of what I’ll post to Instagram I won’t post here, however if I love an Instagram photo I might post it on my website too.
What I love about Instagram is how simple it is; you can share a photo in seconds whereas a blog post here takes more time. If you have an Instagram account too why not comment with your username and I might follow you. These are some of my recent Instagram photos:
Hang on for dear life! Galway Strong Man Challenge
This Strong Man Challenge has been on Shop Street, Galway for a few weeks and is attracting large crowds. People can win €200 if they can hold onto the bar for 2 minutes without falling off, and it costs €10 to try your luck. This unfortunate man was just a mere seconds away from winning but eventually fell. There was a large, enthusiastic crowd gathered and you can see their encouragement and cheering as they though he was going to win. The con or trick is that the bar you hold onto has an inner bar and if you relax your grip the outer bar begins to slowly rotate.
Manager Geoff Lynskey of Liam Mellows, captain Seán Loftus and others gave speeches to a great crowd of fans in Turloughmore GAA club and all players made time to sign autographs, hurleys, jerseys and have their photos taken with the admiring kids.
An artist and neighbour of mine, Kathy Ross has some of her work in a very unique exhibition by Athenry M Artists Group-local artists work features Athenry Mart (the cattle, people and the mart building itself) and is on display in one of the mart rings. It’s the perfect environment to house the exhibition as the mart is an integral part of Athenry town and visitors can associate to the art more as there’s cattle, farmers around them and they are in the buildings featured in the art.
I visited the exhibition recently and experienced my first cattle mart as well. What can I say about it? It’s an experience & a man’s world; the musical, almost singing voice of the auctioneer, the farmers, cattle and surprisingly quick sales.
John Grant played The Big Top tent at the 2015 Galway Arts Festival; he was bumped up to the main act when Sinead O Connor had to cancel. I’m a big fan of John Grant so was delighted to be lucky enough to obtain a Press Pass for his concert. The only downside was the all photographers have to leave the pit after 3 songs; for 2 of the 3 songs John Grant sat at a piano!
The first photo is one my favourite I’ve taken in a long time. John Grant isn’t your shiny, polished musician; he’s endured many tough times including hardship, illness, homophobia, addiction and heartbreak. To me this photo represents John Grant laid bare, pure blackness around him (could be the hardships that he’s endured) opening his soul.
This photo I took from the back of The Big Top (the venue) and the crowd in the foreground make the photo for me.
The last photo is one I couldn’t resist adding; he has a song called Outer Space this photo fits it perfectly I think!
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the great works of John Grant he’s a song of his, the lyrics are an example of his sharp,dry wit.
Galway City is in the running to be the European City of Culture in 2020 and would be a wordy winner I think. In the summer Galway really comes to life with multiple festivals; The Galway Races, Galway Arts Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, the Galway Fringe Festival and more.
The Galway Fringe Festival is a multidisciplinary Arts Festival encompassing visual art, music, theatre, dance, literature, cabaret and events and runs from July 11th to 27th inclusive. The beauty of the Fringe Festival is that it’s an open access festival, meaning that everyone is welcome to participate and perform.
I’m proud to announce that I have an exhibition in this years’ festival. Seeing as Galway is in the running for the European City of Culture I decided that Galway would be my theme. As abstract is my favourite style of photography I couldn’t leave it out so there’s a mix of Galway and abstract in my photos. My exhibiton
will be on display in Galway Shopping Centre, Headford Road.
Often with photographers you never see picture of the person behind the camera and it’s true with me too. So here’s a rare photo of my at my surprise 40th birthday.* I’m a chocoholic so of course the cake was make of chocolate and had an edible Pentax camera on top.
My wife and I went out for dinner to celebrate her birthday, afterwards we went to Massimos pub in Galway City to meet a friend. There was no sign of him but my wife said to have a look in the backroom and when I opened the curtain I was shocked to see the surprise party waiting. A big thanks to everyone for turning up, hope ye all had as good a night as I did. And a special thanks to Debbie, my wife, for planning and organising it.
* It’s not my 40th birthday until the middle of July but as we’ll be abroad on holidays my wife organised my surprise birthday in advance. I have to congratulate her on all the effort she put into planning the night, contacting friends and somehow managing to keep the whole thing a secret; I was absolutely astonished and loved the surprise.