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August 26, 2014 / Aware of the Void

All Along the Banks on the Royal Canal – Pinhole Obscura Reblog

The Royal Canal - Dublin

Its a wonderful thing to be surprised by something so familiar. As a Dubliner I have looked at and passed over the royal canal literally hundreds of thousands of times in my life. I never really paid much attention to it. It was just a body of water that bisected the roads that I needed to drive on. Its narrow humped backed bridges can be a source of traffic congestion on the roads near my office – generally only an issue if I am in a real hurry to get somewhere. But it turns out that I friend of mine lives on the canal and I had really been missing out on a wonderful spot for a ramble and a few photos.

The Canal was built between 1790 and 1817 and its primary purpose was to bring freight and passengers from the Liffey in Dublin to Longford in the midlands. It connects with the river Shannon and at one point it would have been a pretty major piece of infrastructure. Sadly by the 1970’s the canal had fallen into total disrepair and there was talk by the local government of filling in the canal to allow a motorway to run through the heart of the city. Fortunately some forward thinking locals protested and successfully lobbied to save the canal which has now been totally resorted.

The canal is 140Km long and if you wanted you could now take a barge all the way from Dublin city centre to Cloondara in Co Longford. Having been surprised by the beauty of the walk between Ashtown and the city I am tempted to walk the other 120km just to see what I find.

Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:50mm
Exposure:10 seconds


Originally posted in February over on why not follow the link for more pinhole fun!!

The Royal Canal - Dublin The Royal Canal - Dublin The Royal Canal - Dublin The Royal Canal - Dublin
Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:50mm
Exposure: Various

August 17, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Visual Diary – July 2014

151/365/2014 - Da ba dee da ba di
151/365/2014 – Da ba dee da ba di
I don’t really know why this happens but I seem to be incapable of ordering the correct gloves…

152/365/2014 - Contact Sheet
152/365/2014 – Contact Sheet
My new plan is to always make a contact sheet and attach it to the negatives – I literally spent hours looking for one frame….never again..

153/365/2014 - Goats Cheese and Courgette
153/365/2014 – Goats Cheese and Courgette
I have been a life long vegetarian……..since last January :) I find that it is making me branch out with my breakfast choices – this was surprisingly good.

154/365/2014 - Excessive
154/365/2014 – Excessive
Bags packed, ready to shoot. A mixture of film and digital is the plan but since I am not really sure what I am doing the plan is subject to change..

155/365/2014 - The Wedding
155/365/2014 – The Wedding
Were you ever asked to do something that filled you with so much fear and panic that it seemed silly to say no.

I never had any real desire to be a wedding photographer, the whole thing seems to be at odds with how I like to take pictures – slowly and with careful consideration – it always seemed a bit manic but this really was a lot of fun.
Once I had the shots that I knew I needed I relaxed and started to shoot some things in my own style.
The Mamiya was used and I ran a few rolls through the F100 also. I enjoyed the day and the wonderful couple seem happy with the results so far.

156/365/2014 - Rainbow
156/365/2014 – Rainbow
Having shot a lot of digital yesterday I had decided to leave all cameras at home today……then this happened.

157/365/2014 - The River Ward
157/365/2014 – The River Ward
Hidden gems and secret locations were the order of the day today.
A photographer buddy was kind enough to take a few of us on a tour of a spot that is truly hidden in plain sight.

I had spent many hours of my childhood getting up to mischief in this area and it was a real treat to re-visit it today and look at it through the eye of the lens.

I mostly pin-holed – but snapped a few with my phone and the slow shutter app.

158/365/2014 - High Pressure Film
158/365/2014 – High Pressure Film
These two tanks contain the rolls from the wedding. It is the first time in a long time that I had a sense of panic while loading film and worse – the fear that nothing was on the rolls.

159/365/2014 - Sheba
159/365/2014 – Sheba
Professional pigeon watcher. I think i have some cheese in my hand here so she took a brief break to stare at me instead.

160/365/2014 - Anniversary
160/365/2014 – Anniversary
We spent our 10th wedding anniversary rampaging around the wicklow mountains. A long stroll to Lough Dan followed by a hill climb.
There is part of me that is truly amazed at how fast the last ten years have whizzed by.

161/365/2014 - Giddy Up
161/365/2014 – Giddy Up
Sometimes it best not to ask too many questions.

162/365/2014 - Tourist
162/365/2014 – Tourist
I love looking at my city through the eyes of my foreign friends. I see it in a whole new light, find interesting new spots and just enjoy what has always been here.

163/365/2014 - Afternoon Delight
163/365/2014 – Afternoon Delight
I think I won the food exchange, I brought an Aubergine Salad and a few other bits but I got to try this Tofu and Butternut Squash cake – and it was very good.

165/365/2014 - Making Redscale
165/365/2014 – Making Redscale
A small batch of homemake red scale film.
Try making your own it is super simple.…

166/365/2014 - Mad about Ballet
166/365/2014 – Mad about Ballet
I had a visitor at work today and she is super cute.

167/365/2014 - Cliff
167/365/2014 – Cliff
Found a new walking route tonight. It seems interesting.

168/365/2014 - Transport
168/365/2014 – Transport
Two years in and the proximity to the train stain still remains a source of amusement.

169/365/2014 - The Photo Album of Ireland
169/365/2014 – The Photo Album of Ireland
A city centre meeting has allowed me a very quick visit to the gallery of photography.

This is a delight and well worth a visit. I will return to it before it leaves that gallery.

170/365/2014 - Team Work
170/365/2014 – Team Work
A tense game of Jenga turned into an unexpected team work event as the stack grew taller and taller. The quest to win was superseded with a quest to see how tall the tower would grow.

Good times with good friends.

171/365/2014 - Mortal Enemy
171/365/2014 – Mortal Enemy
I am pretty sure that this girl is trying to kill me. We have visited for dinner twice recently and both times I have left feeling so full that I feared for my life.
I love good food and have a real problem deciding when I have had enough. The grub is fantastic and the company is wonderful.

172/365/2014 - Little Red Tree
172/365/2014 – Little Red Tree
Playing in the park with red scale film today.

Camera: Nikon Fm2
Film: Rollei Redbird
Dev: C-41


173/365/2014 - Doughnuts and Coffee
173/365/2014 – Doughnuts and Coffee
Camera: Nikon Fm2
Film: Rollei Redbird
Dev: C-41

174/365/2014 - Supplies
174/365/2014 – Supplies
Supplies and a surprise…I have re-stocked the dark room and bought a couple of things to try.
I have a notion to try a bit harder with landscape stuff and really want to re-visit Lith printing so my purchases have pointed me in that direction.

175/365/2014 - So Long Farewell..
175/365/2014 – So Long Farewell..
This photo was taken about 2 minutes after we all realised that there is a very good chance that the four of us will never be together again as a group.
Param is moving to Canada in a few days.
Nivetha’s time in Ireland will come to an inevitable end in the not to distant future as she finishes her work and returns to SG.
For the last 12 months these people have become a huge part of my life and helped me learn so much about my own country and about myself as a person.
I will miss our gang, I will miss their friendship.

Safe Travels…

176/365/2014 - Inspiration
176/365/2014 – Inspiration
I’m pretty much using this as list to try and make sure I break each and everyone of the “rules” – Know them, study them, ignore them.

177/365/2014 - Ania in the Darkroom
177/365/2014 – Ania in the Darkroom
I have discovered that teaching people how to develop their own film is a really great way to spend a Friday evening.

Ania was surprised that my “Darkroom” was so bright.

178/365/2014 – Disco Loo
I don’t know why – but this amused me way more than it should have.

179/365/2014 - Knocksink
179/365/2014 – Knocksink
We got properly lost in the woods today and stumbled across this little spot.

Home safe now after a final farewell walk with a soon to be absent friend.
I’m sunburnt, full of Guinness and covered head to toe in nettle stings due to some poor clothing choices for an off road ramble.

An epic day that will be remembered forever – mostly as I fear it will be the last of these spontaneous walks with my photo buddy Param.

180/365/2014 - Conduction
180/365/2014 – Conduction
What happens when you short circuit a battery using your watch strap.
Ouch!! That’s a deep burn.

181/365/365 - Meca
181/365/365 – Meca
Croke Park is the home of the GAA and I happened to visit it recently on a day when there was no matches.

It was strange to see this place without 80,000 people.

182/365/2014 - Play Misty for Me
182/365/2014 – Play Misty for Me
Today was all about droplet size.

183/365/2014 – Gavin
I finally got to hear my buddy Gavin play the fiddle – It was a real treat.

July 30, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Killinthomas Turf Camp – Pinhole Obscura Reblog

Disconnected - Pinhole

In the years 1939 to 1945 large scale turf camps were built on the Bog of Allen with a view to harvesting turf on an industrial scale. This was part of Irelands efforts to be self sufficient during the second world war. The camps were home to men from all over Ireland that came to cut the bog for fuel. 

The bog camps are long closed and not much remains of them but the hidden inside the Killinthomas woods you can find the decaying buildings of Irelands past. I walked around the old dining hall, the crumbling dormitories and found an old boiler room. In the middle of the former grounds standing on its own is the old telegraph station.

Pin Hole Pin Hole Pin Hole Pin Hole Pin Hole

Into Dust - Pinhole Self

Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:50mm
Exposure:Various – I have notes don’t be afraid to ask…

Orininally posted on the site.

July 22, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Loading a Plastic Film Reel

Religions have been founded based on the debate over using plastic or steel reels. Personally I like the AP plastic reel. I find them easy to use and at this stage I have about 10 of them so I always have some dry and ready to go.

Always make sure they are fully dry before you use them as the film will stick to the plastic if they are wet.

I think that there is only so much that you will learn by watching a video of this but it gives you and idea of what to expect when you get into the darkroom.

This gets easier every-time you do it. My advice is to sacrifice a roll to practice in the light first.

July 3, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Visual Diary June 2014

122/365/2014 - Fire Side
122/365/2014 – Fire Side
It was a little cool when we returned to the cottage last night so the fire was lit. The photography bug bit hard this weekend and it was nice to sit, relax and stare at the wild Atlantic last night.

123/365/2014 - South Connemara
123/365/2014 – South Connemara

124/365/2014 - Hang Em High
124/365/2014 – Hang Em High

125/365/2014 - Views from the VanGogh Window
125/365/2014 – Views from the VanGogh Window
I have been shooting this view for a year now and i love what the change in the seasons does for the colour.

126/365/2014 - Feeling Fruity
126/365/2014 – Feeling Fruity
Some days its hard to look my 5 a Day in the face knowing that i am about to eat him.

127/365/2014 - Clontarf to the Bull
127/365/2014 – Clontarf to the Bull
A day on the computer left me feeling like i needed a walk before heading into the city for a party.
I love the walk from Clontarf to Bull Island – you get all the fresh air you need in about 15 seconds.

128/365/2014 - Welcome to the Jungle
128/365/2014 – Welcome to the Jungle
I really do love the botanical garden. There is great coffee and cake and even on the worst days you can escape into the tropical glass house and pretend you are exploring the rain forests.

129/365/2014 - Self Portrait at Lettergash
129/365/2014 – Self Portrait at Lettergash
Camera:Mamiya RB67
Film: Ilford FP4 plus 125
Dev: Agfa Studional R09 1+15 (3.5 mins)

130/365/2014 - Sunset vs the Flowers
130/365/2014 – Sunset vs the Flowers
The mutt gets walked most nights but some nights are a little prettier than others.

Film_Leader_Retrieval_35mm 131/365/2014
Have you ever needed to extract a 35mm leader that you had rewound into the canister. I do this a few time a month to let me re-shoot rolls of film that have been sent to me for film swaps or when I do something silly.

132/365/2014 - Sheba
132/365/2014 – Sheba
We think that Sheba is about 13 or 14. When we got her she had been a in a few different homes and we were told at one stage she had been pretty badly treated. We happened to pass a pet rescue place in Drogheda one afternoon and just stopped in for a look.
Sheba came home we us that afternoon. She now enjoys a great life and is the boss of the house. One of the great joys of having her around is that she has the energy of a puppy but the wisdom of an older dog.
133/365/2014 - The Bull
133/365/2014 – The Bull
Here we are again, again-

D. H. Lawrence suggests
…….but better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions……

I kind of like this view of my city and am happy to try and do it justice….rinse and repeat….

134/365/2014 - Film Swap
134/365/2014 – Film Swap
Catching up on my back log of film swaps. I’m nearly (almost) up to date. shooting with the Nikon Fm2 for the weekend.

If you would like to try one of these international film swaps please get in touch. it can be as simple as shooting a roll of film and sticking it in the post.

135/365/2014 - Sylwia
135/365/2014 – Sylwia
A day out at the beach with good friends gave me lots of models to shoot. I had my iPhone and a small compact film camera with me but a buddy of mine gave me a 5d Mk2 to play with.

136/365/2014 - Roses of the Summer
136/365/2014 – Roses of the Summer
Sunsets and walks in the park with the mutt is a nice way to end the day – any day.

137/365/2014 - Deer Park to Sutton Cross
137/365/2014 – Deer Park to Sutton Cross
Climb a hill, take a picture, climb down a hill….goodnight

138/365/2014 - Fan Boy
138/365/2014 – Fan Boy
The Irish summer has landed and the evenings are wonderful.

139/365/2014 - Grow your Own
139/365/2014 – Grow your Own
I pal arrived with a head of cabbage and some radishes under his arm..
What a treat
140/365/2014 - HBD NT
140/365/2014 – HBD NT

141/365/2014 - David
141/365/2014 – David
Camera:Nikon Fm2
Film: Rollei Retro 80S
Filter: Red
Dev: Adox Adonal 1+100 60mins

142/365/2014 - Brittas Bay
142/365/2014 – Brittas Bay
It is an annual obligation during the good weather to try and make an effort to visit Brittas Bay.
It was an early start but really well worth the sunday morning alarm – we arrived before the hoards of sun worshipers. Had a very please swim, ate a picnic and went home.
Bliss, pure Bliss.

143/365/2014 - Howth
143/365/2014 – Howth
I enjoy a walk along the pier at Howth. Sometimes I even bring my camera with me.

144/365/2014 - Connect
144/365/2014 – Connect
I see faces everywhere, this little guy was sitting on my desk

145/365/2014 - Phil the Fur Ball
145/365/2014 – Phil the Fur Ball
I am not really sure what this is, but it is sitting on my belly

146/365/2015 - Darkroom
146/365/2015 – Darkroom
An aerial view of my darkroom, I am giving a buddy of mine a quick refresher on film development so have decided to try and make a few contact prints if we have time

147/365/2014 - Liam
147/365/2014 – Liam
This guy cracks me up.
An evening spent playing in my darkroom has yielded some interesting results..

148/365/2014 - Dublin Pride Festival 2014
148/365/2014 – Dublin Pride Festival 2014
A rare attempt at street photography during this years Pride Parade in Dublin.

I spent most of the day doing street portraits but this guy selling flags made me chuckle.

149/365/2014 - The Drawing Room
149/365/2014 – The Drawing Room
Location scouting for something I have foolishly committed myself to. Watch this space.

150/365/2014 - Ania
150/365/2014 – Ania
Monday night drinks for a buddies birthday lead to a few interesting photo opportunities
Ania has a unique style and the camera loves her.

June 29, 2014 / Aware of the Void

The Great Transatlantic Pinholga Filmswap Project

Apple Tracks - Pinhole Swap

A few months ago my buddy Monica came up with a wonderful idea. She hatched a plan that would allow her to combine the random results of a film swap with the challenging shooting conditions of pinhole photography. The idea was brilliantly simple, she shoots a roll of film with her pinholga then rewinds the film in that camera and sends it to the next participant. I was asked if I wanted to get involved and I instantly said yes. I love how these projects work and had participated in the traveling Yashica project last year.

The pinholga arrived preloaded with the film ready to be reshot on frame number one. The beauty of both people using the same camera is that you can be pretty sure that the shots will line up giving a great double exposure. I was traveling to Amsterdam for WPPD so I shot a second roll and had it ready to go in the camera when I handed it to Monica in person. This post contains some of the shots from both those efforts. My first round was shot mostly in Belturbet County Cavan and the Sally Gap in wicklow. The second round was mostly in the Botanical gardens in Dublin.

Since we done our swap Moni has created a new website and is actively looking for participants to take part. So join the fun, sign up and get shooting and swapping.

Pinholga_portra_750 Pinholga_portra_750 Pinhole, Bath and Beyond img012 - 2014-06-05 at 07-10-40 img011 - 2014-06-05 at 07-10-16 img010 - 2014-06-05 at 07-09-48 img009 - 2014-06-05 at 07-09-22

June 23, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Film Swap With Kate – Dublin Vs Oakland and Napa

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

This film swap business has started to develop a life of its own. Fresh rolls are now arriving every week and I am really enjoying the creative collaborations and all the surprises they bring. This is the results of my first film swap with Kate Dollarhyde and as I type I have a second roll at the lab.

This latest round was shot by Kate in Oakland and Napa-USA and I re-shot the roll in Dublin

My Camera was an Olympus OM1. Kate used a Pentax ME
Film was Kodak Ektar and dev lab C-41.

You can see a lot of Kate’s wonderful photos at her site
or catch up with her on flickr at

If you would like to try one of these international film swaps please get in touch. it can be as simple as shooting a roll of film and sticking it in the post.

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde


Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde

Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde


Film Swap with Kate Dollarhyde


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