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January 18, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Mullaghmeen Forest – Pinhole Obscura Reblog

Zero_Ektar_866Mullaghmeen forest is one of those wonderful places that is nearly impossible to find and even harder to describe. It sits in the middle of extensive farm lands at the Coole end of the Bog of Allen and borders counties Cavan and Westmeath. Its the largest planted beech forest in Ireland and that give the woods a very open feel. The light streams past the spindly tress to wash the forest floor with daylight. It give the woods an enchanted air and I can’t remember ever strolling through a place like it before.

As well as the woods there is a few little points of interested dotted around, including a Booley Hut and famine walls. We were just tipping into the Irish winter when I visited so I have have added it to my list for a spring/summer revisit.

Self Portrait at MullaghmeenZero_Ektar_868 Zero_Ektar_870

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138
Exposure: Various…I have notes…

Originall posted over on http://pinholeobscura.com/ why not pop over and see what we are up to..

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January 10, 2015 / Aware of the Void

Visual Diary – December 2015

304/365/365 - Think Positive

304/365/365 – Think Positive
The lifestyle advice from my shirt this morning was a bit unexpected

305/365/2014 - Camus
305/365/2014 – Camus
I’m hiding from winter :)

306/365/2014 - Catching Up
306/365/2014 – Catching Up
Just about caught up with the backlog caused by India

307/365/2015 - Wild Nights
307/365/2015 – Wild Nights
Another wild night ahead as I scan 5 rolls of film.

308/365/2014 - Educate
308/365/2014 – Educate
A very interesting masterclass presented by @conallom this morning brings work and my hobby together

309/365/2014 - Stars
309/365/2014 – Stars
There was a plan for light painting was very nicely circumvented by an evening meal and chatter in a pals house….good times….

310/365/2014 - Cookies
310/365/2014 – Cookies
225g Porridge Oats
225g Self Raising Flour
225g Butter
225g Sugar
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
50g Desiccated Coconut

311/365/2014 - Work
311/365/2014 – Work
Somedays are more interesting than others.

312/365/2014 - Sheba
312/365/2014 – Sheba
This one is crazy hyper this morning and very bold. She robbed my cup of tea.

313/365/2014 - ISPG
313/365/2014 – ISPG
Back on the streets again with the Irish Street Photography Group

314/365/2014 - Pints
314/365/2014 – Pints
Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?

315/365/2014 - More Hat
315/365/2014 – More Hat
The Spy that Came in from the Cold – Most likely not really a spy

316/365/2014 - Workshop
316/365/2014 – Workshop
My portable pinhole photography workshop is getting an outing. I’m teaching some scouts how to make pinhole cameras.

317/365/2014 - Veg Manchurian
317/365/2014 – Veg Manchurian
So this is my first attempt at a dish that I had only ever eaten while traveling in #india it’s called Veg Manchurian and it’s pretty tasty.

318/365/2014 - Roomie
318/365/2014 – Roomie
Testing out the emergency backup under the stairs guest accommodation ahead of the festive season. If you are under 5′ 11” and a fan of the harry potter books it is comfortable enough.

319/365/2014 - Birds
319/365/2014 – Birds
“You made us happy with a dead bird”

320/365/2014 - Ho
320/365/2014 – Ho
Ho ho Hoegaarden, Merry Christmas

321/365/2014 - Stroopwafels
321/365/2014 – Stroopwafels
Well this is a fine example of a first world problem. My local petrol station has now placed stroopwafels next to the tea and coffee dock. They have replaced the apples – Bastards! I curse my lack of willpower in the face of the glories of the Stroop….

322/365/2014 - Family
322/365/2014 – Family
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – the annual family group shots was a complete success

323/365/2014 - Sunrise
323/365/2014 – Sunrise
It’s a bit fresh out here this morning. Have a wonderful day everyone. I’m off home to drink something very warm.

324/365/2014 - Curry Christmas
324/365/2014 – Curry Christmas
I hope you are enjoying a very curry Christmas and I wish you a spicy new year. This is what our dinner looked like.

325/365/2014 - Puzzle
325/365/2014 – Puzzle
Jameson and a puzzle a pretty wicked combination.

326/365/2014 - Paneer
326/365/2014 – Paneer
Blessed are the cheesemakers for they shall inherit the earth…..or……Oh baby I love your whey. Tonight on master chef I’m trying to make Paneer

327/365/2014 - Nikon F100
327/365/2014 – Nikon F100
A little over a year ago during a trip to Prague my F100 leapt from my shoulder on the Charles Bridge, my reflexes dimmed by the icy wind and slightly too much mulled wine were unable to catch the camera before it hit the cobblestones. While it continues to function it has not been 100% reliable and has been left on the shelf a few more times than I would like. Most notable it stayed in Dublin when I went India. For Christmas my wife bought me a “new” F100 and today it gets its first trial.

328/365/2014 - Shadow
328/365/2014 – Shadow
Blowing the dust away with a walk in the botanical gardens. That is a lot of sunlight for this time of year.

329/365/2014 - Frost
329/365/2014 – Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

230/365/2014 - Trinners
230/365/2014 – Trinners
The long exposure function on the phone has given rise to some fun shots this year. It eats the batteries!

231/365/2014 - Skerries by the Sea
231/365/2014 – Skerries by the Sea
Blue sky and a sea breeze.

232/365/2014 - Happy New Year
232/365/2014 – Happy New Year
I’m off out on the toot to the juice joint with some bearcats to see in the new year in the 1920’s style. I have my Mazuma in my pocket but won’t get too zozzled. Happy New Year

December 31, 2014 / Aware of the Void

2014 Blog Year in Statistics

CNV00028

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog. If you like statistics and other useless information about random blogs it makes interesting reading. From my point of view it will be the basis of goal setting for the new year. Last year I decided that I wanted try and post something interesting at least once a month. Depending of your definition of “interesting” I appear to have achieved this based on the stats. In 2015 the goal will be to post something at least once a week.

I would like to thank everyone that has visited my page over the last couple of years, especially those of you that have taken the time to interact and comment. I wish you all the best for 2015.

Here’s a couple of excerpts from the report to give you a flavour of what you will find if you follow the link below.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,500 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was June 12th with 151 views. The most popular post that day was How to Retrieve a Film Leader – 35mm.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
Aware of the Void - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

December 14, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Visual Diary – November 2014 – India Spice

276/365/2014 - Packed
276/365/2014 – Packed
Pretty much fully packed at this stage. A few last minute bits to grab but we are almost fully ready.
The photos for the next few weeks should have a more Indian feel to them.

277/365/2014 - Freaks
277/365/2014 – Freaks
Pre travel nerves has made us feel a bit freaky.
All set – no turning back now. Early flights means an early night.

278/365/2014 - Hey Ho Off We Go
278/365/2014 – Hey Ho Off We Go
At the airport all checked in and so very excited. First flight is to Dubai then a shorter connection to Hyderbad

279/365/2014 - Arrival
279/365/2014 – Arrival
Wheels down, flights were fine. I caught up on movies on the plane. Guardians of the Galaxy was fun and I sort of wish I had caught it in the cinema. Edge of tomorrow was crap and was about 1.5 hours too long. I also watched Frank – a fictional tail of the life of Frank side bottom told by Jon Ronson. Music was great.
First impressions of India, I will love this place. Hectic!!
Hair cut planned for later in the morning/ evening. My body is confused about the time.

Qutub Shahi Tombs
279(b)/365/2014 – Qutub Shahi Tombs
Jet-lag, confusion and a missing day.

280/365/2014 - Romiji FilmCity
280/365/2014 – Romiji Film City
Romiji film city is a purpose built movie studio and grounds set on 2000 acres.

281/365/2014 - Rythu Bazan
281/365/2014 – Rythu Bazan
An amazing place, the sounds, smells and colours had my head spinning. I was a bit nervous of photography at first but then a woman with a small crying child pointed at my camera and said to the baby that if he did not stop crying there would be no pic, that was my opening and I ceased it. Two rolls of film where shot here. This is about as trigger happy as i get.

282/365/2014 - Amber Fort to Jaigarh Fort
282/365/2014 – Amber Fort to Jaigarh Fort
We walked the the walls of the fort in the baking heat. The view was spectacular. The second fort was much calmer and had way less tourists and the views of the city made the journey worthwhile.

283/365/2014 - The Royal Albert Jaipur
283/365/2014 – The Royal Albert Jaipur
The sunsets on our last evening in Jaipur and the birds return home. I have loved the pink city, it is truly beautiful.

284/365/2014 - Trains
284/365/2014 – Trains
Leaving Jaipur for Agra today, 6 hours on the train to look forward to. The station is crazy….so very many people but somehow it all seems to work.

285/365/2014 - Taj Mahal
285/365/2014 – Taj Mahal
A 6am start to try and beat the crowds and enjoy the fresh morning before the sunrises. I have looked at pictures of this place for so long I really was unsure what to expect. I loved it.

There is a heavy haze in the air in Agra but still I enjoyed the sights. I fear that if no effort is made to sort the local air pollution problems it will become impossible to see the Taj from a distance.

286/365/2014 - Fatepur Sikiri
286/365/2014 – Fatepur Sikiri
Our last day in Agra and a trip out to the abandoned city. Beautiful buildings and wide open spaces had us shade dodging for the afternoon. Lo found a pleasant spot to sit and rest.

287/365/2014 - Sunset on the Ganges
287/365/2014 – Sunset on the Ganges
Our sleeper train was half an hour late leaving Agra and four hours late arriving in Varanasi. India is so big, Ireland so small, this kind of bends my brain.
We had a total of 14 hours on the train. I slept a bit but was restless but this evenings view in our new city made it all worthwhile.

288/365/2014 - The Alleys of Varanasi
288/365/2014 – The Alleys of Varanasi
We spent about 5 hours wandering the alleyways of the city today. Since we arrived in India I have been missing my walks (generally I walk 10 to 15 km everyday) but the narrow streets offered respite from the biting sun and allowed for strolls and interesting photo opportunities.

289/365/2014 - A Well Worn Cap
289/365/2014 – A Well Worn Cap
The kindness, hospitality and generosity that has been shown to us during our time in India has been overwhelming.

The hat I am wearing in this photo was bought about ten years ago during a trip to the US. It has been a common sight on my head in the intervening decade. It has been with me all over Europe and has visited most of Ireland with me.

At some point not long after our arrival in India I lost the cap. This was no big loss as the only notable features of the hat are that it fits my odd shaped head and I have had it a long time. Losing it was only a concern as the direct sun on my head can be uncomfortable but beyond that I was mostly unaffected by its absence.

Today we arrived in New Delhi and met with many of Nikhi’s extended family and friends. The cap had been left in the back of Nik’s fathers car and was sent by courier so it would be waiting for me in New Delhi. This hat traveled 1500km across India to be on my head tonight. This is no small feat arranged by people that only recently got to meet me in person. I am glad to have my scruffy old hat back but I am even happier to be able to call these people my friends.

290/365/2014 - Silly Silhouette
290/365/2014 – Silly Silhouette
Sometimes its fun to ignore the obvious photo choices. Behind me in this location is one of the most beautiful buildings in Delhi.

291/365/2014 - Delhi Metro
291/365/2014 – Delhi Metro
If you asked me to sum up India in a single word I would call you an idiot and tell you to leave me alone. But if you persisted I would say “people” they are everywhere here.
This is a snap shot from inside one of the Metro stations. This was well after what would be considered rush hour but still the station was thronged with people.

292/365/2014 - Delhi Morning
292/365/2014 – Delhi Morning
A birds eye view from our accommodation in New Delhi.

I’m loving this place and the people we meet. They say Ireland is the land of a thousand welcomes – well this place has a billion people that want to make you feel at home.

293/365/2014 - Street Food Binge
293/365/2014 – Street Food Binge
Stuffed myself silly with Paranthe, between the two of us we tried the following flavours – garden pea, mint, paneer, ladyfingers, mixed veg, and bitter gourd.
A staggering array of flavours, each one a vivid treat.

294/365/2014 - Auto Rickshaws
294/365/2014 – Auto Rickshaws
I have no idea of how many of these are in the cities of India but it is a very exciting way to travel.

295/365/2014 - Akshardham
295/365/2014 – Akshardham
One of the main benefits of traveling with people that are so interested in photography means that regardless of where you are it’s possible to get a nice memento to remember the special day. At the entrance to the Askhardham complex you are required to divest yourself of all worldly possessions including cameras, phones and any other image capturing devices.

It is a beautiful grounds to stroll around and spend some time in quiet contemplation. With no cameras with us we feared that the memory would be trapped forever in our brain dungeons, fortunately there is strategically placed photographers in the grounds that can take a snap shot for pick-up as you exit through the gift shop.

I have edited this shot slightly to reduce the shine on our pasty faces but the original will be framed and mounted once we reach Dublin and will be available for public viewing in the main gallery.

Nikhilesh thought that it would not be possible to capture his full awesomeness and decided to give the photo op a miss.

296/365/2014 - Transport
296/365/2014 – Transport
It is our last evening in ‎India and this city is so very modern, very cosmopolitan that I was concerned that I had looked my last on what this crazy country has to offer. Where we are staying is very calm and has offered a relaxing break before we return to work and normality. So what a strange and wonderful thing it is to drive down a busy city street in New Delhi and spot an elephant on the other side of the road.

Thank you India you have been wonderful.

297/365/2014 - Home Times
297/365/2014 – Home Times
On a plane again this time heading home. So sad to be leaving, I will miss my daily read of the Times of India.

298/365/2014 - Howth Pier
298/365/2014 – Howth Pier
Back to normality but a few more days away from the office has allowed for a stroll in Howth to get used to the drop in temperature

299/365/2014 - Walkies
299/365/2014 – Walkies

300/365/2014 - Delayed Gratification
300/365/2014 – Delayed Gratification
So there it is the sum total of my Black and White film adventures in India. Normally when I shoot film I make an effort to develop it as soon as possible but I have been letting these sit on a shelf in my darkroom.

These 10 rolls will yield about 375 frames and at the moment I can delude myself as to the quality of the photos I took. The light was perfect, the locations amazing and until the development I can believe that these are some of the best pictures I have ever taken.

The trip was wonderful, the people, the food, the streets and the history has made it a truly wonderful experience. This is also one of the reasons that I’m slow to see what is on these rolls. I’m worried that the results will not even come close to echoing the experience.

301/365/2014 - Paul Strand
301/365/2014 – Paul Strand
Books for inspiration.

302/365/2014 - Sunrise Portmarnock Strand
302/365/2014 – Sunrise Portmarnock Strand
Good weather and being awake early converged to allow a quick trip to the beach.

303/365/2014 - Dev Club
303/365/2014 – Dev Club
Finally starting to make an effort to clear the film backlog caused by the trip to India.

I love the smell of fix in the morning.

November 27, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Delayed Gratification – India on Film

IMG_2277.JPG

So there it is the sum total of my Black and White film adventures in India. Normally when I shoot film I make an effort to develop it as soon as possible but I have been letting these sit on a shelf in my darkroom.

These 10 rolls will yield about 375 frames and at the moment I can delude myself as to the quality of the photos I took. The light was perfect, the locations amazing and until the development I can believe that these are some of the best pictures I have ever taken.

The trip was wonderful, the people, the food, the streets and the history has made it a truly wonderful experience. This is also one of the reasons that I’m slow to see what is on these rolls. I’m worried that the results will not even come close to echoing the experience.

November 25, 2014 / Aware of the Void

Pointing My Pinhole at People

Self Portrait at Mullaghmeen

Sometimes when I go digging through my archives I start to notice interesting patterns in my photography. Todays surprise revelation is that I shoot mostly landscapes with my pinhole camera but more often than not there is at least a single frame with something resembling a portrait. Very often it is a self portrait.

I have no specific memory of making a concerted effort to add an human element to the pinhole shots but people keep popping up frame after frame.

Some of these shots I might have posted before but I think this is the first time I have connected them in a single location. Camera, film or paper details have been noted where I have records.

Zero_Ektar_873

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138
Exposure: 15 Seconds

Zero_Ektar_863

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Portra 160
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138
Exposure:8 seconds

Pinhole Self Assisted by Dog

Camera:Homemade Pinhole
Paper: Harmen Direct Positive Paper at 3 ISO
Filter: Ilford Multigrade 0 Filter (Yellow)
Pinhole:0.6mm
Focal Length:103mm(ish)
Aperture:f172
Exposure:1min
Dev: Ilford Multigrade

A Walk in the Woods

Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Pinhole:0.3mm
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f167
Exposure:25 seconds

img009

Pinholga Camera
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Film Swap with Monica

Malahide Castle - Pinhole

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Portra 160
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138
Exposure:15 Mins

Pinhole464inverted

Camera:Homemade Pinhole
Paper: Ilford MG IV Rated at 6 ISO
Pinhole:0.6mm
Focal Length:103mm(ish)
Aperture:f172
Exposure:12mins
Dev: Ilford Multigrade

LUN

Film: Fomapan 100
Pinhole:0.3mm
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f167
Exposure:2 seconds
Dev: Adox Adonal 1+100 60min Semi Stand

Holiday Snaps - Pinhole

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Portra 160
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138
Exposure: 20 seconds

Pin Hole

Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Pinhole:0.3mm
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f167
Exposure:25 seconds

Into Dust - Pinhole Self

Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: Tetenal C-41 Kit
Pinhole:0.3mm
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f167
Exposure: 30 seconds

Pinhole Portrait

Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Ilford FP4
Dev: Agfa Studional 1+ 50 (11 mins 20c)
Pinhole:0.3mm
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f167
Exposure:55 seconds

Journey - Paper Negative (Inverted)

Camera:Homemade Pinhole
Paper: Ilford MG IV Rated at 6 ISO
Pinhole:0.6mm
Focal Length:103mm(ish)
Aperture:f172
Exposure:25mins
Dev: Ilford Multigrade

Cuddles in the Kitchen (Paper Negative) - Inverted

Camera:Homemade Pinhole
Paper: Ilford MG IV Rated at 6 ISO
Pinhole:0.6mm
Focal Length:103mm(ish)
Aperture:f172
Exposure:12mins
Dev: Ilford Multigrade

Pin-holing In the Park
Homemade 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Dev: DigiBase C41 Kit – Past its best.
Pinhole:0.3mm
Focal Length:50mm
Aperture:f167
Exposure: 3 mins

Zero_Fp2125_rod1_100_883

Zero Image 4×5 Pinhole Camera (Horseman 120 rollback fitted)
Film: Kodak Tri-X
Dev: Adox Adonal
Focal Length:25mm
Aperture:f138
Exposure: 10 Seconds

November 18, 2014 / Aware of the Void

The Day I Licked a Rupee

IMG_1982.JPG

From the time we told people that we had planned to travel in India nearly the first thing that people told us is that we would get sick – stomach or bowel trouble.
We are now in the last week of our travels and with the exception of a few occasions where the food was so delicious and bountiful that I massively overate to be comfortable, we have escaped all the fabled illnesses.
I think a big part of staving off any potential harm is to be sensible in what you eat. Basic advice is, peel it, boil it, cook it or forget it!

All food and tap water in the world contains microscopic bacteria that will potentially cause stomach problems. In our home country we have built up a tolerance to the microbes but when you visit somewhere different it is a whole new world of tiny problems waiting to upset your guts.

Since we arrived we have avoided tap water, salads and fresh fruits and no ice in any drinks. Occasionally this has been a bit embarrassing when food and drink has been offered to us in the spirit of hospitality but once we explain about our weak western stomachs we are forgiven.

We have eaten street food where there is lots of locals eating so that the food is being freshly cooked. I have favoured places to eat where you can see the cooking in process and can be confident that it has not been sitting for long.

During our short stay here we seem to be picking up a tolerance to the local bacteria which is allowing us to be adventurous in our food choices with no ill effect. The food is fantastic and I will be attempting many of the dishes at home.

During the entire trip I have been taking snap shots with my phone as part of my visual diary. We were travelling by auto-rickshaw and I pulled my phone out of my pocket to capture yet another adventurous journey. One hand was grappling with the frame of the Auto to stop me getting flung out the door and the other was trying to use the camera phone. When I pulled the phone from my pocket there was a 1 Rupee coin stuck to the cover obstructing the button – with no free hand I instinctively pulled the coin away with my teeth…..and there it was the distinct flavour of a thousand sweaty palms and a million trouser pockets.

The 1 Rupee coin, as far as I know, is the lowest denomination coin in circulation in India. It is so low that there is no Euro equivalent. I have no way of knowing how many people have touched the coin but as soon as I realised what I had done it tasted like all 1 billion people had at some stage fingered the coin in a greasy palm.

Having avoided illness for the whole trip I assumed that this would be the end of me, laid up in bed for days, liquid ejecting from both ends but to date I can report that I have had no adverse effect from what has become know as – The Day I Licked the Rupee.

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