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November 18, 2011 / Aware of the Void

Gewgaws and Gimcracks

Gewgaws and Gimcracks by okmqaz42

Most weekends I try to make it into the city. I find if I don’t I feel that something interesting has happened and I missed it. My city adventures have a certain routine that has strong roots in unpredictability. The routine involves knowing that I will go somewhere to eat my dinner. The unpredictable is that I can never be sure how it will all end.

I will generally try and see some live music in a pub or on the streets. I will take pictures of random things in the town and hope that I have taken a slightly different view to the other 20 people taking the same shot. For some reason I tend to find myself gravitating towards the Temple Bar area. This is normal and acceptable if you are a student or a tourist or if you don’t get out very often because it seems very cool and hip. Not so normal if you live and work in Dublin, I should be aiming for somewhere else.

The joy of Temple Bar for me comes from hearing all the strange accents and seeing the bewildered look on tourists faces as a group of twenty large man go past dressed in Root Suits looking for another pub to top up on Guinness or the hen parties dressed like something from a Carry On movie.

Last weekend I ventured into the unknown. I entered one of the many souvenir shops because I could not believe the amount of people that were leaving with arm loads of shopping. These places sell “Oirish” knitted jumpers that if they got wet while you were wearing them it you would not be possible to move with the weight of the thing. They sell Guinness coffee mugs that if you brought to work would give your co-workers the impression that you were drinking pints for breakfast. You can get Dublin hoodie tops for €50 that would only get you beaten up in most parts of the world.

It is the sheer quantity of these gewgaws and gimcracks that are sold that amazes me. When these people get home and review their hoard do they stop and think – “What the hell was I thinking”
Feck it this country needs that money.

Roll up, roll up is there anyone now for the last of the oversized novelty Leprechaun hats..

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Fujifilm Neopan 400
Lens: Sigma10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
Dev: HC-110 (G) 55min @ 20c

Development details on FilmDev

Dublin Models

Camera:Nikon F100
Film: Kodak TRI-X 400 @ 1600
Dev: HC110 (G) Semi-Stand 1.5 hours 20c


Leave a Comment
  1. Steven Tze / Nov 19 2011 7:56 am

    First off, thank for shooting with B&W film. Having witnessed on far too many occasions the tourist trap areas of San Francisco, I know you’ve saved me from glaring colors of souvenirs. Then again, who wouldn’t want to buy an Ireland Republic hoodie especially when it says “Authentic Collection” in the middle?!

    By the way, I just finished off a Guinness about 30 minutes before reading this post.

    I do like the fisheye effect of the 10-20mm lens on the mugs as it creates this natural vignetting. And plus, I’m always drawn to patterns in everyday life. Nice photo.

    • Aware of the Void / Nov 20 2011 5:30 pm

      Thanks Steven, Guinness and blogging is a concept I could get behind.
      I am glad you like the photo, the vignetting is a bit wild here but I bought the 10-20mm for use on a d90 body so it is not entirely suited to the film camera but for the moment I am happy to run with. I am really enjoying your blog . All this is pretty new to me so I am just finding my feet at the moment.

  2. David Hall / Nov 20 2011 4:13 pm

    It makes a nice change to see some ‘film’ photos and I too, was attracted to the ‘mug shot’, which is extremely well captured. You might like to check out ‘’ who is a devoted Nikon B+W film fan.

    • Aware of the Void / Nov 20 2011 5:26 pm

      Thanks for stopping by David, and thanks for the link. That site has some incredible work, for me it was an instant “follow”.

  3. Photobooth Journal / Dec 8 2011 9:49 am

    “Do they stop and think – “What the hell was I thinking?”” Oh, yeah. Hell yeah! Been there and done that, but only the once. Now my sister lives in Dublin I don’t “do” naff souvenirs, just naff tourist tours – the ghost tour was actually quite fun… I love your commentaries – they are very witty.

    • Aware of the Void / Dec 9 2011 9:10 am

      I love being a tourist in my own city. I just don’t tend to wear a giant green hat and red beard while doing it. I would like to give the ghost tour a try but my wife is a scardy cat has has not yet recovered from one we done in Edinburgh about 10 years ago.

  4. Caryn / Jan 28 2012 4:30 am

    The shot of the mugs is striking! You’ve managed to make an ordinary store display look extraordinary. Well done.


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