Fionán O'Connell Photography: Blog en-us (C) Fionán O'Connell 2023 (Fionán O'Connell Photography) Tue, 06 Dec 2022 17:05:00 GMT Tue, 06 Dec 2022 17:05:00 GMT Fionán O'Connell Photography: Blog 86 120 Old Film Negatives Sometimes I only have a half ab hour or just a few minutes and rather than waster that time, I like to have something in the background, some older project maybe, to pick away at. Recently, I went through a binder of black & white negatives from the early Eighties, scanning anything I thought was worth keeping. Only after the scanning does the real work begin - the processing of the digitized negatives. I processed all the film myself and even though I used to hang the drying film in a home made cabinet, the delicate film was always subject to various atmospheric conditions, both exterior and interior. If there was a window open on a windy day or if someone opened a door too briskly, this could cause enough movement in the air to cause little airborne bits to settle on the sticky film. Working on the digital files so many years later, all theses little artifacts have to be painstakingly removed.


(Fionán O'Connell Photography) & 1980's black d76 film fuji home kodak neopan processing scanning spotting white Tue, 06 Dec 2022 17:04:46 GMT
Sean Hillen, Photo Monrage Artist I was cycling down the Royal Canal a while ago and passed a very elegant looking man, walking along with his bags of shopping. Durst-052Durst-052General, seat of the bike photographs, fujifilm xt3, sony a7iii, ©fionanoconnellphotography2022 I stopped and looked back as I just liked the look of him. I doubled back, greeted him and, explaining to him that i was a photographer, asked if I could take a photograph of him. Without a moment of hesitation, he said yes and I took a number of shots, chatting away to him all the time. Durst-038 copyDurst-038 copyGeneral, seat of the bike photographs, fujifilm xt3, sony a7iii, ©fionanoconnellphotography2022 Durst-042Durst-042General, seat of the bike photographs, fujifilm xt3, sony a7iii, ©fionanoconnellphotography2022 Durst-045Durst-045General, seat of the bike photographs, fujifilm xt3, sony a7iii, ©fionanoconnellphotography2022 Durst-048Durst-048General, seat of the bike photographs, fujifilm xt3, sony a7iii, ©fionanoconnellphotography2022 During our exchange, he mentioned that he, too, was a photographer - and then it clicked - the face, the accent and the documentary film I'd seen about him just a couple of months earlier called 'Tomorrow Is Saturday'. Have a look a look at his work here

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) artist by canal dublin fionanoconnell2022 montage photo photographs royal seanhillen Mon, 05 Dec 2022 21:30:19 GMT
For My Father I made a book last year - a selection of work from 2016-2021 and dedicated it to my father who really was (and continues to be) a great influence. I remember coming home from work and my Mother handing me any bits of post and my eyes would light up if the chunky padded envelope had arrived, containing the bright green box of 36 Fujichrome slides. I had bough a cheap lightbox which displayed the full roll of slides in six rows of six, at a 45 degree angle, a little amphitheatre for my work. On one such day, I remember being so excited to show my Dad the display - 36 eye popping shots of double yellow lines - all yellow lines. Heartsease292Heartsease292

He looked at them in silence, puffed on his pipe, smiled and said he thought they were great - very colourful. So began a long romance with yellow lines and while I like to think that I have progressed a bit, some might not quite agree.....

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) father fujichrome influence lightbox lines my out slides starting transparencies yellow Fri, 02 Dec 2022 11:41:14 GMT
Big Lens, Little Lens When I first started taking photographs, back in 1980, there was only one way of doing it - with a very special piece of equipment called a camera. Strutting around college with my father's Petri 7S rangefinder, I quickly became known as the photo man. If there was a play on, I took the photos. If there was a student demonstration in the city, I was at the front line. It quickly grew to covering everything - parties, hurling matches, talent shows, award presentations, visiting lecturers & poets, gigs. That continued for many years and I was rarely seen without a camera. As the years rolled on, my camera collection grew - better, faster, more features, more lenses, more stuff. i was always the photo man. AmericanDays383 copyAmericanDays383 copy

Wind forward 40 years and while I still carry a camera with me always and everywhere, I've long shed my photo man mantle. Why? Well, cameras have become (for most) redundant as with the rapid development of mobile phone technology, everyone now has the facility to take photographs of anything, anytime. The quality, especially in the last three years or so, has become excellent, but something strange has evolved. While the sharpness and colour brilliance of photos taken with phones is really good, the actual quality of the images themselves has generally dropped. It now appears to be more about convenience and instant gratification. The big fat Nikon 50mm lens has been replaced by a little lens the size of a mackerel's eye. What about composition, lighting and selective focus and such? They don't seem to matter so much anymore.

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) cameras classes creative digitalphotography fionanoconnell fionanoconnellphotography lenese phones photography quality Wed, 30 Nov 2022 13:50:27 GMT
Digital Photography Classes - Excellent Christmas Gift! Classes Starting January 2023!

I'm starting a brand new series BoDeans103monoBoDeans103mono of digital photography classes at my Studio in Drumcondra in January. In the slow, dark weeks of Winter, make this a gift for someone you love - or finally get to grips with the camera you bought last year but never got around to working out how to use! This course would also be an invaluable experience for any Transition Year student. - good photography is a life skill! Shofar006Shofar006 Oumuamua068-Edit copyOumuamua068-Edit copy

With tuition tailored to individual levels of experience, classes will include:

- Fully understanding the settings on your camera

- The interplay between aperture, shutter speed and ISO

- Understanding the effects of different lenses

- Principles of exposure, when to compensate etc.

- Understanding file types, sizes and choices for print & web

- Post processing - getting the best out of your photos using Photoshop, Lightroom, ON1 etc.

- Studio lighting - portraits

- Using your photos - making photo books, cards etc.

Small group classes will take place on Mondays & Tuesdays  from 7-9pm. To better accommodate people's needs I can now offer hugely increased flexibility with individual sessions*:

Mornings: 10.00-12:00
Afternoons: 14:00-16:00
Evenings: 7:00-9:00
Saturdays: 10:00- 12:00

For anyone unable to get to my Studio, I'm happy to offer sessions via Zoom.

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Each course lasts 8 weeks and the cost is €320. This includes follow-up notes and email support where photos can be sent to me for assessment.

* Some flexibility will be required for these sessions as I may occasionally have an assignment.


Please email me you have any questions at all.


(Fionán O'Connell Photography) classes digitalphotography fionanoconnellphotography gettogripswithphotography individualclasses joyofphotography lifeskill photoeducation tuition Mon, 28 Nov 2022 09:56:00 GMT
Indelibly Stamped GraduateJoeGraduateJoe In following up on the post about writing to my kids, I thought I'd add this. In terms of my written communications, my post is never a letter in the traditional sense. Rather, it's in the same format I first started using back in 1982 when I first entered the word of photography properly. Just the fairly standard fold over card which fits into a C3 envelope. In 40 years, what has changed? Not a whole lot in terms of the basic approach. I started off using cheap, glossy card stock I got from a local printer for nothing. It was hard to write on with a biro and smudged badly. I used a name stamp made by by Dad, photographed here, who worked in independent Newspapers as a linotype operator- my name, backwards on a heavy piece of grey lead which required a stamp pad and smudged easily.  I used Cow Gum to stick the photos down. And people liked them. I'd visit friends in Boston and Los Angeles and Chicago and my cards would be right there  on the fridge, nice.

So, what's changed? Not a whole lot in terms of the main idea - to send a personal, hand-written not to someone with an images which is, as far as possible customised to the recipient. I use much nicer, writable card stock, pre-printed with my name on the back, better quality envelopes - and I don't use Cow Gum anymore! The effect is the same, however - people love  receiving a hand-made, hand written message through the post.

My Dad really was the one who started me off on the writing thing. He was a reader and a writer and gave me my first fountain pen. If we ever needed a letter written which required some sublety and guile, he was the one for it.  He was a man of letters, in every sense of the word.



(Fionán O'Connell Photography) cards communicating Dad my photo via writing Wed, 19 Oct 2022 11:05:40 GMT
Post I have two children abroad - one in London, the other in France, We communicate many times during each week via the usual phone,   CardsCards email and WhatsApp, which is great. But once a week, I write to them. People don't get post anymore - just a quarterly bank statement and such. I want my children to know something of the joy of getting something in the post which isn't a bill or statement or application form etc. I think they like it. I know that their housemates notice it and think it...well, odd. But it shouldn't be. It's also all about the envelope!

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) cards communication intimacy letter personal photographs post real writing Tue, 18 Oct 2022 19:19:41 GMT
I choose the camera, the camera chooses the photos..... You know the thing about the tail wagging the dog? Well, I've often thought that there was something akin to that involved in choice of cameras. I have about a dozen models which a use on a regular basis and really have no idea how I actually choose which one to bring out with me each day. They're like children and while I try not to show favoritism, I do have ones I tend to pick more often. What factors dictate which model today? The many factors are added into one big equation - where I'm going, weight of the camera, what the weather is like, fixed or zoom lens, battery level, how much space I have in my shoulder bag, if I intend picking up shopping on the way home and, all importantly, my mood. An almost instant number crunching happens and I pop one in my bag. The choice of camera then absolutely dictates what kinds of photos I take that day. Shooting down Gardiner Street on my bike, if I see something which interests me, I'll only stop if I know the camera I have will do the job - otherwise I keep going and make a note to myself to come back another day with a different lens (I almost always forget!). I find it interesting, later, when I look through material on my Mac, that I can immediately tell which camera any particular photo was taken with. _0018002_0018002 EndEra154EndEra154 hockney228m-Edithockney228m-Edit MotherEarth061MotherEarth061

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) arts business cameras campus classes creativity drumcondra dublin fionanoconnell lenses photography Wed, 05 Oct 2022 08:50:29 GMT
A Hatful Of Hollow Music is a big part of my life, central to each and every day. I feel there's a strong connection between the kinds of subject matter I seek out and the music I'm listening to, one medium looking over the shoulder at the other. If I'm listening to, say, The Smiths, then what I photograph tends to be on the darker side. This doesn't necessarily mean black & white - just moodier. Some time ago, I was wandering down The Bull Wall in Dublin and I happened to be listening to The Smiths first album 'A Hatful Of Hollow' and I came across this image - synchronicity! This band are synonymous for songs about the darker sides of life, so seeing this graffiti on a sunny day was kinda' ironic. Today, while thinking about writing this piece, I put on that first Smiths album on Spotify and when it was finished it slipped into what Spotify's cheeky algorithm thought I might also like and 'You Should All Be Murdered' by Another Sunny Day filled the room. I hadn't heard this band before but they're very Smithsy! This made me think about how we're all magpies, in some way or another, influenced by everything we hear, see, read. As the world speeds along, it's becoming more and more difficult to be truly original.


(Fionán O'Connell Photography) art creativity fionanoconnell influence mood music originality photography smiths thesmiths Wed, 28 Sep 2022 16:25:57 GMT
Investing in yourself It's definitely Autumn now and on the eve of the annual budget, there's an element of fear and dread in the air. People are understandably looking at ways of reducing their spending, saving on electricity, fuel and all kinds of non-essential things. This is always a time of year when we step back a bit after the busy Summer and make some changes in our lives in advance of that big event of the year at the end of December beginning with C. We try to resume diets we deviated from, aspire to take more exercise and basically, take stock of our lives.

One excellent way of combining all of these things is to take a class in something we love. Photography is an interest which certainly takes us out into our world, to traverse our world in search of images. However, flying to far away places isn't necessary as there's an abundance of brilliant subject matter right on our own doorsteps. Taking a class in an inexpensive investment in oneself. Catawampus008Catawampus008

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) autumn classes creativity digital education fionanoconnell getoutthere investment photography reflection self shoot visualdevelopment Tue, 27 Sep 2022 07:54:01 GMT
Why Do We Take Photographs? Having taken so many photographs in my life, I'm now spending more time in wondering why! Why are we, as human beings, so obsessed with recording our world, committing little pieces of it to film, video, paintings. Is it a kind of vanity, a desperate attempt to freeze time, even though we know it's futile? I really don't know why I do it but I do accept that it has become a constant, fully fledged compulsion. DindyCobalt382-EditDindyCobalt382-EditFootball net, dublin DindyCobalt382-EditDindyCobalt382-EditFootball net, dublin DindyCobalt382-EditDindyCobalt382-EditFootball net, dublin

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) classes creativephotography detail digitalphotography drumcondra fionanoconnellphotography flexibletimes getcreative minutiae Tue, 27 Sep 2022 07:29:00 GMT
To begin  

Recently I began thinking about photography and what an utterly lonely pursuit it is. If you're not engaging in posting images on Instagram or any of the other platforms, then you're working in a void. I'm not interested in putting up images to gather likes as I just don't see the point. Is it not ultimately a reflection of how people are reaching out for affirmation of their existence, or something like that?

I'm struggling with photography. I love it and can't imagine a day when I wouldn't take several photos. This has gone on for nearly 40 years now and I'm amassed a seriously huge collection of images, catalogued in a very crude way. My struggle is what to do with them as now, in this world, burgeoning with images, nobody is really that interested.

This made me think. I have about 40 binders of negatives in my office, all meticulously paged, indexed & contact-sheeted. Embarking some years ago on the painfully slow process of scanning these files shortly after closing down the last of the 13 darkrooms I had in my life. My brother, himself a serious photographer, asked me why I was doing that - why I was delving into this old material instead of looking forward, creating new images.

I had, however, never stopped taking new photos - I was just taking care of the old film at the same time but it did me think and for a while, I stopped the scanning. Around the same time, a neighbour & retired press photographer died and his daughter, after a row with some of her siblings, dumped all her father's negatives into a barrel in the back garden and burned the lot. Later she complained that she was annoyed with herself as she ended up having to go to A&E on account of inhaling the toxic fumes from the burning plastic. This also made me think and I resumed my scanning.


Does all that amount to a Blog?!

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) & ©fionan 1990's 400 Agfapan black dublin ireland o'connell photography queen rodinal street white Wed, 08 Apr 2020 10:36:33 GMT
Professor Thomas O'Grady on Dublin photographer Fionán O'Connell This piece appeared in a Boston periodical just yesterday.


My thanks to Professor Tom O'Grady.

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:36:40 GMT
Registration, Square Photos & Postage Hello Customers!


I hope the exams are going reasonably well.

Regarding ordering prints, please bear in mind the following three tips:

1. REGISTRATION:  it's a really good idea to register (takes just a few seconds) as this allows you to save your selections, allowing you to make decisions on purchases later. Otherwise, you have to start the perusal process all over again!

2. SQUARE: A very small number of images are not the normal 2:3 proportions - such as the Awards/Medals series. These are SQUARE in shape so be sure to order 6x6" or 8x8" or 12x12" prints. Needless to say, if you wish to frames these, you'll have to buy a square frame or have it custom framed or just have a square mount cut to fit into an existing frame.

3. POSTAGE: As there is a P&P cost, applied by the supplying photo laboratory, it makes sense to order anything in a single order rather than separate orders.

If you need any help with anything, please drop me a mail and I'll get back to you without delay.

Thank you for your business - it's much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Fionán O'Connell

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) photos postage registration square Mon, 11 Jun 2018 08:33:10 GMT
Belvedere College 2017 Hi Everyone,

While the order deadline was Friday June 23rd, this applied to orders posted out to me for printing only. The online galleries will be left open so there's no rush. Just to remind you that it's a really good idea to accept the prompt to Register as that way you can save your selections and come back to them at a later date.

If you have any questions whatsoever, drop me a line and I'll do whatever I can to help you.


Hi Parents, Students & Friends,

I hope the exams went reasonably well for you all.

It's been an amazing year in the college. As the school photographer, I've been asked to make my photographs available to you and I thought it would be easiest to do so via separate links in this post.

1. Rhetoric Passing Out, Graduation & Individual Portraits:  (Password - greatdenmarkstreet)

2. Senior Cup Rugby Campaign 2017: (Password - gibbo)

3. Special Souvenir Senior Cup Photo Book:

4. Transition Year Graduation 2017: (Password - metamorphosis)


Just a few notes which might help you: PickUps2017&Misc005PickUps2017&Misc005


When you open a gallery and select an image you're interested in, click 'Buy'. When you select the size print you'd like, the image will appear large and you press 'Add To Cart'.  A Registration window will then open at the top right. You could ignore this but I recommend that you actually register as it will allow you to save anything you like for possible purchase later. Otherwise, you have to start all over again! Please be assured that registration is confidential and that your email address will not be shared nor will you receive any unsolicited mail from me.

Regarding the photographs of Prize winners, please note that these are SQUARE in shape so it would be best to order 8x8" prints and have them framed accordingly.

Lastly, if you're interested in ordering a SC Photo Book, I will be able to get a better price if you order through me rather than through the publisher directly - economies of scale etc. Just drop me an email and I'll see what can be done!




(Fionán O'Connell Photography) 2017 Belvedere Blackrock College Cup Final Fionan Graduation O'Connell Out Passing Portraits RDS Rhetoric Senior oconnellstreetphotography photography Mon, 12 Jun 2017 15:49:44 GMT