Fionán O'Connell Photography: Blog en-us (C) Fionán O'Connell 2023 (Fionán O'Connell Photography) Wed, 03 Apr 2024 19:30:00 GMT Wed, 03 Apr 2024 19:30:00 GMT Fionán O'Connell Photography: Blog 80 120 Digital Photography Classes - Spring 2024 I offer a set of four 2-hour sessions for €240 which includes after session email notes.

Learn all about the following and much more:

- Getting to grips with the settings on your digital camera

- Understand shutter speed, aperture & ISO

- Learn about composition & lighting

- The effect of different lenses on our camera

- Basic skills of photo processing - cropping, exposure, contrast, highlights & shadows, saturation etc.

- Establishing a sensible workflow and organizing your digital files

Classes are limited to a maximum of 4 people and will take place at my Studio in Drumcondra :

Mondays 7-9pm

Saturdays 10-12am

If you feel that you would benefit more by individual classes or if the times above don't suit you, I can make special arrangements for you.

Contact me if you have any questions - E: [email protected] / M: 0872514066

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(Fionán O'Connell Photography) 9 and camera classes digital Drumcondra Dublin evenings groupo individual mastering Photography qualified teacher weekends your Wed, 03 Apr 2024 19:30:04 GMT
An Old Fashioned Review Following up on a post I made a few days ago about 'Best Digital Compact Cameras', I came across a refreshingly different review by someone who clearly has an understanding of photography far beyond the geeky technical stuff. The man's whole way of looking at the camera is so honest and pure. Have a look at it here -

I just had a look online and, for anyone interested, there are a few of them available used here - a site I've bought many items on and never been disappointed -

(Fionán O'Connell Photography) camera fashioned fujifilm non-geeky old photographer's camera quality review true values x-T10 Wed, 20 Sep 2023 15:13:12 GMT
New Digital Photography Classes beginning in October! I offer a set of four 2-hour sessions for €240 which includes after session email notes.

Learn all about the following and much more:

- Getting to grips with the settings on your digital camera

- Understand shutter speed, aperture & ISO

- Learn about composition & lighting

- The effect of different lenses on our camera

- Basic skills of photo processing - cropping, exposure, contrast, highlights & shadows, saturation etc.

- Establishing a sensible workflow and organizing your digital files

Classes are limited to a maximum of 4 people and will take place at my Studio in Drumcondra :

Mondays 7-9pm

Saturdays 10-12am

If you feel that you would benefit more by individual classes or if the times above don't suit you, I can make special arrangements for you.

Contact me if you have any questions - E: [email protected] / M: 0872514066





(Fionán O'Connell Photography) 9 camera classes digital drumcondra dublin ireland learn photography photos photoshop post processing techniques tuition using your Fri, 15 Sep 2023 10:45:26 GMT
Best Compact Cameras I'm always interested in good quality compact cameras and thought I'd share this with you. I'm not afilliated with any brand or publication!


The compact camera, also known colloquially as the point-and-shoot camera, has been a staple of the photography world for over a century. Perhaps the first mass-market compact camera was introduced in 1900 by Eastman Kodak, costing a mere one dollar (about $36 today).

While it wasn’t exactly compact by today’s standards, the Kodak Brownie was downright tiny in the era of large-format photography. A simple cardboard box camera, it featured an extremely simple fixed-focus convex-concave (meniscus) achromat lens and a rotary shutter with a fixed 1/40th of a second speed and used No. 117 roll film (2.25” square). Selling nearly a quarter of a million units, Kodak would follow it up with the Brownie No. 2 in 1901, which proved to be an even greater success.
From there, fixed-lens compacts were produced by just about everyone. In 1949, Photo-Pac introduced the first disposable camera; 37 years later, Fujifilm introduced the disposable QuickSnap, which became one of the best-selling cameras ever.In 2010, point-and-shoot cameras accounted for 52% of all photos taken. By the end of 2011, that number was down to 44%, with smartphones responsible for 27% of photos. Compact camera sales dropped 40% in 2013, primarily among lower-cost models, and in 2016, point-and-shoot sales were 10% of what they were at their peak in 2008.
But we’ve recently seen a resurgence in interest among younger audiences in the compact camera market. In fact, Fujifilm temporarily halted orders for the Fujifilm X100V late last year due to surging demand, and Ricoh has announced that the Ricoh GR III is so popular it can’t keep it on shelves. Even the price of used and discontinued models has soared. As of the writing of this article, KEH lists the original Fujifilm X100 at $497 in bargain grade, while the X100F is just over $1,350 — fifty dollars less than the X100V’s MSRP.

With such immensely renewed interest in compact cameras, what better time to list our suggestions for those seeking one? We have broken this list down into seven categories designed to suit a variety of users and needs.

At a Glance


Best Overall Compact: Fujifilm X100V

Yes, I just talked at length about how the Fujifilm X100V is out of stock almost everywhere in many (if not most) countries. But Fujifilm has not discontinued the camera — that would be borderline insane given its popularity — and it will undoubtedly return to shelves in due time.

In the meantime, you can stay on the lookout for used cameras or try to find somewhere that may have some in stock if you’re lucky. These are some of the very best places to purchase used photography gear — Adorama, KEH Camera, and UsedPhotoPro (Robert’s Camera) are my absolute favorites, with new used equipment added daily.

The Fujifilm X100V is Fuji’s fifth model in the X100 line of compact cameras, which the company first launched in 2011. Released in 2020, the X100V features the fourth-generation X-Trans IV sensor with 26.1 megapixels from the X-Pro3 and, for the first time, the 23mm f/2.0 lens (35mm full-frame equivalent) has been redesigned to improve wide-aperture close-ups and general corner performance. Along with the new sensor, it also inherits the X-Processor 4 from the X-Pro3 and an improved autofocus system with better continuous AF tracking and eye detection.

The hybrid electronic/optical viewfinder — a feature unique to Fujifilm — is now an OLED panel. It’s also larger than the X100F’s viewfinder and higher resolution with 3.69m-dots. The 3.0” 1.62m-dot LCD screen is now both tiltable and touch-capable. It is an improvement in just about every single way, but it does lose the d-pad — despite having room for it — which is an unfortunate trend for many Fujifilm models.

Rounding out the list of impressive specifications is a 20 fps burst rate (using the electronic shutter), internal 4-stop ND filter, DCI 4K at up to 30p and 200 Mbps, full HD at up to 120p, Eterna film simulation and F-Log gamma, and 10-bit 4:2:2 recording out via micro-HDMI. A USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port has also been added, which supports in-camera charging and audio monitoring via an adapter.

Finally, the Fujifilm AR-X100 Adapter Ring is available, allowing the lens to accept 49mm threaded filters and weather-sealing the camera. A wide-angle conversion lens, the Fujifilm WCL-X100 II, turns the lens into a 28mm-equivalent. Conversely, the Fujifilm TCL-X100 II Tele Conversion Lens converts it to a 50mm-equivalent.


Best Overall Compact Zoom: Sony DSC-RX100 VII

The seventh model in Sony’s RX100 line, the Sony DCS-RX100 VII, is a genuinely phenomenal camera that not only fits in your pocket but contains an impressive zoom range. Featuring a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.8-4.5 lens with an equivalent zoom range of 24-200mm, the RX100 VII will cover just about most situations you could encounter. A 20.1MP Type-1 Exmor RS stacked sensor sits at the heart of the camera and — along with the revised BIONZ X image processor and integrated DRAM — enables blackout-free shooting at up to 20 fps with continuous autofocus and autoexposure. With exposure and focus locked, the camera is capable of up to 90 fps for seven frames.

Autofocus is impeccable, with 60 AF/AE calculations per second, 357 phase-detection, and 425 contrast-detection focus points. The camera can utilize Sony’s lauded Real-time Tracking, which uses AI to track moving subjects. Real-time Eye AF, which works with both animals and humans, is also on tap.

On the video front, the RX100 VII is capable of UHD 4K with full-pixel readout and no binning in Sony’s XAVC-S format at up to 100 Mb/s. For those who desire greater latitude in post-processing, the camera offers HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and S-Log2 / S-Log3 gamma curves. A dedicated HFR (high frame rate) mode enables users to shoot up to 960 fps.

The RX100 VII, like all previous RX100 models, is impressively compact given not only the photograph specifications it packs inside but also because of its pop-up OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36m-dots and Zeiss T* coating. The rear touchscreen LCD will both tilt and fold out, allowing for a range of 180 degrees upward and 90 degrees downward.

Best Compact for Street Photography: Ricoh GR III / GR IIIx

Of all the cameras on this list — and perhaps of all cameras currently on the market outside of Leica M rangefinders — the Ricoh GR line directly dates back to the film era. Like Leica M cameras, it has not changed much since the introduction of the original model, the Ricoh GR1, in 1996. Ricoh would then go on to produce numerous variants, including the GR21 (21mm lens).


The Ricoh GR III, released in 2018, is the seventh in the digital GR line, which began with the GR Digital in 2005. In 2013, Ricoh released the Ricoh GR, which — like the Fujifilm X100 — contained a very large APS-C sensor. The GR II, released in 2015, was basically the same as the GR, with a few minor tweaks. But the GR III was radically different.

The GR III featured both a new sensor and a new lens; the sensor was bumped from 16MP to 24MP, and the 18.3mm lens (28mm full-frame equivalent) f/2.8 lens now featured six elements (two aspherical) in four groups over the GR/GR II’s 7 element/5 group design. While that may sound like a downgrade, it is not — the original 7/5 lens was utterly fantastic, and the new one is even better. Sharp corner to corner, even wide-open, with remarkable flare resistance, the GR III’s lens is one of the best 28mm equivalents in any camera. It also produces rather gorgeous sun stars stopped down.

In 2020, Ricoh answered the prayers of many users and released a complementary model: the Ricoh GR IIIx with a 40mm f/2.8 equivalent lens composed of 7 elements (two aspherical) in five groups. The camera is, in every other way, identical to its wider-angle sibling.

Alongside the GR IIIx, Ricoh developed a new 1.5x GT-2 Teleconverter, which, when used with the appropriate Ricoh GA-2 adapter ring, turns the lens into a 75mm-equivalent by automatically engaging the camera’s crop mode to 15MP.

Both cameras now feature 3-axis in-body image stabilization, on-sensor phase detection autofocus, a built-in ND filter, AA-filter simulation, ultrasonic sensor cleaning, and a USB Type-C port. Naturally, the cameras retain one of the best features of the Ricoh GR cameras: snap focus, wherein the camera will automatically jump to a specified focus distance with a full press of the shutter button. Alongside its compact, fit-in-your-jeans-pocket form factor, the snap focus is a street photographer’s dream. It allows a user to snap a photo via zone focusing with essentially zero lag without switching between manual and autofocus modes.

Best Superzoom Compact: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 IV may stretch the label of “compact camera” for many — it does weigh 2.41 pounds (1095 grams), after all. But when you consider the downright astonishing focal range, it suddenly doesn’t seem very large at all.


Incorporating a Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens with a 24-600mm equivalent focal range and a maximum aperture of f/2.4-4, the RX10 IV swings for the fences. Despite its 25x zoom range, the lens is a remarkably stellar performer — no doubt in large part due to its complex 18-element / 13-group optical design, which contains no less than eight extra-low dispersion elements, five aspherical elements, and one “advanced aspherical” element, all of which do an excellent job controlling chromatic and spherical aberration and maintaining high transmission. Optical SteadyShot image stabilization is also included, rated for up to 4.5 stops.

Inside, you’ll find the same backside-illuminated, stacked 20.1MP sensor found in the Sony RX100 VII and Sony ZV-1 bodies. Like those cameras, the RX10 IV features a high-speed hybrid autofocus system. However, it is capable of a bit faster burst speeds — 24 frames per second while using autofocus tracking and autoexposure. The RX10 IV also contains an AF-A mode, automatically switching between AF-S and AF-C depending on the situation.

The ergonomics of the RX10 IV are possibly the best of any Sony camera, harkening back to the days of Minolta and Sony A-mount cameras. A substantial and extremely comfortable grip, exposure compensation dial, top panel LCD display, integrated pop-up flash, versatile tilting touchscreen, front focus mode switch, and a de-clickable aperture ring make this one of the most well-balanced and downright fun cameras.

Best Premium Compact: Leica Q3

When most photographers think of premium cameras, Leica is one of the first brands to come to mind. Its cameras tend to elicit very strong reactions — people either love them or find them to be overpriced jewelry (and supposedly something that many dentists buy for some reason). I’ve owned a few Leicas over the years and currently own a Leica M3 and Leica CL (film version). I also got to try out the Leica M11 before its release, which was the first time I had very few complaints about a Leica M camera.

But Leica’s Q series may be its best seller and is undoubtedly one of their best cameras. Yes, it is expensive at $5,995. But considering you get both a Leica body and a 28mm Summilux lens, it seems like quite a bargain.


The Leica Q3 is one of the finest cameras the Wetzlar-based company has ever made. Fitted with the best sensor ever put in a Leica body — the same 60.3MP BSI full-frame sensor found in the Leica M11 — it is capable of astonishingly great results. Not only is the sensor the best Leica has ever used, but it is also among the best non-medium format sensors on the market. Dynamic range matches the Sony a7RIV and a7RV, which likely use the same base sensor, but the Leica Q3 holds the edge at higher ISOs due to lower chroma noise. It also features a base ISO of 64 — two-thirds of a stop less than Sony’s ISO 100 — allowing for superior color, tonality, and noise.

Like the M11, the Q3 features “Triple Resolution Technology” — which adds pixel-binned 36MP and 18MP options in addition to the full 60MP resolution. While Leica claims enhanced dynamic range in these modes, my tests found no advantage to the in-camera binned photos and downsampling in post, other than saving space. The 60MP sensor also allows for a variety of crop modes: 1.25x (simulating 35mm), 1.8x (simulating 50mm), 2.7x (simulating 75mm), and 3.2x (simulating 90mm). These would result in images with 38.6, 18.5, 8.3, and 5.9 megapixels, respectively.

New to the Q3 is an updated OLED EVF with 5.76m-dots and high 0.79x magnification, a tilting rear LCD, phase detection autofocus (as well as CDAF and DFD), DCI 8K up to 30p with 10-bit 4:2:0 internally, ProRes 422 HQ internally (Full HD up to 60p), and the new Maestro IV processor with 8GB of buffer memory. The body is IP52 rated against dust and moisture, and improved wireless connectivity — including both Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, along with Bluetooth 5.0 — along with a USB-C Gen 2 port allow for either wireless or wired tethering using the updated Leica FOTOS App. Leica exists as one of the few manufacturers to implement wireless tethering properly — it just works.

One thing that hasn’t changed from the original Q and the Q2 is the lens — simply because it’s a great optic. With a 28mm focal length and extremely fast f/1.7 aperture, the Q3’s Summilux lens is one of the fastest in a compact camera and, combined with the full-frame sensor, makes for a low-light beast.

Yes, the Leica Q3 is expensive, but it’s also a joy to use. The image quality is unbeatable, and I could see myself using one for the next ten years. But if you consider that the Leica 28/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH costs $1,800 more than the Q3, the price doesn’t seem quite so awful.

Any chance someone can gift me six grand?

Best Compact for Video/Vlogging: Sony ZV-1 / ZV-1 II


A sibling to Sony’s RX100 series, the ZV-1 cameras are aimed squarely at the video and vlogging crowd. A great video camera — especially one aimed at vloggers — requires excellent autofocus tracking, a flip-out LCD screen for selfie monitoring, quality audio capabilities, and a decent zoom range with a fast aperture.

The Sony ZV-1 cameras fulfill these requirements, and, as an added bonus, Sony offers two distinct models.

The Sony ZV-1 and Sony ZV-1 II feature a flip-out 3.0” touchscreen, directional 3-capsule microphone (windscreen included), live social media and conferencing via USB, a front tally lamp, a large REC button located on the top plate, multi-interface shoe for various accessories, 3.5mm microphone port, and Active SteadyShot which combines optical and electronic image stabilization to reduce camera shake by up to 11 times.

Both cameras also use the same 20.1MP Type-1 Exmor RS stacked sensor found in the Sony RX100 VII, which enables quick performance, low rolling shutter, and excellent Real-Time Tracking and Real-Time Eye AF. Features such as Product Showcase, Background Defocus, Soft Skin Effect, and Face Priority Auto-Exposure allow the camera to compete with the computational elements of modern smartphones. UHD 4K video is supported at up to 30p, with Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and both S-Log2 and S-Log3 available for more advanced users.

Where the two cameras diverge is in the lenses. The Sony ZV-1 features a Zeiss 24-70 (equivalent) f/1.8-2.8 Vario-Sonnar lens, while the Sony ZV-1 II is fitted with a wider-angle Zeiss 18-50 (equivalent) f/1.8-4 Vario-Sonnar lens. The former is probably best for most users, given its extra 20mm of reach on the long end and aperture that is a full stop faster. But, some users, especially vloggers who often record themselves, may find themselves desiring the wider focal length options of the ZV-1 II.

Sony also released a fixed focal length camera, the Sony ZV-1F, but I suggest avoiding it at all costs. It boasts a 20mm equivalent f/2.0 Zeiss Tessar lens, which is of sufficient quality. However, it lacks numerous vital features of the zoom lens models: it does not have a stacked sensor, phase detection autofocus, internal ND filters, optical image stabilization, a headphone jack, or the ability to shoot RAW photos. The non-stacked sensor results in horrendous rolling shutter, and the lack of hybrid autofocus leads to “flutter” as the video hunts for focus. Additionally, the ZV-1 II is 2mm wider and a third of a stop faster.

Best Waterproof Compact: Olympus Tough TG-6


One of the more significant markets for low-price compact cameras is waterproof compacts — Sony, Ricoh, Olympus, Kodak, DJI, GoPro, SeaLife, Minolta, and Coleman all produce at least one waterproof compact model that is listed on either B&H Photo or Adorama. And, naturally, Amazon is full of cheap, no-name brand variants. A vast majority of these cameras come in under $500. But none match up to the Olympus Tough TG-6.

I have extensively used rugged, waterproof compacts from Ricoh, Fujifilm, Nikon, and Sony. And none have come close to the quality of the Olympus TG series. I always bought these cameras for my father to photograph his work, which involves a lot of dirty, dusty, wet environments and heavy manual labor. He cannot baby his cameras. I first purchased him an Olympus TG-4, after which I became a convert to the TG line.

The Olympus TG-6 features, by far, the best image quality of any compact, rugged, waterproof camera. Its 12MP BSI sensor, which is actually slightly less resolution than the 16MP in prior models, is a Type-1/2.3 capable of ISO 100 to 1600 (up to 12,800 in extended mode). In front of the sensor is a 25-100mm (FF-equivalent) f/2.0-4.9 zoom lens. Four separate shooting modes in the Variable Macro system allow focusing as close as one centimeter. Sensor-shift image stabilization — something not found in many waterproof compacts — can yield up to 2.5 stops of shake reduction.

The TG-6 contains a Field Sensor System, which includes a GPS module, manometer, compass, and temperature sensor, all of which can be embedded in the EXIF data of images. Built-in Wi-Fi allows for wireless tethering to smartphones. The camera is waterproof rated for up to 50 feet with an IPX8 rating, freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof from falls up to 7 feet, crushproof up to 100kgf (220lbf) of pressure, and IP6X dustproof rated.

Furthermore, the TG-6 has accessories that no other cameras like this have, to my knowledge. One of the nicest is also one of the simplest: the Olympus LB-T01 Lens Barrier, which protects the glass that covers the lens when not in use and can be opened by simply rotating the outer ring. I’ve experienced the lens cover glass getting scratched — or the coating wearing off — on several other cameras, so this is a wonderful optional accessory. The Olympus FD-1 Flash Diffuser similarly attaches around the lens and funnels the light from the camera’s built-in flash to illuminate subjects more evenly in front of the lens, while the Olympus LG-1 LED Macro Ring Light attaches in the same way but uses the camera’s built-in LED light for illumination. And, should you want to extend the underwater rating to 147 feet, the Olympus PT-059 Underwater Housing is available.

Perhaps it is no surprise that Petapixel declared the TG-6 the best waterproof camera for under $500. And that’s certainly true.

The only niggle is that earlier this month, Olympus officially discontinued the camera. However, it is still in stock at most online retailers, and I strongly suspect a successor will replace it — it’s been over four years since its release, so perhaps it is time. But despite that, you cannot go wrong with the Olympus TG-6.


(Fionán O'Connell Photography) best cameras compact digital pocket quality recommended Thu, 14 Sep 2023 09:10:29 GMT
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.

(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

(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