High Rock

I was passing through Portmarnock yesterday. The place where I grew up. On the way, I stopped on the coast road to Malahide and took a few photos at High Rock. It was quiet, being morning time, and a working day. During the 20 minutes that I was there, the weather changed from idyllic summer to apocalyptic stormy. Either way, it’s beautiful.

Happy Days

No doubt there are more beautiful places on earth, but on days like this, with company like this, I can’t think of any.

The Virgin Media Night Run

There’s a unique atmosphere about the city at night – a heightened, more focused and intimate experience.
For their second year of sponsoring the Virgin Media Night Run, we wanted to evoke this feeling, coupled with the adrenaline rush of participating and competing in one of the most exciting sporting events of the year.
The cornerstone of the campaign was a 40 second video that ran on Youtube, RTE Player, Virgin Media’s website and social channels. This was supported by outdoor, radio, print and digital ads.

As well as Art Directing the campaign (with the exception of the outdoor, art directed by Niamh Fahey) I also took 360 and still photos for social and digital use.

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Dublin goes green

Paddy’s Day eve. I stopped off at the Convention centre to capture a bit of green white and orange. I thought my bike was looking pretty fetching too, so I took a few snaps of that while I was there.


Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

On the second night of a night shoot last week, I took this at about 12.30am in Grand Canal Square, in front of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

It’s a bit noisy, because the GoPro currently won’t expose longer than 1/4sec when shooting RAW. Kinda frustrating since it can stay open for 60 seconds when shooting to JPG, but hopefully they’ll sort that out with a firmware update soon.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

What an incredible place. Frozen in time. There’s not that much to it – one big, magnificent space, but it’s well worth a visit and well worth allowing enough time to pore over the exquisite detail. I didn’t take the free guided tour this time, but I think I’ll go back soon and do that. It was a tough decision, whether to post the colour or black and white shots – seems a shame to eschew the rich warm tones, but I chose the more unusual, noir images this time.

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Christchurch Cathedral

Located in the heart of the medieval city of Dublin, Christ Church cathedral is one of the city’s finest buildings. Founded by the Hiberno-Norse, rebuilt by the Anglo-Normans and extensively restored in the 1870’s, the present building is an intriguing blend of original 12th and 13th century material alongside exactingly recreated Victorian Gothic features.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, was until 1922 the seat of the UK government’s administration in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922).

After the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins.

St. Teresa’s Church of the Discalced Carmelites

Tucked away behind Grafton Street in the centre of Dublin, this is just one of several beautiful alcoves within the church.


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Garden of Remembrance

The Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. December 3rd 2016.

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Grand Canal Square, in the round.

I shot a couple of photospheres at Grand Canal Square this week. Take a look around here – click on one of the images below to activate the 360 viewer.

Hello to VR support on WordPress.com

I’m delighted to see that support for 360 and VR images has now been added to wordpress.com. I can now integrate my 360 images with the rest of my work.
Here’s a couple of images I made last Saturday (10th Dec 2016) on Sir John Rogersons Quay in Dublin, Ireland. Click on one of the two 360 images below to activate the facility to look around and/or extend it to fullscreen. On a mobile device, you should be able to look around using your phone’s accelerometer, or switch to VR view if you have a VR headset like Cardboard.

and here are a few conventional images and a short timelapse I shot on the same day.
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Putting myself in harm’s way, for safety’s sake

Here’s a set of videos I shot recently at Irish International for the Road Safety Authority (RSA), to help raise awareness of cyclist’s safety on the road. They were published through the RSA’s social channels during National Bike Week (11th-19th June 2016).

The scenes look dangerous, from the cyclist’s perspective, intentionally. These videos were shot in 360 to give people a first-hand view of what it’s like, when motorists aren’t aware of cyclists or don’t consider their safety. Although there’s plenty of opportunity to observe this kind of behaviour during the course of an average cycle on Irish roads, I did bring along a driver to play the part of the inconsiderate motorist.

I don’t get a chance to cycle often, so it was an eye-opening experience for me. Some of the hazards weren’t actually that apparent while on the bike. When you’re cycling, you tend to focus on the road and the repetitive effort. Quite often you may be listening to music and you may place your trust in other road users to avoid you. Cycling along the country road, I was less aware of the traffic coming from behind, so the potential threat is more obvious in the video. But of course, it was there, even if it wasn’t on my mind at the time. What was also very interesting about this project, was to place the camera on the car, and see what it looked like from the driver’s perspective. The camera was mounted on the driver’s door (in the ‘door-opening’ video) and on the front wing of the car in the overtake video, giving a clearer view than you’d normally get from the driver’s seat.

I’m looking forward to making more of these kinds of videos in the future. 360 VR is a fantastic medium for providing not just an informational piece of film, but also an experience that is a lot closer to actually being involved in the action.

At this time, 360 video is not natively supported on Twitter or Instagram, so I also made non-360 versions for use on those platforms. Working with 360 footage gives you a range of views to select your shots from. From a single sequence, I was able to edit shots looking forwards and also looking backwards from the camera position. 360 video is supported on Facebook and YouTube, as well as many other networks. Some browsers or operating systems, such as Safari, may not allow you to view these videos.

These were shot with a Ricoh Theta S – a deservedly popular entry level 360 camera. It’s a small, light, pocketable camera that is extremely easy to use. It can take decent quality still images. The video output isn’t as good as you’d like it. It shoots HD, and the raw footage looks clean enough, if shot in decent lighting conditions. The 360 player engines in YouTube or Facebook produce a noticeable degradation in quality. This is a rapidly developing area, with many 360 cameras already on the market and some that capture video in 4k. Over the coming months, many more are due to be released and I’m looking forward to getting one of those as soon as possible. However, with the majority of social content being viewed on smartphones, the quality of the Theta video is good enough for now. I would expect support for 360 (with VR options) to be widely, or even universally supported over the next year or so and also for the quality of the picture to improve substantially through the main platforms.

Here are the non-360 edits of the videos.

 

 

Origin Green – Cardboard : Bord Bia

At this year’s Expo world fair in Milan the theme was “feeding the planet, energy for life”. Ireland’s Pavilion celebrated Origin Green, Ireland’s world-leading sustainable food movement. We helped create all kinds of interesting material, including this simple, cost-effective and unputdownable Google Cardboard piece, which transported thousands of users from the parched earth of Milan to the lush idyll of the Irish countryside. The Irish Pavilion was a huge success with visitors and critics alike, and won bronze for Ireland out of 145 countries.

 

Here’s the flat image that I shot.

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And here are a few more shots I took on the day.

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