Ansel Adams’ famous quote about technical proficiency in photography is more apt today than ever. Camera manufactures and photography ‘gearheads’ continue to peddle a narrow narrative concerning the importance of mathematically machined photographic equipment and its importance if you want to ‘shoot like a pro’. British photographer Pennie Smith has proven otherwise. Her iconic photo of Paul Simonon smashing his guitar on stage during a show in New York City in 1979 is a perfect example of the visceral power of an imperfect photograph that is perfectly flawed. It’s out of focus and grainy. A technocrats worst nightmare. Yet it became one of the most famous images in Rock’n’Roll when used as cover art for The Clash’s London Calling album. A fuzzy photo that captures the energy and vitality of life will always win out against a sterile photo that’s perfectly sharp.
Interview with Pennie Smith via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/showstudio-official/showstudio-punk-photography-4
“In Irish mythology, Ériu was the goddess of ancient Ireland. I love shooting landscape in Ireland. The nuanced light combined with the etheric body of an ancient land almost guarantees interesting results. My series of images of this mysterious land are an attempt to capture the special ‘atmosphere’ of the topology rather than classic picture postcard photography. Hopefully I succeeded. All images shot with the LGG4 and edited exclusively with the Snapseed photo app.” – Sean Hayes.
Link to winners page: http://mobilephotoawards.com/mpa-photo-essay-winners/
Delighted to be among the honourable mentions in the black & white category of this year’s annual Mobile Photography Awards. Some great work here. What I like about B&W photography is that it strips back an image to its essentials. Texture, tonal contrast, shape, form and lighting are the building blocks of a photograph. Get all these attributes singing along in harmony and you could possibly end up with a great photo. B&W is the acid test of a photographer to create picture perfect images. Congrats to the winner, David Ingraham, and fellow runner-ups, who pass the test perfectly. A big shout-out to MPA founder (and talented mobile photographer in his own right), Daniel Berman, for his commitment and energy to make the MPA the success it has rightfully become since its inception in 2011. Mobile photography, and the very active talented community that make it so vibrant, is still in its infancy. Baby steps are turning into giant strides. Congrats to all involved.
Link to winning work: http://mobilephotoawards.com/black-white-winner-honorable-mentions-mpa-2015/
In November of 2015, I had the privilege of accompaning Malta MEP Roberta Metsola to a refugee centre in Balzan, about 5km from the Maltese capital Valletta. I was commissioned by the EPP group to photograph Roberta on her fact-finding mission to improve EU policy on emigration. A very rewarding and enlightening experience. Emigration is a very divisive issue in Europe today. At the end of a political policy, there is always a human being. Whatever your worldview may be, I invite you to view the world through emigrants eyes. Thanks to the people at ZN for hiring me to do this photoessay and to Antti and his team at the EPP group for their support. And a big thanks to Roberta Metsola and her team in Malta for the warm welcome and help in getting my camera back. I inadvertently left it in a taxi on the way back from the shoot. In the same way there are no atheists in a foxhole – there are no photographers who have forgotten the Lord’s prayer after misplacing a camera without downloading the day’s photo session. Shot with a Sony a7s and edited with Lightroom and PS.
Delighted to have my ‘Doppelgänger’ iPhone image shot recently in Malta selected for the Paris Mobile Camera Club’s theme – Thriller and Mystery. As usual, some great work on display here from the mobile photography community dotted around the globe. Thanks to Nad iPhoneographer in Paris, and Roger Guetta in Montreal for the energy devoted to preparing and showcasing the work.
Doppelgänger © Sean Hayes
Just uploaded a series of shots from the concert to my music photography tumblr site. If you’re a fan, I suggest a visit: http://seanhayesmusicphotography.tumblr.com
I remember seeing Simple Minds straight off the boat from Scotland at the SFX theatre in Dublin circa 1979. Kerr seemed shy and retiring. Still hadn’t found his ebullient stage persona. Then followed them into superstardom with an amazing concert at the Phoenix Park Racecourse Dublin in ’83. Blew me away – best band of the day. And they had competition; U2, Eurythmics, Big Country, Steel Pulse. The concert sound mixers did a great job in retaining the musicality of the nascent stadium anthems off their New Gold Dream album. Sound was pure and nuanced. Caught them again at various venues in Paris and Brussels during the late 80s and 90s. They were awful supporting the Stones at Wechter Belgium 1998 (Nobody’s perfect:). Then back to Brussels in 2010 and again last Sunday night in Antwerp. Simple Minds are very much alive and kicking after more than 30 years of writing, recording and performing some of the best music in Rock ‘n’ Roll. You probably guessing I’m a huge fan. And you’d be right:)
I was invited by Virgin Media UK to be the Instagrammer for the Vfestival 2015; an annual music festival held in England during the last weekend in August. I was responsible for the ‘live feed’ of images documenting the festivities over a two day period. I was also supplied with a brilliant new smartphone camera by sponsor LG called the G4. These photographs are a selection of the images posted from the LGG4 direct to Virgin Media’s Instagram account. All images were shot in camera without further processing unless otherwise stated in the accompanying text. All photographs © Sean Hayes 2015. If you would like to see more of my mobile photography work from this festival, please visit: http://instavfestival.tumblr.com
Summer in Belgium is jumping with music festivals.
Great opportunity to take some fun photos.
All images shot with the amazing LGG4.
If you would like to see more of my mobile music photography,
please visit: http://seanhayesmusicphotography.tumblr.com
LG Electronics have kindly lent me their new G4 smartphone to test the camera for a project coming up later this month. I’ve being shooting with the LGG4 for about 5 weeks now and I must say I’m very impressed with its performance. It’s not the forum to go into a detailed breakdown of the technical features but suffice to say the 16MP rear-facing camera, coupled with a fixed F1.8 aperture, really does deliver remarkably high quality images. It also has the most powerful manual mode of all the smartphones out there. The portraits below were all shot using the LGG4 and processed with the Snapped photo app. I should point out that I only used the app to pump contrast a tad, converting images to B&W, and applying the tilt-shift tool on the colour portraits to add a shallow DOP – otherwise – WYSIWYG. I’ve been a committed iOS platform user since iPhoneography took off in 2007 – but this phone makes it seriously tempting to switch to android. The argument against the android platform by the mobile photography community has always been the lack of depth and breadth of its photo app offerings. This perceived weakness is no longer valid as the community matures and simplifies its approach and application of photo apps. The days of being excited by adding a coloured filter to a smartphone image are well and truly over. As the lines between what constitutes a smartphone photograph and the SLR variety continues to blur – this is the sharpest camera phone out there. Literally and figuratively.
If you would like to see more of my mobile photography portraits, please visit : http://seanmobileportraits.tumblr.com