Archive for August, 2006

Verdict on Peoples Photography

Well, back from Dublin and from Peoples Photography. All in all a tiring yet wildly enjoyable couple of days. I loved peoples photography but predictably enough, still 80% hate Dublin city centre. Next time I’ll shell out for more expensive lodgings too, don’t like being treated somewhat like a prisoner in the evening returning back to the glorified hostel and then being treated to a crap breakfast in the morning served in a manner last seen in a line up in the canteen of some maximum security prison. So Saturday on the green was largely uneventful, apart from the arrival of my glamorous assistant and the spanking new Canon 30D. More on that later…

There didn’t seem to be any sales at all on the south side on Saturday. I was shocked. Well, not too shocked. Had a stroll around the perimeter of the awfully large green to see that some of the exhibitors had brought depressingly good prints, some had brough depressingly bad prints and the rest of them were somewhere in the middle. Saw a couple I’d buy if I wasn’t saving up for a massively expensive new lens. According to various trustworthy resources, some were charging up on €600 for a print. Madness!?!

Mine, on Sunday morning

My reassuringly modest setup could well have expanded into the space beside me if not kept in careful check… by the person who eventually turned up and setup beside me. Drat and double drat! Next time I might just bring twice the number of prints! Next time we’ll also have to sort out an area of space big enough for all the boards crowd to stay together. It really was too long to walk just to take the piss out of someone.

Himself and the expensive setup

After Saturday’s lack-lustre performance both sales and crowds wise, it was time to drown the would-be sorrows with a trip to the porterhouse. Somewhere I’ve never been (because I hate Dublin city, remember?) but always wanted to try. Their strawberry beer, despite looking like a pint of alcopop, is simply marvellous. Also, standing at the bar screaming “A pint of strawberry please” makes one question ones sexuality. 10ish pints of it later, it started to become decidedly average. The beer that doesn’t come with a mandatory hangover (so I was informed by my so called trusty resources) left me with a feeling the next morning that led me to believe strawberries were eating my brain from the inside out and had kept my eyeballs for dessert. Nice. I must say I was incredibly surprised that my farts didn’t smell like strawberries though. Surprised is the wrong word… more dissapointed.

Did I mention that it rained? (a bit)

So it rained in short bursts, more the second day but I didn’t really care because my prints were well protected (and I had setup under the shade of a tree, wah ha ha). We got a quota of sun too and Sunday picked up both numbers and sales wise. I managed to sell three and wondered how many I’d have sold if I was in Fermoy instead. Hmm… I’m open to correction on it, but with so much choice and competition that weekend, is it really an area conducive to sales? I mean if you have a print of a flower macro and are selling it for €40, someone right around the corner from you might have a similar print for €25 or €30. Psh, I’ll just have to stick to Fermoy where I’ve currently got the monopoly on photography.

So I think we’re all pretty much in agreement that it’s a goer for next year. We’ll just have to get in early, block book a few spaces for all interested boards photographers and bring a disposable barby. Oh and a table. And perhaps a patio umbrella. And a deck of cards. And most importantly of all, a honking great big sign that says “Prints For Sale!”

I’ve stuck a few photos from the 2 days up on Flickr if anyone (everyone) is interested. Expect more news on the 30D once I bother to post it.

Off to Dublin

Posting will be extra light for the next few days as I’m off to partake in Peoples Photography. I’ll be back on Monday, hopefully when there will be at least a spanking new Canon 30D waiting for me. The news on the 20D isn’t too bad; €254 for a CF slot replace and something important sounding with a motherboard. Also, I think I’m being charged to sort out the known and recognised problem with the battery grip, but that’s pending investigation from this side as the grip is still under warranty.

So, if anyone’s in Dublin this weekend, come and see me at slot 425 on the south side of St. Stephens Green. I’ll be there, along with many others, basking in what I hope will be glorious sunshine. Ah shur, if not.. I’ve got enough raingear to keep a small flood at bay.

Time for a new Scamera

While out shopping these days one has to keep their wits about them. Never more so than online. In my recent search for a new camera body, I came across an almost too good to be true listing on buy & sell for a Canon 5D. Now the rough price online for a 5D is up around the €2,500 mark, lots higher than that in Ireland. So I was elated, if suspicious, to see that there was a 5D for sale in Sligo for the amazing sum of €1,400. Hmm, could it be too good to be true? I emailed for further info…

Hello. It was bought in London last september, warranty until september 2008. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.It works 100% perfectly and looks near perfect cosmetically. It is absolutely flawless. the plain reason i’m selling is that i don’t need it anymore.. it was my sons expensive hobby, he quit on it and now we don’t need it.

What will you get ; Original box, The Canon EOS 5D camera itself, Original Canon genuine battery pack, Canon standard battery charger, A/V Cable, USB connector cable, Canon Warranty Card,Original manual (English), Canon software CD’s, Canon neck strap

If you need any other info, write me back.
Anna

So it’s only a year old, still in warranty, works perfeclty and has taken little abuse? Wow… Now this has to be too good to be true. I was left wondering if this ‘Anna’ was insane or didn’t actually know the real value of the camera. To add to that, I also got the following enticing images;

5D Scam 2

5D Scam 1

Yup, that’s definately a Canon 5D! My interest piqued but remaining somewhat suspicious, I decided to probe for further info.

Anna,

Thanks very much for the email, I’m interested in coming to take a look at the camera but wont be available to do so until Monday 28th. Are you actually in Sligo town or the suburbs? I hope to be around the town until at least 4 or 5pm so anytime up to that would suit perfectly. If you want to tell me where you are I can come to you, or we can arrange to meet somewhere.

Also, given that you say it looks near perfect cosmeticaly, I have to ask if there are any marks or other damage on it? If so, could you forward photos of them. Thanks

Standard “I am interested in what you have to sell” response. A bit over enthusiastic perhaps, but understandable given the apparent amazing deal. Ah but hold on. My plans to convey myself to Yeats county fell short on receipt of the following;

Hello. No marks, no scratches, it was very well taken care of..
But, I’m affraid I can’t wait till 28th because i have a dozen men asking me about it and I will surely sell it. For the moment i am in London, trying to solve some probs.
If you know someone here, who might take a look at it, and is ready to close the deal on your behalf, maybe we can still close the deal. Otherwise, i think you should be looking for another camera.
All the best.
Anna

So you’re living in Sligo, you’ve got an expensive camera in an awkward shaped box and what’s the first thing you think to pack for a trip to London? Yeah… Now it’s starting to smell of the wacky tabacky. So I know people in London that would no doubt check out this camera for me and if need be, accept a cash transfer for the hand over. A couple of emails went back and forth, I informed ‘Anna’ that I would arrange to meet her upon her return to Sligo as I was eager to see and test the camera. But wait, then I got a reply that knocked me off my feet.

All right, this sounds good, but i realy can’t promise something 100% because i have someother people interested and if i will find someone till then, i will probably sell it.
If not, i will surely call/e-mail you as soon as i’ll be back.
Or, i can just ship it from here and you will have a couple of days to see if its what you want..
Regards,
Anna

Yeah, you’ve read it correctly. You’ve been emailing some guy for a few hours that got your email address off a free ad’s website and now you’re offering to send him a €2,500 camera to test it out for a couple of days. With no further doubt in my mind that this was a scam, I waved bye bye to my bargain 5D and bit down on the bait. I emailed back indicating in no uncertain terms that shipping the camera to me to ‘test out for a few days’ would be the most favorable option. So then the scammers favorite two words came up. Try and guess what they are…

Hello Ryan. I can ship it, and i will do it Monday, you’ll get it 2 days later, and check it/test it until Friday to see if it suits. But, without any disrespect, it is a valuable camera and i can’t afford to waste my time and money.. I will not ask for any advance or something like this, but i will still need a proof you have the money and this is not a joke..
So look what i suggest : you can send the money for the camera through Western Union, to one of your friend’s name and address here in London, i will call Western here and ask them to confirm the transfer, and if they will confirm it, i will ship the camera within 4 hours. Then, you will get it, see it and if you agree to buy it, you will resend the money on my name.. If not, you’ll just send it back, and that will be all.
What do you think about this method?

That’s right, Western Union. What a great name they’ve managed to get themselves from all the worldwide scammers in operation. It’s like the worldwide money transfer service of choice for the discerning scammer. What I was unsure about is, was she expecting me to say “eh, I don’t have any friends in London, can I send the money directly to you?”. Not too sure how she expected this one to work. If I send €1,400 to a friend in London, she shipped the empty box to me and went to collect the money, I’d have already instructed my friend to claw her eyes out. Anyone want to explain this one to me?

So that was that. I wasn’t prepared to waste any more time on this nonsense so the last email I sent back was something along the lines of

“Dear Scumbag,

I’d rather itch my nuts with a rusty cheese grater than send that much money to anyone. It’s perfectly obvious that you are attempting (albeit in a hugely incompetent and comical fashion) to scam me out of €1,400. Please crawl back under your putrid stone and die like a upside down turtle, baking slowly in the midday sun. Also, I’m passing your email address onto everyone I can think of in the hope they may spam you until the day your head is somehow removed from your shoulders, in some kind of comical monty python-esque fashion. I dearly hope I’m present to witness that event.

Good day, you waste of genetic material.”

So, ‘Anna’, who’s email address is Preabeat@aol.com, pray that I never learn your true identity. For if I do, I may hound you with bogus correspondence, fake deliveries and eventually; A horrid, 6 hour long kneecapping. That is all. Guess I’ll have to get a 30D as a second (first) body instead.

Who needs full frame?

With my 20D being in hospital as it is, I’ve turned my mind to another body. No, not to replace the hopefully soon to be returned 20D, more to compliment it’s existence. I’d been lusting after a 5D (which is apparently a “real upgrade” for 20D users) but at a cost of around €2,500 it’s a pretty feckin’ hefty upgrade over say a €1,000 30D. Yes, I know the 30D isn’t an upgrade for the 20D. It is essentially a 20D with a bigger screen and spot metering. The thought then occured to me that having gone the ‘cheap’ route by buying Sigma EX lenses, would the glass be of high enough quality to get any use out of the higher quality sensor in the 5D? Would I have to spend thousands more buying Canon L lenses just to get an acceptable photo? More importantly, and as John from North Atlantic Skyline pointed out, paying 4 times more for a camera doesn’t nessecarily yield photos that are 4 times better.

Food for thought John. Also, with the impending plan to get the Canon 70-200L, the price difference alone between the 30D and 5D would pay for the lens! At the end of all that, I’d still have a second body! No brainer? Well, half a second body anyway. She, herself who must always be listened to and pretend to be obeyed, decides that her Casio Exilim just doesn’t fill the void anymore.

So who needs a full frame camera? More importantly, who needs to pay two and a half thousand euro to get a full frame camera that they may never reap the full rewards of. Apart from being able to turn up at photo meets and scoff at the punitons with their “crop factors”. Psh. I’d miss the 5fps anyway. That’s a pretty bad excuse though.

One pretty lame reason for getting a second body is that I’m trying, albeit slowly as hell, to appear at the very least, as a capable photographer. That is, one that you’d invite to a function or event to take a few photos. And hey, everyone hates changing lenses! That and I love the gadgets. For anyone that’s still wondering, yes, I am posting this to give the illusion of keeping the blog updated. Next week, I’ll start copying and pasting from random websites. That’s one to look forward to. General comments, suggestions and phrases like “Are ya mad?” all welcome.

Galley Head

Please don't poop!

These last few photos I took before my camera kicked the bucket are of Galley head, a short drive from Clonakilty. It wasn’t my intention to go out there to take photos but when I saw the birds fishing I couldnt resist. The idea was to go, sit on a rock and chill for a couple of hours. Well, the original idea was to go to Gougane Barra, sit on the grass and chill for a few hours sans camera. Couldn’t be arsed driving there though, maybe next weekend.

Alternative method of catching fish

The photos aren’t anything to look at, I just thought I’d post them for fear that folks would think this is turning back into a text blog. Or err, “non-photo-blog”, whichever you prefer. Yes, a few of them are heavily cropped, yes most of them are exposed completely wrongly and yes, you’re correct in thinking I couldn’t give a rats tiny teeny tiny ass. Carry on about your business and come back when I’ve got something to rant about… Like Canon taking their sweet ass time with my camera repairs. Or something along those lines.

The getaway

Another bloody Project

Following some doctors advice*, it has been decided to finally work toward getting a much wanted item on my shopping list. Yes, the same list that never seems to get any shorter. Possibly one of the most expensive lists in the land. So the item in question is my first white lens; a Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS.

So that’d be about €1500 give or take. I could buy this outright like I’ve done with all my other kit but wheres the sense of satisfaction? Where’s the joy and pride in the ownership? Well, that’d still be there… So how is this going to be financed? If I was a pro I’d just fork out the dough that I’d be making from substantial print sales, stock sales and all the freelance work I’d undoubtably be doing. Yeaaaah…

But seeing as I’m not actually doing any of that, it’s going to take alot longer to reach the goal. As you may know from my previous posts, I’ve started attending “Art in the Park” in Fermoy. So far in 3 weeks of showing up there, I’ve made several sales. In fact the sales have gotten better with each passing week. All this money is going into my back pocket and eventually into whatever shopkeepers till. That’s all well and good, but it’s not actually doing anything positive. So instead, all the money I make from art in the park, peoples photography and anything else I attend will go straight into the “white lens fund”. I’ll be keeping the tally up to speed via a little addition to the sidebar of this blog so you’ll know where I am and how much is left to go.

Of course if you feel you should do your part and contribute to the fund (while getting a marvellous print in the process), then turn up at art in the park in Fermoy every Sunday (11am to 5pm ish) or be at Peoples Photography on St. Stephens Green in Dublin on the 25th and 26th August. Finally, a reason to get up on a Sunday morning!

On Hiatus for Repair

Just in case anyone is a bit curious why there are no new photos here for the next few weeks, it’s simply down to the fact that my camera is fucked. It’s currently residing with the (hopefully) good people up at Image Supply Systems, who will (hopefully) repair my busted compact flash slot in record time for a low low price.

In the interim, expect lots of withdrawl symptom type ranting and a few old photos. More ranting than photos probably. Over and out.

help me pick prints…

… for Peoples Photography, which is on in a little over 2 weeks. I’ve created a flickr set with most of the photos I currently have prints of (and a few I’ve got to get re-printed due to past sales) so I’d just love everyone to death if they could refine the list and maybe suggest anything else that may be worth taking. I can only assume that I’m way over the limit of what I’ll fit in anyway (currently have in & around 40 prints in the short list) so maybe I’ll get to exhibit different stuff each day.

peoples photography prints

If you want to take a look and throw in your 0.02c, by all means do. The flickr set is here

Resurrecting a Madman

Forgive me your honour, it’s been nearly a year since my last confession. I’m not about to waffle on so let me cut straight to the bones of the matter. It’s all about the emotions. In this case, anger. Pure, unadulterated rage. Anyone who’s ever been miffed in their lives (and I’m assuming that’s just about everyone) will know that hot feeling you get somewhere inside you that’s just dying to get out and scream until your lungs explode.

Pretty much that feeling, except my insides are glowing white hot. If I get any worse, I fear I may burn off the earth’s atmosphere. I can almost feel the horns preparing to grow out of the top of my head. I want to tear skin from bones, squash eyeballs beneath my bare feet and generally do whatever evil shit I can. Normal anger temporarily blurs the line between right and wrong, good and evil. This new state of being removes the line and puts them all in a blender. Is evil good? Is right wrong? That’s for the courts to decide because I can’t tell anymore.

I’ve had some of the worst days of my life so far these last few. Highs and lows and lows and when you think it couldn’t get any lower, more lows. I’ve no doubt left several people in Waterford (from where I have just returned) thinking I’m either the most insufferably boring dickhead ever or just plain psychotic. Although even at that, I would confess to being somewhat of the latter. I can’t call it depression because it’s not diagnosed. It is what it is, to use a term I heard again recently, a complete headfuck. This kind of shit wasn’t supposed to follow me into my mid (to late) twenties. This is the kind of completely contemptable, moronic, waste of space bullshit you gladly leave behind you when you stop being a teenager. This whole “You hurt me so I hurt you, then you hurt me back so I’ll hurt you again” dialog is enough to drive anyone to console themselves with two bottles; Jack Daniels & sleeping pills.

But life goes on and you either learn to forget or you bury it and run away. Hell, if I did the latter of that combo, I’d be living in Canada now. You don’t go out to maim and disfigure people for life, even though it’s the only thing you can think about. Dig in your heels and see what’s around the next corner, even if you are approaching that corner at 200kph and the road isn’t exactly wonderful. If it’s good, you make it home and live to be fucked around another day. If it’s not so good, you end up dead on with a truck. Life really is a mugs game.

Now to turn off that radiohead cd before I feel compelled to eat it. Be good, take care of eachother and don’t fuck eachother around. In the end of the day when we’re all barefoot and penniless, all we’ve really got is eachother.

when photo nerds are left to their own devices…

Hope the table holds...

Currently sitting in same room with laptop each. Why talk to each other when you can IM? Pff, you humans and your primitive communication methods!

Photos from Spraoi coming shortly.