The MAC Counter at Brown Thomas

Hands up now lads. How many of you have waited around while your significant other picked out makeup or browsed the aisles in a department store?

Yeah, me too.

This young fella was collecting the rubbish from the drawers and in contrast to the immaculately done up girls dressed in black he wore torn jeans and a cheap sweater.

PS. Lunar eclipse in 2 hours time. I think I’ll be asleep!

Luigi Malone’s Clock

Behind the bar in Luigi Malone’s Restaurant in Cork are 2 large clock faces. The bar goes around in a U shape and the other face is directly behind this one.

They’re very striking, and the first thing anyone notices when they come in the front door. This is the one facing the dining area. In the dark it practically jumps out at you!

How DIT’s “Iomha ’08” photo contest can hijack your rights

So, you’re all fired up and ready to enter a new photography content? Dublin Institute of Technology are holding a worthwhile photo content in the run up to Seachtain na Gaeilge this year. They are “seeking photographic entries on the theme of An Ghaeilge Bheo – Irish: The Living Language from both Ireland and abroad”. There’s a first prize of €1,500 which is not to be sniffed at!

Unfortunately if you enter, you’re giving up some of your rights as a photographer. From the rules:

14. Entrants will retain copyright in their submitted entries. However, by entering the competition all entrants grant the competition organisers a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual licence to use and publish each entry in any and all media (including print and online), for exhibition, publicity and any other purposes which the competition organisers in their sole discretion deem appropriate. DIT reserves the right to use the entries in the promotion and publicity campaign for the competition including exhibition and publishing of the images. All entries and entrants’ details will be securely stored.

What does that mean for you? Let’s say you have some beautiful shots of the West of Ireland, in an area where Irish is spoken. Like many people you’d like to make a bit of money out of your hobby. Who will buy your image? Tourists might, but competition is fierce and it’s hard to get the shelf space for your art work. What about Government bodies? Maybe one of those departments advocating the Irish language will buy it?
Good luck if you’ve entered that image in this competition. You’ve just handed DIT, Foras na Gaeilge, Oideas Gael and who knows who else the right to use your image in whatever way they like. You never know. Check the DIT Prospectus next year. Instead of paying money for a professional photographer they will have a ready made library of free photos to use, forever.

OK, before you scream, “Nutter! They wouldn’t do that!” I agree, they probably won’t, but DIT aren’t the only ones to do this. National Geographic have a Your Shot page every month where they invite photographers to submit their best images. Guess what’s buried in the tems and conditions of that contest? They’re not the only well known brand to do it.

Jim reminded me that even Facebook have some dodgy wording in their terms and conditions. How would you like that drunken picture of you singing and laughing at a bar with beer bottle in hand to appear in a Facebook advert? It could happen ..

Many photography contests have similar terms and conditions. Before submitting a photo, read the small print. Even if you never want to sell an image, it won’t be nice to discover a treasured photo used in an inappropriate way.

Honda 70

At first glance I thought this was a Honda 50 but closer inspection of the sticker reveals a “70”. There is more text that could be COB but if the Wikipedia page on the bike is right, it was probaby “CD” on it before it was ripped.

Shot on the Grand Parade, right next to the construction work in front of the library!

Pig’s Head

Apparently there’s a market for pig’s heads. I’ll eat all sorts of meat products, and I’ll eat them with little prompting but a pig’s head?

I shot these two heads in the English Market last weekend. An American couple were looking at me as I shot this and afterwards the girl posed while her boyfriend took a photo. Gruesome!

No more cheques please

It’s high tech in the retail industry! No more cheques in Marks & Spencer stores from March 1st! I find it hard to imagine anyone paying for goods by cheque these days.

Business dealings seem to be different though. One of these days we’ll figure out a safe way of handing over our bank details to business partners without getting signed up for a monthly subscription to some charity like a certain Jeremy did a few weeks ago ..

Oh yeah, cheque is a check. I can never get my head around that. “Check” is a verb, not a noun!

Snow on the runway

On the way back from Arizona I flew via Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. I had a long wait but I have a laptop, a spare battery, DVD and Mame to keep me amused.

I took a few photos too but I discovered shortly after taking this that photography in most parts of the airport is banned!

From what I remember, it’s ok to take snapshots of family or friends beyond the security checkpoints, and possibly only with a compact camera. I can only imagine the fuss if I had been discovered taking photos of the runway and service areas with my big chunky Canon 20D!

I know for a fact that photography in Heathrow is banned. It’s a good thing too. The flash might set off the dangerous liquids left by disgruntled and thirsty travellers before they go through security.

Have you noticed this is a wide angle shot? I didn’t get my Sigma 10-20 back yet and no news from the camera store. I took this with a Canon 10-22 USM stuck to my camera. Matt very kindly gave me his lens because he’s buying Nikon kit. Thanks Matt!

Call me Spike

Frost covered weeds still manage to grow and thrive in the cold.

I saw this wonderful speckled white plant growing from a ditch yesterday morning and it looked very ominous. When I converted it to black and white I saw myself looking at something abstract, possibly evil, something that could be microscopic or huge.

I wouldn’t hang this photo on a wall, but I love it!

The frosty daffodil

This morning was a frosty one. My breath made clouds in the air and a light breeze carried away the warmth in the shadows.

Thankfully there was a lovely sunrise that more than made up for the cold. Down at the end of our park there’s a small green area, and this is the second year that daffodils have grown there. Luckily the frost didn’t seem to do them any harm.

"Sioc" is the Irish word for frost. I don’t know why but it’s one of my favourite. Maybe it has a lingering connection with cold frosty mornings from my childhood.
“Sioc” is pronounced almost exactly like the English word “shook”.