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Michael Murphy
London based photographer
London based photographer

Michael's posts

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Falkirk Wheel

This weekend I took a short trip up to Scotland, setting off on a 6am train to Glasgow on the Saturday and returning home the following evening. During that time, I managed to get quite a lot done though, which included 8 or so hours walking around Glasgow, and 6 hours zipping around Falkirk.

It was in the latter location with +Jim Nix  and +Steve Nicoll that I managed to get this shot of the wonderful mechanical beast that is the Falkirk Wheel, an awesome rotating boat lift contraption. You don’t get the real view of the lift itself in this shot, but I liked the angle of this futuristic looking canal from here.

I enjoyed visiting the Kelpies even more, but will save those images for another day.

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Today is a special day.

First up, it’s the 4 year birthday of my photoblog, 4 years ago today I started posting images there, and after a month of daily posting I cut back to Monday thru Friday of posting a new image, so just 5 per week instead of 7. That has continued throughout. Through busy schedules, illness, travel and various other distractions, I have somehow managed to post an image without fail during the whole of that period.

I think that’s pretty awesome.

I've learnt a lot in the past 4 years, and improved greatly. I've met some amazing people, and made some great friends. I've also changed as a person. From someone who never used to like to travel, I've started to do a lot more of that. 4 years ago when I started the blog I had visited 5 foreign countries; by the time I finish the trip I'm currently on that total will be 34 countries…and that’s due to photography.

However, it’s now at an end. As the title of this post suggests, I will not…indeed I can not…continue to do the same. I’m not sure I’m learning anything through posting daily. I’m no longer finding that I am enjoying it in the same way as I used to either. Sure, I love being out there and taking photos, I love processing them, and I love to share them – however I can do all of that without having to post daily. There were too many times last year when I felt I had to post just for the sake of posting, and my heart wasn’t in those particular images. There’s one thing for creating something and sharing it because you want to, but it’s another thing when you are just going through the motions and creating something because you feel you have to. Quality suffers as a result.

I also want to free up more time to do other things. Work takes up a large portion of my life, and much of my ‘spare’ time in the past year has been travelling. In between those and trying to maintain some sort of social life I had tried to fit in photography and daily posting of images. That doesn’t leave time for much else, and there are lots of projects I wish to work on. If I can free up the hours I spend on processing and apply these elsewhere, I think that would be a great thing.

It’s not the end completely. I will still be posting images, they just won’t be daily any more. Chances are, if you follow me on the social network sites instead of the blog itself, then you may not notice any difference as I don’t post all of my images on sites other than my blog. However, I can’t guarantee when I’m posting. It won’t be daily, it may not even be weekly or monthly. I guess it just depends on how I feel, what I’m up to, where I go, and those kinds of things.

In one way it will be sad to stop. Part of me thinks ‘give it another year’ as 5 years seems like a better number to end on. However, as I’m typing this I’m feeling pretty pleased by it.

For the next 10 days I’m going to be spending time in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand – so the chances are these will be the next images you see from me once I’ve returned.

See you soon.

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Walking Constitution

Another week, and another few images coming up from Venice.

Today we take a trip back to Constitution Bridge, the newest (and my favourite) to cross the Grand Canal. Immediately behind me is the train station, and on the opposite side of this bridge is the bus terminal – so two of the main entry points to Venice. From here, it’s a case of walking or boating your way around.

I’m working in Singapore for the duration of this week before doing a little sightseeing around Asia. Hope you had a great weekend.

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All along the watchtower

I still feel I’ve got a lot of photos to process from Venice, however I have already done 17 or so and that’s a pretty good turn out from a short trip. It’s an awesome place to wander around, and with the right weather it’s also an awesome place to shoot.

I popped over to San Giorgio Maggiore to see what was there, and what it is like to look back at Venice, rather than at this island which is what I seemed to spend a lot of my previous days doing. I thought it was pretty awesome when I saw this particular feature, especially as the clouds were moving quite nicely, allowing me to grab a long exposure or seven. This image was 5 minutes in length so you can spend a lot of time shooting very few images when doing these exposures.

Tonight I’m off to Geneva as I have a meeting there tomorrow, alas I will not see any sights, so no chance of photography while I’m there.

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The lonely lamp post

Away from the hub of tourists visiting Venice is Giudecca, a nice little island a short Vaporetto ride away. Sure, it’s full of tourists as well, but it seemed a lot quieter here, the food and drink were slightly better priced, and it had a great neighbourhood vibe to it which I found only on the surrounding islands and less-visited edges of Venice. I found one such area by jumping on a late night Vaporetto down the Grand Canal, only to find in my rush to make the boat before it left I had taken the wrong one and so travelled to a place I really hadn’t expected to, finding a lovely restaurant on the way back.

After arriving at Giudecca the first thing I noticed were the ornate lamp posts lined up, and so I grabbed my 10 stop B+W filter and grabbed a couple of long exposures of the post, moving clouds, and St Maria of Salute Basilica in the background.

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It’s rare that I post an image straight out of camera, and this is no exception – but it is pretty darn close to it. I straightened the building on the left a little as it looked odd at the natural angle it was at, and then I changed switched to black and white, amended the highlights and shadows a tad, and aid a little cropping. That’s it though.

This was such an easy shot to process, and a great scene to stumble upon.

It was my last day in Venice and I awoke to find the place shrouded in mist. After shooting though a sunrise where I could see no sun, I returned to my hotel for breakfast and to check out, and then wandered around taking a few more images. Before I knew it, the mist – which had cleared up before I went for food – had returned and I could see if here and there as I walked around. Crossing over a bridge on a particular canal I turned to my left and saw this bridge with the church and awesome mist moving around as you see in this image. So I sat on the wall of the bridge for about 10 minutes taking photos of various people as they crossed the bridge. This was my favourite.

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Gondola glitch

An iconic scene in Venice is, of course, the gondolas as they transport people around the network of canals.

Though I didn’t actually go on one of them while I was there, favouring the Vaporettos instead, they were a nice thing to take photos of. Of course, during a long exposure they move a lot, but sometimes the blurring effect can be quite nice, and I really like the one here as it’s not moving much, thus it conveys a subtle motion.

It was also sunrise so that was pretty awesome.

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Bridge of Sighs

One of the most popular bridges in Venice is the Bridge of Sighs, which is popular mostly for people to look at, rather than walk over. If you wished to walk across the bridge you would be doing so from the inside as you cross between Doge’s palace and the New Prison.

The bridge I was standing on while I took this image was quite a popular one, with many people snapping the same scene as I show here, but with the majority seemingly taking selfies with this bridge in the background.

I opted to take the shot early in the morning before it got too busy.

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Jetty to San Giorgio Maggiore

Venice is a beautiful city, and seems to really suit black and white, however after so much mono this week I have decided to finish off by adding a splash of colour, and a nice sunrise that I had on my first morning there.

The island of San Giorgio Maggiore is in the background, and which I thought was worth a trip to – a photo from there is coming up next week.

Have a great weekend everyone.
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