I Graduated!

I graduated! It feels so weird to say that… It was such a surreal experience, I honestly never thought that I’d make it to graduation. I remember every year I was in college and looking at other classes graduating and being incredibly jealous that they were done. Able to be free and explore their worlds and options and I just felt that I was on this never ending road of lecturers and assignments. I can’t believe that I am now one of them, a graduate part of the alumni… WHAT?! It’s so weird to think about. The guts of 16/17 years of education for this moment right here…Wow! If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m in shock, did I say surreal already?

If you don’t know already, the last 4 years have been tough, college really took it out of me. I had realised early on that the course wasn’t for me but I stuck to it and painfully made it through the 4 years. So the graduation was extra special for me as it meant I had accomplished this impossible task and now I am free. I can go off into this world and explore and discover some cool things and that’s what I intend to do! After I make a little bit of money… So if you know anyone looking for a photographer I’d be forever grateful if you’d send them my way. Please and thank you.

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© endatheroad 2018. (A lot of time, effort and money has gone into the production of these images, if you’d like to use any of them please contact me first. Thank you.)

A Self Guided Mini Coffee Tour of Dublin

The original goal was to get up at 6:30 and head into town and chase the sunrise all over Dublin city. Just a side note, I highly recommend anyone to do this, its a great way to explore the city and when the sun rays start to come over the tips of the buildings and spread out over the streets, its pretty magical.

As I was walking around chasing the sunrise I decided to pop into Industry cafe to get a coffee to fend off the sleepiness. So, there’s me sipping some delicious flat whites, (ended up having 3 of them there, no joke) when I got to thinking, why the hell don’t I just do a self guided mini coffee tour of Dublin!? I’m not doing anything else, except chasing the sun… why not!? Everyone’s at work and I’m on my day off and everything. Boom! So there it was ‘A self guided mini coffee tour of Dublin’ had begun.

So, in total I went to five different cafes. I must stress that there were an abundance of awesome cafes around this city that I didn’t manage to get to that I also love and support but I was feeling proper sick after visiting the fifth cafe so I had to end the tour there… I am in no way saying that these five spots are in anyway better than any of the other cafes in Dublin, its just that these were the five that were most convenient to me at the time.

However, If you are a coffee shop owner or coffee guru person and you want me to go to you and review your spot with loads of photos, in exchange for lovely coffee and some mulla, baby I am all ears!

So, this is how I’m gonna do it, I’ll list the places I went to in order and then I’ll show some photos of the gaff plus some info about them.

First stop, was Mr. Top dog! Man of the moment!

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NAHHHHHH G’LUCK!!!! JK LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!

The Real first Stop, Industry Cafe:

These dudes blend lifestyle, design and coffee seamlessly! I love it! They allow you to enjoy great coffee while dreaming about how you could enjoy this same coffee in your lovely sleek apartment when your older, that you’ll never be able to afford.

These dudes were serving a lovely coffee from El Salvador, roasted by the Barn.

Industry

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Second stop, Kaph:

These dudes have one of the coolest window displays around! They sell lovely 3fe coffee in some tasty flat whites. Chilling out at their front window sipping coffee and people-watching is one of best things to do!

Kaph

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Third stop, Cloud picker in the Science Gallery:

These guys have an unreal open space with absolutely loads of natural light shinning in, tis a photographers dream I have to say! Its a nice idea for an afternoon activity, go to the science gallery and check out the new exhibition and then chill out with a coffee afterwards.

These dudes were selling Finca La Senda from Guatemala and some interesting coffee from Congo too!

Cloud picker

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Fourth stop, Bear Mrkt.:

These dudes have a nifty little spot in IFSC and have some of the best baristas around 😉 (the GF works here so I had to show the face and try some of her delicious coffee)

Their house blend of Columbia and Guatemala has a delish full, nutty and chocolate-y taste.

Bear

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Fifth stop, Two Pups:

These dudes sell some nice lunch as well as coffee, I was served by the second placed Dublin Aeropress championship barista, so that was pretty cool! the interior is cozy and green, I love plants!

They were Brewing some sweet Square Mile coffee!

Two Pups

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OK that is it! I couldn’t drink anymore coffee, I was feeling way too sick so I had to stop there, anyway it was time for me to catch my bus back to Galway!

Other spots that are class in Dublin that I couldn’t get round too unfortunately:

Proper Order Coffee

Legit

Vice

Clement and Pekoe

Love Supreme

Two Boys Brew

Shoe Lane

 

 

 

 

5 Hours in Galway

So recently, I’ve been feeling uninspired by the old Galway town. I’ve been here for 4 years straight (just started the 5th year) and I guess the smallness of the place is kinda getting to me. I hate that Galway is starting to irritate me because, I hold this place close to my heart, it is ‘home’. It’s also the thought of heading into the dreaded depths of winter (I don’t do well in bad weather).

I wanted to do something about this, to re-ignite my love for this city. So I thought why not do one of my favourite things, walk around with a camera in hand. Right off the bat as I left my car next to the canal, I saw these kayakers getting ready to plunge in, boom! The re-igniting has already started. What followed was 5 hours of wandering around and shooting new perspectives of this beautiful city. Below is what I saw from 5 hours in Galway. From colourful street art to incredible buskers, I now appreciate this city even more. Galway is a pretty busy city if you take a closer look…

 

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© endatheroad 2018. (A lot of time, effort and money has gone into the production of these images, if you’d like to use any of them please contact me first. Thank you.)

Dublin in 5 hours

So, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling with my photography game a little. I’ve been losing motivation and not really having confidence in my work and my style. I kind of felt that I was all over the place with my photos, there was no clear identity or style to them. I didn’t have my own definition or stamp as a photographer, a style that carried through all my photos. I want to get to a stage where someone looks at a photo and is like ‘ah, that’s a very Enda style photo’, then looks at the creds and is like ‘oh dayum, it is him!’.

I  have literally spent 3 weeks locked up in my room editing photo after photo. And then re-editing photo after photo, changing things here and there and learning different techniques and methods of composing and editing photos. It’s been tough. Every time I finish an edit I’m like ‘ ah there! that’s my style!’ Then I go and make a cup of tea, come back and think the whole thing is bollocks!

But I think that these weeks have been really good in terms of my photographic ability, I feel that I’ve “reached a new level” (as stupid as that sounds) of photographic ability and I feel more of my photographic identity in my photos, so my confidence is slowly coming back.

On Wednesday I hopped on a bus and took a trip up to Dublin. It was the first time in a while that I took my camera out with a goal to capture photos and perspectives of a city. It felt great! Some of the shots are shown below. The trip included a stop at the Guinness Storehouse and I got some perspectives from there as well.

So, all I can say is photography is not just about a photo, it’s about a perspective. When you look at a photo, you aren’t just looking at objects and colours, you are looking at someone’s identity, their style, and ultimately, you are being allowed to see into how the person views the world around them. How they perceive everything. This is why I love photography so much, you learn a lot about someone and their personality when you explore their photos. I finally feel like I am showing my personality and perspectives in my images. It feels good. Thanks for reading and your continued support.

Can you relate to any of this? Not just in photography, but in anything you do? If so I’d love to hear. I think this stretches far beyond photography. Thanks again.

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© endatheroad 2018. (A lot of time, effort and money has gone into the production of these images, if you’d like to use any of them please contact me first. Thank you.)

The Galway Seafest

This is more of a photo blog than anything else, just showing some perspectives of the Galway Seafest.

I think this is the first time Galway have had a Seafest like this and I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t think it was gonna be any good. Usually these things are just for show and there isn’t really any substance to it at all.

Although I have to say, it wasn’t half bad! We got to climb aboard the William Butler Yeats and tour the ship and see how our navy does it. You could also take tours of the Celtic explorer, one of our research vessels.

There were also some demonstrations from the army and coast guard, showing how they rescue people in trouble and carry out air drops at sea. Some water sport were available too, all for free, like sailing, kayaking and jetskiing and they were for anyone with any ability. So it wasn’t too shabby at all!

However, the best thing about the day was being able to attend a talk given by Nat Geo and Planet Earth photographer, Doug Allan. His talk was incredibly inspirational and he truly is the perfect example of how we can use photography and film to raise awareness and show how crazy and amazing our Earth is and how we cant live without nature. What a legend!

See some of my photos of the day below and I hope you were lucky enough to go to the Seafest yourself.

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The Vulnerability of Creating

Now that the long wait is over and I have finally finished college (you have no idea how happy I am to be out of there) I’m trying to think of the next step. What is next for me and my photography and film-making? Well I actually know, I’ve known for a long time. I have bucket loads of ideas, thoughts and projects that I want to start, but the truth is that I’ve sat on them for ages and I have never properly started them because of self doubt. The idea of putting my work “out there” for the masses (all 5 of my family members) to see. It scares the living shite out of me…

You may say, “Well Enda, just don’t put it out there, create the stuff and don’t put it out there, surely the project should be for yourself and that’s all that matters, why are you looking for recognition from others?” The problem is, putting my work “out there” is exactly why I do it, because my main goal is to have meaning behind everything I do. To create real authentic work that educates, inspires and motivates people to get out there, live their life, explore our planet and ultimately help protect it. And that’s hard to do, because it makes you so vulnerable. You question your ability as a creator, are my skills good enough to be put out there for people to see? Will my work make people angry, or sad, or happy? Will it even convey emotion, get people talking and inspired? These are some of the many, many questions that swirl around my head everyday.

Then there is a different kind of doubt, there is a doubt based on the people you know, your family, friends and classmates etc. This kind of doubt is hard to articulate. It’s like trying to write a caption on a post on Instagram and worrying if its good enough. Are people going to judge me and think its too dramatic, or stupid, or pathetic? Will they laugh at me? Will they think I’m weird? will I be made fun of because of it? You may feel that this kind of thinking is very shallow and egotistical, but it is real and very human and one that is always in the back of my mind when I am putting stuff “out there”. For some it influences them a lot and for others its only in the background, nevertheless, it’s still there.

We are comparative, competitive and influential people, no matter who we are or what we do. So, the self doubt in our work can stem from examining others and their work, work that is truly very good and might have inspired you to create your own work, or may have educated you on how to improve your work. That very same piece that has been so positive up until now, then becomes negative and actually destroys your ability to create, because you think that your work isn’t good enough, or nowhere near as good as their’s, whats the point? They are so much better than I am. It’s funny because it’s all about perspective, we have created our own demise. We have taken a piece of work that has been so positive to us initially, just based on our thinking and attitude, and have made it destroy us. The only person we can blame is yourselves. Myself.

There comes a point where you get too exhausted at all this self doubt and you just stop caring. I think I may have a little of this now because I’ve doubted myself for way too long. I’m changing my perspective on things. I’ve realised that my drive and passion for creating meaningful content is too much to not do anything with. Creating content is what truly makes me happy. I will continue to make videos and shoot photos and put my work out there, sure they might be crap and the quality might not be where I’d like it to be now and tomorrow and for ages, but the more I do it the better I will get (hopefully). More importantly, the more I do it, the more confidence I will get and the more people I end up having a positive impact on.

These thoughts have been hindering my creative ability for a while now and I’m just fed up, so I’m going to create and be happy when I’m doing it. I hope that if you are having similar thoughts like me, this helps you get enough confidence to get out there and create, because it truly is what makes us happy. I leave you with a quote:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, it is about creating yourself” – Unkown

 

What Gear I Use

My first ever camera was a Sony Cyber-Shot-DSC-W70.  Essentially a tiny little pocket point and shoot digital camera. It was cool, I got it from my mum for my 10th birthday. I didn’t use it that much, just when I was goofing around the house. I think I may have taken it on a few family holidays and mainly just took photos of sunsets. It used to frustrate me so much that the photos I took never looked like those “cool ones that are in all the magazines” and funny enough, I used to always think “pfft, what’s the big deal with photography, there’s nothing much too it at all, all I have to do is point and shoot.” Little did I know how stupid I was back then (still am).

I lost all interest in Photography at this stage, poof, gone for another 10 years, until I hit college and realised it was all bollocks. Then YouTube came knocking on my door (all explained in my blog about how I got into photography) and before you know it I was trying to figure out what Canon to buy. My passion for photography started with the:

  • Canon 100D
  • Kit lens 16-55mm, f4

I had this for about 6 months before I bought the:

  •  Canon 55-250mm f4 lens.

To boost my Zoom game.

Six months later and my passion for photography had grown immensely and ideas started to pop into my head on how I can make this crazy awesome thing my career. Deciding to do this is a big step, if you want to go professional, you must buy into a ‘Camera family’, not just one camera model, because with your camera comes all the lenses you think you may need and then there are the upgrades that your future self will want and then there are changes into filmmaking and different styles of photography that your future self will want too. I didn’t know this when I first bought my Canon. So, I had to think long and hard about my next move in the photography world. What kind of photos did I want to shoot? How far did I want to go with the photography game? What parts of a camera do I like the most and suits my style the most? (You may think that’s a weird question, but believe me, it’s not).

In the end, I sold my Canon gear and delved deep into the Sony family. I felt this was the best for my style and my future in this crazy industry. So now I use:

  • Sony a6500
  • Sony G 18-105 mm, f4
  • Sony 50 mm, f1.8
  • Sony 55-210 mm, f4.5

I won’t be able to give you advice on which family to go with, all I can say is to start with a solid entry-level camera. You don’t have to decide what family to go with at the start. Canon 100D is a very good start, or the Sony RX100. Then you can decide if you want to move up in the Photography world and see what family suits you best.

Enda.

 

Why Botswana Should Be Your Next Destination

Before we begin, I want to make this as dramatic as possible. I want us all to be in tears of joy by the end of it. In order to do this I need you to be fully immersed in the story, all senses focused. So, I need you to go over to Spotify or YouTube and put on this song, then come back and continue reading. Now, I fully understand if your just not arsed, or you are on your way to work and don’t have time for this malarkey, I’d be exactly the same.

Side note, I’ve had to listen to the same song about 10 times trying to stay in the dramatic mood while write this blog… Lets begin…

We set off for our second safari of the day in Chobe national park. The first had taken place earlier in the morning at 5 am and was a huge success, we had already seen a lot of animals like the Giraffe, the Elephant, the Buffalo and the Hyena among others. This was pretty good for the first 3 hours out in the bush. My dream, obviously, had been to see the mighty Lion and the incredibly rare Wild Dog (did you know that when they hunt they have a 90% success rate?! They are the most successful hunting mammal in all the kingdom). But I knew how hard it was to track them, so I wasn’t too disappointed that we hadn’t seen them. We decided to head out for the evening safari anyway, on the off chance.

Our master guide, Shakes, stopped his big 4×4 at Sedudu Gate, the ‘human entrance’ to this beautiful animal kingdom. “I know you have been on the Safari this morning my friends, so please tell me what animals you want to see, so that we don’t waste anytime.” “Lions and Wild Dogs please bruu!” we said, (classic demanding tourists). “My friend, I will try my best to track them but, seeing a wild dog is a once in a lifetime experience, they are very rare.” Well there goes that plan.

So we set out and sure enough through the incredible knowledge of Shakes, within 30 minutes on the tracks, we had spotted 3 female Lionesses.. Ahhhh this is it we did it Shakes!!! Thank you! Thank you!! We have finally seen Lions! They had just killed and eaten a Water Buck and were sleeping it off under the shade of a tree away from the heat of the afternoon sun.

The adrenaline that courses through you when you first see a Lion is crazy, the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the fear fills you, it’s almost like some prehistoric biological fight or flight instinct comes surging through your body, it knows immediately that this animal is a predator even though you’ve never seen one before and it forces you into a state of high alert, ready to run for you life at any moment.

We spent the next hour parked about 5 meters away from the snoozing queens of the Savannah just snapping shots and admiring the view. The whole time you’re just like, wow, is this real? Am I actually here, only 5 meters away from a Lion? You dream about this kind of stuff as a kid… To actually experience it is something else.

Eventually, the skies started to dim as the the bright sun started turn a blood orange and began to dip under the horizon, “its time to head home” said Shakes, so we headed back to Sedudu Gate, passing elephants bathing in the river near by and birds perched on branches singing as the sun set below the horizon. This is the life… All of a sudden two other 4×4 jeeps raced passed and fired up ahead of us on the tracks. At first I thought they were just racing each other having the craic and Shakes goes, “they are crazy”, but then in that instant as I was looking up further ahead, I saw a pack of animals move across the tracks and the two 4×4’s screeched to a halt…no…could it be?… HOLY SHIT!! WILD DOGS!!…Nooo wayyy!?! (I still get goose bumps when I think back to this moment, I have them right now as I write this). Shakes bolted the jeep racing towards the pack before they headed back into the bush. There they were… just casually trotting along the side of the tracks not taking any notice to the 3 jeeps full of tourists snapping there cameras like mad at them. The pack had pups too!! How incredible is this day!?

It truly was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. Just this awesome sense of gratitude and wonder for what we had experienced and how lucky we had been that evening. As I sat in the 4×4, after seeing the Wild Dogs, my eyes began to fill with tears. This world is absolutely incredible with all its beauty and all its diversity. Everything manages to co-exist in this crazy complex system, when you look at it on paper you wonder how it’s all possible and it just blows my mind and always will. It’s only when you go and see and experience it all first hand that you really and truly get a greater understanding for this Earth we live on and how if we don’t protect it, there will literally be nothing left for anything. I don’t want to be part of the species that caused it and stood by and watched as it all ended. So, I implore you to go see Botswana, go see how truly magnificent this Earth really is and I guarantee you will come back a better person, full of hope and positivity.

Enda.

(If you want to see some of the shots from my time in Botswana, go check my ‘Travelled To’ page)