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Tribesman, near Geda Yesus, Amhara, Ethiopia

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The office today, man and cow, near Geda Yesus village about 40km north of Dejen. This is about as Old Testament as it gets apart from the AK47. The people here haven’t seen rain for two years, and adjacent to where this picture was taken is a waterhole which services two kebele (villages) totalling about 1500 people. It’s a trickle – women queue all day for a chance to fill a 20l jerry can with a cup, then carry it back to their village. Life is unbelievably tough, the landscape is harsh, mortality is high. Sustenance is provided by the government but the diet is poor.

Going back to Ethiopia

I’m back over to Ethiopia in a less than 4 weeks with my son Ben to film a few projects near Debre Markos, and also down south in the Kaffe region. Ben is in Transition Year and it’ll be his first trip to sub Saharan Africa. A great way to spend two weeks from TY, and a great way to broaden your world view.

Greystones

The X100 is versatile, even with its tiny sensor you can make short ass depth of field images if you crank it open. Definitely my favourite camera of the moment. Love its size and power compared to its bigger, uglier, heaver full frame dslr cousin.

6 million steps

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For the last few years I’ve been interested in wearable tech and I’ve ended up using a Jawbone Up for a lot of this time. They’ve been convenient devices to wear but in those few years I’ve broken two and lost one, so as a result I’m on No. 4 (an Up2 I think).

I’m not convinced of its accuracy, there seems to be a 12% error over a known course, which is a bit on the high side. However regardless of its accuracy, it does give me a reason to get up off my arse and walk more, so I try. I really like the software you use with it though, you can view trends and set reminders to get up and move after a period of being stationary, you can set wake up alarms and get it to remind you to go to bed.

U2 at the Point

Had the good fortune to come across tickets for the U2 gig in the Point, very unexpectedly. I hadn’t seen them live for a good few years since they placed Croke Park, which wasn’t a great experience because the venue isn’t suited to it and we spent a large part of the night trying to get to somewhere we could actually see the whole stage. Anyhow, the gig in the Point was great, they played maybe 2 1/2 hours, even song a hit. Bono is an easy target for slagging off, but I had to admit that every song was a hit and he sang beautifully. The fact that they can play for so long and not one dud amongst the songs is a real testament to their endurance. Terrific gig, great music, great visuals. Edge is my hero 🙂

 

Sylvan

Love the X100 more and more. This is now hanging on a couple of walls in my family’s houses. Looks terrific in the frame. Taken on All Saints’ Day, my mother-in-law’s birthday as it happens. It was photographed somewhere around here.

 

Happy Gooner

Benno proud as punch outside the Emirates, as part of his 16th birthday celebrations. Arsenal beat Everton 2:1 and went (briefly) top of the table. Fantastic seats almost bang on halfway and about 12 rows back, nicely sheltered from the rain, of which there was a lot. The Gaffer wasn’t so lucky though, he was getting drips down the back of his neck for the entire match, perhaps that’s why he looks so miserable the whole time.

We did an Air BnB which was great – really interesting place in Hoxton

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Fuji X100

A couple of weeks ago, I had a rush of blood to the head and got my hands on a good, use Fuji X100. There is a lot of eulogising about this camera in far flung reaches of the Internet, and to date I can’t disagree with any of it. It is by far and away the funnest camera I’ve owned. Quirky, sure, but remarkable results. Mostly I like that I can just stick it in my bag and not know that it’s there, unlike the monster dslr I use (less and less). 

Check the ultimate lighted makeup mirror reviews by PRNT on their website.

Sarah K

In the style of Marilyn Monroe, Sarah Kinsella is a model to watch. Currently working in retail, she’s about to explode into the limelight.

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Morgan Barbour

Morgan and I arranged a little shoot, without too much planning just to see what would happen. It was also an opportunity to use the Emily Soto background again. Morgan is exceptionally talented in front to ht camera, she’s a dancer amongst other things and her ability to bend her body into interesting shapes is unparalleled. I really like the muted tones, a quiet image.

Aleksandra

From a  shoot with Aleksandra Samotyja, brains and beauty. Totally would like to shoot with her again.

Return to Ethiopia

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I’ve just returned from a trip to Ethiopia where I was filming for a couple of NGOs – APA-CVM and SHA – more on them separately. Ethiopia was the first country I visited in Africa and as a result, it is a special place for me. This was my second trip there. Culturally it’s completely unlike anywhere else I’ve been – there’s a sense of ancientness as if nothing has really changed in the last couple of millennia except for the penetration of mobile phones. And the towns. The towns are not attractive, with litter strewn around the place, interspersed with mangy looking goats and the odd sheep or cow. The towns are generally dives, the driving appalling, the diesel fumes terrible but overall I still love the place. The countryside is stunning though, really beautiful in the early morning or late evening when the sun is low in the sky. This is where utter beauty lies …

Calcs

media: 25fps 1080p 50Mbps
Real world gives about 80 minutes per 32GB card
If three cards, then 240 minutes storage
=4 hours shooting capacity

1TB drive
=1024GB
How many 32GB cards will fit onto a 1TB drive?
1024/32=32 cards
32 x 32GB cards=42 hours footage

50Mbps
=50x60x60Mb per hour
=(50x60x60)/8 MB per hour
=((50x60x60)/8)/1024 GB per hour
=22GB approx per hour
=> 32GB card should hold approx 87 minutes
Real world gives about 82 minutes

The Spinc

To celebrate Hugo’s first ever circuit of The Spinc, I’ve uploaded a little memento. It was September 29th, on an absolutely beautiful day, barely a cloud in the sky and that very agreeable autumn temperature somewhere between mild and cool, just perfect for walking. Hugo was a trooper on the hike, literally and figuratively, not a peep or complaint out of him. He’s pictured above with his big bro Ben, who made a similar first circuit of The Spinc at about the same age, five years before and pictured below.

I hope that if I impart nothing else to them like this tips for picking the right welding helmet, they’ll continue to appreciate the hills and the great outdoors, no matter where they end up living their lives.

Fog

The fog was amazing today
Took a day out to clear the head
Went up Ticknock with the dog
Couldn’t see the City from the top
It may as well not have been there
At all

Fifty Shades of Blue | near the source of the Liffey

There’s a rock up here, near the top of Tonduff East, which looks out over the source of the River Liffey and Kippure. The rock has been hollowed out by millennia of weather, a bit like a throne. It’s comfortable, you could sit there for hours, watch the view, thinking how many other people have done exactly that on an August evening, taking it all in, trying your best to ignore the midges. There’s peace up there and solitude. The lonely hags watching on, stoic and enduring in their contorted shapes.

 

Monte Perdido

Monte Perdido, Spain.

This is on the ascent of Monte Perdido (3355 m) looking south into Spain. One of the three peaks we climbed during a trek of the Pyrenees, starting on the Spanish side and ending up in France.

For my late brother, Dave:

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Hugh in The Gloss

Had the good fortune to be approached by old friend Katy McGuinness who wrote a piece on our family in yesterday’s Gloss supplement in the Irish Times. Thanks to Sam for sending the scan 🙂

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Snow Field

Snow Field, Island Peak, Nepal.

From just below the headwall of Island Peak, about 6000m. Extremely tired, cramping every step due to lack of preparedness. Very tough, very high, very lovely. Bottom right you can see a party of Austrians out for a stroll.

Into the Khumbu

Nepal: Into the Khumbu.

A couple of hours above Dhukla Pass (4620 m) we step into the Khumbu, above the tree line, above normality as we know it. Stark, beautiful, unforgiving.

Prayer Wheel

 

Tengboche Monastery, Nepal.

We attended a puja ceremony for climbers up here at the monastery in Tengboche (3867 m), a rather eerie and special occasion. Not easy to articulate what actually happened, as I was a bit heady from the altitude and was a bit overcome by the weird chanting and blaring of the trumpets. It’s something I’ll never forget and will attempt to articulate in time.

My daughter the violist

Kaytlin

My daughter Kaytlin has been playing the viola for a few years now and since today was the first time it’s been out this year, I thought I’d stick up a little post. It’s a pleasure to hear her play, although I think she finds it uncomfortable playing for me. But we’ll both get over that. I really enjoy what she’s doing. Her technique has come on in leaps and bounds, and the sound she produces out of an admittedly inferior instrument is really warm and mellow. The music (as distinct from technique and tone) is really beginning to happen too. I’m not sure if she’ll come across this post anytime soon, but hopefully if and when she does she’ll realise that I appreciate her (and her music).

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food: the return of the curry paste

Back in the kitchen again today, got a rush of blood to the head and decided on a curry. For curry, you need curry paste (which I’ve blogged about before) but this time I toasted the seeds before crushing them and fiddled with the proportions a little too.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coriander seed
4 tbsp cumin seed
2 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp fenugreek seed
4 dried red chillies
5 curry leaves
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric
2/3 cup wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil

Method:

Toast the whole seeds gently for five minutes or so to release their aroma, making sure not to burn them. The kitchen will be filled with an amazing assault on your nose, although my youngest kid finds it a bit overpowering. It’s an indication of what’s to come though, because this paste imparts a great flavour and is something which develops with age.

Grind the whole spices to a powder in a spice mill, or grinder. Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining spices. Add the wine vinegar and mix into a paste. Add about 5 tbsp water to the mixture tp loosen it a bit. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, and stir fry the paste for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool a bit before putting it into airtight jars and then refrigerating. It should last three to four weeks in an airtight jar.

The finished article.

Guinness “Anticipation”


Guinness “Anticipation”

Client: Guinness
Creative: Liam O’Flaherty
Agency: Arks
Production: Littlebird Films

Director: Richie Smyth
Editor: Hugh Chaloner

Awards:
Kinsale Gold Medal for Editing
ICAD Craft Award for Editing

Bob Dylan: Series of Dreams

Bob Dylan: Series of Dreams

Production: Windmill Lane Productions
Producer: Ben Dossett
Director: Meiert Avis

Editor: Hugh Chaloner
Painted by: Charlie Whisker