Dean O'Brien's Blog

Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Library of Birmingham Exhibition Opening

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Last night I travelled over to the Library of Birmingham to attend the opening of an exhibition by Grain Photography Hub where one of my images is on display.  The image is part of a much larger project which I am currently working on Beauty and the East‘ which aims to document the obsession with beauty in Ukraine.

En route to the library and feeling rather thirsty, I decided to call into the Wetherspoons drinking establishment located close to the library.  In here who should I find but  Jason Tilley and Mark Forster.  Both of these guys have been in the industry for donkeys years and it was a great opportunity to catch up.  Both have great blogs also, so check them out.

Feeling refreshed we set off for the exhibition opening.  The new library is a truly fantastic building and the Photographers’ Wall where the exhibition is located is a dedicated space for photography.  It has been created to promote some of the best photography within the region and aims to highlight the wealth of creative talent by emerging and established artists here.

Just looking around at some of the work on the wall I could see that my image was in great company and placed amongst those of Jason Tilley, Max Khandola and Brian Griffin (to name but a few).  Many of the artists were here in person and it was a great opportunity to network.

A big thanks must go all at Grain and in particular Nicola Shipley who I know worked really hard to make this event a real success.  I’m sure there are many more to come.  The exhibition runs until the 18th April so get yourself along.  You won’t be disappointed.

Credit for the image below goes to photographer Jason Tilley who creates some amazing work and possesses the loudest shutter on a camera phone known to mankind.  Thank you all for a great evening.



New Photobook Just Landed…

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I’ve always been a lover of photobook’s and It’s been a while since I purchased one.  Along with Jean Shrimpton, I’ve always admired Jane Birkin.  To me they always managed to retain that very natural sixties look.  A look we no longer see these days.

The book ‘Jane & Serge – A Family Album’ is a collection of photographs taken by Janes’ brother which documents her 12 year relationship with Serge Gainsbourg.  These offer a rare view into the daily life of the couple.  To me, books such as this need no introduction.  The body language contained within the images tells us all we need to know.

What makes this book extra special are the extras that come with it.   A set of images, a sew on patch, contact sheet booklet, poster and sticker sheet.


Written by Dean O'Brien

November 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Posted in Photography

Giles Duley – Becoming The Story

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I seems like quite a while since I was at Coventry University doing my degree.  There on the #Phonar (photography and narrative) module we were taught about the narrative contained within a body of work and how we create stories with our images.

In the video below Giles Duley speaks openly about the stories he has told through his work and ironically, after stepping on an IED, becoming part of the story himself.

Written by Dean O'Brien

August 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Posted in Photography

Irish photographer Sean Hillen speaks about his work..

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Whilst studying at City College in Coventry a few years ago I was taught about the work of Irish photographer Sean Hillen.  Sean is based in Dublin and I have managed to get over a couple of times to see him and talk about his work.  He is mainly known for creating photomontages using the traditional ‘cut and paste’ method.

Below is a video of Sean talking about his work.

[vimeo 27198167]


Written by Dean O'Brien

September 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Posted in Photography

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Robert Capa: In Love and War

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I have always been interested in war photography ever since discovering the work of Eddie Adams and Larry Burrows.  Yes, ever since I came across the images from Life magazine’s ‘One Ride with Yankee Papa 13’ I was hooked.  Looking at these images I knew what people meant when they said ‘It felt like you were there’.  Those images had the affect on me.   This lead me to look at the work of other war photographers.  Robert Capa being one.

Below is a video which brings you into that world.  The world of the war photographer and their subjects.

Written by Dean O'Brien

August 27, 2011 at 12:18 pm

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Perpignan…and Visa pour L’Image 2011

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Ever since I have been studying photography Perpignan and the International Festival of Photojournalism, has been spoken about as almost a kind of pilgrimage that one must do before they die.  Well this year I’m heading out there.  Yes I’m off to Visa pour L’Image for 5 days.

The idea being that I can network with some photojournalists and let them give their ‘two penneth’ on my current project based in the Ukraine.  Yes I’m prepared.   A small selection of images have been loaded on to the iPad which I hope to trawl around and show those that matter.  I’m also hoping to take in a few exhibitions and talks whilst I am there.

I’m also hoping to catch up with Peter Dench who has been on hand to give me advice since the start of the project.  I interned for Peter earlier in the year and he gave me a few pointers which I have taken on board .  Peter writes a monthly column, ‘The Dench Diary’ for the newly established Hungry Eye Magazine   Coincidentally he is also preparing for Perpignan as the video below shows…All Aboard!

Written by Dean O'Brien

August 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Know Your Rights as a photographer in the U.K and Stand Your Ground….

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On Tuesday 21 June 2011 six photographers were assigned different areas of the City to photograph. Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4.

All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers.

All six photographers were stopped on at least one occasion. Three encounters led to police action.

This is what happened.

Written by Dean O'Brien

July 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

Posted in Photography