Dublin on Film

Dublin on Film

In the beautiful winter light of January, I spent some time shooting photos around Dublin. Winter has a reputation for being dark and miserable in Ireland, but every now and then you get a sunny day, and timed right you get some really beautiful light. The low sunshine creates long shadows with golden light, and on a few of those days in January I set out to capture some images of the city. I did something a little different that I usually do though, I shot on film.

Shooting on film, you tend to look at things a little differently, and shoot differently. I find that I choose shots more carefully, and reject things that I might otherwise shoot. Even just using an older film camera, you look at the scene around you differently, because the viewfinder is different. This may sound like a little thing but it actually makes a big difference. 

The medium itself worked really well for this set of shots. I used both colour and black and white film. The black and white gives you a richness that’s unique to film. It’s hard to describe exactly what it is about it, but when you see it, there’s an almost starkness to the shots, and yet, even devoid of colour, you can almost feel the analog warmth.

For colour, the effect is even greater. I shot most of these shots late in the evening one January day. The sun was setting and the golden light was bathing the city in it’s warming rays. Shooting on film means that the colours and the white balance are all determined by the film being used, and so the golden light is captured in all its glory, with the warmth of the medium enhancing the actual warmth of the light. 

January can be a hard month. The dark days after Christmas are often quite depressing, but every now and then, the sun helps lift the mood. Dublin was remarkably peaceful in January too. The busy shopper filled hectic-ness of January has given way to a new year’s calm throughout the city. The difference is remarkable. The streets are nice and empty although there is still a sense of life in the city. 

Looking back over my archives for the past few years, you can see the rhythm of this cycle as the life of the city ebbs and flows with the seasons. Shooting with film gives this an almost timeless feel. I love capturing this circle of life kind of thing, and seeing the city like this makes it fill almost like its alive. 


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