The Sean O’ Casey bridge is a pedestrian footbridge that spans across the River Liffey. Connecting Custom House Quay and City Quay. The bridge was constructed and completed in 2005.
The cantilever design of the bridge causes the walking platform of the bridge to shake and bounce as you make your way across.
Due to this cantilever motion, the bridge is quite a difficult place to shoot long exposure shots with a tripod without motion affecting the sharpness of the photos.
The location of the bridge is great if you manage to stabilise your camera on the bridge and get a photo of the River Liffey looking down towards the National Convention Centre. During my time shooting on this bridge I realised that even one pedestrian walking heavily or a late night runner can have an effect on the photos.
You can check out the Dublin category of my travel blogs for places to visit and things to see in the city centre by scrolling down on this page. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.
Bongeunsa Temple is located in the heart of the busy business district of Gangnam in Seoul. The COEX shopping mall and many modern skyscrapers in the area surround the temple.
More than 1200 years of history is engrained in the temple since its construction in 794 during the time of the Silla Dynasty. Locals and tourists flock to the temple on a daily basis to marvel at the sight and to perform religious and spiritual offerings.
Constructed in 1986, the statue of Maitreya Buddha is the largest statue of the religious figure in the entire country. The view from behind the Buddha statue shows the juxtaposition of the ancient temple and the modern cityscape that has been constructed in front of it.
The entire vast temple grounds provides many great photo opportunities and the locals do not mind photographers and tourists. The temple is not regarded by many as a must see place in Seoul but I beg to differ. I believe the view of Gangnam from the top of the Temple is quite stunning and one of two places I have visited in Seoul that shows the stark contrast between the new Seoul and the old Seoul. So if you find yourself in the area of Gangnam or near the COEX mall then definitely wander up to the temple and absorb the traditional atmosphere it provides.
How to get there:
Take the subway to Bongeunsa Temple Station (Seoul Subway Line 9) and walk for 5 minutes.
You can check out the Seoul category of my travel blogs for places to visit and things to see in this beautiful city by scrolling down on this page. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.
Arguably the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, the Shibuya crossing is a spectacular sight to see from all angles. This Shibuya blog series will show you the best spots for taking photos of the crossing and today’s blog shows you viewpoint number 1.
The first photo spot is located in Shibuya Station along the pedestrian walkway to Mark City. Along this walkway is a large glass window you can shoot your photos from as crowds of people pass through the station behind you. As you can see from my photos, this viewpoint is elevated above the crossing and gives a birds eye view of the area straight ahead of you.
There are two main issues that arise when shooting at this viewpoint. The first issue is the fact that you are shooting from behind a glass window in a brightly lit station and this produces glare. I advise you to place your camera lens directly against the glass gently to make sure no light can enter the lens from behind and this should avoid any glare/reflection in your shots.
The second issue is that the glass in this window can be very smudged and blurry. As you can see in the photo above, many subjects in my photo were out of focus due to smudging on the glass window. I noticed that most of the glass was smudged at chest height so I recommend crouching down low where people have not touched the glass or hold your camera up higher to get a clean shot.
This is one of the easiest viewpoints of Shibuya crossing to access and it is free to take photos in for as long as you want. In an upcoming blog I will be sharing a viewpoint of Shibuya from above so stay tuned for that releasing soon. If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out more of my Tokyo and other travel blogs by scrolling down on this page for more categories. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.
My visit to Shanghai was filled with both positive and negative experiences, more so than any other city I have visited on my travels. In a city with such a large population, there are many people who have fallen victim to scams and petty theft on a daily basis here especially tourists and other foreign visitors.
My hostel was located 2 minutes walk from the Nanjing Road, China’s premier shopping street and a hotspot for tourists with over 1 million visitors passing through the street daily.
Plastered on the walls of the hostel reception and the elevators were posters with information about several different types of scams that we should be aware of whilst exploring the city. Reading the posters, it didn’t seem realistic that I would encounter people trying to scam me on the streets or any other area in the city however I could not have been more wrong.
My first day wandering down Nanjing Road I was stopped no less than 15 times by people pestering me and trying to initiate one of the scams I had read about online and in the hostel. The first scam and probably the most notorious one for the general tourist population is the Tea Scam.
In this scam you will be approached by young students or a young couple, in my case it was a young couple. They divulge information about a “Tea Ceremony” that they are going to and say they can bring you along. If you decide to go with them then you will be brought to a building where a small tea ceremony will take place, there are no prices on the menu’s for the tea and the bill will come to an extortionate amount of money that can easily come to over €100.
If you are approached by students or young couples that ask you to a tea ceremony I advise you to be cautious so that you can avoid being scammed like thousands of people previously.
Massage Parlour Scam:
This scam targets western looking men and I was approached more than 10 times per day by people executing this type of scam as I walked down the main shopping streets. A man or woman will approach you holding business cards with photos of young Asian women printed on them. They will tell you that you can pick a girl to give you a massage for a cheap price.
If you go with the person who approached you, you will be brought to a seedy massage parlour where a massage will take place plus extras. If a man opts for the “happy ending” then they are wide open to blackmail and extortion due to the fact that solicitation is highly illegal in China. The scammers know that this is illegal and know that anyone that falls for this scam will not be able to go to the police once they have had their money taken.
This scam can cost the victim in excess of €1500 that in most cases cannot be returned or cancelled from the credit card. There are many reputable massage parlours in the Pudong area so I recommend researching a specific one to go to before choosing a random one along the street.
Pickpockets & Thieves
Like all major cities, petty crime is highly prevalent. In Shanghai there are many pickpockets and thieves operating on the subway and in large crowded tourist areas. On my second night I went out with my friend to shoot some photos of The Bund skyline and on our way we witnessed a thief emptying wallets and purses into a rubbish bin whilst taking money and belongings out.
It was while shooting the photos with my tripod on The Bund that I experienced first hand the pickpocketing thieves. As I was taking the photos I felt tug on my camera bag, as I turned around I could see a man with his hand outstretched trying to open the bag. When he saw me looking he acted as if nothing had happened and when confronted about what he was trying to do he simply walked off to try somewhere else. Luckily the zips on my camera bag are rubberized and waterproof, therefore they are difficult to pull open and closed. It was only after my experience here that I realized how easy it would be for them to pickpocket unsuspecting tourists at night.
Overall my time in Shanghai was pleasant but it did have many occurrences where I felt slightly unsafe walking around at night. You can check out the Shanghai category of my travel blogs for places to visit and things to see in this megacity by scrolling down on this page. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.
Officially opened in October 2013, the O’ Brien Centre for Science is one of the new building developments that has been successfully completed on the UCD campus.
The design of the building is modern with a strong emphasis on natural lighting from large panes of glass on the side of the building and also the roof. The ability to manipulate the light in the structure and the sharp, sleek designs make it a personal favourite spot of mine to shoot on campus. In this blog I have compiled a few photos I have taken in the building so far with many more to follow in future blogs.
This piece of wall art below is a popular place for people taking photographs, I was unable to find the source or artist but it is an interesting piece nonetheless.
This is the first of my UCD campus photo blog series that I am doing so keep an eye out for future photos based around the university. If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out my other Dublin and travel blogs by scrolling down on this page for more categories. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.
Drottningholm Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Stockholm and a great way to get to the palace is by boat. The boats that operate are steamer ships over a century old. I discussed the palace in a previous blog but the boat trip itself also merited its own article.
Departing from the docks near city hall, the journey takes you past smaller suburbs and idyllic islands along the way showing off some of Sweden’s most beautiful scenery.
On the day that I went, the weather was very warm so the journey was very pleasant. If you decide to stay on the outer deck then you will have many great photo opportunities as you pass various types of scenes along the way.
The journey takes an average of 50 minutes and you will be able to take photos of the palace from the boat before you disembark. The price of a round trip ticket is 175 SEK (€18.00) and I think it was definitely worth it.
Below I have compiled some photos of interesting street art and colourful building facades i stumbled upon whilst walking around Temple Bar.
If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out my other travel blogs by scrolling down on this page for more categories. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.
Tucked away on a side street adjacent to St Patricks Cathedral, Marsh’s Library is a hidden gem located in the centre of Dublin City.
This library has functioned for over three centuries and remains largely unchanged since it opened in 1707. Narcissus Marsh founded the library with the concept of making books readily available to the public.
During the 18th century, books were expensive and libraries such a Trinity Library were only accessible for scholars. Marsh wanted to give the local people an opportunity to immerse them into the literary world by giving them access to the expensive books that he possessed. Icons including Bram Stoker and James Joyce both frequented the library on various occasions and it is said that some of the books in the library may have influenced their works.
It is the oldest public library in the country and contains over 20,000 books today. From the moment you walk through the entrance it is obvious that much of the interior is original. Dark oak bookcases and wooden floors create a musky texture in the air. It is fascinating to see so many old books preserved and kept in pristine condition for such a long period of time.
There is an admission fee of €3 for adults and €2 for seniors/students that I believe is miniscule for the experience you have here. Some prints of art are available including some Bram Stoker artwork just before you exit the library. I recommend that you take your time walking through the library reading the different displays they have on offer.
If you fancy something different and off the beaten track then Marsh’s library is a place you will definitely appreciate.
I will be writing about more hidden gems in Dublin in my future blogs. If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out my other travel blogs here or scroll down on this page for more categories. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.
As discussed in previous blogs, Macau is considered the ‘Las Vegas of the East’. Many casinos and grand hotels have been built on this small peninsula. Below I have compiled some photos of some casinos and interiors that I found interesting.
Grand Lisboa Casino Hotel:
Located on Custom House Quay in Dublin, the Famine Memorial displays a moving tribute to the Irish population affected by the Great Famine. The famine occurred between 1845 – 1849 and was caused by a potato blight meaning the crop failed for 4 years.
It is estimated that 1 million people died and 1 million people emigrated from Ireland resulting in a 20-25% decrease in the overall population of the Island.
The memorial depicts gaunt, lifeless peasants wandering in a group towards Dublin Port where many boarded ships to North America in hope of starting a new life and escaping the suffering in their hometowns.
Emotions and expressions are embedded deep within the illustrated characters; looks of pain and weariness can be seen on each of their faces as they make the journey on foot toward the ships. Humans are not the only ones depicted here as we see a starving dog also present behind the group.
Custom House Quay is a historic location for this memorial. On St. Patricks day 1846, the first voyage of famine emigration took place on board the ship Perseverance from this quay. Dublin sculptor Rowan Gillespie designed and produced the sculptures and the piece was presented to Ireland on May 29th 1997.
The Famine Memorial is a powerful reminder of the arguably the greatest disaster to occur in Ireland, especially in terms of population mass movement and economic circumstances.
If you find yourself walking along the River Liffey and in the same area as this memorial then you should definitely pay a visit to experience it for yourself.
How to get there:
DART: Take the DART to Tara Street station and turn right after exiting the station. Walk along the Quay for 5 minutes and the memorial is on the opposite side of the river between the Talbot Memorial Bridge and the Sean O’ Casey bridge.
Bus: Take the bus to O’ Connell Street and walk along the quay towards the Customs House, following the same instructions as above you should easily find the memorial along the quay.
If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to check out my other travel blogs here or scroll down on this page for more categories. Be sure to follow my Instagram @conalphoto for updates on my blogs and announcements about upcoming photo projects.