Featured Street Photographer : Brendan Ó

Brendan Ó is a regular contributor on Flickr and I met hime there about 6 months ago and since then I have been fascinated with his bokeh heads series.
Brendan is not what you would call a pure street photographer in as much as he shoots with a big DSLR from a distance and does a lot of work in post, but who cares, this is the digital age and it’s the final image that counts, and his final images are nothing short of astounding.
Brendan’s bokeh head series is (as far as I have come across) a totally unique concept based on the blur style and I know the blur style is Marmite – you either love it or hate it, but I think Brendan has taken this to a new level. See what you think…
Name : Brendan Ó
Location : Cork, Ireland
Photographic Genre : Street (sort of)
1: How and when did you discover street photography as one of your genres?
Flickr. I have learnt so much from being on there. The work of contacts like Michael (from a to b), skyshaper , michael kistler , mimoImage Joe  to name a few (there are many others’ street work that I admire). Their work in cities like New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Las Vegas inspired me.
I come from a small city. There is not the same heaving pulse and momentum you experience in big cities. When I do get to travel, I am not that interested in taking landscape shots or shots of landmarks. No, I want to put myself in the centre of the action and capture interesting looking characters.  I want to engage and connect. I like the moment after a shot when the person or people I shoot make eye contact with me. I often feel that this is the better shot to get.
My hometown, Cork in Ireland, is a small city of about 150,000 people. I never feel comfortable shooting street in my hometown. I am not anonymous here, unlike being a tourist in a huge city. That emboldens me, gives me the freedom to get that shot. I do, however, at times take to the streets in Cork (and there are not that many in the city centre) and I shoot. But I am self-conscious there. Very aware that I am creating curiosity. In big cities, I am just another tourist with a camera. An everyday sight.
2: What equipment do you shoot with and why?
I have two DSLRs – a D7000 and a D40. I have a selection of lenses, but mainly use the 18 – 105mm. And the iPhone. iPhoneography. iPhunography. Shooting street with the iPhone is the best. It allows you to get up close and personal.
3: Can you explain how you came up with the idea of the bokeh heads?
Blur is the style of photography I am in at the moment. When out shooting I look for a background with strong colours (usually a single colour) and I want to capture people in motion as they pass. I like the forms it creates, the way it can make this ordinary scene look unusual, look beautiful. I love how body shapes transform, become fluid. The bokeh heads came about by accident. I cannot recall exactly how it happened, but the head of one of my characters did not look as I wanted it to and I used Lightroom’s healing tool, and when using it, I saw this light bulb head appear and I loved it. It added something to the blurred images of the people I was photographing. It distorted them even further and at the same time gave them uniformity.
I have done quite a lot of them recently. Some I love, but I am growing tired now. It is becoming cliched. Time to stumble on to the next thing; whatever that may be. And that is the exciting thing. I don’t know what it will be.
4: Are you working on any projects that you have so far not published?
I am working on a little project of 100 photographs with words. Words accompanying images, be they in the form of poems, stories, or dialogues. I am almost there with it. When I have it done, I will publish it using Blurb. Some of them are on my blog.
5: If you had one piece of advice for street shooters, what would it be?
Be patient, be alert, be ready, and enjoy it. Don’t get too caught up in the technical side of things. Try to see what can be seen and how to see it. That’s my maxim.

Published by stephencosh

Street Scooters Soul


  1. Hey Stephen,
    Many thanks again. Appreciate the exposure.


  2. Reblogged this on Photographic Punctuation and commented:
    Very honoured to be featured on Stephen Cosh’s blog.


  3. i really like these shots!


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