The Photography of Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Latest

Taking it to the streets

I’ve recently begun dabbling in Street Photography, my recent trip to Italy started me off with visits to Pisa and Genoa. I also found myself a stones throw from Camden Town in London so I had to go and see what the fuss was about. I wasn’t disappointed, Camden Town is a ‘Target Rich’ environment. Prior to this shoot I wasn’t really feeling ‘Street Photography’ and my images wore more of an Urban Landscape feel.

Camden changed this, with so much going on, so many quirky characters about, I felt I was able to become part of the scene and become unwatched in my image taking.

HQ ARRC begins training exercise in Italy

I looked for the image within a scene – it’s a shop, but what is happening outside. Who is about to walk past that will/may add to my image. Is there something in the surroundings that have meaning such as an advertising board that I can use?

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

I felt there were a lot of options available and I felt my creativity and ability to get myself into the right place to get the shot.

I was shooting with my Nikon D800 with an attached Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I really like the D800 as I feel the images have a lot of instant punch even on the view screen.

In the end I was happy with my hour spent shooting, have a look at some more examples below.

Regards,
Mike

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

HQ ARRC begins training exercise in Italy

HQ ARRC begins training exercise in Italy

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town - Mike O'Neill ABIPP

Images taken around Camden Town – Mike O’Neill ABIPP

Italia 14

A recent exercise I went on had me in Italy for a week. We were staying 5 minutes walk from The Leaning Tower, so it would have been rude not to take the opportunity to go and shoot it properly.

One sleepless night due to a roommate who snored like a hibernating bear, I found myself on my way to the square at around 5.30 am. The whole square was deserted except for a couple of Carabinieri in a parked car doing the overnight watch. I got to work. It took me around 30 minutes to breeze through a range of shots including a nice panoramic.

One side of the Basilica was under scaffolding so I had to try and avoid that side. All in all I was happy with what I came away with, yes it would have been nicer to have a better morning sunrise but hey ho…

Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower

Leaning Tower

End of an Era

The British base at Lashkar Gah has been handed over to Afghan control. I spent a good deal of time at the base myself during my two tours of Afghanistan. Although I think the British Public do not realise that Lashkar Gah is a large City. Its name translated means ‘Soldier’s Place’ and it dates back to the time of Alexander the Great.

It has a hustle and bustle with thousands coming and going. Glimpses of modern technology mix with the traditions of old. It is a beautiful place and is target rich for any budding street photographer.

HELMAND SECURITY SHURA

TWENTY20 CRICKET

HELMAND SECURITY SHURA

HELMAND SECURITY SHURA

TWENTY20 CRICKET

TWENTY20 CRICKET

TWENTY20 CRICKET

TWENTY20 CRICKET

TWENTY20 CRICKET

It is certainly a place that I would one day like to go back to as a civilian.

VISIT OF PERMANENT UNDER SECRETARY TO SOLDIERS AND CIVIL SERVANTS IN AFGHANISTAN

Video

Aerial Imagery

Most Army Photographers will at some point get tasked with Aerial Photography. Its usually getting shots of a site or Barracks but it may even be a group shot from the air.

Aerial 1

The mode of transport may differ too whether it is a Chinook, Lynx or Sea king. Each have their own niche way of shooting. For example, on the Chinook you will either be shooting from the ramp or from the seats, depending on the Loadmaster.

I enjoy Aerial Work, its quite the buzz and usually the person who requests the images will be very happy with the results as they don’t normally get to see that kind of imagery delivered quickly and to a high standard.

The image of the Exercise set up was Exercise ARRCADE FUSION 2013 which took place at RAF St Mawgan near Cornwall. The shot has been published and printed at 43 inches on the shortest edge. It looks great! Customer happy, job done.

Enter Puzzlewood

Puzzlewood is situated in the Forest of Dean and recently has been the set for a number of dramas such as ‘Merlin‘ and ‘Doctor Who’.

It is also speculated that J.R.R. Tolkien, who visited the Forest, may have been inspired by Puzzlewood for Lord of The Rings as the setting of Mirkwood or Fangorn.

We decided on a family day out around Halloween and spent a few hours wandering around the wood looking at all the magical scenes.

The family loved it and I could have spent quite a while photographing the place.

A great location, you can see why the Location Scouts go for it!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Image

Bunker on The Maginot Line

My first job with Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps was one of learning. We were following in the footsteps of the 9th Panzer Division as they pushed towards France at the start of World War 2.

We were visiting a bunker on the Maginot Line, the images above are the photos that I took whilst in the bunker. The place had a quiet cold feel to it. It felt like a Tomb as it turned out to be for its unfortunate French Soldiers, RIP.

10017649566_368a1525cb_c

10017649894_5e1e41fb00_c

10017657994_58fb457a55_c

10017676265_202169f9cc_c

10017676915_5a194f40b5_c

10017678494_65b7b2e41c_c

10017679875_db23b1e6a4_c

10017685836_16160cd946_c

10017687786_c4965604a3_c

10017688356_b9af3f34e9_c

10017693815_a45fee209f_c

10017695965_02654d320e_c

10017697155_7e79ee86e8_c

10017706585_93863d40b7_c

10017707645_db731cdd8f_c

10017709936_e515bb15cb_c

10017712146_5baf5aaf64_c

10017712945_d8a8608b28_c

10017715145_0f0bc7b1e8_c

10017773373_4beccfb0f6_c

10017779993_2c9d4efd82_c

10017781473_6d91527217_c

10017783813_1b72de248a_c

10017796573_e955535c58_c

10017821063_ff29207615_c

Moving on Again

Moving On Again

Well we packed up and moved to Gloucester. I am newly promoted to Sergeant, which means new responsibilities in a new post. I am now settled into the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Headquarters who are based in Gloucester.

It’s a change in pace for me after being part of the Army Media Operations chain for so long, but I welcome it, in fact I look forward to it. My new post has some great video equipment. I haven’t done video since my stint on the Combat Camera Team back in 2009 so I am eager to begin getting the old shooting and editing head on to see what I can come up with.

We also have our own studio for shooting military portraits but I would love to increase my knowledge of studio lighting. The studio also has a light tent for product photography which I also intend to have a play with.

All in all its been a good move so far…

Please have a look at the HQ ARRC links below:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/54973278@N03/
@HQARRC
www.facebook.com/pages/Headquarters-Allied-Rapid-Reaction-Corps-HQ-ARRC

Walking The Wall

Walking the Wall

Ill be honest, I know nothing about Hadrian’s wall and that period of British History but a competition win for the wife meant a few days free break in Cumbria and a chance to learn all about it. For example, many of the ‘Roman’ soldiers based in the area were actually Gauls (French) who had been conscripted.

What a great time we all had. My father-in-law joined us for the trip and he wasn’t disappointed.

Off with Grandad

Off with Grandad

We visited the Roman Army Museum and also Vindolanda, before trekking a section of the wall which even my small children managed without complaint. I did shoulder-carry my youngest on the way back somewhat as she only has little legs. Our section of the wall included the Lone Tree which has featured in Costner’s ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’.

Vindolanda, Roman Fort Ruins

Vindolanda, Roman Fort Ruins

The Gate

The Gate

ONP-2013-X012-053

ONP-2013-X012-064

ONP-2013-X012-063

The scenery was lovely and I was happy with the images, shot on the Canon G12 and iPhone as I rarely carry my pro cameras on family days out.

ONP-2013-X012-069

Chasing The Red Again

So it was time for our family trip to Centreparcs again. I’d been looking forward to this since Christmas in Afghanistan and I was more than ready for the rest after the busy parade season.
Although on holiday I could leave the cameras behind especially as Whinfell Forest, our chosen CP destination, is the home of my nemesis. The Red Squirrel.

Previous trips to Whinfell resulted in sparse sightings and tough set ups to cox the little guys into my shooting zone. The image results were mediocre at best…

My wife stocked up on peanuts for the trip and we were away. During the holiday it became an evening ritual to hide the peanuts around the garden space most notably in the tree bark. This system worked to an extent last time around, so if it isn’t broke…

Within a few hours after my children had gone to bed, I was rewarded not just by one of the little red blighters but two, who came and tussled over the patch with its food bounty.  Result. I had to work fast though, but not fast enough that I would scare them away. Low light levels through the trees meant a higher ISO but I still managed to get some shots before they scampered off.  I felt elated but still wanted a better shot.

ONP-2013-X006-189

 

Throughout the week the Reds came and went, sometimes one, sometimes the scuffling pair.  It was great to see, sometimes I would just watch and enjoy the scene.

The holiday was lovely with some great family memories, I bagged these Red Squirrel images as a reward for my patience and even a couple of the elusive Woodpecker.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Parades, Parades and More Parades!

DINNER AND MEDALS FOR THE ROYAL DRAGOON GUARDS DINNER AND MEDALS FOR THE ROYAL DRAGOON GUARDS 3 RIFLES MARCH THROUGH LEEDS. 4MechBde-2013-076-035 NORTH WEST SOLDIERS WELCOMED HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN NORTH WEST SOLDIERS WELCOMED HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN NORTH WEST SOLDIERS WELCOMED HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN 4MechBde-2013-058-046 4MechBde-2013-058-003 4MechBde-2013-058-012 PARLIAMENT WELCOMES THE BLACK RATS HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN PARLIAMENT WELCOMES THE BLACK RATS HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN NORTH EAST MEDICS RECEIVE AFGHANISTAN MEDALSUpon returning from Afghanistan I was literally straight into Parade Season with Homecomings, Medals and Freedom Parades I knew I was going to be busy. Some may see them as dull, most of the Army Photographers have done more than their share, even before becoming an Army Photographer.

That said I quite enjoy them, especially Town Parades, as you never quite know what you are going to have on the day. Will it rain? Will the turnout be good? Who knows, it’s just a matter of getting some good solid shots that the Unit can have for their own purposes. Usually, the local Press Photographers are out in force so there isn’t much pressure to get my images out, but I still always make a point of sending them.

I quite like to get the crowd going by encouraging them to applaud and cheer for the lads and lasses marching by. It sometimes brings some funny looks as I found out in London. I also look for popular landmarks that the locals will know and try to include them somewhere in the images.

For me the season was a good one, with the most memorable parade being Widness with The 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment. It was like the whole town had come out to watch! Schools were lining the routes with banners and drawings showing support for their local Battalion. It really was quite heart warming to see.

Sometimes I liken the town parade to a fitness test we soldiers call ‘the two miler’. Although superseded by newer test the old two miler involved a two mile best effort run carrying 15kg including rifle and helmet. Keeping ahead of the marching group with camera bag can sometimes be quite the effort as I found out in Leeds covering 3 Rifles who march at an increased pace. It was still fun though although I was blowing in the end.

In summary, I like parades as its a chance to get out and about and is usually a good day away from the office. Sometimes you even get the quirky shot.

Mike

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,400 other followers