Continued from Urban Europe Seen Through the Camera Lens – Part 1
Life in Dublin Means LIFE at the Max
I would have loved to see Dublin at Christmas time like one of my favorite photographers, but I arrived in summer. However, Dublin is nothing short of a miracle as urban photography is concerned, no matter the season. Start with Nollaig Shona Duit on Grafton Street and try some sepia or black and white photos to do the atmosphere here some justice. Grafton Street is a unique urban landscape in Ireland and if you want to feel, smell, taste and see whatever Dublin has to offer best, I recommend you stop in Johnsons Court and at the Stephens Green Centre.
If you are looking for luxurious architecture, a green beating heart and a feel of what being a Dubliner means, go to Stephen’s Green Street, a little oasis you need to thoroughly explore. Don’t forget to treat yourself at Bewleys Café – a veritable institution of Dublin – or follow people around as they have their drinks and rich meals at their street terraces and bars. Learn some Gaelic on Henry Street – one of the most important shopping streets in Dublin or get some beautiful stills inside Brown Thomas – one of Dublin’s more luxurious stores.
If you are in Ireland, don’t miss out the castles! It may not be urban photography per-se, but you will regret if you don’t explore them in depth as they are truly unique.
Europe off the Beaten Path is a Journey of Self-Discovery
My journey also included Germany (and especially Berlin, a city famous for its history, culture, architecture and street art – what more can an urban photographer ask for?), Bruges, Istanbul , the all-time famous Paris, Amsterdam and Bucharest, Vienna, Sofia and Budapest – a place I decided I wanted to live in for more than a year.
Europe has its own share of troubles, but I have nowhere found it hard to talk to people, sit at their tables, mingle with the locals, capture them on film or joining them in their traditions, no matter how odd they were.
What did Urban Europe Photography Teach Me after One Year?
I have been taught a lot, actually. First, you can’t grasp the beauty of a place or of people unless you see them with your own eyes. While Rome is gorgeous, it is crowded and suffocating. And all those beautiful tourist-dedicated photos of landmarks and monuments? You need to tweak your gear, angles and light to capture them as they are usually surrounded by hundreds of people at once.
The second thing I learned about myself and the world is that in order to keep an open mind you need to give up on your prejudice and remove all stereotypes. Eastern Europe has a pretty bad reputation on this side of the ocean, but once you walk the streets of Sofia, Bucharest and Budapest you realize everything you hear may be false. These are beautiful, vibrant, cosmopolitan cities, full of life, history, culture and art. Afraid to travel solo? Don’t be! You won’t get scammed as a tourist worse than you can get in New York or Chicago. Best part is you won’t get mugged at gun point either!
The third and probably most important lesson I learned is that beauty is everywhere and humanity didn’t lose its edge yet, despite all the horrors going on in the world. You can still see people smiling, strangers genuinely wanting to help you, people still apologizing for bumping into you in a super-crowded street. There is still kindness, ingenuity, peace and a stubbornness of the world to not concede to the dark side. And smiling, being kind, honest and helpful is still the best way one can save the world. If urban photography in Europe definitely taught me something, it’s the fact that despite prejudice, fear of the unknown or fake political news, there is still a hope for all of us on the planet.
St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin – Richard Gaspari All Rights Reserved
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge – pixabay public domain
The Pantheon – maxpixel public domain
Guest Author Bio
After his first encounter with the visual arts, Richard Gaspari developed a passion for photography. For Richard, the camera is like the third eye, but with more ISO and with an excellent shutter speed. Now, he writes for www.creativephotoconnect.com, where he tries to “train” others into framing high resolution moments.