Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Rufa'i Sufis of Kosovo documentary film.

Yet another project thats been hanging around for an age. I'd been meaning to edit the footage I shot in Kosovo last March while on assignment for Geographical Magazine and now in February this year I've finally completed it. A poor showing on my part but I'm still pretty proud of the final product. Thanks again to Chris Fitch of Geographical for his great audio editing work.

"The 22nd of March marks a special day in the year for Shejh Adrihusein Shehu and his sons. They will celebrate the Sufi ritual 'Ijra’ during which Shejh Adrihusein Shehu will pierce the cheeks of his sons and followers. The Shejh and his family are Rufa’i Sufis and on this day they celebrate Sultan Nevrus, according to the old Persian calendar, the first day of the year and regarded as the start of Spring. They culminate in a ritual called 'Ijra’ in which Shejh Adrihusein Shehu pierces the cheeks of his sons and some of his followers with long needles called ‘Zarfs’. Devotees chant the Zikr - a devotional mantra-like repetition of verses from the Quran. I met Shejh Adrihusein Shehu at his Tekke (Sufi gathering place) where he talked to me about Sufism. ‘Most people are here, on the surface of the ocean,’ he began, with his hand gestured horizontally in the air. 'But Sufis, Sufis go deep, go under,’ and he swept his hand down in a diving arc. His eldest son Sejjid Rina Shehu took me on a tour of the Tekke. In the centre of the wall was a semi-circular enclave called a Mihrab. It was bathed in green light and housed many Zarfs, ranging in size from the small for the boys to the large and heavy for the men. Sejjid is 25 and was first pierced when he was five years old. His brother Xhihan is 19 and experienced his first piercing at seven, and Emir the youngest of the three at 12 began his piercings at six. Sejjid explained what he took from the practice of Zikr: how it made him content and happy. He radiated a sense of calm as he talked. The piercing he explained, wasn’t the focus of the day, it was only part of the ceremony. The focus was the Zikr, the devotion to God. The Tekke is full to capacity the day of the piercing. The floor is filled with kneeling Sufi devotees, both men and boys dressed in white and black robes and felt Fez. For several hours the Sufi’s sing and chant, the songs building up into a guttural, repetitive and immersive crescendo. The day reaches its zenith and Emir, the Shejh’s youngest son stands before him stoically as the chanting Shejh passes a small Zarf through his cheek. Emir does not react and retakes his place in the core of the circle of swaying Sufi’s while several boys wait their turn. Men stand forth who wish to be pierced, including Sejjid, his father presses his fingers on the outside of his son’s cheek and presses the point of the zarf through the flesh in a well practiced movement. The pierced Sufis do not bleed as they sway back and forth holding the large bulb of the zarf in their left hands. The only blood appearing was a small trickle after the zarf was removed. The Shejh promotes a message of religious peace stating ‘We all believers in the same God, but take different paths.' The tradition is a responsibility and inheritance running through the generations of the family of Shejh Adrihusejn and at its core a mysticism and belief in the divine that is at once compelling and beautiful."

Photography and editing by Darragh Mason Field
Audio editing and interview by Chris Fitch

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Travel and Street Photography India workshops October - November 2016.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: Dehli, October 2016, 4 days 1st -4th

5 Places available
Over the four days you will be working with me, as we visit the architectural wonders of this stunning city and explore the warrens of Old Delhi, the Red fort, Jama Masjid and  Chandni Chowk. Not to mention lunch at the famous Karims. 
I am an award winning travel and street photographer and while shooting with me you will have a chance to learn new techniques and tricks. Focus will be on developing and practising “social skills” photography, which isn't about hiding behind the lens but instead using it as a tool to interact with people, a tool that transcends language. In the evening you will edit and discuss your photos in the group with me. There will also be the opportunity to learn photo editing skills, both in the technical and creative sense.
My Delhi photographs have been featured in Digital Photographer magazine,  Digital Camera and national papers.
Above all I promise you a very memorable adventure in which you'll improve your photography skills and have a lot of fun doing it. 
  • Each workshop is limited to 5 participants.
  • Cost per person for all tuition is €350. This does not include travel, accommodation, entry into sites or food.
  • You should own a DSLR and a laptop with appropriate software to view and edit files.
  • Dedicated one on one tuition during the trip.
  • Expert critique of images.
  • Expert post processing guidance.
  • All transport covered during workshop covered
  • Lunch and soft drinks provided
  • A list of recommend hotels will be supplied on booking.
  • An itinerary for the four days will be provided.
  • We will get a lot of walking in so be sure to bring comfortable clothes and footwear.
  • Deposit is €80 to book your place with the balance to be paid before arrival.
If you want to book on a trip then get in touch and get ready for your adventure! darragh.field@gmail.com





WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION:Diwali workshop, Dehli, November 2016, 4 days 1st -4th

5 Places available
This workshop takes place over the four days right in the middle of the festival of Diwali, the festival of light!. During this time you will be working with me, as we visit the architectural wonders of this stunning city and explore the warrens of Old Delhi, the Red fort and Chandni Chowk. We will be looking for opportunities to shoot the celebrations not just in the main areas but in the backstreets of Delhi. Giving you great opportunities to shoot special images and capture the energy of the festival. 
I am an award winning travel and street photographer and while shooting with me you will have a chance to learn new techniques and tricks. Focus will be on developing and practising “social skills” photography, which isn't about hiding behind the lens but instead using it as a tool to interact with people, a tool that transcends language. In the evening you will edit and discuss your photos in the group with me. There will also be the opportunity to learn photo editing skills, both in the technical and creative sense.
My Delhi photographs have been featured in Digital Photographer magazine, Digital Camera and national papers.
Above all I promise you a very memorable adventure in which you'll improve your photography skills and have a lot of fun doing it.
  • Each workshop is limited to 5 participants.
  • Cost per person for all tuition is €350. This does not include travel, accommodation, entry into sites or food.
  • You should own a DSLR and a laptop with appropriate software to view and edit files.
  • Dedicated one on one tuition during the trip.
  • Expert critique of images.
  • Expert post processing guidance.
  • All transport covered during workshop covered
  • Lunch and soft drinks provided
  • A list of recommend hotels will be supplied on booking.
  • An itinerary for the four days will be provided.
  • We will get a lot of walking in so be sure to bring comfortable clothes and footwear.
  • Deposit is €80 to book your place with the balance to be paid before arrival.
If you want to book on a trip then get in touch and get ready for your adventure! darragh.field@gmail.com

Monday, February 1, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Croagh Patrick chapel.

The Chapel #2

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Review of new Eagle Gear.

Very proud to announce Eagle Creek's equipment sponsorship of my travel and expedition work. Massive thanks to Eagle Creek Gear & Proagencies. Your support It'll be a huge help with 2016's adventures. I can't tell you how happy I am with this gear. I've listed it below so you can pick some up yourself.
  • Specter E-Cube Medium and Large 
  • All terrain money belt 
  • Etools Organiser Pro 
  • Compressor Cube

Monday, January 18, 2016

New sponsor, Eagle Creek!

Very proud to announce Eagle Creek's equipment sponsorship of my travel and expedition work. Massive thanks to Eagle Creek Gear & Proagencies. Your support It'll be a huge help with 2016's adventures. I can't tell you how happy I am with this gear. I've listed it below so you can pick some up yourself.
  • Gear Warrior 32
  • All terrain money belt - this has a plastic clips so no taking it off at airport security
  • Specter E-Cube Medium and Large
  • Etools Organiser Pro
  • Compressor Cube
Eagle Creek 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Aurora

The journey of Aurora, Goddess of the dawn as she travels through the night to be reborn at first light.

Aurora from Darragh Mason Field on Vimeo.

Finally finished this film, its taken two months of waiting for the right conditions to shoot, about 40 hours of shooting and 100 hours of processing and editing. It was a lot of fun to shoot and good to get back to using manual focus and range finders. If you have't done a time-lapse project go out and give it a try, the results are great and it will help hone your camera skills.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First post of 2016

Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas holiday and spent some quality time with those you love. The weather in Ireland was record breaking rainfall which meant I did next to no decent photographic work. I had planned on taking some shots of the amazing landscapes that Mayo offers but all to no avail. That was put to bed by the worse December rainfall on record. So I give you a simple shots of the Kielty brothers whom I photographed 6 years ago as part of my 'This is where we meet' project on pensioners in Ireland. Pension day, Guirys, Foxford, Ireland The original series is here

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Shooting a simple video for youtube.

A little video I shot of my Dad working on Jewellery in his workshop. I'm lucky that I have access to a location that has lots of rich textures and details in specialist tools not to mention a Master Goldsmith! This is a very simple project and for the photographer moving into video its useful to get as much practice as possible. This was shot for Youtube as an instruction video. I used:
  1. Nikon 610
  2. Tamron 24-70 f2.8
  3. Tripod and ball head (it's better to use a slick head)
  4. Sennheiser directional mic
  5.  iMovie (this is a quick edit so nothing fancy is required)

When shooting use live mode and do a few test clips to make sure you're happy with the results. Make sure you have a the key area of the action is in focus (zoom in an manually focus). You'll need to stop and refocus here and there during the shoot to get it right. Remember you're not doing this in one take so do it as many takes as you need. There's a nice level guide in the live view on most modern DSLRs that will help filming and help you keep things level. Its particularly useful when shooting hand held.

Just use the timeline interface to drop your videos in sequence and crop them where necessary by dragging the ends of the videos in to the desired footage. You can drop transitions and titles in using the simple templates and you're away. Practicing with these simple projects will give you a simple grounding that will give results before you move up to something more complicated like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere.

iMovie also has generic video compression built in for the leading online platforms which will makes things far easier then trying to figure out the nuances of video compression yourself (for the record use H264)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Still from a short film I'm making

Just a simple still from this project I'm working on. It will be about 1'.30"- 45" long and has taken me about 15 hours to shoot so far. I expect about 10 more hours shooting I should have a draft ready to polish.

Still from a short film I'm making.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ottery St Marys 2015


Ottery St Marys 2015 from Darragh Mason Field.
The Tar Barrel runs are held in Ottery St Mary's, Devon, England. A tradition built around the November the 5th bonfire night celebrations. Only people from the town can run the barrels. They run in teams carrying the huge barrels through the crowded narrow streets as people jump out of the way! I really enjoyed the event, it was wild and had the perfect balance of fun and danger. It will form part of my 'British' series, which will compile my shots from festivals and events from around the country that are quintessentially British.
Further to that one of my shots from the night ran in the Telegraph.
The final essay can be seen here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Liz Allen portrait

Liz Allen

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The aperture of home

The beautiful eye of a Cob house in Totnes, Devon. Taken from a long term project I'm doing on those that live free, that live outside the social grids. I'm hugely drawn to this way of life and I hope someday to live it in someway.

The aperture of home

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Milky Way rising

During my 15 peak challenge weekend in Wales we had the good fortune to have perfect conditions for a bit of Astro photography. The pristine, light pollution free skies of Snowdonia provided the perfect opportunity to get a bit of practice in. In the photo below, the Milky way can be seen rising over the horizon. I plan to do some more Astro work as its quite satisfying with almost guaranteed dramatic results, once done correctly of course! I'm primarily a doc and travel tog so landscapes and astro shots are not my forté but luckily for me I was with adventure and landscape tog David Tidman and after some good pointers from him on getting my focus range right, I was away. The biggest issue I had was using the live view on my camera and it not being sensitive enough to pick up starlight to focus on. I had to work around it and got some results but overall I'd like to find someway to boost the video gain in live view so if you have any tips... drop me a mail.
Milkyway rising

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ursa Major over Tryfan

Ursa Major over Tryfan, to the left and right of the mountains silhouette are the dotted paths of tumbling satellites, illuminated as they catch they reflect the suns light as they turn.

The Plough over Tryfan

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Drum magazine advert for e3 Media

Some photographic work I did to illustrate the achievements of the agency e3 over the last year. Featured in the Drum Digital Census 2015. A really simple but effective brief, to use the different technologies e3 build for to display their best in class message.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

My Travel kit guide for photographers

After the recent campaign work I did on the Royal Navy Weapons Engineers kit I received a few emails asking me about what I bring with me on assignments and expeditions. So I thought it would be fun to compile my own Travel kit guide for photographers. My kit would be tailored to what I'm doing but I thought some of these items are pretty handy even if your travelling for a different purpose other than photography. I haven't gone into any serious detail around storage and software or indeed camera hardware (It's pretty obvious a photographer will take a camera and a range of lenses with them). However I hope you find this useful and I'll do a more outdoorsy and expedition style one soon.


kit-3
  1. Cable bag. A tough heavy duty polyester pouch. I keep all my cables in here, along with spare device batteries.

  2. Notepad. Small with somewhere to keep a pen or pencil. To be honest this one is annoying, the spiral spine just isn't strong enough.

  3. Gitzo GT1542T Traveler. Its carbon, durable and compact, can't ask for anything more.

  4. Solargorilla portable solar charger -rugged water resistant 5V & 20V Solar Panel. I'm a big fan of Powertraveller equipment. I take a mix of it depending in what kind of project I'm working on. This can trickle power directly into a device or charge the Powergorilla battery pack (below). With these bad boys you can keep your DSLR, laptop and phone on even if your out in the boonies for days.

  5. Packsafe. Anti-theft Adjustable Cable Lock, Slashproof heavy duty steel cable. Snatchproof locking systems locks and anchors your gear to a secure fixture. Being security conscious is as important as keeping back ups of your memory cards and images. Getting your gear stolen is no joke, you can replace expensive equipment but if you loose your images too... they are gone. While this won't stop a determined thief it will put off opportunist ones.

  6. Snood. Just a cheap and cheerful Snood. It can keep a chill off your neck or protect you from the sun. Wear it in the summer to keep the sun off your neck and the insects away or as a headband to prevent sweat running down in to your eyes when you're active, or around the wrist as a sweatband*.

    *For the record I have never used this as a sweatband or headband...

  7. Nikon MB-D14 battery grip. Speaks for itself, keep your DSLR fully juiced up particularly if you're shooting video. This grip also has a AA battery slot which gives you a plan B. I use this for any long events photography gig.

  8. Nikon MB-D14 battery AA slot. Comes with the above and is a pretty handy option for long remote travel.

  9. Suunto Core All black outdoors watch. I love this watch, honestly I do. Its tough, and has a shed load of useful features. It will give you sunrise times, has an barometer, altimeter, storm-warming, compass and of course tells the time.

  10. My Special camera kit. This is a simple fishing tackle box with some of the dividers cut out. In this is a infra red trigger, bespoke sensor cleaning kit, camera spirit level, hot shoe cover, View finder cover and various useful bits.

  11. Sony Card reader. Loads of different versions on this, just get a decent one so it doesn't take an age to get files off your cards. I've had this for a few years now and its never let me down.

  12. Swiss travel world adaptor. These are awesome, some come with a USB connector too which is great for charging devices. I used these on all my trips. I literally don't leave home without it.

  13. Maglite and a spare pen. Maglite is a great bit of old school gear. Available in many colours I went for blue as I've too much 'tactical black' gear which can make you look a bit of a twat plus its impossible to find in the dark. Saying that avoid looking like your on the way home from a Rave and ditch the dayglo colours as you'll stand out a mile. As an aside I also use a Cree torch which are pretty cheap and powerful.

  14. Powermonkey Explorer. This was the first power pack I ever got and I'm not sure if I'll need now I have its older brother but its pretty handy to have in a day bag. It comes with a little solar panel and a bunch of sockets for different phones. I just use it to keep my iPhone alive and its great to have the reassurance that you've got another charge in your bag when travelling. Check out the spec in the link.

  15. Important docs bag. Simple tough plastic, waterproof(ish) bag for all important docs. Long term trips I'll keep flight details and insurance papers in here, passport scan. I tend to carry my more important docs on my person in the Unpocket (below). I also carry my Vax sheet and Press pass. You can keep copies of most important docs in your email but it doesn't hurt to have a paper copies, in case you can't get online or your gear is dead.

  16. Powergorilla. More Powertraveller shizzle. The powergorilla laptop charger will give you an extra 2-5 hours of power, depending on your laptop's specification, and over 20 hours on various other electronic devices. powergorilla will work with devices up to 24Volts - so from your laptop, right the way down to your mobile phone or iPod. You can even daisy-chain, so whilst the powergorilla is charging your laptop, you can charge the powergorilla from the mains power supply. Or charge your laptop and your mobile phone simultaneously which is great.

  17. Tripod ball head Markins Q3-TRQ.

  18. Wash bag. Don't take too much, you can get everything you'll need in the city you land in. If you're going on an expedition / adventure it's probably worth bringing a first aid kit too.

  19. Eagle Creek Packet Cubes. I love these things. I use these constantly. It turns packing into a game of Tetris you'll win every time. If you are travelling for any length of time, get a few of these, they will change your life.

  20. Head torch. Get one with a number of settings; Red - for night photography so you can see without getting blinded by white light and then a number of settings / strengths. This isn't just for outdoors work, hotels and hostels can often have weird or bad lighting set up so torches are a must.

  21. Unpocket. This is made from waxed canvas on the outside which is naturally soft, durable and water resistant. And on the inside, the police-grade stealth fabrics physically block all RFID, GPS, WiFi and Cell signals to ~100 dB. Why do I use it? Stop your cards and ID getting skimmed. 

  22. iPhone 5. I prefer iPhones as I find them more reliable than Android devices. I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to devices, I just want one that works and won't let me down. Whats more important is the apps I use. I use Booking.com, Google Translate, Easy Release, Evernote, Whatsapp, Skype and Music and my beloved Podcasts.

  23. Macbook Pro. I don't think I need to explain this one. However I would say get a smaller one than me. I dragged this beast across Northern India for 5 months and my back is still crocked....
Safe travels!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Last Rodeo - Llanthony, Wales.

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Timothy Allen of Human Planet fame this summer and part of the course took us to the country fair in Llanthony Valley, Wales. What made it special was the event that took place at the end of the day, a Rodeo. It was an exciting well organised event, the horses were never in any danger, were well cared for and it was a pleasure to shoot.

Check it out on the Daily Mail here. You can see my essay and photo selection here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Digital Photographer tearsheet

It's quite nice when some photos you've had for some time get to finally be seen by a wider audience. A couple of dusk shots from Kathmandu, Nepal were featured in the latest issue of Digital Photographer magazine in their travel feature which was cool. The light from mopeds and street fires cut beams through the dusty air, it was a pleasure to shoot but required patience, just waiting for the right moment to reveal itself, for a face to move into light or for the dying light of the day to peer down the narrow streets. Some of the building in these pictures are gone now, no doubt destroyed by the earthquake earlier this year.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Royal Navy campaign work

Some shots of my recent campaign work for the Royal Navy on the Royal Navy site and their social media channels. I've had a couple of requests to do one of these for my own kit so I'll get one up in the next week or so.