"This blog is not necessarily for lovers of art, it includes a variety of topics and whatever. I'm a painter who likes to know what's really going on in the world today. So you might find anything from Shamrocks to Salmiakki mentioned here on my blog. There will of course be some boring, factual and informational posts, but I'll keep them to a minimum, I promise!

And I might get a bit nostalgic now and then.

So you have been warned!"

- Alan Hogan

Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Thursday, July 3, 2014

From Clare to here

I just found this impressive video online today which I have to share. It shows the western part of County Clare off Ireland's west coast, featuring the village of Kilrush, Loop Head, the Bridges of Ross and the amazing Cliffs of Moher.

This video is made by Alan Magner Photography and should be watched in HD quality. It's a fine example of good photography and a nice slice of Ireland's natural beauty. This is one big thing I really miss about not living in Ireland anymore. While Finland has it's own unique natural beauty, it does not have the same geographical aspects that Ireland has to offer. Living within the landscape of another country can often remind a person of the beauty of another land which they once took for granted for so long. It's great to get back to Ireland whenever possible, and even greater if one is lucky enough to visit places such as those in this video. Being a Dubliner this isn't always possible as family visits always come first and holidays can often be too short. So it's always great to find such wonderful videos on the internet to remind us of Ireland's magnificent landscape, especially when living so far away.

Last summer I had a fantastic holiday in Ireland including the west coast. The weather was amazing and I got some great photo shots of my own. You can check out my photos by clicking on any of the links below.

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Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

- Alan 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hong Kong Hot Shots

Last Saturday I got to see an exhibition by a group of professional photographers based in Hong Kong collectively known as HKPPN. The exhibition was titled The Portfolios 10 Exhibition and featured a variety of intriguing works showing at The Central Oasis, a busy public space in downtown Hong Kong. 

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

To be honest, I actually found this exhibition by pure accident while on a short visit here before returning home to Finland from a holiday in Australia. While not a serious photographer myself I do enjoy this artform and take a lot of inspiration from it. I also appreciate good photography when I see it. If I ever get a proper camera for myself one day I can only pray to produce results like those seen here in Hong Kong. 

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Anyway, after spending several hours walking around the huge metropolis that in Hong Kong, this sudden find was an instant oasis of calm and enjoyment for me. Having arrived back home I found out more about this exhibition and was quite surprised to see the amount of work involved in producing this show.

Click image to enlarge

For example, the exhibition's official poster was an achievement in itself. Here's a short video of it's creation. While involving some hard work, it certainly looks like these guys had a lot of fun too!
More photos from this exhibition can be found on the HKPPN Facebook profile here.

Thank you for visiting my blog!!!

Thank you very much and please share this with your friends!!!


You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

- Alan


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Double Vision

Last week I got to attend two opening events on the Finnish art calendar. I had also hoped to attend a third exhibition only to be stopped by bad weather. But nevermind!

The first exhibition I attended was at the Fokus Gallery on Monday, 8th October in Karis, Finland.  The artist exhibiting was Catarina Honkaharju  and the show was titled 'Kohtaamisia' meaning 'encounters' or 'meetings' in english. Among the many paintings on display was 'Valon Taika' or the Magic of Light in english, a wonderful oil-on-canvas depicting a collection of trees in front of golden yellow sunlight. This painting appealed to me for it's bright colours and the feeling of positivity and hope for which it radiated. A sample of this painting can been seen in this advert below for Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition. Those of you lucky enough to be able to attend the gallery will find out what I mean.

As the artist illustrates, Catarina Honkaharju's images of nature can describe or suggest a person's state of mind, often opening and displaying features of strength or weakness. Expect to see a variety of colours and subjects as this is achieved.
There are also other paintings to see at this exhibition which do not involve nature. The artist's states that she has examined the interaction between the environment and people, and how such encounters affect the private and public life of individuals. Here is another sample of the art you can find at this exhibition. This is called  'Vihdoinkin vapaa' which means 'Free at last'. 

Catarina Honkaharju's exhibition continues at the Fokus Gallery, Karis until 27 October, 2012.

Catarina Honkaharju - 'Vihdoinkin vapaa'


The second exhibition I want to mention is 'Off the Skin' which opened last Tuesday October 9th. This was a special exhibition which began it's planning two years ago as a collaboration between two individual artists, each working with different forms of art. The first, Petri Horttana, works with various aspects in painting and sculpture, while the second, Jesse Laitinen, is a fashion photographer working with some of Finland and Sweden's top models. After meeting at an exhibition back in 2010 they discussed with each other and talked about both their individual skills and the possibilty of combining their talents. And so it was that the 'Off the Skin' project was born.

Two years later and their creation has matured to greet the public as a three-week show at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki.  The result has not been a disappointment and the positive reaction from guests at the opening night was evidence of a promising and successful exhibition.  Considering how miserable the weather was on the night this event attracted a sizeable audience. With barely enough room to move at the entrance to the main room, I had to shuffle my way through to the second area of the gallery, stopping off for some much appreciated wine and cheese snacks. Having spent twenty minutes looking at some of the art I finally got to speak with one of the artists Petri Horttana. It was interesting to hear from him about the various processes used to attain the creations I saw before me. I must admit though, the first thing I noticed was the source of the material they had used as a base for their images. Having worked in a printing house for many years before coming to live in Finland I immediately recognised old aluminium printing plates. This added another dimension to the art for me, almost nostalgic!  I'm all for using recycled products in art wherever possible and this was a good example.

Moving on to the images themselves, most were flat-surfaced works in a variety of natural and luminous colours. Several had the added treatment of a hard glaze and a three-dimensional element created by Petri Horttana. The photographic images taken by Jesse Laitinen were both beautiful and striking to the viewer. It is clear that the combination of both areas of art complemented each other to create a common visual language. For me personally, I found this exhibition to be very fresh and quite an inspiration. If you happen to be in Helsinki any time soon, pop in and take a look yourself. The exhibition 'Off the Skin' continues at the Ant Gallery until November 2nd 2012. 
I suppose it would be only fair to add this as a recommendation for World Design Capital Helsinki in 2012. Here's a few photos of Jesse and Petri relaxing with their series of paintings called 'Neoflage' in the background.

Jesse Laitinen and Petri Horttana finally get time 
to chill out after a busy opening at the Ant Gallery in Helsinki. 
Photos;Alan Hogan 09/10/2012

Finally I want to play a video here before I end this blog. 
It's a little song by one of my favorite bands the Fountains of Wayne. The song is called 'Strapped for Cash'. It's a great tune!  As most of my online media comes through free websites it helps when visitors visit the ad links on my pages. It may only mean a few pennies or cents, but it could help towards building a better website aswell as paying for a little sugar in my coffee. ........ I like sugar! ...So, give a little, helps a lot!!!

Share this blog!

Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with any of your friends.

You can receive my blogposts direct to your email or facebook profile by pressing the follow button at NetworkedBlogs  and you are welcome to visit my art page on Facebook by clicking the 'Like' button under my signature below.

- Alan 


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Are you ready for your close-up?....Not quite!

Hello and thanks once again for visiting my blog here. You're very welcome and I hope it's a nice day wherever you are!
Two weeks ago I decided to take part in my first ever photo event. Now I don't have much experience of photography, but I am quite aware of the elements involved and skill-level required for creating good images. I also have a little understanding of dark-room procedure having worked in a printhouse dark-room a long time, not that it's relevant in today's digital age. As a traditional artist I like to capture nice images which I can use to create my paintings. I do however find myself taking more and more photographs, especially with the ease of a digital camera. However only a few of them are ever used in creating a painting. This got me thinking that I should perhaps spend my time taking fewer pictures but with more attention to quality and technique. I felt the need to find out what kind of quality and standard I should be aiming at. So I took myself down to my local photographic gallery.

I had read in the newspaper about this event called FotoZAFARI, a 2-day annual event run by the owners of GalleriZEBRA, in which you sign up, pay a small fee and spend the day taking photographs around the town of Karis here in southern Finland. On this occasion several sub-themes were issued each hour to everybody taking part, but the main theme maintained throughout was 'CLOSE-UP'. The second day of the event involved the choosing of best images and the prize-giving.

For my first step into my new world of photography I brought along a simple low-budget camera. Well, in the eyes of the avid photographer it certainly would be. But for me this little Sony of mine in the photo here would have to do. I'm not ashamed of it as it takes a great photo in my opinion, and after all it does have 14.1 megapixels, nothing to be shushed at!  I found myself surrounded by big bazooka-like cameras and serious hobbyists. I felt it was all a bit out of my league.

All of the day's spoken instructions were in Finnish, a little unfortunate for me as I only understand Swedish, the other official language in Finland. Luckily for me a kind Finnish gentleman by the name of Kai Jauhiainen was nearby and happy to translate the proceedings into English for me.
As I mentioned before, the main theme of the project was 'Close-up'. It is important to stick to a given theme, a lesson I learnt torwards the end of the day. I realise now that it will take me a long time to grasp the rules and true artistry of photography. I succumbed to the simple idea of looking for interesting subjects and simply snapping away. The sunny weather also helped me to relax, perhaps a bit too much. When one of the sub-themes I was given had the title 'Liquid' I made a quick dash to a nice restaurant for a delicious cold milkshake. Well the sun was beating down quite strong and it was the first thing that came to my mind. I suppose I was quietly enjoying myself too much at this stage to get the slightest bit serious about the event in any competitive way. I was also enjoying talking to some of the other participants about the day.

Yep, here I am standing in the red shirt with the FotoZAFARI gang outside galleriZEBRA in Karis. 

Having said all of the above it will come as no surprise to anyone that I was not included in the awards and prize-giving. In fact I was a little embarrassed by some of my final entries in the competition. And I hope to throw them straight in the bin as soon as possible. I was however happy with one or two of my final photos, even though they weren't exactly true to the 'Close-up' theme. All of the images taken by participants (including mine!) during this special event are currently on show at GalleriZEBRA in Karis until May 28th. But for now I can only show you a couple of my better efforts below. I hope to return next year with better results and hopefully a bigger and better Bazooka!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Heart in New York

Song: 'A Heart in New York' by Simon & Garfunkel

It’s amazing how many art-related websites are on the world wide web today. With the world economy being the way it is nowadays, it has become ever-increasingly difficult for any artist to sell his or her's original work.
However, there are numerous websites available which allow artists to sell their work as high quality prints. This extra selling service offered by such sites can often be availed for a small annual fee and sometimes for free. Of course the artist only gets a small percentage of any sales, but if enough prints are sold it can add up nicely.
One such site is Fine Art America. It’s an easy site for artists to join and apart from offering a platform to show off artwork, it also allows artists to meet and see the art of other like-minded artists from all around the world.
Since joining Fine Art America and similar sites, I have met a variety of artists from places near and far. Finland, Ireland, England, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Peru and plenty more.
I recently met one such artist online from New York named Erika Love who shared her work with me.

'The Fox'
by Erika Love.
Prismacolor pencil and india ink.

Painting has been part of Erika's life since the age of 7. Oil painting was her main medium for a long time, until the early 1990's when she turned her attention to coloured pencils. This was to be her favorite medium now, and it remains so.

'Summer Morning'
by Erika Love.
Mixed Media, Prismacolor pencil, India ink and acrylic paint

However, while running around with a camera as an inspirational tool in capturing images she accidentally discovered a hidden talent. After several positive comments about her photographs, she decided to give photography a try.
And it certainly proved to be a good move. Erika has worked as a professional photographer in advertising, portrait and event work for the past 15 years. Living in New York, she finds there's plenty of new and interesting subjects to photograph.

'Outside Radio City' by Erika Love.

"I am always looking to try new things, to evolve the work that I'm doing or to just do something completely different. I tend to revisit the same subjects, but I like to think I do it a little bit differently each time."
Erika Love


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The Art Garage, Finland

The Art Garage, Finland
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