Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

A Different View

The difference between looking at something and actually seeing it

Published

on

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s a thought that crosses my mind every time I see a group of tourists stopping in their tracks in the middle of town – does anyone actually look at anything anymore instead of simply photographing it and then never looking at it again?

Go into any Cathedral or historical edifice in the world and all you see are visitors with cameras and iPhones at the ready to snap everything that comes into sight – instead of actually looking at the attraction, letting it wash over you and recording the experience in your mind’s eye instead.

Take a quiet moment for reflection, read the brochure; stop, stand and look all around you – and then if you want to capture the moment for posterity, take out your camera and try to capture what you’ve felt in a visual format.

Then the photograph might mean something to you when you find it fifteen years later.

But most of the time it looks like a competition to see who can snap the subject the most, and from as many angles as possible before swiftly moving on to the next target and repeating the process over and over again.

It’s the same thing at concerts – as soon as the band’s big song comes on, it’s camera phones out, recording devices on and phone calls made to people who couldn’t be bothered to come to the gig so they can experience said big hit in glorious fuzziness.

If they wanted to hear the singer, they’d have bought tickets. Even if they wanted to hear the song, they’d play it on their home stereo rather than down a phone connection from a hall or a tent.

It wasn’t always that way, probably because we didn’t have too many cameras and no mobile phones – but it doesn’t mean we don’t have memories of cities visited, gigs witnessed, experiences enjoyed.

And even decades later, you can see them in your mind’s eye – whereas if you’d taken a photograph, you’d have been looking through a lens and now, given that your chances of finding said photograph are virtually nil, you’d remember little or nothing of it at all.

Sometimes it’s enough to enjoy the moment yourself and remember it in your own way, without a photographic or audio crutch to lean on.

It also makes the moment better for others; their view of the stage isn’t blocked by your camera held over your head, or their path isn’t blocked by forty tourists taking a photograph of a window.

There’s nothing wrong with capturing the moment – but first you should experience that moment, rather than approaching every Church like an adrenalin-fuelled Marine who will shoot anything on sight and ask questions as to what they shot much later.

What’s the point of coming home from your holidays with hundreds of digital images of things you cannot, for the life of you, remember?

We don’t want to be spoilsports or dissuade visitors from capturing the west’s beauty for posterity – but at least look at it first to see if you actually like it….and then shoot away to your heart’s content or at least until there’s no memory left on your phone.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Sense of belonging that brings it all back home

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was a chat with a ‘Galwegian in exile’ that brought it all home to me; although now domiciled in the capital for more years than he’d lived in the west, he was delighted to bring his Dublin-born daughter to the All-Ireland Football Final wearing her maroon jersey.

To be honest, she’d probably have gone to Croke Park dressed as Elsa from Frozen because it was just a day out – but Daddy couldn’t have been prouder if his eleven-year-old came on for Damien Comer with five minutes to go.

The sense of place is understandable when it comes to ourselves as born-and-bred Galwegians, because while you can change where you live as often as you like, even if you wanted to, you can never change where you’re from.

But trying to impose your own geographical heritage on the next generation is alternatively seen as understandable and a little selfish at the same time.

It’s a topic for discussion in our own house on occasion because while the two lads grew up in Galway, they were in fact born in Dublin – and if they want to pull my chain, all they have to do is remind of that fact.

My reply is a tired and stock one, to the effect that although Jesus was born in a stable, nobody ever suggested that made him a horse.

The more serious point is that you are shaped by your formative years rather than the maternity hospital of your arrival – and those years were spent in Galway.

Galway is their point of reference for sport and music and school friends and nights out and pubs and college – and almost everything else that really matters.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Gaeltacht days – and a rite of passage to remember forever

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

A scholarship to Irish College wasn’t so much a backhanded compliment as an inverted acknowledgement of your grasp of the language – in other words you got one because you were bordering on useless, or to put it more diplomatically you’d benefit more than the rest from a couple of weeks of immersion in your native tongue.

Only it then transpired that the experience of three weeks in the Gaeltacht taught you that going there had a small bit to do with learning Irish for sure – but a whole lot to do with growing up, or at least beginning that blossoming process.

And you would do all this in an atmosphere as alien to your small teenage self as free elections are to the people of Russia; céilís, cispheil, comhra agus craic – as well as an Irish language version of the Streets of London written and taught to us by Art Ó Dufaigh that still lives in the memory bank, even longer than Ralph McTell’s original.

The truth, when you get there, is the realisation that three weeks in the Gaeltacht is a little like a week at the Galway Races or the Rose of Tralee; just as the horses or the Roses are ostensibly the reason for going, they’re really just the hook to get you there.

And so it is that you go to the Gaeltacht to learn the language but you come home having learned so much more.

My Gaeltacht summer was at the tail end of the seventies with three weeks in Beal a’ Dangan and céilís in Nestor’s Hall, brought there in a bus by a young man called Máirtín Tom Sheáinín who would go on to enjoy a stellar career as a broadcaster – particularly presenting Comhrá – but was back then a knacky driver with a dream, traversing windy roads in pitch darkness.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Hawkeye’s blind spot gives hope to humans everywhere

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Galway will have both eyes firmly fixed on Kerry this Sunday, but they’ll be keeping tabs as well on a device called after a bird or a character from M*A*S*H after it threatened to do more damage to them than Derry managed in their All-Ireland semi-final.

The realisation that Hawkeye was only human after all might have met with an angrier reaction if Shane Walsh’s point wasn’t restored during the half-time break.

It couldn’t save the Hawkmeister from a hammering of course – social media was created with just this type of fury in mind – but really there was a whole different way of looking at this.

Because Hawkeye’s fallibility was at least a consolation goal for the human race in the one-sided battle against artificial intelligence.

In other words, we know our days are numbers, thanks to technology that ironically was invented by humans to help humans in the first place.

But nothing, not even new technology, is perfect – and Hawkeye, who hadn’t enjoyed such a high profile since they stopped making M*A*S*H, can now become the poster bird for that.

For those who have no interest in Gaelic Games, Hawkeye perhaps requires some explanation. It’s the technology attached to the goalposts that indicates whether the ball is inside or outside them – and is thus a point or a wide ball….or a Tá or Níl as a nod to the language.

For those who don’t remember M*A*S*H, the sit-com about a Mobile American Surgical Hospital (hence the name), Hawkeye Pierce was the doctor played by Alan Alda.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending