About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Dirty Ol' Town: Urban Decay and Graffiti in Dublin City

Graffiti Covered Junction Box I set out on Saturday to the centre of Dublin city with a little photo project in mind. I was planning to do a series on the colours and textures of Dublin city. It was going to be a piece on the nice and bright vibrant colours that you don't normally associate with the grey city of Dublin. That didn't exactly go as planned. It started when the nice light faded and the typical gloom recurred. Undeterred though I continued to shoot. What I found though was that the city has become quite grotty in places. There is a real sense of urban decay. Don't get me wrong, I like urban decay. It's an art form in and of itself. Before long I realised that my quest for bright colours had become a graffiti binge.

Graffiti on Yellow Wall Red Dripping Paint Big Red Lips on a yellow Wall

Once you focus your mind on a subject and open your eyes you start to see all sorts of things you might otherwise gloss over. I started finding quirky posters and signs. I found rough textures and street markings, all in a glorious state of grunginess (tm) that just seemed to work on an artistic level. There was some wonderfully quirky street art in Temple bar...

Hienz Bottle Graffiti You Are Not Alone I am human

That last one is my favourite. I love the spider saying "I'm Ok" in response to the "I'm human and I need to be loved" line.

I decided to shoot some black and whites too. It was a "Just every day in the city" type thing, only with a slightly gritty feeling. It's funny, but even though a lot of the times as photographers in the digital age, we make black and whites from colour images, but actually switching your camera to black and white makes you "see" in a whole different light. The world of monochrome is quite an interesting place...

Construction Work on Grafton Street Beer Can Rings on the Pavement Graffiti covered Phone Box Skull Scarf Wheel Chair Sign Drain Cleaning Truck North Side Quays

But there are some great textures and grunginess to be found in colour too. You just have to look (and occasionally look down!)...

Crushed Beer Can Crushed Coke Can Grungy wheel Grungy Arrow

I have to say, that even though my original project idea was scuppered by the weather, I really enjoyed the morning shooting. I hope to expand this series further, and maybe even do a book. It's great to concentrate on the one subject and it's also eye opening to look at the city in a whole new (some what darker) light. I'll leave you with a few more of the quirky things I saw on my photo wander...

Hairdressing Woman Scissors Graffiti Pole Art Heineken Here Pichet Irish Stew



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