Disneyland for Christmas!!!!

went to disney with the wife and kids a few days after christmas. naively thought that it not being a national holiday in China that it would be quiet. how wrong was that?

Just cause it’s not a holiday in China doesn’t mean it’s not a holiday everywhere else. Apparently Japan and Korea have big holidays for christmas and every other person behind us in the queues were Japanese or Korean.

Don’t get me wrong we had a good time but queueing for an hour for a ride is no-one’s idea of fun.

also note to self: get there early to get your fast passes!!! if you arrive after 10am the daily quota for fast passes is likely to be used up and you miss out on skipping those lovely queues.

by Hugh O'Malley, Beauty Photographer and Videographer based in Shanghai

Brandon Li’s Youtube Channel

I can’t recommend Brandon Li’s Channel enough. I’m starting to shoot more and more video and he’s been a source of inspiration not only for camera technique but also for editing and everything from how to pace your videos, the most intuitive use of transitions, how to shoot people and analyses of what kinds of music to use in your videos. Check out his film seoul_wave which was the first piece of his work that i watched. super talented and always enjoyable.

If you’re an emerging filmmaker or even vaguely interested in creative videos it’ll be worth your time.

by Hugh O'Malley, Beauty Photographer and Videographer based in Shanghai

my year of rest and relaxation

it’s a bit of a cliché but sometimes there are books that really resonate with you, where you are in life, reflect exactly how you’re feeling – your current malaise.  i picked this book up knowing absolutely nothing about it i honestly just liked the cover and took it home, sneak reading it when the brats were comatose.  it chronicles the travails of a worn out new yorker and her attempts to sleep away a life of cares which she has born and yet must bear.  well not a life exactly but one year.  she uses various cocktails of pharmaceutical grade sleepers to wipe out the bullshit.

the tone is fairly emotionless, matter of fact, even though the underlying subject matter is anything but.  self loathing, dead parents, ennui, disgust for contemporary so – called life…

she works in an art gallery and skewers nicely the emptiness of it all. also murders contemporary materialism.  a breath of fucking fresh air… go and read it if you can. ok there’s a lot of dead parents and funerals and drugs in it but don’t be dismayed by the subject matter. it’s really a breezy read…

by Hugh O'Malley, Beauty Photographer and Videographer based in Shanghai

listen to me marlon

Just watched this fascinating documentary about Marlon Brando that used extensively audio recordings of him. Really enlightening watch and it catalogued in detail his personal dramas, his struggles, his thought processes as an artist and you can keenly feel how much of a philosopher he was. Really an amazing individual.

Most fascinating for me were his struggles with film as a medium of conveying deep personal truths and how he felt massively disillusioned with the form dismissing it as mostly trivial. I personally disagree with him and think that the ability to entertain can be quite profound. life can beat you down, it can be depressing, it can be a shitstorm even as we struggle through the crap to do something even a little bit satisfying and the mundanity of trying to earn a living and all the other shit. and to make something that enlightens (even in a relatively simple way), that inspires or even just makes one person smile or feel better, is not a trivial thing. to make something even slightly beautiful, maybe even a little poetic that connects with other people and makes them forget themselves is transcendent…by Hugh O'Malley, Beauty Photographer and Videographer based in Shanghai

light the dark

Been reading a great book recently called “Light The Dark Writers On Creativity, Inspiration, And The Artistic Processby Joe Fassier. 


it’s a fascinating glimpse into a wide variety of writers’ approaches to writing and what inspired them.  I don’t read a lot of poetry but I was really intrigued by Emma Donoghue’s (an Irish writer) chapter and her being inspired by this poem by Emily Dickinson:

Wild nights – Wild nights!

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!

                                                              Emily Dickinson

O’Donoghue analyses adeptly the passion, the longing and ultimately the unhingedness (is that a word?) of Dickinson.  She aptly describes the slightly imbalanced stalker aspect of Dickinson.  She’d probably be a great person to go on the tear with but God forbid you’d actually be moored to her!

I loved this poem though.  It’s got such a sense of abandon.

Anyway.  I can highly recommend the book.  It’s full of wonderful quotes like this:

“Writing leaves behind a visceral sense of what it was like to be alive on the planet in a particular time. Writing tells us what it meant for someone to be human.  Every art form is a version of this.”   Claire Messud

by Hugh O'Malley, Beauty Photographer and Videographer based in Shanghai