I've photographed this woman a few years ago, it was at Electric Picnic, a big festival here in Ireland in case you don't know it. She was playing in the main stage and was already a pretty big name then (I think it was in 2011). That time was pretty much awful to photograph her, first because the stage was insanely huge and she didn't really stayed on the front, there were tons of smoke and very few lights. I'm not even sure if I ever published any of those photos, I hope not because they were terrible.
I would really like to say that this time, after 3 years, the story was different, but unfortunately it was not.
I already knew that was going to be a bad show to photograph when my photo editor told me that I had to shoot from the balcony. If there's something that really pisses me off, one of them is to be forced to photograph from far away, possibly from only one point. I really hate that. Someone is fine with that, but I'm definitely not one of them.
So I was hoping that at the very least I could get good lights, she is a pop singer no?
She might be a pop singer, but she's clearly allergic to lights, and the reasons why I got some barely decent photos was due to the facts that I have better skills and better camera than 2011, and because she couldn't fill the venue with smoke without intoxicating the audience. And it's pretty annoying to be honest, she is a good artists and a good performer, otherwise I would never ask for a photo pass, but while it could be a great show from a punter point-of-view, from a photographer point-of-view it was absolutely awful.
Dear Lykke Li, if you don't want to be photographed, please don't allow photographers to your gigs at all, I would rather stay at home than shoot shows like this one.
Down here some photos as usual, the "best" ones, and I'm being sarcastic, but if you are a real fan you might want to see the full set on my flickr page.
The Subways are one of those bands that you must photograph, they are so damn good live that you can't really miss them. Unfortunately they are not as popular as they were a few years ago, and honestly I did overlook regarding this simple fact.
Why? Well, this means they don't sell out venues as before, and when it comes to a specific venue, in this case the Academy, and quoting Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars, it might be a trap!
Because when a gig doesn't sell as it supposed to do, some venues prefer to simply cancel it, someone goes ahead anyway, but the Academy simply downgrade the gig to the Academy 2, the basement of the Academy, and while the main venue is a good place to photograph, the smaller basement it's simply one of the worst places for a music photographer.
And while, with the new management, they did improve the situation down there, adding a few new lights, and by making it looks prettier, they also added barriers in front of the very stage, and there's literally zero space for photographers. The only thing you can do is to stick to the sides of the barriers, right in front of the speakers, and pray your God (if you believe it).
The lights are slightly better, or at least is not as dark as it used to be, but now you have these LED lights at 1 meters from the artist that are not exactly the best lights you can ask, or at least if you are a photographer.
To be honest I wasn't happy for the band, it's not fair to them, they are such great performers and they totally deserved a bigger audience.
Anyway, I took some barely decent photos that night, and even if I wasn't sure for a while to publish them or not, I decided that it's not fair to show you only the photos when everything goes right, it would be too easy from my side. So, here we are, they are also on my flickr account, but as you could easily understand, I didn't took a million as my usual.
I was looking forward for this gig, not because I’m a fan of the band, but simply because it was my first gig after a few months (after Biffy Clyro back in Julyto be exact) of break from music photography.
To be clear I didn’t take this break because of my decision, but simply because my collaboration with one of the promoter I’ve been working in the past years has been ended for very, very silly reasons, but to be honest I didn’t miss that much the pit, actually I was able to concentrate more on other things, like my photo project “Commute”, and after a gig like this one it did reinforce this conviction.
As I said I’m not a big fan of this band, and to be honest in the three songs I was in the pit, I wasn’t entirely sure if they were speaking in english or they were trying to imitate an english version of Sigur Rós’s language, a few moments they sounded to me like a cat with a big stomachache, but apart from the lyrics, the band weren’t that bad. In fact what was bad were the lights. For the first two songs you can sum the performance with: red lights - completely dark - red lights - dark - strobes with red lights - dark - red lights - strobes - repeat.
This scottish trio is one of the bands that will never delude you, one of those you already know is going to make a great show right from the moment you buy the tickets, even if don't like them that much, even if you think their last album is terrible (and I'm not one of them), even if you think they became too popular, you know it's a band to see. And even this time they didn't disappoint their fans, as they have done another great show in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
And as you can easily get from my previous statements, as a photographer is pure pleausure to photograph Biffy Clyro, even if it's a big stage and it's not as easy to get a clear shot without including a part of the stage or a speaker, and despite here in Ireland you have sunlight until 10.30 in the evening in July, it's still a great band to photograph.
Lightwise was similar to their supporter band, where the sunlight is the key light, and I was confortably shooting at ISO 400, something that doesn't happen frequently, and it definitely never happens in a indoor gig. Because the sun started to be lower down on the horizon we got a very warm light, and the stage lights were a little bit more presents on the scene, even if not that significant as they supposed to be.
Simon Neil in the past was a bit more complicated to photograph due to a bigger stage, and this time was a bit more constricted on the stage, but he still moves a lot, but at least this time I didn't have to run like Speedy Gonzales in the pit.
So, great band to see and photograph, and down here I've posted some of the best photos I took that day, while here you can find the full set.
That's a band I've missed their gigs in Dublin a few times for one reason or another, but this time they were supporting Biffy Clyro at one of the many outdoor gigs this summer in the beautiful frame of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.
I'm definitely not in the target of this band, I'm too old for them or they are too young for me, but I have to say that they are an interesting band to see, very energetic on stage and very dynamic band. From a photography point of view it was good to photograph, even if was shot in daylight so the stage lights were pretty useless and barely visible, and for once I couldn't complain for the lack of lights, but maybe for the abundance of it, the sunlight was the key light and I could shoot at 400 ISO, and I could use shutterspeed of 1/2000 with f/4 or higher, but even if I could use smaller aperture I always prefer to bring down the ISO and have confy shutterspeeds and keep shooting at wider aperture like f/2.8 or f/4 where I can have incredible sharpness from the main lens I used for that gig (the Canon 135mm f/2 USM L) and at the same time a decent Bokeh and have a good separation between the subject and the background.
Anyway, interesting gig to photograph, and I'm pretty sure that it would be the same, or maybe even better if shot in a normal venue where the stage lights dictates the show, I would say it's a gig aupair with Fall Out Boy and All Time Low.
Anyway, as usual you can find some of the best shots I took at their gig, while on my flickr account you can find the full set.
I have to be honest with you, I didn't know this band at all, and the only reason I went to this gig was because I replaced a fellow photographer who couldn't go to this gig at the very last minute, but not knowing them and even if alternative southern country rock music is not exactly my thing, I have to say that was a quite interesting band to see on stage, but I was there only for the first three songs, so I can't really give a proper judgment. But what I can judge are the lights, and from that side the gig was just "okay". Vicar St is a fantastic venue to photograph a gig, but probably to match the mood of the band in this case they weren't exactly bright, and I know a few photographers who probably would hate to photograph gigs like this one, but at the end thanks to my beloved fast primes I brought home some decent shots, nothing outstanding, but decent.
As usual down here I'm posting the best ones, but you can see the full set on my flickr page.
I met Wallis Bird an year and half ago, as I have to take a portrait of her for the Choice Music Prize, she was probably the nicest person I photographed that day, and since then I really wanted to see her live, as I think she is a really talented artist, so for these obvious reasons I couldn't ignore her gig in The Academy, so I asked for the pass (possibly my last photo pass in The Academy, but that's another story).
I thought she was good, but I was wrong, in fact she is fantastic, really a great performer and she surpassed my best expectations! And she is a tornado on stage, which made my job a bit more difficult, but at the same time I could catch some fantastic photos of her. Light-wise, as she didn't bring any additional lights, and only venue lights were used, it showed again how this venue could be a really good one for photographers if the lights are well used. The gig was well lit from the very start and honestly I can't complain, so add a very good looking and very dynamic artist on stage, with good lights, and the result is a really good gig to see and photograph.
As usual down here you can find some of the best photos I took that night, while here on flickr you can find the full set.
The initial reason I shot this band was simply to have another chance to test the Fuij X-T1, but after Ham Sandwich full gig in the pit I didn't really need to do any more tests as I was pretty with what I got, but I had the pass already approved and I went anyway. To be honest I didn't know the band, and they are not exactly my cup of tea, but their live performance was pretty good, but I don't really want to give you a music review, as far I could see if you like their music they were great, if not, you should ask to yourself why you wanna see these guys, but that's a pretty much obvious general rule.
Anyway, to shoot them was pretty good, as they are a pop band, they had plenty of lights on stage, even if only the venue lights were used for this gig, no extra/fancy lights from the band. But as I said before, the Academy has a decent light system, and if it's well used you can get great shots, if not it can be a nightmare, and while many photographers complain that they often get 'shitty' lights in that venue, I think the venue it's not to blame, but simply that some artists want a "dark" show on purpose.
Anyway, as per standard, down here you can find some of the best shots I took that night, while here on flickr you can find the full set.
This band name might not be the best, even Bono Vox of U2 once suggested them to change it, but despite their fancy name, I think whoever has seen them live will confirm you that they are one of the best live bands you can find in Ireland. I've seen them countless times in the past years, and before entering the Olympia Theatre I knew it was going to be a cracking gig. And when they told me that I could photograph the entire gig (yes, you read well, the entire gig, from start to finish) it was like Christmas!
This gave me the chance to do more tests with the Fuji X-T1, with no rush I could take my time and swap in between the two cameras, my DSLR and this little beauty. I wish I could have a better lens, like the 23mm f/1.4 so I could compare it to my Canon 35mm, but I only had the kit lens so I had to adapt to it.
Anyway, as planned the gig was outstanding, and with this guys from Co. Meath you can't expect anything different, it's just a lot of fun, to see them and to photograph them.
Very good lights from start to finish, and a couple of times we got confetti too, which always makes the fan happy, and whoever is gonna clean after not so much. The band had some extra lights as well, which gave the extra punch to the already good venue lights.
The only downside of shooting the full gig is that at the end, in between two cameras, I got about 1500 photos to go through on Lightroom, with the result of a massive photo set on flickr with 55 photos! As usual down here you can find some of the best ones.
I'm a bit behind with gigs here, so I better catch up! The band of today is Hermitage Green, one of the many new bands emerging from this green island in the past months. But the real reason why I went to this gig is not because I'm a fan of them, but just because I wanted to try a new camera I'm testing at the moment, the new Fuji X-T1! But I'll live the details of my impressions about this camera to a future review I'm going to publish in the next weeks. Anyway, the gig was pretty good, a bit crowded stage, with a not very usual band placement, as the drummer was on the right front side of the stage and on the back there were only the keyboard player and few amps. Which is good as I generally can't take many photos of the drummer as he's generally far on the back and covered by other band members, so finally this time I've some good shots of him!
The band didn't bring any additional lights, so only the venue lights this time, but as I said in the past, the Academy can be a bad venue to photograph or a very good one if the stage lights are well used, and fortunately this time was the second case.
There were a bit of smoke so it did help to give some depth to the lights, and the band itself was in general pretty good to photograph. So overall it was a pretty good, not fantastic, but good gig to snap, and I was well impressed by the Fuji X-T1 performances, despite the handicap of the kit lens (not exactly the best lens to photograph a gig for me).
Anyway, as usual down here you can find some of best photos, while by clicking here you can find the full set on flickr.