Alessio Michelini Photography

Nina Persson @ The Button Factory

14 March 2014

I can say that 99.9999% of the times I go to see a gig I'm always objective, even if it's a band that I love, if they do a terrible performance I've no problem to say they are shite, or the other way around, for example I used not to like Foals, and then when I saw them live I fell in love with them. But there is a 0.0001% of times where my objectivity goes to hell, and one of these rarity statistics is Nina Persson. I loved her since I was a teenager, Gran Turismo is still a great album, and  on the stage she could sing like a frog with a bad cold and I would still say that she has a great voice (thank God that's not the case). I never had the chance to photograph her, and once I saw she was playing in Dublin, even if it was in one of venues that I generally avoid, the Button Factory (terrible lights and often no pit), I still wanted to see her.
And thankfully, she rocks. She still one of the most beautiful woman on this planet, and she is still has a great voice. I wouldn't go further than this as it would be just a declaration of love to this artist.
So, how was to photograph her? Terrible. Did I say that the lights in the Button Factory are terrible? Well that day they were even worst. Essentially there were just a few very blue and red spotlights, but it was dark like the bat cave, and the fact that there were no pit it didn't help at all. I had to shoot at 3200 ISO, and almost at full aperture and with not that fast shutter speed, thankfully my Canon 6D is a beast in low light performances, but I can't say that I was happy with the results.
Still, if you ask me if I would go again, I say yes. I don't care about the photos in this case. Anyway, here some of the best photos, they are pretty bad, but she is still beautiful, and that's what matters (full set is here).

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Chvrches @ Olympia Theatre

10 March 2014

That's another band I really wanted to see in 2014: Chvrches! I really liked their debut album, and I was really curious to see them live, to see how they perform on a stage. And I have to say that I wasn't disappointed when I saw them last week, they are just a really good band, full stop. But how was to photograph them? Well, I have to say it was very good as well. Yes, it was mostly back-lit, but to be fair it kinda reflect their mood, and I wouldn't lit their gig differently, plus they have plenty of interesting lights, like a giant logo on the back, and more lights on the boys tables. For me was just great to photograph this band, that's it. There were only one very odd thing I can say. We (the photographers) have been asked to leave the pit at the middle of the third song, which is kinda odd honestly. Someone in the pit was mentioning the fact that the singer doesn't like cameras, and while I can see that she never looked down to us, and I'm pretty sure she was looking at a blank spot in the venue, just over the crowd, which is a very common technique if you are scared by the audience, and it's perfectly understandable, I bet most of you would be terrified to sing in front of a thousand or more of fans, and I would definitely be. What I don't understand, why 2 and half songs? What's the difference for them from 2 and half and 3 full songs? I would really like to know the answer, not because I'm upset about it or else, just for curiosity. Again, they had all the rights to do so, it's their show at the end, but this 2.5 songs really bugs me.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best photos I shot that night, while the full set is on my flickr account as usual.


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Fitz & The Tantrums @ The Academy

08 March 2014

Fitz and The Tantrums are not one of the band I generally listen to, but for some reason I cannot explain I like them. And when I saw they were playing for the very first time here in Ireland I couldn't miss the chance to see them. And despite the fact that the singer kicked me in the face accidentally in the pit (yeah, if you are going to see photograph this band bear in mind that this guy kicks a lot, and you will probably end up dodging some flying feet), I still like them. And their live performance, even if I could see them only for three songs, it confirmed that they are a live band too.
Unfortunately for them the venue was half empty, simply because, while they started to be pretty famous overseas (a friend told me that one of their songs was one of the main theme for the Academy Awards this year, and I take this information for granted as I don't watch this events, actually I don't watch any events, not even the telly), nobody knows them here in Ireland.
But how was to photograph them? Well, to be fair for a "pop" band I was expecting far more lights, or at least more consistent lights, as at the end a part few moments, it was for most of the time back-lit, and while in places like the Olympia you have plenty of space to play with back lights, in the Academy the pit is pretty tight, same for the average distance between the  subject and your camera, also after being kicked in the face, I thought it was wiser to not stay just in front of the singer (safety first!). So overall, while it was a pretty good live band, it wasn't that great to photograph, some decent shots, but nothing amazing.
Anyway, down here as usual I'll post some of the best shots, but as usual you can find the full set on my flickr account.

P.S.: Don't worry Michael, I'm not mad with you for the kick, shit happens.

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February 2014 in photos

02 March 2014

Here we go, another month is gone, and another post is ready. I have to say that last month was quite productive, I've took pictures almost every day, and my love to my mirrorless camera is growing every day. So I'm not going to publish all the photos here as it would make this post too long, but I'm going to publish some of the best ones(I'm not going to add the music ones as they have their own space on this blog), but you can always click here to see the full set on flickr ;-)

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St. Vincent @ Olympia Theatre

02 March 2014

I wanted to photograph Annie Clark, better known by her stage name of St. Vincent, from a while. I really liked her debut album "Marry Me", and I always thought she was a really interesting act to see on stage. And as a matter of fact she is really good, a bit crazy maybe, but it's a good crazy, and actually she outperform my expectations.
But it wasn't really easy to photograph her. Funny that it was essentially a specular gig compared to The 1975 who played the day before in the same venue. While the 1975 were essentially backlit, St. Vincent was mostly lit from the front, with very little or not very interesting lights from the back, and the problem is that they were hard lights as well, so you had tons and very contrasty lights on her face while the rest was comparatively underexposed, so you have to choose, in a very extreme way, what do you want to expose. Thank God you can do miracles if you shoot in RAW nowdays, but this gig was a bit too much extreme for my taste, and according to other fellow photographers I heard before the gig, it's her standard lights for all her show, or at least in Europe.
Another little problem was the pit a bit overcroweded than usual, as here in Ireland you don't often see 10 photographers in the same pit, but it did work well at the end, a few bumps, but that's it.
Am I happy with the photos? Well, so and so, she is a really good subject to photograph, but I think those lights it does ruin a bit her show, or at least from my point of view, which is not absolute. Anyway, down here some of the best photos, but as always you can find the full set on flickr.

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The 1975 @ Olympia Theatre

26 February 2014

After a pretty flat start, finally I gig that I really want to see, the 1975! I saw them a few months ago, and then the photos turned out as some of the best I shot last year, so you can easily imagine why I put my name down for the pass for this show.
Tha band on stage it's just great, it's one of the band to see live at least once, even if you think you are a bit older than their main audience (both me and my girlfriend felt very old at that gig).
But this time they moved to a bigger venue, as their fame grew in the past months, so a few things changed on the stage, or at least from what concerns the lights. So this time the big rectangular neon light they previously have just in front of the drummer (which was perfect because most of the times was framing the singer as well, and it also provided some extra light on the stage) was moved behind the drummer, so I lost a good source of light I could play with. Also this time the lights came mostly from the back and almost nothing were used to lit the band from the front. To be fair this is one of those gigs that you don't really know how is going to turn out until you developed the last photos on lightroom. And if  you don't like silhouettes you are kinda screwed.
The band also moves quite a lot on stage, it's a very dynamic band, especially the singer, and this factor could be both good and bad. It's good if you have enough light to catch this sense of movement, it's really bad if you don't have any lights as all the pictures will turn blurry or out of focus.
To be honest I was pretty pessimistic when I left the venue, I felt I didn't get any decent shots, or at least not that many, but as sometimes happens, I was wrong.
I still prefer the gig in the Academy, but at the end I got plenty of good shots, yes, a lot of silhouettes, but I like silhouettes and for me it's not a problem, while for others might be. Anyway, the full set is online on my flickr page, and down here you can see some of the best "snaps".

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Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes @ Olympia Theatre

24 February 2014

I have to say that this band, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, are not my cup of tea, if you like that kind of music they are surely a good band to see live, but the only reason I went to that gig was only because I knew it was a decent show to photograph, as I shot them back in 2012 in the same venue, the Olympia Theatre, and also I went to that gig because I wanted to photograph a gig after two months of break from the pit.
So how was to photograph this band this time? Well, almost the same as last time, decent back lights, and maybe too hard front lights, not too much smoke (or at least not the one I mean), and I probably can say that was a pretty flat gig, from a photography point-of-view, as true, there were plenty of lights, but it's also true they weren't that great, that's it.
Apart from the singer, who loves to move around the stage quite a lot, and at some stage he also jumped in the pit to get close with the fans, the rest of the band is pretty static on stage.
Anyway, as you can imagine I'm not that thrilled by the outcome of my photos, but if you like this band you might like them too. As obviously you can find the full set on my flickr account as usual.

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The Tivoli Car Park

20 February 2014

If you wondered why I didn't post anything in the past two weeks I just want to reassure you that I'm alive :D
But in the past two weeks I've been extremely busy, and most of my spare time is taken by Photoshop as I'm working on the Meteor Choice Music Prize's portraits, but I'm nearly there, I've only one band left to do (Kodaline), and hopefully they'll be sorted by friday. Anyway, I didn't stop shooting, and with my new Fuji X-E1I'm shooting almost every day, and in the past two days, during my lunch break, I've been scouting around for new places as this weekend I have to shoot to an irish artist, and I discovered a very intersting place, just around the corner from where I work, the Tivoli Car Park, one of the many car parks in city center here in Dublin, but with the peculiarity that the walls of this one are completely covered with graffiti! These are just a few shots I took in that area, nothing from the actual inside of the car park as I couldn't find anybody to ask the permission to shoot it (it's a private area, I just can't walk in and do whatever I like), but hopefully I'll post some other pictures soon!

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The apps that any photographer should have on their smartphone

05 February 2014

As I said in the past, I’m a Nerd. I make websites for living, and I spent most of my time in front of a computer, I’m a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek, and I wear funny t-shirts all the time, the only reason I don’t get a degree in nerdyness is the fact that I don’t read comics (but I read plenty of sci-fi books, does it count the same?). And as a nerd with the passion of photography I have my phone, my iPod and my tablet full of apps for photography, some are next to useless, but there are some that are extremely useful, and I decided to make a list of the must-have apps that any photographers should install in their smartphone/tablet.

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