Last weekend I was surfing around on the usual websites I always read, and on one of them I found this post with a bold title: "THE IPCRESS FILE - 100 amazing Cinematic Shots like photographer you must watch".
I don't generally really trust such boldy sentences, they are just good to catch hipsters, but I gave it a go and I watched the video, and surprisingly I was so amazed by the video that I decided to find the movie and watch it.
And while it's a almost 50 years old movie, as it came out in 1965, the photography is simply superb, maybe it's not high def as modern standard, but how it was shot it's simply superb in my opinion. So, if you don't know what to watch tonite, that's a film you must see if you care about photography.
The most depressing month of the year is gone, finally. I spent the first week being sick. I had plans for that week, as I was off, great plans, but I had to stay on bed with a bleeding flu. On the music photography side, apart the cool photo shoot I did a couple of weeks ago with The Academic and the portraits for the Choice Music Prize 2013, I did nothing. No gigs, no fun. But, agian and thankfully, January is gone.
The only fun I had was testing my brand new camera, and I recently bought a couple of old manual lenses (but I'll talk about them in another time), and I took some photos with that, and I I took a couple of cityscapes with my beloved 6D. So, here we are with the photos I took last month, which you can find them on my flickr account as well, I hope you'll enjoy them, and feel free to leave a comment or a critique.
A couple of weeks ago I've been asked, for an article about emerging acts in Ireland on Goldenplec.com, to photograph a (very) young band from Mullingar, and obviusly I said "why not?". So we have contacted the band to organize the shoot, and at the end according with the band manager and the band itself we decided to shoot in Mullingar. Initially I wasn't really thrilled to shoot there simply because I don't know the place, I so didn't know the place that I had to check on Google Maps where it was. But at the end it turned out that it's a nice town, and while we were wandering for the city to find a proper place to do the photo shoot, the band manager suggested to go to the old train station. It did sound a bit ankward to me initially, but when I saw the place I fell in love. The train station itself it's a very old one, but just beside the current train station, they kept the old train station, a dirty and rotten building with some old rails coverd by grass, if seen by someone else, but a very cool place if seen from me. So while, as I said, the town was nice, it didn't really offer a valid alternative, so we decided to take some (and when I say some I'm talking about 600+) shots there.
It was the very first photo shoot ever made by the band, so obviously they were a bit stiff, and to be fair if I had their age, I wouldn't have behaved differently, but at the end the shots turned out great, or at least I'm happy with that, and down here you can find some of the best shots.
In the past year I started to take a few random photos, mostly street stuff, and put them into a set every month, pictures that probably wouldn't be related to anything specific like a travel, or a photo shoot or a gig. It's not an attempt to do any 365 project, as I know I would never be able to be that consistent, and rather than commit to something that, I know, I would never be able to accomplish, I prefer to do something less "demanding". And while in the past I didn't really pay that much attention to these sets, leaving these photos in some sort of limbo, now I want to give them a bit more exposure, and I'll try to post every month the picture I took in the previous month.
I kinda already started to do that in the past, but what I'll try to be consisted and post something every month.
Anyway, even if we are nearly at the end of January, I'll post the shots I took back in December, they are not many, and they are mostly made to test my brand new "portable" camera, the Fuji X-E1.
As usual, feel free to leave a comment with critics or even to say hello :-)
As per, what now is a, tradition, it's Meteor Choice Music Prize's nominees interview shooting time, and once again I can say that I survived the first day of shooting. And once again I had the opportunity to shoot some of the best irish bands, even if time is always tight, and I had maximum 15 minutes per band, not much, but once you have something clear in mind of how to shoot all these artists, it's not impossible to achieve. And this year I wanted to make my life easy, so rather than photograph the band in a random different places around the venue, I choose only one place, with the same setup for everybody, to have all the photograph consistent, or at least for these first batch, and hopefully I'll replicate the lights setup for the others.
Anyway, I don't want to bother you to what I've done today, but I just wanted to show you some backstage photos I took today, alongside some photos of a beautiful Dublin in the early morning, and a teaser photo (I can't publish anything for the moment) of the photo shoot.
As probably some of you remember, back in september I posted some photos I took after I went out scouting some places for a photo shoot with a band, but I never published the photos I took with the band. It’s my bad I know, I supposed to talk about it months ago, but the photo shoot happened just a few days before my crazy holidays in Crete, and I never had a chance to finish to work on the very last photos I took that day, but finally after more than three months, I found some spare time to develop the very last photos I took with a band of very good friends of mine, the Fallen Rule (take a look on their facebook page) back in late september, which was really fun day, or as they say here in Dublin, we had a good crack. Anyway, as my usual I took a billion of photos, using only natural light as that day it was a bit cloudy, which is the best condition to photograph outside, and we walk quite a bit along the docklands. At the end of the day I had a great day and I brought home plenty of good shots.
So, here we are, with a few months on delay, down here you can find some of the best photos I took that day, and as always you can find the full set on my flickr account.
A few days ago Adobe released a new update for Adobe Photoshop CC which included a few new tools, and one of the most prominent tool was the Perspective Warp, and in this interesting video Andrew Trice shows us how to use this new tricky tool, which is probably going to make happy a lot of photographers, especially if you often work with composites or even simply if you shoot landscapes / architectural.
A couple of weekends ago I was bored. Really bored. So bored that I forced myself something to do, so I decided to take a photo of my brand new camera, the Fuji X-E1. I was partially inspired by this article by Laya Gerlock, where he uses a black granite tile for some of his still life works, which gives great results on the cheap. But where the heck I can find a black granite tile in Dublin? Well maybe if I go to citywest I can find someone who sells it, but without a car going there is nearly impossible, especially if then you have to carry a piece of granite, which it's definitely not lightweight, and I didn't want to wait a week before even try to find something, so I turned on the little MacGyver inside my brain, and I found a similar solution, not as good as the granite, but somehow and with the help of Photoshop it worked.
Essentially I reused an A4 size black cardboard I bought for another photo I did in the past for a client, and on top of it I've placed a glass from a frame I had, and voit la! I had my black glass surface, not as good as the black granite, as the thin glass creates two reflections, one on top and one of the bottom, but still better than nothing.
So then what I tried was to use my backdrop holder with a bed sheet to use it as a background, but while I thought it was a great idea, it didn't work at all, simply because the bed sheet let the light pass through, so you lose part of the light and unless you use an heavy weight, or you iron the sheet, which I really didn't want to do at that hour of the night, it just can't create a compact and clean surface, it will be just full of folds and it wasn't just right, so I put back the backdrop and I used what I had to use in first place, the wall.
I know I know, this post has nothing to do with photography, but I'm a Nerd, I'm a Web Developer/Designer and I often do facebook apps, and also how many of you have a facebook page? If you are a photographer as well you probably have one, so in this video, the youtuber Veritasium explains why in the past months we saw the numbers of views of our pages continuosly drowning, and the answer is easy: Facebook wants us to pay for views. You want more views? Well dear user, give us money and we'll give you the same visibility you had 6 months ago.
Honestly I don't think that this strategy will pay in long term, maybe now they are making good money, but at the same time they are pissing off a lot of users, and if you lose users, dear Facebook, you will end up like MySpace. And it didn't end well.
Once again I'm here to remark how important is post production in photography. I really can't stand people who claims that photos shouldn't be retouched from what is the "reality", term used by people with no background in photography to assume that what they shot with their expensive-but-still-in-auto-mode camera it represents the "real life". Once again, it is not. Reality it's the perception of what your senses comunicate to your brain, and most of the times what I call "blue" it might not be blue to someone else.
Someone blames Photoshop to have "altered" photography from what it originally was, but once again they just proved their lack in this matter, as even back to film photography there were tricks to edit photos, a lot of iconic photos that anybody knows from some of the most famous photographers were "edited", and if you are shaking your head and you still don't believe me, please take a read on this article on PetaPixel.com. What Photoshop did was only to make life easier to photographers, as digital sensor did in the past decade, it made photography more accessible to the masses.
Now, I want to make it clear that I don't want to sound like the guy who says "we'll fix it in post" all the times, that's wrong as well.
Photos must be well composed, well exposed and with the right settings from the very beginning, it's not a matter of press the button randomly and then fix it later. You should always think twice, at least, and check everything before pressing the shutter button.
So, as many of my friends, acquaintances, colleagues and others keep asking how I make my pictures, and because someone belive that it's just a matter to have the right camera, while it's clearly not, and actually behind some of my best photos there's always plenty of work made behind the screen of my computer, I wanted to show you how some of my best shots look like straight from the camera, with no post production and how they look after Photoshop / Lightroom, just move your mouse over the photos to slide between the before and after.