Now that I have a week of break from gigs I think it's better if I talk about some stuff I left behind, like the 2 days trip in Connemara I did this summer, or the photo shoot I did a couple of months ago for the band Fallen Rule, and I have also a couple of reviews to write about some of my gear, but before all of that, I just wanted to post some photos I took in late october and november around here, in Dublin, photos that are kinda lost in between the billion of photos of gigs, and I think they deserve a bit more attention, specially from me, like these ones I took between Townsend St / College Green, and Westland Row (where Pearse Station is):
(Buy it on RedBubble)
I don't generally like to sell my gear, maybe because sometimes I get too attached to these objects, maybe because I took so many good pictures with them, I don't really know if there's any logical reason or not, but I have to face that even if I still "love" them,Â at the end they are still useful gear that are taking dust on my shelves because I don't use them anymore, and the more I wait, the more their value goes down. And even if part of me still doesn't like the idea, I don't see why I have to keep my old cameras on those shelves, and I better sell them, so at least someone else can use them. So, before putting them on adverts.ie, I wanna see if I can find someone else interested to by my old, but still perfect 7D, and the still good but not perfect 50D.
I generally tend not to photograph bands more than once, unless they are really good performers, or they are really good to photograph. In the case of The Naked And Famous, when I shot them a couple of years ago, they were both, difficult to photograph, as the stage was full of smoke everywhere, but I brought home some good shots at the end. So when I saw they were playing in the Olympia again, I thought "why not?".
So once again, here we are in the Olympia with The Naked And Famous on the stage, and once again they confirmed to be really good performers, maybe slightly less better than the other time, but still a really good band to see live, but to photograph this time was a different story.
It's hard to say why, but even if sometimes I despise how bands abuse of smoke on stages, this time a bit of smoke would definitely have helped to give a bit of more depth on the lights on stage. Bear in mind that they had plenty of lights for the gig, but as happened with Kodaline, the result, or at least from a photography point of view, it was pretty bland. The photos are ok, nothing terrible but nothing extremely exciting as well. To be honest I felt like I had a sandwich week of gigs. A meh gig, a great gig, another meh gig.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best photos I took at their gig, and on my flickr page you can find the full set. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
If you shoot any type of photography where you need slow shutter speed without going up with the ISO, from simple landscape photography to long exposures, you already know that a good tripod is an essential tool. There are no stabilisation technologies that can replace a tripod, they help sometimes, but in most of the cases they are useless if you go slower than a 1/20 of a second. And while you can go really cheap with some other accessories like flashes or filters and still retain some decent quality, buy a 20 euro tripod in Lidl is not really an option, they are too clumsy and too instable to use, and if you take exposures for more than a second, any subtle movement could ruin your photo.
So if you need a tripod, and if you get into photography at some stage you will need one, buy a good one, which has to be as sturdy as possible , and unlike cameras, you don't need to replace them after a couple of years, they will last for a long time.
Until a few months ago my main tripod was a good Manfrotto 190CL, with a basic but really good 3-axis head bought back in 2006, and last Christmas I replaced the head with a joystick one, which is much easier to use, with a quick place.
It's a great tripod, and after years, despite several bumps, a few scratches, it's still in perfect conditions.
It has only one problem: it's heavy!
The Darkness are one of the bands you must see, even if you don't like their music and you think their videos are pretty silly, you still have to see them live, as they put an incredible show on the stage, it's pure rock'n'roll, Justin Hawkins taste in clothes might be questionable, but what it's unquestionable is his voice and his ability of being a great frontman. Even my girlfriend wanted to see them live despite the fact she doesn't like their music.
I went to the Olympia sure to see a great show, and I wasn't disappointed. My only concern for the night was the rumours that they started to ask photographers to sign a bloody photo release, but someone confirmed that rumours, someone else said they didn't sign anything, so I decided to give it a chance and see what happen, and luckily I found nothing to sign when I arrived at the venue.
As I said they are a great band, and on that stage everything happens, and apart the drummer which is pretty invisible behind his drum, like I wasn't even sure if he was there or not, the band was pure fun to shoot. Tons of lights, tons of good photos, tons of decibels!
The only problem of the night probably was the insane amount of photographers in the pit. Ten photographers in the Olympia are too many, too many people fighting for the best spot, and while most of them know how to behave in the pit, someone else don't. But lets talk about this another time, maybe in a proper rant-post. Anyway, down here some of the best photos as usual, and as always you can find the full set on my flickr page.
In the past few months I've seen this name many times, their album cover on several shops, people talking about them, kodaline here, kodaline there, kodaline and more kodaline.
I assume that radios play their songs quite intensively, but as I don't listen to radios I've no idea if I'm wrong or not, and as I see that they are playing around europe, I assume, again, that they are becoming the next big band from Ireland.
But until last week I probably heard one of their song just once, maybe on an ad? Can't remember, and I don't care. To be fair, they're not my favourite music, they are just too pop, but I wanted to see them live to see if maybe they are a good live band, and I've asked for a pass on their last, of their three gigs in the Olympia.
As a live band they are good, and I saw plenty of happy faces in their audience, but still, not my music. But how is to photograph them? Well, they are ok.
There are plenty of lights on the stage, they were well-lit, but for some reasons, maybe because of the too many lights, it was kinda flat. Nothing really blew me away, as a lighting point of view, and to be honest I was quite disappointed. Also they had so many monitors (the big speakers in front of the stage), way more than usual, that blocked me part of view, and while I generally like to include monitors, as it gives that sense of depth, in that case there were too many, and I felt like a midget in front of a very high fence.
Another thing I can say is that they don't move a lot, probably because there are too many things on that damn stage and they can't move? Or maybe they were just tired after three days of gis in the same venue? Or they just don't move as a general move, anyway, it was pretty boring.
Obviously, as this band is pretty popular at the moment, my photos got tons of likes and retweets and all these social stuff, which is great, but I would prefer that better photos I took get all these attentions, but as always the mass look who is in the picture, and not the picture itself. And that's really depressing for me.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the "best" photos, while on my flickr account you find the full set, and if you want to leave a comment, it's on the very bottom of the page.
I hate when I see a band like them, a band that I love from their first album, one of the first bands I've seen live back in the 90s, comes out with a photo release. It's not extremely bad, as they don't steal any copyrights from you, but essentially they want free photos from photographers, to use for commercial purposes or for whatever they like, and I cannot accept that. So, I'm sorry Brian, I will never see you again on a stage, unless you get rid of this bullshit.
In this video, Joe Fellows is going to show us a simple but pretty awesome effect: the 2.5D Effect. Essentially with a bit of Photoshop and AfterEffects, you can turn your very flat photo to something amazing! But just watch the video to get a better idea of what is this effect.
Back in 2005 I used to drive 60 km per day to go to work and back, and at that time there were a few albums that I've listened to death, and one of them was The Back Room by Editors. I love that album, it's a great album and for sure it's one of the best albums of the past decade. The following albums was a sort of decay of the band for me, the more they got famous, the less I started to like them. But they are still a great live band as I saw them a few years ago over here, in the Olympia, but at that time I wasn't able to get a photo pass, which sometimes it's not a bad thing as you can really enjoy the gig, but on the other hand the photographer in me demanded photos. And this time we go photos.
Again, they are a great live band, great gig, but this isn't a music website, it's a website about photography. So, how was to photograph them? A nightmare.
The first song is essentially a wall of smoke and backlit. I just had silhouettes from that song, and on the second one it didn't really changed much, a bit better as the smoke started to fade away, but still very hard even to focus the subject. The third song was better, and probably I got the best photos on the very last song I was allowed to shoot.
Initially I thought "I never gonna have a decent photo tonite", but at the end with some post-production magic, and thankfully with some rare istants of good lighting, I manage to get some good photos out of something started as a photographic tragedy, and I'm pretty happy with some of the photos.
Anywaym, as usual down here you can find some of the best photos, while the full set is on my flickr page. If you want to leave any comment, please use the comment box at the very bottom of the page!
As I said in the past, I have a list in my mind, of bands that I must photograph, and some of these bands were very important for me, (well, maybe "important" is not the right word, maybe "significant" would be more appropriate), like milestones, bands that remind me of specific periods of my life, and one of these bands are surely Queens Of The Stone Age. I was a fan of them since their first album, actually even before, as one of my favourite bands at that time were Kyuss, the band where Josh Homme come from.
So you can easily understand that I was waiting to see this band from quite a while, even if now I would hardly listen to their music, and I had to photograph them.
Then, how they are live? Even if I could stay only for three songs, I'm quite trained to understand if a band is good or not even after one minute, and I can easily say that QOTSA are immense. Probably one of the best band I've seen live this year, not the best, but defo in the top 10.
Unfortunately to photograph them it wasn't so nice. Why? Lets start with the pit.
Essentially it was a simplified version of Kings of Leon's pit, they split it in thirds, and photographers can stay only on the side ones, no photos from the middle part, and once you are on one of the side, you are stuck there. Do you remember how I hate seated show because I can shoot only from the sides, so I get only two perspectives? Well, that's even worst, because I get only one side.
Now lets talk about the lights. Green backlit, more green lights, again green lights, and for a second I was thinking that was some sort of charity gig in favour of greenpeace or anyone related to nature, or maybe it was St. Patrick day, until we got some red lights, then I thought the stage was actually a big traffic light.
I can't say they were terrible, because I was expecting even worst lights (often I search the band I'm going to shoot on youtube to see how the lights were in their previous gigs), but while they were great to see and listen, they were no more than "meh" to photograph.
Also, because of the force perspective, I have pictures only of Josh Homme (from one side only) and their bass player, that's it. So, glad to listen to them, because they are a great live band, but next time I'll buy the ticket and I'll enjoy the show rather than try to photograph them.
Anyway, these are some of the best shots, I hope you like them, because for me they are "meh". As usual you can find the full set on my flickr page.