Alessio Michelini Photography

Soundgarden @ The O2

21 September 2013

I have a list, not written, but which is pretty clear in my mind, of band that I HAVE TO see or photograph, at any conditions. There aren't many names in that list, but one of these is Soundgarden. It's one of the symbols of grunge generation, my generation, alongside with bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. Older generation thinks that they (Soundgarden) were a simple rip off of Black Sabbath, and to be fair it's quite true, but you could say the same of Smashing Pumpkins, and these bands never hide the fact they were inspired by that band, but to say that they are just a rip off it's a bit silly, they took inspiration from the hard rock from the 70s, but they created something new from that base. You can say the same to any bands, as anyone gets their inspiration from the past, if you listen any modern band they sound like a rip off of bands from the 80s, and bands in the 80s were inspired from the music of previous generation, and you can keep going until you reach a guy in Egypt, back in 5000 BC, who played some silly instrument made out of some dead animal skin, and you see how pretty useless is to compare a band to previous generations.

As well for younger generation, they probably don't know any other songs than Black Hole Sun, the same people who complained because they didn't play at their gig in the O2, last monday. But, if you are from my generation, and you had the chance to listen Spoonman, My Wave, and other songs that are way better than Black Hole Sun, you probably were pretty happy, as you don't really give a shit of this song, because we loved that band since Badmotorfinger. And they are not a Karaoke band, who plays only their "hits", but they play whatever they want.
That's a pretty long introduction from this band, way longer than usual, but I hope you get the idea of what this meant for me. I love this band, and their live performance was simply superb for me.

Now, these are all good words for them, but I have to be objective, and while as a live band they are just amazing, and while the teenager in me was pretty happy with it, the old grumpy photographer which is also part of me wasn't that happy.
Let me say two words: photo release. It wasn't the worst I've seen, as they technically don't claim any ownership on my photos, and I can use my photos for my portfolio, or for my blog at least, but apart from the reason I was there, I cannot sell or even give for free my photos to anyone else. I would generally walk away when I see these contracts, but as you can probably imagine, I couldn't just say no to Soundgarden, they might split tomorrow or worst, and I could miss my only chance to see this band.
So for once I closed an eye to my moral principles, and I signed that bloody contract.

Then, lights. They were "meh", not a very dark stage in general, but pretty dark for the O2, and nothing spectacular, or at least not for the first three songs, as we left the pit, the lights exploded on stage, obviously. Thankfully I was able to stay for a while, and I was really tempted to take my camera out of the bag and take some shots from the crowd, but I have a pretty strong ethics, and the three songs rule is really something that I don't want to break, even if nobody will ever notice, I just couldn't do it.
Anyway, the photos turned out OK, nothing amazing, but decent shots.

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Photo Release: The National

19 September 2013

Here we go with The National's photo release, which it essentially says that apart from the specific article you are shooting for, you cannot use your photos, they don't take your copyrights on them, but they say you cannot use them in any other istances, not even for your portfolio, unless  you contact them and ask for the permission, which is something that will never happen, has they will ignore any email you will send to them.


(via Music Photographers)

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Lightroom Tips: how to export all your presets in a few clicks

13 September 2013

This time I'm not going to talk about my photos or photography in general, but I'm going to talk about one of the best piece of software ever made, Adobe Lightroom. A few days ago I bought a new computer, as my 4 years old iMac had enough of me, and I got an Apple Mac Mini with a very good monitor, an Asus PB278Q. But now I have a problem: I have to move all my files, my email accounts, and especially the billion of presets I made over the years on Lightroom. Well, maybe they are not a billion, but for sure several hundreds. And while Lightroom does a lot of things well, there are a few where it doesn't really shine, and one of these is how to export presets (unless there is a secret button that I don't know). From the interface you can only export one presets at a time, and it's fine if you have a few presets, but quite insane if you have hundreds, as in my case.
But the Nerd there is in me felt that there were a quicker way, as these presets has to reside somewhere on my computer, as simple files I can copy in a few clicks, so I started to google around, and I found out that I was right.
All your presets, but not only those, as you can do the same with the export presets and your watermark, can be found at this path:

/Users/[user name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/

or (If you are a Windows user) at:

C:Users[user name]AppDataRoamingAdobeLightroom

In this folder you will see several folders, the "Develop Presets" is the one where your presets are, but you can also see your Export Presets, Watermarks, Print Templates (if you use them), Color Profiles, etc... Which I can copy and paste (and do a backup of them is not a bad idea at all) on my brand new computer.

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From the Archive: Steve Vai @ Vicar St

13 September 2013

I have to admit that I'm not going to that many gigs as I used to do in the past, but while I've started this blog this spring, I've shot gigs for years, and I have a pretty big archive of artists, as you can see from this collection on my flickr account. So why not talk about the gigs I did in the past? Does it really matter if I talk about a gig I went an year ago instead of last weekend? This is not a music magazine where the article has to be done just after the event, it's a photography blog. So from now on, I'll start to pick some of the best gig I photographed in the past, as you probably don't wanna see awful pictures of awful gigs, and the first on the list is probably one of the best gigs I've seen last year, the master of insane guitar solos Steve Vai.
Years ago, when I unsuccessfully tried to learn how to play guitar, was one of the reference, his white Ibanez was like the guitar of God at that age, but to be honest last time I've listened one of his song was probably 5 years ago, at the very least. But the inner teenager in me forced me to go to see this guy, but the old man outside me didn't have any expectations.
And I was wrong, extremely wrong. That gig turned out to be one of best I've seen last year. Still, after one song of him I get bored now, but as a live performer, you can't really say anything against this guy, it's pure fun, despite his not very young age, he runs on the stage like a teenager. He is not someone that want to show off his guitar skills, he is someone who wants to make a great show to his audience, and he does it extremely well.
Now, what about lights? Well, while most of the times we, music photographers, complain about how bad are lights, how fuckin dark was the stage, and so on, that was the exact opposite. Tons of lights, never seen so many lights on a stage, for a second I thought I was going blind. Again, it's definitely one of the best shows I've seen in 2012.
Bear in mind, fellow photographer, that apparentely he takes a camera from one of the photographer and he takes a picture of the crowd, he did here in Vicar St, and he did the same in Italy, so I presume it's his thing, so if you are the lucky one, remember to set your camera in Auto mode!

As you can easily imagine, I've a billion of photos of this gig, down here some of the best ones, but here you can find the full set.

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Liffey River

09 September 2013

Before I post about my photos I took a few weeks ago in Connemara, I wanted to show this picture, which I took almost a month ago to test my brand new tripod, which hopefully I'm going to write a review soon, to see how stable that little thing can be, and the Liffey river is a good test, as it's always quite windy. Obviously after one hour of shooting, I came back with only one shoot, but I have to say that I started to be really picky on my photos lately, if possible, I'm way more selective from how I used to be, I think it's a good thing. Anyway, here's the photo, what do you think?

(click to see a bigger version of the photo)

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Let There Be Light

06 September 2013

Back in April I've posted a very interesting video from cinematographer Mark Vargo, and today I want to share another video from him, a video that starts with the origin of cinema lighting and show how light works. This is possibly one of the most interesting, and important, videos you can possibly watch. Always remember, photography is all about light.

(via PetaPixel)

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Alkaline Trio @ The Academy

02 September 2013

Yeah, I know, where have I been in the past 10 days? Well as an excuse I can say that I had to work like hell, but in fact I've been a bit lazy with the blog. Sometimes I post like a squirrel under caffeine, sometime I'm more like a lazy bear.
Anyway, as I refused to shoot any major festivals here in Ireland (apart the one day at the Longitude) and with the festivals season there is nothing much to see in town, so this month I went to only one gig. The band was Alkaline Trio, a band that I knew only because they were in a soundtrack of a video game I played a while ago.
I have to say that I generally don't like punk-rock, at all. Maybe I'm too old for it (but I never really like it, even when I was too young for it), maybe I don't understand it, say whatever you want to say dear punk-rock friends, but I don't like it. And to be fair I went to this gig more because I thought it was good to photograph, that's it. So I'm not going to give my opinion on this band, the maximum I can say it's the word "grand" in the very irish meaning.
But maybe lights were good, no? Well, unfortunately they were grand as well, not terrible like Mark Laneghan or Godspeed You! Black Emperor (which they mark my very low point of bad gigs to photograph), but definitely not good.
The band itself didn't bring their lights, which is understanable as they come from the states, and if you have to across the ocean, unless you are very rich, you bring just the essential. But I know that lights could be better in that venue, but they didn't want to use them all, that's it.
And the band it's not that dynamic, in the three songs I was in the pit (which I had to say it was a pretty short time), I didn't see too much movement on stage, or at least not as much I would expect from a punk-rock band.
At least this time they didn't turn the stage into a London in the Victorian Era, which is something that a photographer should appreciate sometimes.
Anyway, these are some of the "best" shots I took that night, I hope you like them, because I don't.

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Forty Foot, Dún Laoghaire

23 August 2013

A couple of weeks ago I wanted to test my brand new tripod, the Manfrotto BeFree, to see if it's a good product or just a waste of money (spoiler alert: is a damn good tripod), so I decided to go on one of the best places you can go on a sunny day around here in Dublin, and I've opted for Forty Foot.
If you love to swim and you are from Dublin you probably know this place, if you are a photographer who know well enough this city and its suburbs, you know this place as well. In the past few centuries has been the swimming pool for the dubliners, but it's quite hard to describe this place with words (at least for me), so I better show you some photos.

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