Lets start from the very beginning. In the last three years I've been taking portraits of irish artists who have been nominated for one of the main music awards in Ireland, the (now Meteor) Choice Music Prize. How I managed to do that? Simple: the company where I work does the interviews that every year are shown on the big screen at the night of the event.
It become a sort of tradition, and even if the budget is not huge, it's always fun (and stressy) to do it. So what I've done for the last 3 years, was to take a few pictures of each of the artists before or after they got interview. It sounds easy, it is not.
First problem we have every year, is time. We always try to shoot all the interview in a couple of days, which is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when you have to deal with artists, so you end up to have 5/6 artists in a day, and you hope that everything goes fine. But if you take out the time toï¿½ shoot the interview, and add the very little patience of some artists, at the end the time I have to shoot is more or less 5 minutes. 10 when I'm lucky.
Then most of the times we know which is the venue at the very last minute, or if we know in advance I don't have the time to scout the place, which is fondamental, so some of the shoots are a total disaster for me, as I have to test with the artist in place and I have to hope that everything goes fine.
For that reason I'm going to write about some of these portraits I took in the past, trying to explain how I did it despite my inability to explain things and my pretty poor english.
Anyway, let's start with the first artist, which is Damien Dempsey.
Last friday I've ordered my new wide zoom lens, a brand new Canon 17-40mm L USM, from Amazon.co.uk, and today after only 3 working days it's arrived and I already put in my backpack. I ordered on Amazon 'cause I kinda trust that site, they had the best price and I know that I could claim the Canon Spring Cashback, as indicated on the Canon site, which it supposed to give me back 100 euro from my purchase. I said "supposed", as I just got an email from Canon saying that, they regret, but they cannot approve my claim as I bought the lens from a third party.
Yes, when you buy a good on Amazon, most of the times you are not buying a good from Amazon, but from an affiliate of Amazon, the little name you see under the stock quantity. Most of you probably never noticed, but you better start to do it.
Apparently, Canon say that you can claim the cashback only if you by a Canon product sold directly by Amazon. Obviusly they don't state this clearly on the canon site but you supposed to read the less read document on the internet called "Terms & Conditions".
Oooh Canon, thank you very much to tell me that only after my purchase, thank you very much. But lets state a couple of points:
So, after these two points, it's clear that the Canon Cashback is clearly a fraud, made only to tempt its costumers to buy one of their products, letting them believe that it's a "good deal" when is definitely not.
Dear Canon, I've been your costumer for years, my next step was to buy a new DSLR, a Canon 6D or a Canon 5D Mk III, thinking to do a good deal by buying in the next month using the cashback, but now I just feel fooled from a brand I used to love.
So, I'll probably buy a new camera, as I don't have any alternative unless I switch to Nikon, which I think is a pretty stupid move for me, but next lens? Sigma or Tamron, as they are both making some great lenses with reasonable prices, and they probably treat their costumers better than you do, dear Canon.
As I previously said, one week ago me and Riccardo, a good friend of mine and a good photographer as well, went to Bull Island, a famous place for kite surfers in Dublin, but apparently kinda unknown for everyone else, and apart the test shots, I took some random shots, nothing really special, but still decent shots, and the two black and white landscapes are the last two shots from my beloved and now gone Sigma 10-20mm. I still can't believe I sold that lens.
Well, I don't really think that this suggestion will be actually handy for anyone of us, but it's still pretty cool to see a camera floating in zero gravity, no? :D
Anyway, Chris Hadfield, an astronaut which is currently on the ISS, did this video where he explain how he takes some landscapes from above us.
Btw, the "Sunny 16 rule" he mentioned, is this rule.
Yet another post about Timelapses, but this time I'm not going to show you another one, but I'm posting a video made by Vincent Laforet for Canon America, which is going to explain you the basics of how to make a timelapse.
It's a set of four videos, but at the time I'm writing only two are out on YouTube, and in theory you can watch all of them on the Canon site by clicking here, but unfortunately the videos don't play, not sure if it's just me or they are actually down, but in the meanwhile you can start to watch the first one above here, which is just an introduction to the theme, and the second one below here, which it shows you how to set your camera.
Hopefully the other two videos will be on YouTube in the next few days.
The videos have been removed from youtube, but the first one is back on Vimeo, so to see the other 3 you can go to the Canon website
I don't like to sell gear, I don't like to buy used gear as well, maybe it's because it's the italian 80s mentality to buy everything new if you can, I know it's wrong, but unfortunately this bug is in my head and it's not easy to get rid of it.
So, as I'm planning to move to a Full Frame body in the next month(s), which is obviously going to be my main body, and my current main body, which is a Canon 7D, it will be used only for some gigs and maybe video, but definetely not for landscapes, the only EF-S lens I currently have (apart the Sigma 17-70 which I land to a friend of mine and the last time I used was probably 3 years ago, and I'm not really interested in using it anymore) is my beloved Sigma 10-20mm EX DC HSM.
This is the photo release you will have to sign if you want to shoot at Lana Del Ray's gig. They don't explicitly say that they own the copyrights of your pictures, but it has the same effect as Lana Del Ray's management could sue you if you publish your pictures outside the agreement down here.
Thanks to the facebook page Music Photographers who kindly shares these releases, and it makes me save, or at least for me, time and patience by simply not going to these "artists"'s show.
This is an interesting, and quite long (about 1hr), video where Red Bull sports photographer Chris Garrison explain how he did some of his shots using the PocketWizard HyperSync technology in the PocketWizard FlexTT5 and MiniTT1, which enables you to shoot with studio strobes at very fast sync speed, up to 1/8000th of second. Pretty cool stuff.
If you want to know more about this technology, you can find a brief explaination on this page.