Weeeell, not exactly random, but not sure if put these pictures in the street photography category or something else, anyway I woke up at 7am this morning and drove half thousand kilometers, so I'm not really with a superfresh mind to find a proper title, so get this and be happy.
Anyway, these are some pictures, outside the world of music photography, I took this month, which complete the ones I published a few days ago.
Any comments are welcome, but try to do not be a dick.
P.S.: Expect photos from my weekend in Ulster soon :-)
I have to admit it: I didn't like them the first time I've heard them, at all. But then I gave them a second chance and I quite start to like their music. Then a couple of years ago they played in Dublin, same venue, and when I enter the venue I was like "take some pictures, 3 songs and then get the fuck out". I was so wrong. By the end of the gig I was a fecking fan, and I hate this word. I even bought their t-shirt, can you imagine? So since then everytime they came to Dublin I was present in the pit :-)
But the first two times lights were okaaay, couple of nice shots, but it has been quite difficult to photograph them, and the Academy as I said in a previous post, it's a venue with good potentials, but sometimes you might end up shooting in the dark.
Thank to the prophets of Vulcan, this time they have good lights, with the right quantity of smoke that allows the lights to give you that sense of depth and tridimensionality. Again the only real problems was from the side LED lights, I know I've done 3 posts about gigs and I always mentioned that, but for music photographers these bleeding lights are just terrible.
I have to say that I mostly reused the presets I made for Bloc Party, as the light conditions were pretty similar, even if the gigs were in two totally different venues, so expect a similar look to that gig. Maybe a bit oversaturated than my usual, maybe too much contrast, maybe I like to change sometimes, but I think they are decent shots, or at least I like them.
So, down here you can find some of the best shots, but you can see the full set by clicking here.
People generally think that you always need a big crew even to make a small film, and most of the times it's true. But sometimes even with a few people, some tricks and good ideas you can do great things with limited budget and slaves... ehm... people who freely help you. In the following, quite hilarious, video made by the Vimeo Video School, it will show you some of the common tricks used in film making.
This is something that a lot of photographers, especially the beginners ones, tend to ignore, or at least underestimate. A simple white wall can become a great source of light, just bounce on it a simple speedlight, and here we have a huge diffuser, which it comes really handy when you don't have softboxes, umbrellas or any other light modifiers, but just a flash. Even with the simple sun light a white wall can become really handy if you know how to take advantage of it.
But because I'm terrible to explain things, any things, I'll just post this video from Marc Wallace, which explains how to use a white wall as a diffuser. Enjoy :-)
This morning I woke up, and I saw something amazing: Dublin under snow! While most of dubliners will probably fall in pure terror, as most of irish people don't really handle snow very well (no offence my irish friends, but that's the truth). So in my mind I was already thinking to do some street photography before going to work, dreaming of a desaturated city under a snow storm (yes, I have photoshop in my mind as well), thinking what could be a good exposure to have the right effect, but then I realized that we are on the coast, and snow doesn't really last long here. In fact after 20 minutes, the snow disappear. Big disappointment.
But then I thought: "maybe it will snow again?! Let's bring my camera, with lenses, filters, memories, tripod, lunch in case".
It did snow, but it didn't really stick to the ground. Second big disappointment of the day.
So the day turned from "let's hunt a good shot!" to "fuck off life".
But thank to the crazy irish weather, after some pointless and useless snowfalls, around 6 the sun came out, so I tried to turn what became an useless day to photograph to something interesting, and I went straight to a building that I was thinking to photograph from a while, which is the one with the big Heineken logo in front. I don't think it's owned by Heineken, I think they just paid shit load of money to put their logo on that building, but who cares?
So at the end I brought home 3 shoots, a good one, a quite good one, and one that it's okay, but still better than nothing no?!
This band is one of the bands that makes me feel old. Not because I'm that old (I'm not!), and the band is not that old either, but because the first time I saw them was back in 2002 or 2003, cannot even remember the year, and at the time nobody knew them, or at least in Italy (a country where bands like Kings Of Leon are "alternative bands" and this gives you a rough idea of how behind is my native country), and they supported Interpol at that time. And here we are, after ten years, with less hair (for me), some extra kilos (again for me), and way grumpier than before. But since then, I always loved this band since their first album, and it have been on my gigs wishlist for a long time, as I never had a chance to photograph them until now.
But putting music on a side, how is to photograph them? Well, not supereasy, as there were alot of LED lights (did I already say that I hate them?), but still great. I have to work a bit more than usual with Lightroom, but at the end I had so many good shots that I had to leave some behind as I really didn't want to publish more than 40 shots, which is already too much for my opinion.
I was a bit concerned to find a not very nice surprise, AKA Photo Release, at my arrival in the venue, as Bloc Party is not exactly a that small band, even if they didn't play in an big arena, but fortunately they seems to treat well enough photographers, so it was just the usual 3-songs-no-flash.
So at the end, great gig to see, listen and photograph! And I hope you will like my "snaps" as well, enjoy :-)
This is an interesting video tutorial that demostrates how how to use a technique called Dodge & Burn, made by the excellent photographer Elena Jasic. It's not the only way to do it, as the mostrly common technique is to create a single layer filled with 50% gray in overlay mode, and then use the Dodge & Burn brushes to enhances the shadows and the lights, but in my opinion her technique has a better control with the two differnet layers.
I understand that sometimes the closest you get to the action the better it is, but sometimes you have to set to yourself some kind of boundaries, or at least try not to kill yourself for a picture. This guy nearly died to take some pictures of crocodiles, underestimating how these creatures can be so damn letal.
Ok, let's do this. On my old and smelly italian blog my last gig photography-point-of-view review was Paul Banks, and since then I've been to a few other gigs, so let's start with one of my favourite bands: The Joy Formidable.
I've seen them 4 times so far. The first two times they played in Dublin, they did it in two crappy venues, great gigs indeed, great performances, but awful to shoot, as there were almost no lights, or even worst, just LED lights (the arch enemy of live photographers, they just oversaturate the red and blue lights). The third time they were supporting the Manic Street Preachers, so they just have a couple of lights, better than before, but as a supporter band they don't really get proper lights, as the setup for the venue is done only for the main act, obviously.
The last time, the one I'm referring in this article, it was in one of the most loved/hated venue in Dublin, The Academy.
From one side I love that venue because they had the potential to have great lights in a not that huge venue, and I did take great photos in that place in the past, from the other side I hate that venue 'cause they love to put loads of smoke on the stage, which sometimes is a big pain in the butt. So every time I go to that venue I feel like I'm about to play my lucky numbers on the roulette and hope that I'm going to be lucky.
Thankfully this time I've been lucky, and the band had a good amount of light games on the stage, which gives me a lot of chances to catch some good photos.
Obviously the band were amazing as usual, but unfortunately my girlfriend had a different opinion, and when a man and a woman have to choose what to do, the man always lose.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best shoots I took that night, and you can find the full set on my flickr account.