If this name, Black Star Riders, doesn’t ring you a bell, you just have to know that essentially they are the latest incarnation of Thin Lizzy, and they use this name simply because they didn’t want to write any new songs under the Thin Lizzy name, which is understandable, as Thin Lizzy is an heavy legacy to have, and you just can’t get rid of it easily. Fans will always expect Thin Lizzy’s songs from you, always. And it’s not an easy job for Ricky Warwick to replace Phil Lynott, I presume you will always be compared to the one of the most loved musician in Ireland (and no Bono, you are not in that list), of one of the most important, if not THE most important band came out from Ireland.
But despite the legacy they have to carry around, despite that you will always have to make the fans happy playing some of the old songs, they are still a great band to see live, and even the new stuff is pretty damn good to be honest.
But I’m not here to talk about music, but I’m a photographer, who shoot music. And I have to say that this gig was a really good one to photograph. I’ll never stop saying, the Olympia Theatre is one of the best venues to photograph a gig, great atmosphere and mostly, great lights! And from a band that was originated when the rock was Rock, they are not shy to lights, even if they were the supporter band, which generally gets only the basic venue lights, it was a really good show to photograph, very dynamic band on stage, not statues like Jake Bugg (sorry Jake, but you didn’t move by a notch when I saw you). Plus no bullshits like photo releases to signs, which it’s always great, just pure Rock.
Down here you can see some of the best shots I took that night, while here on flickr you can find the full set.
This time I don't want to talk about photography, but I want to talk about a serious disease, that affect 1 out of 10 people in UK only: Tinnitus.
If you don't already have it, you probably don't know what it is, and often people who suffers of this hearing condition doesn't even know what it is.
Quoting Wikipedia, "Tinnitus is the perception of sound within the human ear ("ringing of the ears") when no external sound is present". If you ever been to a gig you probably got it for a day or two, sometimes it goes away earlier, sometimes it persists for various days, but most of the times it goes away. And that's probably why a lot of people just ignore it, they think it will always go away. But sometimes it doesn't, and I'm one of those people who now have this disease for the rest of our lives.
A lot of times I recommended to other fellow photographers at a gig to buy some earplugs, especially the young ones who just started to take photos at gigs, but they always smile at me and they reply with "Naah I'll be fine", "It will go away after a few hours", "I don't need them", etc...
That's exactly what I was thinking 6/7 years ago, when I started to photograph shows, I always thought it will go away the day after, but one day, after an insanely loud gig of Dinosaur Jr, it didn't.
I wanted to buy this lens since I got my Fujifilm X-E1 over an year ago, but at that time I decided, despite my legendary hate against zoom lenses, to buy it with the Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4, just because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be stuck with just one focal length at the begin. And to be honest I didn’t dislike that lens that much, it was overall very sharp, very well build and light at the same time, a good lens. But, I just can’t stand zoom lenses, and after 6 months I sold it to buy the Samyang 12mm, and I didn’t regret it. Actually, the only regret I had was not to buy the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 R straight away since the very begin.
But if you buy out of the kit, it’s not supercheap, especially if you don’t plan to spend bags of money as I already invested a lot of money on the Canon system, as for me the Fuji X-E1 was just a small camera to carry around. So, spend more than 500 euro for that lens, it was a bit too much for me.
But then last Xmas, while I was waiting for my flight home at the airport, I saw that Dixons Travel had this lens on an insanely low price: €319. Almost half of the normal price you can generally find it in any store. It was like if it was saying “Buy me, pleeease”, and I couldn’t say no.
And since then I think I did took off from my camera twice, and not for long, as I simply love it.
Here we are with our monthly appointment with my "random" photos, the ones who doesn't belong to a specific event, like a gig or a trip to somewhere.
February it was short but decently productive, not mad busy, as I had only a gig (but as you probably noticed I don't do many gigs anymore, for reasons that one day I'll explain), and I had the chance to go out for a sunrise shooting, but the day is starting earlier everyday, and it's not as easy as in December where you could get up quite "late" for photographs at the sunrise.
Anyway, there's not much else to say, apart showing some of the best random photos I took last month, and to link to the full set on my flickr account.
The Afghan Whigs is one of those bands that I've heard the name about a billion of times, for one reason or another, but I probably know two songs of them. Statistically the ratio of how many times I've heard a song by them with the times I've heard someone else mention their name is somewhere around 1 to 265. So, even if I didn't know this band well, something inside me told me to go, and for some reason I listened to the inner Alessio, even if I realized over the years that sometimes I should just reply to him with "shut the f£$k up".
And probably this one was one of those times.
Bear in mind, that the band was great, if I were just a punter I would not be disappointed by the band performance, but the problem is that I'm not just a guy who paid money to see his favourite band, but I'm a photographer.
And as a photographer, I was really pissed off. But like a lot. Why you asking? Two words: "NO PIT".
While sometimes it's cool to photograph from the crowd, most of the times it's just a pain in the hole, as you are simply stuck there, you have to fight and annoy the crowd, and some people doesn't really take it well, and you see other very depressed photographers with the same deep sadness in their eyes, or at least the most of us. And being stuck in one place, trying to avoid people heads to end up in the frame it's very frustrating, and honestly I don't really see any big advantages on that decision. Maybe the band didn't want to have anyone in the pit, but in that case why you simply not allow photographers? Why, dear artist, you need to piss them off?
Without mention the lights, which were quite crappy, and I had to crank up the ISO to 6400 most of the time, which is kinda grand with the 6D (that's why it's cool to have a full frame sensor), but not exactly ideal.
Anyway, the mix of no pit and bad lights made me so angry that night that I left after 2 songs, I didn't even bother to stay for the last song I was allowed to shoot, and I waited two days before developing the photos.
I even waited a while before writing this post because I wasn't sure to publish the photos, which overall they are not that bad, but they kinda are all the same (boring).
So, down here, some of the "best photos", while if you really see some bad photos from me or you are a fan of the band, you can find here the full set.
After months that I’ve been trying to write a post about my trip to Iceland I’ve done in August (yes, August, six months ago), I’ve to declare my defeat: I can’t do it. Two intense weeks of travels, where we drove 3980km in one of the most outstanding place I’ve ever been in my life it’s not easy. I tried a couple of times, and actually some parts of this article come from my previous attempts, but this time I’m not going to even try to write those two weeks in one post. It’s clearly impossible, well, maybe not impossible, but I might end up with a huge post that probably most of you will stop reading far before reaching the end of it.
So, that’s the plan: this post it’s going to be a sort of travel guide, giving you an overview of the trip I’ve done, the odd things I’ve encountered in Iceland, things to do and to not to do, and how to be prepared if you want to go to visit this incredible country.
Now, let’s get started.
As per Hawk Cliff, I've already visited this place in the past, but again it was on an afternoon, and in the middle of the summer, so too much light and far too many people around.
This time we went on a insanely cold morning on a sunday on february, so no people around, apart a few other crazy photographers we met there. And unlike the previous week in Howth, which it went "meh", this time, despite the fact that was painfully cold, it was perfect!
I love Forty Foot, is one of my favourite places in Dún Laoghaire, another tiny place on the coast close to Dublin, and like Hawk Cliff it's simply superb.
The level of the tide was perfect, even if we risked to get completely soaked by the waves a few times, but that gave us the opportunity to take some of the best shots I took in the last while.
Also from now on I want to start to include the map of the place I photograph, so it's easier for other photographers to get there if you like the place (and my shots) and you want to photograph it too!
Also my suggestion is to go there in the winter, during the week or on Sunday, as I recently discovered that locals love to go to swim on these places on Saturday, as a lady told me that "we don't swim on Sunday as it's a day dedicated to rest". Winter is perfect because it's very cold, so there are less chances to find people swimming there, and also the sunrise is at a decent hour, while on the summer it might be at a very early hour, like 4am or earlier. But it's up to you, if you don't care to wake up very early, then go on the summer.
The sunset is kinda pointless as this part of the coast is completely covered by the surrounding hills, and in Ireland it's easier to get the good weather on the morning rather than the afternoon.
Anyway, time for the photos, so down here some of the best shots I took at Forty Foot, while here you can find the full set.
This is an insanely good video, made by the very good Steve Perry, that is going to explain you what lens diffraction is, which is something that most of the photographers don't really understand and why always shooting at f/22 or further it might not be a good idea. That's a very nerdy talking, but you must understand how your gear work to achieve the best results.
Back in December I've been asked to photograph the band Cloud Castle Lake for the Plec Pics 2015, a series of articles about emerging irish bands for the website (and now magazine as well) Goldenplec.com. In reality they asked me to photograph two bands, but I had another shooting in the same weekend so I had to pick only one.
I generally ask to the artist for a place that match their mood, maybe finding a link with their roots, like for example the place they grew up, or something that can be linked to their music somehow. But in this case the band itself suggetest the place to go, the very suggestive beach of Sandymount, which made me quite happy because it's very close to where I live, and in that beach you can get a very iconic symbol of Dublin as a backdrop, the Poolbeg Generating Station, with its (now not anymore in use if I'm not wrong) chimneys.
The band also asked me if I could replicated the "famous" U2 photos taken in the same place back in the 80s. I absolutely lied when I said "Yeah I know what you mean". I have no clue of what photos they are talking about. Never been a big U2 fan. But what they meant was this photo:
But I did understood anyway that they wanted a photo of them with the chimneys on the background, and that's was enough.
Unlike other times, where I try a lot of variations, especially with the background, in this case it was kinda difficult to get something different from that shots, but I did my best to get a good number of decent shots, and I was quite happy with the overall results. So, down here you can find some of the best photos I took that day, while here on flickr you can find the full set, and maybe in the future my shots will be famous as the U2 ones, who knows?!
Last month it wasn’t very productive, to be honest I didn’t shoot many photos, well, at least I didn’t do much street photography, but on the other hand I did plenty of early morning shooting, with some of my mates, which brought plenty of good shots, as I posted in the past few weeks, plus a lot of fun, despite the fact that we have to wake up at insanely early hours, and don’t forget my trip on some of the most beautiful places in Northern Ireland at the very begin of last month.
Anyway, down here there are some of the best photos I took last month, some have been already posted, some didn’t, but again, it’s a good sum of last month, I hope you like them.