In Italy we have a proverb that says “Non tutte le ciambelle vengono con il buco”, which you can translate with “Not all the doughnuts turn out with a hole” (which is not that uncommon in Italy, as in Italy it’s easier to find a krapfen, which is essentially the same dough of the doughnuts or donuts if you are american, with custard or whipping cream on it), to say that it can’t go always well as expected, and you should not be pissed off if that happens.
I’m telling you this very interesting italian proverb just to introduce you to the fact that this trip didn’t go that well. Okay, now it sounds like an overture to a disaster, where it was not, as it simply didn’t turn as well as it did in the previous times we went out for a very early morning shooting.
The first impression when we arrived in Howth can be summed with the word “Meh”.
I’m not sure why, the place is actually very nice generally, one of the must-see places to go if you visit Dublin and the surrounding area, but maybe was the light in the wrong direction, maybe because the tide was at its very minimum, or maybe because we simply went to the wrong pier to photograph the lighthouse, not sure what’s the real cause of that “Meh”, but myself and my fellows all agreed that it wasn’t that great that morning.
Also, after two good hours spent on the freezing cold, we always go to a local restaurant/cafe’ for breakfast, but unfortunately none of the nice amenities we usually go were open, so we had to go to the only open cafe’ at that our, which was awful. Yeah, a few euro cheaper, but the food quality was simply terrible and it made me sick for the rest of the day. And when I came back home I found out that my lens was superdirty and some photos had a huge white spot in the middle, but it was semi-transparent and I couldn't see it when I was there, and that probably was what marked that day as the famous doughnut without the hole.
Anyway, it’s always fun to go out shooting with good friends, and overall the pictures didn’t turn out that bad, maybe they are not my favourite shots, but overall they were pretty decent, they just lacked of the “Wow” factor, that’s it. So, down here some of the best, while here on flickr you can find the full set.
That was probably the fourth or fifth time I came to this place, I’ve already blogged about Hawk Cliff more than a year and half ago, and it’s definitely one of my favourite places in Dublin metropolitan area, and I’ll never get sick to go there. And when my friends asked me where we could go for another early morning photography session, that’s was my first choice. It’s just an outstanding place to visit everytime, and if you get there at the sunset, it’s just out of this world, where you can see the whole Sorrento Bay (no, I’m not talking about Italy, but the bay from Dalkey to Bray is called the Sorrento Bay as it looks similar to the Italian counterpart). Also you can meet some interesting person, those hardcore irish people that loves to swim in this tiny place, yes even on January at sunset, and some of them don’t even have a swimsuit. I honestly admire these people that despite the cold, despite the weather, despite the fact that the sea is not exactly like the Mauritius, they still come, at the very least a couple of times per week, to swim.
Anyway, there’s nothing else to say about this place, and I better let the pictures talk about Hawk Cliff, so down here some of the best, while you can find the full set on my flickr account as usual.
This one probably is one of the best photo shoot I did in ages. Even if was probably the less planned shot I ever did, as generally I tend to go to places I know, where I have already a good idea where are the good spots for photos, even if it always depends on the mood I want to give with the artists, and when I can if an artist suggest a place, I try to go there a few days before just to try to plan something. But this time I couldn’t, as I had to go in a part of Dublin I never been: Lucan.
To be honest I barely have an idea of where Lucan was before, I could tell you it was on the west, somewhere far that you can reach only with buses or a car, and as there’s nothing really exciting to see, and I could hardly find an excuse to spend money to rent a car to go there, add the fact that I hate to take buses, it makes clear why in 7 years I never been there.
So I have to totally trust on the artist to find a good place, and he mentioned that there were a skate park not too far from where he lives, so I decided to give it a go.
In my imaginary world I thought it was a place full of nasty kids with skates and some hardcore 40 years old skater, skating all day on crazy ramps trying to defying gravitational laws.
That’s what I expect from a skate park.
In the reality the one we went was the quietest skate park in the universe, where there just us, and a guy with two kids. And the ramps weren’t exactly that gravity defying.
But they had very nice graffiti, and that’s what matters, especially when you need a nice background!
So we spent about half an hour, so it was a quick one as well, but Marvell was supernice and extremely photogenic that everything ran smoothly, and the results were pretty spectacular, or at least for me.
As usual I didn't use any fancy gear apart from my trusty Yonguo flash, a cheap umbrella with a cheap flash, and my trusty Canon 6D with the Canon 35mm f/1.4 L USM.
The more I do photo shoots, the more I see that all the other lenses are useless to me, as I always use only that lens, that's why now I just bring the 50mm just in case I need something a bit longer.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best shots I took with the marvellous DVO Marvell (check it out his facebook page), while on flickr you can find the full set.
I fell in love with this artist with her first album, and when I saw the chance to photograph her in a decent venue, as the previous times she played in very small and very dark venues, I could not simply let this chance go and I asked for a pass.
I think she is pure class, not one of those singers that are good only to scream like a seagull, but she has a fecking dammint good voice and she sure knows how to use it, and her live performance, or at least for the time I could stay there, was simply flawless.
From a photographer point of view it was interesting, a lot of lights, some LED strobes on the sides, plenty of lights from the back and the sides, and a spotlight from the front it made the show a very decent one to shoot, not a very easy one as lights were changing quickly, maybe I would say challenging, but in a good way.
No photo release to sign and no restrictions whatsoever apart the standard “3 songs no flash”.
So in conclusion, a very good show to attend and to photograph, definitely an artist that is worth to photograph.
Down here you can find some of the best shots, while on my flickr account you can find the full set.
I’ve been holding a few promo shots for a while now, mostly because they were all in embargo as I had to wait until they were published elsewhere to upload them on my website or flickr account. But finally the embargo is finished on most of them and I can start to upload them! The first one is a photo shoot I did in September for the argentinian artist Mariano Piaff.
We initially decided to take some studio shots in my place, which turned out well overall, but they were quite anonymous at the end, but then we decided to go to the music shop he manages, which initially I wasn’t super convinced about it, but at the end it turned out as a great idea, and I really the shots I took there.
I have to thank him as he was very patient, as I needed a bit of time to tune the lights until I was happy with them, as sometimes I can push the boundaries of the term “picky” to the extreme, but as I said, we were both happy of the outcome.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best shots I took that day, while here you can find the full set.
We all know that if you come to visit Ireland, you don’t come for the beaches, you don’t expect to find a place like Copacabana, or Bondi Beach, and you certainly knows that it’s highly difficult that you come here to spend a week lying down on the sand while drinking a fresh cocktail under the sun. If you do, you probably need to buy this before you go into any trips you might regret later.
But this doesn’t mean that there are no beaches in Ireland, in fact there are plenty of them, maybe you don’t get a crystal clear water like in the middle of the mediterranean sea, and you might not get a superfine sand, but there are plenty of extremely cool places you can go on the summer, or like me, even on a cold clear day in January.
One of them is a beautiful place called White Rock Beach, which is between Dalkey and Killiney beach, found by accident last summer while walking randomly after I went with a friend of mine to another cool place nearby, Hawk Cliff. But when we went there at that time it was during in the early afternoon, so too bright, and in a very sunny and hot day, so too crowded, it was great for spending some time under the sun, but just the wrong time for any landscape photography, so I decided to come back there during the winter, when the sunrise is very late (in January it’s at around 8.30am) and there’s almost nobody there.
Sometimes you plan for a trip months in advance, and other times you decide almost last minute, and this time it was the latter case. And as usual these quick trips always come from a dinner out with some friends, when a friend of mine suggested to go to somewhere in Ireland for a weekend. You always say “why not?!” but until you have the car and the B&Bs booked you tend to think that nothing will happen. But that wasn’t the case thankfully, and we decided to go for 3 days in Northern Ireland, a trip that from Dublin is not that far, it takes less than 2 hours to get to Belfast, and around 3 to get to the very top of this island.
So, me, my lovely girlfriend, and our good friends Giuseppe and his wife Veruska (two photographers and two very supportive girls) we started the trip, heading first to one of the most (not very) hidden gems in County Antrim, the Dark Hedges.
The Dark Hedges is a country road surrounded by dead trees that forms a sort of tunnel. Well said in this way it doesn’t sound very attractive, but if you look this picture down here it’s probably much better as a description of the place. It became a more known place in the past few years, especially after it has been used in an episode of the Games of Thrones, which by the way it has been shot mostly in Northern Ireland.
I'm a bit late even this month, but this time the reason is because the begin of this year has been very busy so far! Last weekend I did a trip with my lovely girlfriend and two good friends of us (which one of them is a great photographer as well, check it out his facebook page!) in Northern Ireland, which is probably going to be my next post, and this weekend I did a photoshoot with a band yesterday and today I woke up insanely early (for me) to take some photos down in White Rock Beach in Dalkey with Giuseppe, Stefano and Salvatore (all photographers!) at the sunrise, which it was fantastic thanks to the good company and the decent weather.
Anyway, last month it was quite busy as well, did a couple of photoshoot and an event for ICAD, took plenty of photos during my week at home as I previously posted, and I took some other test shots with the brand new lens I bought, the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R, a lens that I had to buy as the kit lens one year ago when I bought my Fuji X-E1, rather than opting for a zoom lens that I sold after 6 months.
Anyway, down here some of the photos I took last month, here (again) the link with the shots I took in Italy, and here the other ones I took here in Dublin.
As every Christmas I came back home for a week. Is the week that you must be at home and nowhere else, especially for italians. New Years Eve can be anywhere, and in fact I’m back in Dublin now, but Xmas has to be at home. And generally I don’t really take that many photos back home, as I don’t travel much there, actually I barely go anywhere. But this time I had a new toy, the new lens I bought on the flight to home, the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R, and I wanted to test it well. Also the weather was nice last week with a couple of days where the fog was covering the lands, and the hills looked like islands on a white sea, so I had a good scenery to test my brand new lens, and thanks to these factors at the end I took a rather good quantity of photos, and I have to say that so far I’m very happy with that lens, it might not be a perfect lens, AF speed is not very fast, and I can see some chromatic aberrations in some cases, but overall I really like it, and the center frame is breathtaking even at full aperture, which is pretty impressive. But it’s too early to give a definitive opinion about this lens, so expect a proper review in the near future.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the shots I took back home in Italy, while the full set is on my flickr account.