This year I decided to invest some money in new gear, especially in the computing side. My tablet was way due to be replaced, I had a 2.5 years old Nexus 7, which was great a the begin, but in the past few months it became extremely slow, and the power/wake up button didn't work well anymore, and I decided to replace it.
I was undecided between an iPad Air and the new Nexus 9, the iPad would works nicely with my Macs, but at the end I opted for the Google tablet, as I had an android tablet for a long time and I do really like that OS, also the lower pricetag and the better specs of the Nexus 9 did play a part on my decision.
I'm super in late, in the past few weeks I've been super busy, did two photo shoots, with subsequential time spent with photoshop, plus I spent several days in between Xmas parties, Xmas shopping and cooking/baking, so didn't really have much time to dedicate to the blog, and unfortunately not much time for photography as well apart the photo shoots.
And to be honest in the past few months I didn't have much time for street photography or even random photos. But I had a couple of days of good photos, so I can say that I was low in quantity but hopefully high in quality :-)
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best photos I took last month, while on flickr you can find the full set, and the other two sets, one for the photos I took in Skerries and the other one from the photos I took in Wicklow.
A couple of months ago me and my lovely girlfriend decided to go somewhere for the October bank holiday, and we had a few options in mind: London, Lisbon, Porto, Paris and Amsterdam.
London is one of those places that I shamelessly didn't visit, it's so close, just 45 minutes of flight that you always think "I can go whenever I want, but another time is better", you simply don't go because it's too close, and the day I'll move somewhere else and then it'll be too far I'll regret about it. Lisbon and Porto, and Portugal in general I think it's a great place to go, I still have find one single person that says it's an awful place, or even an okay one, all the people I know that went to those cities they always report that they are simply beautiful. But in October, on a bank holiday weekend, it was hard to find a decent flight without taking an extra day off, and as the both of us started a new job recently, we simply don't have that extra day, so we had to turn this option down, at least for the moment.
Paris is Paris, some people love it, some other hate it, I'm kinda on the fence but I have plenty of pressures from my lovely girl to go to visit it one day that I'll have to do it at some stage of my life, but again prices were too high, for both the flight and hotels, that we have to turn down this options as well.
Then we were left with Amsterdam. I have to say it: I don't smoke and I don't drink that much, and I'm not even that much interested in the type of trade you can get in the Red Lights District, so this city it might not be as much as attractive compared to some other people with different interests, but, it seemed to be a very interesting city to visit, the canals, the history, the art, and all those things you can do it without taking any substances that can alter your perception of the world, the cost of the flights were a bit cheaper than the other places we considered and the flight times were very convenient that we say "why not?".
Now, I as you probably already have clear, I started with some pre-concept about this city, and while some of them have been confirmed, and actually they were a bit underestimated, some others were completely wrong.
After our arrival in the city we had to confrontate with what was our "ideal of Amsterdam" and what was the "reality of Amsterdam", as far I could see in just a weekend.
In my mind Amsterdam was a city without a car, where bikes and trams were the only ways to travel into the city.
The reality wasn't half right, and half, terribly, wrong. The city is full of bikes, possibly more than what I saw in Copenhagen, but while in the Danish capital they have specific lanes and most of the times bikers strictly stay on them, in Amsterdam is the complete anarchy. You can expect bikes coming from any directions, from any lanes, at some stage I was so terrified that I thought they could jump out of the canal to try to kill me, and more than once I saw the fear of some other tourists while some locals tried to dodge them in a very scary and dangerous way. You probably get used to it if you live there long enough, but for those 3 days I wasn't prepare for that.
Also the trams pass very, very, very close to pedestrians, especially in the city center, and I wonder what the death-by-tram ratio is in that city. Plus you have to add the cars, that yes, despite the fame of being a bike-friendly city, it's full of cars, which add an extra layer of danger to the streets of Amsterdam. To be honest, it was so messy, that I would hardly think to live in that city, at least in the city center.
I've photographed this woman a few years ago, it was at Electric Picnic, a big festival here in Ireland in case you don't know it. She was playing in the main stage and was already a pretty big name then (I think it was in 2011). That time was pretty much awful to photograph her, first because the stage was insanely huge and she didn't really stayed on the front, there were tons of smoke and very few lights. I'm not even sure if I ever published any of those photos, I hope not because they were terrible.
I would really like to say that this time, after 3 years, the story was different, but unfortunately it was not.
I already knew that was going to be a bad show to photograph when my photo editor told me that I had to shoot from the balcony. If there's something that really pisses me off, one of them is to be forced to photograph from far away, possibly from only one point. I really hate that. Someone is fine with that, but I'm definitely not one of them.
So I was hoping that at the very least I could get good lights, she is a pop singer no?
She might be a pop singer, but she's clearly allergic to lights, and the reasons why I got some barely decent photos was due to the facts that I have better skills and better camera than 2011, and because she couldn't fill the venue with smoke without intoxicating the audience. And it's pretty annoying to be honest, she is a good artists and a good performer, otherwise I would never ask for a photo pass, but while it could be a great show from a punter point-of-view, from a photographer point-of-view it was absolutely awful.
Dear Lykke Li, if you don't want to be photographed, please don't allow photographers to your gigs at all, I would rather stay at home than shoot shows like this one.
Down here some photos as usual, the "best" ones, and I'm being sarcastic, but if you are a real fan you might want to see the full set on my flickr page.
This weekend we, myself and my lovely girlfriend, decided to rent a car, as tomorrow I'll have a photo shoot far from the city center, in Lucan to be exactly, and today we spent the after going to the lovely town of Skerries, if you are in Dublin for more than a weekend, you must go there, you don't even need to rent a car to get there as you can easily take the train from Dublin, and it's a rather short trip.
We were lucky enough to get a couple of hours of decent weather before it started to rain cats and dogs, enough time to take a few shots and admire some brave irish men and women swimming in the Irish sea, which is not exactly the warmest place to swim, especially in November. But after almost 7 years of living here, I know that nobody can stop them to have a quick swim on the sea, regardless the season, the temperature of the water or the weather conditions.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the pictures I took this afternoon, nothing outstanding, but some decent shots.
The Subways are one of those bands that you must photograph, they are so damn good live that you can't really miss them. Unfortunately they are not as popular as they were a few years ago, and honestly I did overlook regarding this simple fact.
Why? Well, this means they don't sell out venues as before, and when it comes to a specific venue, in this case the Academy, and quoting Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars, it might be a trap!
Because when a gig doesn't sell as it supposed to do, some venues prefer to simply cancel it, someone goes ahead anyway, but the Academy simply downgrade the gig to the Academy 2, the basement of the Academy, and while the main venue is a good place to photograph, the smaller basement it's simply one of the worst places for a music photographer.
And while, with the new management, they did improve the situation down there, adding a few new lights, and by making it looks prettier, they also added barriers in front of the very stage, and there's literally zero space for photographers. The only thing you can do is to stick to the sides of the barriers, right in front of the speakers, and pray your God (if you believe it).
The lights are slightly better, or at least is not as dark as it used to be, but now you have these LED lights at 1 meters from the artist that are not exactly the best lights you can ask, or at least if you are a photographer.
To be honest I wasn't happy for the band, it's not fair to them, they are such great performers and they totally deserved a bigger audience.
Anyway, I took some barely decent photos that night, and even if I wasn't sure for a while to publish them or not, I decided that it's not fair to show you only the photos when everything goes right, it would be too easy from my side. So, here we are, they are also on my flickr account, but as you could easily understand, I didn't took a million as my usual.
I can't say that october was a super productive month in terms of quantity of photos, as I started my new job about a month ago I did't have much time to dedicate to photography and now that I don't take anymore the Dart to go to work it kinda stopped the flow of new photos for my photography project "Commute", but it doesn't mean that I didn't shoot at all.
In fact I went out for a shooting with some friends at an insanely early hour, or at least for me, to catch the sunrise from Bull Island, one of the best spots in Dublin, and I came back home with a few but pretty damn good shots. I've also went for a weekend in Amsterdam, which I'm going to talk in details in another posts, and even if the lights weren't great, I took some decent photos as well.
Anyway, down here some of the best photos I took last month, and as usual feel free lo leave a comment on the box at the end of the page. Thanks!
One of the main advantages of being unemployed for two weeks was that I finally found the time to redesign and rebuild my website! My personal websites have generally a very low priority, and it takes me ages to find the time and the will to do it, especially because I change my mind every two seconds and if I don't have proper time to build it, everytime I start something it will be scratched the next time I'll take a look, but thanks to this "free time" I had I could start and finish it, finally!
It's not 100% perfect, and there's still room for improvements, but at least it's there, and it works decently on mobiles / tablets too!
Anyway, please take a look on my new baby and let me know if you like it or not :-)