19 May '14
Post Title

Photo Shoot: Ginnels

A couple of months ago I've been asked to photograph a local band called Ginnels, an interesting new project lead by Mark Chester, for an interview for The Thin Air, an northern irish music magazine based in Belfast, I've recently done a photo shoot for them, Extra Fox.
Unfortunately it didn't start well, as the weather wasn't exactly "nice", and also I was waiting the band in the wrong place. But an hour later I was in the right place, Bull Island, one of my favourite spots in Dublin, a beautiful artificial sandy island. Unfortunately what I totally forgot about that island is the fact that it's one of the best places in Dublin for kite-surf, and why it's a bad thing? Because it's extremely windy, and trying to use a flash with an umbrella with all that wind it's not exactly practical, unless you have a body builder as an assistant, which it wasn't my case.
So the idea of using a soft light with natural light was trashed. I tried to use the flash without any modifier, but I just don't like it, I don't like to fire straight hard light on the subjects, so I went all natural at the end.
And despite we didn't have much time, I think we spent about an hour, trying to use different spots, especially the beautiful old structures, a relic from the past, where men and women had to swim in two separates places, we managed to have some great shots, and I have to thank you the band for their patience as it was freaking cold and windy, and at the end it started to rain as well, marking the end of the photo shoot.
Anyway, down here some of the best shots I took that day, here you can read the article on The Thin Air, and on my flickr account you can find the full set of photos. As usual any critics are accepted, just leave a comment on the box at the end of the page.

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12 May '14
Post Title

Wallis Bird @ The Academy

I met Wallis Bird an year and half ago, as I have to take a portrait of her for the Choice Music Prize, she was probably the nicest person I photographed that day, and since then I really wanted to see her live, as I think she is a really talented artist, so for these obvious reasons I couldn't ignore her gig in The Academy, so I asked for the pass (possibly my last photo pass in The Academy, but that's another story).
I thought she was good, but I was wrong, in fact she is fantastic, really a great performer and she surpassed my best expectations! And she is a tornado on stage, which made my job a bit more difficult, but at the same time I could catch some fantastic photos of her. Light-wise, as she didn't bring any additional lights, and only venue lights were used, it showed again how this venue could be a really good one for photographers if the lights are well used. The gig was well lit from the very start and honestly I can't complain, so add a very good looking and very dynamic artist on stage, with good lights, and the result is a really good gig to see and photograph.
As usual down here you can find some of the best photos I took that night, while here on flickr you can find the full set.

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10 May '14
Post Title

Is the Fuji X-T1 a viable camera for music photographers?

A couple of months I had to shoot the live show of Corner Boy for Red Bulletin Magazine, and because I could shot the entire show, I tried to bring my Fuji X-E1 alongside with my trusty Canon 6D, just to see how it behaves in such light conditions. While the AF was struggling sometimes and the white balance in some shots was completely off, a good amount of shots were pretty usable, even despite the kit lens, which is an excellent general purpose lens, but for not so much for gigs, or at least not for my standards, as I mostly shoot with only very fast prime lenses, no zoom lenses, and the slowest is the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM. But despite a slow lens, and a camera not made for that type of photography it was pretty decent, still not usable for me, especially when you have only 3 songs, and that’s the 99.9% of gigs, and with a slow buffer and not that good AF it would make pretty impossible to use for a live show. 

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06 May '14
Post Title

Clean Bandit @ The Academy

The initial reason I shot this band was simply to have another chance to test the Fuij X-T1, but after Ham Sandwich full gig in the pit I didn't really need to do any more tests as I was pretty with what I got, but I had the pass already approved and I went anyway. To be  honest I didn't know the band, and they are not exactly my cup of tea, but their live performance was pretty good, but I don't really want to give you a music review, as far I could see if you like their music they were great, if not, you should ask to yourself why you wanna see these guys, but that's a pretty much obvious general rule.
Anyway, to shoot them was pretty good, as they are a pop band, they had plenty of lights on stage, even if only the venue lights were used for this gig, no extra/fancy lights from the band. But as I said before, the Academy has a decent light system, and if it's well used you can get great shots, if not it can be a nightmare, and while many photographers complain that they often get 'shitty' lights in that venue, I think the venue it's not to blame, but simply that some artists want a "dark" show on purpose.
Anyway, as per standard, down here you can find some of the best shots I took that night, while here on flickr you can find the full set.

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05 May '14