30 Nov '14
Post Title

Mastodon @ The Academy

I don't listen to Metal music as I used to do when I was younger (much younger), over the years I started to prefer other different genres, but occasionally I still listen to a few metal bands (especially the album No More Tears by Ozzy Osbourne, after all these years I still think is one of the best metal albums written in history, if not the best), and one of them is Mastodon. Also as a music photographer I know that metal gigs they rarely let you down in terms of performance of the show, especially lights. You probably get the best out of Glam-rock/metal bands, or guitar heroes, people with a huge ego essentially, where it's as bright, or brighter, than pop acts.
So when I saw they were coming to play in Dublin I didn't think twice before asking for a photo pass, as you can easily imagine.
And more or less they didn't really disappointed me, they really are a great live band and I guess you could hardly find a disappointed fan in the extremely packed venue.

 

Mastodon

 

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26 Nov '14
Post Title

A weekend in Amsterdam

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.

Bike on Amsterdam

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22 Nov '14
17 Nov '14
Post Title

Lykke Li @ Vicar St

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.

Lykke Li

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15 Nov '14
Post Title

A day in Skerries

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.

Elisa

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