08 Sep '16
Post Title

A weekend in Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal was one of the nations that I always wanted to visit, one of those countries that I always heard really good things about it, great food, great weather, cheap prices and more nice food.
So last October (I know, it was a while ago), myself, my lovely girlfriend and a couple of good friends decided to go there for the bank holiday weekend to check if all the above things were real or maybe just a very complicate plan to trick tourist to visit their country and when you get there everything is expensive, the place is awful and the only restaurant is McDonalds or a Jamie Oliver’s restaurant (which is not good for me).
Fortunately most of the things I heard were true, so many great restaurants with very good food at reasonable price, I even went to a Michelin starred restaurant one evening and I had a great dinner for a price that it’s what you normally pay on a decent restaurant here in Dublin. We also tried the world famous Pastéis de Nata, an egg tart pastry, which is rather popular in Portugal, and I see why, as it’s super delicious and damn cheap and I have no photos of them simple because they couldn't last long enough.
So for the food we are good here, but what about the city?
Well, I can’t say it’s awful, you can see beautiful decorated buildings almost everywhere, and some places are simply stunning architecturally speaking, Belem or the city center are simply beautiful, the Vasco De Gama and the 25th of April bridges are impressive, and if you are a photographer like me, just get lost in the streets of the city and start pressing the button of your camera, or better, take the trams, an experience you cannot miss in Lisbon!

Belem Tower

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23 Aug '16
Post Title

Why I retired from music photography / I'm still alive

I’m breaking the silence with this post, almost a year later from the previous one, just to let you know that I’m alive guys.
What happened? Well, a few things.
Firstly, I decided to retire from music photography, not sure if it’s forever, as you never know that I might find to be interested on it again, but I don’t think I’m going to shoot any more gig any time soon, and to be fair, my last gig was more than one year ago, which was even awful, so awful I didn’t even consider to write about it.
And after many years of shooting at gigs, my love to music photography started to fade away, to a point where when I went to a gig, I was regretting to have asked for a pass the moment I entered the venue. I wasn’t even interested in the music or the artist anymore, I was going there to take good photos, but after 500+ gigs, they started to look all the same to me.
Then you add the fact that nobody pays you (yeah, if you think that you can make a living with music photography, think twice, it’s very hard, and I know only a few people who did it), photo releases to sign, piles of bullshits from artists, their management, promoters, pr, etc… I started to question myself why I was doing it.
And I decided that it wasn’t worth it anymore.
I was so disgusted, that I even stopped taking pictures in general, in fact I couldn’t even do the monthly post I did for months, the one where I post random photos, because I didn’t have any random photos. I didn’t touch my cameras for months, I just had enough.
Only events like travels, forced me to take photos again, landscapes and a bit of street, that’s it.
And this brings another problem, when you stop being a music photographer, but your domain name is musicphotographer.eu, you  start to think “what do I do now?”. Do I keep talking about other things and not to talk about music photography anymore, even if the domain name says the opposite? Do I change the domain name to something else (which creates more problems). Do I close everything down and just forget about it?
All those questions placed me in a limbo of “I’m not sure what to do anymore”, and the only reaction I had was to stop writing about anything, put my blog on hiatus until I finally decided what to do, and almost after one year I’m still not sure what to do.
And I know myself well, if I don’t make any move, I’ll just let everything die, which is a shame, because I have things to say, I have travels to share with you, dear reader, so I decided to start to write again on this blog, write about the travels I made, and the places I’ve photographed. Force myself to write more reviews, and to create more content, even if I’m not sure what it’s gonna be about.
About the domain, I’m still not sure, but probably I’m going to move everything to my other domain, alessiomichelini.com, and perhaps talk about other things that have nothing to do with photography, but that’s not for the near future, for now I’ll just write, if you don’t mind, dear reader.

 

06 Sep '15

Photo Release: Sam Smith

I found this contract on the internet, and the first question I had was: "Who the hell is Sam Smith?". The I read this contract well, and apart the usual bullshit, the point number 5 really catch my attention. So essentially after the Taylor Swift's case, PR & bands managements, rather than prefer the "do the right thing" way and start to talk to photographers how to find a solution that it's fair for everyone, they went to the opposite way, so now they are asking to the photographers not only to sign that shit contract, but they are not even allowed to talk about it.
These people clearly don't know what the "Streisand effect" is.

05 Aug '15
Post Title

July 2015 in photos

I don't have much to show for last month, or at least nothing of spectacular, simply because the weather on July was simply shite.
It was so bad that it killed my excitement I had when I bought my brand new Fujifilm X-T1. I've also bought a new lens, the Fujinon 10-24mm f/4 R OIS, but I had to wait a week before I could test it because of the weather. So don't expect any great shots in this post, I did my best, but I was really depressed.

The only real highlight of last month was the AC/DC's gig, and the review I wrote about the Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*, that's pretty much it.

Here some of the "bests", while here you can find the full set.

Street

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27 Jul '15
Post Title

Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* Review

A few days ago I had the chance to test this lens, the Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*  for the Sony full frame E-mount, which a very good friend of mine, Giuseppe Milo (check out his website), recently bought. Initially it was a test to compare that lens with my copy of the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R, something similar to my previous test with the Canon 50mm f/1.4.
But unfortunately the lack of focus distance scale of the Fujifilm lens sometimes is a problem, and I didn’t notice that with the fuji I wasn’t on infinite focus, but it was focusing a little bit earlier, not by much, but still it wasn’t a reliable test anymore, and it has to be re-done (I know, it was very dumb, but that’s the price you pay when you do things on a rush).
Anyway, the test with the Sony Sonnar 55mm was perfect, and here I’m going to write my impressions, and a sharpness test.
To be clear, the test has been done on a Sony A7 camera, on a tripod and using a remote shutter to avoid any possible shakes, and I’ve done multiple shots from for any single aperture step, starting from f/1.8 and then passing for any of the standard single stops (f/2, f/2.8, f/4 and so on until f/22 which is the minimum aperture possible with this lens).
Here you can find a summary of the specs for this lens:

Focal Length 55mm
Aperture Maximum: f/1.8
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Sony E (Full-Frame)
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Angle of View 42.9°
Minimum Focus Distance 1.64' (50 cm)
Magnification 0.14x
Elements/Groups 7/5
Diaphragm Blades 9
Autofocus Yes
Filter Thread 49mm
Dimensions (DxL) 64 x 71 mm (Approx. 2.54 x 2.78")
Weight 281 g (0.62 lb)
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