30 Nov '13
Post Title

Manfrotto BeFree tripod review

If you shoot any type of photography where you need slow shutter speed without going up with the ISO, from simple landscape photography to long exposures, you already know that a good tripod is an essential tool. There are no stabilisation technologies that can replace a tripod, they help sometimes, but in most of the cases they are useless if you go slower than a 1/20 of a second. And while you can go really cheap with some other accessories like flashes or filters and still retain some decent quality, buy a 20 euro tripod in Lidl is not really an option, they are too clumsy and too instable to use, and if you take exposures for more than a second, any subtle movement could ruin your photo.
So if you need a tripod, and if you get into photography at some stage you will need one, buy a good one, which has to be as sturdy as possible , and unlike cameras, you don't need to replace them after a couple of years, they will last for a long time.
Until a few months ago my main tripod was a good Manfrotto 190CL, with a basic but really good 3-axis head bought back in 2006, and last Christmas I replaced the head with a joystick one, which is much easier to use, with a quick place.
It's a great tripod, and after years, despite several bumps, a few scratches, it's still in perfect conditions.
It has only one problem: it's heavy!

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29 Nov '13
Post Title

The Darkness @ Olympia Theatre

The Darkness are one of the bands you must see, even if you don't like their music and you think their videos are pretty silly, you still have to see them live, as they put an incredible show on the stage, it's pure rock'n'roll, Justin Hawkins taste in clothes might be questionable, but what it's unquestionable is his voice and his ability of being a great frontman. Even my girlfriend wanted to see them live despite the fact she doesn't like their music.
I went to the Olympia sure to see a great show, and I wasn't disappointed. My only concern for the night was the rumours that they started to ask photographers to sign a bloody photo release, but someone confirmed that rumours, someone else said they didn't sign anything, so I decided to give it a chance and see what happen, and luckily I found nothing to sign when I arrived at the venue.
As I said they are a great band, and on that stage everything happens, and apart the drummer which is pretty invisible behind his drum, like I wasn't even sure if he was there or not, the band was pure fun to shoot. Tons of lights, tons of good photos, tons of decibels!
The only problem of the night probably was the insane amount of photographers in the pit. Ten photographers in the Olympia are too many, too many people fighting for the best spot, and while most of them know how to behave in the pit, someone else don't. But lets talk about this another time, maybe in a proper rant-post. Anyway, down here some of the best photos as usual, and as always you can find the full set on my flickr page.

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28 Nov '13
Post Title

Kodaline @ Olympia Theatre

In the past few months I've seen this name many times, their album cover on several shops, people talking about them, kodaline here, kodaline there, kodaline and more kodaline.
I assume that radios play their songs quite intensively, but as I don't listen to radios I've no idea if I'm wrong or not, and as I see that they are playing around europe, I assume, again, that they are becoming the next big band from Ireland.
But until last week I probably heard one of their song just once, maybe on an ad? Can't remember, and I don't care. To be fair, they're not my favourite music, they are just too pop, but I wanted to see them live to see if maybe they are a good live band, and I've asked for a pass on their last, of their three gigs in the Olympia.
As a live band they are good, and I saw plenty of happy faces in their audience, but still, not my music. But how is to photograph them? Well, they are ok.
There are plenty of lights on the stage, they were well-lit, but for some reasons, maybe because of the too many lights, it was kinda flat. Nothing really blew me away, as a lighting point of view,  and to be honest I was quite disappointed. Also they had so many monitors (the big speakers in front of the stage), way more than usual, that blocked me part of view, and while I generally like to include monitors, as it gives that sense of depth, in that case there were too many, and I felt like a midget in front of a very high fence.
Another thing I can say is that they don't move a lot, probably because there are too many things on that damn stage and they can't move? Or maybe they were just tired after three days of gis in the same venue? Or they just don't move as a general move, anyway, it was pretty boring.
Obviously, as this band is pretty popular at the moment, my photos got tons of likes and retweets and all these social stuff, which is great, but I would prefer that better photos I took get all these attentions, but as always the mass look who is in the picture, and not the picture itself. And that's really depressing for me.
Anyway, down here you can find  some of the "best" photos, while on my flickr account you find the full set, and if you want to leave a comment, it's on the very bottom of the page.

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23 Nov '13
Post Title

Editors @ Olympia Theatre

Back in 2005 I used to drive 60 km per day to go to work and back, and at that time there were a few albums that I've listened to death, and one of them was The Back Room by Editors. I love that album, it's a great album and for sure it's one of the best albums of the past decade. The following albums was a sort of decay of the band for me, the more they got famous, the less I started to like them. But they are still a great live band as I saw them a few years ago over here, in the Olympia, but at that time I wasn't able to get a photo pass, which sometimes it's not a bad thing as you can really enjoy the gig, but on the other hand the photographer in me demanded photos. And this time we go photos.
Again, they are a great live band, great gig, but this isn't a music website, it's a website about photography. So, how was to photograph them? A nightmare.
The first song is essentially a wall of smoke and backlit. I just had silhouettes from that song, and on the second one it didn't really changed much, a bit better as the smoke started to fade away, but still very hard even to focus the subject. The third song was better, and probably I got the best photos on the very last song I was allowed to shoot.
Initially I thought "I never gonna have a decent photo tonite", but at the end with some post-production magic, and thankfully with some rare istants of good lighting, I manage to get some good photos out of something started as a photographic tragedy, and I'm pretty happy with some of the photos.
Anywaym, as usual down here you can find some of the best photos, while the full set is on my flickr page. If you want to leave any comment, please use the comment box at the very bottom of the page!

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23 Nov '13