30 Dec '13
Post Title

A blast from the past: developing a 20 years old film

Last time I was at home, back in October, my girlfriend found on her parents' room an old camera, a Kodak Instamatic Camera, a very simple camera, with only two settings, sun light and cloudy/tungsten lights, that's it. Then we noticed that there still were some spare shots in the film, and unsure if it was still working or not, we tried to take some snaps.

We had no idea of how old was the film, we only knew that camera was bought for my girlfriend's parent wedding, more than 35 years ago. So we took some pictures to finish the film, and a couple of days later we went to a local shop to see if they could develop the film. To be honest I wasn't even sure if they were able to develop it, as it was an awkward format, essentially a cartridge that you put in the camera and you remove it once you finish the film. I thought maybe the chemicals in the film were completely gone, who knows?
So a couple of days ago I went back to the shop to collect the photos, part of my mind was pretty sure that the guy had no photos for me, as probably the film was unusable, but I was wrong, and at the end we got 20 good photos, well, kinda. We found out that the photos already token were about 20 years old, taken at a picnic back in the middle 90s (maybe in May 1995), and they didn't really suffer from the age, while the new ones taken from us, obviously, as the film was expired a while ago, had a "hipster" look, a very hipster look, so hipster that in a few of them you can see only the shape of something, but still pretty interesting. So once I got back home I turned on the scanner and digitally saved these "jewels" from the past. Obviously these shots are far away from behing any kind of fine art photography, but still funny to see how things change over time, especially because my girlfriend was in both the old and the new ones.

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29 Dec '13

How to light paint a car and composite in Photoshop

I don't share tutorials as I did in the past on my blog simply because I prefer to put my original content rather than repost something that someone else did, but that's the case where I just couldn't ignore this video. Lee Morris (co-founder of FStoppers.com) did a fantastic video tutorial on how to light paint a car, a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro in this case, and then merge all the shots in an insane composite. It's a very helpful tutorial that any of you should bookmark.

(via FStoppers)

29 Dec '13
Post Title

Tenacious D @ The Academy

Tenacious D marked my 450th gig and the last gig of the year, and I wanted to draw this numerical line with a good gig, and Jack Black with his mate it's definitely a great way to end the year.
I have to say that I was quite surprised to see the duo playing in such small venue, considering that last year they played in the O2, a good 20 times the size of the Academy.
But apparently Jack Black liked the venue, and for unknown reasons he wanted to play there for their acoustic tour in Europe, and I can only imagine the face of the venue manager when he saw this funny guy come to him and asking to play a gig there.
As I said it was an acoustic tour, so no band, no special effects, just the two of them and two guitars, that's it, and as a music photographer I wasn't expecting any amazing light set for such minimal set.
From the music front they are not a surprise, they are just great live and so much fun to see live, I would add that they, expecially Mr Black, very theatrical on stage, he is an actor and he likes to act on stage, or maybe that's just the way he is, or he was simply high, who knows?
Lightwise it wasn't that bad, as I said, simple light set. No smoke, no lasers, just very simple, but despite that their facial expressions, their moves, gave me some good shoot, so overall I can say I was pretty happy on how my photos turned out.
So as usual, you can find some of my best shots down here, and the full set on my flickr account.

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18 Dec '13
Post Title

Haim @ The Academy

Bands like Haim are the new bands that everyone want to see, they might become the next big thing or they'll fade out in 6 months, only time will tell. Anyway, I liked their debut album, maybe a bit too commercial for my standards, but it's a good album. My only doubt was on how they play their songs live, no offence to anyone but out of the box they look to me as a very well produced band, but I wasn't really sure if they could keep that quality on stage, not because they are women (Jaysus I don't want to sound sexist at all!), but just because how they have been presented by the media, and there's no doubt that their PR agency are working hard, and in these cases most of the times it's like a candy with a beautiful package, but with no taste.
So before they started to play I was a bit skeptical to see a very good performance from this trio, but I was damn wrong.
These girls rock, and even despite their very young age, they play like people with 10 times their experience, I was sincerely blew away from these band.
But once again, I'm not here to do a review of their gig from a music point-of-view, but how good or bad was to photograph them. So, on the stage they didn't bring any extra lights, even because they probably didn't have any space left, as the stage was pretty crowded with instruments, and there were another two tour members, a drummer and a guy at the keyboards, but they were well behind in the stage, just to make it clear that Haim are the three sisters and that's it. That made the simple task to photograph these two members nearly impossible, but at the end the important was to catch the sisters, the core of the band, so fair enough. And while in the Academy are generally generous with smoke machines, very oddly this time the stage was clear from any kind of smoke, and while most of the times I complain about the insane amount of smoke on that stage, this time a little bit of it would certainly helped to give the lights a bit of depth, but apart from that I couldn't really complain about lights, as the stage was very well lit. 
The band it does move a lot, or at least in the small space they were constrained to, and it gave me a lot of different poses, even if most of the times the instruments were on the way.
Overall it was a good gig to photograph and to watch, the only real problem was another.
Since last week there is a new rule in the Academy, now after the third song you will be escorted out, that's because some (very) silly fellow photographers have been caught by the tour manager while taking pictures after the third song, which is a rule that any music photographer, unless it's a special case like AAA pass (when you are shooting for the artist), should follow at any time. Anyway, I'll probably talk in another occasion about that, in the meanwhile down here you can find some of the best shots, and as usual you can find the full set on my flickr account. If you want to leave a comment, please use the comments box at the end of the page.

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17 Dec '13

How To Edit Video In Photoshop CC

I sincerly didn't know that you could do that. As a web developer I know the animation toolbar which you can use for GIFs (hello 90s), and I used it a few times for some simple banner Ads (you can't use Flash anymore, as Flash is not supported on most of mobiles and tablets, so hello again old school), but I never thought about the possibility to edit a video on one of my favourite tools. So, in this video, Terry White is going to show us how to do it in Photoshop CC / CS6. I know many videographer will see this option as a silly way to edit video, and some of you are already thinking "why you just don't learn Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro?". Well, like a lot of other users, I don't really want to learn a new software if what I need is some simple stuff, and do it with a software that I've already know it's just great for me, so why not?