11 Feb '15
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Photo Shoot: Cloud Castle Lake

Back in December I've been asked to photograph the band Cloud Castle Lake for the Plec Pics 2015, a series of articles about emerging irish bands for the website (and now magazine as well) Goldenplec.com. In reality they asked me to photograph two bands, but I had another shooting in the same weekend so I had to pick only one.
I generally ask to the artist for a place that match their mood, maybe finding a link with their roots, like for example the place they grew up, or something that can be linked to their music somehow. But in this case the band itself suggetest the place to go, the very suggestive beach of Sandymount, which made me quite happy because it's very close to where I live, and in that beach you can get a very iconic symbol of Dublin as a backdrop, the Poolbeg Generating Station, with its (now not anymore in use if I'm not wrong) chimneys.
The band also asked me if I could replicated the "famous" U2 photos taken in the same place back in the 80s. I absolutely lied when I said "Yeah I know what you mean". I have no clue of what photos they are talking about. Never been a big U2 fan. But what they meant was this photo:

But I did understood anyway that they wanted a photo of them with the chimneys on the background, and that's was enough.
Unlike other times, where I try a lot of variations, especially with the background, in this case it was kinda difficult to get something different from that shots, but I did my best to get a good number of decent shots, and I was quite happy with the overall results. So, down here you can find some of the best photos I took that day, while here on flickr you can find the full set, and maybe in the future my shots will be famous as the U2 ones, who knows?!

Cloud Castle Lake

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23 Jan '15
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Photo Shoot: DVO Marvell

This one probably is one of the best photo shoot I did in ages. Even if was probably the less planned shot I ever did, as generally I tend to go to places I know, where I have already a good idea where are the good spots for photos, even if it always depends on the mood I want to give with the artists, and when I can if an artist suggest a place, I try to go there a few days before just to try to plan something. But this time I couldn’t, as I had to go in a part of Dublin I never been: Lucan.
To be honest I barely have an idea of where Lucan was before, I could tell you it was on the west, somewhere far that you can reach only with buses or a car, and as there’s nothing really exciting to see, and I could hardly find an excuse to spend money to rent a car to go there, add the fact that I hate to take buses, it makes clear why in 7 years I never been there.
So I have to totally trust on the artist to find a good place, and he mentioned that there were a skate park not too far from where he lives, so I decided to give it a go.
In my imaginary world I thought it was a place full of nasty kids with skates and some hardcore 40 years old skater, skating all day on crazy ramps trying to defying gravitational laws.
That’s what I expect from a skate park.
In the reality the one we went was the quietest skate park in the universe, where there just us, and a guy with two kids. And the ramps weren’t exactly that gravity defying.
But they had very nice graffiti, and that’s what matters, especially when you need a nice background!
So we spent about half an hour, so it was a quick one as well, but Marvell was supernice and extremely photogenic that everything ran smoothly, and the results were pretty spectacular, or at least for me.
As usual I didn't use any fancy gear apart from my trusty Yonguo flash, a cheap umbrella with a cheap flash, and my trusty Canon 6D with the Canon 35mm f/1.4 L USM.
The more I do photo shoots, the more I see that all the other lenses are useless to me, as I always use only that lens, that's why now I just bring the 50mm just in case I need something a bit longer.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best shots I took with the marvellous DVO Marvell (check it out his facebook page), while on flickr you can find the full set.

DVO Marvell

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20 Jan '15
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Photo Shoot: Mariano Piaff

I’ve been holding a few promo shots for a while now, mostly because they were all in embargo as I had to wait until they were published elsewhere to upload them on my website or flickr account. But finally the embargo is finished on most of them and I can start to upload them! The first one is a photo shoot I did in September for the argentinian artist Mariano Piaff.
We initially decided to take some studio shots in my place, which turned out well overall, but they were quite anonymous at the end, but then we decided to go to the music shop he manages, which initially I wasn’t super convinced about it, but at the end it turned out as a great idea, and I really the shots I took there.
I have to thank him as he was very patient, as I needed a bit of time to tune the lights until I was happy with them, as sometimes I can push the boundaries of the term “picky” to the extreme, but as I said, we were both happy of the outcome.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the best shots I took that day, while here you can find the full set.

Mariano Piaff

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19 Jun '14
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Photo Shoot: Big September

Big September is one of the fastest raising band in Ireland, and a couple of months ago I had the chance to photograph these five lads from Bray for an interview for the magazine The Thin Air.
And after a few emails with the band we decided to do the photo shoot in their hometown, in part because it was logically better as it's easier for me to get there than bring 5 people plus manager up here in Dublin, and in part because I prefer to link the band with their environment when I can, I didn't want to put just a pretty background behind the guys, but I wanted to link the band with the backdrop, and this gave me the opportunity to take some shot in a place I didn't know, which it might be risky sometimes as you mind end up going around to find the right place, but on the other side it gives you some variance from the usual Dublin places.
Anyway, the shots turned out well in my opinion and down here I posted some of the best, but you can always see the full set right here.

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19 May '14
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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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