Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Carl Palmer In Bologna


My wife dragged me along to a concert in Bologna given by Carl Palmer.  I was not expecting much, but I was surprised by the loud energetic performance a long way from the dated Prog Rock that I expected. Carl certainly pounded those drums!

It turned out to be an enjoyable ear-splitting concert. 


I also took my camera along and managed to get some shots I liked from the badly placed seats we were given. I guess these side view shots are different to most concert shots. I remember when I shot jazz, I often would shoot from this angle backstage.  


Carl Palmer Drums, Paul Bielatowicz Guitar and Simon Fitzpatrick Bass

Carl Palmer 

Carl Palmer 

Carl Palmer Drums, Paul Bielatowicz Guitar 

Simon Fitzpatrick 

Carl Palmer 

Carl Palmer 

Carl Palmer 

Simon Fitzpatrick

Paul Bielatowicz 

Carl Palmer 

Paul Bielatowicz 

Carl Palmer 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Shadows and Light



In a moment of madness a few days ago I bought myself a rather old and venerable Nikon D700 full frame camera to use with a 28mm PC lens I picked up. It was cheaper than buying an adaptor for my current system! I also bought a rather nice 24-120 zoom for normal photographic use.
I love photographing architecture and I had been aiming to get a PC to get it right in camera without using post processing. I bought the camera to sit behind a lens. But I did not quite expect the other qualities of the D700 to be so marked.

To my surprise, when I started experimenting with this camera, I found it gave me files that had a certain magic that my current M43 system does not have. Lovely creamy files with subtle colour transitions.

I have been suffering a photographic block of late; I really felt I had run out ideas and that I was repeating myself. In a strange sort of way, I was stimulated to explore the magic that I have found with this new camera. 
I think it has also stimulated a new direction in my photography. Even though the D700 has a sort of cult following for its output, I think an up to date Nikon FX is a temptation that will be difficult to resist. The lager sensor does make a difference for some types of photography.

Here is a series of pictures that are just about shadow, light, texture and colour.

They were taken in Reggio Emilia and Sabbioneta near Mantua.

















Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Looking Back To The Future


I had a chance to do some concert photography of two very talented singer songwriters; Paola Tagliaferro and Juri Camisasca recently down in Zoagli in Liguria.

Two quite different artists, Juri belongs to a certain Italian singer songwriter style; profound poetic lyrics born out of a deep personal culture. As well as his own songs he offered us a Gregorian chant in Latin and perhaps uniquely for me, an interesting rendition of a Psalm.

Paola has her roots in the progressive rock of the Seventies contaminated with later musical discoveries such as World Music well mixed to make her music very actual and interesting.  

It has been years since I have seriously tried to photograph a performance and I was surprised that my shooting style returned to me instantly, as if I had never stopped shooting this genre.

With today’s digital cameras the task is far easier than it was with the film cameras I used all those years ago. For the first time I used Face Recognition, which without a glitch took care faultlessly of keeping the subjects in focus; fantastic! The exposure metre tied to the facial recognition gave me perfect exposure on nearly all the frames, no guessing the right exposure any more as one had to do with film. Progress is good sometimes. 
Here are the pictures.











Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Looking Backwards


I have recently started or rather restarted the gigantic task of converting my best B&W negatives to digital files with a contraption I had made for the task. It cost me a bottle of Vodka.

What a pleasure, and how surprising it is to go back a revisit photographs taken some thirty years ago. The first thing that is striking, is how much things have changed. I am dealing at the moment with the photographs I took of Italy when I came here on holiday and then a little later came to live here.

I had the fortune to work as a photographer for a local news magazine whilst I learnt Italian. It was a great experience and I quickly learnt a lot about Italy. I also had access to all sorts of interesting places. I did this for a couple of years before returning to my “real” profession.

So here we go with a few pictures and some random reflections.

Carnivale, Reggio Emilia

Parma, I had this shot published in the Economist.

On market day here in Reggio Emilia the local farmers would meet with buyers and other various agents. Deals would be struck and I suppose there was a lot of catching up on the latest gossip.  This has all gone now, all the character has disappeared from our main Piazza.
Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia
In the last few months of my time with the magazine, I was dispatched to the local stadium to photograph the local team as it headed towards promotion to the “Seria B”. The stadium was always packed and the unruly “Ultras” were watched over by an army of riot police. The local team now can only attract a few hundred fans on a Sunday.  Satellite TV has killed football as a spectator sport. Why go to see the Reggiana in the third division when you can see Milan or Juventus live on TV at home.
The day a bike finished up on the pitch. Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

I wonder how things have changed down in Abruzzo in the small seaside town where I spent a couple of holidays. You could buy a live rabbit or chicken to ensure that your Sunday lunch had the freshest of meat.
Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Atri Abruzzo

Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo

Pineto, Abruzzo
The farmers market was the real thing, not some middle-class urbanite fantasy food market.

How about the Cinque Terra in June with just a couple of local children playing football in the street?
Cinque Terre

Cinque Terra

Cinque Terra

Cinque Terra

Cinque Terra

Cinque Terra
Thanks to the power of the media, internet and the bucket list mentality of mass tourism,  the little villages that make up the Cinque Terra are now an overcrowded hell hole for much of the year.

The area along the River Po is the place that has changed less. I could still take lots of the pictures I took all those years ago.  
Guastalla, RE

Guastalla, RE

Guastalla, RE
Another thing that has not changed is the process of making Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese. They have made it like that for a thousand years.
Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

I suppose I could still take shots like this at the local agricultural shows.
Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia
Reggio Emilia

Reggio Emilia

Here in Reggio Emilia as in all of Emilia, the Italian Communist Party ruled almost without opposition. They got over 90% of the vote in some villages near the Po. Who would ever believe that they would merge and be swallowed up by the Democrazia Christiana their arch rivals. “Unita” the party newspaper was displayed for all to readin the main square. The newspaper died a slow death and the newspaper displays now remain as an empty reminder.

Reggio Emilia

Parma, this is another shot that I had published in the Economist

Reggio Emilia

The Italian Communist pary on parade for the  LibĂ©ration day celebrations.
Voting, Reggio Emilia

Voting, Reggio Emilia

Finally one realises that they are not young anymore. 




Carl Palmer In Bologna

My wife dragged me along to a concert in Bologna given by Carl Palmer.   I was not expecting much, but I was surprised by the loud energe...