Photography Workshop - Mullerthal, Luxembourg's Little Switzerland - 14th October 2018

 

I am really happy to announce the second photography workshop organised by friend and fellow photographer Christophe Van Biesen and myself. This time we explore the Mullerthal Region of Luxembourg, also known as Luxembourg's little Switzerland.

After the success of our workshops in the magical forest of Hallerbos and the beautiful Upper-Sûre lake in Luxembourg we are organising a new one. You will be able to learn by hands on practical advice from two experienced photographers. Between us we have countless hours of experience in hiking and photographing in many parts of the world.

If you are interested you can already subscribe to the Mullerthal workshop by following this link here where you can also get some more detailed information about ourselves and the practicalities of the workshop.

You can also subscribe to my newsletter so you get to know when and where we are organising our workshops.

I hope to see you there. All the best!

 

Tribute to Miloš Forman

Last night I was photographing a cinema-concert at the Philharmonie of Luxembourg. The film was one of my all time favourites, Amadeus by Miloš Forman. The performance of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Luxembourg was exquisite.

However, this morning I learnt that Miloš Forman had passed away at roughly the same time his film was being projected and we were all immersed in this superbly beautiful interpretation of Mozart's life. While I'm sad about Miloš Forman passing away, I think captivating audiences like this is surely something not many mortals can say they were able to do. Thank you Miloš and Mozart for combining your great art and giving us reasons to be passionate about life.

Hallerbos Photography Workshop 29th April 2018

3am rise, 2 1/2 hours drive to get to Hallerbos from Luxembourg, 5+ hours walking in the forest under constant rain, 2 hours editing session at a Portuguese cafe (the pasteis de nata were delicious), 2 1/2 hours drive back to Luxembourg....was it worth it? Absolutely!!!!!!

We had a great group of people that despite the weather inclemencies were happy to be in such a beautiful place learning and improving their photography skills.

I only took a few pictures with my compact camera but they give an idea of the morning we had at Hallerbos.

Thank you very much to all the participants of this workshop and also to my co-host Christope Van Biesen. Stay tuned for more workshops in and around Luxembourg coming soon.

Fatoumata Diawara @ Philharmonie Luxembourg

I saw Fatoumata Diawara in concert some five years ago. I have good memories about that concert and expected to enjoy something good again last night, however, we were all treated with one of the best concerts ever at the Philharmonie.

Fatoumata Diawara during her 2013 concert at Philharmonie Luxembourg

These five years seem to have left no mark on Fatoumata other than her improved musical maturity. Her energy levels and capacity to engage and electrify the audience remained unchanged, something that has its merit here in Luxembourg due to the nature of the main Philharmonie hall that tends to make people not engage so much when it comes to dancing.

Fatoumata during her concert last night

The whole auditorium was ecstatic, everyone alike, children, adults, people sitting on the balconies, even some elderly people making an effort to shake those hips. I couldn't resist myself and in between shots I could not stop dancing a bit.

The whole auditorium was up and dancing to Diawara's African beat

I will share with you a few of my favourite shots from Diawara's concert. We all left the auditorium energised and you could sense that in the main foyer of the Philharmonie everybody was feeling very happy and raved about the concert they just enjoyed.

Fatoumta Diawara achieved one of the things she mentioned durig the concert and that was to make us all forget our worries and preconceptions about others and enjoy life through music and dance.

A hellish Christmas walk

After a couple of days of doing nothing but eating, sitting around, playing board games and having some nice family time I decided to push myself a little and walk up the Mournes.

The weather forecast was clear skies and near freezing temperatures. I wanted to see a location I had visited during one of my Summers over here; "the devil's coach road".

I love this type of dramatic name, which is very appropriate for the huge gully that runs down from the summit of Slieve Beg.

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This was the end of my hike and I hardly took any pictures due to the strong winds, intense fog and icy slopes. I was happy enough to do some good exercise and enjoy the high Mournes but I also enjoy capturing some of those beautiful scenes the Mournes has to offer.

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The fog was very intense but luckily on my way back from the Devi's coach road there was a brief opening which let me see some delicate light over the beautiful Annalong Valley.

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I was already starting my descend and realised the ice was making things very difficult for me. I only fell once but could have fallen many times. It was extremely slippery and dangerous. It took me longer to go down than climb up since I had to watch every step I was taking. Someone not so lucky had a fall on the path and got a nasty injury.

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I continued my way down and took a few more pictures but the conditions were not ideal for photography. I really enjoyed my walk though. I like pushing myself physically and after a few days of comfort it felt great to be up there in the cold, lonely and beautiful high Mournes.

 Some people struggling not to slip on the icy slopes

Some people struggling not to slip on the icy slopes

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of music and snow

Since I saw and photographed Tigran Hamasyan for the first time back in 2013 I have been a great fan of his music. He is another of my all time favourite musicians for many reasons.

Like Dhaffer Youssef, who I saw very recently at the Philharmonie of Luxembourg, Hamasyan is very unique and daring in his approach to music. There is no conformism whatsoever in his music, he always delivers truly beautiful and rich music in his albums. Moreover I find his concerts are even better than his albums, a sign of a great, committed musician.

In case you are curious about his latest album, "An Ancient Observer" you can follow this link

Last night I had the immense pleasure to see him once again, this time at the SMC (salle de musique de chambre) at the Philharmonie. It was a solo concert this time but absolutely nobody in the hall was disappointed about that. On the contrary, we were elevated by Tigran's music, so much so that at the end he got two encores as the audience was feeling very grateful for such a great concert.

As the cherry on the cake, we all got to see the first snowfall of the winter as we were coming out of the Philharmonie. It was a gorgeous feeling to see the snow falling at night with Tigran's music still resonating in my head.

Dhafer Youssef

After a busy weekend, I went to the Philharmonie of Luxembourg on a Sunday night to photograph a musician I had heard of but had not listened to.

I was feeling a bit tired but soon Dhafer Youssef and band made me forget all that giving one of the most electrifying concerts I have seen so far at the Philharmonie.

Dhafer Youssef's music ticks all the boxes for what I consider to be exceptional. He is a Tunisian born oud player, vocalist and composer who became interested in jazz at an early age. His music is very eclectic, daring and not self-centered. I found Dhafer Youssef to be one of those rare musicians that are not only very talented but truly engaging with the other musicians and also with the audience, giving everyone a share of the protagonism.

By the end of the concert, everyone in the hall was standing up, dancing, even hugging each other and feeling really uplifted.

I was tired no more and left the beautiful Philharmonie full of energy and dying to get home to keep listening more music from the great Dhafer Youssef while processing the many photographs I had taken during the concert.

If you feel curious about his work check his homepage http://www.dhaferyoussef.com/

If you already knew Dhafer Youssef and have been to some of his concerts let me know what you think in the comments bellow.

As he always said at the beginning of a song...bon voyage! and we were all transported to another, higher place.

All images © Alfonso Salgueiro Photography

 

Rainy Days Festival 2017

It has been an intense week of work for me at the Philharmonie Luxembourg and I wanted to share some of the photographic highlights I captured during the many shows that were offered as part of the 2017 edition of the Rainy Days Festival.

I will start by pointing out the reason behind the orange colour of the first image. The Philharmonie is taking part this week in the "orange week" initiative, which is dedicated to raising awareness of violence against women. You can learn more about it here.

The week has been loaded with a tight program of mainly contemporary music concerts, shows and conferences. The Rainy Days Festival is not your conventional music festival but I found it extremely interesting and engaging. 

Some of the shows were truly great while some others I loved less, but that is always the case with any sort of music, it all comes down to personal preference and taste.

All in all I think it is very important to have such festivals organised in Luxembourg since they provide diversity and a cutting edge to the musical and cultural scene of the country.

Feel free to browse through the images below and leave any comments if you feel like it. I found the festival not only musically exciting but photographically a brilliant exercise and a challenge to my vision as a photographer.

 

21st century rock & roll

The Legendary Tigerman - Philharmonie Luxembourg

I made a surprising musical discovery recently while working at the Philharmonie Luxembourg. As part of the Atlantico Festival, The Legendary Tigerman had an amazing show for those of us who were there. 

It took place in a small hall in the Philharmonie but there were numerous followers of this Portuguese musician. A three people band, some amazing lighting, the uncompromising music of the legendary tigerman took the mood of the night to a very high place.

If anyone thought Rock & Roll was dead, it isn't. Legendary Tigerman does 21st century Rock & Roll and it is daring, deep and brilliant. Well worth listening to some of his music if you want to find out what I mean.

Beyond the landscapes

Most of the work I do as a photographer is for the Philharmonie of Luxembourg concert hall, yet I don't share most of those images on social media due to some rights restrictions and also because I have to admit most people know me as a landscape photographer.

 Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar

For me the work I do at the Philharmonie concert hall is very fulfilling and exciting and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the chance to combine two of my passions, photography and music. 

 The OPL cinema concert, Kubrick: 2001: A Space Odyssey

The OPL cinema concert, Kubrick: 2001: A Space Odyssey

The variety of shows I get to photograph at the Philharmonie is impressive, I can get anything from a classical quartet to experimental jazz. I love that variety since my music taste is per se very eclectic. 

 Mariza

Mariza

I love my job as a photographer but one of the things I love the most is the fact that I do very different things. From photographing concerts, art performances, landscapes, architecture, events and the occasional environmental portrait I feel I will never get bored of doing the same thing. Surprisingly enough I find connections between these photographic fields and have been able to exchange techniques from them all. 

My 2018 calendars are ready!!

Dear all,

I'm very happy to announce that my  2018 calendars are in production and I am now taking orders.

For my Luxembourg 2018 calendar I opted for a collection of landscape and cityscape images that showcase the beauty and diversity to be found around the green heart of Europe.

My Mourne Mountains 2018 calendar is a collection of various landscapes and seascapes of this stunning part of Co. Down.

Part of the proceedings from the sale of the Mournes calendar will go to a Charity called Smartni2015 The price of the Mournes calendar is £15 from which £5 will go directly to this Charity.  For payment and delivery / collection please send an email via the contact form on this site

Both calendars are A3 in size and are printed to high quality standards. Sara Ortega has done a beautiful job with the design and layout.

My calendars are about showcasing the beauty of two places that are close to my heart but I also wanted them to be practical for those who buy them. The new calendars will have space for jotting down notes on every page. 

Please scroll down to browse the images

TO PLACE YOUR ORDER:

  1. Use the contact form on this site to enter your full details.
  2. Enter "Luxembourg 2018 calendar" or "Mournes 2018 calendar" in the title.
  3. Enter how many copies you would like to order in the field "Message".

I will get back to you with payment details. The calendars will ship once the payment has cleared.

  • Price per Luxembourg calendar is €20 + shipping costs
  • 3 copies are €55 + shipping costs
  • 5 copies are €90 + shipping costs
  • Discounts available on larger orders.

Luxembourg city adresses qualify for free delivery.

Luxembourg calendar 2018

Mournes calendar 2018

A visit to the abandoned Völklingen Ironworks

Do you know how steel is made?

Volklinger Ironworks produced raw pig iron for over 100 years before it shut down in 1986. Now you can tour the old factory. These are some of the images that I took during my visit.

Depleted landscape

I visited Völklinger Ironworks to produce some photographs commissioned by the Philharmonie of Luxembourg. I didn't know about the existence of this place but as it turned out it is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Eerie metal shapes

While walking around the site I could not stop thinking about the working conditions that the 17,000 people that worked at the factory at some point had to endure to keep production going 24 hours a day! The whole town of Volklinger sprung up just to support the metal production and its workers.

Metal galore

If you have the chance this site is well worth a visit. They usually have very interesting exibitions which add to the experience of visiting Völklingen. For more info

So to answer the question above, steel is a metal alloy made from a mixture of iron and carbon.

2017 calendars - sold out -

Hello everyone!

I'm very happy to announce that my  2017 calendars are finally ready and I am now taking orders.

For my Luxembourg 2017 calendar (SOLD OUT) this year I opted for a collection of landscape and cityscape images that showcase the beauty and diversity to be found around the green heart of Europe.

My Mourne Mountains 2017 calendar is a collection of various landscapes and seascapes of this stunning part of Co. Down.

Both calendars are A3 in size and are printed locally in Luxembourg to high standards of quality. The design and page layout has been done beautifully by beingcreative.es. Scroll down to browse the images

To place your order:

  1. Use the contact form on this site to enter your full details.
  2. Enter "Luxembourg 2017 calendar" or "Mournes 2017 calendar" in the title.
  3. Enter how many copies you would like to order in the field "Message".

I will get back to you with payment details. The calendars will ship once the payment has cleared.

  • Price per calendar is €30 / £25
  • 3 copies are €80 / £70
  • 5 copies are €130 / £110
  • Discounts available on larger orders.

Shipping is included in the price for the whole of the European Union. Anywhere else in the world will have a €5-10 shipping fee. If you happen to live near me I can do home delivery at no cost.

Order before 5th of November 2016 to qualify for free delivery to the UK and Ireland.

Luxembourg 2017 calendar gallery

Mourne Mountains 2017 calendar gallery

The Mourne Mountains 2017 calendar -sold out -

Hello everyone!

I am very happy to announce that my Mournes calendar 2017 is finally ready and I can already accept orders..

The calendars are A3 size in landscape format. They are printed locally in Luxembourg to high standards of quality.

To place your order please:

  1. Use the contact form on this site.
  2. Enter your full name and address.
  3. Enter "Mournes calendar 2017" in the title.
  4. Enter how many copies you would like to order in the field "Message".
  5. I will get back to you with payment details.
  6. The calendars will ship once the payment has cleared.

 

  • Price per calendar is €30
  • 3 copies are 80€
  • 5 copies are 130€
  • Please contact me if you want to order more than 5 copies.
  • There is a €5 flat shipping fee for the whole of the European Union.
  • Anywhere else in the world will have a 5-10€ shipping fee.

My small art gallery in Luxembourg

I have been looking for a space in Luxembourg to display some of my printed photographs for quite some time and I have finally found it.

I am very happy to announce that a selection of my pictures will be displayed at B U R O S, an office space located in Strassen managed by Janice Allgrove. Janice has been very kind and has shown great interest in my photographs, so we have come to a good arrangement. At the moment there are six photographs from Luxembourg (seen below in the slideshow) in different sizes and formats hanging at B U R O S.

The pictures can be bought at the premises or they can be useful to have an idea of how the real thing would look like if you are intending to buy some of my prints.

The address of B U R O S is 3 rue Thomas Edison, Strassen, L-1445 Luxembourg. You can use the map below to find the exact location and also get directions. The number 22 bus passes their front door every 7-8 minutes.

 

There are parking facilities and their opening times are Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 17:30, Saturdays and Sundays closed. You can call (352) 20 21 15 11 or send an email at info@buros.lu

I can also meet you at the premises if you need any additional information about my work. Just send me an email to alsal@pt.lu, call me at (352) 621 513 406 or use the contact section in order to arrange a meeting.

If you would like to know more about my photo products just follow this link or select the appropriate page from the menu. You can also have a look at the galleries on this website or check my Flickr albums for a greater selection of my photographs.

Easter week in the Mourne Mountains


 Blue hour, Tyrella beach

Blue hour, Tyrella beach

I visit Co. Down, Ireland, every year for family reasons, but I typically go either at Christmas or Summer time.  This year however I visited it at Easter. One of the things that I always do is to bring my hiking and photography gear and head to the Mourne Mountains as often as I can, which is not any time I want given the many family and friends visits that I (gladly) have to do.

For my walks I had in mind a few spots that I had briefly visited around the Mournes, and one of them was Tyrella beach. The evening I went to Tyrella the weather was rather dull and I left a little too late.

I arrived on Tyrella Beach with low tide and there were some people flying kites and some horses galloping in the distance. I decided to walk towards the Mourne Mountains to try to find some foreground interest for a shot I had in my mind. Thanks to the big puddles left by the low tide and some sunset colour I was able to produce some images that pleased me, including the panorama heading this post. I also found some harbour seals resting on a rocky outcrop. It was the first time in my life that I saw wild seals.

 Harbour seals resting on a rocky outcrop at Tyrella beach

Harbour seals resting on a rocky outcrop at Tyrella beach

Another area I wanted to revisit was up the Mournes, near the well known Hare's gap, which is a mountain pass and one of the main access points into the heart of the Mournes.

 The Great (Mourne) Wall

The Great (Mourne) Wall

I got up before sunrise one morning and headed up the Trassey track to reach the Hare's gap, which can be seen near the right bottom corner of the picture above if you follow the Mourne wall. I headed East towards the summits of Slivenaglogh, Corragh and Commedagh. It was in between these two last hills that I spotted some interesting rock formations and wanted to see them up close. The rocks hanging over Cascade river valley, as seen in the picture below, were a bit tricky to climb to but I finally managed to get near the edge and thanks to a remote control I was able to take the picture.

 Rock formations over Cascade river valley

Rock formations over Cascade river valley

I also visited Murlough beach on several occasions since it is one of my favourite places around the Mournes. Murlough is a wide, flat sandy beach with a wide pebble ridge above high water mark. It stretches for about 6 km and is backed by an ancient sand dune system which has been declared a National Nature Reserve.

 Luna at Murlough beach

Luna at Murlough beach

Whenever I went to Murlough I took my lovely Luna with me. She just adores this place and I just feel so happy to see her enjoy such a beautiful natural environment. I wasn't comfortable bringing her up the Mournes or to places I didn't know very well like Tyrella, but Murlogh is already a familiar place for me.

 Sunset at Murlough beach

Sunset at Murlough beach

Being there at this time of the year I realised that weather conditions are yet more unpredictable that the typical Irish weather I normally experience around Christmas and Summer times. I actually thought that was to my advantage since the weather could go at any time from a beautiful sunny day to a very windy, stormy or cloudy one. It's a type of weather I have to admit I really like. It isn't boring and if you are a little patient you are rewarded with some incredibly beautiful light to take photographs.

 Approaching storm at Murlough beach

Approaching storm at Murlough beach

I also visited some other spots a bit further away from the Mournes in order to get a full view of the mountains. The Windy Gap is situated to the West and offers great panoramic views.

 View of the Mournes from the Windy Gap

View of the Mournes from the Windy Gap

My wife took me to the site of an ancient megalithic burial called Legannany dolmen, which sits not far from the Windy Gap and also has magnificent views over the Mournes. It is a beautiful area and it is the place where my mother in law grew up. I can imagine why the site became important for the early inhabitants of this part of Ireland. I tried a long exposure and a black and white processing to suit the mood of the place.

 Legannany dolmen

Legannany dolmen

Last but not least, I did once again one of my favourite walks along the Annalong valley and up into the heart of the Mournes. The pictures below show some of the great spots to be found along this walk. I had such a brilliant time walking up and down those mountains, stopping at will whenever I wanted to capture some of that beauty the Mournes offer, feeling my heart beating hard, breathing pure fresh air and feeling strong. Pure joy!

 Annalong valley early morning

Annalong valley early morning

 Abandoned farm along Anallong valley

Abandoned farm along Anallong valley

 One of the small rivers running along Annalong valley

One of the small rivers running along Annalong valley

 Ben Crom reservoir

Ben Crom reservoir