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Dublin photographer's portraits leave stars with 'nowhere to hide'

Irish-based cameraman Alex Sapienza uses 19th century wetplate photography to show ‘imperfections’ of life.
Nov 11th 2016, 6:16 PM 31,210 22

IN AN ERA of Photoshop and digital trickery, Dublin-based photographer Alex Sapienza is producing portraits that favour the brave.

adamclayton Adam Clayton of U2. Source: Alex Sapienza via The Analogue Studio

Originally from Rome, Sapienza has been pioneering the use of  a 19th century camera for the past few years here to produce unique and revealing photographs of Irish people.

His wetplate photography uses long exposure, glass plates and silver nitrate in a painstaking process that results in soul-baring images more reminiscent of the Wild West than the studio on Dublin’s South William Street where they are shot.

In the past year, he has been winning over high-profile names to abandon their usual highly-polished press shots and sit for a ‘warts-freckles-and-all’ portrait. The results – featuring U2′s Adam Clayton, Bob Geldof and Patrick Bergin, among others – are being displayed in an exhibition launching this evening entitled ‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken’.

“There is nowhere to hide with this style of photography,” said Sapienza.

Life is not perfect, and neither should be how we immortalise it. I am honoured to have photographed some truly unique characters, some celebrities, some not, but all showing that there is beauty in revealing the imperfections that modern society tells us to hide.

Here are some of the images on display at 37 Dawson Street from 6.30pm today. See more here.

All images © Alex Sapienza/The Analogue Studio.

bob1 Bob Geldof

RozP Roz Purcell

PatrickBergin Patrick Bergin

Baz Baz Ashmawy

Life, death and rock ‘n’ roll: 40 years of Ireland captured in photos>

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