Saturday, 22 March 2008

Special access

I love the access you get as a photographer. With a camera as an excuse you can go places where people normally aren't allowed. Crime scenes, prisons, construction sites and military bases, not to mention war. Personally I'm not sure if covering war would be that much fun, but I wouldn't turn it down if I was offered.

Earlier in the week I was invited to have a look inside the Thames Barrier, a place which is extremely well guarded as it is of critical importance to London, and very few people have access to it. The barrier is an awesome - and beautiful - construction, and this is the kind of stuff I love, going behind the scenes to look closer at how it works. Now you can have a look, too!

Picture: The barrier as seen from its control tower on the south bank of the Thames.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

More (little) big hitters

I'm developing a slight boxing theme here, but I spent last Friday night in Rotherhithe covering a boxing event. Shooting sports is something which we sadly dont get to do very often, especially as the big clubs in our patch - Charlton, Crystal Palace, Millwall etc - have their own photographers, which send in their photographs free of charge.

I loved shooting this one though, and it was put on by a local boxing club in a school hall. Drinks were served for the adults and it didnt take long before they started to behave like a crowd in Vegas, baying for blood.

However, it was only when I was leaving that I started fearing for my life, there was about 20-30 youths outside smoking weed and drinking, and they all knew I was the photographer with all the kit in there. I was thinking I would get robbed, seriously. Trying to look cool, I strode past them as best as I could with my camera bag and lighting kit, and hey presto, I made it to my car in one piece, so in celebrating being alive - still - here's a slide show from the event.

Picture: Bradley Mitchell (blue helmet) delivering a perfect body shot on Oscar Browne.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Away from the city with Elks

We left London behind for a relaxing time out in the country, and I couldnt have been any happier. Combining a bit of photography for a friends' band and then some sightseeing; sounded ideal. Best laid plans...

Some map reading problems meant we took a detour of appx. 45 miles (72 km) leaving us off, waaay off schedule. Nevertheless, we found our B&B, a place which I can highly recommend, especially seeing as they have just achieved their 5* rating, and then we set off for the main reason for this impromptu trip: Elks!

Recording music is difficult at the best of times, and entering such an atmosphere trying to photograph it is even worse. Luckily, Guy, who runs the studio is a very agreeable man, and Elks are likewise, so apart from shit light in the studio and a lot of stress within the band of getting things back on track, there wasnt much stress!

In the end I shot some frames on Saturday afternoon/evening, and then we came back on Sunday morning. I think I have enough in the can to save the venture, but next time I would like to have some more time and some more light at my expense, please. It would have been nice to see a bit of Kent as well.

Anyway, picture: A possible cover, but Elks will have final say, so keep checking their label.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Walking away from your baby

There's nothing good to say about this. A mother touches and kisses the mural left to her (then) 15-year old son, Billy Cox. He was found dying from gun shot wounds by his younger sister in their home, only yards away from his where his mural is placed. Billy was murdered and one year on, nobody has been convicted of his killing. Billy's father watched from a distance as Billy's mum lit the candles according to her Thai tradition.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Going, going, gone

I was at the press conference for arguably one of the biggest boxing fixtures seen in this country for a good 10 years, and you have to agree, even at this PR square off, the challenger - Enzo Maccarinelli (left) - looked like he would get beat?

I stayed up until 3am last Saturday to watch it...the fight was stopped early in the 2nd round, as Enzo had no idea where he was after taking a decent right from David Haye (right). Awesome power from The Hayemaker, our South London boy!

The chief has left us

Our chief photographer has been mentioned here before, and he has now left us for a round-the-world trip, so bon voyage, Simon! The bad news is that he wont be replaced! Instead the people at the top figured they'll replace him with yet another senior photographer (which now makes three of us), meaning that we'll be without a manager, or at least one with photographic experience, so its not looking too good. Jobs will invariably be missed, the diary will be messed up, we'll be overworked and morale will go down, and what's more, it has shut the door in our faces in terms of furthering our careers at this newspaper. Oh, well, there's plenty more titles out there. Job seekers of the world, unite and leave ship.

Picture: From a freelance job I did for BBC Radio a couple of weeks ago, documenting interviews in a care home which caters mainly for Asian elders - within the Asian community there is a huge stigma to put your parents into a care home.