Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Forza Ale!

© Alex Masi

My good friend and fellow photographer Alex Masi has managed to sccop a prize at the Environmental Photographer of the Year 2008 award, where he was runner up in the Quality of Life section. Congratulations, Alex! Guardian link here, BJP here.

While on the subject of competitions, there's a couple of new one's around, with decent prize money too; $30.000 and $50.000 respectively. Start preparing your folio's.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Skate or die already!

I managed to get the PDF's (converted to jpeg here) on yesterdays skate feature, here's how it ended up looking. Sub Damian did a good job! Above is the front page to our Friday entertainment section; Pulse, below is the double truck inside.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Skate or die!

© Magnus Andersson 2008

On Friday we'll be having a feature on skate parks in South London. The shot at the top is for the front page, but I've yet to see what going on inside on the double page spread. What follows is unrelated commentary.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

I used to skate as a kid in Sweden and I grew up on Thrasher Magazine and especially the photography of a guy simply called O. He was the don.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

Lots of fish eye photography, lots of natural light, long before flash photography started dominating the scene. I wish I could link to his home page here, but you try googling 'O' and 'skate' and 'photography' and see what you come up with.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

Add/subtract to that search 'legendary photographer', 'seminal' etc, but still nothing. Maybe 'O' died, who knows, but his images of saturated pool riding, hand plants, Christ air's etc in the Californian 80's sun is still very much in my mind. If you have the link, please post a comment.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

I seem to remember that he was a Nikon guy as well, maybe eventually a Nikon F4 shooter. Not quite sure why I remember this as it was way before I started shooting seriously myself, I was just happy to skate.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

My best friend Daniel and me used to rip it up in our home town and around 1987-88 nobody could touch us. Daniel was the master of the big ollie and I was the first one to land an ollie airwalk.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

We gave up when kids half our age landed the ollie kick flip more frequently than us, but we're still best friends today, dreaming back to our days of fluid movement.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

Come to South London, skate or die. I used to ride a Steve Caballero Powell & Peralta board just because he used to do the big air. Indy trucks with Rat Bones underneath.

Tony Hawk was just a wannabee at the time. I've still got a skateboard in my closet (literally) and I've used it only once to ride down the local supermarket in two years. I felt such a fool. Back in the day I would have called myself a poser. The same thing applies now. I can still do an ollie though. No, really, I can.

© Magnus Andersson 2008

Nikon announces my present

It seems that the rumour I wrote about earlier was true, which means that I have found myself the perfect birthday present (providing it is as good as it seems, otherwise I'll still get the G9) - Nikon says that the P6000 will be released just a week or so before my birthday!

In case you are wondering what else is on my wish list, how about three or so Pocket Wizards, a 10.5mm fish eye lens, a very good laptop (not Apple, please, why pay extra for less performance? Its like Viagra in reverse). And two D3's.

Just to contradict myself, I wouldn't mind the new Apple iPhone 3G though...all that free 3G capability would actually be useful on the road. I would also like to attend my friend Bjorn's wedding in Sweden that month, but somebody had booked their holiday before me, so the stag do this month will have to suffice instead.

OK, I would gladly take any Apple product actually, but cash is king, and at the moment you get about twice the performance on a Window's based laptop, like-for-like money spent.

A new desktop computer would be great too, but after upgrading my RAM and getting some dirt-cheap PCI cards on eBay, my desktop - which was the absolute top-of-the-range when I bought it for for £1500 (!) in 2000 - now performs like a brand new beast! So that will have to wait for another birthday.

Post script 19/11/08 :
The Nikon P6000 didn't live up to its expectations, neither did the Canon G10. When will manufacturers take note of performance in low light? I would have been happy with only 6-8MP if it only could perform without having to use a flash, similar to the (now) old Fuji f31fd.

The developers behind these things must be whipped daily by marketers who have research data found in focus groups, telling them that more mega pixels is what the consumer wants. Fools, bloody fools, consumers, researchers and developers alike.

The Panasonic LX-3 is the only alternative at the moment, but even that falls a little short, although not by much. A P6000/G10/LX-3 with usable ISO up to 3200, and my money - along with every other photojournalist - is spent on you, Nikon/Canon/Panasonic. As it stands I am not spending a penny on any of you.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

© Martin Parr

Interesting interview with the ever-cagey Martin Parr about pitching ideas and what makes interesting subject matter to him: "Wealth to me is as much to me the front line as poverty traditionally was." Read the whole thing here at PDN.

And if you like crime stories, you have to check out Steven Hirsch's blog Courthouse Confessions. Compulsory and addictive, entertaining and effectively simple.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Strangely inspiring

Getty Images have this thing called moodstream, where you can adjust certain parameters such as Happy/Sad, Humorous/Serious, Warm/Cool etc, coupled with music. It generates a constant mix of images, clips and sound to suit your mood, and can be strangely hypnotic. Its almost like having a TV on silent and a radio in the background, both on random. Try it out for yourself.

You can then save your moodboard, get more info on the images etc. Brilliant.

I want to able to do this with my own music and picture archive on my hard drive. Any software out there?

Monday, 4 August 2008

I've lapsed in my posts

Yes, I know, its been a bit slow here since coming back from Derbyshire, but last week I was the only staffer shooting so it was all a bit hectic. I bought a new little P&S though and I have been playing around with time lapse videos such as recording my journeys at work, melting ice, clouds etc. Here's Rob at work trying to fix a messed up 80-200 lens, with little success. [no sound on video]