Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I spoke to soon

A picture of two forensic officers entering a crime scene from this morning - which potentially could land me in jail for 10 years. © Magnus Andersson

Following on from the previous post, it seems I might have spoken to soon. The totalitarian society has now arrived with full force; from February 16, if you photograph a police officer in the UK, you can expect up to ten years in jail. Ten years! Read the BJP article here.

I think its about time for the NUJ to organise all its members into a boycott of all Government press calls, then perhaps we might see a shift away from criminalising the press.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Welcome, fellow terrorists!

Police attending a fire in the Bermondsey area. © Magnus Andersson

UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith didn't give two hoots about my last post on the subject. Now it seems that any man/woman wearing a police uniform is perfectly intelligent enough to decide for themselves if that person over there - with a camera - is a terrorist, and then take the appropriate action. Journalists have no rights in the eyes of a police officer anymore, the once 'open society' is now well and truly gone.

The UK is currently one of the most oppressed countries to live in, just take a look at this story from 2002. Back then, we were photographed on average 300 times per day! Imagine what the stats would show for 2009?! And why do the police deem photography unlawful only when they see it so? It seems to me that there are a huge amount of double standards going on here.

I deleted a lot of ranting here for the benefit of keeping this blog on the clean side of commentary, but I can only refer to a story that I shot a few days ago on the repercussions of this disastrous government decision.

Apart from the fact that democracy as we used to know it is falling apart, there's not much to report. The Mugabe approach (see earlier posts here and here), which Gordon Brown seems to have adopted, is so much more effective than we ever imagined.

See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. © see here

The suspects are of course the tabloids' obvious caricature: beard-plus-Middle-Eastearn-looks, but we can now also add ANYBODY with that well known WMD - a camera - to that list.

Well done Gordon Brown! The democracy that you foster is second only to, well, most of the rest of the world.

Did anyone tell you, Gordon, that Guantanamo Bay is closing down forever, for the simple fact that it was all a BIG MISTAKE? Didn't anyone tell you, Gordon, that persecuting journalists is a Mugabe sport, not something that an instigator of international freedom should engage in?

GAZA, GAZA STRIP - JANUARY 06: (EDITOR'S NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Palestinians evacuate the dead body of a child from in the rubble of a four story house that collapsed when struck by an Israeli air strike on January. 6, 2009 in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Israeli forces killed at least 30 people today when artillery shells targeted a United Nations run school where Gazans sheltered from fighting. Israel continues to intensify its wide-scale ground assault against the Gaza Strip ignoring mounting international calls for an immediate cease-fire. (Photo by Thair Hasani/Getty Images) © Getty Images

Did you think that the Israeli tactic to not to let any journalists into Gaza was a good move? See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil? For a so-called Labour man you seem to have forgotten your core values a long time ago.

So why allow this stupid guilty-before-proven innocent-approach in the first place? There can only be a couple of good reasons, the first one being to get elected again by pretending to be tough on terrorists. far, not a single terrorist plot has been stopped by checking someone's camera. Secondly, it might favour the police if they can confiscate any photographic record of their own wrongdoings. Or am I just being cynical, Rodney King?

Things are looking gloomy for UK photojournalism, perhaps worse than it ever has been. We're all terrorists now, professionals and happy amateurs alike, and entirely in the hands of people that are neither elected nor properly educated on human rights.

This is the police officer, TL 270, whom I wrote about here, and who will know not even have to apologise when he takes my camera next time. © Magnus Andersson

Brave new world and all that

UK front pages from last week, the day after Barack Obama takes to the Oval office. © Magnus Andersson 2009

The blog inertia has lasted for two weeks! Apologies if you've stopped by and found nothing but there simply hasnt been any spare time, so perhaps the inertia should be labelled as life happens...there will be more posting in the near future, promise.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Winchelsea at night, ISO200. LX3 on f2.0 @ 60s, supported by the aerial of my car. © Magnus Andersson 2009

I'm still in holiday mode I'm afraid, I had an extended weekend and took the opportunity to go down the south coast of England, which is absolutely beautiful in parts, and as a bonus you have the faded seaside glamour, and you just cant beat stumbling upon an old man's pub in the middle of Hastings - Monday night - and they have live blues and the place is packed to the rafters.

Work has really kicked in as well with the three of us being worked to the limit these last few days (12h for me on a Wednesday), I think that's why I haven't had time to blog, but also, I haven't had time to read the 30+ photo blogs I normally religiously follow, so perhaps its the equivalent of people detoxing during January; I put the blog/s on the back burner?

Anyhoot, as a photographer I don't really care about the pixel race, but as a Nikon lover (not die hard - cameras are tools), I thought this was quite funny, and with rumours of Nikon putting out the D3X with HD video, it seems like Canon might be in a spot of trouble. Which obviously means you have to read the blog of Chuck Westfall, CEO of Canon America, for his honest opinions on their corporate troubles [pinch of salt required].

Beachy Head, South Downs Coast © Magnus Andersson 2009

And yes, the Panasonic DMC-LX3 is a fantastic camera, versatile and portable, it goes wherever I go, no exceptions, as these two photo's will testify.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

New for 2009

Possibly a home to a Celtic fan in Peckham, London, January 13, 2009. © Magnus Andersson

I seem to be suffering from blog inertia these first few weeks of 2009 so I need to do something about it. Not sure what yet, but it'll come to me. I have some stuff in the pipeline, but these are yet to be published, so nothing just yet.

Did you have any New Year's resolutions? I didn't, but something seems to have changed anyway; I have gone from coffee to tea on a permanent basis, I have swapped my usual beer for red wine, and I no longer shoot JPEG, all my work stuff is now shot as RAW (except for the LX3 which occasionally is left in JPEG mode, as seen above). On that last point, I have no idea why I didn't shoot RAW before, but there you go. Some things are inexplicable.

And 2009 might just become a damn fine year!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Jack The Ripper/Welcome back

Tower Bridge in the fog, today. © Magnus Andersson

Not much to report between here and last time you saw a new post, except that Christmas and New Year's Eve was a blast for me, with little-to-no-work, unless we're facebook friends - in which case you would have seen me dressed up as Bob the Builder...

Bethnal Green Church in the fog, today. © Magnus Andersson

Today, finally, the London fog descended upon us and it felt like going back in time instantly; Jack The Ripper lurks around the corner and its frigging cold! The sights are from my commute today, back to the safety of east London, where Jack used to hang out, allegedly. 2009 is upon us, don't squander time.