Saturday, 27 June 2009


Police line up in a weapons search on Bells Garden Estate, Peckham, in connection with Operation Blunt (Met's op against gang crime). © Magnus Andersson

Yes baby, we have gone big! After much googling on various blogger hacks, I found that the easiest way to make your photos appear bigger is simply a bit of HTML tinkering. Once you've drafted a post, click on edit HTML, then delete the width and height parameters of the image, and change s400 to s800. Voila, nice big pictures on your blog.

You will also have to adjust the header and main wrapper, mine is currently set at 950 and 750 respectively, and this is done via the layout adjustments, again in HTML. Here you can also adjust the sidebar and various other things, some experimentation is recommended, but for security purposes it might be better to create a separate blog and test in that before going live. Also, save your template before you start, that way you can always revert back to what you had.

Now I just have to manually go back and edit all the older posts, and this will take some time, so some of those will most likely appear small (normal) size for a while. But future posts should all be big baby, yeah!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Tech tip: The exposure to light stimulates the brain and creates a false alertness and stimulation

Portrait of Shlomo, human beatboxer and artist-in-residence at the Southbank Centre - where this was taken © Magnus Andersson

Its Friday night and I'm staying in. I'm absolutely knackered after working five days in a row, i.e. a normal working week, BUT you have to bear in mind the impact of having just got back from a week long holiday, and you can understand how taxing things can be when trying to adjust to normal working life.

The illness (sinus infection) that eventually came upon me during my holiday also means that I am still recovering, so it's a pleasant surprise to say that the week has actually flown by! Today I was hounding MP Tessa Jowell on two jobs within one hour, no time for lunch as per usual, but its fun to hang out with the people that run/ruin the country.

I think also I lucked out on not having to shoot another one of the days' assignments; the OAP* sports day. Surely that's a contradiction in terms, or am I just being ageist? Quite possibly it also had the best/funniest pictures of the day. Imagine capturing all those hip's breaking as they fall over during football? Hmm.

Enough of the week, I think you ought to read a few things, first of all Stephen Fry's blog on all things technical in everyday communication. I've read a few of his books and his prose is as good as his blog/tweets/columns. Here's a man who embraces new technology with gusto and he also slips in enough links to make it easy even for non-tweeters like me to understand.

Secondly, lifehacker is such an all-encompassing site of tech news and bizarre-yet-useful DIY projects that I always end up spending longer than I intended. How about this for how to sleep properly: one, two and three.

Thirdly, and you cant read this anywhere, but I am still waiting for Nikon to announce a D700/D3 (notice the preference) with HD video. My life would be complete. It would all fall into place and the four prime lenses that I've bought on eBay in the last month or so would come to perfect use. Nikon, when can we see proper HD video from you? This summer, please! We cant wait any longer, or we will - again - have to revert to Canon. I mean it.

Apart from this I am struggling to get myself a new iPhone 3Gs. I even keep dreaming about getting one. Apparently they are sold out at the moment.

*Old Age Pensioner, for you non-UK'ers

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Gone fishing again

One of my cousins sorting out the reed on the jetty. © Magnus Andersson

Once again I have retreated to the mother country, this time for some Midsummer celebrations and various family outings. I have got a slight sore throat, but hopefully it will not escalate any further before Friday night. After that I don't care.

Not a ripple on the lake at sunset. © Magnus Andersson

I'm also trying to sort out the trip to Perpignan and Visa Pour L ´Image later this summer, but I'm still waiting to hear back from Cristina at PFK. Maybe I have to sort out the booking on my own as I'm not based in Sweden? No! I want to stay with the other Swedes as well! Cristina, please sort me out.

Two more cousins having fun on the hammock. © Magnus Andersson

Zooming around in a Zodiac on the lake. © Magnus Andersson

Thursday, 4 June 2009

#200 goes to Luke

Luke with his mum Nicola. © Magnus Andersson

I never thought that I would reach 200 posts on this blog before shelving it, but frankly, it's been a lot of fun, and this is post #200! Time for reflection.

The fact that there are people in places like Taiwan, South Africa and Japan reading this makes it all worthwhile really. I still haven't had a single hit from Greenland though, this needs to be rectified. Greenland photojournalists, where are you? Do you exist?

On the other hand, the blog can also feel like a burden when you're having a slow week and there's only boring diary jobs with lots of overtime and nothing exciting to share. The long periods where I'm constantly aware that I need to put a new post up because...well, because why? Do I owe it to you, the reader, or do I owe it to myself?

I think I'm just going through a period of melancholy right now, but the answer is: I owe it only to myself. Nobody pays any money to come here, you do it in your own time and I'm grateful for that, so its up to me to make the most of things, even when things sucks.

I could bitch all day about how I - in 2009 when everybody else shoots 24MP - am confined to shooting all my jobs on a 4MP camera (D2Hs) and three lenses (17-35, 50 and 80-200), or how our (lack of a) picture editing policy on the paper is demeaning to even our readers, let alone the professionals behind the pictures, or the owners lack of understanding of the impact of the internet for newspapers.

Outside of that I have my own life to contend with, and my frequent recurring dreams of a full-frame camera with proper HD-video capability (no, not the 5DmkII, the upcoming Nikon version which actually can focus). See, I could bitch (and dream) all day but I wont.

When things are tough, I cast my mind back to Nicola and her son Luke, and three things become apparent:
a) I have nothing to complain about
b) I have the best job in the world
c) (to paraphrase Spiderman) with a great job comes a great responsibility.

Bear with me if the posts are not daily or even weekly, life happens to all of us, so thank you for reading (and commenting) and remember to keep plugging away at your own pace.

Still image from 'A time comes - the story of the Kingsnorth Six' © Greenpeace/Nick Broomfield lift all this reflective gloom, this shit is outrageously good and I had the good fortune to meet and photograph the director - Nick Broomfield - a few years ago and he was a a thoroughly nice chap. Splendid piece of documentary too.

Quote from the film: "Someone somewhere had got a bit of kit and that's used from time to time" on intercepting live camera feeds from a police helicopter camera. Kudos.

Thanks to

Rare animal spotted: water buffoon

London Mayor Boris Johnson tumbles into the Ravensbourne river during a photo call. © Magnus Andersson

London Mayor Boris Johnson was down in Bellingham this morning to promote volunteering, in this case helping to clean up local rivers. The gathered media were all issued with thigh-high waders as we proceeded to take pictures of Mr Johnson collecting various rubbish and weeds.

It was a little tricky wading around the river with a backpack and cameras round our necks, but things went swimmingly (sorry) and we all managed to get some nice close up shots. After a while though, we all agreed that it would be nice to have a shot of him on the long lens as well, just him and the river.

The problem was, Boris wasn't paying attention to us when we asked him to stay in one place, and before you know it, Boris stepped into a deep hole and down he went.

He was a sporting chap about the incident though, asking us if 'we'd got our shot now?' It will most likely be in all the papers tomorrow and I'm sure the headline writers will have some fun with it too...water buffoon, in too deep, sink or swim, etc etc.

Here's a clip from BBC showing the incident.

The person saying 'thank you' 23 seconds in? That'll be me.