Thursday, 30 July 2009

Hard at work?

A scaffolding worker fast asleep on the job. © Magnus Andersson

The British summer forecast has just been revised so there's no need to hold out for any barbecue weather anytime soon, and just in time for more bad weather, I've got a long weekend coming up as of this afternoon.

Perhaps I should spend it asleep, like the fella above did at 10am last Thursday morning? To be fair, sleeping on the job rather than when on holiday is to be preferred; at least you are still getting paid doing it...

Failing that, I might drive out to a wildlife reserve and do some twitching. Nothing beats sitting comfortably in a hide with your binoculars, a thermos full of coffee and a couple of sandwiches. Doesn't matter if it rains either!

A baby thrush in a Crystal Palace back garden yesterday . © Magnus Andersson

Friday, 24 July 2009

Lunch post via iPhone

Lambeth Cemetery panorama. © Magnus Andersson

I'm on my lunch break, enjoying a pasta salad with tuna and the panoramic scenery of Lambeth Cemetery. This has of course been captured, edited and posted with my new phone, which grew even more in stature yesterday when I discovered the joys of VNC Lite.

I was controlling my laptop from my iPhone, being able to open an image from the hard drive, edit it in Photoshop, save it and then email it through Outlook. If you then combine it with the excellent Dropbox, you've got everything you ever need for remote photo blogging and remote storage.

I think I might have to do a run down of my favourite apps at some stage, but right now I'm just wide eyed in amazement of the capabilities of this gadget.

It's my first iPhone and I've had it less than a week, but so far the only disappointment is the sometimes patchy network coverage by O2, but that is hardly Apple's fault.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


I had just finished packing up my gear into the boot of my car after a shoot when I saw the tail of a squirrel disappear down through the tiny hole of a Southwark council wheelie bin lid.

I thought 'we might have a picture here when it comes back up', so I unpacked my gear, waited for what felt like ages - I had to be at another place like five minutes ago - as always. I tried throwing pebbles at the bin and even shouting, but not too loudly, it was a built up area after all, in the middle of the day, no need to cause alarm...but to no avail, the squirrel was taking its time.

After 10 minutes of waiting aroound, the little critter finally re-surfaced again, looking suitably affronted having a big lens pointed at him/her, and I knew I had my picture. Perseverance prevails in photography, no doubt, as five of my pictures of this ran in today's paper.

Nuts, I tell ya, but it was wheelie fun.

Do you also refuse Southwark council? © Magnus Andersson

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Mobile blogging

Keyboard shot with the new iPhone 3Gs. © Magnus Andersson

So, you have got the new and amazing Apple iPhone 3Gs just like a lot of people, but you're still wondering how to post to Blogger on the go? And maybe you have tried logging in and found that you can only type in the words for the header of the post and then the tags, but you're still wondering how to type stuff in the main body of the post??? And trying to upload an image through the user interface doesn't work either.

I was flabbergasted when I realised that the brand spanking new iPhone wouldn't let me do live blogging with pictures, and the fact that blogspot hasn't yet released an iPhone app for the biggest blogging tool on the planet is just ridiculous. Seriously, what are you guys doing at work? Playing on your iPhone's?

There are some blog apps out there but they all have some flaws, so why pay when you can work around it for free?

Panoramic living room, stitched via the Panorama app from The iFone Guys. © Magnus Andersson

The way to approach this is two-pronged: start off by emailing the iPhone image to your blogger account. Here's a page telling you how to set that up. This will create the post.

Next you need to log in your blogger account, select the newly arrived post and start editing in HTML. If you try editing in compose mode, you'll find yourself limited to a title and tags only, but I suppose if you don't want a body of text, this fits the bill perfectly. That's it, you are done, welcome to blogging text and pictures together via the iPhone. Here's an earlier post on how I hacked blogger to make images appear much bigger.

Of course there will be some problems when you start adding multiple images, but a little HTML goes a long way, just tinker around for a bit and it will work. Everything else seems to work as it should, spell checker, hyperlinks, etc.

The only problem with mobile photo blogging on the iPhone is that you are stuck with the rather crappy camera, as witnessed in the two pic's above, so hopefully my next post will be more related to photojournalism rather than geeking your asses out on my latest toy. No promises though...

New toy

So I finally managed to get my hands on the new Apple iPhone 3Gs and I have to say it is amazing! Quite possibly improving quality of life as we know it. I mean what other product lets you play Assassin's Creed whilst in the loo? This post has of course been brought to you from my new toy...quite possibly also written in the loo. Revolutionary stuff indeed.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The methane is coming...

Screen grab from HOME by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

I'm back from a couple of days off, the last of which has been spent in Doncaster. King's Cross station at 7am, return at 8.20pm...a very long day, but we had fun on the way back, courtesy of being allowed to drink on the train. If you havent been to Doncaster, dont worry, no need to go.

You need to watch this movie though, preferably in HD and full screen. It is a feature length movie full of statistics about the state of the environment. Beyond the stats it is also beautifully shot.

Its directed by renowned photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, famous for his series about Earth From The Air. This movie contains breathtaking, mesmerising images, spellbinding stuff. Important facts too about our fate too. Best of all? Its free.

Saturday, 11 July 2009


Usain Bolt stares down the barrel of my lens. © Magnus Andersson

Well, my wishful thinking (see previous post) of having some exclusive time with the fastest man on the planet - Usain Bolt - was exactly just that, wishful thinking...there were at least ten TV crews and a smattering of photographers and radio people in tow, but it was still a nice little affair.

Usain Bolt checking out a start from the kids. © Magnus Andersson

Usain had arrived to speak to the kids of south London and gave them a little lesson in sprinting. What was surprising was how long he actually stayed. I would have guessed on us getting 5-10 minutes for a few pictures and then we'd be off, but he spent at least two hours on site, chatting to the kids and the media, signing autographs etc, I'm actually not sure how long he stayed as I had to leave to get the pictures in for deadline.

The fastest pair of legs ever to have sprinted on this planet. © Magnus Andersson

He started off with a Q&A session with the kids, and apparently he likes a lot of junk food, it doesn't really bother him, and he knows that his training burns all that stuff right off. Most probing question? How old are you? He just laughed and said 22. His physique is really rather normal, he is quite tall, but apart from that nothing particular to give way to the fact that he is the fastest sprinter ever seen.

Usain Bolt leaps out of the blocks in an explosive manner. © Magnus Andersson

He explained his starting technique for quite a while, going through the various stages of getting out of the blocks, but when he actually did one in real time it took me by surprise. He shot up like a bolt (sorry) of lightning at a perfect 45 degree angle with such power and speed that he leaped out of my frame in a split second.

Usain Bolt always seems relaxed and in control. © Magnus Andersson

His calm was also impressive, no matter how many cameras was trained on him, or when standing by for one of his many live-to-air interviews he did on the day, he never once looked like he was under any pressure. He completely took it in his stride.

Usain Bolt celebrates during his Olympic 100m win in Beijing. © Seattle Times

But I wonder if he'll live to regret his celebration during that famous Olympic record that he set last year, when he stopped sprinting and instead started celebrating 10m before the finishing line? To be honest I don't think he really cares. He seems to firmly believe that he can run even faster.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

France here we come!

Graffitti as part of a sculpture park on the top floors of Peckham Rye multistory car park which opened yesterday, 30/06/09, for three months. It has a temporary bar and cafe and nearly 30 artists are exhibiting their works. © Magnus Andersson

Alright, it was decided today: I will tag along with a whole bunch of Swedish photojournalists to Visa Pour l'Image in Perpignan! Many thanks to Christina at PFK for allowing me to stay in the same hotel as the Swedes, and to Mattias for sorting it out for me. It looks like Mattias and me will also be room mates, which could be a problem...apparently he snores like a duck. Mattias is a veteran though, he went last year, so those readers that understand Swedish can look at his posts from 2008 here.

In other news, it looks like 100 photographers might be loosing their jobs soon, but don't worry, they are from the dark side, they're only police. Whole article from BJP here.

Tomorrow could be good, or it could be bad. OK, not very conclusive I know, but I'm supposed to be photographing the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, and I fear that there will be a posse of other photojournalists, minimizing the chance of coming away with any decent and/or unique picture, but I'll keep you posted.