Monday, 26 October 2009

To tweet or not to tweet?

Alien or chestnut? Neither; its my current Twitter background. © Magnus Andersson

Apparently that's not even a question in 2009 and I cant help feeling that me signing up so long after the initial buzz makes me a bit 2000-and-late...ahem.

The wonderful Stephen Fry was of course the reason for me signing up, especially after the huge furore over a Daily Heil article last week, but I actually got contacted by a real celebrity - yes! - only on my second day on Twitter.

The night before I had gone to comedian Lee Hurst's club in Bethnal Green to have some fun but unfortunately for me (and to everybody else's delight) we had to sit at the table right at the front. Never a good thing in a packed house.

Lee came on and started his first routine, picking people in the front row to ask a few questions about them. He got to me and it was very innocent to begin with:

- What's your name?
- Magnus.
- Where are you from, Magnus?
- Sweden.
- Aha! Thanks for your help with the Germans.
- Eh...
- So what do you do for a living, Magnus?
- I'm a photographer.
- Tell us what you have photographed recently.

At this stage my mind went blank. It was Friday night and I had put all thoughts of work behind me so I tried to remember what my last job had been that day. Think, think, think, I was telling myself. A whole room plus Lee Hurst was waiting for my answer and then it came to me, yes, I had been at a school which had held a huge celebration for their 50th anniversary, dancing and singing, etc.

But I didn't say all that. Instead, the only thing that came out was:

- School children.

Not the ideal answer in a comedy club. The whole room erupted and Lee had the rest of his first set written for him by me. I'm sure you can figure out how I was labelled for the rest of the night: children. Arrgh!

Anyway, that experience ended up being one of my first tweets. The day after, Lee himself had found me on Twitter and sent me a message, saying that he'd hoped to see me at the club again! Nice. But I might sit at the back next time and claim to be a mute.

Anyway, if you're on Twitter, seek me out and give me a tweet here.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Time to up my game

Portrait of Alexandre, 101 years young. © Magnus Andersson

Oh dear, the spotlight is on us! Two blogs are shining the light on local newspaper photography like never before. It is true that a lot of jobs that we do are quite mundane, some are boring and some are outright stupid, so I will have to up my game in order to stay off these two blogs:

Angry people in local newspapers

Glum councillors

If you want to have a detailed insight into my working life though, look no further.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

I've got another 700 reasons to be very happy...

One of my first test shots on the Nikon D700; wireless TTL left, seedy red lamp behind, TV light from right. © Magnus Andersson

...because I've just got my hands on a brand new Nikon D700! I was holding out for an updated D700s version but as the D3 got upgraded instead I couldn't wait any longer. Rumour has it that a possible D700s is likely in a years time...ho hum.

But I welcome the super fast and super accurate AF, the brilliant ISO performance, the built-in commander flash, the dream like DOF with my family of prime lenses, the solid build quality and on and on and on...yup, I'm very pleased with it.

Its not insured yet though so I am scared to take it out of the house. Frustration! Hence the random image above; shot in my living room. Hopefully it'll be sorted soon.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Yeah, I'm busy

Airplane vapour trails over North Kent marshland. © Magnus Andersson

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I've got one hundred two thousand and four hundred reasons... get the newly launched Nikon D3s. The ISO goes up to 102,400. That's a little bit insane. According to BJP it is actually usable as well. That basically outperforms the human eye, meaning this camera will pick up details although you are struggling to see what's going on in the dark. Gimme gimme gimme. I think it will be a little while before I actually own one though as it will set me back £4,200. Hmmm.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


AP photographer Dominic Lipinski filing his pictures in direct sunlight, opposite the police station in Lambeth North. © Magnus Andersson

A while back I showed you some of the stuff from the early morning dangerous dogs raid that I went on and I just found this little gem of AP's Dominic Lipinski editing his shots after the raid. We had been embargoed, meaning we couldn't release any pictures until after 11am (we started at 05:30am), ensuring that all raids across the country had finished before they end up on the what to do?

Grab a coffee anda croissant, edit your shots, wait for the deadline to expire and then start filing. Impossible to do in bright sunlight like that of course...unless you have one of these nice little hoods for you laptop.

I've got an early start tomorrow...

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Pure laziness

Charles, 100, beaming with pride over his birthday card from the Queen herself. © Magnus Andersson

That's what it is, or maybe the change in the weather, autumn is definitely here now and winter is around the corner, its getting chilly outside and staying in is such a nice prospect in the evening. Soon it will be dark when I get up to go to work and dark when I get home again.

Factors which may play a role in the laziness on the blog, but if there's one thing that reminds you that there's plenty of time to do stuff, just speak to a 100-year old. Above you can see Charles, who turned 100 last Sunday, and he kept saying that the amount of things he's done and seen in his life were so many, he couldn't believe it. He was of course 'all there' in the head and he really enjoyed life.

When you make it to 100 here in the UK you get a special birthday card from the Queen herself, no less. There's no limit to the pride this instills in the older generation, quite touching to witness actually, and this card always takes pride of place in their homes.

Personally though, I'd be quite offended that she's managed to ignore my previous 99 birthdays...the lazy woman.

Friday, 2 October 2009