Wow, what a morning. I was photographing at The Conservative Party Manifesto launch here in Swindon this morning.
It was presented by Prime Minister David Cameron but George Osborne and Theresa May both made speeches as well.
I have never seen so many famous faces in one place. The security must have been a nightmare. I think the whole of the Cabinet was there as was Samantha Cameron. Not only that, there were all of the famous journalists that I have only ever seen on TV. And I was in the media room with them.
Star struck, me nooooooo.
Part of the reason why I like being a photojournalist is the press scrum. It is fun and funny. Pushing and shoving some of the time. Other times we all let each other take prime spot and change around.
Yesterday I was photographing Ed Miliband who was visiting Los Gatos in Old Town Swindon as part of the Election trail and to show support for Anne Snelgrove the local Labour candidate for Swindon South. Los Gatos was just heaving with customers and Labour supporters before the media got in there. It was heavily controlled by the Police and Labour party officials and so we had to be in before he arrived. Not only that, all the media had to be behind the bar!!!!! So we were all pretty much going to get the same shots. I was too late in grabbing a chair to stand on and at first all I got was the backs of all the rest of the media. (See photo). After that I just moved around a bit trying to get something different. I don’t think I managed to achieve it. I did manage to get Ed Miliband being interviewed by the Swindon Advertiser journalist. Only because the Labour official in charge thought I was with them so I didn’t tell him otherwise 🙂
My point in all of this is that news photojournalism is all just a matter of luck, being at the right place at the right time. Pushing and shoving and standing your ground at times. Being really nice and accommodating at others.
Fun though, either way.
Today saw the Swindon Holocaust Memorial Service take place. It was fitting that it was a grey overcast day (excellent for photography) for the short service held at the Cenotaph in Swindon. It was quite well attended by the general public and some of the local dignitaries including Councillor Teresa Page Mayor of Swindon, Angus MacPherson Police and Crime Commissioner for Swindon and Wiltshire was tucked away amongst the public and also Derique Montaut Labour Councillor, there were of course many more if you knew where to look.
It was a quite short service but it was good to see that Swindon held it again this year especially as it is 70 years today.
Despite being on strike Swindon Fire Brigade turned out to a major fire at a scrap yard in Swindon late this afternoon and early evening. These guys were absolutely dripping in sweat running around working to get control of the fire. Black smoke could be seen for miles around and it will be smouldering for quite a few days to come.
And the fire brigade, well should we not support their cause. Despite their conflict with the government over pay and pensions etc they still come out and look after us the public.
Well done guys, you have my support.
Despite this event taking place in public I have removed the images as one person in a couple of them complained about being in them. I did explain that as she was in and the event took place in a public place that I was legally allowed to take and publish them, I did remove them as this is now old news and makes no difference to me. Whilst the images are not important it could be construed that I had made an assumption that they were a ‘couple’ whereas in fact they are both single and not attached to each other.
As an accredited jounalist and member of the NUJ I just wanted to point out that we as jounalist are allowed to take photographs in public places of public events.
At 12:00 on 27th January there was a small but well attended wreath laying ceremony in Swindon Town Centre to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day. Despite the inclement weather it was well attended by Swindon dignitaries including the Conservative MP for Swindon South Robert Buckland and Mayor Nick Martin who laid the wreath.
Today I spent a few hours in Bristol at the Save The NHS and Anti Austerity Measures protest march and rally. There were a good few hundred protestors from various groups including The Radical Bloc, Save The NHS, many of the Trades Unions and other supporters. It was quite a loud march but peaceful and good natured and included The Radical Bloc Group stopping outside of Primark to protest and show their solidarity with the Bangladesh workers who ae suffering quite a lot at the moment, well probably all the time to be honest!!
This is just a small selection of all of my images which if anybody is interested more can be found at http://www.DEMOTIX.com or
please feel free to contact me directly.
Swindon at the same time as Margaret Thatcher Funeral
Swindon at the same time as Margaret Thatcher Funeral
So, this is how Swindon marks a historic event. I for one am very disappointed in the fact that there was nowhere in the Town Centre to watch the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Now this is absolutely nothing to do with any political leanings I may or may not hold, it is about an event in history and as you can see by these two photos taken shortly after ten o’ clock this morning. Which is when the funeral was taking place in London.
The Big Screen was not showing the news as it usually does and only had an advert on it for an art event that was not due to start till 11.30 so in my mind they could have shown the funeral on the big screen. Now those of you who follow my twitter will have noticed that I did question inSwindon about it and there only response (both on Twitter and by phone) was oh it wasnt planned to show it!!!!!
I also took the time to talk to several people in Wharf Green and they like me would like to have watched the funeral on the Big Screen and were as equally disappointed as I am.
As someone who likes and supports Swindon I just feel a little let down by the town on this occasion.
What do other people think?????
Well no photo of Sunday anymore. Why? I have been carrying out quite a bit of research and despite it being only the 4th Sunday of the year I have decided to bin it because it is not providing any benefit to me or anybody else. Stats are showing very few hits on those posts and to be honest I can understand why. There is no theme and is therefore completely random and unless I am on another assignment then I am just taking an image just for the sake of it with very little thought behind it. With very little information around the photo, why it was taken etc then why would anybody actually be interested in reading it.
What I should be doing more of is explaining things and why I do them, how I do them etc.
So as a start, I did a small photo shoot this morning. It was only mug shots for the person to send off as part of his profile as part of a competition. It was carried out in a gym, (in the squash court to be precise) where lighting is just awful. And short of getting the flash and umbrellas out it was a case of the ISO at 3200 and hope for the best. I just did not feel happy with the results which prob will suffice for what it was for but I just did not feel satisfied. Which at the end of the day is what it is all about for me. I have to feel emotionally involved in what I am doing and I didnt. Is that true of all professional photographers? I dont want to just earn money and not feel as though I have not done a good job.
So this blog is going to go back to the Swindon News/Photojournalism and I am not going to try to combine other things with it.
Likewise I am going to re-design my website to provide a better experience, better show case for my better images from both the UK and Spain and try to make it more interesting.