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Monday, 19 January 2009


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Mike, here's some more photos of the plane:


and the plane on the barge:


BTW, the home page now works fine.

Tomorrow truly will be a historic day for the USA. Congratulations, from one of your neighbours to the north!

Shameless plug: here's my list of the top ten things about inauguration day, 2009:

(Sorry; no photos.)

With my Patriots out of the playoffs (let's not talk about how that can happen with an 11-5 record) I'm rooting for the Cardinals. Why? It's a simple story: I was watching the pre-game show of the Cardinals vs Panthers (round 2 playoff game) and all 5 of the guys in the studio (Howie Long & Co.) said the Panthers were going to win, hands down. The Cardinals didn't have a chance. No way they could win. Nope. 5 votes for the Panthers. Easy pic.

The Cardinals went on to win 33-13. Brilliant defence, inspiring offence.

I didn't watch the post-game show, but I hope Howie Long & Co. looked dumb as hell :-)

I've found my team for the playoffs.


Perhaps we haven't made enough of the fact that a photo that has appeared on many front pages was taken with an iPhone. Such a prominent iPhone shot does drive home several important photographic points. It is the photograph, not the equipment that counts, and web sites like TOP that talk about photography mostly and a bit about equipment are perhaps more appropriately balanced than the pixel peeping, gearhead sites.

Any camera in the right hands in the right environment can be used to make outstanding photographs. The best camera is the one you have with you.

Mike, has it occurred to you that if Bush were the type of person many of your friends on the left have said he is, this transition would not be occurring at all? On the contrary, he and his wife have been the epitome of graciousness to the Obamas and have done everything in their power to make the transition smooth and orderly.

It's this sort of professionalism, combined with sheer guts and decision making that this man, Sully, displayed that brings tears of inspiration to our eyes.

Folks that are top of the line good at what they do..doesn't matter if it's baking bread or shoveling show...

Bringing this plane down perfectly with the extended families of over a hundred people riding on your shoulders, exquisite.

Absolutely incredible series of moments followed by a one word announcement from the Captain.."evacuate".

My Dad was always a sucker for the underdog. Growing up in the '20s and '30s the football underdog in Chicago was the Cardinals. He must be smiling somewhere up there.

A quick correction about the Airbus crash photo. The photographer is not Janice but Janis Krums (a man) and the reason it whizzed around Twitter so quickly is that Janis is on Twitter and posted the photo to Twitpic (no relation), which links to Twitter.

Another correction (maybe) is that I was on Twitter at the time and I had no 'fail-whale' problems - others may have though, so there may be something in the story of it nearly bringing Twitter to a halt.

Janis is at http://twitter.com/jkrums

I am at http://twitter.com/photographworks

"has it occurred to you that if Bush were the type of person many of your friends on the left have said he is, this transition would not be occurring at all?"

So your contention is that he's a good guy because he's allowing Constitutional democracy in the United States to continue at all? What a Prince.

Mike J.

I like the original version of Janis Krums' Hudson photograph a lot better than the cropped version you put up:


In 1968 I despaired that my country might not survive the decade of the 60's. The several decades that followed have been a mixed blessing at best. Today I see real signs that we may finally be able to move into a future where the entire nation can move forward. Not just one half or the other.

I basically agree with you, but the "any camera you've got with you" dictum works a lot better for news shots, and then it's dependent on being lucky enough to be at the scene of a genuinely newsworthy event, which very few people ever are. (Think of all the great news photographers who basically took ONE great news photograph in their entire careers that was based on being in the right place at the right time.) The fact that Janis Krums' (thanks for the correct name, David!) picture was taken with a cell phone actually lends it additional meaning, because its technical aspect actually becomes part of the story...that is, we're removed from the "omniscient observer" perspective of many photographs and put into the context of an ordinary citizen who happens to be on the ferry that's coming to offer help to the stranded passengers. In that sense a clean, clear DSLR shot might actually have been a *worse* photograph in that particular situation.

But of course that doesn't mean technique is irrelevant or that any camera will do in any situation. It depends on the meaning of the picture and how that meaning conveys to the audience. In general the history of photography has been a persistent move away from slick, technique-oriented photographs and towards the application of common demotic equipment and materials, used for expressive purposes. But there are plenty of examples of photographic work that depends on some sort of exalted technique to convey in the way it does--Adamsian landscapes being perhaps a conspicuous example.

Mike J.

I don't know anything about US football, but the other pics on this post certainly make me feel the country has something to lighten the prevailing gloom this week. After eight years in which many of us in Europe feel the USA has not always been true to its founding principles, it is good to be reminded that one great representative from Illinois is about to be followed to the White House by another. I wish your new president and your country the very best of success!

Just LOOK at the chroma noise in the first image!

"Any camera in the right hands in the right environment can be used to make outstanding photographs. The best camera is the one you have with you."

True, Edward. But if there had been someone standing beside Janis with a D3, and without the window in the way, it could certainly have been a better photograph.

Edward Taylor wrote: "Such a prominent iPhone shot does drive home several important photographic points."

Indeed, the main one being the #1 photojournalist rule of all time for taking important pictures: "iPhone and be there".

The 1954 Pulitzer Prize went to a shot from a Box Brownie. Sometimes just being there is more important than what you are carrying.

All of your points about my post are well received.

I didn't mean to imply that a good camera and a skillful photographer were a disadvantage or even that skill and equipment weren't important. I meant to say that being at the right place and time with any camera and any skill level can produce great work. Therefore, arguing about which camera is better - the D3x, the Sony 900, the 1DsMKIII or the 5DMKII may be superfluous. Perhaps we should ask what camera are we most likely to have with us.

I also agree that my comment applies more to news photography than other work.

I just want everyone to go out and shoot and have fun without camera envy. You can do that even with a cell phone - unless you just like to analyze gear, because that is fun too.

Well, to paraphrase something I said on one of my blogs when I decided not to buy a Sigma DP1, "it's better to get the photo on a crappy camera than to not get it on a good one."

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