The week that was..

The week that saw John Prescott branded “Two Shags”, Alan Clarke’s incompetence revealed, and Chelsea confirmed as Premiership Champions, also saw Pete Doherty re-arrested for drug related offences. Ok seldom does a week go by without Doherty getting nicked for yet another transgression of the law. But this is most likely to be the one that gets him imprisoned. But Doherty’s inability to live life by the rules that most decent human beings abide by saw me spending most of Saturday at the Love Music Hate Racism gig in Trafalgar Square.

Probably not the place I would have chosen to spend 10 hours hanging around, especially when some of the bands were playing. However the audience seems to enjoy it. I still can’t get my head around some the Rap bands that were playing, they take someone-else’s well-written and performed music and shout over the top of it.

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All the nice boys….

….like a sailor, or so the saying goes. Prince William, in to his second week of the Officer Training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst embarked on the first day of the training at the Joint Services Adventure Sailing Training Centre in Gosport, Hampshire.

Bloody long day today, up at just after five this morning, just as well I had an early-ish night, however 5 or 6 pints yesterday afternoon left me fit for nothing last night. On the road at 0600hrs and an 80 mile trip to Gosport. Which took about an hour, we hoped that we had an exclusive, however within an hour or so it was apparent that we were not alone, and if not yet, very soon the whole of Fleet Street would be here.

Expecting William to arrive sometime between 0800 and 0900hrs proved wildly optomistic, expecting to arrive in the RMA bus was also wishful thinking. HRH arrived in a cavalcade of Range Rovers at around 0930hrs, and was first spotted at about 1015hrs.

After ferrying his kit to the dock-side he disappeared for about 20 minutes, as his drivers took him to a newsagents for bottles of cokes and sweets. After that it was to the small floatilla of boats owned by the JSASTC for the first lesson of the day, a guided tour of the boat and including I am sure teaching the technical names for the bits of the boat and reminding the cadets that port is a direction not a drink.

After a break for lunch, it was back to the lessons and so it continued, it was pretty bloody cold when I arrived this morning and if there hadn’t been a wind this afternoon would have been very pleasant.

Anyways, I shall probably be back again in the morning, for a another day, hopefully the weather will be better. The images were put all-round the papers this afternoon, however, with Big, The Sun and others being present, I don’t expect to many makes tomorrow, we’ll see. Most of the photographs were shot on a 500mm and some were shot with a 2x Extender.

I hate Gatsos

I really, really hate gatso cameras, admittedly I have never had a speeding ticket from a Gatso, I just dislike the fact that they are not capable of making a decision based upon all of the facts, you speed, you get a FPN and three points or more. At least a police officer is able to use his discretion. I had a prime example today, I was leaving my home at the crack of dawn, and then some. The weather was fine and the roads dry.

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Pocket Phojo Review

Pocket Phojo Version 3.0

p>Togsblog Star Rating


I carry far too much equipment around with me on a regular basis and really want to cut down, now the most important kit is the camera equipment, the least used is the laptop. The camera will shoot for hours but the edited down images are usually transmitted in a matter of minutes. So lugging a 6lb laptop, plus charger, plus Datacard and CF card reader and other ancillaries is a real pain. Even though many companies have tried to design camera bags to accommodate laptops, they invariably forget the stuff that goes with them.

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Motor Sports Tips and Hints Part 3

Originally Published in 2005

Getting to be a habit this is, Arrived at Thruxton on the Saturday, for qualification, I was only interested in the Super bikes, so arrived at a civilised hour, and did the qualifying session Came away with a set of pictures of each of the competitors for the British Super Bike Championship. Also the list of competitors which meant that on Saturday Evening I could prepare all of my captions in advance (it is a bit laborious but saves shed loads of time on the day) each caption contained the Riders Name, Team and Manufacturer, the date and venue as well as my contact details, and to make it easy to get the right caption each caption was saved as the number of the motorcycle to which it referred.

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British Super Bikes

After a couple of days of shooting at the BSB at Thruxton, I have a quite a few frames that need sorting out, but firstly just a couple of words about the BSB itself.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the Super Bikes over the last couple of years and Thruxton usually provides some really competitive racing, it is the fastest BSB track, and Neil Rutter was clocked through one of the speed traps at a shade over 200 miles per hour.

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Motor Sports Hints and Tips

Originally Published in 2004

I have been on a massive learning curve this weekend, I don’t do motor sports, that is I haven’t covered motorsports professionally since the 1980’s; until Sunday at the BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) at Thruxton. The learning curve started when I learnt that there was a 0700hrs on a Sunday Morning, I thought that one existed, however as I had never witnessed it, I was doubtful.

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Jesus Wept….

How out of touch with reality are the Church of England and it’s followers? Easter Sunday is the last day of the year (except Christmas Day) that retailers are not allowed to open. The Archbishop of London was on TV and in the face of all the evidence said, “Nobody wants the shops to open on Easter Sunday” Well, you genius! So retailers are nobody? So I am nobody? The 40% of the population that use retailers on a Sunday are nobody?

Ever felt the need to grab some milk, bacon, eggs, the Sunday Papers, on a Sunday? Then you too are guilty in the eyes of the church of not treating Sunday with due reverence.

Easter is special only to religious people, to everyone who live in the real world; it is just another bank holiday. Some twat is claiming that the lives of people are being ruined by opening shops on Sundays, now I appreciate that shop workers may get a bit of a bum deal, but ruining lives on the basis of one day, get real.
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British Superbikes at Thruxton

I shall be at the British Superbikes at Thruxton over the Bank Holiday Week End, I shall actually be there for the practice day and the main race day (Sunday and the Monday) from early doors, so I shall no doubt bump into a few fellow togs on the day. I hope that the weather is either very good or very wet, I have been very lucky for the few years and the weather has been very warm. However I am reviewing the Sigma 500mm F4.5 EX DG over that weekend, and it will be interesting to see how it holds up in the wet (as well as the Sigma 120-300 F2.8).

Talking of Sigma, I have say I was very impressed with the level of service that Sigma have offered Professional Photographers recently. I had a problem with the Sigma 120-300 F2.8 last week, it simply failed to autofocus, it needed the focus ring to be jogged to start the AF motor. So a trip on Monday to Welwyn Garden City to drop the lens off and collect a loaner. The loan lens was a little rough, but it did something that my one didnt, which is AF.

A phone call 7 days later and the lens is ready for collection, or do I want it couriered? The lens has had a brand new AF motor fitted, it also looks as though they gave it a clean!

So I have had the lens back for a few days now, and I have to say that there has been a substantial improvement in the AF speed. I am sure that it must have degraded over a period of time, as I wouldn’t have given it anything like the review I did on the website, if it had been as sluggish as was just before repair.

It will get a good work out at the week-end photographing some lunatics on powerful motorcycles, doing their best to break lap records at Thruxton. I shall be double handing it this week-end, with a colleague, but if anyone wishes to say hello, or something more abusive by all means feel free. I am easily identified, as I look a lot like my picture….