Category Archives: Travel

LA Diary

A Multimedia Piece On LA; Its People, Its Places

Bob's Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a burger restaurant where every Friday night, classic car enthusiasts gather to show off their classic restored cars and hotrods. Los Angeles, California, USA. January 17, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

On a recent trip to Hollywood to attend the Taste Awards ceremony at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as a finalist for my film on the Electric Coffee Company, I decided to shoot a project on Los Angeles.

My initial thought was to shoot a photo series of daily life, a photo series on TV Host Andrea Feczko and separately, a video interview with the legendary AP photographer, Nick Ut. As my time in LA continued, I shot a wider set of imagery and short video interview with LA street artist Plastic Jesus.

(L-R) AP photographer Nick Ut, author of the Pulitzer Award winning "Napalm Girl" photograph (shown) from the Vietnam War and Edmond Terakopian. Image shows some of Nick Ut's cameras used during the Vietnam War and more modern cameras; on the right is Edmond Terakopian's Olympus OM-D E-M1. Thompson Beverly Hills, LA, California, USA. January 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian (self timer image)

(L-R) AP photographer Nick Ut, author of the Pulitzer Award winning “Napalm Girl” photograph (shown) from the Vietnam War and Edmond Terakopian. Image shows some of Nick Ut’s cameras used during the Vietnam War and more modern cameras; on the right is Edmond Terakopian’s Olympus OM-D E-M1. Thompson Beverly Hills, LA, California, USA. January 18, 2014. Photo: Edmond Terakopian (self timer image)

For the project, I took an Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Olympus M.Zuiko lenses; the 12-40mm f2.8PRO, 25mm f1.8 (see my review of this superb lens) and 45mm f1.8. I also took along a Roland R26 audio recorder and the Rode Lavalier and VideoMic Pro microphones. Lastly, possibly the most used accessory, a Lastolite reflector which didn’t stop getting used for the beach and pool shots with Andrea. I don’t think in my lifetime I’ve used a reflector as much as I did over those two days!

When looking at the material as a whole, it became apparent that it all would make an immersive multimedia piece, mixing photography (and time lapse photography) with video, some audio and the right music. After I’d done my photo editing and processing in Aperture, I fired up FCP X and started to look at the material as one unified project. 64 hours of editing later, I had my “LA Diary”.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens and Rode VideoMic Pro on a Manfrotto tripod. On the left is a Roland R26 audio recorder. January 18, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens and Rode VideoMic Pro on a Manfrotto tripod. On the left is a Roland R26 audio recorder. January 18, 2014. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The interviews with Nick Ut and Plastic Jesus are short tasters as I will be editing more in-depth versions of these in due course. For the LA Diary, it worked better to have shorter, sharper video segments to fit in with the flow of the entire piece. The flow was helped along tremendously wight he correct music and I spent a while listening to various pieces. I’ve mixed, edited and cut quite a few of the tracks, bringing in audio on it’s own or with video and getting the delicate balance just right was tremendously helped along by using the astonishing Event Opal audio monitors.

During the project I had a lot of help from various people, so a huge thanks goes out to: Nick Ut, Associated Press, Andrea Feczko, Rachel Rudwall, Plastic Jesus, Armen Khanlian, Yvette K. Mankerian, Nick Stern, Joseph Hovanessian, Thompson Beverly Hills hotel, Kellee Griffith, Michelle Nouraei, Roxana Alas, Rachel Rudwall and Mark Thackara. The project could not have been done without your help; you have my thanks 🙂

ioSafe Rugged Portable

Tough, Tough & Tough!

ioSafe Rugged Portable at the pool. Royal Hideaway Placar, Riviera Maya, Mexico. July 12, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

ioSafe describe their Rugged Portable drive as an aircraft black box for mobile date; I must say that I agree. I’ve been using their 500Gb model for over three months now and I am very impressed. From the moment you pick it up you realise it’s no ordinary portable drive. It is solid; really solid, yet not too heavy. The case is a solid piece of aluminium covering the top and the sides, with another solid piece of metal covering the bottom. Just by knocking it you can feel that this thing is built to last and designed to take knocks. ioSafe say that it will withstand a three meter drop and is crush proof withstanding up to a ton of weight. It’s also water proof! Yes, a waterproof portable hard drive! It can withstand being immersed in up to three meters of water (salt or fresh). The titanium and SSD versions of the drive can withstand even more abuse. To top things off data recovery and a no quibble warrantee finish things off nicely.

I took this drive on assignment to Cancun. As with my G-Tech Minis, it stood up to the knocks of travel well. One thing however I would not do to any other drive out there is take it to the hotel pool. I even immersed it in the pool, threw it around underwater and knocked it about a bit. Some bubbles escaped from the interface sockets (FW800 and USB 2.0), but that was it. I was absolutely certain though that I had killed the drive! I then took the drive out, dried it up and went back to my room, where I washed it in the sink! After drying out the contacts, I plugged it into my MacBook Pro using FW800 and it started up without issue, mounting on the desktop immediately. Checking through my data, all was safe; no issues at all. I for one was absolutely stunned, shocked and in a state of disbelief.

ioSafe Rugged Portable in the pool. Royal Hideaway Placar, Riviera Maya, Mexico. July 12, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

ioSafe Rugged Portable in the pool. Royal Hideaway Placar, Riviera Maya, Mexico. July 12, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

ioSafe Rugged Portable at the pool side, dripping with water after being submerged. Royal Hideaway Placar, Riviera Maya, Mexico. July 12, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

My only wish would be for a faster drive, as the one used runs at 5400rpm. My guess is this is purely to manage heat build up, as without ventilation slots a 7200rpm would probably fail. Having said that, 5400rpm is more than adequate for backing up. Our data is important to us; for most, it is vital. Most of us work in hazardous environments from time to time and on top of this, accidents will happen even in normal surroundings. I’m so impressed by the way this little yet solid drive has worked that I will definitely become a customer of theirs. With the SSD and titanium versions offering even more protection, it comes as a no brainer for me to recommend you look at this range of Rugged Portable drives by ioSafe. Very impressive indeed. Amazon UK price this drive at under £195 which is good value in my opinion. You can find other UK stockists here.

ioSafe Rugged Portable is washed in the sink. Royal Hideaway Placar, Riviera Maya, Mexico. July 12, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The company also has a range of desktop solutions, which add fireproofing to the mix. Lastly, they are on Indiegogo crowd sourcing funds for their new Disaster proof private cloud NAS RAID box.

ioSafe Rugged Portable plugged into a MacBook Pro after being dunked int he pool. Royal Hideaway Placar, Mexico. July 12, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic 25th Anniversary to Miami

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Flights between the two cities launched in 1986 as Virgin Atlantic’s second ever route after New York. Since launch the airline has carried around 4.5 million passengers on the route contributing over $7.4bn to the Miami tourism economy. Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic and Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud on the wing of flight VS005 after landing at Miami, marking the 25th anniversary are joined by cabin crew (L-R) Victoria Lewis (US Flag) and Jessica Butler (with the Union jack). Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

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To celebrate 25 years of flying to Miami, Virgin Atlantic kindly invited me along to the celebrations, along with four photographer colleagues, a couple of TV crews and several print journalists. I always thought of Virgin as a pretty cool brand and I have to say that spending three days with the company of Sir Richard Branson, senior executives, press officers, managers and cabin crew, my suspicion of the company being cool was 100% right.

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Flights between the two cities launched in 1986 as Virgin Atlantic’s second ever route after New York. Since launch the airline has carried around 4.5 million passengers on the route contributing over $7.4bn to the Miami tourism economy. Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic and Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud, give TV interviews on the tarmac. Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Its not always one has a prop as big as a plane to play with so the photocall upon landing was fantastic with Sir Richard and the lovely Sarah Harding taking to the wing of the plane.

Although a superb assignment, it was a very packed and busy few days. After the photocall witht he plane we set off to the hotel, downloaded and did an initial edit and was then whisked off to the Versace Mansion; an amazing place indeed! I heard the voice of Ellie Goulding for the first time; amazing voice! Back at midnight and editing and sending ’till past 2am. Very tiring day!

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Drinks reception and celebration party at the Versace Mansion, Miami. Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud and members of Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew, L-R Jessica Butler, Ombi Farr, Victoria Lewis & unknown team member. Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is today (June 15, 2011) celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami. Drinks reception and celebration party at the Versace Mansion, Miami. Singer Ellie Goulding performs at the party. Miami, Florida, USA. June 15, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Up early the next day to wire another set at 5am and eventually out for an 8.30am photocall with the speedboats (smaller than the plane, but equally cool as props) and our supermodel Karolina (even smaller than the plane and the boats but perhaps cooler than them both?!). A superbly scripted event which ended with Sir Richard and Karolina in the pool. Great fun.

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a "Miami Vice" themed photocall. Sir Richard Branson arrives by speedboat, whilst giving chase to supermodel Karolina Kurkova, eventually catching her and handcuffing her with gold cuffs, to a press conference announcing the launch of a new route between London and Cancun. Mondrian Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a "Miami Vice" themed photocall. Sir Richard Branson arrives by speedboat, whilst giving chase to supermodel Karolina Kurkova, eventually catching her and handcuffing her with gold cuffs, to a press conference announcing the launch of a new route between London and Cancun. Mondrian Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a "Miami Vice" themed photocall. Sir Richard Branson arrives by speedboat, whilst giving chase to supermodel Karolina Kurkova, eventually catching her and handcuffing her with gold cuffs, to a press conference announcing the launch of a new route between London and Cancun. Sir Richard Branson throws supermodel Karolina Kurkova into the hotel swimming pool. Mondrian Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Furious editing and sending in the hotel room was followed by a few outings around Miami and then to the huge party in the evening at The Raleigh with the supremely talented Ellie Goulding who was accompanied by the superb band Sway (who also played the night away). The late finish didn’t mean rest as the shots had to be edited and wired back for syndication, resulting in a 2.30am finish.

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a birthday party at the Raleigh, Miami. A firework display kicks of the celebrations. Miami, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a birthday party at the Raleigh, Miami. Singer Ellie Goulding joins the band Sway for her perfromance. Miami, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of flying between London and Miami with a birthday party at the Raleigh, Miami. L-R: Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud, Boxer Lennox Lewis and Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic. Miami, Florida, USA. June 16, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Thankfully the last day was time to chill and we spent around five hours at the Soho Beach House – which I love! If you’re ever in Miami, definitely check them out.

Any media wishing to purchase images for publication can contact Barcroft Media, Polaris Images or my Photoshelter site (from which prints are also available).

World Trade Centre – NY

World Trade Centre, New York. A US flag is draped over a fence. New York, NY. May 19, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

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World Trade Centre – NY, a set on Flickr.

World Trade Centre Memorial Plaza, consisting of two pools with waterfalls set within the footprints of the Twin Towers. Image shows the partially completed One World Trade Centre (Freedom Tower - towards the left of the image). Construction work at the World Trade Centre, New York. May 21, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

As the tenth anniversary of the inhumanity carried out at the World Trade Centre approaches, construction workers work to finish building the various skyscrapers, including One World Trade Centre (also known as the Freedom Tower). Alongside these huge new buildings are two pools with waterfalls, placed within the footprints of the original Twin Towers. This and the memorial museum will make up the memorial plaza.

World Trade Centre, New York. New York, NY. May 19, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

This was a return visit the area; what once used the be literally awesome, where one could not see the tops of the towers from ground level and where taxi cabs were the size of ants when viewed from the roof, had now become the sad and depressing site of ground zero. The site of such inhumanity and sorrow.

World Trade Centre, New York. A pickup truck carries a 9/11 sticker as the World Trade Centre site is reflected in its rear screen. New York, NY. May 19, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Parking in London

Probably the single most annoying thing about working in London is the parking problems one encounters from borough to borough.

I came across Park-Up which is a great web site which helps out a lot with details of where to park on and off the road. Check it out!

The 20th Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan, France

You often hears talk amongst photographers asking who’s going to Visa or Perpignan. This talk refers to Visa Pour L’Image which is an annual festival of photojournalism, which takes place in Perpignan in the south of France.
This year’s festival, the 20th, will run from the 30th of August until the 14th of September. During this two week period there will be some 30 exhibitions dotted around the beautiful city; the venues are very interesting in themselves – there is a convent and even a prison.
The professional week runs from the 1st to the 7th of September. This is open to professional photographers, newspaper and agency photographic staff and apart from the above exhibitions it incorporates talks and presentations, evening screenings (on a huge outdoor screen – this is also open to the public), a chance to show projects and portfolios to the agencies present and generally network.
This year will be the fifth time I’ll be attending the festival. If you’ve never been, take a week off and check it out. You’ll see some great work exhibited and if you’re a professional, getting accreditation will open up a whole lot more. The talks and presentations are given by photographers at the top of their game and its an ideal and unique opportunity to see the world’s picture editors all under one roof.
To top this off, the town is beautiful with some great restaurants. The social scene is one of the great things about the festival too. Just check out the Cafe de Post near the Castillet and you’ll see photographers and editors drinking and chatting the night away ’till the very early hours.
One tip – book your accommodation now as the town gets packed during the professional week.

Electric plugs and sockets of the world


As the holiday season nears, I thought it might be handy to share this great page with all sorts of sockets and plugs from around the world. Its best to be prepared with the right plug converters!


As a photographer though, it always pays to have a small travel bag constantly packed for those last minute foreign assignments. My favourite adapter is the World Travel Adapter which is compact and will change any plug type to any socket type. I have four of these in my travel kit bag.

There are various companies from Tumi to Fuji who have the same product under their own branding; I actually don’t know who makes the original one!