Tag Archives: photography

Don McCullin in conversation with Fergal Keane

Probably the most moving, revealing, honest, soul shaking and tear jerking talk I have ever been to, was last night’s event at Kings Place. Photojournalist Don McCullin opened his heart and shared his soul in a way I’ve only ever known from the very closest of friends. To say it captivated every ounce of my being would be putting it mildly.

Photojournalist Don McCullin in conversation with foreign correspondent Fergal Keane. Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, UK. 24 April 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Photojournalist Don McCullin shares a story from the Vietnam War, during his conversation with foreign correspondent Fergal Keane. Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, UK. 24 April 2019. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Without doubt, Don McCullin is one of the very greatest photographers of our time. He was in conversation with foreign correspondent Fergal Keane OBE, as they discussed McCullin’s 60 year career, covering his extensive work in war zones across the world, his documenting of poverty throughout Britain, as well as his more recent, therapeutic landscape photography.

The evening though was made unforgettable by hearing, nay, feeling, the inner most thoughts and emotions of a journalist who has dedicated his life to showing the injustices suffered by many.

The Preoccupation With Gear

As the talk came to an end and I collected my emotions, it came as the biggest shock to hear the first question:

“What’s your favourite film stock?”…

Astonishing that the whole emotional and intellectually challenging rollercoaster ride of pure, uncensored heart felt emotions, dotted with the very best of the “stiff upper lip” humour as a temporary escape, a member of the audience’s only question was about the type of film used.

To think that the power of McCullin’s images have anything to do with the brand of film used was as astonishing as it was infuriating. McCullin of course answered patiently that it was Tri-X, but followed with his own question of “Let me ask you something; why did you come here tonight? What were you expecting?”. There was no cruelty in the question, just a genuine wonderment of why after his outpouring of emotion about the human condition, that the only thing thought worthwhile asking was about film. Of course there was no answer from the chap and the questions continued, thankfully about the actual work, not film, aperture, shutter speed or cameras.

Don McCullin’s words, on the wall in his retrospective at the Tate Britain.

Don McCullin’s words, on the wall in his retrospective at the Tate Britain.

During the talk, McCullin did share that sadly he felt that none of his pictures made a difference. Decades of wars continued, captured by his mastery of seeing and he moved onto wars which he didn’t cover. The futility in his voice was exceptionally moving. Thankfully, the final question of the night was as wonderful as it was powerful. A lady thanked him for his dedication and work. Saying that whilst when he was at school studying history, he didn’t have the advantage of seeing pictures by Don McCullin, she had the tremendous advantage of studying history and seeing the photographs by Don McCullin.

Some Thoughts

Anyone who knows me, knows that I take a huge interest in the equipment I use for my work, be that professional assignments and commissions, or personal work. However, this equipment is the tool which helps me create. Its part of the beginning process and not the be all and end all in my photography.

Photography has, what I think is a unique peculiarity about it. When some people look at an amazing photograph, they immediately jump to asking what camera and lens is used, or in the case of this chap from last night, what film was used. However, if the same person has a great meal in a restaurant, they would never ask the chef about the make of pans used, and the model number of the cooker used. When has anyone asked a great author about which pen, typewriter or word processor they used?

Its great to have nice gear. For me, when I started out as a photographer, I had an aperture priority only camera called the Nikon EM. It was great and I loved it. However, I outgrew it relatively quickly and I would miss photographs or not be able to craft them the way I had envisaged, because of it’s inadequacies. My second camera, a second hand, original Canon F1, had a terrible focusing screen and a stiff lens, which meant focusing became an issue when speed was of the essence. At that stage, as I began my career on my first local paper, the Ealing Gazette, I vowed that I would as much as possible, buy the best equipment I could, as I never wanted to miss a picture because my equipment wasn’t capable enough. I never wanted to blame my tools. I should take the blame, learn what I did wrong and improve.

Looking at photography, especially for those who enjoy this as the most wonderful hobby, or even those about to take the road to becoming a professional, I have one piece of advise; recognise the camera as a tool, for making wonderful imagery. Invest your money after having bought a decent camera and lens, at the beginning stages, into learning about photography. Books, exhibitions and articles written in proper, established photography magazines as well as magazines and newspapers which use great photography. Blogs and YouTube videos by self appointed gurus and influencers will do nothing for improving your photography. Search out workshops by real, proven photographers with real track records, not fake robot followed Instagram accounts by self appointed ambassadors. Photography becomes so much more joyous and interesting when one starts to invest time and money into the craft, rather than just the gear. The gear will always be there and once you know how to craft an image, then getting better gear and more lenses will elevate and not hinder your photography.

Mindfulness, intelligence and emotion, mixed with an aesthetic, a sense of timing and an understanding of the situation, makes the photograph. I’ve found that when a photographer genuinely starts to understand photography, then they truly appreciate the ability of their tools and this then elevate’s their imagery. It’s a long term thing and results in a life long love of photography. Those who just see the gear as being the important thing, will get lots of kit, get disillusioned quickly and leave photography. Play the long game is my advice.

Incidentally, if you haven’t yet seen his retrospective at Tate Britain, I can’t urge you strongly enough to catch it before it closes on the 6th of May 2019.

The Photography Show 2019

UK’s Top Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham

Very much looking forward to the Photography Show this year, which is on from March 16th to the 19th at the NEC in Birmingham.

Panasonic Lumix

Edmond Terakopian with the Lumix S1R. Barcelona, Spain. January 29, 2019. Photo: Yoshie Nishikawa | http://www.studionishikawa.com

I’m thrilled to be celebrating my 30th year as a photographer at the show, by sharing some images and thoughts, at my talk about my career, generously, supported by Lumix.

“30 years of photography; photojournalism and beyond”, Behind The Lens Theatre, 19 Mar 2019, 13:00-13:40. Edmond Terakopian shares images and stories from his 30-year career as a photographer, covering photojournalism, commercial photography and his passion for observing daily life with his street photography.

Edmond Terakopian shooting in a chocolate factory using a Lumix S1R with S Series 50mm f1.4 lens. Barcelona, Spain. January 29, 2019. Photo: Yoshie Nishikawa

I’m also looking forward to sharing some photographs and thoughts on the Panasonic Lumix G9, which has helped me win several awards over the year, and show my work shot on the newly launched, full-frame, phenomenal S1 and S1R. I’ve had the pleasure to work with the S Series since the beginning of the year, so was one of the first wave of professional photographers from around the world to receive a prototype S1 to work with. To say I’ve been left very impressed would be an understatement!

I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the fabulous Lumix G9, GX9 and range of superb Leica DG lenses. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The talks are on:

  • Sunday the 17th of March at 15:30. “Three Months With The Lumix S1 and S1R”
  • Monday the 18th of March at 10:30. “Awards and Beyond with the Lumix G9”

They will take place on the Panasonic Lumix stand, D41. I’m happy to say that a few of my images shot on the G9 and S1 will be on the stand as large prints, so I hope you will have the chance to see what these fabulous cameras are capable of.

I shall also be with the Lumix team at the Pro Lounge on:

  • Saturday, March 16th, from 13:00 – 14:00.

So if you’d like to see the Lumix S Series, have a chat or see my work shot on the S1 and S1R, do pop by.

Snapperstuff

Team Snapperstuff, 2018. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

As always, it gives me immense pleasure to be with the fabulous team from Snapperstuff. We’re the only stand at the show which is manned primarily by professional photographers. Come by and see the superb range of bags and accessories from Think Tank Photo and Mindshift. Meet my friends and I at stands F101 and G101, throughout the show.

If you haven’t yet booked your ticket, here is a discount code which expires on March 13th, 2019. For 20% off, use code: SPKTPS19 (not valid with any other offers).


Oblique Strategies Photographic Exhibition

London Independent Photography; Ealing Satellite Group Exhibition

Opens On September 7th, 2018.

19 photographers from Ealing London Independent Photography, have created a collection of work in response to a set of Oblique Strategies originally written by Brian Eno. The images address the challenges of creativity and how they can be overcome by ingenuity and lateral thinking.

Exhibition: 7th – 15th September 2018
Open weekdays 12pm – 7pm (Fridays until 8pm), weekends 11am – 6pm

St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road, Ealing W5 5RH.

Huge thanks to the support of Panasonic Lumix and Pixelrights for sponsoring this project.

The project can be seen on our Pixelrights gallery website, Ealing Photo Gallery, where there is an opportunity to also purchase prints.

Also, massive thanks to Hauke from Fire & Flame for all the fabulous design work, not only creating all the fantastic leaflets, invitations and so on, but for also creating the elegant layouts and typography for the actual exhibition pieces.

The exhibition is part of Ealing BEAT (art trail).

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BBC Interview On Iconic Photography

Live Interview On BBC World News

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Thrilled to have permission from the BBC to share this clip of myself and journalism student Wilton Jackson from the University of Baton Rouge being interviewed on a segment about iconic photography.

The segment was based around the superb photograph from the Baton Rouge protest (July 10th, 2016) by Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman.

This clip is being used with full permission of the BBC (Global Planning Editor, BBC News, London). This was a live broadcast on July 21st, 2016.

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The Photography Show 2016

Hope To See You In Birmingham!

Very happy to say I’ll be at the Photography Show again this year. For the duration of the show I’ll be with my friends and colleagues on the Snapper Stuff stand (B101 and B102) talking about Think Tank Photo bags (for whom I’ve been on the design board) and FLM‘s range of supports and helping out with any questions you may have.

Presentation

From last year’s show: “Essentials In Documentary Film Making” talk by Edmond Terakopian at the Filmmaker Theatre on behalf of Snapper Stuff. The Photography Show, NEC, Birmingham. March 23, 2015. Photo: Freia Turland

On Sunday, March 20th, 2pm-2.40pm, I’ll be giving an Olympus Visionary talk on my Opera By The River project at the Behind The Lens Theatre. I’ll share with you my thoughts and experiences on shooting this 11 month project at the prestigious Royal College of Music and naturally showing my favourite images from the reportage. I’ll also share which Olympus cameras and lenses I used along with some other equipment which were invaluable. Hope to see you there!

Albert Herring; an Opera by Benjamin Britten

(L-R) Lady Billows, played by Janis Kelly and Miss Wordsworth, played by Sofia Larsson, make their way across backstage to the rear of the set. The final performance of Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten. Royal College of Music, Bitten Theatre, Prince Consort Road, London. July 08, 2015. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

There will also be a unique opportunity to purchase a copy of the book that goes with this project. Please see THIS post for details. I’ll be happy to sign your copy for you!

On Monday, March 21st, 2pm-3pm, I’ll be a panelist on a discussion in the Piazza Suite 3; “Are staged or manipulated pictures ever acceptable? The panel discusses just how far you can go…”. This discussion brought to you by Professional Photography magazine is sure to be interesting, so hope to see you there too.

Lastly, do make sure you pop by and see my friends at the Eizo stand. They’ll be showing my photographs and video work to showcase just how great my favourite monitors are. Colour and density accuracy and built in automated hardware calibration! Definitely worth asking a demo.

World Press Photo of the Year 2016

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An image by Australian photographer Warren Richardson is the World Press Photo of the Year

© Warren Richardson - Hope for a New Life

Hope for a New Life. A man passes a baby through the fence at the Serbia/Hungary border in Röszke, Hungary, 28 August 2015. Photo: ©Warren Richardson

When I logged on to the World Press Photo website and saw the the winning image, I found myself uncontrollably saying “wow” out loud. It’s an amazingly powerful image, highlighting an extremely important issue, photographed with such skill and empathy. Many congratulations to Warren Richardson for his stunning image and for the judges in choosing it out of the submitted 82,951 photographs.

Richardson is a freelance photographer, currently based in Budapest, Hungary. He explained how the picture was made:

“I camped with the refugees for five days on the border. A group of about 200 people arrived, and they moved under the trees along the fence line. They sent women and children, then fathers and elderly men first. I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night. I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone”.

View the entire collection of winning images from the 59th World Press Photo Contest. They were selected from 82,951 photos made by 5,775 photographers from 128 different countries.

For any photographers wondering about the technical aspects of the winning image; the shot was made on a Canon 5D MkII using a Canon 24mm f1.4L lens at 6400ISO, f1.4 with a shutter speed of 1/5 of a second.

Here are a selection of my favourite images from the contest

(in no particular order):

All photographs are copyright. Used with the permission of World Press Photo.

Who Owns A Photo?

The Copyright Of A Photograph

Copyright Symbol Textured

The folks at Clifton Cameras have put together a very neat graphic explaining much about ownership of the image.

The only thing I would add is that adding a watermark (use Marksta on an iPhone or software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop on your Mac or PC) is essential when you post images online on services like FaceBook and Instagram which as their T&Cs state, have full rights to use the posted images as they see fit. You need to protect not only your copyright but also the subjects in your images from having their likeness used to promote services they wouldn’t be happy with. Watermarking also protects you against companies which may steal your image for commercial gain, try and Photoshop out your watermark and then plead ignorance. Image forensics can easily show tampering and with this you prove intent, followed by a nice payout.

When hosting your own website of photography, it’s wise not to post images full size; these are easily stolen and can be used in a variety of ways as the size allows printing and so on. Using the services of Pixelrights as your host means that you benefit from all the various anti-theft features they have as well as future plans for their new partnership with ImageRights. Highly recommended.

Shaun Curry, Co-founder & CEO of Pixelrights adds; “ImageRights International is honored to announce a new and exciting partnership with Pixelrights. This groundbreaking partnership will provide post infringement, image tracking & USCO registration included in the price of your Pixelrights subscription.
Pixelrights are the only portfolio service focused on championing copyright awareness by use of their patent pending ‘Smart Frame’ image technology
This new image format provides their members with substantial customisable technical protection, blocking illicit web-bots, stopping unwanted hot linking, disabling right click , blocking some screen grab attempts, save-as, and eliminating the image from the source file and web page.
With ImageRights technology included if anyone removes any technical protection measures from your Pixelrights site and publishes it on the web, ImageRights will track your image down, and provide a global network of IP
lawyers to take action on your behalf. Never before has a portfolio website been so safe yet so easy to use!”.

Remember, copyright is your right. You are the author and the image is yours. When getting commissioned to take pictures, you aren’t being paid for the copyright, but are being commissioned to make the photograph and granting the client a right to use the image; you’re licensing them image usage. Without your copyright you can’t even legally post your picture on your website, enter it in a competition or have a print in your portfolio. You will lose all sales and recognition as the image becomes of historical value in the future. Don’t be bullied; don’t let multi-million pound companies take advantage of your work and force you into signing away your rights.

Click to enlarge the graphic:

Who Owns A Photo