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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer

Bag Review

As a photographer, bags are almost as essential to me as the photographic equipment I use. Everything I use has to be absolutely perfectly designed with a clear purpose. Then, it has to be perfectly made, ensuring that it lasts in the field.

I'm a lover of Think Tank Photo bags so much so, that I'm even on the design board. These bags cater for my photographic needs and using a roller, backpack and pouch system, occasionally a shoulder bag too, I have the perfect system for all my assignment needs.

However, I recently got hold of the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer - not a photographic bag at all, but what looked like the perfect travel bag for business trips. I must admit to never having heard of the name until my good friend Daniel Beltra introduced me to them as he's a big lover and user of their bags for his constant travels.

I really liked the simplicity and design of the laptop part of the bag which then got me interested in the rest. The unique thing about this bag is how it unravels itself, opening up into three sections; this means that the laptop part can just be opened up on it's hinge and laid flat for X-Rays without having to take out the laptop. I must admit to not having tried this yet but from all I've read, airport security staff are more than happy with this approach.

I took the bag up to Edinburgh in Scotland for the workshop Jeff Ascough and I were giving. I packed a set of overnight clothes and essentials into the bag, including my 15" MacBook Pro, charger and bits and headed for the underground and then to King's Cross for my train up to Edinburgh. Naturally never without some camera gear, I also had my Think Tank Photo Shape Shifter backpack too.

I must say, I have nothing but praise for the Checkpoint Flyer. It was absolutely comfortable with it's fabulous shoulder strap and the design was very handy for times during my journey when I needed access to my laptop, documents and magazines. It was also the perfect size for an overnight stay and carried all my stuff in comfort. Last but not least the workmanship looks like it will last and last and last.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Ascough / Terakopian Workshop Update

Jeff Ascough showing his workflow using Aperture 3. Watford. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

What a fantastic week it's been. After filling in for Joe Buissink who was unfortunately marooned because of the ash cloud, I have met some extremely interesting people during our workshops in Watford and Edinburgh.

Edmond Terakopian talking with a delegate after one of the presentations in Watford. Photo: Ian Rudgewick-Brown

As you can see from the previous post, the combination of top wedding photographer Jeff Ascough who approaches his weddings with more of an ethical photojournalistic approach than I have seen from some of my colleagues and my background as a photojournalist and news photographer, has been very well received judging by the sea of kind and positive comments and the superb Q&As.

Here are some images from the workshops in Watford and Edinburgh.

Jeff Ascough talking about business practices in Edinburgh. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

Edmond Terakopian talking on the subject of studio portraiture. Edinburgh. Photo: Jeff Ascough

Edmond Terakopian talking about directionality of light. Edinburgh. Photo: Jeff Ascough

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


This volcanic eruption in Iceland has certainly messed up many peoples plans, causing air travel to cease in Europe. One person who fell victim to the ash cloud was colleague Joe Buissink who has been trapped for days and alas cannot make the "Ascough / Buissink" workshops in the UK. Ok, so that's the bad news.

Good news is that all is not lost and when Jeff Ascough rang to see if I could help out, I jumped at the chance. So the workshops aren't cancelled and in fact the first one was today.

Jeff has very accurately been described by many as one of the very top wedding photographers in the world. If you haven't seen his work, I urge you to do so immediately; it's stunning.

Although I'm not a wedding photographer but a photojournalist, Jeff and I actually approach our differing subjects in the same journalistic way. Over the next few days I'll be presenting my work, approach and workflow at the workshops. So, let these workshops now be known as the "Ascough / Buissink who has been marooned because of volcanic ash and alas cannot make it / Terakopian" workshops. The small surprise I have in store for attendees is that I do actually shoot weddings too, so will be sharing my work and thoughts.

The four dates in Watford (April 20th to 23rd) are sold out, but there are a handful of places still for the Edinburgh workshop on the 25th and 26th of April. So if you fancy some great photography and conversation, BOOK NOW!!


Some feedback from Twitter, FaceBook and emails:

[Big thanks for all the kind words folks; much appreciated :-) Edmond]

I genuinely loved your presentation and seeing your amazing work was fantastic.

really enjoyed your session and loved your work.

Back from the Jeff Ascough Seminar. Joe B couldn't make it, but more than happy to see the work of and hear Edmond Terakopian.

back from a kickin' 2 day seminar with Jeff Ascough and Edmond Terakopian

you were superb (as was Jeff). Great to have met you: i really enjoyed hearing your stories and seeing your stunning work.

Hi Ed, saw you at the Ascough seminar yestdy. Loved ur work & found your genuine & no-nonsense personality v inspiring! Thank u.

enjoyed your talk yesterday, Armenian images were incredible...

Had a great time at the Jeff Ascough seminar.Wonderful to be treated to a session with @terakopian. Incredible photojournalist

@terakopian joined us today at the seminar and provided us with a great talk on his work and workflow!

@terakopian Once again, thanks for the seminar today! Your work is fantastic!

@terakopian Great presentation today.

I wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences and images with us at the ' Ascough-Terakopian ' seminar yesterday. Recalling the not too distant history of Nagorno Karabagh and the Armenian earthquake, I found your images both powerful and thought-provoking and appreciate the time you took in presenting to us.

Just had a great workshop with UK photojournalist Edmond Terakopian, really nice guy & great photographer.

Just been on a two day seminar with Jeff Ascough and @terakopian. Awesome images from both, and Ed has a new, firm fan! (nice guys too :))

Thanks again for an amazing 2 days, I was holding back tears during your earthquake sequence. Beautiful work.

@terakopian Such an inspirational pleasure to meet you at Jeff Ascough's seminar.

yes brilliant, got a lot from it. Can't wait to get my camera out! @terakopian was brilliant too!

Another great day with @terakopian and Jeff Ascough. V inspirational. The thought/depth behind each image is phenomenal

@terakopian Thanks again for today's inspiring seminar, I really enjoyed your work & your thoughts. Look forward to following your work.

@terakopian thank you for your talk and insight into your work yesterday . It left me motivated and keen to get out taking pictures!

just got back from 2day seminar/masterclass wedding photography with Jeff #Ascough and guest speaker Edmond @Terakopian ; well done lads!

2 day seminar with Jeff Ascough & Edmond Terakopian was superb - thanks to both for taking the time out to speak to us all

Twas a pleasure to meet you in Watford last week and to hear you speak, many thanks for stepping in

I attended your photo presentation yesterday in
Edinburgh. I didn't get a chance to speak to you so I would just like to
say a big big thank you for sharing your wonderful work. I particularly
liked the black and white projects at the beginning - what amazing images
so beautiful and so emotional.

I was one of the attendees at the Jeff Ascough seminar at Watford. I just wanted to thank you again for the fabulous slides and explaining your photographic process. It was very interesting and I am really glad that Joe didn't make it as I think I probably learnt more about photography in general that if he was there. Also, I must say that your iconic pictures of the London bombings are a gift to all of us, to never forget what happened.

The seminar was superb and getting Ed to stand in for Joe B was a master stoke. His presentation was amazing.

Thanks so much for an amazing seminar Jeff, I've never taken so many notes before; my hand was killing me from writing down so many inspiring, useful and brilliant things!! Ed was superb and hugely inspiring so many thanks for inviting him.

I enjoyed the two days and came away with a lot. Ed's Armenian earthquake presentation and his photographs of the London bombings most definitely put the photographing of weddings in perspective.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Worldwide Free Creative Education

Top chaps, friends and colleagues Chase Jarvis and Vincent Laforet have teamed up with a host of other photographers and educators to bring to fruition the world's first live and free internet educational channel Do pop by and have a look; it's well worth registering.

Is There A New Leica Coming?

Leica Making The World A Smaller Place

Found a very neat website setup by Leica sharing images taken on Leica cameras by photographers from all around the globe. It's based on Google Maps and well worth exploring as there are some nice images on it.

However, one thing did raise a question; in the text it says, "Each of them was equipped with the same Leica camera". The fact that it doesn't mention what camera and the way the map is used would lead me to guess that there's a new Leica camera around the corner and it has GPS built in.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Shot Down In Cold Blood

I'm so very saddened by this video. It shows how US Military Apaches kill over a dozen people on July 12, 2007, amongst which were two Reuters employees; photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40.

The Huffington Post article quotes some of the communications by the pilots responsible for thinking a camera was an AK47 or RPG (bazooka).

Rather disgustingly, they open fire on a van and the people who come to the aid of a survivor from the first attack, killing them and wounding two children who were sitting in the van.

I don't for a second think that the job of the armed forces is an easy one, but viewing the video clearly shows that their methods definitely need to be thought through and changes need to be made.

Remembering photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen by the New York Times