Student protests – the real media view?

So this week the student population of the UK finally wrested back the spotlight from the French with their protests in Westminster.

The image that adorned the front page of most newspapers on Thursday was the hooded student kicking in a window at Tory HQ in Millbank.

For all the world, it looked like one of those images that was caught spontaneously by one lucky photographer. That is until you get the wide angle view.

There must be at least 40 photographers and an equally large number of TV cameramen all crowded round – surely a set-up sequence, if ever there was one.

What makes it even more farcical is the bored look of the fluorescent jacket-wearing policeman in the background. Couldn’t he have at least made an effort to stop the protestor? Was he worried he’d get lynched by the media for ruining the perfect photo-opportunity?

Posted via email from Rob Mansfield’s stream of web

How digital cameras make photography child’s play

Kodak Instamatic 100OK, first things first: I’m going to say something that’s not exactly groundbreaking – digital cameras make photography ridiculously easy for kids.

Hang on a minute, before you hit the back button, stay with me. As a kid, I remember being able to use one of these cameras for my early forays into photography. Yes, it was exciting being able to take photos, but the whole process was undeniably slow.

You invariably had a film of around 24 shots (often less) and then you had to wait to get the film processed, without any idea of how good the pictures were.

Now, in my house, that usually involved sending the film off to someone like Truprint, with the prints coming back around a week later.

Often, given how long it took to finish a film, it was months before some photos were processed. It’s no wonder that when they came back, there would be disappointments and no little confusion about what some of the pictures actually were.

Add to that, the blurriness and wobbly nature of many of the exposures and it sums up the slightly dispiriting nature of photography as a child.

Kids digital cameraFast forward 30 years and you enter the world of digital photography.

My 4-y-o daughter has a lovely little camera like the one on the right and it’s a joy to watch her learning how to take photos. She can snap away and see the results of her efforts immediately. It doesn’t matter if she wobbles the camera or chops the head off the person she’s shooting. She can learn and make mistakes without it costing a thing.

I don’t think I ever really had an eye for photography, but the lengthy process it took as a kid made it far less likely that any passion I did have would have developed particularly quickly.

I’m convinced that the digital revolution will make it far easier for my daughter and many other kids besides.

Ten days with Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley - the kissHardly a week goes by without another set of intimate images of a legendary music act being unearthed.

And normally I simply flick past disinterestedly. But the latest set of images of Elvis Presley from his early years are truly arresting.

Taken by young freelance photo journalist Alfred Wertheimer in 1956, they capture a 20-year-old Elvis before the height of his fame and when he was still stunningly beautiful.

You can see more of these fantastic photos in The New Yorker.