And you thought your iphone was pretty good.

It's not, by the way. Yes, even with that polaroid app for the pictures.

My (non-photographer) friends are always giving me grief over the gear I carry around, always pulling out their phones and telling me that their cameras fit in their pocket and can make phone calls too. The comeback has always been that their cameraphones are pretty crappy quality. Now it seems there is a high spec pocket camera with a phone built in, so I might have to bite my tongue, though I don't know how good it is as a phone or a camera yet..

Check it out here.

World Cup Round Up


Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

Ok. So I've finished sulking. I'm still pissed at the officials and at FIFA about this moment, and I still think it might have changed the game had the goal been allowed, but England really didn't play as well as they could or should and even though it was a Lampard goal that was disallowed, I'm still at a loss as to why he is in the team at all. And he's not the only one I wonder about. Anyway, the players are all sitting in their fat mansions sleeping like babies in their expensive beds and probably keen to get back to their clubs where they actually seem to be able to play with some sort of passion and skill. Thanks Germany, for using your strikers to tear open the pathetically slow England defense and once again putting us in our place on the football field (that is, sending us off the field with our heads hung low...)

Still. That was a GOAL you idiot ref.


Picture: REUTERS


I was working during the Argentina/Mexico (another referee mistake in this one) and Netherlands/Slovakia matches but I did see some of the Brazil/Chile match, most of Japan/Paraguay and the last bit of Spain/Portugal.

Credit: Helmut Fohringer/European Pressphoto Agency




Photograph: Alex Livesey/FIFA via Getty Images



Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

After South Korea's loss I'm sorry to see Japan exit too though I can't say I'm unhappy that Ronaldo and Co. are going home. I imagine he'll moan, winge and whine about it as usual.

Credit: Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press

The quarter finals are shaping up to be some good games and I'm rooting for Ghana as the last best hope for Africa...






South Korea Vs Uruguay


Jung Sung-ryong, South Korea's goalkeeper, during the match against Uruguay.

Credit: Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press

USA vs Ghana


Kevin-Prince Boateng leaps high to intercept the ball before it gets to Landon Donovan

Ivan Sekretarev/AP

Italy Vs Slovakia



With apologies to my good Italian friends...

The caption reads:

Slovakia goalkeeper Jan Mucha, right, seemed to be getting the worst of an argument with Italy's Fabio Quagliarella after they collided. But Mucha got the last word when Slovakia won, 3-2, to advance to the knockout round and eliminate Italy, the defending World Cup champion.

Credit: Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Robert Longden

'Coventry Power Station and Canal-Side Laundry'

Robert Longden/Copyright RLPA


When I was a kid I wanted to live on a Canal barge (and become an astronaut - yes, at the same time). Robert Longden, a factory worker in Coventry in the mid 1900's did the next best thing and photographed people who lived and worked on the Canals in Coventry (I don't know if he had any aspirations toward space travel).

An exhibition of his work is up at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum which I found out about through an article and a slideshow on the Guardian website. Check it out if you have the chance to see a way of life that pretty much no longer exists. People still live on barges, but seldom do they work on them in the way they did back then. Trucks have long since replaced that mode of transporting goods. A shame if you ask me. But then I have a romantic and probably completely inaccurate view of things like that.

It's also interesting to note that the originals are Lantern Slides, which if you've never seen them are amazing objects...



Next round.

England are though. Just. And with the U.S. team also progressing, I've noticed an increase in the interest in football over here. One American even said to me, "It's time to start taking an interest in the sports the rest of the world plays." Though I think he was only saying that because there was no basketball on.

London, UK: England supporters celebrate victory at Alexandra Palace

Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

Overcoming Obstacles

I've been working recently with a fantastic group of staff and students on the ICP/FOIA partnership. Today the students will be presenting their work on the theme of overcoming obstacles. If you're in midtown Manhattan at 2pm, you're most welcome to join us. This will be my third year working on this program and it never ceases to amaze and inspire me.



Davide Monteleone


David Montelone's series on the Nothern Caucasus has already earned him a world press photo award and it stuck in my memory when I saw it then. Now he's gained a big cash grant from Burn's Emerging Photographer competition. I'll forgo my usual complaints about 'win one award and you'll sure enough win another' and the whole loose and undefined 'emerging photographer' thing because, quite simply, the photography is excellent.

He notes: I’ve been working from Chechnya to Dagestan, from Northern to Southern Ossetia, just after the war in August 2008, all the way to Abkhazia, from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea coasts, crossing geographical and political borders. My interest isn’t to cover the news that brought the region back under the international floodlights, but to carry on a considered path by making notes of the tracks left behind.

It's this kind of dedication to a story that I see in so many colleagues who push again and again to spend time and connect with the people and events unfolding in front of their lens. It's the kind of work you have to believe in on a personal level, the stories that may fade into and out of headline news but never stay, that are about ordinary people just living their life. Despite the politics of the region there is very little of the sensational here, just a lot of the ordinary presented in an extraordinary way.

It is what I strive for in my own work. I want to make people look at something that may be incredibly familiar to them and say 'I've never thought about it like that before.' This is what this work does for me, so hopefully Mr Monteleone will spend his money wisely and deliver to us some more captivating glimpses into other people's lives.

Portugal vs DPRK


Fans of North Korea and Portugal mix during the Group G World Cup encounter.
Photograph: Empics Sport



According to this report in the Guardian, The 7-0 defeat the DPRK suffered at the hands of Portugal was shown live in North Korea, something that apparently never happens. Oh dear. upsettingly, it was also the match in which Ronaldo - known as much for whining, cheating, crying and generally being quite pathetic as he is for his skill with a ball - broke his dry spell for his country and scored a ludicrous goal.

Honestly. This whole game is quite absurd sometimes.


Brazil vs The Ivory Coast

Luís Fabiano scores a beautiful goal. The Brazilians I watched the game with celebrated as if a Brazil goal was a rare event...


Photograph: Tom Jenkins

It's not just a game.

Or so my dad told me when I was a boy. I think he was right.



John Pantsil collides with team-mate Lee Addy as they go up for a header, after receiving treatment Pantsil is stretchered off


Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Serbia vs Germany

The only enjoyable moment for an English Football fan today was this one.


Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger reacting as Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic saved a penalty kick from Lukas Podolski in the 60th minute. Podolski missed a chance at tying the score when he sent a weak shot to the left of Stojkovic, who read it and stopped it.

Credit: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Yasuyoshi Chiba at the World Cup

Football fans in Pretoria warm themselves as they watch the World Cup match between Brazil and North Korea. They were given a television by a local Afrikaaner

Photographer: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images


Agrentina Vs South Korea

Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images

South Korea 4, Argentina 1. That's the player ratio in this picture. Not the final score, which following a very complicated algebraic formula turns out to be the exact inverse of said player ratio.

Anyway. While the South Korean defense was busy trying to contain Messi, Gonzalo Higuain managed to score 3 times. Dear oh dear.



Snore off Ipad

Just bought an Ipad to surf the net? Own a kindle to read books? Oh dear. You'll be wanting to trade that in for a display you can roll up, fold and stuff in a bag then. Not long now...

Oil spills


If you think the spill in the Gulf of Mexico is bad (and it is very very bad) then you should pay a visit to Nigeria. Ed Kashi did, many times, and the results can be found in his excellent book "Curse of the Black Gold" and online here. Recommended viewing/reading. I read the book in one sitting last year. Gripping and informative: journalism at it's best.

Today the New York Times ran an article which in the opening paragraph stated that "The Niger Delta, where the wealth underground is out of all proportion with the poverty on the surface, has endured the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every year for 50 years by some estimates. The oil pours out nearly every week, and some swamps are long since lifeless."


Hannah Baage walked through polluted Gio Creek in Kegbara Dere. She said recently, "There is Shell oil on my body."

Credit: Jane Hahn for The New York Times



That kind of puts a bit of perspective on the Gulf spill, serious though it is (and it is very very serious). Also, may I take the opportunity to complain about the whining that is going on about Obama and the way he's handling the situation. Sure, it's a major fuck up by BP and it's associates but what the hell do people think Obama is going to achieve by strolling along the beaches of the gulf and looking all concerned as he visits the people and places down there. I get the impression that some people won't be happy till he dons a scuba suit and caps the damn well himself.

Surely he'd be better off working to come up with a comprehensive plan on energy and climate change, forcing the energy companies to provide us all with solar panels and community wind turbines then switch their roles from energy providers to support and maintenance of the technology so we can all have safe, clean energy generated in our own back yards and not farmed and shipped to us from miles away in such an inefficient, harmful and costly manner. Not to mention how that would tackle the problem of the physical danger faced by people currently working to dig and drill for fossil fuels and the environmental costs when things go wrong. Surely that is what Obama should be working on. Or am I being insensitive to the needs of the Southern Gulf states?

Uruguay vs. South Africa


I thought South Africa Keeper Itumeleng Khune played well in the first game against Mexico and was unfortunate to receive a red card for his enthusiastic, feet first attempt to stop Uruguay's Luis Suarez from scoring. An exciting sporting moment though...

Also, there's some great photos from yesterday's action on the NY Times site.

The Value of Journalism conference

Blogging can get well tiresome. There are so many great blogs and sites of information on the web that I often find myself without the time to write or post about all the fascinating and useful things I've found. Also, reading many other blogs often makes me want to retire this blog here, as I often find I just want to add a 'yep, I agree...' comment on their posts and leave it at that. One of those is the consistently engaging Duckrabbit blog. Check out this conference hosted by the BBC College of Journalism, which I came to through a Duckrabbit post.


North Korea vs Brazil

So what's so great about the world cup anyway? Is it that it brings people from different cultures and countries together to compete on the field in a peaceful display of athletic elegance, regardless of the social and political landscapes of the respective countries?

Let's ask these two..
.

Stephan Vanfleteren - Congo Portraits

Belgian photographer Stephan Vanfleteren has produced an accomplished series of portraits to mark the 50th anniversary of Congolese independence (from Belgium) which is celebrated this month, though whether many in this war torn country will feel in a celebratory mood is another matter.

Maman Nicole 'I've known I was HIV positive since 1993. When my husband died of Aids, my family rejected me. Look at Marianne: her husband was the ambassador and she ended up sleeping on a cardboard box! There's only the two of us here now, at Femmes Plus (Positive Women). Chantal used to sleep on a piece of fabric, her food covered in mould. She used to have to drag herself to the filthy toilets on all fours. When she died, we buried her. The street kids who live in the cemetery called out, "How long have women had to bury the dead?" The coffin was too heavy for us. They ran over, pushed us aside and took the coffin on their shoulders. They had tears in their eyes.'

Photograph: Stephan Vanfleteren/Panos Pictures

The Pelican

I just got round to looking at the paper I picked up this afternoon and slung in the car on the way to a job (which was highly entertaining).

The front page has this harrowing picture on it. Put my day in perspective.

Walking the Block: Photographs by Jo Ann Santangelo at the Campbell Soady Gallery


Jo Ann Santangelo, a photographer I met when I instructed a group during the orientation for new students at the ICP a couple of years ago has an exhibition opening tonight, June 3rd at the Campbell Soady Gallery.

The photographs are a fantastic series of street portraits of transgender people. Check it out on her website here.


Ethics? What ethics?

"I went to art school, so I don't know what those canons and ethics are."

To read who gave that terrible defense of their (lack of) ethics in photography, click here.

dear oh dear.


Are you listening Israel?


Israel claims it needs to defend itself from terrorism, yet it does so by violently oppressing massive populations, attacking civilians, shrouding itself in religious and apocalyptic rhetoric and ignoring international condemnation of it's actions. The state of Israel must stop or there will never be peace in the middle east.


Athens: A policeman stands inside a handmade Star of David during a demonstration by Palestinians living in Greece as well as pro-Palestinian supporters
Photograph: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images




How about paying attention to the U.N. for starters?

The security council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and many wounded, and expresses its condolences to their families.

The security council requests the immediate release of the ships as well as the civilians held by Israel. The council urges Israel to permit full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve their deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.

The security council takes note of the statement of the UN secretary-general on the need to have a full investigation into the matter and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards.

The security council stresses that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable. The council re-emphasises the importance of the full implementation of Resolutions 1850 and 1860. In that context, it reiterates its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and stresses the need for sustained and regular flow of goods and people to Gaza as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.

The security council underscores that the only viable solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties and re-emphasises that only a two-state solution, with an independent and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, could bring peace to the region.

The security council expresses support for the proximity talks and voices concern that this incident took place while the proximity talks are under way and urges the parties to act with restraint, avoiding any unilateral and provocative actions, and all international partners to promote an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties and throughout the region.