Archive for 2009

Guardian Press Photography

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Guardian Press PhotoI WAS tipped off by @hayjane about an excellent new series on press photography being run by the Guardian and Observer newspapers in the UK.

Starting on Saturday 7 November, the series is made up of a nine-part free booklet giveaway called 100 Years of Press Photography (you still have to buy the paper, obviously). Each booklet will be grouped by decade, starting with the 1910s and 1920s. The booklets promise to be a fantastic collection of images from the last century, and here’s the official blurb:

In order to find the greatest press photographs from the last 100 years for this exclusive new nine-day series, the Guardian asked a wide range of international photography experts to nominate their favourite images. The panel includes photographers Nan Goldin, Martin Parr and Wolfgang Tillmans, veteran journalists Ian Jack, Peter Beaumont and Katherine Whitehorn, and other photo enthusiasts like filmmaker Anton Corbijn, novelist Siri Hustvedt, writer Geoff Dyer, publisher Jefferson Hack and musician Antony Hegarty.

The scope of the series ranges from hard news photographs from the front line of international conflicts to social documentary of everyday events, fashion photography and portraiture. Each instalment in the series offers a unique and surprising glance at the decade through the eyes of some of the world’s greatest photographers.

The series also reveals some of the secret stories behind the world’s most iconic images. Read an interview with one of the last surviving witnesses of the 1937 Hindeburg disaster, photojournalist Ron Haviv on his harrowing ordeal photographing the Balkan war, BBC reporter Kate Adie’s eyewitness account on the Tiananmen Square ‘tank man’, and the story behind the most controversial picture of 9/11.

Sounds pretty good to me, so I’ll be checking it out. Drop me a comment on what you think about it.

Awesome Parents

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

My Parents Were AwesomeTHIS is cute – a site called My Parents Were Awesome , where people post pictures of their parents when they were young.

The site says that “before the fanny packs and Andrea Bocelli concerts, your parents (and grandparents) were once free-wheeling, fashion-forward, and super awesome”.

Well worth checking out, and it’s easy to submit your own parents’ image – so long as they were once awesome, of course. Thanks to @MichaelRpdx on twitter for pointing it out.

iPhone Images

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

CrowdBOING Boing has featured the Japanese ‘iPhonegrapher’ Koichi Mitsui who walks around Tokyo taking pictures with his iPhone 3GS. “The iPhone has a single-focus lens with no zoom, and this simplicity keeps me devoted to only composition and the perfect photo opp,” he explains.

Some of the results are mixed, but generally there’s some lovely work here. Mitsui’s work shows that with a bit of effort some good results can still be had with the iPhone, which aside from its focus limitations is also a lower resolution than many other mobile phone cameras.

Palestinian Boxer

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

THIS link will show you a quite amazing image of 70-year-old Mohammed Shuhadeh, who runs a gym in the West Bank town of Jenin. He was a boxing champion in the 1980s, and claims to have been the first person to open a gym in the Palestinian territories 40 years ago.

That shot is just one of a series taken by the AP photography agency, more of which can be seen here, albeit on a smaller scale. Click the right arrow to scroll through the images, which are beautiful not only for how they look, but for the story they clearly tell. Every time I look at any of the shots of Shuhadeh’s gym, I see a new detail.

Twitter Treats

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Shoreditch SunsetTHIS is the first of a particular series. Whenever I see an interesting tweet on twitter about a photograph or something to do with photography in general, I’ll reproduce it here. This beautiful picture of a sunset in Shoreditch, London, is courtesy of @grumblemouse

FalmouthAlso, this lovely shot of Falmouth was tweeted by @LloydDavis I like not least because I’ve fond memories of Falmouth – I went there to cover the return of Ellen MacArthur when she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005, and was only a few feet away when she jumped up and down on her boat, brandishing two flares, which are the famous pictures of her from that time.


Monday, October 19th, 2009

HELLO and welcome to my new blog, SOTMario. I plan to use this medium to blog about the many adventures that I get up to while running the Someone Once Told Me website and also about photography in general. So if you’re a photographer, professional or amateur, or know of any good photography stuff going down somewhere, do get in touch as I might want to feature you/it on here.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why there are other posts that date from much earlier on, that’s because I’ve taken some of SOTM’s former Latest News page and implemented these bits and pieces into the blog, to get it going. So don’t worry, you’re not late to the party 😀

Mind Bending

Monday, October 12th, 2009

WOW. That’s all I have to say. Wow. Actually, I do have more to say, as those of you who have actually met me will attest.

I’ve always been a fan of Derren Brown. His sharp suits, his immaculately coiffured, indeed rather pointy, facial fuzz, his ability to make people do whatever he wants (to the extent that I’ve sometimes wondered if he may be in league with Beelzebub).

And now, it seems DB is actually a fan of SOTM. Well, he liked one of my photos anyway.

A few days ago I found that he’d used a SOTM photo on his blog – unsurprisingly it was one of someone who was told ‘You Look Like Derren Brown’. As you can see, he must get it all the time, given there is quite a resemblance. You Look Like Derren BrownThis image was first put up on my site in June 2008, so I’m not sure why DB stumbled across it over a year later. But he did, and I was delighted and flattered that he used it on his own blog (I have a Creative Commons Licence on SOTM, meaning you can use the photos so long as it’s not for commerical use or financial gain).

But wait! There wasn’t any link back to SOTM, so I emailed Phillis, who helps run the blog, to ask if one could be popped on. She wrote back with the following message:

“Hi Mario

I’m afraid that Derren is one of those guys who does exactly what he likes. In the past when we’ve been sued by websites wanting us to pull content – we seem to get rather quick rebuke later on with a full apology and are told to “just take what we like”.

I will ask Derren to do the sign and see what he says. Coops is about too – I’ll see if he can organize it.

Oh and DB says to check out this link:




That link, as you’ll discover, is to a proper post about SOTM on Derren’s website, which has sparked off a fair few comments and quite a few hits back to my site, too. I’m really pleased that it says SOTM is “a nice little concept that illustrates how some of the simplest ideas are the best” because that’s exactly what I’ve always thought about it myself.

I mailed Phillis back to thank her and to ask if DB would like to have a go at SOTM himself. No harm in asking, eh?

Happy Second Birthday, SOTM!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

I Think I'm Falling For YouTODAY is SOTM’s 2nd birthday. Many thanks to the 354,000 people who have visited the site 484,000 times, browsing through 4.2m pages. I specifically chose a photo for this anniversary that had been sent in by someone else. This is because, as much as I love taking photographs and meeting people, nothing gives me more pleasure than when a complete stranger (sometimes on the other side of the world) takes the trouble to do their own SOTM, and shares something of their life with the rest of us.

Boing Boing

Monday, August 17th, 2009

SO there I was, about to go to Los Angeles to stay with people I didn’t know, in order to take SOTMs of the good citizens of that city.

Jemimah Knight suggested to me that I should look up those who run the hugely popular and rather good Boing Boing website, as they are based in LA. So I did.
Mark Frauenfelder
Mark Frauenfelder, who is one of the co-founders, has a warning on his blog that he receives “hundreds of emails a day” and that he possibly won’t reply to yours. I tried anyway, and to my amazement he wrote back in about 15 mins, saying he’d like to pose for SOTM.

Anyway, weeks later, when I was in LA, I managed to meet up with Mark in a coffee shop, prior to a meeting he was about to have one morning. He was, in a word, great. Very interested in SOTM, he sat through a quick demonstration, and kept urging me to do a book. I also got a cracking shot of him, as you can see here. I was a bit nervous about doing it, as I really didn’t want to stuff up his photo. He’s an illustrator who was once discovered by Billy Idol, no less, so I knew he’d have a critical eye of any image I took (but seemed too polite to be unkind about my work) In any case, he said he liked the dappled effect that the shadows produced on his sign, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

When I got back to dear old Blighty, and posted up his shot, it happily fell to be the 700th that I’ve used. He then blogged about SOTM and I got thousands of hits, I think it was something like 500,000 page views within a few days.

I’ve offered to buy Mark lunch if he ever comes to London, so let’s hope that he takes me up on his offer.


Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

It's All Wired Up To The MoonTHERE was a super piece in the free Metro newspaper about SOTM, thanks to the excellent Tom Phillips who put the piece in and posed for a great SOTM himself.

Although I only saw it in London’s edition of the paper, I ended up getting lots of texts and emails from people in various parts of the country, proving that it got plenty of coverage. One lady even spotted it in Scotland!