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The Olympic Stadium, Stratford

8 years, 1 month ago news 0

I’ve been to the Olympic Park a couple of times recently, photographing some the grounds and landscaping set out by Nigel Dunnett. After one of these visits, I was allowed to stroll through the stadium itself. I just wonder if the red notice is a warning to Mr Rooney! It was interesting to see though. The football pitch seemed dwarfed by the bank of seats, and without the track in place, looked no bigger than a tennis court!

The Olympic stadium during construction

The Olympic stadium during construction

Eradicating ecocide mock trial

8 years, 2 months ago news, People 0
Polly Higgins interviewed outside Supreme Court, which staged the Ecocide mock trial, 30-9-11

Polly Higgins interviewed outside Supreme Court, which staged the Ecocide mock trial, 30-9-11

The concept of ecocide, or crimes against the planet,  has been brought into the consciousness of many people by the barrister and author, Polly Higgins. She has been campaigning for several years, negotiating with the UN, and governments around the world, asking for ecocide  to be adopted as the 5th crime against peace. Her book, ‘Eradicating Ecocide‘, highlights the problems and why it is necessary for large corporations be environmentally responsible and accountable for their actions.

Polly Higgins at Ecocide mock trial press conference, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Polly Higgins at Ecocide mock trial press conference, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

On Friday a mock trial was held at the Supreme Court in London, where the proposed new law was tested. Two company CEO’s (played by actors) were put on ‘trial’ using evidence from real events. Standard court procedures were used with Michael Mansfield QC leading the prosecution team and Christopher Parker QC leading the defence.

Michael Mansfield QC at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Michael Mansfield QC at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Christopher Parker QC at Ecocide mock trial,  Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Christopher Parker QC at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Each member of the jury was sworn in and real expert witnesses were called to give evidence too. In reality, a trial such as this would last several months, so the time constraints of a day could only give a very brief insight in what would really happen. But the message was clear – there is an appetite for such a law.

And the verdict – guilty.

Ecocide mock trial photo gallery

8 years, 2 months ago news, People 0
juror, Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

juror, ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

The defendants, Mr Tench and Mr Bannerman, played by Nicholas Deal and Robert Hilder at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

The defendants, Mr Tench and Mr Bannerman, played by Nicholas Deal and Robert Hilder at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Presiding Judge, Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Presiding Judge, Michael Norman, at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Christopher Parker QC at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Christopher Parker QC at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Michael Mansfield QC, with Christopher Parker QC in background, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Michael Mansfield QC, with Christopher Parker QC in background, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Michael Mansfield QC, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Michael Mansfield QC, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Steven Powles from Doughty Street Chambers, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Steven Powles from Doughty Street Chambers, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Jane Russell from Tooks Chambers, Peter Robinson, Expert witness and Michael Mansfield QC, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Jane Russell from Tooks Chambers, Peter Robinson, Expert witness and Michael Mansfield QC, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Adam Hiddleston, from 3BP Chambers, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Adam Hiddleston, from 3BP Chambers, at Ecocide mock trial, Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Michael Mansfield QC at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Michael Mansfield QC at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Judge summing up at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Judge Michael Norman summing up at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

The jury leaving to decide on the verdict, Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

The jury leaving to decide on the verdict, Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

The defendants, Mr Tench and Mr Bannerman, played by Nicholas Deal and Robert Hilder at Ecocide mock trial at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

The defendants, Mr Tench and Mr Bannerman, played by Nicholas Deal and Robert Hilder after the ecocide mock trial verdict at Supreme Court, London, 30-9-11

Conil to Cape Trafalgar

8 years, 3 months ago photography, Travel 0

The coastline between Conil de la Frontera and Cape Trafalgar, Spain, is something I am quite familiar with. The lighthouse at the Cape is visible from the house we stay at in at Fuente Del Gallo, and beyond that, on a clear day, you can see Morocco. Swinging round to the right, looking out to sea, is where the Battle of Trafalgar took place. 200 years ago, the top of the cliffs may have given a grandstand view to any spectator.

I have planned the walk to the lighthouse many times, but it was only recently that I tried to do it. Only 14 km, it needs a cool day and a low tide if you want to do it entirely on the beach, just to clear the headlands.

About halfway is El Palmar, where some of the beach and dunes form a nature reserve. There have been plans to build a huge hotel complex here, which seems a bit mad. There is a campaign to stop this development, and a petition with 100,00 signatures. See The Green Guide to Spain or www.salvarelpalmar.es for more details. Some photos en route:

rock formation, Fuente del Sol

rock formation, Fuente del Sol

sky over Conil de la Frontera

sky over Conil de la Frontera

Torre de Castilnovo near Conil

Torre de Castilnovo near Conil

Torre de Castilnovo near Conil

Torre de Castilnovo near Conil

path, near El Palmar

path, near El Palmar

gun turret, near El Palmar

gun turret, near El Palmar

nature reserve, El Palmar

nature reserve, El Palmar

make up brush on beach, El Palmar

make up brush on beach, El Palmar

beach approaching Cape Trafalgar

beach approaching Cape Trafalgar

graffiti memorial near Cape Trafalgar lighthouse - 'Do not forget Tati'

graffiti memorial near Cape Trafalgar lighthouse - 'Do not forget Tati'

sea, Cape Trafalgar

sea, Cape Trafalgar

entrance to Cape Trafalgar lighthouse

entrance to Cape Trafalgar lighthouse

The Coast of Light – Andalucia

8 years, 3 months ago film, photography, Travel 0

Some additions to the Coast of Light series I started a couple of years ago. Taken with my Fuji 6×4.5cm, the films and lo res scans arrived this morning. I quite like them as they are, as the colour is slightly muted, but I will make high res scans when time allows.

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Cadiz

Cadiz

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Conil, Spain

Conil, Spain

Conil, Spain

Conil, Spain

Cadiz

Cadiz

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Cadiz

Cadiz

Cadiz

Cadiz

Cadiz

Cadiz

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

Sevilla, Parque Maria Luisa

The holiday snap

8 years, 3 months ago People, photography, Travel 0

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked by people to take snaps of them in front of  important landmarks. A camera is thrust in my direction, usually a very small compact, with an impossibly slow shutter release, which makes me look as if I’ve never touched a camera in my life.  I fumble and eventually get an image, often after some quick tuition by the owner, showing me how the camera works. My recent holiday was no exception. Though this time, I kept a record with my camera too.

holiday snap on beach at Fuente del Gallo, Conil

holiday snap on beach at Fuente del Gallo, Conil

This happy group ran up  saying, “Foto, foto”,  and spontaneously assembled themselves in front of me. They all started chanting something, I assumed (and hoped) to be the Spanish equivalent of ‘cheese’.  It sounded like ‘Horchata‘,  (a traditional drink), though my grasp of Spanish is slim, and the Andalucian accent is nigh on impossible for a beginner.  Slightly alarmed, I obliged, but they turned out to be very friendly and good humoured. I even learned a new word ‘arroba’, which is the @ used in email addresses!

holiday snap on beach at Fuente del Gallo, Conil

holiday snap on beach at Fuente del Gallo, Conil

Another group, who had covered themselves in a grey-green clay found on the beaches locally, which is believed to have beneficial effects.

Holiday snap on beach near Conil

Holiday snap on beach near Conil

Tomas and his girlfriend covered in the same clay. I did ask him if I could take his picture – and of course took one with their camera too!

Giverny

8 years, 3 months ago Gardens, photography 0

A few weeks ago I had the chance to visit Monet’s garden at Giverny. Despite being grey and drizzly most of the time, it was still beautiful. Here are a few out-takes.

Monet's garden, Giverny

Monet's garden, Giverny

The bit Monet missed – the tunnel that leads to the bridge.

visitors at Monet's garden, Giverny

Some water lillies – the shop was doing brisk business with umbrellas.

La Maison Bleue, Giverny

La Maison Bleue, Giverny

I stayed at a B&B called La Maison Bleue, run by a lovely lady called Françoise. Apparently Claude Monet bought the house and created an extensive vegetable garden there. He also rented it out to his friend, the impressionist artist Guy Rose, who painted many canvasses of the house and surrounding area. Worth a visit too.

Somme Valley

8 years, 4 months ago photography 0

After  photographing the Fromelles WW1 cemetery for a job last June, I had an all too brief visit to the Somme Valley region. This was quite rushed, and I was keen to revisit the area to spend more time at significant sites. The opportunity arose a couple of weeks ago, after a trip to Monet’s garden at Giverny. There’s not a great deal I can add to the history, but here is a gallery of some of the photographs I took.

Mouquet Farm, or Moo Cow Farm, Somme Valley

Mouquet Farm, or Moo Cow Farm, Somme Valley

A fairly small memorial commemorates the fighting that took place here at Mouquet Farm, where in all, around 7000 Australians were killed trying to advance up the hill towards the trees in the centre of the frame. This was originally where the farm stood before being virtually wiped of the map.

Mouquet Farm, or Moo Cow Farm, Somme Valley

Mouquet Farm, or Moo Cow Farm, Somme Valley

Turning your back on the memorial gives a view of the position the allies advanced from.

Mouquet Farm, or Moo Cow Farm, Somme Valley

View from Mouquet Farm memorial, Somme Valley

Delville Wood, or Devil Wood as it became known, was the scene of more fierce fighting, this time with South African troops. There is a graveyard at the site, but far more men lay undiscovered in the wooded area, which was completely replanted as a memorial after the war.

Delville Wood, Somme Valley

Delville Wood, or Devil's Wood in the Somme Valley

The Last Tree is apparently the only surviving tree from the war – a Hawthorn, with visible shrapnel.

The Last Tree, Delville Wood, Somme Valley

The Last Tree, Delville Wood, Somme Valley

remains of trenches, Delville Wood, Somme Valley

remains of trenches, Delville Wood, Somme Valley

The Canadian Army also fought in the Somme. There is a large monument at Beaumont-Hamel called Newfoundland Memorial Park, with preserved trenches, and a petrified tree, known as the danger tree. Reputedly it was the only landmark left for soldiers to use as a guide back to their own lines. Any soldier near this tree was in the range of German machine gunners.

The Danger Tree, at Beaumont-Hamel Canadian memorial

The Danger Tree, at Beaumont-Hamel Canadian memorial

Near the town of Albert, there is a huge crater, known as the Lochnavar Crater. British troops dug a tunnel under the German lines and set off a huge mine, consisting of 27,000kg of high explosive. Apparently this was the loudest man made sound in history.

Lochnavar Crater

Lochnavar Crater, Somme Valley

I have seen few German WW1 cemeteries, but I stumbled upon one at Bray Sur Somme. It was sad to see Jewish and Christian burials side-by-side, something inconceivable 20 years later.

Bray Sur Somme, German WW1 war cemetery, Christian and Jewish burial side-by-side

Bray Sur Somme, German WW1 war cemetery, Christian and Jewish burial side-by-side

RPS photography course at Mill Dene Gardens


Mill Dene Gardens in Autumn

Mill Dene Gardens in Autumn

After the success of the flower photography course Jason Ingram and I ran last May with the Royal Photographic Society, the follow up was held last weekend. This time it was for two days,  with detailed assessments and plenty of time for practical experience in the beautiful gardens at Mill Dene, in the Cotswolds.

Photography student at Mill Dene gardens

Photography student at Mill Dene gardens, June 2011

Again we had a full house with 10 students who all appeared to enjoy themselves, despite the fact that at 6am the expected beautiful morning light was, in fact, rain! Plan B came into play and a daylight studio session was held instead.

Our next planned course will be a one day event at Batsford Arboretum on 30th October 2011, photographing the beautiful Autumn colour in the extensive grounds.

Acer at Batsford Arboretum

Acer at Batsford Arboretum, Autumn 2010

Old Jimmy Garlick

8 years, 7 months ago People, photography 0

On Friday I visited the Tate Modern to see the Miró exhibition. As I left Mansion House Station en-route to the gallery, I noticed that the small lane by the exit was called Garlick Hill. This reminded me of one of my earliest shoots, carried out in 1982. I had been asked to take some shots of a church, St James Garlickhythe, which is situated at the foot of the lane. It is still one of the oddest jobs I have undertaken.

St James Garlickhythe

St James Garlickhythe

I had to take shots of the church interior, and whilst being taken round the building, my escort said, “When you have finished that shot, I’ll take you to see the body”. Not normally an invitation I’d hang around for, but the body in question was that of a poor fellow on display in a glass fronted case. I was more surprised the body was still in the church, as all information at that time indicated he had been reburied as his existence attracted ghost hunters. Nobody really knows who he was, and over the years he has acquired the unfortunate name of Old Jimmy Garlick.

Jimmy Garlick

Jimmy Garlick or Old Jimmy Garlick, a naturally desiccated mummy of a man in a wooden cabinet in the church of St. James Garlickhythe, a Wren church on Garlick Hill in the City of London.

After finishing my shots, I was asked to move the case containing Old Jimmy back into its correct position. This I duly did. Apparently some builders, who had been working in the room had moved it, as they didn’t like him ‘looking’ at them while they carried out their business.  Far from feeling spooked, my only reaction at the time was to notice the condition of his teeth!

I’ve no idea of his whereabouts now, but I hope he is still safe and sound inside the church, where he has probably been for at least three hundred years.

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