About eddiemulh

News Photographer for The Daily Telegraph and Vice Chairman of The British Press Photographer's Association.

Anyone for Polo ?

I was covering The opening of The Field of Remembrance (the crosses with poppies laid every year by The British Legion) at Westminster Abbey, which this year was by Prince Harry, when I first heard about his trip to Oman and Dubai.The Telegraph’s Royal correspondent Gordon Rayner was down to go and I explained how happy I’d be to accompany him. A few forms later and I was on the list to go. Not a big list but a very manageable one for the Palace press office. John Stillwell from the Press Association, Chris Jackson from Getty, Time Rooke for Rex Features and Darren Fletcher from The Sun.
Harry was arriving on Tuesday night and I got there Tuesday morning having flown through the night. The arrival was pooled , covered by Tim and Chris but Darren and I still turned up at the rather plush hotel just in case we were allowed to crash the pool. We weren’t so we retired to the bar for a beer then met up with the others to travel back by minibus to the hotel we were staying in. It was “National Day” in Oman and the traffic was horrendous. All the locals seemed to be out in there cars wearing masks and hooting and beeping their way around Muscat. We ended up having to walk the last few hundred yards to our hotel which gave us the chance to take a few frames of the festivities. Everyone seemed really friendly, they were having a great time, though a few had had their exhausts adjusted to make a sound that was very similar to gunfire, which did throw one particular reporter to the floor of the bus when we heard it for the first time.

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The following morning was a 6am start for the minibus journey to Nizwa Fort. Charles and Camilla visited earlier this year and took part in some local tribal dancing involving swords so obviously we were crossing fingers for a repeat royal performance.

We retired for several coffees whilst we awaited Harry’s arrival and took the opportunity to take some pictures of some of the children and some of the locals who were waiting to meet the Prince.

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I did a combination of pictures on my iPhone 5S and my normal Nikon work cameras (D4S D3S and D3)

The picture of the man with the walking stick was then put through ‘Snapseed’ and ‘Instagram’…the version that looks warmer was not. I do like to use my iPhone for work pictures but I’d never have the guts to shoot an entire assignment on one….unless of course I was asked to.

A lot of photographers complain that filter Apps like ‘Snapseed’ and ‘Instagram’ make everyone capable of producing “great” photographs. I tend to disagree. If you haven’t got the right image there’s nothing an App can do for you. So far Apps can’t find a picture for you, yeah they can polish a turd but it’s still going to be a turd.

Apps are tools as is the camera on your iPhone. You still need to know how to use the tool to get the most out of it.

Anyway, Harry played ball. Not once but twice. He had a go on the sword then went for a tour , then had another go on the sword. Our local Omani embassy chap did a brilliant job of positioning the dancers in front of Harry twice. We all got what was required.

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The next day was going to be a long one. Harry was visiting The Grand Mosque in Muscat first thing then we were flying to Dubai followed by a bus-ride to Ghantoot Polo ground, Abu Dhabi, for Harry’s ‘Sentebale’ charity match. We were told all sorts of celebrities would be attending..in the end it was only Geri Halliwell and her new fiance that anybody recognised.

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We went home and Harry stayed to watch the Grand Prix…a few people cynically commented that that was in fact the reason for the visit.

Anyone for a pre-Christmas shopping trip to New York ?

Who has what’s required ?

Here’s what the late, great Sir David English, who created the modern Daily Mail, had to say about newspaper photographers. (thanks to Dave Parker)

” Press photographers are a strange breed. Moody, enthusiastic, temperamental, excitable, humorous, self-deprecating . They are in many ways the most interesting collection of people to be found on any national newspaper. More interesting frequently than the star bylined writers. More interesting than the gossip columnists with their fund of inside chatter. More interesting even than the showbiz kings with their stories of rubbing shoulders with the great and their `all life´s a cocktail party´ philosophy. Photographers are the shock troops of journalism. They cannot muse. They cannot pontificate. They cannot sit in the office and get their stories by telephone. Nor do they pick up their scoops over lunch. They have to be where the action is. They have to be there! ”

And here’s what Roy Greenslade Professor (no less) of journalism had to say about newspaper photographers.

“Everyone can, and does, take photographs as a matter of rote nowadays.No event occurs – fires, fetes, road accidents, cats up trees, whatever – without someone being on hand to snap a picture. In the real sense of the word, newspaper photographers are therefore redundant.

I concede that standing outside court for ages to capture an image of a defendant or witness may still require a professional (enter the experienced freelance). Otherwise, for the general run of the news diary, anyone can do it.”

I think we all know who has/had the better understanding of the qualities required to do the job .

The idea that because almost everyone has a camera and takes pictures means you no longer need photographers has a logical conclusion. Almost everyone can write and has a pen.

Newspapers are always on the look out to cut costs… to make a few more quid for the shareholders. I mean you wouldn’t expect them to have last year’s reg car would you. But no business will ever profit by making cuts. That’s short-termism. You have to speculate and invest to accumulate. That’s not just my opinion. Ask billionaire Warren Buffet. Stupid managements make stupid cuts which affect their product the newspaper. The product suffers and the advertisers leave in droves driving profit further down. Stupid management then implement more cuts to increase the dividend which affects the product and the advertisers leave in droves driving profit down further. It’s a cycle of stupidity.

The demand for visuals is higher than it has ever been. More photographs and videos are used than ever before. Newspaper websites need photographs, 360’s, time-lapses, videos, slideshows….these are the things that attract an audience and advertisers.

So who are the best people to deliver these things. Easy answer really. It’s not the columnists.

It’s us. The photographers.

Press Photographers Association of Ireland 2014

In a guest blog Mirror Staff Photographer Phil Coburn talks about his recent trip to Dublin:

Thoroughly enjoyed my weekend in Dublin judging The Press Photographers Association of Ireland’s annual awards with Lefteris Pitarakis of the The Associated Press and the esteemed former Irish Times photographer and picture editor, Dermot O’Shea. Great competition with superb photojournalism. Great support and sponsorship from the Allied Irish Bank, too, which puts a decent amount of money behind it and makes the whole thing run extremely smoothly and professionally. The winning photographs of this competition have toured all over the world in the past but more importantly this years winners will also be shown in all the main regional branches of the AIB, bringing really high-quality press  photography to thousands of people who aren’t necessarily photography buffs. It would be wonderful if we could have some similar support and sponsorship for the B.P.P.A. or the P.P.Y. competition on this side of the water.

© Colm Mahady/Fennells

© Colm Mahady/Fennells
Ray Mc Manus, President Press Photographers Association of Ireland (PPAI), with members of the judging panel, award wining photographer Lefteris Pitarakis, Associated Press Photographer, Tom Kinsella, Group Marketing Director AIB, (sponsor) Dermot O’ Shea, former Picture Editor, Chair of the judging panel and Philip Coburn award-winning photographer Daily Mirror / Sunday Mirror Photographer.

© Colm Mahady/Fennells

© Colm Mahady/Fennells

© Colm Mahady/Fennells

© Colm Mahady/Fennells

© Vicky Comerford

© Vicky Comerford

© Vicky Comerford

© Vicky Comerford

Mirror Staff Photographer Phil Coburn.

Anyone for….No I can’t call it that !

So another Wimbledon Tennis Championship is over. O.K so it was over ages ago but I’ve only just recovered enough to look through my pictures again.

What an extraordinary championship it was. I’ve covered it for about 8 years and despite believing our one hope Andy Murray is a fantastic tennis player, I never truly believed he’d make the final. The night Murray won the semi-final I was walking to the car-park with Sports Photography legend David Ashdown. I asked him how many years he’d been covering Wimbledon “34 years ” came the reply. “Did you ever think you’d see a Brit in the Final ?” , “No” he said.

When Nadal went out early it started to look good for Murray but he still faced stiff competition. We all started to speculate on what an enormous story this event in a small part of South London could turn into firstly if he made The Final and secondly if he won it. History in the making.

From a Newspaper Photographer’s point of view there is a lot more to covering Wimbledon than what is jokingly referred to as “Bat and Ball”.

To begin with you have to follow the main man Murray whenever he trains and not just during matches. Training often gives a little insight into the ‘Dour’ Scot. Contrary to this persona he is often smiling and laughing during these sessions on the practice courts at ‘Aorangi Park’ where the public are denied entrance. One of the staff there even mentioned to Cavan Pawson from The Evening Standard that this relaxed side was even more evident when we were not around. There is much anecdotal evidence that he is in fact the opposite of ‘Dour’ and other players have mentioned how much of a comedian he is in private. There’s no denying he has a ‘Public’ face which very rarely slips. A friend of mine in Yorkshire offered me a crate of Beer for a picture of Murray smiling on Centre Court. If he’d have won I think I’d be awaiting delivery.

Andy Murray training where after which he laughed and cuddled his cousin Cora Erskine(9)
Murray training on one of The Championship Courts
Murray training on one of The Championship Courts
Murray warming up on one of The Championship Courts he looks like he might be regretting his Lamb Dhansak the night before.
Those sponsor’s sweatshirts can be a bit tricky.
Happy Smiley Scotsman.

One of the biggest distractions from the Tennis In our celebrity led industry are the guests who turn up in ‘The Royal Box’ frequently generating more interest than those on court. Following Catherine Middleton’s wedding to our future King last year the presence of her and members of her family has become a major event at the contest.

Pippa and Kate in The Royal Box.
The Duchess of Cambridge.
Pippa and Kate
…and again…
Even the In-laws turned up for a chat with Brucie ” Good game good game”

It should be straightforward enough really. Sit in one of the Photographer’s pits with a 600mm or a 600mm and a 2x converter (1200mm) and watch your celebrity/Royal subject react to every shot of the game. Err..NO.

Kim Sears watches boyfriend Andy.

Not quite The Royal Box but still Centre Court for Kate’s Mum
Rupert and Wendi

To begin with The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club does not approve of it’s VIP’s being spied on for every second of their visit. You simply can’t sit there watching them. There is also the fact that a 600mm is quite a large piece of kit and if you imagine a line of closely packed Sports specialist Photographers on a bench with everyone pointing their cameras right except for one News Photographer pointing the other way. It’s a sure fire way to lose friends and alienate people. So you compromise. You shoot the Tennis (it is after all why you are there) but when the players rest between games and sets then you turn your attention to the guests. It’s not ideal but it is necessary. The other difficulty is that despite having fellow Telegraph Photographer Heathcliff O’Malley accredited and in attendance the rules only allow one from each organisation on court at a time. This is to prevent the big agencies flooding the limited spaces with shooters from every corner of the world. So when you are on court you have to do both the sport and the news.

It wouldn’t be Wimbledon without the rain…
..or the fans

Oh and a bit of ‘Bat and Ball’

Maria Sharapova on Centre Court

Mr Murray in action

The other British hope Heather Watson.

Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka
The nemesis of Andy, Roger Federer.

Petra Kvitova

Akgul Amanmuradova with Centre Court reflected.

The unstoppable Serena Williams.

Another hitch is the fact that during the breaks in play when the players are seated is also the best time to shoot the expressions on their faces as they contemplate the shots they’ve just made and consider how they will try and win. They are often lost in their thoughts and their faces can sometimes speak volumes. Pictures which are a hundred times better than one of Cliff Richard clapping.

Heather Watson between shots

Andy Murray after losing to Federer in The Men’s Final.

The greatest Dilemma with a Brit in The Final was if he is winning who do you watch at Match-Point ? Andy Murray or Catherine Duchess of Cambridge. Whose reaction will make the front page ? 2 seconds after the Match-Point is not THE moment, 1 second after and the reaction has already changed. You decide.

Andy winning…before The Final

Federer at Match-Point

The ‘Potshots’

More photographers in the crowd than in the Pit

Thankfully (or regrettably ) Mr Federer made the choice irrelevant. So after 14 days of  following our favourite Scotsman around SW19 we watched as his emotions overflowed and he left Centre Court with the runner up prize. Better luck Next Year Andy.

The tears after losing.

As a little side project Heathcliff and myself shot some bits and bobs around the Championship on our i.Phones. I used the Instagram app and Heathcliff used Hipstamatic.

These are a few of my fav’s there are more at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/picture-galleries/9379006/Wimbledon-2012-Telegraph-photographers-Instagram-and-Hipstamatic-photos.html

Murray training.

Rainy Centre Court.

The Copyright Fight

As the song goes ‘There may be trouble ahead’…except this time there is no ‘maybe’ about it. For those that recall the less-than-wonderful “Clause 43” of Labour’s “Digital Economy Bill” which proposed to legalise the use of Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing – well, despite its defeat it’s back and this time it’s personal.

Hidden away in a completely unrelated Bill – namely the ERRB (the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill) – are pretty much the same clauses that got thrown out before. The IPO (Intellectual Property Office) – a bunch of Patent-based Civil Servants in the fashion of Sir Humphrey from “Yes Minister” – were so miffed at their attempt to undermine photographer’s copyright being defeated that they’ve snuck their insidious plans back into Parliament hidden in a bill that has absolutely nothing to do with copyright.

There are many reasons why every photographer should be up in arms about this and we’ll list them below summarized by people who know far more about this than myself. The really, really important thing is that we still have the opportunity to send Sir Humphrey back to his Gentleman’s club in Pall Mall with a flea in his ear. They think it’s all over but it bloody well isn’t.

We still have time to effect change to the bill and even get the clauses thrown out (they shouldn’t be there anyway) but we have to act fast. We have to lobby the Lords and then we need to start a firestorm on our MP’s.

Interestingly we have some strange bedfellows as allies on this one including The Associated Press, Getty Images, Reuters, British Pathe, The Press Association, and the Federation of Commercial and Audiovisual Libraries, who have formed the International Media & Archive Consortium. They are threatening a judicial review should the bill become law, but it would be in everyone’s interest if it didn’t get that far.

This affects everyone who works in this country with a camera in their hands.

You all have to take the time to read what it means for you. Even if you just read the summary we’ve provided you’ll garner enough information to include in a letter to your MP or one of the Lords listed.

But it really is in our/your hands to do something for the good of all photographers working in the United Kingdom whether they know it or not.

Eddie Mulholland.

The proposals hidden in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill would do very serious damage to the livelihoods of UK photographers if adopted. We believe that the clauses should be removed rather than amended because:

  1. They should be subject to full parliamentary debate, not buried in someone else’s bill and secondary legislation.
  2. They rob photographers of their rights.
  3. They would not create economic growth, they would damage it.
  4. They break international law.
  5. They would be subject to judicial review even as they are passing through the Commons.
  6. They allow no room for the new “Copyright Hub” concept which, given time to get working, would deal with most of the problems.
  7. They are no substitute for a dedicated and properly considered Copyright Bill – this is nothing more than a rights-damaging fudge proposed by the Intellectual Property Office.

At some point the IPO should learn to realize that the intellectual property that they are supposed to look after is not only that of big business, inventors but that of hundreds of thousands of small businesses and sole traders whose combined worth to the UK’s economy is substantial.

See a fuller explanation on The BPPA’s website

Follow Stop 43 the campaigning group who did most to stop the orphan works clauses in the Digital Economy Act

More British than the British.

Posted on March 30, 2012 by

In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. My father had worked there in the 1950′s, so we were one of the few families in the United Kingdom that knew that somewhere north of Scotland had not been annexed by Spanish speaking invaders.

I went to Argentina and then to the Falkland Islands in 2007 as part of the Daily Telegraph’s coverage of the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War. I met conscripts from desert areas of Argentina who had never even seen the sea. They had been told that the population of the Falkland Islands was Spanish and would greet them as liberators.

I met Falkland Islanders who risked their lives and would do again to stay British. My general opinion was that despite the potential oil riches and the already obvious riches from fishing which have sustained the economy, it wasn’t really about cash. The Falklands’ are a dreadfully harsh place. The people are hardy. No, the people are hard, they are tough. Imagine the roughest, toughest Yorkshireman bred with the hardest Hebridean, crossed with an Eastend hardman. You could describe them as many things, but the one term you would come back to is ‘British’. More British than the British.

Here are some of the photographs I took during my visit.

A permanent military guard at the War Memorial to all those from Argentina who died during the Falklands War, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Commandante Hector Bonzo, Captain of the Argentinian naval cruiser ‘General Belgrano’
which was destroyed during the Falklands War. Commandante Bonzo was photographed at the ‘Association Of Friends Of The Belgrano’ in Buenos Aires where a board listing all those who died is kept.

Former General Mario Benjamin Menendez at his home in Buenos Aires. He lead the Argentinian forces on the Falkland Islands during the invasion.

Maria Fernanda Araujo whose brother Elbio, a conscript, died during the Falklands War.

Maria Fernanda Araujo visiting the Memorial To The Falklands War in Pilar, Argentina. The memorial consists of a replica of the Argentinian war cemetery on the Falkland Islands.

Maria Fernanda Araujo at the Memorial To The Falklands War in Pilar visiting a Replica of St Mary’s Church Port Stanley.

Crosses at the Memorial To The Falklands War, Pilar, Argentina.

Whilst on the Falkland Islands, Argentinian war veterans paid homage to their fallen comrades.

The Argentinian War Cemetery, Darwin, Falkland Islands, on the 25th anniversary of the invasion and the start of the Conflict , visited by five Argentinian war veterans. One of the veterans, Ramon Robles wore a jacket which said “We fought with honour and we will return….”

These crosses are not the only markers for the fallen. Every major battle that cost the lives of British soldiers is marked with a memorial.

A steel cross marks Wireless Ridge were the final battle took place in the Falklands War. Following the victory of 2 Para on the ridge which overlooks Port Stanley, the Argentinan Army surrendered.

Wireless Ridge. The memorial remembers Colour Sergeant Gordon Findlay and Private Francis Slough and Private David Parr who died there during the battle.

Near to Goose Green, a cross and a headstone mark the grave of Lieutenant Nicholas Taylor, 800 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Hermes, Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy, the first member of the British Armed Forces to die in combat during the conflict on May 4th 1982.
He was buried by the Argentinan Army with full military honours , a ceremony which was broadcast on Argentinan television.

The memorial to 3 Para, Mount Longdon where twenty-three British soldiers lost their lives on June 11th and 12th 1982.

One of many scattered Memorials relating to members of 3 Para, Mount Longdon.

Shrapnel and casings on Mount Longdon.

The memorial to 2 Para, positioned between Darwin and Goose Green on Darwin Hill.

The memories are kept fresh with a memorial in Port Stanley too.

2007-Current and veteran Falkland Island Defence Force members marching in Stanley today 25 years after they were called out to defend against The Invading the Argentine Army.

A service held at the War Memorial in Port Stanley.

Many of the Falkland Islanders who lived through the invasion and liberation are still happily living there.

Trudi McPhee at Brookfield Farm, where she lived with her family during the Argentinan Occupation in 1982. Trudi received a commendation from the British Army for her work moving troops around during the conflict.

Falkland Islander Tony Smith, who conducts battlefield tours, with the remains of an Argentinan Puma Helicopter between Mount Kent and Two Sisters Mountain.

Patrick Watts, who was broadcasting from the radio station in Port Stanley as the Argentinan troops invaded and who is now involved in the tourism industry, conducting battlefield tours, pictured here on Wireless Ridge with a 105 mm Gun from the war.

Mike Butcher with the skull of a Killer Whale at his house in Stanley, where he was during the Argentinan occupation in 1982. He wandered around during the occupation dropping tacks and nails to puncture tyres on Argentinian vehicles.

Tourism is one of the industries on the rise in the Falkland Islands. Port Stanley itself, alongside the penguins that live nearby, draw in crowds from visiting cruise liners.

Gentoo Penguin Colony , Bluff Cove Lagoon.

Upland Geese in flight, a characteristic of the Falkland Islands landscape.

The famous Totem Pole , at Government Megabid, Airport Road , Port Stanley.

The Lady Elizabeth, a ship which was holed in the late 1800’s and now lies beached on a sandbank in Port Stanley.

The mountains in the background were the scenes of famous battles during the Falklands War and running from left to right are : Sappers Hill, Mount William, Mount Harriet, Mount Tumbledown, Two Sisters Mountain, Mount Kent and Mount Longdon rising behind Wireless Ridge.

Stone runs, a characteristic part of the landscape.

A rainbow near Fitzroy River in ‘The Camp’ which is the Falkland Islanders name for the countryside between settlements.

Typical ‘Wriggly Tin’ roof in Stanley.

Ross Road, Port Stanley.

The Globe Tavern near the Jetty Visitors centre, Port Stanley.

View of Port Stanley from between Wireless Ridge and Mount Longdon.

Thatcher Drive, Port Stanley.

And right at the other end of the Island there is a little settlement called Goose Green.

School playground Goose Green Settlement, recaptured by 2 Para after a battle lasting more than 12 hours on May 28 1982.

A legacy of the 1982 conflict , many areas of The Falkland Islands are designated Out of Bounds due to Argentinian Mine-fields.

I think my most enduring memory of my visit was the memorials at the battlegrounds. Looking at the ages of some of the soldiers that died, Argentinian and British and meeting the Islanders and wondering if it was worth it .

Look closely at the ages on this memorial to 3 Para, Mount Longdon where twenty-three British soldiers lost their lives on June 11th/12th 1982.

Rest In Peace.

NO painting with LIGHTY…? NO LIKEY!

I have just returned from another wonderful weekend in Dublin, as guest of the Press Photographers Association of Ireland (PPAI) and Allied Irish Bank (AIB) for the AIB Photojournalism Awards 2012. The ceremony was on Friday night, but two days in the fantastic bars and restaurants takes it’s toll so I’m a bit late with this report!

Have a look at the list of winners, they are spectacular, a brilliant spread of photographs that myself and fellow judges Peter Macdiarmid and Dermot O’Shea felt were the best of the best. That of course is where the rub is, judging is a dangerous thing to do. I’ve done it before and I’m more than aware of the pitfalls. This time was no exception.

Judging is a subjective art. One man’s Page One is another man’s Page Eleven. It happens to me as a photographer every day, as I’m sure it does with all photographers, not just in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but all around the world. All one can do as a judge, is offer an opinion. Obviously, there are certain photographs that everyone sees as ‘no brainers’ . Photographs that everyone says are without a shadow of doubt, ‘THE’ picture of the day. In my experience this is not the case. Opinions vary and that is the only fact about competitions. The whole process makes you feel a bit more sympathetic towards picture editors in general.

Without going into specifics there were certain pictures that lost out to others because they did not quite fulfill the definition of that particular category….pictures that I and the other judges actually preferred. But if a category’s name asks for a specific discipline and the ‘best’ picture does not define that discipline, then how can you (no matter how much you love it….) fairly award the prize to that picture? Rules are rules and they are specific to category definitions. I stand by my choices.

On arrival we were jokingly asked “if we’d brought flak jackets…?” and “had we noticed the targets that had magically appeared on our backs….?” Even where we were seated in a room of about three hundred black-tied guests, was explained to us as ‘arranged’ so we could see where the missiles were coming from! Needless to say this was all good-hearted ribbing, well, that’s what I’m sticking to…..

The real spectacle of the evening was how the PPAI unveiled the overall winner. At the start of the evening, the stage was covered in empty bar-stools. By the end, each stool was sat on by a winner. Each winner was blindfolded. It looked like a group version of ‘Take Me Out’! However, the winners were not asked questions about how they would rock the questioner’s boat, instead they had to sit there while the overall winner’s portfolio was screened behind them. There were a few screams from the audience, but watching closely as I did, nobody seemed to be able to guess who the winner was!? Eventually, Julien Behal of The Press Association of Ireland was announced as Photojournalist Of The Year. Well done Julien, it was a great set!

The real work starts now for The PPAI. The sponsors AIB are starting a nationwide tour from this Monday of the winning photographs all around Ireland to as many of their branches as possible. It’s a fantastic way of bringing the work that members do back to the grassroots. Letting people all over Ireland realise what the job is about. As I’ve said before, I believe this is why press photography is so well thought of in the Republic Of Ireland. It was a great experience judging and being a guest at the Awards. Sorry to those we didn’t pick.

On a personal note, I wish we could have an awards ceremony as well respected in the United Kingdom. I’d even be happy for Paddy McGuinness to MC the whole event! And obviously, I would supply the blindfolds…..!