Monday, July 06, 2009

Blog moved!

This will be the last post I make here. In honour of my impending trip to Taiwan and a travel-filled year so far, I'm moving my blog to my main web site. Please update your RSS readers!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Originally uploaded by davehodg
This picture is not tweaked at all, it's exactly how it came out of the camera.

Cacilhas is on the opposite side of the Tagus to Lisbon and has its own decrepit charm. There's a long stretch of derelict warehouses between the ferry terminal and the old town which are just gagging to be redeveloped into restaurants and bars.

Oh, it's lovely.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Queen's fern glade

The Queen's fern glade
Originally uploaded by davehodg
If you ever go to Lisbon, go to Sintra. Fairytale castle and amazing wooded grounds. Something to do with Byron. They took hilly scrubland and afforested it with trees and ferns from around the world and now it's the sort of place elves would hang out.

Cream of Mushroom flavour crisps

Spotted these in a grimy cornershop at the base of an apartment block in Lisbon. First impression is a definite mushroom overtone and a deep inhalation gives quite an intense cream of mushroom soup essence, maybe one of those cubes you make soup from. From then on though, it's downhill. The overwhelming impressions is of very musty salt. Not a sensation.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cais do Sodré

Cais do Sodré
Originally uploaded by davehodg
The overall background smell in Lisbon, besides the occasional overwhelming sulphurous pong of sewers, is grilled sardines.

However, rounding a corner, I was assaulted by the really strong smell of pee. Initially, I suspected the seedy looking men lounging around but then realised it was the blossom from these trees whose honeyed scent carried a faint ammoniac overtone.


Originally uploaded by davehodg
I think I like portugal.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

LCC Summer show

LCC Summer show
Originally uploaded by davehodg
Some GREAT work on show by the BA's and MA's. I've no idea if it's public, but if it is, GO! Very little of it pissed me off.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not blogging much

Sorry for not blogging much recently. I've been turned inwardly on twitter and facebook. A couple of things I've set up recently:

1. The cockbucket, a repository of woo and stuff that pisses me off.

2. Speedbeaver, a music photography portal site.

I'm off to portugal shortly. Expect pix on my Flickr.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cyclists you lose.

Cyclists, when some of your people insist on running red lights at speed with people crossing then you will NEVER get the good will you need to make the country a better place.

Fix yourselves.

That's all.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Acey Slade

Acey Slade
Originally uploaded by davehodg
An unexpectedly rocking night. Check 'em out on tour!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Eastern Front, Camden Underworld

Shot a few bands at the random metal fest at the Underworld. Eastern Front stood out. RARR!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Being challenged

It's a long time since I've done one of these blog things, let see if I remember how.

I participate in a group called "London Calling Photographers" or LCP for short. Nice group of people but there was much about it that was beginning to grate.

A long time ago, Jean Loup Sieff, one of the great photographers, expressed his disdain for camera club people as, and I'm paraphrasing somewhat, people in tweed jackets with patches on their elbows comparing the sizes of their dicks. I might have misremembered the dick part. The rush to acquire the new shiny in the form of the Canon 5D MkII was beginning to affirm his view of these kinds of groups to me.

More irritation came in the format of the "critique" portion of the evening where amateur photographs were ripped to shreds by people who may or may not have been able to do better in the same circumstance. Reportage and street photos suffered this the most to my mind where very often that moment is the only moment with no chance for re-exposure or re-composition. OK, there's a skill to getting that one shot good, but hell, that's why we take pictures.

Anyhow, last night was going to be my last night attending except I got a major kick up the arse.

Eamon, aka spiduko instead of shredding some poor sap's efforts challenged us. Oh, Eamon is a "fillum" (he's Irish you know) freak which usually also rubs me up the wrong way.

Firstly, he showed us some apparent snaps in lovely saturated film colour. They were moments in time with little thought to the composition. However, they were both part of a journey by the respective photographers and in context become part of a body of art.

So we were challenged. Were our efforts consistent with creating a corpus of work we would like to leave as a legacy or are we just snappers? Was our work authentic? Or were we just taking pictures we like?

This was a timely challenge for me. I'd recently come to the conclusion I could tear up (ok, erase) all but maybe 5 pieces I've ever taken, travel and friend shots notwithstanding. That would be about 30,000 pictures gone with few tears. I never go back to these images anyhow. What they are however, is part of my journey. All those pub portraits, landscapes and music pictures are part of learning the craft, the settings, embedding them in my psyche so that when it comes to composing some art, they are second nature. I'm happy at least that they've been stopoffs on the road.

Whilst I'm not a total comment whore on flickr, I do appreciate positive and constructive feedback and now I'm actually teaching photography to people who have made a conscious decision to try to take better pictures, I appreciate the nature of the journey these folks are taking.

So, if you class yourself as a photographer, are you creating something that's unique and part of you? Or are you just taking a bunch of snaps?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eggs Benedict, House Special Omelette at LAX

Brunch at KJ's, LAX On the surface, this may appear to be just another food blog but it isn't. Honest Guv. It's about the power of the internet, obviously.

So, we'd got in to LAX the night before, googled using the Radisson's free internet for a nearby sushi place, found one that was well-reviewed and had some nice rolls before crashing at a sensible hour. Next morning, I had the hankering for a proper diner breakfast in the vicinity of the hotel. A quick search for "LAX breakfast" turned up a shortlist and after a quick peruse of the reviews we settled on KJ's Diner. And what a great choice it was too! Somewhat hidden away at the end of a block, we were greeted seated quickly and armed with coffee. We ordered the eggies and the omeletties and mighty fine they were too. The pancakes were something else, so light and fluffy. The coffee was constantly topped up.

Brunch at KJ's, LAX

This set me thinking about the internet. There would have been no way we'd have found this place without it. And had there been no decent reviews we certainly wouldn't have gone. Maybe now, "location! location! location!" is about internet location. Being found and then having good reviews corresponds to location. With satnav, physical location, the act of being stumbled upon, is much less relevant than it used to be. Overall, I think this bodes well. Places will get away less often with being rubbish and places that deserve to do well will do so with the power of "word of internet". We're going back on the way home for menudo, apparently. Well, she will. Chinese crispy tripe was adventurous enough for me, thank you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

BBC created botnet from pwned PC's

From the Register. Clicky thingy it to read:

BBC zombie caper slammed by security pros

This is a really interesting one. A few points:

1. Clearance for this programme went all the way up. It was cleared by the lawyers and compliance.

2. Journalists, unlike Gary McKinnon, can hide behind "public interest". If it's an investigation that can be shown to be of benefit to the great unwashed, they're probably in the clear.

And the big ones for me:

3. Mircrosoft are SO culpable in this whole sorry mess. There is no reason to use such broken, compromised software. They broke NT to lever Windows on it and it's been broken ever since. Class action time. Anyone who has suffered a loss through Windows brokenness should sue.

4. Why isn't there an agency in the country allowed, no, mandated, to do what the BBC did? If a PC is compromised, then pwn it, disable it and load up a screensaver telling people to get it to a techie to get it cleaned. We're letting drunk, stoned drivers loose on the information superhighway.

More Linux and more Macs.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Evil Scarecrow

Evil Scarecrow
Originally uploaded by davehodg
Oh yes. Bloodstained keyboard players. The best kind.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Whither the BBC

The BBC has an interesting problem.

As a "corporation", it is bound by its charter to perform certain functions ranging from providing a certain proportion of religious programming at one end of the spectrum through to creating a certain kind of ratings-chasing rubbish. In between it is expected to inform, enlightenment and entertain.

The flip side of this is our expectations of the BBC as part of the British public. We all have a soft spot for Auntie. The slightly patrician, worthy, wholesome aura that the BBC used to be known for is as comforting as toast and Marmite for breakfast. We want the BBC to take a stand, to be a moral authority. The recent kerfuffle about the DEC Gaza appeal is a case in point. Be assured, that most people in the BBC would have wanted to broadcast such an important humanitarian appeal. However, such a broadcast has to be measured against the charter and as such exercised minds both legal and editorial. In the end, the risk of breaching the charter was judged too high a price to pay.

The problem is that our tenner a month towards the maintenance of what is fundamentally a great institution has been hobbled by successive governments of various shades. The BBC is now unable to take a lead, to take significant risks.

There are thousands of very talented people trying their very best to produce programmes and other content that engage and inform, that make sixty years of historic programming accessible. After all, you, your parents and grandparents paid for it. These talented people are trying to do what they can within bounds set, creating new channels for their content and engaging with the audience.

I'm sure that casting the BBC adrift as a commercial entity is the wrong thing. Look at Sky. Certainly, the quest for value for money is a good one, but not all expenditure necessarily has an immediate payback. How do we know what of what we produce today will be of value in another fifty years time? How do we know what BBC pure research and development will be in our pockets in a few years time?

I'm not entirely sure I'm making a great point here. I love the BBC, I was practically raised by it and have huge respect for its achievements. What I want from it I guess, is just a little more boldness; not to be constrained by fear of offending the authorities.

Is that practical?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Originally uploaded by davehodg
First time out with the lights. Aside from noticing my cheap zoom was soft at 200mm, the other thing was how hard it is to get the catchlights in the eye.

More here:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

A night of girl rock at the Water Rats

I saw the last 3 of 5 fine girls (ish) bands. Well worth keeping any eye on for different reasons:

First up, Cherry Brakewells:

Cherry Brakewells @ The Water Rats

Then Rubicks:

Rubicks, Water Rats

And finally, Sush:

Shush, Water Rats

Good times!Dea