Tag: News

Big Monday at the Praia do Norte, Nazare, Portugal 24 October, 2016

Surfers begin riding the first big waves of 2016 at Nazare

View my video of Big Monday at Nazare, Portugal here

I was lucky enough to guess right on the waves at the Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal to witness (and film and photograph) the first great wave day of the autumn 2016 season. It was Big Monday.

You can view the short film I made about Big Monday by using the link above. I will also be updating this post to show more of the material I have from Nazare and some links to where you can license it if required.

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The magic of photographing the Shetland Islands of Scotland

UK SCOTLAND Lerwick -- 25 Jul 2011 -- The crew of the Colombian tall ship GLORIA wave goodbye as they depart from Lerwick in the Shetland Isles on the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships begin the second leg of the race to Stevanger in Norway -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Lerwick — 25 Jul 2011 — The crew of the Colombian tall ship GLORIA wave goodbye as they depart from Lerwick in the Shetland Isles on the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships begin the second leg of the race to Stevanger in Norway — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

In 2011, I left my flat in Edinburgh and headed to the far north of Scotland to Lerwick in the Shetland Isles to cover the 2011 Tall Ships Race. I stayed in Lerwick several weeks and was also working on a feature for the Scots Magazine on the Neolithic culture of the islands.

UK SCOTLAND Lerwick -- 25 Jul 2011 -- The Dutch tall ship WYLDE SWAN (right) and the Norwegian tall ship STRATSRAAD LEHMKUHL under full sail as she approches the start line of the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships departed from Lerwick to begin the second leg of the race to Stavanger in Norway -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell
UK SCOTLAND Lerwick — 25 Jul 2011 — The Dutch tall ship WYLDE SWAN (right) and the Norwegian tall ship STRATSRAAD LEHMKUHL under full sail as she approches the start line of the second leg of the Tall Ships Race 2011. Over 50 ships departed from Lerwick to begin the second leg of the race to Stavanger in Norway — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Sadly, my meagre budget did not allow for extensive travels and much of the work I shot there was subsequently lost. However, luckily, I had edited and backed up quite a lot of the select images and still have quite a nice portfolio.

UK SCOTLAND Sumburgh Head -- Puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) in flight at Sumburgh Head in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Sumburgh Head — Puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) in flight at Sumburgh Head in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

The story I did on the Iron Age pub of sorts at Jarlshof got published (with a different byline) in The Daily Record and OK! magazine and has sold in one or two other places as stock. Not much else from my Shetland portfolio was published aside from news images from the 2011 Tall Ships Race (in The Daily Telegraph and The Scotsman).

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- Great Skua ( Catharacta skua ) -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — Great Skua ( Catharacta skua ) — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Although by then my Canon 550D was incapable of long telephoto shots (and I lacked one anyway), I could shoot at around 300mm with a slight sensor crop and so I tried to get pictures of birds and other animals in their habitat.

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- Gray seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) on rocks on the Isle of Bressay in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — Gray seals ( Halichoerus grypus ) on rocks on the Isle of Bressay in the Shetland Islands of Scotland UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Again, most of these have never been published. If you would like to use them in your project, then please contact me for details on how to license my images.

UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands -- 09 Aug 2011 -- Fishermen from Lerwick recover lobster and crab pots in a small boat off the coast of the mainland of Shetland - watched closely by fulmars and great skuas -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK SCOTLAND Shetland Islands — 09 Aug 2011 — Fishermen from Lerwick recover lobster and crab pots in a small boat off the coast of the mainland of Shetland – watched closely by fulmars and great skuas — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

While the conditions can sometimes be harsh so far north and in the summer, the sun goes down about 3AM, I enjoyed working there and the combination of good light (sometimes!) and great subject matter made it a magical experience.

New 1990s reportage photojournalism stock images

UK London -- 31 Mar 1990 -- Metropolitan Police riot police in the West End of London England UK during the Poll Tax Riot. The huge march against the Poll Tax later developed into one of the largest riots in the history of central London -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK London — 31 Mar 1990 — Metropolitan Police riot police in the West End of London England UK during the Poll Tax Riot. The huge march against the Poll Tax later developed into one of the largest riots in the history of central London — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I was quite active as a news agency photographer in the 1990s (for SIPA Press and Gamma and sometimes for AP, AFP and Reuters on a freelance basis) and recently found some time in 2014 to scan a lot of my old 35mm slides and negatives.

UK Over the English Channel -- Dec 1993 -- The Sea Air Rescue (SAR) crew of a Sea King Helicopter from the 202nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an exercise with Kent Fire Brigade simulating reacting to a ferry fire over the the English Channel off the coast of Kent, England, UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK Over the English Channel — Dec 1993 — The Sea Air Rescue (SAR) crew of a Sea King Helicopter from the 202nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an exercise with Kent Fire Brigade simulating reacting to a ferry fire over the the English Channel off the coast of Kent, England, UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I am currently editing some of this material into my archive and will be editing more in over 2015. My collection on 35mm is very diverse and covers Panama, Colombia and some other parts of central America from 1994-1998, Britain and Spain from 2000-2014, plus many great film images from the Everest Himalaya of Nepal (and also the 2006 revolution).

PANAMA Meteti -- Jul 1997 -- Panamanian frontier police in line at a police base. Some 2000 paramilitary police were drafted into to the Darien Gap after cross-border attacks on the region by Colombian paramilitary units. The area has long been a haven for Colombian FARC rebels. The Darien Gap is home to three indigenous groups who are sometimes affected by the civil war in Colombia -- Picture © Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PANAMA Meteti — Jul 1997 — Panamanian frontier police in line at a police base. Some 2000 paramilitary police were drafted into to the Darien Gap after cross-border attacks on the region by Colombian paramilitary units. The area has long been a haven for Colombian FARC rebels. The Darien Gap is home to three indigenous groups who are sometimes affected by the civil war in Colombia — Picture © Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I was based in Panama for four years and have quite a good collection on the pre-handover Panama Canal (including aerials) and of Colombia’s civil war spreading into the Darien Gap of Panama.

PANAMA Pedro Miguel Locks -- 1995 -- Aerial view of two cargo ships as they transit the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PANAMA Pedro Miguel Locks — 1995 — Aerial view of two cargo ships as they transit the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Back at home, I have many pagan-type festivals and a fairly good stock on British politics, youth culture and Britain itself in the early part of the 1990s and Britain from 1998-2014. Several of these have also been edited into my collection of late.

SOUTH AFRICA Johannesburg -- 1991 -- FW DeClerke at a press conference during the CODESA conference - the first time the Apartheid government met with ANC officials and other political parties. DeClerke was of the National Party - largely made up of Afrikans and was instrumental in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and ending whites only rule -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
SOUTH AFRICA Johannesburg — 1991 — FW DeClerke at a press conference during the CODESA conference – the first time the Apartheid government met with ANC officials and other political parties. DeClerke was of the National Party – largely made up of Afrikans and was instrumental in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and ending whites only rule — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

All these images were scanned at 3600dpi on a Reflecta scanner (similar in quality to a Nikon Coolscan 4000) and are unsharpened as to allow for the full print quality that film can convey.

Falling foul of the spoilt posh-boys mafia at Alamy.com

Last week, after a conversation with the hapless Jes at Alamy Live News, I decided to resign from supplying live news images to Alamy, but as they are sadly one of the only outlets for stock images, I was aiming to keep uploading reportage stock (my commercial stock always being rejected by a Prince of Dweebs, Alan Capel, the ‘Head of Content’).

Having worked one year on and off with Alamy Live News, my experience was that they are not a good outfit to work with, have poor sales and like many other agencies treat photographers quite badly. The crunch came when I was told by Jes – who is seemingly employed as to make James Hall appear competent – that I was not sent any diary information as “sent direct to the nationals”. I explained that any diary information from Alamy Live News would get sent to them. But I was just talking to a scratched record by then, repeating the same old nonsense.

I was soon to find out the content of the head (Capel), so to speak, which would perhaps be an insult to feces…As on Monday, the charming and talented Mr Capel informed me that the entire collection of around 4,000 images I had worked very hard to upload and tag – were to be deleted! As they are now scheduled to be in 44 days.

Mr Capel and I go back to the dawn of Alamy when he berated me for shock – swearing in an email. I subsequently resigned from the agency after he deleted all my files under 28MB without any warning (surprised they have any files with his penchant for arbitrary file deletion). Once again, Capel, came across with his sanctimonious gibberish as the justification for deleting my entire collection from their damned servers.

Needless to say, this has done irreparable damage to my career and destroyed any possibility of continuing as a photojournalist.

One amazing comment in the email from Alan Capel was: “We gave you a second chance after you were rude and abusive before, it seems you haven’t changed…You leave us no option but to terminate your contract with Alamy.”

The mind does boggle…All I did was write quite legitimate complaints about the Live News service being rubbish. However, all this bullying on the part of Alan Capel  says volumes about Alamy…i) The let a lunatic like this manage their ‘QC’ ii) They do not understand or care about photographers, just money.

In short, I’m a victim of this horrible company which is mostly run by sad, spoilt rich kids from Oxfordshire. I would therefore recommend that any photographer who reads this would be sensible to steer well-clear of these vicious corporate robots (nevermind their weird moral judgements), because as this sorry tale clearly shows, they are ruthless…

 

Riot police lathi charge protesters in Patan Kathmandu Nepal during the 2006 revolution

Kathmandu Spring
Nepalese riot police lathi charge protesters in Patan Kathmandu Nepal during the Kathmandu Spring. April, 2006 – Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

It was some year…Shortly after arriving back from photographing climate change in the Everest region, I found myself documenting the early stages of the Kathmandu Spring or anti-monarchy revolution in Kathmandu. By January, sporadic protests had become full-scale riots, which reached a crescendo in April of that year.

I shot this image of the Nepalese Armed Police Force lathi (a bamboo baton used by police in south Asia) charge on some protesters who rained stones down upon them. At the time, I was one of the few photojournalists covering the revolution with a film camera and I shot this on a Voigtlander Bessa T with a 25mm f4 Voigtlander lens.

It is one of my favourite images of the revolution and I think it wonderfully captures the drama and action. Sadly, very few of these images were published, as it took me weeks to get the money to get the edited frames scanned and by the time I sent them to Hollandse Hoogte, the story was old news! Should you find any use for it, this image can be licensed if you contact me.

I now have a gallery of these images on my new database, which can be viewed here.