Photographers' Blog

Politics aside, along the border

California, along the U.S./Mexico border

By Mike Blake

A while back I had stopped at a cafe near San Ysidro, which is about as south as you can get in California before stepping into Mexico. I was walking out the door when I spotted three guys rolling up on ATV bikes dressed like they had just come out from one of my son’s Xbox games.

They were U.S. Border Patrol, grabbing a coffee, on a break from the dust of their patrols. I said to myself “Okay, I have to come back here and look into what these guys do.”

After a bunch of phone calls, emails and changing schedules (even a hard drive crash) I found my way back – this time I was in the game. I was in their dust, surrounded by their hills and trails and stepping into their real life cat-and-mouse game.

Except it’s not a game. It’s real life on so many opposing levels; from the agents who leave home for work every day and head off into the darkness of night, to the people that will take a chance at crossing for a better life, or a life of crime. The border is one of this country’s sticking points on immigration reform and it will most likely be the foundation of any solution that comes in the future. Politicians and political parties will spin the story to fit their needs, but the reality is that the border is never going to go away.

That’s why I’m just going to talk about how damn good the new Canon DX cameras are in low light. There is no way you would be able to see what you are seeing in these pictures if not for the technology in the camera. I’m still blown away that I was able to take these pictures in pretty much moon light.

Inside my London 2012 camera bag

By Tim Wimborne

A couple of weeks back I was listening to a radio station when a school teacher rang in to share her story of being tasked back in the early 1980s with leading a new subject called Leisure Studies. The pretext for this cutting edge course was that imminent computer technology meant the 25 hour work week was inevitable and a bounty of recreation time assured. Of course we’re all experts in how this flash of history unfolded.

Not too long after this, about the time my career as a photographer began, this misjudgement was mirrored when society’s zeitgeist shamans and marketing gurus told us the great leap forward into digital photography and associated new technologies would revolutionize our working day. It did of course. Just not in the way most ‘experts’ foresaw. Instead of the time spent hunched over enlargers etc. the main result is a dramatic increase in productivity. Where once a pocket full of batteries was all that was needed to power all equipment I might carry on even an extended assignment I now take with me a small shop’s worth of cables and adapters, chargers, hard drives and power supplies, audio and video devices and of course an ever larger range of batteries.

Of course Reuters’ photographers no longer lug mobile darkrooms around the globe, converting hotel bathrooms into dark, stinking laboratories. But they do produce a range and quality of images never before possible. Clients receive pictures moments after they are shot, photographers are now in contact with colleagues, editors and clients at all times of the working day.

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