This is the personal blog of London photographer, backpacker, traveller Mark Coughlan. The intention of the blog is communicate updates from my personal website and on my photography projects and travels both in the UK and worldwide. When backpacking the obscure places on earth, this blog will be continually updated with images and thoughts from the road. [Read more about me]

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The downfall of Chelsea....

I know it has nothing whatsoever to do with travelling, photography or backpacking and not the usual blog post on here.... but this is hilarious. Lets all laugh at Chesea!


Monday, 16 June 2008

Canon 24-70 mm f2.8 L or Canon 24-105 mm f4 L IS Lens

Another trip beacons, so it's inevitable that I must purchase a new camera lens. It's what I do.
I've been looking for a new general purpose medium focal length zoom lens and have whittled the choices down to two possibilities:

Canon 24-105 mm f4 L IS Lens
Canon 24-70 mm f2.8 L LensRoughly the price difference is about £100, with the 24-105mm the cheaper of the two costing roughly £600 online.

I've read plenty of reviews, but I guess the best people to answer this are other photographers with one or both lens to point me in the right direction.

Thoughts, comparisons, recommendations - anyone?

Friday, 13 June 2008

KHAKEE - The best of Indian Bollywood!

When I travelled to India back in 2004, on one my many since trips to the sub-continent, I went to the famous Raj Mandir cinema in Jaipur to catch the latest Bollywood blockbuster.
So good was the film that four years on I managed to pick up a DVD of the movie from a recent trip to Southall.

If anyone is in West London anytime soon, I'd highly recommend asking one of the many DVD shops to source a copy. Failing that, a quick Google search and you will easily be able to order a copy (or ask me for mine!)

I've found a few clips from the movie to give you all a little taste for the movie and Bollywood movies in general. This, in my opinion the best I've seen to date.

About the Movie
DCP Anant Shrivastav (Amitabh Bachchan) has been assigned the mission to escort terrorist Iqbal Ansari (Atul Kulkarni) from Chandangarh to Mumbai. His terrorist organization are determined to obtain him again. The plan for this is led by Yashwant Angre (Ajay Devgan), a ruthless killer and a former police officer. Anant's team consists of Inspector Shekhar Sachdev (Akshay Kumar), rookie cop Ashwin Gupte (Tusshar Kapoor) and two more inspectors. Soon Mahalakshmi (Aishwarya Rai) joins them as she is the only witness to have seen Yashwant. The team are armed and ready to go but danger lurks everywhere as the terrorist organization are determined to make sure the officers do not make it to Mumbai. The trip turns into survival when the team are attacked at various times. Finally the team make it to an abandoned cottage in the forest but there is a shoot out and the team are heavily outnumbered. Shekhar tries to force an exchange but against Anant's and Ashwin's judgement. Finally Ansari, after weeks of frustration, reveals that the terrorists are also out to kill him. He reveals a corrupt world involving the police and politicians. The officers soon realize the enemy they have been fighting is closer to them...In the end, Shekhar is killed by Mahalakshmi and her associate Angre. This killing spites anger into Anant and he hunts down each one of the corrupt officers and in the end, captures Angre after a fight during which, Despite Anant needing his medication often, he wins, and Angre is successfully captured. The movie ends as Angre is tried and sentenced to prison, and is being carried to his sentence; when he decides to flee, as a nut is lose in the bar to which he is handcuffed in the police van. Angre has Ashwin on gun point using a constable's rifle, when Ashwin reveals that Angre's lose nut was a setup to allow the killing of Angre, and that the bullets of the rifle had been emptied. Ashwin then shoots Angre, and reports his death as murder in an encounter.

A Year in Tibet - Episode Two

The second episode in a five-part BBC4 documentary on life living in and around the Tibetan town, Gyantse.

Below is the second episode of the five part documentary, again split into six 10 minute segments for easy viewing. Check "Latest blog posts" to view the first episode which was recently added.

I will upload the rest of the episodes in due course - check back soon!

A Year in Tibet - Episode Two- Part 1/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode Two - Part 2/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode Two - Part 3/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode Two - Part 4/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode Two - Part 5/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode One - Part 6/6

BBC4 documentary "Bombay Railways"

Having watched the BBC4 documentary called "Bombay Railways", I've found a 20 minute segment on the fascinating two-part observational documentary. The programme looks at the incredible organisation that is the Bombay Railway, with stories of the people who keep the trains running 24 hours a day, those who survive because of it - and those who die on it.
The documentary is repeated on BBC4 sporadically so keep checking!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

A Year in Tibet - Episode One

Not sure if many of you managed to catch the wonderful series that was on BBC4 in March - A Year in Tibet.
It was a five-part documentary series following a year in the life of the society living in and around Gyantse, Tibet's third largest town.

After a search on youtube I've managed to find the entire documentary and will post it on my blog for your viewing.

Below is episode one of the five part documentary, split into six 10 minute segments for easy viewing. See how the Monks deal with the stray dogs at the Monastery ahead of the Panchen Lama visits - eeeew!

I will upload the rest of the eposides in due course - check back soon!

Sit back and enjoy.....

A Year in Tibet - Episode One - Part 1/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode One - Part 2/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode One - Part 3/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode One - Part 4/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode One - Part 5/6

A Year in Tibet - Episode One - Part 6/6

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Yak to the Future in the Surrey Advertiser!

Our lunacy is now common knowledge to all the (old) folk of Godalming and Surrey. Splashed accross page two of the local rag we are pictured in what will no doubt be a regular, worried looking pose throughout central asia, or on the hard shoulder of the A2 on the way to Dover. For those with bad eyesight, here is what the paper had to say on our forthcoming trip as we don't do our bit for the evironment!

To Mongolia in 'umbrella on wheels'
On 19 July, three young men from Godalming and Haslemere will depart from Hyde Park, to race 10,000 miles from London to Mongolia in a twenty-year-old Citroen 2CV, to raise money for charity.

Mark Coughlan, Joe Turner and Tim Hopkin, will compete against 200 other teams taking part from all over the UK. They will head east passing through countries such as; Iran, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on their way to Mongolia.

The two charities they aim to raise funds for are the Pashupati Briddhsshram Home for the Elderly, in Kathmandu, Nepal, a government run home for 236 residents in urgent need of resources. The second, the Mercy Corps Mongolia, is an organisation that supports rural communities and herding families through economic, educational and agricultural programmes.

The team is looking for sponsorship in the form of donations from individuals, items from their wish list that they will need for the journey or corporate sponsors. They hope to raise a total of £5,000 for their chosen charities.

Mark, said: “We are all very excited about the trip and passionate about our chosen charities. The money that we raise will make a huge difference to so many lives. We have already received some corporate sponsorship from The Great Big Event Company, Witley, Polaris Consulting Limited, Guildford and but we need more to hit our target.

If you are interested in sponsoring Mark and his team and would like to find out more, please visit the website at

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