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Archive for the month “December, 2012”




800 Word Article

Should the laws for motorbikes to be different to cars?

On board pillion

Many riders believe that the rules and regulations they abide by are very outdated. On the other hand many car drivers get sick of the mentality and recklessness that the bikers seem to have these days.

Technology in general has dramatically changed the way we all live. It has also changed the way motorbikes are being made. They now come with more bhp than the average car, weigh hardly anything and accelerate faster than super cars. This is all well and good on a track, but is it really suitable for the road? Many motorbike companies have changed their policy ensuring every new bike they make has ABS. All these technical advances have made bikers ask the question, why dowe still have to abide by a outdated law?

 The general arguments i hear from fellow bikers is that most of them only ride in the good weather, on dry and warm roads and therefore only insure the bikes they ride for 6months of the year. When they do ride they like to take advantage of the perfect conditions and the power of their machines, doing so they regularly admit to exceeding the national speed limit by 30%. They argue that if they were allowed to do this speed legally everyone would benefit from it, not just the rider.

 Most crashes involving motorbikes happen when the speed is misjudged by another road user. This could be due to the size of the motorbike making it hard to spot or due to the fact the rider is exceeding the speed limit. If the speed limit was increased all road users would have more understanding and wary of the speed that the motorbikes are traveling at. But at the minute the road users that are not motorcyclist may not be aware and this could be the reason for lots of the crashes between cars and motorbikes.

 Motorbikes are slimmer than cars, roughly 1/3 the width of a car. This means when overtaking it takes them less time for them to get wider than the vehicle in front and also then to slot back into the correct side of the road when the maneuver is complete. This paired with the acceleration of modern motorbikes have means overtaking is a lot faster than a car. This is another reason why motorcyclist don’t agree on having to abide by the same rules as cars. A overtake that is not safe for a car to make could be made safely by the motorcyclist.


I spoke to Greg (55) who has been riding motorbikes for 39 years.

  Do you agree with the current laws you as a motorcyclist have to follow?

 To a extent i do as i understand there are a few nutters about that ride about at a million mph that give bikers a bad name. But in general we are very sensible and know our limits at the end of the day. 70mph is the fastest you can go legally in England, understandable if your in a car as its over a ton of metal that can be very destructive! Motorbikes are different though, the speed i can reach on my motorbike in 10seconds is higher than my cars top speed. Using the acceleration on my bike i can easily overtake cars that i wouldn’t even dream about overtaking in the same situation if i was in my car. So why do we have to abide by the same rules, i think the government needs a re-think and to take a step into reality changing a few laws such as the national speed limit for motorcyclists and the double white line.”

Obviously the main difference between cars and motorbikes is that motorbikes only have 2 wheels, meaning less contact with the road equalling in less traction on the road. Only 2% of the road users are motorcyclists but they still manage to occur 20% of the fatalities on England’s roads.

 I also spoke to Suzanne (45) who has never ridden a motorbike but has been driving a car for 25 years.

 I asked her the same question as Greg, she replied with:

 “Yes, even as its stands they all ride like lunatics. When they come up behind me it scares me as i know they are going to try some unsafe overtake that will not only put them at risk, put me at risk too!”

Overall the opinions are very split and one sided depending on if you have ridden before or not but myself being a biker i feel that the riders do have a valid point, but other laws such as bikers having to wear high visibility clothing may have to come in if the laws are changed for bikers.


Top 10

Top 10 Most Desirable Cars

There are many different things we take into account when liking a car, the way it looks, the way it drives and to the real petrol heads, the way it sounds. This list has been put together as if money wasn’t a problem, hence why a lot of the cars are very expensive and rare as they are desirable due to most people not being able to afford them. After all how many peoples dream car is a Ford Focus?

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The Zonda F interior is as exotic as the exterior with bespoke quality. The engine is a huge Mercedes Benz AMG 7.3l that produces 641bhp. This accelerates  the car to 60mph in 3.6 seconds and keeps going to a top speed of 215mph. £387,259. This Forstner edition is most likely to be £100,000 more than the standard Zonda F


The 918 Spyder has a hybrid 500bhp V8 3.4l engine with 3 electric motors that add another 218bhp allowing the car to accelerate to 60mph in 3.2 seconds and all the way to a 198mph top speed. 78mpg with the electric engine and the hybrid costs £672,000


The 458 Italia standard model is £175,364 but adding all the optional extras will cost another £85,000. Top speed is 202mph and it accelerates to 60mph in 3.3seconds due to its F1 traction control and its 4.5l V8 containing 570bhp that has been voted “Best Performance Engine”


The XJ220 was the fastest production car when released in 1992 topping 217mph. Original price was £361,000 but increased to £460,000 when released. The engine was originally a 6.2l V12 but due to emission problems it was changed to a more powerful 3.5l twin turbo V6. Only 350 made.


The MP4 started with a 592bhp engine in 2010 but now has been upgraded to 616bhp 3.8l twin turbo V8. Starting price is £168,500 and £26,500 more for the convertible. Top speed of 205mph and 0-60mph in 3.3seconds. Benefits from a F1 style 1 piece carbon fibre chassis.


The LP 700-4 is to replace the ten year old Mercielago. Costing £201,900 it comes with a 690bhp 6.5l V12 that does 0-60mph in 2.7seconds and a top speed of 217mph. The front nose raises up 1.6inches for speed bumps due to a hydraulic lifting mechanism.


The CLK GTR was only built so Mercedes could compete in the GT1 class and abide by the FIA’s rules. Only 25 ever being made from 1998-1999. Powered by a V12 7.3l engine it does 0-60in 3.8seconds and 199mph. RRP was £970,294 making it the most expensive production car of its time.


The Twisted 110 Defender has a 160bhp 2.4l turbo diesel engine. Being modified by twisted means it benefits by upgraded: suspension, in car entertainment, 20inch alloys etc. This is a exclusive mix of the original Defenders ruggedness and modern day luxury.  After all over 75% of Defenders ever made are still on the road today.


The M3 has the lightest V8 in the world producing 414bhp and a 0-60mph time of 4.7seconds. Starting price is £54,720 but this model including all the extras costs £74,080. The more you pay improves components such as brakes and carbon fibre body parts.


The F40 was produced from 1987-1992 with 1,315 made overall. 2.9l twin turbo V8 produces 478bhp and does 0-60mph in 3.8seconds. First production car to break the 200mph mark. Originally sold at £289,655 but will now fetch around £1m. This one is Chris Evans.


Simple Slideshows

During this lecture we got shown examples of list articles to give use the basic idea how they are set out online, one of these examples what 9 ways to keep the pounds off featured on the Mens Health website.

Reasons to use a list article:

-Strong as it fulfils the readers needs

-Often practical as they contain tips or instructions

-Packed with information and few thrills

-Cater for short attention spans

-Easy to format in print and online

-Tempting titles to drive readers to sites/make readers buy the magazine.

Its easier to start with a subject your interested in then mind map the topic you’ve chosen to try and think of potential angles.

500 to 700 words is a normal good length as anymore online and you start to loose the attention of the readers.


This lecture has helped me a lot on expanding my idea of my list article, although i had already chosen a topic using the stuff we got told confirmed that it was a correct choice for me. Using this info i know how to word my list article and the cater for the reader.



Secondary Sources, Primary Sources and Interviewing

Primary Source
A primary source is material that you independently research and/or gather yourself.
Secondary Source
A secondary source is an article, document or report that is used as source material for another article.

In this lesson we also got introduced to our first assignment, a list article consisting of 10 bullet points. This lesson was a chance to think about what we would like to do our list article on as we also would need to use our own images for it. I also discussed my idea with Karl to make sure it was correct for the assignment before starting it.
I already had a rough idea of what primary and secondary sourcing is but it was nice to get it cleared up so when asked to do a certain kind of research i know exactly what is meant. In the lesson i chose to do my list article after some advice on 10 most desirable cars. I chose this because cars are a big interest of mine and also i  had been to Goodwood Festival of Speed recently and had some up to date pictures to do with the subject i chose.

Writing for the Web

People don’t tend to read web pages word for word instead they scan the page picking out individual words and sentences. Roughly 79% always scanned any new page they came across and only 16% read word for word.

The inverted pyramid:

Most Newsworthy Info>Important Details>Other General Info

It is best to use concise and simple language when writing online, speak to the reader and use shorter sentences. Simple and descriptive headings are also preferred.


Reflection: This workshop was very useful as we got told tips on how to write online, and as i had never written online before this was really helpful seeing as we have 2 assignments that are online articles so hopefully i will be able to put what we got taught into practice. Also we got shown examples of how, and how not to write online and that made the techniques we got taught clearer. Overall it was a very interesting lesson and now when reading articles online you can see how the publishers follow the same guidelines.

What is Digital Journalism?

Mark Duggan was a north London gangster and founding member of a notorious gang linked to the Broadwater Farm estate. On the 8th of August 2011 he was shot by police in the stomach while they tried to intercept the car he was traveling in resulting in his death. This then sparked public outraged from people who knew Mark but also people who were from the same social background, class and age. This outrage then went out onto the streets of North London and a mass riot commenced injuring police officers, looting shops and setting ablaze anything they could get their hands on, from shops to police cars. When the riots eventually ended 3 days later the damage was clear, millions of pounds worth of products and vandalism were committed on shops, endless police cars and riot vans were damaged and burnt out and many people, mainly police officers got injured and some even got submitted to hospital.


Shooting in Tottenham Hale



This lesson made me aware of what digital journalism is and how it is used today. The london riots is a example of how it was used effectively enabling images from the streets to be taken and within a couple of minutes it was on the internet, people were having almost live coverage of what was happening. I found this task very interesting as it was a recent story that i had been following and it made me realise how the digital journalism made it easier to follow.

Special Techniques, Panoramic

Panoramic photography involves taking several images then sticking them together seamlessly to create one image.

To do this correctly you may need to use a tripod, pano head, wide angle lens, decide on both depth of field and exposure, overlap shots by unto 50%, pre visualise the shot.

My attempt



This technique i think can be very useful especially for photographing scenery and buildings and can also compensate for a lack of a wide angle lens. Learning how to do this has made me think of new ways to use panoramic photography and i am looking forward to when i can next put this technique into use.

Special Techniques, High Dynamic Range (HDR)

This lecture was about HDR imaging and how it done. It involves taking at least 3 images, one being overexposed, one being correctly exposed, then one being underexposed. These 3 photos are then opened in Adobe Bridge where you can select to merge them as HDR. This software takes the best exposure from all 3 images and merges them into one image. Obviously for all the three photos to line up correctly a try-pod is needed. Once the HDR image has been created you can then edit it in photoshop like any other image.

My first attempt at HDR

HDR guitars



Reflection: Overal i feel the lesson was very iterating as i had heard of HDR photography before and found it a very cool interesting technique but had never done it myself due to not really knowing how. This lesson has taught me how and i am now able to produce a full HDR image, ok maybe it is not the best but i will definitely be using this technique more as i really like the effect you can get from a HDR image.




Shutter Speed, Panning and Focal Zoom

This lecture was about capturing motion and shutter speed, panning and focal zoom are three ways of doing this


There are many ways of capturing motion from freezing it (fast shutter speed) to blurring it (slow shutter speed) and also implying motion (moving the camera)

Guidelines to panning are generally frame a suitable background, setup manual exposure and focus first, keep steady when following the subject and slow shutter speed depending on the speed of the object your photographing.


Shutter speed:





Focal Zoom:

car zoom edit



Overall i feel this was a very interesting lesson and when i went and put what i had been told in the lessons as well as my past experience with these techniques i feel the images i took were very good. I enjoyed this as it is a very hands on and experimental side to photography where as you can experiment with lighting it doesn’t involve being as physical like panning or focal zoom.

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