Monday, March 31, 2008

The Weekend Random's #03

By the time it was Sunday morning, I was literally pacing around my house. I had no content for my official "Weekend Random's" post. I have just bought a 3x6m grey backdrop which I spent the majority of Saturday evening ironing (after starching it. Well, attempting to starch it). I considered setting up the new (and nicely ironed) backdrop & doing some pack shots of literally anything.
I then considered doing a little idea I have for a product shoot. But that would have taken too much time to setup & prepare.

I was really in a bit of a state. Then it occurred to me. I can take anything that hasn't been posted yet & show & tell a bit about it. I felt better.

So I decided to take something which is probably most famous amongst Art Gallery Owners. Oddly enough, I've received many requests to sell (they wanted me to sell the rights too) this personal series of mine called "Unseen Faces of Cape Town". While I'm all up for selling images, I will never sell the rights to my work, and even more so, a personal series. On top of that, if I've ever said lawyers were sharks, I need to restate, that Art Gallery Owners are the real sharks. I'm making a huge generalization here (apologise to any decent art gallery owners reading this), but they really think that people will do anything to get their 'artwork' up in a gallery. Maybe its just me who isn't prepared to sell my soul just for a bit of coverage.

So anyways, a bit about this ongoing personal series of mine. It all started when I decided one day I wanted to try my hand at Stock Photography. I had the afternoon free. Camera in hand, I took to the streets of Cape Town. And yes, I have to admit I was a bit of a happy-snapper. But something happened during this little trip. I found the most amazing characters surrounding me. This is when I sat myself down on a park bench & started watching the people walk past me in throngs. Its oddly fascinating to watch people. Something else then occurred to me. All these people were so wrapped up in their lives, they hardly noticed things. One of the things being people who are considered the "rif-raf" of society. The homeless. The workers. The 'unimportant' people....

Yet, it was these people that were merely looked past which held the treasure of character.

The rest is simple. These people have stories. You just need to listen. And watch. And they are more than happy to have their picture taken (or be shown their picture you just took). R5 goes a long way for a homeless person who doesn't know where their next meal is coming from.

I present to you, my ongoing personal series: "The Unseen Faces of Cape Town"

StG Studios Sponsoring The Soap Girls

Its official. StG Studios is sponsoring The Soap Girls. To get things onto a quick start, their first official shoot took place on Friday past. Plenty outfits done, to cover a very open broad base of needs. From here, individual specific shoots will be done.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Book Cover

Its nice to help someone else out. And very often, the return is greater than expected. A friend of a friend needed a picture for his book cover. It had to be South African themed. So I went through my archive of photos & sent him a selection of choices.

Long story short, this was what he used:

Go support the local writers we have; You can buy a copy here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Weekend Random's #02

So another weekend comes to pass. Well, this one came with a twist. Yep, two extra days added onto it. The Easter Weekend is a mad holiday rush for a lot of people. Also alot of crazy accidents on the road too. Just before the weekend got into its full swing, there was a terrible car accident on the N1 here in Cape Town. A container came off a truck, falling & crushing a passenger vehicle next to it, killing both passengers – a woman & her daughter, who was pregnant. It’s sick.

So... one would think that seeing as I had a whole extra 2 days to my weekend I would have done more than on a usual one. I hate to disappoint. I in fact did almost zero. I existed. That was my ‘thing’. But then on Sunday, I got myself out the house & went for a drive to Hout Bay. That is where I took some shots, which is what I’ll be talking about & showing.

First is this shot:

It was hot. Very. Standing at the little make-shift shop on the harbour front, there she sat. This little angel eating her ice-cream with no worries in the world. It’s one of the reasons why I love taking candid shots of kids so much. They make amazing subjects. In this case, she just stared up at me, not missing a beat licking her ice-cream. Just like that. Her world continued, (and remained rather involved with her ice-cream) while I stood over her, taking the shot. I know ‘experts’ will say get down on a kids level when doing little people photography (which is a great tip btw, don’t get me wrong), but in this case there would have been no impact, no oomph if I had moved from where I stood. I love this shot so much, I’m going to be putting it on my main site, so you welcome to go leave comments there too should you wish.

Dedication. I think many people have no clue as to what it really means. Here, let me give you one small excellent example:

Known as “The Soap Girls”, these 2 entrepreneurs have been selling handmade soap bars for 5 solid years now! And it’s not for their own pocket growth either. They do it to raise money for charity. I was told that they have raised R305 000 in their time! Just under 1/3 of a million rand selling soaps! But these 2 are far from boring when it comes to their sales pitch. They say everything in unison. Trust me, it’s something which takes a bit of getting used to. I remember when I first saw them many years ago, I just had to buy a soap from them. There was no way, I could walk away from this bunch, after being spoken to in 9 different languages, in rhyme, and in chime, and not support them.

There is something else about these girls too, which is even rarer in our times. They are genuinely happy doing what they do. Not everyone buys from them, but they still smile & say goodbye to you (in unison) as you walk away smiling yourself. Helping others for a genuine motive is something that brings a real satisfaction. These girls are a great demonstration of it. So, you want to know more about them? Go check out their website here.

And if you find yourself in the Hout Bay area, be sure to look out for them. You won’t be disappointed.

Last but not least, this one doesn’t need much explanation, nor does it have any story behind it. But this is what happens when you catch that one ‘golden’ moment at sunset on the magnificent ocean.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

If food be the music of love, play on...

Or, um, something to that effect.

The actual story, is that I did my first proper Food shoot on Monday past. It was a collaboration between myself (the photographer), Sam Linsell (the food stylist), and
Lori Darroch (the chef).

It was indeed an interesting experience. There was no attitude about holding a pose for x amount of time. There was no sigh's about it getting late. It did just as it was put. :)

On top of that, I had some free time (omg, "free" + "time" in one sentence!?), so I put the final images together in a nice little presentation showcase moo moo format. Just because. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Weekend Random's #01

Every weekend, I plan on doing a random post on something(s) that caught my eye that weekend. It might not be the most amazing things on the planet, but its an idea of where I was & what I did for the weekend.

So... I found myself at the V&A this weekend. Tropica had a Mr & Miss Tropica 2008 show at the amphitheater in V&A. I didn't stay long (as I was going to a movie), but I must say, I was slightly partial to Miss #5. :)

Then leaving the V&A, I saw this. It was a photo waiting to be taken.

2 More Tears

So last week I bought 2 bags of motoring mags from a friend of mine, and I came across some mags which had my work in it (that I hadn't gotten hold of prior). So here is a couple more tear sheets from published work. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Addo Wildlife

Another first for me. I had never been on a game drive, done the "african wildlife" thing before. Pretty odd for a South African born & bred. But its not my first choice of recreation activities. But once I was there, I must admit, I enjoyed it tremendously.

The birds I saw can be seen in this post.

Addo Avian

For those that missed my little story about me & bird photography, go take a read here first...

I went away with family & friends to Addo Elephant Park, just outside Port Elizabeth, up the East Coast. As its name says, its mainly a Elephant Sanctuary but also a wildlife park. See the photos of the wildlife here.

So once again, I found myself with too much time on my hands. What was nice, was they had a couple bird hides, which provided a very comfortable way to watch & photograph the local birds. This combined with the game drives, yielded quite a few bird photos. This time, the bird photography was a relaxing way of spending an afternoon with nothing to do.

Everyone loves the aquarium!

I don't think you can find anyone who hates the aquarium. I took an afternoon off from the crazy schedule to just relax, walk around, shop, and have cappuccino on the waterfront. Wherever the wind waved me.

Here are a few shots from the aquarium.

Reminiscent of youth

Not for anything commercial or published, I like to try out ideas I sometimes have. Its just finding the right guinea pig for the job which proves more difficult sometimes.

Another idea I've been carrying around with me for ages. Finally got round to doing it. I loved the outcome. Its always nice when something comes out nicer than you imagined it.

Killarney crazy Biker

On the 8th March, I stopped by Killarney for the Day2Night racing event that was happening. A mix of stalls, drags, sound-offs, show & shine, etc.

Having been overseas & seeing international motoring events, it takes a bit to impress me. I was generally unimpressed. Except for this biker. Who was about as crazy as Aunt Mildred's senile cat. Impressive, but crazy. The pics talk.

Mag Cover

Another magazine cover. March 2008

Beauty of Cape Town

There are ups & downs to every place on earth. While living in South Africa might come with certain drawbacks being a 3rd world country, there are plenty of reasons to stay: Raw beauty.

No matter where you go in Cape Town, there is just something to see. Rich architecture, scenic cityscapes, rolling hills & mountains, the ocean, forests, etc. I could go on forever.

For those who don't know what Cape Town looks like, or have never come to visit, just take a quick look at some of the things you would see.

Astra Turbo Hotness

Feature car in March issue of CapeRush magazine.

Custard Dreams

They call it "Custard Dreams". I'm imagining its due to the colour & not taste.

The Art of Ballet

I had a mother who did ballet. Maybe thats where I found my oddly familiar love for ballet as an art form. I now have several ballet friends who let me indulge myself in getting a glimpse into their art, behind the scenes, off stage & raw.

These where taken for a girl who was going to enter a competition in Canada & needed some photos done. I think I spent about 4 or 5 hours shooting with her, getting poses right, etc. But I enjoyed every minute.

The first time it happened...

Me & bird photography is a funny story. I have several photographer friends who are big fans of bird photography. So for years I've outright refused to take a single picture of a bird. Until one afternoon.

I found myself at Kirstenbosch Gardens for an evening concert of Watershed (which where AMAZING!), and of course the camera went with. A friend of mine had his 300mm prime along & the two of us decided to go for a walk. I took my few flower/macro/insect/scenic pics & he looked out for birds.

Until we came round a bush. Right there, a sneeze away, was this bird sitting there. Years of fighting & kicking against something crumbled instantly.

So that afternoon, for the first time in my life, I tried my hand at bird photography. And I must admit, it was more fun than I had imagined.

Saving Private Lauren

I much prefer my private clients when it comes to doing modeling portfolios. Its more relaxed & generally alot more fun. Lauren for example I spotted at a restaurant sitting across the way.

Dark side of the moon...

While I don't have the gear for doing proper astral photography, I do still love trying it. Every now and then I'll find myself sitting on my roof, tripod, bean bag, coffee flask, jacket, camera.

The middle pic is my 2008 lunar eclipse pic. I wasn't having a good morning. 300 shots & 1 usable one.

Spring Tour Calendar 2008

I think every photographer at some point wants to make a calendar of their work. Its a great way to advertise their talent. I can't say I've ever wanted to do it (purely as I haven't had the time), but this year it actually just happened from a job I did.

Don't worry, next year I'll be releasing a calendar of my work. So 2009 is a year to look out for.

The MUA Cape Spring Tour 2008