Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Ladies and gentlemen! The moment you have been waiting for has arrived! Well, maybe you haven't been waiting for it. But I know that I have! Please all draw your attention to the following page:

Obviously it is still a work in progress, but I want to hear what everyone thinks. Please leave a comment letting me know what can be improved.

PS. I already know about the cropping of the thumbnails. I am trying to find a way of fixing that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Location! Location! Location!

Now that I am doing a 365 project, I am finding myself getting very bored and taking photographs around my house, and am starting to think of more exciting places in the Grahamstown district that I can venture to. What this has led to is me putting together a hitlist in my mind of places to shoot from. This is what I have come up with so far (and bear in mind that I am writing them down as I think of them). Let me know if you can think of somewhere that I have missed!

  1. Botantical gardens. Who doesn't love the bot gardens? Of course, this would mean more plants and flowers, but it would certainly be more interesting ones than what I can find in my backyard.
  2. Grey Dam. It is a wonderful feature in Grahamstown, and if I can get someone to come with me who is willing to take a swing into the dam as well, it would certainly make for some good action shots. But even on my own, it would make for a great landscape if I am willing to take a bit of a walk.
  3. Toposcope. Though I have heard that this is not the ideal spot for star gazing (thanks to the city lights), it would be a great place to get some scenic shots of the town, during the day and at night. What would be even better is getting the sunrise or sunset from the Toposcope, but that would take advance planning, a skill that I am not particularly good at.
  4. Monument. Both inside and out. I imagine that the tiles in the monument, though not allowing for particularly good lighting, could provide a good backdrop for portraits. I also know that there are some pretty views from the monument that I would like to capture.
  5. High Street. And by this I do not necessarily mean the activity of High street, that that should also be something that I should consider. What I mean is the highlights of High street - the statues, the cathedral, the High Street that is often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  6. The hill above the sports department. This is something that was recommended to me this afternoon, and it sounds gorgeous. Apparently there was a fire there that has led to greenery growing from the ashes so to speak, and it certainly sounds like an interesting photo opportunity.
  7. The golf course. More action shots, more greenery, more scenery. Hopefully these pictures would also involve either sunrises and sunsets or a Piddle on a walk. We will have to see.
  8. Studio. One of the places that I am most looking forward to shooting in. I intend to put a large portion of my salary towards this next month. Grant, if you are reading, you can't say I didn't warn you!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Projects and How They Can Help!

Something to celebrate!

 I don't think I have written a blog about this subject before, and if I have, I sincerely apologise for repeating myself. The new year has begun and it is always at this time that people make resolutions - about their lives, about their photography, about anything and everything. I already posted a list of my resolutions, and you can breathe a sigh of relief that I'm not going to be talking about that today. But what I am going to be talking about is projects.

Whether you are a beginner having bought your first camera, a professional doing shoots for a profit or just someone who is on a big trip and wanting to document every moment of it, projects are your friend. As a beginner, projects help you to get to know your camera for its strengths and weaknesses and learn how to use them to your advantage. As a professional, projects can help you remember why it is that you chose photography in the first place - being on scene all day every day and dealing with difficult clients and stressful situations can often make you forget. And as a traveler, a project can help you capture the new places that you are experiencing and can help you capture them in such a way that you can look back at those photographs years later and remember a moment. Sure, other people may look at them and be like "What the hell is that?" But you will know and remember why it was that you took that specific photograph and the feeling that you felt at the time will be returned to you.

You don't have to have a good camera to do a project. You can use your point and shoot, your DSLR or even your cellphone camera if you like. But the point is that taking photos on a daily or weekly basis, taking photos according to topics that are set out in advance, can help photographers of any level with their photography.

The kind of project that you end up doing is up to you. You might want to start following a blog like the Digital Photography School and taking part in their weekly challenges. Posting a photo each week to match their challenge could be the project that you set for yourself. Some people like to do a 52 challenge - a photo a week for a year. That way they are not bound to bringing their fancy camera with them wherever they go and they have time in between to continue with their everyday lives. Others like to do a 365 challenge - a photo a day for a year. This can be the most challenging or the most relaxed of the projects depending on how you look at it. No one expects you to take amazing photos or to have amazing photo opportunities every day. It almost seems like quantity over quality. And you could see it that way. Or you could see it as a chance to look around you and take more interesting photographs. If you don't think that you have the stamina to last a full 365 and feel like 52 is a little too lax, you may want to try a 31 challenge - taking a photo a day for a month. Whatever you do though, do try to challenge yourself. Try not to become too comfortable with your camera. And by that I do not mean becoming comfortable as in knowing how to use it. What I mean is that you shouldn't become comfortable with it as a fixture in your home that never gets used. Take it out, play with it, experiment and see what comes out!

I tried to do a 365 project before and got to day 203 before failing. There were a number of reasons for this, but I am back and ready to try again. You can find the photos from it here. I figured that the new year was the best time to start. After all, it's a new year with new opportunities and I hope to be there to take advantage of them.