Monday, May 28, 2012

Seven Super Shots

I have been feeling down lately. In fact, it goes beyond that really. I have been feeling depressed, run down and nostalgic. You know those moments where you wonder if the choices that you made in your life were the right ones? Yeah, I have been feeling a lot  like that recently. And I have been looking for something to cheer me up.

And then I came across a challenge that was posed by my friends over Neil and G Go Walkabout, a couple that I met and became friendly with in Korea. It is, above all, a photography challenge. But it is also a challenge that allowed me to indulge in the nostalgia in a way that does not actually make me feel sad, but in a positive light. 

All of the photos were taken over the last two years and all with my Canon 550D, and some are not as good as others, but they all bring back fond memories. Which, I think, is what I need right now.

A photo that takes my breathe away

I still remember taking this photograph, standing on a wooden ledge overlooking the islands of Tongyeong, South Korea at sunset. I remember thinking to myself how peaceful the world was, how beautiful it can be, and this is still one of my favourite shots from my year in Korea. I like to think that it kind of epitomises the year that I spent there.

A photo that makes me laugh/smile

One of those technically not so good photos that I was talking about earlier, but oh does it make me laugh. This was taken during my trip to Durban last month, when I got to see Robyn for the first time in what felt like forever. And Robyn has this amazing energy about her. She goes out of her way to make you happy, and just thinking about this whole day makes me happy. This photo makes me happiest of all though. Love you Robyn, you monkee.

A photo that makes me dream

This could be anywhere. It could be a desert, it could be an ocean. Those people c ould be anyone - it is almost impossible to tell who they are if you don't know them. And I like to look at the photo and imagine myself in the Namibian desert or at some exotic coastline instead of just Kenton On Sea. Boring old Kenton on Sea, which apparently is not quite as boring as it may seem.

A photo that makes me think

This photograph was taken at the Uitsig Animal Rescue Centre in Cape Town. And this is a rescued dog. Looking at him always makes me wonder what kind of life he must have led, what kind of people he must have had and what kind of people would give up on such a beautiful, wonderful creature. He was so incredibly friendly and loving, and it just hurts to think of him as an abused animal, though that is what he is, because it is hard to think that anyone would want to hurt such a beautiful animal.

A photo that makes my mouth water

My first meal in Thailand was at the restaurant of the Mimosa Spa and Resort. I had never had Tom Yum soup before, and this Chicken Tom Yum was my first experience of real Thai food (as in made in Thailand rather than just bought at a Thai restaurant). And it was incredible. I could have eaten it all day. I certainly ate every bite  of this despite the spiciness (I am such a sucker when it comes to hot food). It was totally worth it!
A photo that tells a story

This photo was taken during the Grahamstown slutwalk. For those who do not know what a slutwalk is, it is a protest that happens around the world that supports the fact that women should not be judged by how they dress, and that dressing in a certain way does not promote or warrant rape. This was one very brave woman who turned  up to the event in lingerie to make a statement, the only one that I saw. And I thought that she was absolutely amazing and that the image made the perfect statement for the event.

A photo that I am most proud of

It's a weird one to be proud of, and it may just be that I am particularly proud of it right now in this moment. This photo was taken only a week ago in Grahamstown at the abandoned train station. It is the first HDR photo that I have taken and really loved. But that is not why I am proud of it. It's because, when I look at it I think of my Mom's dad who passed away while I was in Korea, my grandfather who adored trains, who studied them and collected them, and who I think would have absolutely loved this photo. And that makes me proud of it. The thought that grandad would be proud of me for taking it.
And now is the point where I am going to pose this challenge to other photographers and other people out there. There are a couple of people that I would like to specifically direct the challenge at, but I think that anyone who enjoys photography should participate. I know I found it to be both fun and worthwhile, and I got to rumage through the photos that have been taken  over the last year which is always a worthwhile effort.

So, some people I would like to direct the challenge at are Shaina from Foodie Getting Fit and Nikita from SnowPony on Parade in addition to some others who will be tagged on Facebook. Let me know when they have been posted - I look forward to seeing them!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Studio Time

As any reader of this blog may know, one of the big exciting things that I have been looking forward to (in terms of photography) recently was getting my own studio. After months of waiting and preparing, it has finally happened!

The wheels were set in motion by Grant's parents, who came down for Shaun (aka. Bob)'s graduation in April. They came bearing late birthday presents of studio lights, and I was absolutely thrilled. It was the best birthday present that they could possibly have gotten me! And it was a countdown as to when we could get started. There were things to do, places to go, people to see, and it was most annoying because I just wanted to get a photography studio set up!

And then there was a blissful long weekend of nothing that was planned. And it was perfect. We spent Friday morning finding the equipment, only to find that we weren't quite sure what was needed. So we returned on Saturday morning a little more prepared and bought a lot of PVC piping. We then started trying to fit it together to make a frame for the backdrop. Which, we quickly found out, wasn't sufficient. We needed more piping and, it being Grahamstown on a weekend, the shops were all closed. So we returned on Monday morning to get more piping and to get a backdrop, and by Monday afternoon it was done!! I had a functioning backdrop that was not about to fall over any time soon, a simple stool for subjects to sit on and lighting to brighten it all up. The only thing I didn't have was a volunteer.

Edit: I spent about half an hour this evening trying to put together a diagram of the backdrop, but my paint skills are failing me. If you would like to hear about how exactly it was put together, please feel free to drop me an email or leave a message and I will let you know.

It took a while to rectify the shortage of volunteers, but after much convincing and promising of lunch and movies, I convinced Katherine to come in and give it a try. And she was lovely about it! Didn't mind at all sitting under the boiling hot studio lights (considering that it was cold, it was probably the most comfortable place to be in any case), didn't mind us moving things around her or the fact that the cat also decided that the chair was the perfect place to be and refused to budge off her lap. And this resulted in studio photos! The first, and hopefully not the last! Wonderful photos that I am absolutely thrilled with considering how much work still needs to be done.

Let me know what you guys think! Also... who's next?