Monthly Archives: September 2014
People out and about
The theme on the KZN Hub is “M” and I simply had to rework this “old” photo I had of Durban. I have called it “Magnificent Durban” to suit the theme but more importantly because I believe that it truly showcases my home town that I love very much.
Louis En Marie Helberg arranged this shoot for us in the CBD in April 2014.
This is your town! I Love Durban 🙂 with the Indian Ocean in the background.
Odds and Ends (lots… long download)
I am a Facebook Sheep
The signs came slowly but in recent weeks, in rapid succession.
Firstly, I started to feel like a sheep in a large flock of photographers, who were all taking photographs, processing them and then posting them as quickly as possible.
In the beginning, when I started taking seascape photos on the KwaZulu Natal coast, I do not recall many people doing exactly what I did (perhaps my memory fails me). However, these days I find there are a good few photographers doing exactly what I do, from the time I arrive at the beach one hour before sunrise up until a few hours thereafter when I am processing the photos in a certain manner. Of course it is possible that all of these photographers were already doing these things and I have unconsciously become one of them (copied them). Whichever, it just doesn’t feel right.
I purposely avoid clubs, gangs, associations and the like, as I find them for too constraining. But, in being a part of a common group on Facebook, in a photography wheel of life of sorts, I have become part of the “Facebook photography club” that takes photos, posts, likes, comments on the various pages, but secretly looks to see how many likes I can amass; hoping that same is far higher than any other photographer I might consider a competitor.
Another sign prompting my escape has been the ever increasing ranting and raving of a few photographers, some complaining about photography help being given out for free, their client bases being eroded, being tagged in photos not related to them and many other things. I’ve wanted to join in with an uppity comment of my own at times but just managed to hold on and stay quiet.
Some of the ranting is justified of course but all in all I personally started to liken myself to a sheep lost somewhere in a large flock in a kindergarten. As you can see, I am also ranting and raving.
I would like to think that I was always someone who would generally freely invite other photographers to a shoot, even if I had never met them before, and go out of my way to help others. At this point, I am on the verge of becoming selfish like some others who perhaps foolishly believe that if they keep their shoot locations secret and technical skills to themselves, that no other photographer will be able to surpass them. Foolish indeed.
Yet another sign, were posts by two other “friends” of mine who both spoke of taking a break from the rat (sheep) race (flock).
The last straw, or wake-up call perhaps, was being banned from posting on groups on Facebook a week or two ago. No reason was given for this ban despite numerous requests.
At first this was very annoying but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
There is an off chance that I posted a photo of someone or tagged them without malice and they simply reported the post. There is a far greater chance that my energy and passion caused some poor individual to feel a great fear of loss, and he/she acted on it.
In a way, I suppose, I am also really just ranting and raving about myself and will read this post in a few years time and wonder what the hell was going on; my cheeks might even blush.
The upshot, taking all this ranting and raving into consideration, is that I decided to ban Facebook from Andy for an undecided period from today onwards.
Although preprogrammed posts will still appear automatically on my Facebook page from my WordPress account and whenever I upload a photo to Flickr, I will not be there to gloat with my ego over any possible likes. All Facebook accounts have been logged out.
The benefits are already showing (within the same day). Instead of pouring over Facebook posts the entire afternoon and really getting nowhere slowly, I spent a good few hours training software, not related to photography, and the results were phenomenal to say the least.
What do six hours Facebook free feel like.. I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
I may soon find out that too much time on Facebook has stifled my photography not improved it.
I found this article by Barbara Ortutay, Associated Press. Published: February 8, 2013, 6:00 AM. Photo below: Raleigh News and Observer (Lopez/MCT)
“NEW YORK — Too much drama, boredom and scads of irrelevant information are just some of the reasons Facebook users give for taking a break from the world’s biggest social networking site for weeks at a time, according to a new study.
A report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found that some 61 percent of Facebook users had taken a hiatus of at least several weeks for myriad reasons, whether they were weary from an onslaught of gossip, or for the more pious, due to the arrival of Lent”.
Read the rest here.
Now before I properly embarrass myself by revealing the 10 Signs It’s Time To Take A Break From Your Social Media Self, I will sign out but leave you with the link here.
Have fun; I scored more than a pass!
Of progress, mindfulness and photography
I started taking photography seriously as a hobby in or around November 2012. At the time I got hold of Photomatix HDR software and was running every single photo through it. I just loved it and thought the results were just awesome.
Dogs, cats, people, trees, taps, ornaments at any time of the day could not escape my Canon 550D and edgy trigger finger. I would “HDR” anything just because I could, thought it was necessary and always had to bracket 9 shots using Magic Lantern. Noise and uninteresting were my good friends.
I’ve been itching to post another one of my first few “HDR” photos I took and processed in December 2012 together with a current photo for a few reasons. Both photos were taken at the seaside.
I often see people post something on the photography sites along the lines of “hey guys, your photos are so great and beautiful. I have just bought a camera and will post some photos when mine are a little better. I just wish I could take photos like you… your photos are so amazing… you must have been taking photos for a very long time… where did you study photography. I’m still learning a few things and will post some photos soon. I wish… I wish…”
Could their photos be any worse than some of the processing I was doing back in December 2012? I doubt it as I can see what is out there now and my own example photo OMG THIS IS ROUGH by “anonymous” is a shocker (I really loved it back then, thought it was good and also thought what a wonderful creation). I would have to look very long and hard today on South African Amateur Photographers Facebook page or any other to find something worse.
I also need to stay mindful of where I was back then and the road I had to follow to get to where I am today. This is important when teaching others, myself and looking at the current efforts of other photographers who are much “better” than or “worse” than me.
One can perhaps become too critical, impatient or boastful / misguided about how good they really are (I thought I was a fairly accomplished HDR photographer back in December 2012, produced good work and was an authority on the associated processing – how wrong I was if I look back now).
As much as I think I’ve come a far way since then and currently post some good photos, this will surely be laughed at silently by some now and surely by myself in another two years if I keep improving i.e. my current photos are actually not as good as I presently think they are.
I hope that any photographer who has just started out and is struggling will keep at it constantly / daily and stay positive, as improvement can come in little jumps and bumps up within weeks / months of each other. Before they know it, they will also be looking back in awe and having a good old chuckle at themselves. It’s all fun I promise.
I hope that they will post their photos today and be proud of them; they might not be as good as another’s but they are good for the person posting them and that’s the important thing.
PS – some of you might even recognize photo 1 from one of my posts back in 2012 :).
Emma’s Dream is about supporting little Emma who is fighting cancer.
“My name is Emma de Vries. In April 2014 I became ill and doctors discovered a growth on my brain close to the stem. I had surgery in April 2014 and most of the tumour was taken out, but 5% falls directly over the brain stem, so it is too hard to remove. Doctors then discovered that the tumour (Medulloblastoma) is malignant and an aggressive form of cancer. I need to have Chemotherapy in order to stop the growth and at the age of three will be able to have radiation. Doctors say it will be a long road ahead but I am a fighter and I have a dream to get through this. Any donation towards my treatment, care and helping overcome this disease would be greatly appreciated.
Please consider helping my family by making a donation.”
It’s the letter “E” today (05-09-2014) on the KZN Hub. My photo is “Ebb Tide” taken at Moyo Pier, uShaka Beach – Durban South Africa.
Ebb Tide – the period between high tide and low tide during which water flows away from the shore. The receding or outgoing tide. The period between high water and the succeeding low water.
Canon 6D, 24-105mm, F9, 20 sec, ISO 100