Thursday, July 31, 2008

He was just an old man, on his way to work.
To some it was exactly that - an old man, going to work.
As a photographer, you suddenly see the beauty of it.
Not merely an old man going to work.
A great moment in life.
Magic comes in little parcels called moments.
Appreciate them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One weekend, while on a photosafari, I took the delegates to stables close by.
We thought the horses would make great pictures.
Somehow, many great pictures were not of the horses
 There were lots of other beautiful things...
So remember, when you're at the stables, don't look only at the horses!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I had the whole frame composed.
Then, as I was about to press the shutter, someone walked into the picture.
Or so I thought.
Luckily, I pressed the shutter.
When I looked at the picture later, I found it was better with the person.
I learnt again - big opportunities are often hidden in those "darn" moments.
So remember, event if the moment seems bad, seize it - it's yours.
Carpe Diem.

Monday, July 28, 2008

For 27 years, Nelson Mandela was in prison to "fight" for his cause:
A few years ago we had elections in South Africa.   
The posters against the lampposts reflected the whole community.
As a kid was walking past, I took this picture.
I wondered whether he knew that someone had "sacrificed" in order for him to be free.
Wherever you are today, celebrate the fact that you are free.
And be grateful.
Someone made a sacrifice for your freedom.  
Make it worthwhile.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I was taking pictures for someone's family album...
Here is one of the girls...

She was comfortable in front of the camera.
So comfortable, it was almost unnatural. (Can it be?)
Then, after the session was over, I followed her to the stables nearby.
When she was "modeling" it was great, but when I caught her "naturally" it was even better.

Nothing beats the beauty of people being who they are.
Go ahead,
Be Real.  
It's beautiful.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I have taken hundreds of shots of this tree.
I love it.
It's a place I used to play at as a child.
And every picture is different.  It changes with the seasons, the weather, the time of day.
It keeps on changing.  Therefore it remains interesting.
And because I'm appreciating the beauty of change, I keep finding great shots.
So, remember, look at life, people and events with fresh eyes.
And you will find beauty.
All the time.
"Seek and you shall find!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

She was camera shy.
I had to take the pictures.  I just let it go, children love to get involved in the world.
So I waited.
And then, she started playing with leaves and acorns.  She opened up to the camera.

We all need to open up to the camera of life.
In the words of the poet:
"To see the world in a grain of sand again."
Go ahead, play.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My camera was stolen.
It happened so fast, I could not believe it.
Worse still, I felt as if I had lost a friend.
My eye just connected with the viewfinder so well, 
my hands new instinctively where the buttons were.
Now she was gone.
After the short term insurance paid out, I got a new one. 
Not the same.
Things just did not "gel" as they used to.  I was blaming the new camera.
Until I read the manual.
Here is the first picture I took after reading the manual.
And I learnt, cameras, like human beings, have all the potential.  It's the owner's duty to unleash it.
So, go ahead, unleash your potential.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sometimes all you need is a chicken.
The light was working beautifully.
The green door and window were balanced so well. It was a great picture by most standards. Colour, balance, composition.
And then the chicken walked in.
It turned an ordinary house into a home.
Sometimes all it takes is a chicken.
Or, put differently...
Little things can make a big difference.

Friday, July 18, 2008

So often kids play "imaginative" games.  My son sometimes believes he is a T-Rex.  He goes into the world of millions of years ago.  He is in another world.  Because he uses the biggest power available to human beings:  
As a photographer, a teacher, a trainer and a dad, I am often astounded by the power of imagination.  Kids use it so much more than adults.  Maybe we (adults) need to take some time between work and chores to give our minds time to play.
"An Imagination workout"
Who knows, it may change the world!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I think it's Virginia Woolf who once, in one of her novels, asked: "What is beauty in its hothouse variety?"

When I took some pictures of Loraine Kriek, the previous year's rag queen, one of the top academic achievers and the leader of the student's council, I again realized that beauty lies in confidence, friendliness and humility. Have these, add a smile, and no matter how old you are, how rich you are or how you are physically built, you will be beautiful.

Remember, God does not create disasters, He creates beauty. Appreciate yours.
And smile!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A great opportunity!  We could go and see steamtrains in action.  
And take pictures!
All because someone had realized that these trains needed to be taken care of, else they would be destroyed.  At Sandstone Estates, near Ficksburg in South Africa, these trains are kept and often used for specific events.  As the trains whistled and huffed past us, I realized that we have a uge obligation to play our part in conserving things that really matter.  
Things which evokes nostalgia.
Things like steamtrains.

Maybe we need to understand that sometimes the pictures are not enough!  It's the conservation of and the caring for "real things" that matter!  
So, what are we doing about our heritage?
It matters.  
If we appreciate where we come from, what shaped us and who we are, then we can face the future with confidence. 
It's after all where the railway track of life is taking us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I promised my family that I would be taking a walk with them.  And then, while walking, the light just started to gain magic qualities.  Clouds moved in.  I took out my camera.
And I stayed, while they walked on... The last rays of sunlight touched two old willows.
I was hurried to take the shot.  My family was walking away...
One seems to be caught up between choices almost all the time.  
Finding the balance is hellishly hard to do! 
 Yes, I did catch up with them, and they did forgive me for keeping only part of my promise.  
And I was reminded again that we are striving to be happy and to keep others happy, but it's not as easy as it seems.  
We all make choices, sometimes right, sometimes wrong, and sometimes we don't even know whether we are right or wrong.  
Just remember, no one has a 100% success rate.  So if you succeed be grateful, if you fail, learn from it.  
Never have regrets, rather have memories.  
Regrets hurt.  Memories teach.
The choice is yours.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just after work, I went to take some pictures at a local school.  Grey College.  One thing that stood out was the respect and pride of the kids.  They all got up and greeted as I walked along.  And it was not about me, I realized, it was about them
Respecting people you don't know (and do know), makes you a better person.  
 No wonder the school has produced so many great South African sportsmen.  Pride and respect are the foundations of greatness.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It was cold and misty.  And I did not even know whether there would be enough light.  Still, I was out there "hoping" for some pictures.  Against all odds.  Who, but a completely insane photographer would be out there on a morning like this?
Well, it seems I was not the only one...
As they jogged past, I turned and took the picture.  And I thought about the fact that maybe, just maybe, the so-called insane ones have the most fun in life.
So follow your heart.
Do something with the insane ones - it turns miserable moments into magic!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So often, as a photographer, one wants the perfect moment and the perfect light.  Then you also look for the right equipment etc... 
I am often reminded that life is not always about all the "perfect" tools, perfect composition and perfect light.
 This picture was taken without thinking of the "artistic" side.  Because the art was in the moment, in the person.  You see, it's my son - an angel falling asleep...and so beautiful.  He had a great day...
And having great days is what life's about...  No one lives a perfect life, but great moments are all around us... and to make them one's own does not require skill or education...
Only appreciation.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ever wondered about reflection?  Well, when you think about it, it's all about taking the time to stand still.  As a photographer I always find reflections fascinating.  They happen all the time!  In life, it's difficult to make time and take time to reflect.  

 Jim Collins says there are windows and mirrors.  When there is a crisis, some people look through the window and find someone to blame.  Greatness is about looking in the mirror, and then reflecting on what can be done, as the buck stops with the great leader...
Reflect on it...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The other day, I went onto some websites.  The "searchword" was art.  I must honestly say, it was disturbing to see how many "dark and depressing" things there were.  And I thought to myself, have we lost the art of appreciating real, simple beauty?  My dad used to say that we needed more "bad art" against our walls, more "bad music" in our homes.  Then he explained what he meant. ' We need more pictures drawn by our own kids against the walls.  Watercolor blots from pre-schoolers, songs from dads in showers, you know, the stuff of life."  So today I share this picture.

It's one of my friends and his wife.  Just walking.  Just loving.
Just living.
Do we need more?