Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where people still matter

This weekend, my family and I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time in the Kalahari. Although the weekend was short due to the long distance, it felt like a holiday. Mainly because of the friendly people, the creative encounters and the early mornings. (Jeepers - on Saturday we were out and about just after 04:30).
Maybe we should remember that weekends are mini-holidays, especially if we take more time to appreciate and less time to criticize, more time to reflect and less time to rush, more time to be and less time to become...more time at the oasis and less time in the desert...

In the end, it's about the landscapes of the soul, those unchartered panoramas of peace, we visit within ourselves, is it not?

And when we visit those panoramas, we find the great pictures, and call them memories...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Anienie looked back at the camera.
She was having so much fun - with so little -
All we need is sand, sun, water - and the eyes of a child...

Monday, November 02, 2009

There is one gift that distinguishes geniuses from others...
We all have it, but very few use it.
It's the gift of natural curiosity, the willingness to learn, to experiment, and to keep on pushing the limits, because we know there is more to learn.As my son looked through a window, I hoped that he would treasure this gift, finding the windows of hope always opening as he keeps on living the quest for truth, love and happiness.
Godspeed, dear traveller.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A friend of mine got married and asked me to take the pictures. Every time I see a bride, I realize that we need to keep our Fairy Tales alive. Our life stories may take us on many roads, but it's not our external lives that makes Fairy Tales last...It's our hopes, dreams and beliefs.
No one can steal them, they help define us.
Like they define the beauty that one sees when one sees a bride with her eyes fixed on the future, her heart full of love and her thoughts filled with happiness.
The camera needs only to record, the fairy tale is already happening.
My cousin's matric farewell. I was taking the picture. I thought it would be lovely if she stood on a railroad track with the others just looking at her.
Then it happened.
As all had struck there poses, she momentarily lost her balance...
What a wonderful moment.
Maybe not at the time the picture was taken, but when one looks back, is that not what it's all about.
Unexpected moments, providing us with something to smile about.
Remember the moment is spontaneous, the interpretation afterwards is choice.
Little can be done about chance, but a great deal can be done about choice.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Girl Photographing a Dog

As I was doing research for some training on Social Networking, I came across this little picture. What fun it must have been to take it. Imagine the planning, the dressing up, the setting up...
And yes, more than anything else...
The sharing of a fabulous moment with others...
Too often we share our problems, ailments and complaints. We talk about the news and the recession.
Let's also rave about great moments.
Photography is painting with light, maybe we should take more light into our lives as well...
Share a great memory today.
It's part of the ingredients of what is called a great life!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It was early morning.
There is nothing like early mornings.
Everything is fresh, the colors keep on changing, there's expectation in the air.
Anien, my daughter was running on a dune with a friend.

Too often the break of dawn brings the newspapers and newsbulletins. Mostly negative.
Sunchasing is about the positive stuff.
Loving the break of a new day.
Looking forward to gifts bestowed by the day:
Moments - turning into seconds, minutes and hours.
Moments to run towards the sun, passionately pursuing the firelights of our purpose.
I knew that the picture was there. The moon was shining beautifully over the sea.
As I watched the scene, I realized there was no foreground interest. A big log was lying about 200 meters away.
It took a little help, sweat and effort from a friend. And then the composition could be made.
The result was this:
Then last Sunday there was a sermon on VISION. If you have a vision, you can work towards it, you can create it. Disney saw Disneyland before it was there...

So yes, if you see the picture before you create it, you'll be able to find the materials you need. It all makes sense. And yes, all it takes is effort, sweat and a friend or two.

So in photography, as in life, we need to:
Know what we want to achieve (Vision).
Focus on our vision. (Usually through goals)
Find what's needed to compose the final picture. (What's left out of the frame and what is kept)
Go out and do it.
And yes, have fun along the way.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wonderful place, the web.
I received a comment from someone about a picture. It was a picture of the farm where I grew up.
I love taking pictures on the road to the farm

As I replied to the comment, a bit of a digital conversation ensued... And here's the fun part. Turns out we are neighbours (her parents now reside on the farm next to the one where I grew up).
It made me think of the old saying, "A stranger is just a friend you have to meet," but what a strange world it has become, - meeting your neighbours in cyberspace.
Maybe there are too many strangers and too little friends these days.
Friends or strangers? Who decides?
You do.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Let's learn from the kids.
They live in the moment...
Happy or sad.
They know the present is the greatest gift we have...
That's why it's called the present...

Life for kids is full of color, sepia (the past) brings great memories and the future is filled with dreams...

Let's live, dream and remember things that make us better!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I was driving through a small town called Koffiefontein. These guys were having fun, playing with their self-made push-and-go car. I took some pictures and went on a drive through the town.

On my way back, I found only this guy...

Yes. The wheels had come off.
Suddenly he was on his own.
Is that not true sometimes? When the wheels come off in the drama of life, we suddenly find ourselves feeling alone?
Well, take note that it's mostly a "feeling" and not a fact. And even if it seems like a fact, it's a very subjective fact, which makes it no fact at all!
But what if it is a fact?
Well, make sure you spend the time well, make sure you use the winter of life to prepare for the spring that's coming.
Spring always follows winter.
And if it seems to be happening too slow, don't just sit there, start pushing the car!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Is it not fascinating how some people just have it?
My friend, Hendrik, a life coach, (See the link to Craffie's Coaching), talks a lot about energy.
The energy that makes us walk upright, smile sincerely, breathe deeply, laugh loudly and live passionately.

Last year during the December holidays, I was asked to take pictures of a group of young people. They were making calenders for their parents. When they arrived, they had all the fun stuff! Winter clothes, summer clothes, hats - the whole lot! They were having a ball. Because they had the main thing: Energy.
Energy is an interesting thing, the more you have, the more you give - and the more you give, the more you get!

Please feel free to write in the comments field about something or someone that energizes you...

And then smile, pull back your shoulders, breathe deeply and take in the energy.
It's free.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two years ago my son's pre-primary school had a Visitor's day for grandparents. As I was taking pictures, I was drawn to the beauty of hands. Old hands and young hands were working together, painting together and being together. It reminded me...

My grandma used to have hands filled with blue veins, which she used to knit and create. My mom had gentle, comforting hands. My dad had strong healing hands. When I think of these hands, none of them being on earth anymore, I realize that we have to use our hands to make the world a better place.

And how do we do it?
Well, reach out to the many miracles that surround you. Touch a tree, caress a flower, hold a hand.

If you have a story about hands which meant a lot to you, please feel free to share it in the comments field below.
Reach out.
Lend a hand.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What if your body left?
What would remain behind?

We call it legacy.
It matters more than we think...
I think.
If you can remember someone whose made a difference in your life, please write it down in the comments field.
Share the legacy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Low light. No tripod.
It was easy to realize that the evening was ruined.
Still, we had a great walk on the beach. My wife and the kids did not worry about the lack of light. They were on holiday. They had their feet in the water. They were not worried about blurry pictures as I was.

So there we were - the same scene, but different feelings.
I think that life's the same. It's the framing that matters.
Remember the old poem -
Two men looked through prison bars,
One saw mud, the other saw stars...

So what's your frame like today?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I was reading Martha Beck's Steering by Starlight. Realized again how we complicate our own worlds. So often we come under stress because of all the stories we keep in our heads.
Clutter is bad. Simple is good.
Same goes for photos.

Just for today - clear all the stories out of your mind.
Appreciate the moment.
Click the shutter.
Enjoy the picture.
It's yours.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Ask any photographer about the nature of light, and learn about the light of nature.

Every season brings its own glorious light. There's the yellow-brown of autumn leaves, the fresh pink blossomy arrival of spring, the white of frost in winter and the luscious green of summer grass. Every season brings the gift of color. And so often we forget that the seasons in life bring color too.

Sometimes life seems cruel and unkind, yet every winter predicts a new spring. Somehow we need the dark cold nights of winter to appreciate spring even more.
Whatever the season - appreciate the light!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

So it was the first day of school.
And yes, there were fears, uncertainty and a fair bit of worrying.
Still, they were having fun.

And I thought about my life and work.
I often have fears, uncertainties and worries.
It doesn't matter....

As long as I have fun.

Have fun today. Every day is the first day in the school of life.
Every day is the first day of the rest of your life. ( I think I heard it in a movie - but it's only now beginning to make sense!)

Think about it...

Then live it.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A brother and sister. She tickled him. He was tired. It was late on a hot December afternoon. He could not walk properly, but she did not mind. When necessary, she carried him. The words of the song came to mind: He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

And then it happened, I had captured the moment above, but my finger was still on the shutter, and I am glad, because the next moment they fell over...

Is is not great to know that life always has more great moments in store?
Keep watching out for them.
Celebrate them.
Treasure them.
Enjoy remembering them.
They're yours.
No one can take them away.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Where did the time go? Well, that's probably one of the questions one also asks at your eightieth birthday.
For me, suddenly there is a new year and the previous post was a month ago.
Does not feel like it!
Hopefully this year there will be more opportunities to share some moments. Like we had at christmas. Grandma bought my kids kites and there was a photo opportunity!
I really battled to find good pictures.
All the time I knew the pictures were there. It was for me to position myself right in order to find them. Sprawling on the ground and changing lenses, I just did not seem to find what I knew was there.
Don't you sometimes feel that life is like that as well. There seems to be more out there, but it seems to just remain out of reach.
Maybe that's what makes life such a wonderful experience, the fact that we are always striving, always on a quest, looking for more...
And knowing that we'll find it, because, like the seeds of an apple, what we're looking for is already within us!
I don't know who thought about it in the first place, but is it not great that we can count the amount of seeds in an apple, but not the amount of apples in the seed...
May 2009 be a year of growth!
Make your dreams soar like kites, keep the string tight and pray for wind!