Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seven Things Obnoxious People think about Photographers

Friends Will Work for Free – The ridiculousness of asking your accountant friend to do your tax for you for free is readily apparent to most people. So is getting your dentist friend to do a bit of free root canal work. For some reason, that doesn’t extend to photographers. This one seems to be unique to photographers too.
Better Equipment Means Better Photographs – When a painter comes up with a fantastic painting, do you say, “Wow, you must have a great brush and paints!” This is a pet irritation of a lot of photographers. If you really think that it takes an expensive rig to take a great photograph, then you need to check out what can be done with the humble iPhone.
My Brother Can Shoot the Wedding – Well, your brother probably can take photographs at the wedding. Just like he can do your tax. Or fix your car. Of course if you want your car to keep going, or avoid getting prosecuted by SARS, then you might like to get a professional to look at your tax return and car. Just like you might like to check out some professionals if you want good wedding photographs.
They Have No Right to Shoot X – The truth is that if a photographer is in a public space in most western countries then they can shoot just about anything. That includes you, security guards, police, children, your house – anything. If they are on private property, then it’s different, but in public there is usually no legal expectation of privacy. That’s not to say they shouldn’t be polite, but rights are a whole different issue to manners.
If It’s a Striking Photograph, It Must be Photoshopped – A talented photographer knows that getting an image right “in camera” is the best way to end up with a great result. Many are actually very good at it and get stunning images before they get anywhere near a computer. That is what makes them good at their craft. That is why they study. That is why they practice.
They’ll Be Grateful for the Work and Work Cheap – This one again goes back to professional respect. You don’t ask your dentist for a discount. You don’t ask your child’s teacher to throw in Maths and Science, but don’t charge you for geography. You don’t ask your waiter to throw in dessert for free. So don’t do this to a photographer. If you cannot pay for the service, then don’t ask for it.
I Know a Guy Who Can Do It Much Cheaper – Yes, yes, everybody knows a friend of a friend who can do the photography job for a third of the cost. The kicker is that a photography business is an expensive one to run and you get what you pay for. If you’re happy enough to risk your cheap shooter, then go for it. Just don’t use it as a cheap bargaining ploy when you’re talking to a professional.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Mahotella Queens

The Mahotella Queens are a South African singing group formed in 1964 (and still together today) comprising Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu and Mildred Mangxola. The group is noted for their clear three-part harmonies, Mbaqanga township music and fast-paced mgqashiyo dancing.
The Queens were formed by the famed South African talent scout Rupert Bopape, at Gallo Record Company, in 1964, and would go on to have many hits at Gallo's African music division, Mavuthela. Throughout the 1960s, the Queens' line-up usually comprised Hilda Tloubatla, Juliet Mazamisa, Ethel Mngomezulu, Nobesuthu Mbadu and Mildred Mangxola. They were backed by the Mavuthela house band, the Makhona Tsohle Band (comprising several talented instrumentalists including Marks Mankwane on lead guitar and West Nkosi on saxophone), and fronted by the deep-voiced Simon "Mahlathini" Nkabinde. After 1971, growing competition from rival groups saw the Queens' line-up fluctuate considerably, and after a string of mildly-successful late '70s hits, the original five Mahotella Queens regrouped with Mahlathini and Makgona Tsohle in 1983. After one more hiatus, three of the Queens - Hilda Tloubatla, Nobesuthu Mbadu and Mildred Mangxola - regrouped permanently.
Although Mahlathini, Marks Mankwane and West Nkosi died between 1998 and 1999, the three Queens continue performing and recording - well into their 60s - to this day.

Self-promo posters

Landscape in Africa

This image was taken after a three-and-half hike in the mountains round Ugie, I was walking up a hill and as I crested the rise in front of me this is what presented itself. I lifted my Nikon and pressed the shutter. 

I am coming to these images almost two years after I captured the image.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

This kinda says it all

Potassium dichromate

An alternative process, that is largely forgotten in a faster digital environment.
The process is analogue one.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sushi - an all-time favourite

Series of concept tabloid newspaper spreads for a local publication

Profile pages of my work

Steve Biko - A National Hero

Stephen Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977) was a noted anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement. While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being". Despite friction between the African National Congress and Biko throughout the 1970s the ANC has included Biko in the pantheon of struggle heroes, going as far as using his image for campaign posters. South Africa's first non-racial elections in 1994.

Soccer 2010 Stadia in Port Elizabeth

The actual Soccer World Cup, was photographed in the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane. Coca Cola brought the World Cup under very serious security before whisking the 'REAL' cup and replacing it with a replica that you could be photographed with.

The Port Elizabeth stadium images were photographed by myself in the Match between Japan and Bafana Bafana in November 2009 as precuser to the stadium being officially opened. When I photographed this event, the construction crews were still completing the project during the game and the outside environment was still a hard hat construction site.

Interesting foot note about the World Cup images was that the local newspaper arrived after the actual World Cup had been removed and all they got were images of the replica.  The photographer who was assigned to photograph the Cup arrived late, as the staffer had mixed up the date and time of the event. The image was scheduled to appear on the front cover of the publication and ended up being buried at the bottom of page two of the publication.

Programme front cover

For a couple of years I always shot the Supermoto event in east London Grand Prix track. My images and that of my son often appeared in the programme, I stopped because their was no real financial value in being involved, typical of these events, budgets were small and you covered costs with very little profit.

I have stopped doing jobs like this but still visit the track when I have time, and over the years managed to shoot some wonderful images.