Archive for the ‘Other people’s photography’ Category

Been away for way too long, but here’s something to keep you busy.

February 26, 2010

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Hi folks, almost a whole month has passed since my last post. Wow! Time flies!

The fact is I’ve been more busy than ever and part of the reason for that has been caused by me writing a new eBook. You’ll get more details on just what it’s about at some stage later.

While we’re on the topic of eBooks I absolutely must direct you all to this one. It’s sorta “produced” by the wonderful David duChemin, but it’s actually written by his friend and a darn good photographer Dave Delnea.

The eBook’ is titled – “Below The Horizon, Understanding Light at the Edges of Day”. Pretty self explanatory, all I can say is – it’s well worth the $5 or better yet the $4 introductory price. Photographing at the “edges of the day” is something I love doing and want to do much more of in the future, this little eBook has already given me some pretty cool ideas. Get, it learn from it, use your knowledge out in the field.

Go to David’s Blog. The “Craft and Vision” store or simply slick on the image above.

I’ll be away for a little while longer, but please be patient. Good things are coming.

On David duChemin and his eBooks

October 26, 2009

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I feel that David duChemin is one of the best photography writers out there today. Perhaps some may think we’re conspiring by praising each other on our blogs every now and then, but what can I say – I respect the man as a photographer and I absolutely love the way he writes. Is that so wrong? 🙂

One of the things I love most about David’s writing is that while he talks about the philosophy and theory behind photography, he always keeps things very practical. After reading David’s stuff you can go out and apply the knowledge to actual, real life situations.

When I first saw the title of David’s latest eBook “DRAWING THE EYE – Creating Stronger Images Through Visual Mass” I thought, “Geez that sounds a bit heavy and abstract” but I was pleasantly surprised. Well, perhaps not surprised, because I have come to expect at least a certain amount of brilliance from the man and the last eBook is certainly no exception.

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I won’t go into a detailed explanation of what the eBook is all about, I’ll simply direct you to David’s BLOG, where you can read David’s own description as well as what other people are saying. I will mention this though; if you’re ready to step it up a notch and to really begin creating images with impact and some thought behind them, rather than simple snap-shots of exotic places and faces then “DRAWING THE EYE” is a must. As David says: “It’ll change the way you look at your craft”. Agreed. Even if like me you already look at your craft much the same way David does I always find that David’s eloquent and humorous writing really hammers home whatever thoughts I had in the back of my mind. He’s able to express his ideas so well and so clearly, the final message, along with the images just inspires you to push yourself a little further each time you lift the camera to your eye. For that I gotta thank the man. 🙂

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Before I go, I absolutely have to mention David’s earlier eBooks “Ten” and “Ten More” . Again, read about them by clicking on the hyperlink titles. These two eBooks are particularly useful for those in the early stages of their journey into photography, but as is the case with all of what David writes about, anyone can get a surprising bit of inspiration and food for thought from his words. The best part about it all, these eBooks are knowledge that is accessible to almost anyone around the world. At $5 a pop, the price is something that you simply can’t complain about.

You can get all of David’s eBooks RIGHT HERE.

Now a brief word about me. I’m back in Minsk, getting over an annoying cold and finishing some of Tanya’s paperwork to go to Europe. I’ll make one more trip to the region of Braslav for a week or so, finish off some logistics in Belarus and if all goes right, in early November I’ll drive towards Romania, a country, which I have been curious about for too long not to visit it.

My workshop revisited and thoughts on the post-processing tutorial.

April 27, 2009

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I know that I’m not posting to the blog very consistently, but hey, it’s challenging to think up meaningful content, while you’re also busy doing many other things. I’ll get better.

About the above photo – “Jodhpur Sweets-Maker”. It belongs to Kym Morris, the talented young woman who joined me for a private photo workshop around off-the-beaten-track Rajasthan. This was my favorite image of hers from our workshop. I remember that I was a little surprised when she showed it to me.

It’s not like Kym was clueless before the workshop, she already possessed a certain kind of vision, the stuff she was shooting was not captivating, but solid and the potential shone through. Once the workshop started I could see improvements every couple of days, but then in the final few days of the workshop I saw this shot and it was a few levels above anything else.

To me the image is the accumulation of much of what I tried to get across during the workshop (in regards to photographing on the streets) and that’s why I was so proud to see it. The things I spoke about – recognizing a photogenic situation, textures, color harmony and soft natural light – they are all here. On top of that there’s even a little motion blur in the hand, that makes the whole thing really come alive.

I guess some photography enthusiasts just need to be put onto the right path, then everything clicks and a transformation occurs. These are the people who can benefit most from a workshop (not just mine, I already mentioned some guys that I respect on my blog) and these are the photographers, Kym included, who I feel could find success photographing professionally.

Kym does not have a website yet, but she has a couple of images on “Onexposure”. I’m sure there will be more soon. 

I’m thinking that it may be worthwhile to do a workshop in Indonesia next – Bali to East Java. This trip would really focus on what it’s like to be a travel photographer. The locations would vary, from tourist hotspots and spectacular landscapes like the Bromo volcano to absolutely unknown gems and photographing traditional villagers and fishermen.

These parts of Indonesia have lots to offer, just as much as India in many respects. Again I’d either make it a private workshop or something very small scale. My whole thing is reducing any impact on traditional villages. The last thing I want is more children running up to foreigners and screaming demands for pens, chocolates and money.

Once everything is in place, I’ll have the info on my website. Anyone who thinks this may be a thing for them, contact me here or via the email on my website. It’d definitely be a journey-of-a-lifetime type of experience.

To all those who have enquired about a post-processing tutorial – If I make one, I would like to make it rather good, spend a bit of time on it, go into detail. There’s some theory that I think is very necessary to understand before going crazy with new PP techniques and I’d like to touch up on it. There are just too many people replicating catchy post-processing techniques that just scream at you, but they’re doing it all wrong, without understanding. I don’t want to encourage that with my tutorials.

Anyhow, the tutorial would have illustrations, step-by-step how to, examples and a few words that touch up on the “Why?”. It’d take me some time to make one and I figure that charging from US$10-15 for a PDF would not be unfair. The money ain’t much for knowledge, but goes a long way for someone traveling around Asia – US$10 is basically a day’s worth of budget traveling in India:).

If anyone thinks that this way of delivering the tutorial is not a bad idea – tell me. If you think it’s rubbish, well, also tell me.

New Year, Giant Prawns and Kerala…finally

January 9, 2009

gokarna-fishermenYes, my first blog entry for 2009 is well over due, but we are on the road after all and we are exhausted. Yesterday we finally arrived in “God’s Own Country” – Kerala. We watched sunset from the beach, but I was so tired that I fell asleep right there on the sand. We are already around 2000km from Bundi – the place where we started our motorcycle journey. The way from Goa to Kerala isn’t so long, but it has been more tiring than our other journeys. National Highway 17 is going into my books as one of the crappiest major roads in India, albeit one of the more beautiful.
Our New Year’s Eve was one of the best I’ve had, ever. In Arambol, Goa Tanya and I became friends with a girl from Moscow who shared our, well more like my craze for seafood. She joined in our plan to buy seafood for cheap at the fish market and cook it by the fire on the beach on New Year’s Eve. The evening went even better than planned; we somehow managed to find an empty beach, lit a fire and cooked our gigantic prawns and an equally gigantic crab. Of course being really far from the action in Goa is impossible and so we were treated to a few rounds of fireworks from the neighboring beaches.
I guess from my limited time in Goa I can say that it is indeed a different world to the rest of India. Those who don’t venture outside of this tiny state would certainly get a very warped idea of what India is like. I mean where else in India could you see bikini clad European girls riding scooters? The thing is they don’t even usually get stared at (at least not in Arambol). It was an absolute shock to me and Tanya at first, simply didn’t make sense that this was happening in a country where the only women showing skin are Bollywood stars that can only be seen on TV and on billboards, in a country where for most part men and women do not even hold hands in public, where village women rarely unveil their faces. Perhaps the bikini girls were oblivious to that India or perhaps they had been there and had enough, it felt like this was their turf and their turn to make the rules. There are many things that make Goa very different from the ‘real’ India. It’s cleaner, it’s richer and dare I say more open minded. This open mindedness often leads to ‘progress’ but just as often it destroys local cultures and ways of living. I avoided Goa over my past three trips to India because I expected to see nothing more than hoards of tourists and dreadlocked, grass smoking foreigners. In many cases that held true, but in many others it did not. The culture is still there, it’s in the churches of Old Goa, the streets of Panjim, it is probably in the villages away from the coast. Given enough time before my trip ends I plan to come back and peak into Goa’s quieter pockets.
brahmin-outside-of-temple Our next stop was in North Karnataka, Gokarna – a small temple town with a hippy vibe. There are no parties like those of Goa in Gokarna. It seems that the foreigners who come here come to simply chill and get an occasional sample of the local culture, which exists oblivious to the dreadlocks, bikinis and newly opened cafes with foreign menus. Every morning beautifully dressed Brahmins (priests) can be seen going in an out of temples, pilgrims are praying, making offerings and occasionally wetting their feet in the sea, while at the North end of Gokarna beach old fishermen mend their nets and set out to make a living the same way that their forefathers have for generations. The really big draw cards of the region are the quieter, ideallyc beaches of Om and Kudle. I have only been to Om and while the amount of rubbish that covers the path down to the beach is abhorring, the beach itself is clean and very beautiful. I wish I had unlimited time to stay longer in Gokarna, but I don’t and so I had to move on after three days. On our final day in the area I had to satisfy my seafood lust once again, still joined by our friend from Moscow we bought a whole load of crabs and some prawns at the nearby fish market town of Kadidi and had the stuff barbequed for us at a beachside restaurant/shack. What a meal, the only problem or perhaps a blessing is the fact that I still can’t look at seafood three days later, it will pass, I think. Our Moscow friend has joked that I should quit photography and write a guidebook for budget culinary travelers on where to find cheap food, where to have it cooked etc. Hey, might not be such a bad idea.
malpe-harbour Right now we’re in Kannur – a town in an area of North of Kerala that is famous for Theyyam – a ritualistic dance where the performer is possessed by a higher power and becomes the embodiment of a God. From the photos I’ve seen it’s pretty colorful and amazing. This is what I’m here for. It’s Theyyam season and a performance/ritual happens almost daily. I’ll see my first Theyyam tomorrow.
Kerala is also India’s most educated state with over 90% literacy rate. How is this manifested in everyday life? Well, more people can speak good English, that’s the obvious thing that stands out. However this wouldn’t be India if there were no surprises. This evening we visited a fort built by the Portuguese in the 1500s. At the entrance sat a man, a simple looking mustached fellow with a badge “Tourist Police” on the left side of his shirt. I had always thought that the caretakers/tourist police or whoever sits at the entrance of monuments are just there to fill a spot, to get paid a nominal wage because they do not have the qualifications to do much else. Boy was I wrong and I realized it as soon as the “Tourist Policeman” opened his mouth. In very good English he started to tell me in great detail about the fort. But that wasn’t the surprise. Suddenly the man said – “Two years ago I had a book published about the history of this fort.” – “Really?” – “Yes” I still found it slightly hard to believe until I saw it with my very own eyes – a book with a picture of the fort and Vasco Da Gamma at the front and a photo of the mustached Tourist Policeman smiling on the back cover.

On a side note, I have forgotten to mention that there is an interview with me HERE.
Also for those who have enquired about my workshops, I do not know when the next one will be at this stage. However I will recommend this:

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If you are lucky and can still get a spot you could be learning from some photographers who I really respect. Matt, David and Gavin are three guys who really know their stuff, as well as the often overlooked business side of travel photography. Anyway, in short hurry or book for next year, if it’s possible.

My images above: (Top) Fishermen preparing the nets before they go out to sea, Gokarna, Karnataka (Middle) A Brahmin (priest) outside a temple, Gokarna (Bottom) A scene at Malpe Harbour, Karnataka. Those marks in the sky are eagles and crows circling, looking for the odd fish to grab from the piles of what seemed to me like some sort of sea cockroaches.