29 November 2012

Coffee Bay Portraits

Lately i've been extremely motivated to take photo's. So on a weekend trip away in Coffee Bay I took my entire photo kit and managed to organise a few hours of shooting portraits with some local Xhosa women a short drive away from where I was staying. The women were great to work with, even though language was a little tricky at times. But after showing them a few of the images I was getting, they opened up and started really enjoying posing for the camera.

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28 November 2012

Coffee Bay

Shot a pretty cool long exposure in Coffee Bay this weekend. A chance to play with my 12 stop ND filter, i'm pretty happy with the results


12 November 2012

Siphesihle Portrait

Got a pretty cool quick portrait of Siphesihle as she was coming home from school in Phillipi. Love my scrim...


09 November 2012

Yoga

Yesterday was spent with Niki Van Schaik getting some Yoga portraits. We shot at Black Dog Studio's and had a very relaxed time trying some different shots using natural and studio lighting. Here are a couple of the shots

Studio lighting in the big infinity cove at Black Dog

Using some of the soft natural afternoon light at Black Dog

06 November 2012

Editorial Portraits - Sally Mellish

A good photographer friend of mine Sally Mellish, asked me to get some editorial portrait shots of her for an upcoming article about her and her studio in the January issue of Fair Lady.

For those who dont know Sally's moving story. Her old studio was situated above a night club in Observatory which was petrol bombed creating an inferno which burnt everything including Sally's studio to ashes. A few days later Sally was attacked in her home, as well as assaulting her the intruders took the last of Sally's camera equipment. This is a very brief summary of what happened and as terrifying and sad as it is I dont believe this is Sally's story.

Sally's story is about not giving up but opening up and continuing the dream. Days after the incident she was on the lookout for a new studio so she could continue following her passion. Photographers and other industry people pooled in to help her rebuild. Here is a person who in the face of devastation, never gave up her dream and at the same time never stopped sharing her dream with others.

I took a number of photographs for the article. The brief being some shots of Sally in her new studio and some with the old studio, plus a few extras. We could have opted for shots that showed the hurt and tragedy but this is not Sally. So instead we chose to shoot shots that were happy, that gave a sense of optimism. Its rare that one meets a person with so much hope and positivity and i feel privileged to know her.

Here is one of my favorites of her in front of the old studio. Go check out the new studio here!
http://www.blackdogstudios.co.za/

Sally in front of what remains of her old studio which occupied
the top floor of the building behind her.


Thobeka

Whilst visiting Sydney in Phillipi to get some stock shots with his kids, I took five minutes to take a photo with his neighbor, Thobeka and her daughter Zinam. She is unemployed and lives off a child grant from the government. What you see in the photo is everything she owns, there are no more rooms to her shack just the one in the image. This is fifteen minutes from where I live comfortably in my two bedroomed house. We still have a long way to go in South Africa...




28 October 2012

Inyanda Youth Project part 2

I've just finished editing the shots from my two days shooting in Phillipi. Here are a few extra's I liked from the final selection.

Working the look for camera

In a small waiting room hopefuls prepare themselves for the audition

Sharing some music before taking the stage

The smile on a girls face after being told she has been accepted



26 October 2012

Inyanda Youth Project

I have just finished shooting a two day project helping a fellow photographer Sally Mellish cover an event held by the Inyanda Youth Project in Phillipi, Cape Town. This youth project was designed to create social cohesion between the youth in impoverished areas through sports, art and culture.

This workshop invited individuals from the community with a strong interest in the performing arts to take part in a two day program culminating with an opportunity to audition for a place in a four month intensive performance course. The raw talent and energy of the participants moved and saddened me as many recounted real life stories of pain and hardship.

Here are a few selects from the shoot.

In an empty classroom in a government school in the township of Phillipi, hopeful youth meet with Inyanda Youth Project facilitators.

Participants come from a number of different townships surrounding and including Phillipi, all signing up for an opportunity to be selected for the four month intensive training course

For many a chance to take part in such a training program is a step towards reaching a dream, a step closer to escaping a life with little opportunity.

Some performers gather to discuss final details of a group performance before presenting to the judges

Inyanda facilitators give instruction on delivering real, convincing and emotive performances

Many of the performances by participants included stories and themes from real life experiences, here emotions were not acted but simply expressed, and felt by everyone watching.






17 October 2012

Video work in Liberia

Earlier this year I shot some video for Vital Voices as part of their yearly Global Leadership Awards, where they honor women making positive change in the world. I dont normally shoot video but luckily with the help of a great director and other awesome people on the shoot everything went really smoothly. So here is the clip, most video shot by me and a few of the stills too.

as a bit of background info on Rosana...

'Rosana is the founder of Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (THINK, Inc.), a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services such as shelter, medical care, counseling, academic classes and life-skills training for former girl soldiers and 'war wives' in Liberia. THINK's Rehabilitation Homes accommodate 25 girls in addition to ten of the girls' children under the age of five for a nine-month cycle of care.'

To find out more check out Rosana's website  http://thinkliberia.com/
or go see some of the work of Vital Voices at http://vitalvoices.org/


05 September 2012

SPCA

Shot some images with Sally Mellish at Black Dog Studios for the cover of the SPCA Footprints Magazine. I'm enjoying branching out into studio work and working with Sally is great. Wrangling a studio full of cats and dogs is challenge and surprisingly tiring at the end of the day, yet who could ask for cooler models :)

Celebrities Jo-Ann Strauss and Kurt Schoonraad were generous enough to give some of their time to pose with the 'models' and were a breeze to work with.

A good day for a good cause...





03 September 2012

Township

Another from Phillipi


31 August 2012

Going Back

I was scanning through some of my shots from the past year and found this one which I never got round to editing...

Shot in Haiti in the Notre Dame Cathedral which is still in ruins after the devastating earthquake


20 August 2012

Learning

Today I took two hours to get some shots in one of the townships, possibly my favorite shooting location. This is something I have been developing this year and something which i'm growing to love more and more. Today however, was the first township shoot where things started getting a little tense. I'm taking more equipment and shooting bigger set ups, which invariably draws more attention. After a few shots today I had a rather large crowd gathered around me, when people started discussing cash for shots things started heating up. After a few discussions things calmed down and everyone seemed to be happy again. Driving back my mood wasnt the greatest but i'm taking this as a lesson and not a deterrent  Shooting in the townships is growing and i'm going to have to manage more situations like this ... its part of the process. Learn, adapt, continue, with good intention...





10 August 2012

MadRock in Rocklands

I've been spending a bit of time in Rocklands this season. Its been great, and the vibe up there this year has been one of the most chilled and enjoyable I have had so far.

MadRock asked me to grab some shots of one of their athletes Juliane Wurm on some of the boulders she had sent this year. Another very strong young climber and another cool person to spend a day shooting with.

The Hatchling 8A+ at Kleinfontein


Caroline 7C+ at Roadside

Black Mango Chutney 8A at 8 Day Rain sector



23 May 2012

Cambodian Portrait

I shot this portrait whilst on the campaign trail with Mu Sochua. For poor and elderly Cambodians living in a country with no free public healthcare, sometimes your only hope is to rely on your family or community for support.


18 May 2012

Campaign day one

This morning I joined Mu Sochua and other members of the Sam Rainsy party on day one of their election campaign in Battambang. There was huge amounts of energy and campaign songs blaring out of loudspeakers with me running around in the heat grabbing shots, I was loving it. Here are a few images from the day.

A Sam Rainsy supporter wearing her party clothing displaying the 'Candlelight' emblem, the logo of the SRP.

An SRP party member handing out party flyers in one of the markets along the campaign trail.

Police maintain a safe distance between the SRP on the right and the opposition party CCP on the left as two campaign convoys pass each other on the streets

Mu Sochua leading her SRP supporters through the streets of Battambang

17 May 2012

On the campaign trail with Mu Sochua

I'm in Battambang, Cambodia with Mu Sochua one of the opposition party leaders and an activist for human rights for all Cambodians. We have visited slums, remote villages and communes and have heard of the many harsh realities facing poverty stricken Cambodians. What these humble people face seems so insurmountable but yet Sochua works tirelessly everyday to make a difference. Her passion and drive seems endless and all of it for the poorest of the poor, the people with no voice.

If you want more info on Mu Sochua check out
http://sochua.wordpress.com/
http://musochua.org/
http://stories.vitalvoices.org/#/woman/mu_sochua

Also check out some great photography by fellow photographer Philip Skoczkowski who is out here spending time with Sochua and capturing amazing stills of her journey.
http://skoczkowski.net/wordpress/?tag=mu-sochua

For this woman in a remote Cambodian village, her only contact to the outside world is her radio. She listens to broadcasts by Mu Sochua and her party daily, as this is what still gives her hope of a just democracy in Cambodia. She is still working to pay off the loan of $2.50 for the last set of batteries she bought. 

This young man used to live in a refugee camp on the Thai Cambodia border as a child. He was given incorrect medication which caused him to become physically disabled and now he relies entirely on his family for everything, even going to the toilet. He now lives in a slum in Battambang which Sochua visited today. Sochua and her party strive to provide the support to the poor where the government fails or refuses to do so.

Sochua walks with a woman in a very remote village outside Battambang. Accessible only by a footpath through the forest, these villagers face eviction as the government sells their land to large companies who wish to plant rubber plantations. No alternative or compensation is provided for these villagers

Whilst many Cambodians support the views expressed by Sochua and her party, the culture of fear prevents them from voicing their opinions. Poverty stricken Cambodians face violent threats, land grabs and persecution for supporting the opposition party. Yet some Cambodians face all of this to stand for the human rights they believe in.

13 May 2012

travel

I grabbed this shot whilst walking to my connect flight to Cambodia in Bangkok airport. I wonder how much time I have spent in airports and planes in the past few years...


07 May 2012

Day Off

Today I took a drive out to Phillipi to visit Sydney and his family. They are loving getting their shots taken and even the neighbors are keen to get involved. A happy afternoon taking photos.




24 April 2012

Loox

Some of my climbing shots from last year used in a feature in German sports magazine Loox.



20 April 2012

USA Today

Images of mine from Nigeria used in USA Today feature.


Newsweek

One of my portraits from India a while back used on the back cover of Newsweek.



Somoa Girl

A quick portrait I grabbed while trying out my new Tilt Shift lens. Still a lot to learn when using this lens and I refuse to shoot those miniatures that everyone seems to use these lenses for!


14 April 2012

Portraits for Coconut Farmers

I just arrived in New Zealand after a few days in Samoa. Again i'm working for Vital Voices and we're out here shooting interviews and gathering footage for a video vignette on a woman who has mobilized local coconut farmers to produce pure organic virgin coconut oil. Most of the time i'm helping out with sound and the video so not shooting stills that much but I was asked to get some portraits of the coconuts farmers on one of the farms. I had waited for a bit of time for the light to settle even though we had to rush off for another interview which meant we couldn't wait for the best light. I tried to capture a bit of the location atmosphere in the portraits as well as the people, loving my remote flash to fill in the light!



05 April 2012

Samburu

A portrait of an old Samburu woman taken on my Yashica, old style straight up centered black and white.


02 April 2012

Kakenya

Last night whilst shooting with Georgia for Vital Voices we stayed in the remote Kenyan village of Enoosaen in the Trans Mara hills. We were filming Kakenya one of the most inspiring people I have ever been privileged to meet. Her story is amazing and I would suggest you take time to read about it and look at her website. She has done something truly remarkable and made a huge difference to the girls of her village.

http://www.kakenyasdream.org/kakenya.html

The image is from the night we spent at Kakenya's mothers house. No running water or electricity, here Kakenya (center) laughs with her family in the kitchen whilst preparing the evening meal.