29 February 2012

Haiti

I'm in Haiti on another shoot. Unfortunately for security reasons i'm not able to shoot stills nearly as much as I would like. So far this is the most destitute country I have ever visited and looking around I see very little hope at all. The people I see struggling to get by every day on the streets are some of the most desperate I have ever seen, its overwhelming.

I did get chance to shoot one shot the other day though when visiting a Cathedral in the center of the town which was ruined by the earthquake. I have also shot a few shots on my medium format so i'm looking forward to developing those too.

A man with an amputated leg standing in the ruined shell of Haiti's Notre Dame Cathedral

24 February 2012

Ministry

We have driven past it every day on our trip, the looming and oppressive looking ex Ministry of Defense. Now its just an empty shell, yet every time we drove past it I was drawn to it, and was desperate to have a look inside. Today I got my chance before shooting. It was a lot emptier and cleaner than I expected and surprisingly did not have groups of people living in the now abandoned rooms.

The Ministry

There are people inside however. Security guards who watch the building and protect the cell phone towers on its roof. One of the guards who's job is security for the entire building lives here and was kind enough to show me around.

Walking the passage ways of the Ministry


Watching the Tower
Standing Guard
'Where I Live' the only inhabitant of the Ministry


23 February 2012

mechanic

A late start today means that I get to spend an hour outside shooting some stills. Unfortunately the weather has turned a bit and is raining so most of the things I would have liked to shoot outside are pretty flat. I did get one shot I liked though whilst meeting my drivers mechanic in his workshop. I love how much stuff there is in the small space and the great light coming through the only doorway. Next stop for today, the Presidents office where we are shooting an interview with the President of Liberia.


22 February 2012

Moments

Sometimes I think I might be one of the luckiest people alive. The places I see and experience and the people I connect with as a result are moments I believe very few people in the world will ever have. Many of them I can never express in words and most will get lost in translation if try explain. They are moments that will stay with me and the people I meet and in some way they disconnect me from people back home as I can never fully share it with anyone else. Yet they enrich me more than anything material in the world and give me rare glimpse of life so unique I would never want anything less. So sorry for the lack of background in some of these shots. There are stories I cant talk about and stories I couldn't express.


20 February 2012

washing

Another shot from today I managed to grab quickly on our way out from an area where we shot some video. Basically just a woman doing her washing in a very poor area of Monrovia.


Liberia pt2

Today although pretty relaxed was my first day working here in Liberia. Getting my head into video mode is pretty tricky and not shooting stills is even harder. I did however manage to get one or two portraits along the way. I think my opportunities for stills will be less for the rest of this trip as I focus on getting video for the job. Its all great work though and i'm loving it, it really feels awesome to feel like your involved in something meaningful.






19 February 2012

Liberia pt1

Its been almost a decade since the civil war in Liberia ended. Much has been rebuilt and fixed but still the scars of the years of fighting can be seen everywhere. Today was basically a day off for me as I wait for the rest of the crew to arrive from the states. Instead of hanging around at the hotel I hooked up with our driver for the trip and spent the day with him as he ran some errands around the city.

One of his missions for the day was to test an old Land Cruiser which a friend wanted to buy for another local NGO. The car was basically an empty shell patched with poly filler. We took the unregistered car up the west coast and tested it on some of the more dodgy roads on the outskirts of the city with the burly nigerian car salesman in the back and the rest of us three bunched in the front. On the way we found an empty destroyed 6 story hotel with a local community living around it. I asked Anthony my driver to stop and managed to quickly look around and shoot a few shots of some of the kids who play in the empty building. The kids wearing Army clothing gave the place an eerie feel of child soldiers which might have been in the same place a decade ago.

On the way back I experienced some real Liberia as we were chased down by a police car for having an unregistered vehicle. We spent about 40 minutes waiting in a truck stop of sorts as Anthony bargained with cops until they agreed to a price for the "fine."

All Anthony said afterwards was T.I.A. (This Is Africa)

Frank the local kid who showed me around the abandoned hotel

Frank and Daro on the 2nd floor where much of the ground has caved in spots



18 February 2012

baywatch

I have just landed in Liberia after a flight that involved way to many stops and not enough sleep. I haven't had a chance to check out the city yet or much else except for hotel. After a nap I took a quick walk to the beach just to get some fresh air and get some blood flowing again. Its pretty idyllic and the sky is the usual West African haziness. I took this shot of one of the hotel security guards who patrol the beach in front of the hotel.


17 February 2012

Away

Today I leave for a shoot in Liberia and Haiti. Probably not the safest countries in the world but an experience very few people get the chance to have. What can I say, not much i'll just have to see when I get there but I'm really looking forward to living something real, away from the disconnect that is the luxury life in Cape Town. I have fixed my light-meter on my Yashica and bought a few different old school film rolls to play with on my trip. So here's to making the most of a very rare and special opportunity.

A Ghanian immigrant working as a shoe repairer in Phillippi township. Shot on my Yashica
Medium format film camera, now with a working light- meter!

07 February 2012

iKapalypse day 2

Day 2 of iKapalypse was a scorcher and all of it shot outside in harsh South African sun. I decided to keep things as simple as possible in order to make what I could of the tricky lighting conditions. Here is one of my favorites of the day. Thanks to all my scrim holders!

Surfer couple on Muizenberg beach

iKapalypse day 1

This past weekend I attended the iStock Minilypse in Cape Town dubbed iKapalypse. Each day was spent with a horde of iStock photographers trying to come up with an idea, light it and shoot it in three different 15 minute time slots each. The pressure of coming up with a concept and executing in 15 minutes was something very new to me but I learnt a huge amount from the other photographers and especially the group leaders. The buzz at the event was awesome and I cant wait to attend my next iStock shoot.

Here's my favorite shot for day 1. Special thanks to Ivar for helping me execute the lighting the way I wanted and to Hennings for just looking huge!





04 February 2012

Medium Format

Another film scan of a shot taken from my Yashica the other day.


01 February 2012

Anathi

Today I met Anathi in Phillipi township. Definitely not camera shy and she has a cracker smile. It always makes my day being able to take some shots of someone who really enjoys it, even if that person is only 7 years old :)

Young Anathi Mriba, the girl with the perfect smile

cooking

A shot I grabbed yesterday in Sir Lowries Pass village of a woman cooking in her township home.