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Simplicity in photography

January 09, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Photography doesn't have to be that difficult.

1. Find a nice background (check)

2. Shoot just before sunset (check)

3. Wait for an interesting subject (check)

Voila. Simple but effective.


A Photographer on Photography

January 02, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

A photographer on photography

A photographer practices photography like a singer practices singing harmonies or a guitarist practices strumming.

A photographer tries to develop patience, an understanding of light and an ability to tell stories.

A photographer practices awareness of the most “normal” experiences and tries to present them in an interesting and compelling way.

A photographer with time, application and experience is able to use a camera as if it were an extension of themselves.

A photographer tries to remain acutely aware of the environment, the colours, the movement and the characters in any given scene.

A photographer seeks to experience, capture and interpret those fleeting moments of life that last for all but a few brief moments. Henri Cartier Bresson referred to it as the “decisive moment” Capturing time in a single image where all the elements of colour, light, composition and perspective come together in perfect matrimony.

or

Photography is about making puppy dog eyes at the horseman while you patiently wait until he eventually realizes that you want him to make the horse stand up. When he does that you quickly rattle off 10 exposures shot at 6fps (frames per second) thank him and buy him a cup of tea in appreciation.

or

sometimes there’s a bit of both involved


An interesting story from Nepal

December 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I was asked by someone recently about which of my photos had the most interesting backstory so here it is.  You might want to make a cup of tea.


There’s a technique in street photography where you identify a good environment and wait for an interesting subject to enter the scene.  It could be a cow, rickshaw or an ageing porter carrying a heavy load on there back.  I feel this makes for great photos because you can capture those candid moments and the subject rarely notices you and if they do you just show them the photo on the back of the screen, compliment them and see how they react to it.  If I get a sense that they are displeased I apologize and delete it.  But usually by the time I’ve taken the camera away from my eye they are half way down the street.


So I found this great spot and observed the people traffic and took a shot when I saw someone complete the scene I wanted.  I happened to take a photo of two stunning Nepalese woman walking hand in hand wearing their beautiful and traditional dress.  A postcard picture of Nepal I thought, woohoo!  On my photo-walk the following day I met a local school principal called Shivaram and we chatted for a while.   He was perplexed like most Nepalese people I encountered that I was unmarried and travelling alone.  He was very friendly and invited me to join him to his school for a chai and a chat.  I told him when I’m not travelling I’m an English teacher so I volunteered my teaching services thinking it would be a nice change for the kids.  So the next day I arrived at school ready to teach when I saw those same two beautiful Nepalese women I’d photographed.  They were teachers at Shivaram’s school.  I was in a dilemma.  I knew I had this great photo of them but I wasn’t sure how they’d react to a candid photograph of them taken by a stranger especially considering my lack of knowledge regarding Nepalese etiquette and customs.  I consulted some friends and Shivaram and showed them the photo, they agreed that the photo was too special for them not to see it.  So I had them printed and gave them to Shivaram to present to them.  Needless to say they loved it.


1, 2, 3… RASPBERRY

December 27, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

1, 2, 3… RASPBERRY

As photographers we’re often confronted with a situation where we’re taking a portrait and the model is shy in front of camera or simply has a rather glum or bored expression. Engaging and communicating with your model and trying to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera are all good techniques but neither of them worked that well for this situation.

With kids it’s always good to have a few strategies. With Rahul pictured here the 1, 2, 3… Raspberry technique worked a treat. For those who are still confused about what a raspberry is here. A raspberry is the sound your body makes when you overeat certain foods the most well known culprits being beans, rice and lentils. Needless to say it can be a rather embarrassing sound to make.

So the minute I delivered the unexpected “bluuuuuuuuuuwp” sound, Rahul went into uncontrollable bouts of laughter and I was able to get a much more interesting portrait. I hope you agree.


Rain In Varanasi

July 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Just after the rain is one of my favorite times to take photos. The puddles on the ground and the slight reflections from the puddles and moisture add a sense of depth and it gives you more elements to play with when you frame your shot.