Tag Archives: Ramblings

Deserted

I’ve been many places in this world, a few where man has left and mother nature is slowly coming back and reclaiming what is hers. Kolmanskop is a bit freaky, the town close to it; Luderitz isn’t much different. They both belong to a time that has long been forgotten, or perhaps they have just been ignored by the rest of the world and have been left to their devices with very little influence from the outside world.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing, its possibly a very good thing. Imagine if the whole world were the same living in this so called modern era with our faces glued to some screen for most of our waking hours. It’s quite a chilling thought really, I often sit on the train watching everyone with their eyes glued to the screen of some device, there are always a few people either reading a book or looking out the window, something I do a lot of when on a train. That’s something I’ve learnt from photography to look at the world around me, to wonder about it and try to understand it. I’ve also learnt to look at it very differently, before it was just there. while I don’t really know how to describe how I look at the world around me now, there is much more purpose in the way I look at it, I focus in on details and can easily remove the noise around that detail, it’s something that I do and not only when I am out taking photographs, I guess i just pay much more attention to what’s going on around me.

I’m not trying to preach that devices are bad and that they are sucking our souls out from our bodies, I own more of them than most people and I spend way too much time on them. I just feel sometimes that they’re sucking MY soul out of my body.

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Arosa Winter

We returned from NZ a few weeks ago now, most of that time it’s been pretty foggy and a slow start to trying to figure out the next step in life. Finding a new job or doing something completely different…

Winter is in full tilt here, and there’s snow all around. We should be heading up to the mountains but haven’t found the time to do it yet. It’s been pretty clear above the fog.

I took this photo last winter up in Arosa, we go up there regularly as my cousins allow us to stay in their chalet in the middle of this photo.

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Woolleys Farm

Woolleys beach is stunning and it’s good to know that the farmers that own the most of the land have no intentions of carving it up and selling it to developers. I had the pleasure of spending New Years eve on the farm with the Woolleys family and listening to Lyle’s stories of the way it used to be. Looking around it hasn’t changed much in the last 70 odd years by the sound of it. There are many beaches in New Zealand that have become little towns full of houses and have removed the natural beauty of the place. As a new father I somehow hope that there are lot’s of people in this world like the Woolleys family, who have the ability and the want to keep things the way they are, and are happy with what they have and they don’t need more.

There is something to be said about the simpler life that many New Zealanders seem to live, they are happier and enjoy life and worry less than their european cousins. Perhaps it’s the good weather and food.

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Munich Oktoberfest

Well this is the quietest I’ve been since I started this blog, over a month without any posts. Not really sure what happened, life just became a little overwhelming. Everything at once it seems, a huge amount of work came in that meant I was travelling about 20 hours a week to various locations. And as usual the thing that suffered from the lack of time and motivation was this blog.

I post photos to my blog and other places cause I enjoy it, cause I think people like seeing the photos I take and it seems pretty pointless to have and take all these photos without sharing them with the world. If one of my photos brings a smile to a person’s face that makes me smile, like the guy in this photo. When he saw me raise my camera and point it at him and he tried to put on the face of a bored booth attendant, I waited till he smiled and took the photo.

I guess what I am trying to say is sorry for the lack of photos let’s hope I have a bit more time from now on.

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Playing Catch Up

Another thing I do a lot of these days, is noticing months later that I have forgotten to do something. While travelling in Namibia last year I posted a few photos from the road. I finally remembered to upload them today.

A friend recently said that they thought I had already achieved a lot in my life, I really don’t think I have I still have loads of things I want to do and always have this fear that I will run out of time. Since time is one of the most precious thing we have you should make the most of it. I  waste too much of my time, I watch too much TV, play too many games on my ipad and generally waste a fair bit of time not doing anything useful. On the other hand, if I was constantly running around and keeping on top of everything maybe those moments that matter would pass me by. You clearly have to find a balance between “productive” time and down time, I think I don’t do too badly with it. Let’s see how this all changes in the next few weeks with another person coming into our lives. Hopefully it’s the downtime that get’s used up by the kid :), and that I still have some time to take photos…

To get interesting photos you have to look at things from different angles, I spent a good 30 minutes early one morning in Marienfluss crawling around in the sand.

Head on over to my smugmug portfolio to see the rest of the images.

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A Storm Approaches

I’m sitting on my balcony watching dark clouds stirring on the other side of the lake, the orange warning lights are flashing telling the boats to head back to harbor. The wind is picking up and the temperature is dropping.

Story of my life at the moment, well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Those words somehow describe the way I feel and for some reason I am finding it hard to motivate myself to do the thing that makes me most at peace with myself. Taking photos that is, and writing on this blog.

I have a massive library of photos so finding new photographic content for the blog isn’t that hard. The problem is the writing, for the last couple of months I sit regularly in front of a screen pondering what word to start with. And all that comes out of my brain is a rather mute sentence or two that doesn’t really add up to much. It’s not really what I want to share, just seems to be all that’s there at the moment. I can’t tell you the real cause, there is plenty going on and plenty more rattling around inside my head, that’s not unusual, my brain always seems to be on the go.

If I could tell you I probably wouldn’t need to write this post, then again giving you a little insight into what I’m all about can’t be bad can it?

I feel like I’ve been putting off sharing many a thing for quite a while. I actually can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about this, possibly the fact that I haven’t been able to find the words. In about a months time I will be a father, hmmm crap I was expecting some form of overwhelming euphoria to pass through my body when I wrote those words, the spine tingling was quite nice but I was expecting a bit more than that.

I was secretly telling myself that by writing about it, I would get over this strange block. I don’t want to call it writers block, I don’t call myself a writer, I enjoy sharing my thoughts. This isn’t the only place I do it, I write on my employers tech blog, I’ve also written an article or two. Not tremendous amounts and definitely nothing that’s worth publishing.

Anyway back to the topic at hand, yes I’m going to be a father. Plenty of our friends are asking me if I’m excited, nervous or feeling some king of other feeling. I must admit except the kicking in Louise’ belly and the rearrangement of the apartment it doesn’t feel any different yet. I’ve always been the kind of person to take things as they come, it’s more of a case of we’ll have to wait and see.

There are a couple of other things going on that may be causing these motivational issues, I’ve been visiting a physio regularly to deal with a herniated disk, which was quite painful and now just become downright annoying as I have gotten used to the pain. The other one is several months ago I got a promotion at work, which is a good thing, but has added a little stress.

I doubt very much that any of these are the cause of my lack of motivation. I just need to kick myself in the ass a little more often and remember to look at the world around me from time to time. That’s what sparks my interest and passion, like sitting here watching the storm this evening.

I’m not looking for sympathy or anything like that, I just figured instead of writing my rather dull sentence or two, I would try something different and write about what’s bugging me.

The storm in this photo never amounted to much, the local Swiss guy who owned this campsite come farm was hoping for rain.

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Tell a Story

Photos should tell a story, you don’t necessarily need a never seen before scene to tell a story. What you do need is a scene that provokes something inside of you to tell that story. Then you need to somehow tell that story without words and just use your camera to convey what you believe you are seeing. To me that’s something very hard to explain in words, my thoughts are very image driven. If I see something I like I will start to photograph it and after a while the more pictures I take of the subject the more I see other aspects of it and while the subject is still the main part of the story the rest of the photo becomes an integral part of the story.

Take this photo for example what story does it tell? Is it one of desperation and despair where the elephant lacks anything to eat and that the world around him has been burnt to ashes. Or is it a story of new life and regeneration? To most people I am sure it will be the former as the hints to new life are very subtle, you can only really see new life in the slim patch of green grass behind the elephant.

Many national parks practice controlled burning of dry grasses to promote new growth, which is the true reality of this photo.

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Sunset at Port St Johns

It will be many years before I forget this sunset, that sentiment was reinforced a few months ago. It wasn’t because the sunset was so powerful or stunning that the image of it has been imprinted in my mind. It’s simply the place, events and people. I remember as we arrived at the top of the cliffs above Port St Johns, Gumby jumped out of the car and shouted “get your cameras take a photo of that”. “Photo of what?”,”The fucking sunset” Gumby shouted back. It wasn’t only that moment, later on that evening we had to break into the car cause someone had locked the car with the keys in the ignition. A few days before we were up on the hill Gumby had prodded a shark away from what I thought was going to be my end.

Very often it’s not the moment that you press the shutter that you’ll remember, it’s the circumstance. In this instance it was all about the great company and the sense of adventure of diving the sardine run. In other cases it may be the hardship you go through to get to the location from where you take a photo. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy photography so much. The photographs remind me of the circumstances that I’ve been in.

It’s with great sadness that I found out that Gumby passed away on the 20th of February.

I’ve had many reminders in recent months of how short life really is, and that if you have a dream you should go and live it and try your hardest to achieve it.

One of my dreams is to travel the world and take a memorable photo in every country that exists and share it with the world. Having a dream like this and actually accomplishing it are two very different things. I have no idea how I’ll achieve it. It is at the moment only a dream, and has yet to become a plan. I’ve travelled enough to know what taking on something like this would mean and I don’t plan on accomplishing it in the next few years, I just hope that I can get close to realising my dream before my time is up and I join Gumby.

I’m generally a quiet person and like to keep my ideas, thoughts and dreams to myself. I’m not really sure why I’m sharing this now, I guess it’s time for me to step out of my comfort zone and get off my lazy ass.

It has taken me over a month to push the publish button on this post. I started writing it a few days after I found out about the incident. Sharing something like this is definitely outside my comfort zone!

Gumby is the little guy second from the right in this photo.

Sardine run crew

Here’s a shot of the memorable sunset, I posted a similar photo from this same evening last year sometime. A friend commented that the clouds looked like they were painted, I think that effect comes from the fact that there was alot of smoke in the sky. It was the season that they burn grass in South Africa, just before the rains come, they do this all over the african continent. They do it so the new grasses come quicker.

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Masked in San Marco

I can’t say that I’m very comfortable photographing strangers on the street. Some photographers appear to be quite comfortable with it, at least that’s how it comes across in what they say and write. I’ve read plenty on the art of street photography, while street photography is not only about photographing strangers, in my mind that is one of the subjects it focuses on. These girls were somewhat easier to photograph due to them wearing masks, creating a barrier between my mind and the reality of a human face.

Every time I photograph a stranger I feel like I am intruding on their privacy, I guess i’m not really, walking around in a public street is not being private. If I was to Jump over their fence and photograph them through the window of their house would be intruding on their privacy. I believe the real issue with me is some sort of fear of being “told off” for disrespecting the individual, the few times where I have been in the right mindset to overcome that fear and take the photograph, I’ve been reasonably pleased with the results. Nothing spectacular when comparing to others. I have the same sort of fear and reservation when writing on this blog, I fear being judged by others. I tell myself over and over again that it doesn’t really matter, telling yourself is one thing, being able to move past that point and to be at ease with something that makes you uncomfortable are two very different things. I believe to overcome these hurdles I’m going to have to constantly push myself to take those photographs and write about the things that make me uncomfortable and show some of my emotions. I guess this is the first of these longer blog posts where I will try and give you the reader a little more insight into what is banging around in that head of mine, I don’t share it with many people. I find speaking about this sort of thing just as difficult as writing about it, even with the people that are closest to me in this world.

Maybe you’re wondering what has bought this on, well a series of events over the past several months have made me rethink what life is all about and that it truly is a fragile thing, and that if I want to achieve my dreams and leave my mark on this world however big or small that mark is. I can’t sit around and procrastinate about it anymore. I’ll share more with you as the weeks, months and years go by.

If no one else reads this blog entry at least I will return to it once it a while to remind myself what this is all about. Even if it’s still unclear to you.

 

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Blocked

Since I’ve returned from Namibia, my mind is somehow stuck, I find it difficult to find words to write. I kind of assumed that when I got back I would be inspired to write a bit more than my usual couple of lines. As it stands at the moment that’s not the case, maybe a little too much work.

At least there’s still plenty of photos in my library to share. This one is of Hartmanns valley, the thought of this place still makes me smile.

 

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