The following entry is somewhat lengthier than most entries that are posted on here, but I would urge you to read it through on the basis that at some point in your photographic endeavors, you might be faced with a subject or scenario that forces you to think twice about the choice you make in pressing the shutter. This choice is not about the technicalities of shutter speed, aperture, or ISO settings, but rather an internal combustion of emotional and moral weight. As the title of Joe McNally’s book states: “It all happens the moment it clicks.”
Recently, a friend and I found ourselves at Maponya Mall in Soweto. I had my Canon EOS 450D in a backpack and out of sight, while his EOS 40D was strapped around his neck and balanced proudly against his chest. While walking around, nothing caught our attention. However, the mere fact that my friend’s camera was in plain sight was enough to alert the attention of one of the security staff members.
I’m not one to bother with the world of celebrity…in fact, I make a point of staying as far away from it as I can, which is why I probably have the least used TV of anyone I know. However, through studio photography, I am finding that the world of celebrity is encroaching on my space. Each time celeb x changes their hairstyle, a good number of people in society quickly go out and emulate that look. Inevitably, some end up in the studio I’m based at, insisting on poses that they’ve seen their favourite celeb pose in for a magazine or whatever else medium that their photos are likely to feature on.
I can see the desperation in her body language, the years of habit stirring deep within her. In spite of the biting cold, she gingerly and determinly struck the match. The cold makes her shake, especially her arms and hands, as an icy breeze blew out the flame. Frustrated, she tried again, the match bursts into life and this time she ignores the shakes and quickly lights the cigarette loosely lodged at her lips. That first drag fills her with satisfaction, her eyes closed and the cold breeze forgotten like a distant thought… the addiction.
Have you ever watched a colony of ants, meticulously gathering the crumbs that you may have left behind on your kitchen counter while preparing that yummy lunch sandwich? Of course you have, we live in Africa and I’m yet to find a household not equipped with some sort of inset or bug repellent. But before you reached for your insect death in a can out frustration or sheer horror, did you take a moment to observe their actions? It takes them a little while, but they sure know how to wipe a surface clean… if you give them enough time that is.
I have 27 winters under my belt. Throw in one or two northern hemisphere editions and you could say I’m relatively experienced in that department. But, for the love of sleep, all that experience counts for nothing in the face of this year’s advancing chill and darker mornings. You would have thought that with battles fought hard in places that bare names as chill attracting as Meyerton, Belfast, Standerton and Toronto, I would have been battle hardened by now, but the only thing with a close association to hard here is the ability to get out of bed. These days, come 05h30, I’m left rendered with what feels like a tranquilized body and eyelids glued shut by the toasty warmth of a pillow… and this is only the beginning. Folks in Colesberg or Sutherland would likely think of me as a whimpering city slicker, but should they perish, the morgue may just feel a little warmer then winter’s full assault on their towns.
A little while back we issued a call for contributors (the invitation is still open). This is the first post from a new contributor, Sfiso Maggz whom you will have heard of in one of my posts previously about Photo Walking in Johannesburg CBD. We hope you enjoy the read.
‘Do you like my new shoes?” she asked; as she confidently thrust forward her feet to give me a better view. It’s the sort of question I’m sure many a guy has had to deftfully answer to. Her beaming smile said it all… she already had a pre-determined answer that she expected me to shower upon her, in recognition of her refined fashion sense. But, I’m just not that accommodating. My blank stare gazed upon her, accompanied by the knowledge that I actually didn’t know she had new shoes on.