Thursday, 30 October 2014

Two Weddings and a Farewell

Due to a series of fortunate events I had the privilege to photograph two weddings of friends and the matric farewell of a colleague's son. Once I had agreed to commit myself I knew there was no option to back out and started to prepare in earnest. Fortunately I had help from some friends who are experienced wedding photographers and then of course the wonderful web was full of very helpful videos and other resources. Despite a wealth of information and advice there is no substitute for first hand experience!

Chris and Zandra had an intimate wedding and Zandra who loves purple had a right royal time whilst Chris relished the day. 

Cornel and Armandt were married at the beautiful Barbersbaai and had to deal with wind and rain however their unforgettable day was blessed with a stunning rainbow.

Boeta and his date Anja who were both immaculately dressed for the farewell had great afternoon light at the Bethlehem Railway station and were very relaxed in front of the camera.

As someone who enjoys the technical side of photography and who is prone to tweaking or shall we say fiddling with equipment, one thing I soon found out and that is that there is no time to faff with your camera. Thank goodness for the forgiving latitude of current digital sensors including my Nikon D610 however there is no remedy for camera shake and poor focus technique. With a pair of Nikon flashes, some newly acquired Yongnuo radio flash transmitters and an octabox there was scope for different lighting options. Before the one shoot whilst trying out the flash with radio trigger in the octabox I had inadvertently forgotten to tighten the flash properly and suddenly the flash went crashing down some stairs with batteries flying everywhere. Thankfully the Nikon SB900 still worked faultlessly and a lesson was learnt.

Two weddings and a farewell isn't a great deal of photography however I take my hat off to any professional wedding photographer. One needs a cool head, steady hands and fast feet to catch those special moments but that rush when one sees an image or two that works back home on the screen is hugely satisfying. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hitting the Wall

After a glorious day yesterday I hit the Wall today. We are holidaying here in the beautiful Drakensberg Gardens Resort and yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful bike ride with my daughter Kelly on some rented bikes. 

Kelly sketching in a beautiful setting. Nikon V1 6,7-13mm lens

 Woke up this morning to some blustery conditions and decided to try one of the resort's mountain bike trails. After selecting a bike with disc brakes I went looking for the trails and the easier family route alongside the river sounded just fine. It was downhill and I had a strong breeze behind me, the river beside me and boy was I having fun. There was a little stormpipe crossing up ahead and I unknowingly cut the corner, went flying over the handlebars and heard a loud thud as my forehead hit the soft riversand. I was lying in the ditch with the bike entangled around me and as I opened my eyes everything was sort of whitish and blurry (like a badly overexposed and out of focus photo). I scurried for my cellphone, retrieved it from my camera bag but then couldn't find it.

After sometime looking for my cellphone, trying to adjust the white point slider in my head to fix this bright view of the world and lotsa prayer (didn't want to die in a ditch on a beginner's trail) I soon realised I could see better again. I bravely mounted my hired blue Nomad Bike and found my way to the tar road and with sheer determination and grit cycled uphill to return safely in the arms of my loving and caring wife (who is currently pampering me and nursing me back to good health)

Self portrait in a river pool - who knows what lies around the bend. Nikon V1 6,7-13mm

I have a new found respect for my brother Grant, a keen cyclist and my cycling colleagues at work. Thank God He answers prayers and knows us better than we know ourselves. Morals of the story - mind your head ( wear a helmet in future), one can always bounce back after hitting the Wall and lastly never underestimate the beginner's section!