Tuesday 25 March 2014

Photography tips (#1)

I will be sharing five tips that I have previously posted in Google+ and Facebook.

Here is the first one:
( If you can't wait for the rest: here are all my tips: http://www.groblerdupreez.co.za/phototips.htm )

Shooting into the sun

As most people know by now, the most beautiful photos are usually created during the "golden hour" (the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset). What is also widely taught, is that you must always shoot with the sun at your back. This is an untruth - some of my best photos ever were shot nearly directly into the sun. The photo below was shot about 10 minutes before sunset when the sun was only a few degrees above and to the side of the subject. If there is dust in the air, shoot into the sun, but be careful not to shoot before the intensity of the sunlight is low enough not to damage your eyes or your camera sensor.

This type of photo you usually cannot see with the naked eye as the light is too sharp to see clearly.
Always use a tripod and remote control or the camera timer to reduce camera shake.

Sunset at the Okaukeujo waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia.

Nikon D300s, Sigma 50-500 at 420mm, f11, 1/160s, ISO 200, tripod. I used the camera timer on 2 seconds to further decrease camera shake.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Who Am I?

I am not a writer and my skills in composing essays are not good (was hopeless with this at school), but I think it is time to get this blog live. To start off, here is my view of who I am and what I belief in...

Who am I? A question everyone should ask him- or herself. I tried to answer this question looking at my history, my passion and my beliefs.

My history
Firstly, I am a thoroughbred African citizen. My forefathers arrived in the Cape of Good Hope, on the Southern tip of Africa on the 5th of June 1688. I was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1955.

I grew up in Bloemfontein and Windhoek in what was then South West Africa where I completed school.

Secondly, I slaved for 31 years 10 months and 25 days up to 2005 for a boss in the telecommunications sector in Namibia and South Africa. My struggle for freedom ended when the company decided they have no use for me anymore and put me on early retirement.

My passion
Since involuntary retirement, I had the freedom of pursuing my earthly passion, photography. It all started in 1970 when my mother gave me her Kodak Brownie 127 camera.

This was followed in 1973 by my first 35mm SLR camera, a Praktica Super TL, followed by a homemade enlarger and darkroom for black and white photos, followed by a Kowa 6x6 camera, followed by more cameras, followed by...

In 2004, when it became apparent that freedom was around the corner, I bought my first digital camera, a Nikon D100 (still going strong), followed by another, followed by...

Am I a professional photographer? Making a living out of this profession? No! I would die from hunger if I depended on my photography for an income. Pursuing money eats passion and degrades quality. Delivering professional results? I try, I really try... and regularly succeeds!

What type of photographer am I? I would describe myself as a documentary photographer more than anything else as I love to tell the story of what I have seen and experienced with photos. I especially love wildlife, nature and action photography, but I also do wedding photography (because I need bread).

What is my photography philosophy? Being at the right place at the right time is no coincidence – it is hard work and a lot of planning. A great photograph is taken by an average photographer who had the discipline to be at the right place at the right time. Have a look a tip no. 4 on my web site for more on this.

What do I think of politics?

I personally think there is no single true democracy in the world. True democracy means “rule by the people”. All current democracies are “rule by government”, most of the time with decisions against the will of the people. All current democracies increase the gap between rich and poor. The ideal government in my opinion is one where there are no political parties, only individuals chosen by the people, accountable to the people, and dismissible by the people - but this will probably cause total chaos with new officials every few months...

Am I spiritual?
Every person has the right to choose what to believe. I have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ, not because I grew up with a religion or because I was brainwashed, but because I gave God the opportunity to reveal Himself in my life and experienced Him in my life. Somethings one doesn't need physical proof of when you have the proof in your own heart and life. I have made the choice to follow God of the Bible. Do I have proof of His existence and that the Bible is the truth? Physical proof I don't have just as nobody have proof that He doesn't exist, but looking back over the last 50+ years of my life I can say without doubt, He exists! The way my life has turned out, where He intervened and the way my life has been steered in certain directions are enough proof to me. You would call it coincidence; I call it intervention by God.

What do I say about religion manipulating and misusing people?
Unfortunately it is true that religion has been abused (and still is) by many so called churches and ministers/pastors as there are many people seeing this as an opportunity to exploit people's feeling of guilt and lack of knowledge to make money. They are there to make a living and will steer the church or religious organisation in such a direction as to maximise income. These are not true believers of God. Many people believe only because they have grown up with it or go to church to keep a backdoor open 'just in case there is a God'. Malachi 4:1 "That time of judgment is coming. It will be like a hot furnace. All the proud people will be punished. All the evil people will burn like straw. At that time they will be like a bush burning in the fire, and there will not be a branch or root left." This is what the LORD All-Powerful said. 2 "But, for my followers, goodness will shine on you like the rising sun. And it will bring healing power like the sun's rays.