Sunrise over the railway

A few weeks ago I met up with a group of photo-walkers to capture the sun rising over the railway lines.  The sky was stunning – an soufflé of purple clouds curved over the Sandton skyline, and an ever-expanding sea of pink and orange rose from the east.

Reefsteamers day/night shoot

Near the end of March, I joined a photowalk to Reefsteamers, which is an organisation dedicated to the preservation of old steam engines.  Aside from train tracks, the property contains a kind of warehouse, which holds several trains, and many little cogs, gears, and other small machinery.  The gritty, dirty theme and the fading light encouraged me to use a high ISO for almost all my shots.

I found the entire place ideal for macro photography.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my images!

Irene Dairy Farm Challenge

In mid-March, I took part in a “photo challenge” with Nextgen Photo Academy at Irene Dairy Farm.  I last went to the farm when I was too young to remember it, so I found it a very interesting and enjoyable experience.

We had fourteen different challenges to choose between – we could do as many or as few as we wanted to. Our photos were then reviewed a few nights later.

Get low:

Task: to change your perspective by ‘getting low’ and aiming upwards at your subject.

Environmental portraiture

Task: Capture an image of people in their environment.

While I’m not usually a fan of portrait photography, I couldn’t resist when I looked up from behind an old tractor and saw this…the finger up the nose was just an added bonus!

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Abstract:

Task: use elements such as line, shape, and texture to produce an abstract, arty image.

These are a couple of my favourite photos from the excursion – though I have been trying to take a photo of a spider-web for so long now, that the eventual result was a tad anti-climatic.

Shadows:

Task: Take an image where the shadow of an object is the main subject.

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Create mood:

Task: combine environmental elements and photography techniques to produce a moody image.

As I think almost all good photos have a moody element to them, I found I was easily inspired for this challenge.  In the end I used this gorgeous little guy as my model, a job which he seemed to take very seriously; he paraded around his pen crying plaintively and looking mournful the entire time I was there.

Wide angle animal portrait:

Task: effectively use the distortion provided by 10-20mm focal distances to capture an animal portrait.

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While I was there I also had my hand suckled on for nearly twenty minutes:

…and I did some exploring, which turned up a few interesting composures:

I would highly recommend the Irene Dairy Farm to animal-lovers, and photographers interested in animal portraiture, macro photography, environmental portraits, and even landscape photography.

Full moon light painting at Northcliff Eco Park

My first photowalk in March was to Northcliff Eco Park, where a member of Joburg Photowalkers hosted a light-painting evening.  As someone who has never done painting with light, but wanted to do so for a while, I was a bit disappointed – I had fun, but the results were a bit too unpredictable for my liking.

The hill upon which the park is based had a stunning view, especially seeing as I was lucky enough to arrive before the sun had fully set. (I posted this for week 10 of my 365 project.)

One of the photographers had brought a light wheel, which we used with varying patterns and colours. I particularly like the way the green light surrounded the water tower in the one photo (I admit I moved the water tower very slightly in Photoshop).

We also used a couple of other lights:

I took a couple more cityscapes on the way back to the car.

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I would highly recommend Northcliff Eco Park to anyone looking for a peaceful picnic/short walk. The scenery from the hill is beautiful, and ideal for city photography.

Norwood Photowalk

In mid-February, Norwood held a ‘LoveNorwood’  photo competition, and Joburg Photowalkers hosted an accompanying photowalk.  The competition had three main categories: love, food, and culture.

These were my interpretation of the ‘love’ category; I liked the attention a couple of the children paid to their balloon and their painting, respectively.

For ‘culture’, I found some motorcycles, a musician, and I talked to one of the inhabitants of Norwood:

Finally, for food, I set my on-camera flash to go off during the second curtain while watching someone making vetkoek, and later photographed my lunch before eating it.

I also took some other photos, unrelated to the competition, which I was pleased with.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on my photos!

Nizamiye Turkish Masjid

In February, a week after my trip to the Buddhist temple, I went to the Nizamiye Turkish Masjid with some other photographers. The mosque was beautiful, but lacked the evading sense of peace I found at the temple.

The entrance to the mosque led into a large courtyard, containing taps where people could wash their feet before entering the actual building.

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Another photographer brought a glass sphere, which we shot through to create special effects.

I popped inside the main building, before we all headed to the roof of a restaurant, where we watched the end of the sunset.

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On the way, I spotted this:

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We stayed on the roof until the restaurant closed at about 8PM.

We then went back inside, before heading home.

I would recommend the mosque to anyone interested in other cultures, or simply interesting and beautiful places.

Nan Hua Buddhist Temple

In February, I went to the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple with a group of photowalkers.  The temple wasn’t my style, but I still found it majestic. I was impressed by the tranquility of the place, present despite its vibrant colours.

One of the photographers brought ‘props’, which we used as foreground COIs.

Many ‘Fu Lions’ lay around the outside of the building. These are believed to be mythical beings with protective powers. I found them to work wonderfully with the very high contrast, midday lighting.

I found several other, intricate carvings, which I also loved.

It was equally lovely inside the temple.

Some writing instruments had been set out, with which people could write their thoughts and prayers (I think).

I would highly recommend the Nan Hua Temple for anyone who enjoys interesting architecture, learning about different cultures, or is simply looking for some peace and quiet.

Photowalk: Troyeville and Maboneng

As I mentioned in a recent post, I went on my first photowalk a few weeks ago.  I had fun, despite forgetting to bring a back-up memory card and having to shoot in  low-quality JPEGs instead of RAW files!

We left from the Troyeville Hotel, walked through Maboneng, and ended up at Arts on Main.  Being quite a high-crime area, I found the opportunity to walk around and explore it fascinating (we figured that, as we were in a group of ~35, we were safe).

Walls were covered in beautiful grafiti…

…children played on the pavements…

…and various possessions hung out to dry on home-made clothes-lines.

The slightly-broken-down look that most of the places had was depressing, but also exactly what I adore photographing.