About this Blog

Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Green Square Anonymous - Thanda Photography Workshop

This last Thanda workshop marked my four year anniversary with the African Impact team. Four years ago I walked into the African Impact house at St Lucia, not really expecting this to be a long term venture, and certainly not expecting for the project to move from St Lucia two years later to Thanda. During this time I have been happy to see the overall company grow as well as the new project at Thanda blossom from infancy.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Some Sound (Real World) Buying Advice

Just recently I have had a number of beginner photographers pass through my studio and workshops that have all had the same dilemma. To wit: a limited cash supply that needs to be balanced against a seemingly inexhaustible array of supposedly necessary and essential photography equipment. The problem is that very few of us actually have the kind of financial means to kit ourselves out with the latest and greatest cameras, lenses and more. Reading forums on the internet I can understand why so many of my students get the impression that all photographers are extraordinarily wealthy as the internet chat rooms are filled with users complaining about their latest purchases or their plans to spend a further triple zero amount on a must-have accessory. The reality is that there are far, far more photographers out there who don’t moan on internet forums and who don’t have the kind of money that said whingers talk about. The next problem is that the budding photographer, having decided to ditch the advice of the forums will go to the salesperson, who I am sad to say, in the majority of cases is more concerned about making a sale than of actually helping you on your path to photographic nirvana (most cases, not all). 

This article is not meant to compare the older D700 to that of the new and far superior D800. Rather, it suggests that perhaps looking for older models is a sometimes wiser use of one’s finances to obtain equipment

So here I am going to attempt to create a real-world buying list so that you can photograph with a diverse range of techniques while still fending off the bank manager or mortgaging the house. 

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Slice and Dice - and a note on Lightroom 4

I had my first surgery the other day...one that I photographed that is. I received a call from a client to be at one of the government hospitals for a shoot. except the specifics were rather lacking. Even the client, an event organiser for the medical fraternity, wasn't entirely sure of what I'd be shooting. My previous shoot for the same client had been a fairly conventional event: the opening of a new forensic unit - so the usual event/conference shots, some creative portraits of the guest speaker and a few group shots that were a little different to the standard 'stand in a line and say cheese'. So conservative guess was therefore this was going to be much of the same.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thanda Workshop and a Caveat on the 'Expose to the Right' Approach

It's a week overdue admittedly, but better late than never I suppose. The last week has been rather frenetic with a number of shoots for clients along with a day of teaching thrown into the mix. Ultimately it kept me off the ether for a few days, so things are a little behind schedule.

The week at Thanda as per the norm, kept me on my toes - this time with a large group of 10 students. I really enjoyed the vibe among the photographers though. I admit that the smaller the group the more individual attention each of the photographers gets, but there are advantages to having larger groups as well. For a start the group dynamic can be more varied as there start to be groups within groups. I often try to avoid this, but it happens. Christian Sperka, a German wildlife photographer, has also joined the Thanda staff and made working with a larger group easier as well as adding a teaching dynamic by having more than one professional opinion (this I appreciate as photography is not actually a hard science once you get past the actual formation of an image on the sensor or film - decisions around exposure and technique tend to be aesthetically determined, and that is a whole mess of opinions).

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