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.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Importance of Backup and the September Thanda Workshop

A long weekend of family reunions following a week long workshop at Thanda Game Reserve has meant that it's been a little longer than usual between blog posts - my apologies to the regular readers for this.

I spent my last week with a wonderful, if large, group of photography students at the Ulwazi Lodge on Thanda Game Reserve. Ordinarily we host a group of about 6-8 photographers, but this time we had a larger group of 11 photographers. 11 photographers of course means that game viewing is night on impossible in one vehicle. Happily, African Impact had two of their new vehicles on hand which meant that everybody on the workshop had great seating and ample space for their equipment. On top of this the new coordinator, Pip is one of the best qualified photographers we've had in years, which made teaching considerably easier.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Welcome Trend

It's an ever-present sight wherever you find friends gathering, tourists flocking, parents doting, travelers exploring, narcissists 'selfing' (maybe I didn't need to add that) and any other kind of photographic record keeping taking place. It's the two arm stretch that makes people look like zombies with their arms guiding their direction. That or some kind of new-fangled camera yoga. Yup, it's the LCD stretch!

When digital reared its head camera manufacturers rapidly excised the optical viewfinder from the compact camera to save cost and space. At first users found this a bit confusing, but soon the loss of the viewfinder was hardly felt by the majority of camera users. All except enthusiast photographers. By this I mean the kind of photographer who is doing more than just photographing his or her mates having a beer, Aunt Nelly dozing at the beach, or a quick 'look at where we are' shot. It was bereaved by the SLR - soon to be DSLR - toting few. The few grew however and now there are suggestions by some internet writers that most middle class European and American families own at least one DSLR. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Beware the Fad

An early example of my HDR attempts (and a hideous one at that I now realise...the true horror was that I was paid for this cruelty to aethetics and at the time the client loved it...oh the ignominy, the embarresment ;) )

The dictionary on my tablet gives the definition of a ‘fad’ as something that has “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived, and without basis in the object’s qualities: a craze”. In the photographic world every once in a while there is a sudden glut in the production of a particular type of image to the extent that one could call the excitement over the style, a fad. The result of this glut is a lowering in the overall aesthetic quality of these images and viewers going from thinking the image style is fantastic, original and creative to thinking it is trite. A quick list of such styles in photography could easily be: High Dynamic Range Imagery, Star-trails, Lomography, Zoom bursts, Snapshots, Instagram filters etc. These styles cum fads usually begin with an individual trying out a new technique. The eye-catching result is then copied ad nauseam. What starts out as original, turns into a movement and rapidly makes it’s way into the banal and the downright naff.