Featured Photographer at FotoExhibit #2

I’m am so blessed to have been asked by Gill Allderman to showcase a body of work at the FotoExhibit #2 held in Cape Town at Cameraland in Long Street.  The exhibition is part of the First Thursday held in Cape Town. With art and culture and exploring the city at night, it is an amazing event for all of us who form part of the life in Cape Town.

In an interview with Cameraland, I was asked about my background and inspiration that forms part of my work. You can view the interview here. Thank you to all involved in the FotoExhibit #2 for this opportunity.

About the Exhibition:
We were at the Knead Bakery in Kloof Street Cape Town in the early hours of the morning shooting for this exhibition. The staff, assistant and myself had to plan our shots and photograph them before opening time and the breakfast rush.

The process of baking is a peaceful discipline, the dusting of flour, the folding of hands, the forming of dough, the baking of bread. Day after day the bakers repeat this process, providing us the joy of breaking bread around the table.

Most of the images taken were very commercial, but as we got nearer the end of our journey on the first day, we saw a new dawn, so to speak, and the “stars” began to shine from the broken breadcrumbs on our last shot. And so, as I was documenting the beginning of baking bread, a new concept was born, “The Beginning of Time”.

We all have seen the stars of the night sky and have been amazed at their beauty. Each one placed in position by God for us to enjoy. I have merely tried by my human standards to recreate creation using the raw ingredients as my subject.

Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay is one of those places that can be revisited over and over and every time you go, you find something new. As mentioned before in a previous post, Kalk Bay is a place a beauty and when a friend of mine suggested he wanted to take some early morning images, it was our first place of choice.

Being summer with the sun rising a 5.20am and setting at 8.30pm, we needed to start early to get that “first light” over the bay. We experianced a peaceful quietness being the first people in the harbour. Looking for where the light would fall once it rose over the cloud bank on the horizon, we set up our cameras to take the photo at the right moment. I chose to go for a graphic look of the harbour wall and tied some filter options to control the light in camera so as to do as little as possible in post production. Once satisfied with my shot, I was happy to relax as move around the harbour looking for some other options.

Kalk Bay harbour offers many photographic opportunities, provided you look for them. Some early morning fishermen made their way into the harbour and I saw an opportunity to shoot something else. After a brief conversation, one of the fishermen allowed me to shoot a silhouette of him against the bright morning light. Looking for other details around the harbour allows you to be creative and achieve other results. The key is to observe and wait for some of the moments in life before capturing them.

It always amazes me how two people can be at the same place at the same time and photograph it completely differently. My friend took some amazing images going for a super wide approach as to mine being graphic. It comes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we are all unique in the way we behold.

Kalk Bay will be seeing me soon again, not only for the harbour, but for the antique, clothing and collectors shops, stalls, deli’s and restaurants that it offers. It is a great destination with many variables.

The Small Things

With a world filled with big ideas, God in His infinite wisdom is filled with small details. The things we pass by and hardly look at, are some of the most beautiful in all creation.

We often look at the stars and say WOW, I know, I do. But today, I’m stopping and looking at the small things. The things that are created to perfection. The things that had to be designed in Heaven and showed on earth. These are the wonders of the small.

Daily Bread

Something most of us do each day of our lives is to have some bread. Which ever shape or form it takes, bread has become our daily bread. For instance, my father in law always starts his day with a slice of bread and coffee. At home, I make the sandwiches for the kids to take to school. Bread has been the one food source that has stood the test of time. Today, we don’t just bake bread, we make and create bread.

Daily Bread

Shot on location with food editor Arina Du Plessis

Chocolate Mousse

Mmmm…..what can I say about the delights of chocolate mousse.

I’m on location with food editor Arina Du Plessis and this is my first shoot with her this year. So she thought, the best way to start the year was with chocolate mousse and I have to say, I agree. The chocolate mousse is decadent, I know, I’ve been eating it, and the recipe for this mouth watering mousse will be in the next Boerekos Magazine, available in May 2013.

So, to get you to want some of this, I thought it best to show you the photo we have just done.

Chocolate Mousse

A little bit of Retro

While looking for images for another edit, I came across these shots that I did years ago. It would only be right to see them again as this was shot in the beginning of the digital era and software was no where near to what it can do now. So here is a quick edit of old images in new software. Currently using Capture One Pro.

Retro copy

Nikon D800 Vs Canon MKIII

It has been a long road to get to this comparison between these two cameras.
Once again, a big thank you to ORMS for all the camera equipment used to make this post possible.

You can go to the previous post on the D800 Vs 5DMKII here, but on this epic journey, I have shot in studio and on location, with and without clients. I’ve shot and re-shot to make sure that I’m making as good assessment as I possibly can.

The rules have stayed the same unless indicated otherwise:
– Both cameras were set to the same ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture.
– Lenses used were Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, Nikon 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR Micro Nikkor, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM and Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR.
– Images are viewed and processed using Capture One Pro.
– The white balance and exposure, was the same as the previous test. Nikon and Canon have slightly different ways of interpreting the data, so there was always a discrepancy between readings, i.e, exposure readings were a third to a half a stop different for the same reading in Capture One Pro.
– Genre’s of photography were food and decor.

So, lets get started. First up was a shoot I did with House & Leisure Magazine where we shot an advertorial for Simonberg Cheese. Here I’m using a combination of the zoom lens or the macro for the close-up.

On screen size or A4, there is not much difference. It is when you start enlarging that things start to change. The D800 pics up more information, especially in the finer textures of the fabric. It also sees more detail on the leaves. But, there must be a but, there is a certain softness to the images which makes the Canon images, though smaller, appear sharper.

The next shot was basically the same as the test with the 5DMKII. This time I had a controlled light source, tungsten light diffused through a soft box. Another change I made was to make use of a AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II for the first shot (004). Canon’s first shot was done with a EF 70-200mm f/4L USM (017). The second shot with the Nikon was done with a AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR (014). The Canon’s second shot was done on the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (012).

Here was the start of something I discovered. Remembering that this is my opinion to which some may agree and others disagree, I found that the D800 is lens specific. What that means to me, is that certain lenses work better on the D800 than others, the 24-85mm f3.5 lens to my mind is not ideal for the D800. I could not get a sharp image using this lens on this shot. Also, the same “softness” on the D800 or the “sharpness” of the 5DMKIII occurs here too and this seemed to continue to be the trend of these two cameras throughout the testing.

I did this next shot including the 5DMKII into the test to see what the difference will be. All three cameras are set the same. ISO 100, 1sec, f11. None gave the same exposure. The 5DMKII had to be set to – 0.3, the 5DMKIII set to 0, and the D800 set to + 0.3 to give the same result.

The aim of this test was to show what happens in the shadows. The 5DMKII on the left has poor shadow detail compared to the other two cameras. Here, the D800 (on the right), shows clean shadows, but again, the camera is paired with the 24-85mm f3.5-f4.5 lens producing soft images. So, I decided to not use this lens again and used the 24-120mm f4 for future testing.

While I was swopping the lenses, the Nikon D600 arrived and I was given it for a few hours. Unfortunately, the software I use did not recognize the D600’s RAW files, (being brand new), so I did the shot on JPEG mode on both the D600 and the 5DMKIII. Using the macro lenses, shooting into the light, having the same ISO and aperture. I had different shutter speeds for the exposure as the light was daylight, diffused through a perspex sheet. What is immediately obvious, is the colour difference between these cameras. The Canon producing more saturated colours. Once you’ve looked past the colour, you also notice that the depth of field differs even-though both cameras are on f8. The Nikon 105mm macro producing less depth than the 100mm macro from Canon.

I can’t say that I had tested the D600 properly as I only had it for a short time. The test above was a quick test and it may not be a fair representation.

Comparisons are always subjective. The best thing in all this is to find what works best for you. The questions you need to ask are:  What do you need?  What is the primary work that your camera will be doing? Once these are answered, you can make a decision that is the right one for you.

%d bloggers like this: