It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. What’s even more remarkable is that we’ve passed this decade’s halfway mark. 2015 has definitely been one crazy year.
Terrorists stepped up their game with the Charlie Hebdo and Paris attacks as well as the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt. A shocking story that had the “it could happen to me” factor was the Germanwings crash in the Alps.
Photography technology relentlessly advanced with the improvement of mirrorless and micro four thirds cameras, touted to replace DSLRs in the not too distant future. Front in the queue was Sony’s A7 mirrorless, lighter and smaller than a DSLR but with image quality and autofocus speed being reported just as good as high end DSLRs.
Photography-wise it’s been a massive step for me in the right direction this year. I got my own website going, had my first wedding, engagement, portrait and family shoots, worked on building my portfolio (which is a never-ending endeavour) and acquired the necessary gear to take professional photos. I also completed the MatadorU Fundamentals of Travel Photography course which helped me a lot to pay more attention to the finer details of settings and what’s in the viewfinder before pressing the shutter release button. I also attended a flash photography workshop with Andrew Schoeman which opened up a whole new set of opportunities and creativity in that field.
From day to day it sometimes feels as if I’m standing still as a photographer but it always fascinates me to see the improvement when I look back at older photos. The only way to learn is also just to take on new challenges that might fall outside of your comfort zone. It’s not until you’ve tried it and seen the mistakes you make that you can learn from it and move on.
I want to thank the customers who made use of my service this year. The experience I gained has been invaluable. To choose my favourite seven photos I took in 2015 was not easy. My main criteria were feel good factor and effort involved to capture the photo. Feel free to leave a comment.
A quick Sunday trip from White River. I waited in vain for the sun to break through the clouds but instead got this moody atmosphere. With the help from MatadorU’s mentors I was able to get the most out of this photo through editing in Lightroom.
One bitter cold winter morning with a fowl north westerly howling along the grasslands. I almost didn’t stop due to the unpleasant weather but this solitary tree really stood out against the stark landscape.
Early bird catches the worm. I found this spot at dawn to be ready for sunrise at 6am. I hoped for sunlight to paint the clouds red before sunrise but it unfortunately never materialised.
An old friend of mine from primary school days, Edrich, had a very unique traditional Korean wedding ceremony and I was fortunate to be their photographer. Their striking outfits were complimented by the picturesque venue. This was the first time I tried out my remote control flash.
I was fortunate to live here for almost two years. As I sat on the porch this storm moved from left to right. At first I wasn’t too interested in it but then suddenly it evolved into this majestic mushroom-like storm cell. Just before the rain hit I was able to take the shots for the panorama as a 24mm lens could not possibly have captured the entire scene.
Rock’n’Roll…cool. Pretty girls playing rock’n’roll…the best. A friend invited me to check Saarkie out and I was pleasantly surprised. The biggest challenge was to isolate the subject from the poor lighting and background. Usually I’d use no flash but by bouncing my flash I was able to achieve the desired lighting. This was also the first time I went into the unknown territory of ISO 12800! The velvet/creamy texture is achieved by removing the high ISO’s grain in post editing.
This one snuck in through the backdoor. Maybe sentimental value played a small part. The grass isn’t this short due to the horses being excellent lawnmowers. The current drought in South Africa is very prevalent on the Mpumalanga highveld. After a much needed and blessed rain storm the remaining clouds were painted red by the setting sun.
Have a happy New Years and a prosperous 2016.