Friday, 27 April 2007
This is Paul and my motto. Now what we mean by that is, most people will photograph something in the 'obvious' way= with the sun behind them or a gentle sidelight, the rule of thirds well observed!!!
But, like I've said before, you can only start 'breaking' the rules IF and WHEN you know them... so, by doing that, you often take a photo in a way, through comp, or angle or tonal values that is NOT 'normal'= NOT the obvious= beyond the obvious.
Most photographers seem to have some kind of 'headgear', I'm no different, this black number has protected me from snow, rain and sun... and I have protected it from the wind... and flying off into the sea or the great blue-yonder.
I wanted to do a series of portraits with a difference, with strong contrast, BEYOND THE OBVIOUS, there are quite a few things in it that make me very recognizable to people who know me, unmistakably.
It is not just through our faces that we are defined; we have many attributes that give us our identity.
An exercise in lighting, always on the quest of the new and more daring, creative, innovative...
Pushing the limits and boundaries, playing with shapes, lines...
Painting and accentuating with light = PHOTOGRAPHY!
What do you do if you don’t have a model, oohh yes… do it all yourself!
I dressed up, did my hair in this lovely tail and modelled my favourite hat.
Hope you have a lovely day and thanx for your visit, M, (*_*)
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Let me take you on a journey, it only lasted about one hour, but it was a wonderful moment in my life.
So one hour in the life of a photographer?
Let me take you on a journey, it only lasted about one hour, but it was a wonderful moment in my life.
So one hour in the life of a photographer?
On our first free afternoon, we decided to explore the local
Wandering around, I discovered at the bottom of the rocks the tiniest 'beach', only a sandy corner.
Climbing and jumping down, I saw all the patterns the small lapping sea waves had painted in the sand.
I felt like I had struck gold, this was photography paradise.
The first image, my first sight of the only 'beach' corner, towards the entrance of the harbour and the first basin.
My beach corner.
This is the left side with the rocks going off into the sea. From amongst them in the corner, with a soothing fresh murmuring babble, some clear water was flowing steadily forming an interesting delta.
The sun was pounding down, only tourists and mad photographers are out at this time of day, but no tourists here...
You can use that light if you know what you are doing, take advantage of it.
I was looking at the best way of getting down there, closer to what I wanted to shoot.
Sand Water Art.
Once down on the sandy corner, it was like standing in the sea, all the boats on my level. I walked over to the tiny stream, trying to disturb as little as possible.
This always fascinates me, from when I was little I could just sit and watch this for hours, flowing water, making patterns and starry-sparkling in the sun.
Sand Water Art.
I moved on to where the delta had formed, the water flowing in different directions, making more and more patterns, I saw the blue reflection of the sky and all the lovely tones that got created in both sand and water, all I had to be careful of now the whole time was not to have my own shadow in the picture, so I was turning around a lot, also to get the right angle, you know I love to make my comp in camera.
Image 5. David and Goliath.
A swishing sound broke the silence, I looked up from my camera and saw this, in the open harbour alongside the Morro Jable to
Image 6. Sand and water Art.
I again concentrated on what had attracted me most in the first place, the patterns in the sand. One of the first I saw was this one, the waves of exotic black volcanic sand, the basalt (fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava on the Earth's surface) artfully mixed with the soft, clean sand, that is sometimes golden, blown across from the Sahara.
Image 7. SAND WATER ART.
I stand in wonder... such beauty of Nature so Artful
Softly, As I Leave You...
I had spent 1 happy hour on my sandy triangle, trying not to disturb it.
I left the way I had come and saw my own footprints; they'd be lying there for a brief moment in time to be erased by the clear water, maybe giving impulse to new patterns.
I hope you have enjoyed your time with me on that special place. M (*_*)
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
From the series Beer and bottle culture.
Nowadays, sadly, wherever, you'll come across the junk and litter people have discarded negligently.
Are we the only animals who soil their nest?
Well, I was raised differently, as were my sons and now their children! How often do you see stuff rolling and blowing about right next to the empty dustbin? It angers me no end!
Children and most exasperatingly adults WITH children, casually finish food (or not...) and drop it, walk away from it, like a dog from its pooh! All of this clean up is costing society a fortune, money that could be spend on so many fun and better activities. Would they do this at home? Hmmmm, probably? Sad, so sad, it’s a sad, sad situation….
Realising there is little that I could do about it and that the emotion was detrimental to my wellbeing, I started to use it in a 'creative' way, a different approach...
I NEVER move anything, come across them. No matter where in the world you are!
From the top:
1. LIVERPOOL ART. Climbing up a street in Liverpool I spotted this in an old wall in a narrow alley, behind it a sunlit 'shell' of a building, I'm still curious why it was there, no other windows or doors... strange!
2. DUBLIN ART.
3. FLANDERS' ART.
4. YORKSHIRE ART.
5. FUERTEVENTURA ART.
6. WHITBY ART.
7. SCARBOROUGH ART.Here against the new seawall of East Pier in Scarborough, where people buy their food and drink before strolling along to enjoy the views and lovely sea air... only to leave a trail of litter.
And yes there are bins...
Keep it clean and thanx, M, (*_*)
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
The natural follow up to the previous.
Amongst all the opulence, on the grass carpet, you could see that unfortunately people do not experience beauty in the same way, there were blossoms thrown all over the place, I saw two youngsters driving their bikes with their arms up, hitting every branch they could reach, leaving a trail of pink, they had fun... I don't judge them, remember my own youth, we've all done silly stuff that now, when you look or think back... you shake your head in disbelief... why? Because you are that age???
A broken off branch was left to wilt, I rescued it, it's adorning our dining room table now... not before I had photographed it in the studio, lol.
I love playing with light and shallow dof, trying out all kinds of lighting using gobos, flags and cutters, so indeed NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION, NO DODGING OR BURNING! Only painting with light, pushing the macro lens to the limit.
Have a sweet day and thanx, M, (*_*)
Monday, 23 April 2007
SPLENDOUR ON THE GREEN.
Last Saturday evening we drove to Harrogate, a pleasant spa town to the south-east of the Yorkshire Dales, famous for its tea shops (like Betty’s), flower shows, Turkish baths, antique shops and gardens. A very 'oldy worldy' place with a particular atmosphere.
Once a year in this huge green, the rows of trees lining the paths explode in splendour, the cherry trees. They criss-cross the lovely grassy field.
The first time we came across them... we were too late.
The next year... some trees had been chopped because of disease, leaving huge gaps...
The next year we forgot...
The next year it was a dreadful Spring with late frost, the blossoms hardly came out, a merciless storm threw them to the ground...
The next year we kept hearing on the news that although the money had been raised and the young trees planted to restore this visual feast, some vandals came and cracked the saplings...
Last year we forgot again…
This year, WE MADE IT!!!
The sky had been a milky soft box the whole day, but I sensed a glimmer of 'more', as everyone went home, the 'sun' came out gently for a while.
It was wonderful, the tender full blossoms ever so gently swaying in the warm evening light, walking in wonderland, so beautiful… so fleeting.
Today it is windy, across our house; the neighbours have a Cherry tree… most of the petals now a pink carpet on the ground… I feel another photo-mission coming on… grab it while it's there!
A 'detail' of the opulence with which I was surrounded, what a feast for all the senses.
Have a glorious day and thanx, M, (*_*)
Friday, 20 April 2007
We met more than 20 years ago, two creatives, wooow, two egos?
I suppose, but not clashing, well, not often!
We never row; we TALK, until it is resolved to satisfaction.
Never go to sleep with unsolved issues or negative feelings. Don’t let anything ‘fester’! Cut to the chase immediately, short pain is better.
Our relationship is based on respect and humour that equals love, AND above all honesty, no lies, it makes life so much more relaxed! Otherwise what a bookkeeping!
We give each other the space and freedom to explore whatever we like doing and are passionate about, mainly photography! There is a healthy 'rivalry' and we do have other interests, music, food, literature, travel and the current state of the world in general, we share a sadness and concern of how people are more and more self-centered and how that encourages loneliness which only leads to more sadness, the depersonalisation, the poverty, the unfair division of wealth, exploitation, it shouldn’t be like this.
Not all is negative, there are many who are trying to change things, make a difference, but it doesn’t ever seem enough…
After all the years, we've not tried to 'change' each other that's why we are still with the same person we originally fell in love with, not someone you wake up next to and think, who is this stranger?
We have learned a lot from each other.
Paul is a man you can trust, who is there when you need him, you can count on him (except when the light is fantastic and he is making a composition! HEEEEEEEEEEEEE)
Here we were in Dublin for the first time; Temple Bar in the center, there was a street sign at this famous pub, which said no parking AT ALL TIMES... I cloned that all out, and made a 'new sign'. We decided on a fun, love theme, but this is us very often, just for the happiness of being together, also the joy of just having captured a good shot... We share so much.
Yes, to me love is an itch you can't scratch!
Dictionaries tend to define love as deep affection or fondness, the concept of love, however, is subject to debate. Some deny the existence of love, calling it a recently invented abstraction. I had ceased to believe in it, thought it was just stuff for songs, books and movies, until I saw Paul, I knew immediately. I still get butterflies when I see him…
Moreover, approximately 13 percent of cultures reportedly have no word for love. Others maintain that love exists but is indefinable; being a quantity which is spiritual, metaphysical, or philosophical in nature.
Love is one of the most common themes in art.
Hope you have a day full of love and thanx for visiting and commenting, good w-e, Magda, (*_*)
Thursday, 19 April 2007
All things are transitory, existing only briefly…
Some things last longer than others…
I walk on that same beach where my forefathers walked before me,
their prints long gone, softly effaced by the waves…
I walked on this beach with my dog, my heel had left a print, no need to tell you where HE was…
I saw it as I turned around and it struck me…ephemeral…
The spoors have disappeared , my wonderful dog is no more, time has flown by…
I eternalized the moment, now it is not completely gone, there is a wonderful reminder of that happy time on the beach…
A bit of a blue day today,it happens... thanx, and all the best, M, (*_*)
Wednesday, 18 April 2007
THE HORSEBREEDER AND HIS WORLDCHAMPION.
About 15 years ago, we photographed a couple on their wedding day at this farm with the horses. We’d spoken to the farmer before, a charming gentleman, lonely after losing his wife, all his passion and life now geared towards the breeding of those magnificent animals.
The Belgian horse is a much-loved gentle giant. This large heavily muscled horse most likely descended from the heavy prehistoric horses and was indispensable as a workhorse in the Middle Ages when this horse was known as the Flanders Horse, now it is known as the
During our last trek through Flanders last Summer, we happened to pass the farm, it has a beautiful long drive, I saw activity and gathering all our courage, decided to go in, my heart sank when I saw the sign ‘Veterinary surgeon’ at the entrance, I thought OOHH NOOO, it’s been taken over, I shrugged and drove in.
What a wonderful surprise, the kind man was there, now a proud 91, he recognized me, we were pleased to meet again. We had a very pleasant chat about lots of different interests for quite some time.
“Of course welcome to take as many photographs as we wanted” he said, adding and pointing quickly behind him, this is Igor, the world champion!
… He wiped his runny nose with a white handkerchief and hoarsely muttered… you should have been here a bit sooner; Igor just sired a few mares…
As the gentleman was now visibly getting tired, he took his cane, said a fond farewell and walked towards his home, past the stables, enjoying every step of the way and all he saw.
It had been quality time, a golden moment in life to behold.
Know how to approach people, if they sense your apprehension and shyness or ‘fear’, they’ll react on that, approach them with honest confidence, no airs or graces, do not bring out your camera at once, if you have it with you, put it over your shoulder towards your back.
If they say NO, respect it, converse a bit more, they might just change their mind, if not, move on, better luck next time, an unwilling subject will not make a great image anyway!
Take your time, make them feel at ease, gain their trust, PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE in a photographer!
Most people do not like to be photographed; they feel it as an intrusion, become self-conscious, be sympathetic and understanding, try and turn it into laughter with tenderness.
If you do get permission, keep talking, don't push your camera into their face, try and include them in an image without being obtrusive, it will probably be a more interesting and creative photo anyway, don’t offend someone for not wanting to be photographed, RESPECT it.
I wish you all a superb day and thanx for the visit, M, (*_*)
Tuesday, 17 April 2007
I think Art is in the preconception in the brain, the 'seeing' of potential, whether it be in beauty, pain or the mundane.
Without the original idea, what‘s a camera but a box with some glass, an inanimate instrument that can only do what the person holding it wants it to (hihi, or not…).
What’s a piece of canvas, some brushes and some coloured paste without the painter? What’s a piece of wood or marble without the visionary sculptor?
Beethoven’s music would be nothing but lines and dots and crochets on sheets of paper if the instruments had not been there to play out the music since he ‘heard’ it all in his head, or would he not have written the music at all? The chicken or the egg?
We see, hear, make and experience things differently, so many emotions, some feel it… others don't, that's why it is so controversial and subjective!
I prefer to call myself a Creative photographer, looking for the less obvious, different angles but above all, EMOTION that resounds an echo!
But it will always be the ‘brain’ that will be the creator of anything, all the rest are tools to help you materialise it.
So whatever the born with talent, use the chosen tools well, learn all about them and their properties and qualities, the particularities, strength, weaknesses and limitations, quirks and virtues, push everything to its limits, test it, take it on your journey, following your own path. Make the tools help you to achieve the ultimate result of the original idea.
The photo to illustrate this rambling is called:
I was approached by someone who wanted something 'special'.
For days I was agonizing, wracking my brain!
I invited her around for a chat and a bite to eat, I noticed how, when left by herself or while I was in conversation with someone else, she looked down and hugged her belly.
As I am very much a night person, I was inspired in the middle of the night, suddenly sat up in bed and had the PERFECT image in front of my mind's eye.
I consider pregnancy a very beautiful natural event, but also private, so that's why she's in silhouette.
Everybody who knows her immediately recognizes her profile.
Prepared the studio and lights, with Paul's help, in she came, I gave her one of my Japanese house-kimonos, she took the pose with total ease.
Took a couple of Polaroids, to check the angle of the lights to perfection, then I took THE SHOT, not 2 or 3, no, just the ONE!
Most people say, it's like she is looking into a 'crystal' ball, what will the future bring?
It was a girl as beautiful as her mum and dad.
The tools… studiolights, a white background, a Hasselblad (square neg 6X6 only the sides are cropped.) on a tripod and with a cable release…
Thank you, Magda.
I AM INTERESTED IN YOUR POINT OF VIEW!
Monday, 16 April 2007
With a sky so low that a channel was lost
With a sky so low that it makes humility
With a sky so gray that a channel was hung
With a sky so gray that it is necessary to forgive him
With the wind of the north which comes to be quartered
With the wind of north listen to crack it
Lowland which is mine
(Excerpt from the song and poem, written by Jacques Brel)
LE PLAT PAYS
Avec la mer du Nord pour dernier terrain vague
Et des vagues de dunes pour arrêter les vagues
Et de vagues rochers que les marées dépassent
Et qui ont à jamais le coeur à marée basse
Avec infiniment de brumes à venir
Avec le vent de l'est écoutez-le tenir
Le plat pays qui est le mien
Avec des cathédrales pour uniques montagnes
Et de noirs clochers comme mâts de cocagne
Où des diables en pierre décrochent les nuages
Avec le fil des jours pour unique voyage
Et des chemins de pluies pour unique bonsoir
Avec le vent d'ouest écoutez-le vouloir
Le plat pays qui est le mien
Avec un ciel si bas qu'un canal s'est perdu
Avec un ciel si bas qu'il fait l'humilité
Avec un ciel si gris qu'un canal s'est pendu
Avec un ciel si gris qu'il faut lui pardonner
Avec le vent du nord qui vient s'écarteler
Avec le vent du nord écoutez-le craquer
Le plat pays qui est le mien
Avec de l'Italie qui descendrait l'Escaut
Avec Frida la blonde quand elle devient Margot
Quand les fils de novembre nous reviennent en mai
Quand la plaine est fumante et tremble sous juillet
Quand le vent est au rire quand le vent est au blé
Quand le vent est au sud écoutez-le chanter
Le plat pays qui est le mien.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7079105633420283652 Listen and see HERE
This image depicts the essence of my motherland, the
The River is de IJzer (l'Isere), starts in The North of France and throws itself into the
A country deeply drenched in violent history, from the tribal wars before the Romans, all through Spanish, French, Austrian, Dutch and German occupation over the centuries, my people are known to be hard workers and take pride in that! Resourceful and creative, good humoured and hospitable, all of this reflects in the land, so still and peaceful, I often sense the melancholy.
I hope I was able to convey some of the atmosphere with this photo, thanx, M, (*_*)
Friday, 13 April 2007
It is a myth that pure friendship between a man and a woman is impossible.
This is my best friend Peter and we are in our 46th year of friendship!
We celebrate every 5 years with a meal at our favourite Japanese restaurant, just the two of us, well, I do bring Paul a bottle of Sake back…
We have a relationship which includes mutual trust, affection and respect.
We love each other's company, love talking to each other, share a good sense of humour, will disagree on political issues (hihi), consult each other for advice and are always there for each other in times of emotional or other need.
I love him very much and he holds a special place in my life and my heart.
Our friendship is so very precious, I wouldn’t trade it for any wealth!
He became a model so we were able to employ him regularly, he’s now a successful businessman.
He is still my favourite model, so often we’ll ask him to sit for us, trying out, yet again, something new.
Today’s portrait is one of a series I did testing a new black and white film, 50 asa.
It shows you the man, the good- and kindness, the essence.
This is ‘MY FRIEND’: a tribute to a fantastic human being.
Another long-time friend is Yvan, we've known each other since the early sixties.
I knew Ivan from when I was in my earlier teens, had a (secret) crush on him, liked the look of him and his white Jaguar sports car, not a new model, but one of those beautiful older sleek ones, with wood and red leather upholstery.
He didn't know me; I was far too young for him, just a skinny, spindly blond girl.
I found out he washed his car, lovingly, on a Saturday afternoon, strange how I always had to run errands and passed on my bicycle!!!
Much later, at one of his exhibitions, I told him, he was flattered and it became a running joke.
We always remained friends and were fortunate that both our partners also became friends...
I wish you all a ‘friendly’ day, and thanx for visiting, Magda (*_*)
Thursday, 5 April 2007
In Scarborough, after walking past all the Luna Parks, amusement Casinos, restaurants, ice-cream parlours and Fish and Chip shops, the glittering lights, I came across this derelict building amongst the renovated and glorious wealth of other places like The Pavillion, of another era.
On the barricaded door, this lone piece of graffiti instantly affected me. We had something in common, over the shoulder a piece of equipment to ‘shoot’ with!
Situated at the bottom of the cliff above the beach where kids were playing, eating and drinking treats and sweets.
Our children have too much of what other children have too little of.
A few sad facts:
In the past 20 years, children under 16 have fought in at least 16 wars in 25 countries.
War has claimed the lives of 2 million children in the past decade.
Although international humanitarian and human rights law provide special protection to children, too many of them are caught up in armed conflict.
In the UK 19, 000 children a year attempt suicide - two succeed every day
Nearly 1,000 children under the age of seven provide full-time care for their parents or siblings.
Of the 80,000 young people who run away from home each year, a quarter are under the age of 11.
We are talking about the next generation and the future, our next leaders!
Yes, to stop and think is never bad, it was a moment of sad reflection for me; I called my family, WHAT HAD THEY DONE TODAY?
Have a day full of peace and thanx for your comments, M, (*_*)
Taken on B&W film, scanned from neg and cropped in PS.
I hope you experience the emotion in the image...
Wednesday, 4 April 2007
February 1989, my son Michel is 19.
Our goal is to drive to the Mont St Michel.
In France it’s also the holidays, we arrive In Honfleur only to find everything is ‘complet'!!! We push through to Caen and arrive there around midnight.
The next day, it is 7/ 8 Beaufort, with great difficulty we get into the car without losing a door.
We head for the coast, this weather does not scare us, we were raised with it.
Just following the flow of roads, we arrive on small coastal routes and suddenly come to this beach. It stops you in your tracks.
You’ve seen the documentaries and movies, you’ve heard the stories, but it’s all a long time ago, before you were even born.
Here, it confronts you, the unexpected, the wreckage, still there, sombre monuments in the sea. I remember the images, my mind fills in the horror.
I just stand there, my beautiful son running freely on this beach, where so many his age fell.
This lonely figure in this vast emptiness of flat sand and sea.
Paul stands next to me, grabs my hand, he understands, he’s from South Africa, grew up with a different war.
His uncles were S.A. war hero pilots, his grand-father a commander in the Belgian resistance. It links all of us.
I can’t help thinking, why do nations and people only pull together when things are bad? Do we forget too soon?
We owe those who fought, those who fell, our freedom and our present lifestyle.
This is my THANK YOU to them, my sons live and I, as a mother am fortunate enough not to have to experience the fear of that farewell.
The quality of the image is not outstanding, it is the emotion that gives this photo its power, something that I am passionate about and will refer to time and time again.
I see too many boring shots that don't do anything for me, all I feel when I see them is ... SO WHAT?
And yet people try to pass them off as 'interesting' or even 'Arty'?
Another point about this photo is I like a figure in a landscape, it shows the magnitude, space and our 'smallness'.
Tuesday, 3 April 2007
This man was a regular visitor in our gallery; he loved the red wine we served.
A marginal, shunned by most people because of his appearance, one of the kindest men I ever had the pleasure to meet.
From a wealthy family, he is a medical doctor, with specialisations in 4 different fields.
After years of working in Africa, burnt out, unwell, he lived the days as they came and as he liked them.
Eating only when he was hungry, which wasn’t very often, but when he did, he treated himself to the very best, he loved lobster!
He loved the finer things in life, his special brand of cigarillos.
A great sense of humour, a delight to converse with, a charming man with great sensitivity and intelligence...
I saw it too often, to my disgust, those making fun of him, when it was suddenly whispered in their ear that he was a Dr., etc… they’d either slime up to him or avoid him completely. AAhh, la Divina Comedia!!!
This is the only image I ever took of him at one of our vernissages, he didn’t like to be photographed (his words: “not even by us”).
I had given him my word I wouldn’t.
That one time I got his permission, one of his better days, I did not want him 'posing', neither did he… I just had to wait for the moment... ONE SHOT! And it was on film, so no checking whether I had it but waiting until the results were back, ha, those were the days... living on the edge, hihi!
Don’t judge people, certainly not by their appearance, just listen to their heart and yours?
Often people shy away from images like these , I always wonder why that is.
Does the reality of our world frighten?
This is not a voyeuristic view on my behalf but one of sincere concern.
"A photojournalist is a witness to an event or story, standing in for all those people that have not seen it for themselves. Photographing someone who finds themselves in unfortunate circumstances should only be done in my opinion if the photographer is driven by seeking to show the truth and is socially and morally aware. Often the best images, the ones with authenticity and integrity are taken by photojournalists who are deeply concerned about their subjects. The antithesis of this is the photographer that snaps shots of unfortunate people because they're easy targets or because they want to sensationalise." --Paul INDIGO (quote of the day)
Have a sweet day and thanx for visiting, Magda, (*_*)
Monday, 2 April 2007
The Art of finding the right caption.
Title and picture have a symbiotic relationship. A picture alone may fall flat: together, they thrive.
A good caption describes the unseen and draws the eye back to the image. The caption breathes life into the picture by providing context and adding depth. The picture draws attention to the caption, and the caption bridges image and text. The caption helps the reader build a story around the picture. Not every image needs a caption: some are simply decorative others are genuinely self-explanatory. I know that someone said (still a lot of followers!) that a good image should speak for itself, however not everybody is visually literate. Done tests for fun, but more about that later…
I do not like images going 'untitled', personally it's like that person is saying to me... 'don't care'... then why should I?
I hope this won't stir too much controversy!
This is only my personal view and what I have found out over the years is the importance of it. During exhibitions, people mostly hate 'untitled' (it's like the artist couldn't be bothered enough or genuinely didn't have anything to say), they like to know even more about the background, the why, they love anecdotes connected to the photo.
The moment I had this in the viewer, I knew the title: ‘Les passagers de la vie’
Why? Still no idea!
That is mostly how it happens for me, how does it work for you?
We are ALL 'passengers of life', we meander through life... get thrown together with people... on a train, a plain, a ferry, a bus, for a brief journey... never to meet again! It makes me think of a funnel!
Fascinating, it always fascinates me, yes...
I was hunting through town and spotted these two beautiful people passing on a bus, I was out with a film camera and a 'gritty' 400 asa film...
Have a wonderful day and thanx for viewing, Magda (*_*)