Tag Archives: Kenya

Eliminate the noise

Dear all,

In my last post, I talked about slowing down, and those of you reading between the lines might have captured that my muse decided to take a nap. To me, these are the perfect moments to reflect and to separate the important from the not so important, the perfect moments to eliminate some noise. Noise, as in non muse feeding, time-consuming distractions.

And boy, does it feel good:

  • I took a critical look at the twitter acounts I have been following for the last months and stopped following the ones which create noise without feeding my muse, … at one point I was close to following a 100 people, that is now down to 55, no pun intended for the ones I no longer follow. Needs for information and inspiration change, …;
  • I closed down my shutterstock account, mainly because I want to shoot for myself instead off adjusting to what the market wants. And let’s be honnest, with 25 cents per shot, there’s little reason to do it for the money;
  • I stopped pondering about a 5D Mark III, even better, I decided to stick to my 7D and to sell off my 5D Mark I, allowing me to focus on my photography instead of my gear, wasting time as per which camera/lens combination to carry around, to then come home to waste some more time in regretting not having carried another combination. All excuses for having failed to be creative with the tools at hand. On top of that, I got convinced that without switching between a full-frame and crop sensored camera, my photographic eye will further develop itself, by improving my ability to see what my camera will see without actually having to put it to my face, on its turn increasing my ability to recognize the photographic opportunities out there;
  • facebook is next, I still havn’t gathered the muscle to actually close down my page and post from my personal account only, … it’s a process, who knows what will happen during my muse’s next nap?;

Anyway, the time I’ve saved by spending less time on social media, I’ve been using productively. I’ve been reading quite a bit about photography, vision, creativity, … two highlights being David duChemin’s set of ‘Vision is better’ e-books and ‘How to be creative’ by Hugh MacLeod, a free e-book well worth your time, you won’t regret it.

Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM, 1/40, f/20, ISO 100

Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM, 1/40, f/20, ISO 100

As a result, my muse is singing again: dug into Piet van den Eynde’s Lightroom tutorial e-book and have been working om some long overdue shots; updated this site (the devil is in the detail) and have done some thinking about what kind of photographer I am. Earlier on I’d call myself a nature and wildlife photographer and that still is what my muse likes most. In addition, I figured World Photography to best describe and capture my non nature related work.

Finally, and most importantly, I started shooting again and I am working on some projects, one of them being a book of our daughter’s first year (no worries, I’ll spare you) and as I write this, I am uploading some postcards to Moo, to be followed …!

Eliminate the noise and your muse’s voice will be heard again, her voice is actually always there, make sure you give her room to sing.

For those of you who are still with me at this point, do you recognize this? And how do you deal with a sleeping muse?

Warm regards,

Guy

 

The laptop critics are on the march once more

Dear all,

Some of you may have followed the recent discussion concerning Ashley Vincent’s picture ‘The Explosion’ snatching the Nature category as well as the grand prize in the 2012 National Geographic photo contest. The entire discussion revolves around the captive vs wild discussion to which I happen to have a very clear opinion. The 2010 Wildlife Photographer of the Year wolf shot was a hoax, since the photographer failed to mention the shot was picturing a captive animal, while at the same time the rules don’t allow for shots of captive animals. In that sense there is no comparison to Ashley’s work: the rules allow for pictures of captive animals to be submitted and his caption tells the full story, so I honnestly don’t see what people are nagging about! As long as you don’t start pretending captive animals were actually wild and as long as you don’t refrain from mentioning the truth, there is absolutely no issue in my book! And for those of you who feel NatGeo should only focus on wild animals, they should enter into a discussion with National Geographic instead of running this discussion on the back of Ashley’s picture (it was after all not him defining the rules of the competition).

Whilst we’re at it, check out the latest Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #8, amongst which you will also find a color version of my sleepy vervet monkey shot.

All this being said, I can only say that I admire Ashley’s work (check out his 500px portfolio here) and that I am stoked he agreed to share his personal thoughts in a guest blog on this page. Till then, I invite the laptop critics to go out to a zoo and get the shots Ashley is envisioning and creating and I leave you with a shot of an elephant orphan at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. To avoid any confusion, it considers a rescued elephant, which is now being taken care off at the Trust and which will be reinserted into the wild in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya.

Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM @ 17mm, 1/400, f/5, ISO 400

Canon 5D, Canon 17-40mm f/4 L IS USM @ 17mm, 1/400, f/5, ISO 400

Warm regards,

Guy