Archive | July, 2011

Do What You LOVE.

21 Jul

Ever wanted something so bad that you would give anything up for? Ever had a serious craving for something that you have not at the moment. Have you ever had such a burning passion for something that you wanted to do, get or whatever?.  That is how I usually feel at times.

 

 

 

I have read, watched, and listened to some people in this world who have really challenged me. In dimensions I can’t even explain here. In High school, I started reading the Rich Dad series, those books opened up my mind to think excellence, to think independence, to think freedom. There is no reason to live a boring stressful life, while a happier one is at your disposal, only if you want to go get it. The other day I watched a Gary Veynerchuk video that was done back in 2008 about doing what you Love. I really really felt challenged.

There is no reason whatsoever, in this age, in this time, to do what you hate. Or, to do what you do not love. He talked about Passion and Patience and how it plays a big role to anyone’s life. Anyone who wants to go get what they want. In that regard, he was talking about social media, ( it was a web 2.0 conference kind of thing) and how the internet is a powerful tool in sharpening someone into what they want to become. Which also reminds me of a book I read about Creating yourself as a brand, of which I forget the Author’s name.

You see, there are dozens of unexploited opportunities in whatever thing you are interested in. You just have to give it your all. Regardless of what you do, or where you are. People come up with excuses of why they can’t do something they love because of laziness. If you really want it, really really want it, you are not going to be lazy. What? You got a 9-5 job, you are in school, in a new relationship? That takes up most of you day, you have from 7 in the evening to 2 in the morning to do some extreme damage. To create, to build, to do what you love.

Time should not be an excuse for us living a boring life and not doing what we love. 24 hours is A LOT of time in a day. Heck, Donald Trump, the Billionaire sleeps like 4 or something hours a day. The rest of his time he dedicates it to work. Serious meaningful work that pays off. Definitely there is time for rest and play but an extra effort is an added muscle to the passion. The drive. One has to work hard to acquire what they want. To

Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. I LOVE photography. I am really passionate about the art of image making. I also really love anything that is creative. That doesn’t mean I can only become a photographer. I mean, I would love to become a photographer one day, but that is not all that one can achieve with this art. It is possible to be a writer about something specific, like HDR photography for example. Trey Ratcliff has made himself a brand name in that category. There are magazines, there are video blog opportunities that can give rise to money. Look at Jared Polin’s you tube page for example, or that dude Kai who does a review of any camera and sells cameras in their website. Look at gadget makers. From Tripods to Bags and all. All aiding to the enhancement of photography. But I can never get anywhere if I sit around and lazy around, people are working hard to get it. I need to work extra hard, do something, however hard or difficult the goal may seem. Today I read this quote-  “Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.” Liz Smith

Point is, if you love it, you will work hard to get a niche, and equally hard to exploit it, thus, the issue of patience. People grow. No baby walks the first time. Everyone has to  crawl and learn small steps first. What is different however, is the speed at which you learn, change and adapt. You see, we are living in a world where information Doubles every 18 months – Moores law. That means everything you knew about Apature and Shutter speeds would have doubled up in that time. Just how irrelevant are you willing to stay?

Another insanely important thing that people must realize when doing what they love, is that they can create businesses out of it. That is the reason I went to business school and I take my art seriously on the side. I f you can be aggressive enough, you can be in a position to create a lot of money in time. The main point still is to give it your all. Work yourself out of the Job you hate. Get into what you love. It’s your life anyway and you decide how you want it to go.

Life is too short to do what you hate. Life is too short to chase other people’s dreams. Life is too short to want to do it like how someone else did. Its time to get down to the HUSTLE. Gary said that is the most important word ever invented. HUSTLE. Sacrificing your time for the greater good of your own life. If you keep pushing it to tomorrow, you will probably never do it or go anywhere with it. Dare to live your dream. Dare to do what you LOVE.

I took the dare. Lets see just how far it can get me.

Here is the video I was talking about By Gary. Powerful.

 

Beautiful photography in Music Video : Alaine- You are me.

21 Jul

If there is one thing that really makes me say ‘YUM’ to a photograph, then it has to be lighting. (and composition, but lets stick to lighting)

In a nut shell, this video is beautiful in a manner that lighting is used in a very beautiful way. The video is shot along the beach, and the photographers, (video?) were able to light well in times of Hard Light, Soft light and Reflected light.

Let me explain a little bit on that lighting part. There are 4 MAIN types of Light. 1) Hard Light, 2) Soft light, 3) Transmitted Light and 4) Reflected light. Hard light is when the light is coming from a small sharp source, for example the Sun, and it produces images with Sharp Shadows. Soft light is when light comes through a large dispensed source, say the sunlight on a cloudy day, or something that functions like that. Transmitted light, is when you are able to identify the light source, and you can see the light source in the vicinity, whereas Reflected light, as you guessed it, is light that has been reflected. Its not a must to see the source, but you can see light shiny off a reflective surface, say, an ocean sunrise with beautiful reflected light. ( see my Malindi sunrise Gallery here, here, here and here)

Good use of lighting is important. We see that not only Natural light was used in this video, but also artificial light. Which artificial lighting technique, I do not know, but I can tell you they used continous lighting (ha! Hows that for an answer!!) The blending of artificial light and natural light gives such a beautiful result. Lighting the subject evenly and at the same time, accentuating the environment.

I would say this video is really awesome and simple. Simplicity in its essence is actually greatness. Wonderful video, wonderful shots.

Check out the snapshots from the video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the beautiful video.

 

The Creative Fuse of Digital Art with Photography by Michelle Monique

21 Jul

For some time now, I have been doing research about fusing digital art and photography. In a world with millions of stories to be told, not all of them will be classically told as the way  the normal eye sees them. This revolution has already taken in print literature, with fiction, in movies in fantasies and other fiction genre. We see this in works like Harry Porter, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, just to name a few.  Very few photographers have told their fictional stories as they see them in their minds. While conceptual photography exists, normally, it does not exist to the level that Michelle Monique has done so.  With the advent of digital photography that grows each and every day, more artists are given a platform to transform their imaginations into their photography.

What I wanted to find out is how many photographers have gone a mile longer, taking their imagination out of this world, not only thinking outside the box, but thinking the box inside out. I stumbled upon some awesome people who have tried this, but who stood out for me most was Michelle.

In her website, she describes herself not only as a photographer, but as someone who creates, more of a painter. She comes up with these crazy out of this world concepts, shoots, then digitally, transforms the images into something the world has not seen. Here is one photographer that I would love to interview one day just to really understand what fuels her creative juices, and why she has decided to take this form of photography in the industry.

I am inspired so much by her work, and would love to see this trend continued in one way or another. Encouraging photographers to give a shot at recreating what is essentially fictional and unrealistic to their photography. I know I am one of the people who  would love to see this happen. It really spices up the message of vision that every artist should have. Vision is more important than anything else.

Here are samples of her vision. Please visit her website HERE to view the rest of the images. It should also be noted that these images are the creative works of Michelle Monique and not me. All credit should be given to her. I only posted it for purposes of inspiration and critique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiring Digital Photography works of Laura Ferreira

21 Jul

Digital photography is really awesome. What in my opinion makes it so cool, is the ability to tell our stories. To let our wildest imagination out and express it through digital media. Over time, conceptual photography has grown. I had set out to do a research on conceptual photography but haven’t reached far with the agenda. In a nut shell, over the years, photographers have created situations (concepts) which they found cool and expressed it in a medium. The medium was photography. As time moved, they found a way to sharpen their vision and expression using digital means. Initially, concepts could only be created up to the level where the reality was. It was almost impossible to go beyond and delve into the imaginary part /fantasy part of photography. Digital photography has opened doors for a revolution of the norm. given rise to the dawn of  endless possibilities in photography and also in video.

There are many people who value traditional photography with bias to digitally enhanced photographs. It may not be a bad thing,  although we have to appreciate the whole aspect of  photography. Photography is an art and a craft, and in every art and craft, the artist may create or interpret. I see many young photographers with a creative mind and passion for expression using this medium.

Any way, among the people who have really inspired me lately is Laura Ferreira. Check out her Work HERE.  She is a Trinidad and Tobago photographer who loves ‘fashionography’- Fashion Photography. Her approach to her photography is really awesome, with beautiful tones, composition, lighting and Post processing. Her work always makes me want to go out and shoot. She  has specialized in fashion, Surrealism and Portraiture. Seeing how her creativity shines through her photographs is something very inspirational. You can check out the rest of her beautiful art on Deviant Art .

I feel like people should start embracing digital photography a bit more, not only focusing on traditional rules.  This should inspire you to try out Fantasy photography once in a while.

Here is some of her work.

 

I had terribly incorrectly spelled  her name, so I had to do this update here. and also maybe add an image or two.

 

 

 

Of Gear, Vision and Photography

17 Jul

 

I am more convinced now more than ever, that it does not really matter the gear you use as a photographer. Vision is way more important. Vision is important for any artist out there who presents his art visually. For a long time I have heard numerous talk about which Camera is better than which one. True, most of the times the camera is better than the other, but the truth, its not the camera that determines the depth of photographs. It is the photographer. This argument is like chefs arguing about which cooking pan does the best Omelet. Well, yes, one cooking pan may be non stick, stainless steel and what not, but the truth is, the better chef makes the better food.

Now it is that point in my life where I am looking to buy my first DSLR camera. I have had a bunch of cameras in the last few years, but never owned a DSLR. I love Nikons. Why? Well, I do not really know, I just like the name more. Most of my friends have Canons, I like those cameras too. Funny thing, I have never really got to that level where I thought this camera was better than the other. In fact, as I have scouted for a DSLR to start me off, I have looked at Sony’s Pentaxes and what not, I have not only based my research on the Canons and Nikons. Been open minded.

I am convinced that a DSLR camera will be of super importance to me as I take the journey of wanting to be a photographer one day. It will through greater controls of settings. I will also be able to take better images. Why? Because I would have opened up my learning space. It will be more like getting out of the nest into the world. Into the world of photography.

I have not yet decided which one to get, but I will soon enough. Although I do not think I will be able to get a really amazing one based on the price set on those things, either way, I am getting a DSLR camera in the next few months.

The reason I am doing this post however, is not to tell the world that I am getting my first DSLR camera as a wannabe photographer. It is not to present arguments about which gear is better that which, but to present a way of thinking. An ideological personal view of the whole thing. Gear is good, Vision is better. This is David duChemin’s mantra. And I support him all the way. In his books, he talks about having the vision as a photographer. Vision is key to any artist. One has to be able to visualize what he wants and bring it out photographically, regardless of the gear.

You see, photography is an art and a craft that did not start the other year. It actually started at the beginning of the previous century. It has only been improved over the years. Some of the classical celebrated photographers did not use too great a gear, but their artistic vision shone right through the photograph. That is what (in my opinion) I think the industry should focus on. On playing the most soothing and complex (if it’s a good thing) notes, other than owning the most expensive guitar. The industry right now is saturated with the fan-boy perspective to photography. What we should focus more on is the craft.

A photographer’s desire and goal should be defining his vision. This is being certain or specific about what you want to get. Seeing the image in your head before going out to get it. After defining vision, it is important to clear vision. It is easy for one’s vision to be blurred. Having a clear vision is also key. From this, we see that a photographer should always strive to have a vision that is definite and clear. I think that with time I will talk more on that subject.

If I do turn out to be a photographer, one of my wishes is that I will be able to use the most diverse tools in the industry without creating a bias. Of course, I know that I will have a favorite, but then, I just hope that I grow into a person that values more the art and craft than the tool used, per se.

I look forward to be talking about vision. Especially in photography as  I feel that I have found a new aspect which I really respect and would like to expound more. I believe as I do more research and align my thinking to go in tune with Vision, it will develop me into an individual who’s more focused on the aesthetics, and eventually a better photographer.

“You are what you read” I hope I will read positivity.

The Krox.

Diary of a Photography enthusiast :Staying Inspired

15 Jul

Among the things that I always do is to try my best to stay inspired, regardless of where I am or what I am doing. The past week, since the last diary post, I have been trying to stay inspired, and yes I should say, I have been inspired. I get inspired by a lot of stuff from digital art, movies, posters, etc, infact, today I got inspired by these really cool tech themed flyers in the bank. Good work was done there. I liked.

Any who, last Friday,  I attended half way a creative[dot]com class. A photographer friend of mine Raggs (@ragskanyi) from Texas gave me a heads up on twitter. They were having a class with Gale Tettersall. The director of photography for the series House MD. He has many recognizable stuff under his belt. Like he did the pilot to CSI. He also shot the season finale of House MD exclusively on a Canon 5D Mark II. It was really awesome listening to him talk and give photographic tips in regard of how he does his work. He was there with his technical assistant who actually did all the demonstration. But listening to Gale was really inspirational. I am a big fan of HDDSLR. It is really awesome that a DSLR camera can shoot just like an expensive camera. I loved it.

Speaking of HDDSLR I always check Robert Balasko’s work. According to me, this is like among the really creative video guys who do videos for commercially for clients. Most of my other favorites work on huge projects like movies. Any way, Robert Balasko shoots on HDDSLR cameras. I think he also shoots majorly on the Canon 5D Mark II. But also uses a bunch of other HD cameras. This guy is totally insane on the Angles he shoots. He’s work is truly phenomenal. I think one is a photographer first, then a videographer second, and this guy is a crazy photographer. He knows his F-stops and all.

 

Gale Tetersall with a canon 5D Mark II. HDDSLR. below, Robert Balasko and his Vimeo Channel

Now, where was I before I got derailed? Oh yes, Robert Balasko. I draw a lot of inspiration from him, and immediately after the Creative[dot]com  class, I was in his Vimeo channel, consuming with huge delight. Staying inspired. I may do a review, photographically of a trailer of his after this blog post. I request that you check out his work.

Before that I was getting inspired by the Work of Jonathan Thomas,  a scot photographer whose landscapes on Scotland are out of this world. I love Landscapes. Actually I think, I like nature photography more than shooting people. I watch landscapes a whole lot, learning on composition and lighting (the two aspects I consider really major). Then I was viewing black and white gallery of some guy on Deviant Art from Indonesia called Henki24. I really do not know his name yet. I intend to do so today probably . For some crazy inspiration, I suggest that you check them out too.

 

What else did I do? Oh yeah, I watched a bunch of Short films on Youtube. Man some young people out there are really super creative with what they do. I watch a huge amount of Camera reviews. This week I did The Pentax K-r and my new official dream camera the Leica M-9. It’s a crazy beautiful baby. And Ken Rockwell describes it that the World’s best Camera. Well there may be a huge debate on that but bottom line, that baby ROCKS!! Yeah, I said it. I also did a review on a bunch of lenses. That left me feeling empty from within because well,… lets just drop that shall we?.

This baby is a beast... but all the same, I really do not think that it takes a powerful camera to shoot a powerful photo. A good photographer can make a good photo with any camera. Just a good cook can use any cooking pan to get good tasty food.

But then, that isn’t it, I also got inspired by these digital art stuff from different artists all over the world. Can we just conclude that Art is the greatest form of communication out there? I envy some people on the creative level they are and the Photoshop skill they’ve got. Honestly, that type of knowhow is to die for. I am working to improve mine. Speaking of Photoshop, I also bumped into a digital artist/photographer whom I just adore her work. I saw her work many months ago, maybe last year on deviant art, then the other week, I bumped into a tweet from two photographers about some Michelle Monique and I was really interested. Normally I jack tweets that are creative related. What I was to find out left me speechless. Now that, was to die for. See for yourself, and again, visit her website. She requires a whole blog post. So watch out for that. Probably this week or next.

 

Michelle Monique and her awesome work of art.

 

Staying inspired for the better of me and the world.

The Krox

Beautiful Photography in Music Video: Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts.

6 Jul

I tend to draw inspiration from everywhere and from everything that surround me. I draw up inspiration from videos, life, pictures, and almost any form of art.

There are a few things in a photograph that usually jump out of the photo and smack my face. Those are, Lighting, Composition and the Emotional significance if any. In many ways, photographers use light and composition to bring out the emotion desired in the photo. Also, a good post processing technique that brings out a good balance of color is essential.

This Video, Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri (@christinaperri ), has done just that for me. Its one of the many videos I’ve watched and gone like, ‘wow, that is something’. I am going to try to give you a review of it, and why I think it is such a

powerfully artistic video.

LIGHTING

The lighting is even and beautiful. Being lit from different perspectives for different frames. There is lighting from the back, silhouetted by fog, from a fog machine, from the front for portraiture like shots, and also from different side angles, lighting different subjects beautifully. Its obvious that this lighting was done by someone who has good knowledge of what he does. I like evenly distributed light on an open subject/field since it mostly ends up giving more detail of the subject/field. At times though, lighting a subject is more artistically beautiful when light seems to be lighting only a certain place, and the rest left in a shadow. Both these techniques are used beautifully in this video.

 

 

 

COMPOSITION.

I would like to talk about different types of composition, but there is one particularly that made me fall in love with this video. I’m not a pro when it comes to things like these, but being an enthusiast, there are things that I think usually work in a photo.

I love how a certain type of balance comes when a subject is put against open space. To me that is a powerful type of composition as it comes up as fusing a balance between something and nothing (for lack of a better term). Its like the open space in the photograph counter the subject in it. It is like making a space/field communicate.

This technique of composition is used heavily in this video. And does a good work in adding the aesthetic beauty of art in art.

 

 

 

 

POST PROCESSING.

What is the beauty of Digital photography? Digital control of your photos. Being able to tweak and edit photo. Full control of lighting, exposure, saturation, colors, balance and almost anything else in the photograph.

I love the post processing of this video. It goes a long way in bringing out the desired emotional output in the video. The video has a goth-emo-ish kind of feel in it, with lower saturation of colors, high exposure and saturated blacks. This effect blends in almost perfectly with the fog in the background. Although I have a feeling it was shot in high exposure and not post processed.

The video is also made with the wide screen cinematic effect, which adds a lot of aesthetic value to the video.

 

 

 

 

As you have seen, a video is just many photographs put together, and such beautiful photography deserves to be congratulated and talked about. I tried to do some back ground work to the guys who shot the video but I have still not got through. If you do find them, please leave in the comments section so that I can update and edit it with the relevant info. I have however credited Atlantic Records and Christina Perri for this work of Art.

 

Any way, after all that, you should at least enjoy the video. Here it is

 

The Krox.

DIARY OF A PHOTOGRAPHY ENTHUSIAST : RE BIRTH

5 Jul

As time changes so do people. They get older, wiser, more matured. This blog has been here for almost a year now. Why did I start blogging? It was as an online field to share my knowledge and also get different ideas  from other people. It was an online play ground. Then it became a photo and design blog. All as a result of self identity and trying to find my zone. And now it has all changed. Surprised?? Well, that is the reason I have taken a couple of months before doing a single post up. I wanted to find out what I really want to do. You know they say that, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I want  new results, so I changed how I do this. That said, this is no longer a photo and design blog. It is a personal blog with photography stuff and other creative stuff. Basically, it is a personal blog where I post photography and a bunch of other artistic stuff.

I am generally a person who is wowed so much by photography and I hope to showcase that to other people through this blog. What do I intend to achieve with this technique? Or rather you might be asking yourself why I made this change and if it was really necessary. Well, I intend among other things, to learn more. Pushing myself to do something more. I have an intention of making more friends of similar interest, Make myself known. I would be lying if I said I do not want to create awareness about myself through this blog. Most importantly however, I want to become an advanced photography enthusiast.

I am a photography enthusiast. I love being an enthusiast, because it does not limit you to being a photographer. I may be a photographer, then again I may be just someone who experiments with that art. I could shoot anything or talk about anything I find interesting in photography. That way I wouldn’t be labeled a ‘something’ photographer or anything. I am an enthusiast because I am passionate about the art of photography. Both from the perspective of capturing moment and creating a physical, photographic representation of imagination or concept. I want to be able to like what I do and do what I do. I want to be free of limits of enjoying this art. That is why I am an enthusiast.

An advanced photography enthusiast? I first heard this from the guys at photography monthly magazine. There are levels of enthusiasm, as much as there is a beginner and a pro. Advanced photography enthusiasts are well aware how systems work, are aware of techniques. Generally an advanced photography enthusiast has a huge amount of knowledge about photography and related fields. That is my goal, and where I hope to reach to sometime in the near future.

I hope to talk much about photography in this blog throughout my pursuit of advancement. This is also a start of something big. I hope that God willing, The Krox may grow to be a major photography blog. Where its strictly awesome enthusiastic stuff. I have been working on a number of posts, some of which as of now I only have an idea of how it may be. The posts will be something that you would definitely want to keep up to. I will share about what inspires me, what marvels me, what I have learnt, What I am learning, what I shoot, what I plan to shoot, what I dream of shooting. Everything about my photography enthusiast life I plan to share in this blog.

I plan to talk about what inspires me, how I get that type of inspiration, Analyze different photographers who have managed to create a unique and personal identity with their art. Through this analysis, I may be able to peep into their creative minds and try to see what they see.  Communication is core essence in Art, and I believe that photography is an art. Being able to decipher this communication will lead to high level of growth. There really is so much that I have planned up for this new look blog. For this new project, and I hope that I will be able to fulfill it. However, you will have to wait to see.

This week, I will be taking an looking at photography in detail. I want to explore stuff that I love.  I will be focusing on very interesting  subjects that you sure don’t want to miss.  I shall share more on the next diary post. Ciao.

The Krox.