Addition 201701

It’s 2017, and besides the sense that the world is on the brink of disaster – nothing much has changed.

Welcome back. I hope this year will be a good one, in which we will appreciate the kindness of others, and continue to work at actively making the world a place where nobody will get left behind.

I’ve added a couple of photographs since we last spoke, and most of my activity here (and on social media) has revolved around my work with the students at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design. I really enjoy that work, and I’m happy to say that I will be back there this year – teaching student and photographing stuff.

But as a gentle reminder that I photograph other things too, there’s this…

I spent some time with my parents in Stellenbosch during December. They’ve got a beautiful garden which attracts a fair amount of wildlife. Mostly birds. This baby Common Waxbill was brought into the house by Lybica – my parents’ cat (and main source of joy). It seemed like Lybica was just bored and wanted something to play with, because – besides possible emotional trauma – the bird hadn’t been harmed. It also seemed to be rather exhausted, as it kept falling asleep in my mother’s hand after she caught it. Falling asleep is not a great idea when you’re the only threatened party in a potential life-and-death situation, but it didn’t seem to understand that. After admiring how beautiful it was, the Waxbill was set free – with the hope that it would find its way to safety, safely.

A couple of minutes after being bid farewell, it was returned to us. Lybica was being quite diligent, and the Waxbill quite silly. This second rescue was turned into a slightly more elaborate affair, with some food, and foliage placed in a large glass bowl (with it) so that it could get some rest in a safe place, and be observed some more.

At one point during the first rescue, the silly little Waxbill escaped from my mother’s gentle grasp and found itself poised on this Delicious Monster – blissfully unaware of the looming threat.

See larger image here


Addition 201612

It’s amazing how disruptive an untimely, unscheduled break in a routine can be. I’m still slogging through the remnants of the disturbances caused by that pesky power surge, believe it or not…

However, it hasn’t only been gloom. I’ve done some more work with the 3rd Year students at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design. It’s bitter sweet. This was the first group of students Amor and I taught almost two years ago. We’d been warned about their non-existent group dynamic, and how you never know whether anything you’re saying gets through to them, because they barely respond to anything you say or do. We didn’t feel it in class last year. With the exception of two or three students who were clearly attentive, this year was different.

By the time we had them in class to prepare for their shoots, I’d already seen (and photographed) the mid-year exhibition and the annual fashion event during which their first range for the year, the Self-Expression Range, gets shown. Despite their awkward class-dynamic, this was clearly a formidable group of designers. Some had already established themselves in their own businesses, some seemed less sure of what to do next, but all of them are clearly as ready, capable, qualified and skilled as they need to be to take on the fashion industry, whether they believe it yet or not. There are a hand-full that should probably do a fourth year – enabling them to become functionally involved in the industry while still under the Academy’s wing – before being let loose on their own.

Anyway, I’m glad they’re moving on to the real world where they can make some contribution to making you look good, but it’s also a little sad that I won’t be seeing many of them again. Ever.

Some of the work has made its way to the With section of this website, and there’ll be more there in due course. In the mean-time, this is Nicole, who I’ve probably taken more photos of than anyone else. Ever. Nicole produced beautiful clothes, and was often used as a model by the other students. Here she is dressed by Vicky.


View larger image here

(there’s an issue with the Facebook button below, but I’m working on it…)


Addition 201611

So…

I had a bit of an incident at the end of June. All my computer hard drives were damaged due to a power surge when the power came back on after a power failure while I was in Stellenbosch. I was advised not use my external drives due to the risk of a total failure and the loss of everything on the drives. Everything, like my photographs. I had to wait some time for my insurance company to get their act together so that I could get new hard drives, and move all my photographs from one of the damaged externals to a new one. This resulted in me not being able to access my photographs. Fortunately it all got sorted out, and it seems that I didn’t lose anything (except my Adobe Elements, which I use for watermarking my photographs. And some time). And here I am again…

Many things have happened since July. Spring came and went. My friend Christine moved to London. Summer started. Fees Must Fall remobilized in what seems to be a less constructive fashion. And there was Halloween…

In a celebration of sorts of my return, here is a photograph of my friend Cate at AfrikaBurn in 2013. Cate is armed with a bottle of vodka and a tissue – sufficient armament for just about any eventuality.

Cate at AfrikaBurn 2013

Addition 201607

You may have noticed some of my other photographs of Metallica at the Bellville Velodrome here

This was a special occasion for me. Although I’m probably not an as big Metallica fan as many other people (ja, I’m a Megadeth guy…), I feel quite thrilled to have had the opportunity to be in the pit the second time the band visited South Africa. I’d seen them at the Coke Fest at the old Green Point Stadium in 2006, but didn’t have the opportunity to photograph them then.

By 2013, it seemed that the band had gone through most of their post-Pop Star break-through turmoil, and had become more of an all-conquering roadshow than masters of Thrash. The overwhelming commercial success of Metallica (The Black Album) from 1991 had thrown the band into a creative vacuum, and they hadn’t produced a musically significant follow-up to the 1988 release, …And Justice For All. That’s a long time.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it didn’t really matter. When an opportunity like this arises - you take it, and thanks to my friend Aidan, it did!

So off I went – excited as the squirrels in my friend Caryn’s garden anticipating someone throwing some nuts in their direction. During my walk from my parking spot to the media entrance half-way up the hill, I phoned another friend, Hougaard, to briefly share my excitement, and the moment. Hougaard had spent much time introducing me to Heavy Metal during the later part of the Eighties. Then I found and waited in the queue.

Eventually Bonj came to fetch the media contingent, and we where marched across the sports field and up the stairs of the outside spectator stand and into the building where we waited for further instruction form Wendy of Universal Music.

Van Coke Cartel opened with a slightly tuned, but as usual – highly energetic set. Then we waited and waited some more.

Metallica was as tight as the racing line through the corkscrew at Laguna Seca. But I had three songs to get some work done. I’d done a little reading about some high profile photographers’ experiences and advice on photographing Metallica – just to be as prepared as I could possibly be. This was the last time I made that mistake. I adapt much quicker when I follow my own knowledge and processes. Despite the bad advice, and all the excitement, I think I managed quite well.

Although James seems to be looking out to nowhere, I like how their hands are just about in sync in this photograph.

Here are Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo and James Hetfield of Metallica at the Bellville Velodrome, Cape Town in 2013:

Being ushered quickly out of the pit by some rather large, couldn’t-care-less-about-you-looking security staff after our time was up, no-one seemed to know what we were permitted to do next. I didn’t want to over-stay my welcome, so made my way to an exit to take out my ear-plugs and linger in the sound from a safer distance. I found an entrance and watched some more of the show over the sea of metal heads – still basking for a while in having been thrown a handful of nuts.

As I started walking back to my Kombi a group of about five dodgy looking people started following me – stopping in their tracks as I turned back to stay within earshot of a group of burly security guards. The dodgy guys just loitered, so I made my way to the biggest of the guards and asked him to escort me back to my parking spot.

It was a good night.

Larger image here


Wallace from The Warinsane

This is Wallace Warner, vocalist for Cape Town band The Warinsane. Here I photographed him at Metal4Africa’s annual Summerfest event at The Oude Libertas Theater in Stellenbosh in 2013.

The band went into an indefinite hiatus in early 2016 as Wallace thought it would be cool to go and live in New Zealand

I enjoy the simplicity of the light, and Wallace being shrouded in red – he’s pretty active on stage – with the bit of lit smoke behind him almost forming a speech bubble – providing a focus-point around the microphone.

See larger image here
See more of my Concert Photography here
Check out the now quiet The Warinsane Facebook page here
Check out Metal4Africa here


Addition 201606

Besides my recent upsurge in activity here, I have actually been updating my web-site’s content with at least one photograph a month. Sometimes other work is also added too, but there is at least one new addition per month.

Last night I thought it might be nice to give you a little more information about that one photograph I add. No essays, just a little background information.

This month’s addition is a photograph of Kagiso during a shoot I did with Elizabeth Galloway Academy Of Fashion Design in Stellenbosch. It was a moment during the documentation of a collection of outfits they designed and manufactured for their entry to the International Mohair Competition hosted by Donghua University in Shanghai earlier this year. They didn’t win, but the experience was quite exciting – including two EGAFD lecturers, Fiona and Alana, taking a trip to Shanghai to represent the Academy at the event, where they got some valuable experience and ate some real Chinese food.

Photographed at the Academy’s studio, here’s Kagiso:

You can currently also find it here. And here.


Tools For The Job

People often speak about how important it is to have the correct tools for the job.

This is usually true. Being able to complete a task successfully is much easier if you have the appropriate tools that can cope with what needs to be done. Specialist tools are designed for specific functions, so it makes sense. But there is also something to be said for the ability to improvise. Although improvisation might not give exactly the same result - finding alternative solutions can usually provide sufficient outcomes.

In the interest of helping to find those alternative solutions, I’ve put together a little visual presentation of how - when you don’t have the correct tools - the value of improvisation comes in to play.

Have a look here


SARUA Open Access Conference 2016

About two weeks ago I had the opportunity to document another conference for SARUA (Southern African Universities Association). SARUA works to facilitate co-operation between the leadership of universities in SADC countries. You can check them out and get a better idea of exactly what they do on their web-site, here: SARUA
Working with SARUA gives me an insight into matters that relate to learning/education – one of my pet issues – at a level that I would not otherwise be exposed to. They’re also nice people, so I enjoy being (in some small way) part of what they do.

This conference was held as a pre-event to the Going Global conference which was to start later the same day – both at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). I’d only been to the CTICC twice before. The first time was in 2005 for the release party for then-Rhythm City actress Pam Andrews’ album Here We Go. Pam was pretty cool. Well, cool enough to have a shot of vodka with me at the bar after her performance. It may have been more than one shot, but I don’t really remember. Pam made another foray into music last year, but is now living in London. I hope it wasn’t something I said…
This is the video for Pam’s song from 2015 (which I’m pretty sure has nothing to do with anything I said):
(Please note: This bears no actual relevance to the conference, and is probably not suitable viewing for too-sensitive or discerning viewers)

My second visit to the CTICC was to pick someone up. I’m starting to think that – in the bigger scheme of things – the second occasion probably doesn’t carry much weight.

The aim of the conference was to expand dialog amongst the universities around the issue of Open Access. Open Access addresses the freeing up of access to published academic research on order to make it easier for students and researchers to utilize for the purposes of learning and reference in the production of further and related research. The way much of this knowledge is monopolised by a handful of publishers leads to universities having to pay exorbitant fees for access to published research – including that produced by their own researchers. Open Access also aims to help elevate the status of Universities and their researchers without them having to buy in to the costly corporate publishing structures.

Admittedly, I was not aware of the extent to which knowledge from academic research has become corporatised, so I was a little surprised. It seems that some progress is being made in the creation of systems that facilitate more affordable access to published research, but there is clearly still a lot of work to be done. The commoditisation and monopolisation of access to knowledge on such a large scale is surely a hindrance to our progress as humans, and when done purely for the financial gain, it seems criminal. Seems…? Obviously there are costs involved in producing, storing and distributing academic research, but when access to much of it is controlled by the amount of finance you have – as with any corporatisation – we seem to be missing the point.

Anyway, I won’t claim to be super knowledgeable on the topic, but I do believe that one should always strive to learn more. Knowledge certainly is power, and a practice of effectively withholding knowledge only defeats our progress. So do some of your own research, and if you’re privileged enough to be studying at reputable university – give it some extra thought. It may just be that the guy in the middle is not the true enemy.

  • In conversation before the start of the conference
    In conversation before the start of the conference

    Nan Wagner, Project Manager of the Intellectual Property Unit at UCT, Prof Primrose Karusha, Vice Chancellor of Zimbabwe Open University and Dr Sijbolt Noorda of Magna Charta Obsevatory. Nan had kindly supplied me with a coffee earlier.

  • The corner with the AV desk.
    The corner with the AV desk.

    AV technicians behind at table with Prof Samson Sibanda, Vice Chancellor of the University of Science & Technology in Zimbabwe, and unidentified delegate and Dr Carol Nonkwelo, Executive Director of Research & Postgraduate Studies at the University of Johannesburg.

  • Running late.
    Running late.

    SARUA Director Botha Kruger explaining a slight delay to the start of proceedings.

  • Welcome Address
    Welcome Address

    SARUA Chairperson Dr Primrose Kurusha welcomes delegates.

  • Research values in a changing world
    Research values in a changing world

    Prof Zeblon Vilakazi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research & Postgraduate Studies at Wits started his address by paying tribute to seven of the university’s students who had lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident the preceding weekend. He was visibly moved by that event, but went on to deliver an impassioned address.

  • Questions
    Questions

    Prof Narend Baijnath, CEO of the Council of Higher Education in South Africa.

  • Making notes
    Making notes

    Various delegates from UCT

  • Responses from Senegal
    Responses from Senegal

    Dr Williams Nwagwu, Head of CODESRIA from Senegal with Dr Leti Kleyn, Manager of Open Scholarship & Digitisation Programmes at University of Pretoria paying close attention.

  • Dutch Perspective
    Dutch Perspective

    Dr Sijbolt Noorda of Magna Charta Observatory. I had to figure out how to use his iPhone to take a photo for him earlier…

  • Insight from Latin America
    Insight from Latin America

    Brazilian Bianca Amaro de Melo, Coordinator for Instituto Brasileiro addressing delegates.

  • Trying to speed up the pace
    Trying to speed up the pace

    A lighter moment with Bianca Amaro de Melo enjoying Dr Andoh Pascal Hoba’s attempt to get delegates to use less time.

  • Next
    Next

    Dr Andoh Pascal Hoba of Malawi’s UbuntuNet Alliance about to introduce Eve Gray, Open Access Programme Facilitator at the IP Unit, UCT.

  • On Fire
    On Fire

    Eve Gray is clearly not happy about corporate monopolies. One of her concerns related to how the high cost of access to published academic research could lead to the death of the academic publishing industry due to the threat of piracy, and drew a comparison to the music industry. I’m not sure that I agree completely that piracy was the main cause of the death of the music industry, but it was interesting to hear the issue come up. Having spent much time in the music industry, and having eventually been culled from it due to corporate greed, this issue is still close to my heart.

  • The Convert
    The Convert

    Garry Rosenberg from Essential Books has insight into the other side. He awkwardly confesses having worked for one of the big publishers, where margins take precedence over consequence.

  • Making Movies
    Making Movies

    Dr Lidia Borrell-Damain, Director for Research & Innovation for the European Universities Association, delivers her address via USB stick.

  • A Busy Man
    A Busy Man

    Dr Hoba eventually taking the podium for his own address dealing with benefits of direct inter-African internet networks, and making a point of adhering to the adjusted time allowed for speaking.

  • Gotta go
    Gotta go

    Prof Caroline Ncube of the Department of Commercial Law at UCT didn’t have to make excuses for rushing through her presentation. She had another appointment she had to get to after her address, and offered legal help to the OA movement.

  • Emphasizing  brevity
    Emphasizing brevity

    Dr Noorda listening to Prof Crain Soudien, CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council provide a summary after the conclusion of all the speakers’ contributions, and then attempting to insist on keeping questions and discussions to the point.

  • A Life to Learn
    A Life to Learn

    Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo, Deputy Director of UNESCO’s Institute for Life-Long Learning had a lot to offer due to her vast experience, both as an educator, and in various organisations promoting education as a form of empowerment.

  • The French Contingent
    The French Contingent

    I think this is one of the delegates for Universite de Lubumbashi in the DRC. I may be completely mistaken. Help me if you know.

  • Important Questions
    Important Questions

    Prof Stephanie Burton, Vice-Principal of Research & Academic Studies at University of Pretoria.

  • Grateful Response
    Grateful Response

    Piyushi Kotecha, CEO of SARUA responds to Prof Burton’s concerns.

  • More pariticipation
    More pariticipation

    Judy Favish, Director of Institutional Planning at UCT.

  • And more
    And more

    Gwenda Thomas from UCT Libraries.

  • Raising concerns
    Raising concerns

    Prof Samson Sibanda, Vice-Chancellor of Zimbabwe’s National University of Science & Technology.

  • More from the French-speaking delegates
    More from the French-speaking delegates

    Prof Jean Paul Segihoba Bigira, Vice-Chancellor of the Universite de Goma in the DRC with an attentive Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo.

  • Offering to share knowledge
    Offering to share knowledge

    Bianca Amaro de Melo offers to share knowledge gained from Instituto Brasileiro’s experience with Open Access to see if it is relevant for the African scenario.

  • Contributions from my home town
    Contributions from my home town

    Ellen Tise, Senior Director of Library Services at Stellenbosch University offers to help with co-ordination of further action.

  • Contributing from the floor, too
    Contributing from the floor, too

    Dr Hoba has a lot on his mind - and his plate - having played roles as Chairperson, Speaker and general participant.

  • DRC
    DRC

    Rector of the Universite de Lubumbashi, Prof Gilbert Kishiba Fitula.

  • Emphasizing the importance of urgency, cohesion and commitment
    Emphasizing the importance of urgency, cohesion and commitment

    Wrapping up the discussion, Dr Noorda made it clear that the only way to succeed is if there is a common goal without the distractions of differences in matters that are of no consequence to achieving that goal.

  • In Closing
    In Closing

    Prof Primrose Kurasha ended the formal proceedings with her closing remarks.

  • Where it all starts
    Where it all starts

    Dr Hoba connects with Prof Jean Paul Segihoba Bigira and other delegates. It’s seems to me that much of the value of conferences is in what happens after formal proceedings end. You make your friends over tea and a ham croissant…

  • The UNESCO Effect
    The UNESCO Effect

    Delegates were quite keen to connect with Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo.

  • Will you please...
    Will you please...

    The first semi-formal group photo.

  • Just wait...
    Just wait...

    And the second. And the last.

There was quite lot of participation from delegates, and in order to be relatively representative, I have included quite a lot of photographs. You can see larger images here



On a technical note; Lighting in the venue was slightly deceptive. The ceiling is high, and is practically a huge lighting grid. This makes for even lighting, but because there’s light everywhere, the effect is rather bland. When the lights were set to the requirements of the event – with kind consideration for what I had to do – the space appeared to be much brighter than it actually was. I ended up using a bounced and flash to add a little light to the room. I’m not a great fan of the flash, so it was set to produce a very low output - mostly avoiding being too intrusive and distracting. In retrospect, I probably could have pushed the capabilities my tools a little further, but as it was – I just had to work a little harder. Next time…

Link to where some of this work has been used:
Magna Charta Observatory
Links to where previous work has been used:
Higher Education Management Africa
ConsultBrain
SARUA


Mother’s Day Grain

Just not from me…

I was (sort of) hoping to be awake early today (it’s still Sunday, the 8th of May, 2016 - and Mother’s Day in South Africa - as I’m starting to write this, so I’m sticking with ‘today’), but – as it usually happens – I couldn’t get to sleep last night. It wasn’t for lack of trying – I just can’t fall asleep before I am really sleepy, and that usually only happens at around 03h00. Go figure. I need my sleep in order to keep my heart from going into over-drive, so my final waking time depends on whether I have appointments, or whether I’ve had a sufficient amount of sleep.

But I woke up at about 05h00, had a glass of water and went back to bed and fell asleep. I missed the dawn sky over the Stellenbosch mountains I’ve so often half-heartedly planned to photograph again. It turns out the sky was clear anyway, so I wasn’t too concerned. Clear sky is not as interesting to me as cloudy sky.

I was already running slightly late for a Mother’s Day lunch in Stellenbosch when my Kombi refused to start. Not a cough. Not a splutter. Not even a whisper of a turn of an engine. Niks. I’m assuming it was a combination of a couple of things, because after emptying the last drops of spare fuel from my jerry can into the tank, fiddling with wires, brushing cement dust away from connections, and tapping stuff (like the coil and starter motor) with the handle end of a large screwdriver – she started – as if nothing had ever been the matter. After chipping some dried cement chunks off my windscreen while getting more fuel for the trip at the closest petrol station – I was off.

Seriously, what’s with this cement? – you ask.
There have been builders on the premises where I live that have been busy doing renovations and structural maintenance. Much of this involves cement. – I answer.

While driving along the N1 to Stellenbosch I saw a flash of lightning in the distance – straight ahead, so more-or-less to the East. I only saw one flash – and this brings me back to Saturday night/Sunday morning, and probably part of the reason I couldn’t get to sleep. At some point during last month, a trusty weather service had forecast thunderstorms around Cape Town for the next day. I’ve been pretty keen to photograph lightning again and planned to take a trip down the Peninsula to chase it - so I was quite excited! This is what happened the last time I photographed lightning - about three and a half years ago:

Lightning Strike over Claremont 2012 [16006]

But those forecasts disappeared as the day broke. Gone. Soos mis voor die môre son.
For the next three weeks I watched weather forecasts with much hope – but no luck. Then – out of the blue on Saturday night: a thunder-clap right over my neighbourhood! I quickly set up my gear – excited as a little Christian child on Christmas morning. Disappointment wasn’t an option. My moment had arrived. This. Was. It.

When I got outside the sky showed no signs of a thunderstorm. The cloud cover was frail and high, and there was a chill in the air. Nothing like a sky about to erupt with the force of anything that would have 52 days of the year named after it. It was still and rather drab. At least for about an hour – when there was another blast. But again… It might as well have been a back-firing Cortina from the adjacent block of flats. No further signs of thunder. Until, after another long delay, there was another strike. But by that time I was already in bed.

But I digress…

Lunch with most of the family was good. I haven’t been east for a while, and Peet always makes a good meal. Afterwards I went to my parents’ home – for another espresso, and just to catch up with them. My parents – and when we still lived ‘at home’, sometimes the rest of us (the children) – have spent much time cultivating a beautiful garden in which, today, I photographed this:

Felicia amelloides [12006]
Felicia amelloides [12006]

Felicia amelloides [09007]
Felicia amelloides [09007]

Fern [02001]
Fern [02001]

Hawthorn [36001]
Hawthorn [36001]

Swamp Cypress [33001]
Swamp Cypress [33001]

Robinia [37004]
Robinia [37004]

Robinia [43005]
Robinia [43005]

I left Stellenbosch just before sunset, and was on the Annandale road just after. The sky over the Hottentots-Holland Mountain Range and towards Cape Town was spectacular, with some rays of the already-set sun still catching the higher edges of a varied array of cloud formations. This was great – my missed dawn had come to meet me at dusk. But it was actually already a little too dark, I was a little too excited, and too blindingly preoccupied with some exploratory technical experimentation that I’d also been waiting to do, that I wasn’t concentrating sufficiently on the outcomes. I pushed my ISO speed beyond reason for the moment. I got still enough (hand-held) photographs that looked very nice on a small scale, but I’ve deleted them.

I couldn’t live with the converted grain.

Happy Mother’s Day.


View larger photographs here


A View of Table Mountain during Winter.

Winter is still my fourth favourite season. One of the many reasons for this is the unendurable task of drying washed clothes.
If you’re old-school - or poor - you’ll know exactly what I mean.

This afternoon, while hanging another bit of clothing out to dry in the sun on a clothes-drying rack on my balcony, I noticed a Southern Double-collared Sunbird in the tree that graciously blocks my would-be numbing view of Table Mountain through a stretch of electrical cables. When out in public, sunbirds usually dart about from flower to flower collecting nectar, or chasing after insects, so I thought I’d just watch it for the brief moment it was to be in view before fluttering off, and then carry on with my day.

By the time I finished hanging the washing he was still there. So I watched him a little longer.

I’d had my moment of observing, then thought I may as well fetch my camera – knowing that he would certainly be gone by the time I got back to the balcony, but satisfied that I had managed to spend some time enjoying his presence - therefore countering the disappointment of missing the moment.

So I went inside, swapped lenses, and when I got back he was still there! Calmly hopping from branch to branch as if inspecting the neighborhood as a potential home turf.

The area inside the tree was relatively dark, and I had to shoot through layers of branches to get where he was sitting making mental notes.

Check larger images here: Southern Double-Collared Sunbird Gallery


When it’s too late…

So… It seems I will not die (yet).

Usually, this may sound like a good thing, but for me it makes life a little more complex. To make sure everything stays cool, however – I need your help. It needn’t take a lot from you, but it will mean a lot to me.

Back to the start? (Just about every story has sub-story, but I will try to keep it concise and flowing.)

In 2010 I had a severe case of Graves’ Disease (Hyperthyroidism / an overactive thyroid). To try and give some perspective – by October my T4 reading (used to check Thyroid function) was 150 (the maximum indicator on measuring apparatus at Tygerberg’s Thyroid Clinic) as opposed to a ‘normal’ reading between 4-ish and 12-ish. Your thyroid controls your metabolism, so my metabolism had increased to at least ten times the ‘normal’ speed. Heart-rate, breathing, digestion etc – all those things that your body does automatically. At rest, my heart rate was 120 beats per minute.
I also acquired Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heart-beat) in August. Late in November I had heart failure. In December one of my lungs partially collapsed. By all reasonable accounts, all this should have killed me.

Due to the concern and care of one of the doctors at Tygerberg – who eventually checked me in and booked me a bed before convincing me to stay during a ‘standard’ check-up; a wise Endocrinologist in Somerset West - who has since ceased practicing medicine due to his own tragic health condition; and particularly my father – who’s concern and commitment to getting me fixed steered the process (despite dealing with the after-effects of a serious road accident that had nearly killed him a year before), and probably a bit of my own hard-headedness – I am still here. And almost o.k..

Recovery was slow, but steady. By March 2012 I was retrenched. The pinnacle of my 23 year career in music retail was to be a number on a spread-sheet [one of three, and three had become one too many] and being offered the gamble of another raw deal down the line. This was the corporate solution to keep numbers balanced (instead of an actual solution to keep a business viable) – but that’s a whole story on its own.

Early in 2010 – before I realised how ill I was getting – I made a conscious, active decision to start doing other stuff besides my daily work routine. In life, we too often fall into the habit of routine - doing what we need to simply stay alive. We get a job. We go to work. We get home tired, and we do nothing except just not be at work. We try to relax. We try to get over the day. We complain, but all we try to do is just not deal with being part of the system of having a job. We forget why we started working. We forget that we had plans. Plans to do stuff. Cool stuff. Stuff that would make us happy. We end up forgetting about ourselves. We forget that we are not singular in our abilities and desires. Instead of working to get paid and have a life, we work to maintain our ability to keep going to work. If we’re lucky (like I was) we get a job – and have a significant career – doing something we enjoy, but we’re still stuck in a job working for someone else – instead of making a living and spending time with (other) things we are passionate about. We forget to feed our own sense of accomplishment, creativity, satisfaction, curiosity and usefulness.

After school I studied Fine Art. I studied Painting, Drawing, Photography and Printmaking. My conflict with History of Art Lectures/Lecturers which led to me not completing my studies is also another story, so let’s not get side-tracked. ‘Art’ (for the lack of a better term) was something that I have felt is part of me, but when my studies came to an end, I did not want to become the ‘struggling artist’. I needed some form of security and I needed to make a living. I was lucky and I got a job in a record store. I was thrilled. I still am. Having been able to spend so many years with something that provided me with much satisfaction is something I will always be grateful for. But there was more to life, and I eventually took the step to continue with something that had been put on hold for a long time. It would have been (and would still be) wonderful to continue (or by now – restart) Painting and Drawing again, but the type of commitment it would take from me would have prevented me from doing anything else (like having a job). I resurrected and stepped up my interest in Photography.

My Photography before 2010 had involved film, so I suppose I still have an ‘old-school’ approach. Due to a series of unfortunate events, I had lost all my photographic gear (twice), and the time seemed right to go digital. The immediacy of digital allows me to re-compose, adjust, reconsider the environment etc. I can see what I’ve done immediately, and if necessary (and possible – depending on what I’m photographing) I can change whatever I feel needs changing until I am satisfied – as I would when painting. I struggle with the concept (and practice) of changing an image significantly once I have taken a photograph. But this too is a whole story by itself, so let me stick to the point.

I’d hoped that my Photography might aid my need to take care of more of me and reacquaint me with life in a more complex and satisfactory way than having a job – and just living. It did. I was happy. And grateful. I still am.

But then I got retrenched.

My Photography had re-opened parts of my life that I had put aside. I started going to watch live music again. I took trips to photograph stuff. Musicians, Landscapes, Racing Cars… Stuff I enjoyed. I started reconnecting with life outside work. Other less pleasant things were also happening in my life (another separate story), but I started feeling like I was living again, and it made me happy. I still am.

Besides healing and getting accustomed to a very differently functioning body, I have spent the last two and a half years looking for work (a job), and at the same time I have worked at creating a life that would enable me to make a living. My relatively meagre retrenchment package, my UIF and a life policy enabled me to carefully assemble a good set of tools for my Photographic endeavours, and kept me alive for a while. Then I had to delve into savings that were supposed to be used to restore my Kombi. Since then I have had to rely on friends and family who have been willing to help, when they’ve been able to help. That pool is not bottomless and my Credit Card is now just a piece of plastic that increases my debt every month.

Starting a new life has not been easy. I can’t get ‘junior’ positions because I am too experienced. I can’t get ‘senior’ positions for reasons that, again, are a whole story by itself. Starting a new life has not been easy, but I am determined to make it work. Both because I need to survive and because I have found another me that I really enjoy and I want to give him a chance. And I will do it either by stubbornly keeping at it until it ‘works out’, or by being lucky and finding ‘that hook’ that will change things significantly. That process now needs a boost.

I don’t look ill. But I am.

About a year after I was ‘signed off’ from the process at Tygerberg, I stopped taking my medication [Eltroxin, Warfarin and a Beta blocker]. It made me feel too sick and I figured I would rather feel o.k., and that if something went wrong – I would be quite content to die.

In early November 2014, I (was encouraged to, and) went to see a specialist doctor for a check-up to get an idea of how things are really going. Again, despite the initial expectations of the doctor, my tests indicated that I’m not doing too badly. My liver, kidneys and pancreas – the damage to which was only pointed out to me by a dear friend who help me with Shiatsu treatment in the early stages of my recovery – seem to be functioning well. Most unusually for people who have had radio-active therapy – my thyroid function has normalized (after the treatment had left it underactive). But there are still significant issues. My [still] irregular heart beat and [still too] high heart-rate put me at risk of a blood clot forming and making its way to my brain. This probably won’t kill me. The chances are better that I will have a stroke – disabling me and rendering me rather useless. I am not too happy about this prospect.

Now I need to step up my health care. I am back on medication: for my heart – to slow it down and strengthen the muscles, and; to thin my blood to avert the clot. But I need to push through with, and broaden my care ‘base’ to ensure that my care and possible further healing is significant and sustained.

If you’ve read this far – thank you. I don’t actually like baring the state of my being so publicly and in writing, but I have become concerned with the possibility that I may run out of time before I get to everyone… Unlike Amanda Palmer, I have not learned The Art Of Asking, so the following part is even more difficult for me, and I suspect I may lose some of you who’ve been kind, curious or bored enough to get this far.

I need help.

I sometimes wonder what people who know me would do if things got worse for me. How bad would it have to get? How do I ask for help without it sounding like I’m being pathetic? It feels like I have exhausted my options, but I’m probably just missing something.

When it’s too late – it’s too late.

My work and life so far have given me a couple skills and some experience. I’d be happy to do various things, and I’m sure there are as many things that you could do that will help me. I’ll consider whatever is viable, but one thing I am trying to initiate at the moment is to take (personal) portraits of as many of my friends (and whoever has read this far) as possible.
Where? In my home studio in Cape Town. When? The sooner the better, but obviously when it suits us best. But seriously…why? Because it will help me.

If helping me isn’t sufficient as a free-standing concept…
If you come for a portrait – I get better at what I do and can build a more effective portfolio.
If you come for a portrait – we get to hang out and spend some time together. It might actually be fun…
If you come for a portrait – I document part of my life. And yours.
If you come for a portrait – I feel useful.
If you come for a portrait – You might like what I do. You might like it enough to tell your friends. They might like it enough to commission a portrait of their own, or something else.
If I take your portrait – you help me get my health and the process of making a living back on track.

I need your help.

Taking your portrait will help me, so (if you’re anywhere near Cape Town) please send me a message so that we can make a plan.

When it’s too late – Sorry doesn’t cut it.

Love and Peace

Tim


Home Studio / Portraits

Newest Offering!

I have set up a temporary studio at my home in Cape Town. (This is primarily for portraits, but is also available for product shoots.)

The options are more or less as follows (for portraits):

One: A ‘simple’ shoot (eg. one set of clothing/shirt/random object) with the current (light) set-up - R550. [The set-up changes from time to time, and I will keep you updated here or here on my Facebook page.]
Two: Additional sets (shirt change etc) - add R200 for first and R100 per set after that.

The simple shoot (with current / single / ‘as is’ light set-up) is cheap and (relatively) quick and should take 20-30 minutes (although I’d recommend setting aside about 2 hours). Additions will obviously be longer and cost a little more, but gives you a variety of ‘looks’.

Three: Different set-up (lights) - add R300 per set-up to ‘simple’ shoot (One). Any additions are the same as above (Two).

Four: Simple shoot at Location (eg. your house) - R500 plus travel over 20km (total travel from where I am based in Cape Town to location and back) at R3/km. Additions same as above (Two).

Five: Setting up lights etc. at Location - add R300 per set-up (as in Three).

Pricing and studio set-up may change without warning, so contact me for current information.

(terms and conditions apply)

Recent set-up:


Update

Greetings!

It’s December again!

Before all the holiday madness unleashes, I have to let you know that I have updated my Available Prints pages!

Buy Prints

Please have a look. The images here are all low resolution, and they are unfortunately further degraded by the watermarking process, but I can guarantee you that they are all quite spectacular!

Have fun, and please consider ordering something.

Peace.

Tim

www.timhoney.co.za


October-ish Update

Greetings, kind people.

I get so engrossed in my photographs that I tend to neglect the part that actually really excites me – and hopefully generates a bit of enthusiasm from you. It’s the part where I get to share them with you.

I am in the process of doing a bit of a content update on my web-site [www.timhoney.co.za], and thought it would be a good idea to let you know what I have done so far. Although I realize that this space can only translate limited enthusiasm, please head over here http://www.timhoney.co.za/concert-photography/ to see some fresher content, and go here http://www.timhoney.co.za/available-prints/ to see what you’d like to get yourself or your friends for Christmas (or just because…)! You’ll notice that there is a second page for prints too, and this is an area that I will be adding even more images to soon. The lucky people who have already purchased prints will be able to tell you how good they look! (They could also tell you how grateful I am for their support).

If you like my work, please tell your friends about me.

Happy viewing.

Take Care.

Tim


About Time…

It’s been a while, I know. Miss me?

I must admit, I have [sort of] neglected this page. Even now – there’s not much in terms of new content. A little shuffling – yes; but nothing so mind-altering that you’ll fall off your chair.

Much of my time has been spent on keeping active profiles on social media and exploring some other spaces on the internet with the aim of ‘broadening my footprint’. You know I’ve been on Facebook for a while, but I’ve been expanding and now share content on Google+, flickr, Pinterest and twitter [tumblr., and Wordpress profiles are oozing into existence slowly, too]. If any of these platforms work [better] for you – go find me. I am there!

Part of my reason for digging myself into various other spaces on the internet has been the probability that I will have to put this page [and my Random Order page] to rest soon. My running costs have exceeded my returns for a while now. I have held on to things I believed to be important, but eventually it just isn’t possible to keep everything going… Sad, isn’t it?

On a more positive note… wait, let my just look for it again…

O.k.; On a more positive note, I have done some interesting work and had good feedback. Amongst others, I was contracted to shoot the finish-line celebrations and medal ceremony for Tour D’Afrique’s Cairo to Cape Town adventure, and I did shoot for AG Computer Accounting’s Staff profiles.
If you are due for some serious adventure – check out the Tour D’Afrique expeditions, and for computer accounting stuff – be sure to consult the experts!
Some of my photographs have also been published in the Cape Times newspaper. Unfortunately this paper doesn’t pay for photographs - so besides it being really cool – it hasn’t helped pay the rent!

In the mean-time I work at finding more work… If you have any interesting ideas please let me know.

I am very grateful to those of you who have supported me and either bought prints or contracted me for work. I also know that it isn’t always easy to know how you can be supportive or what you could use me for, so I have drawn up a list of things for you to consider – or make your friends aware of…

  • Tell someone about me.
    “Hey, I need a photographer!” probably isn’t something that comes up in normal, every-day conversation, but you never know who might actually need one. So if you see a gap – make some noise! The more people know about me, the better chance there is that we will find more people who can use me!
  • Share my Page / ‘like’ my photographs. Erm… what does that mean?
    This probably relates more to Facebook / Google+ / Pinterest users. What I’m getting at relates to any kind of [clicking] interaction with my Facebook photography page [Photography By Tim Honey] and my profiles on the other previously mentioned internet ‘platforms’. It’s often quite astounding what effect one person ‘liking’ or sharing a photograph from my Facebook page can have. Any interaction usually has a knock-on effect. I like that. Don’t worry, I don’t want you to go and like all my photographs now, but if you see something you enjoy – don’t be shy to ‘like’ or ‘share’ it. It helps!
  • Keep my business cards / pamphlets handy.
    If you work somewhere [probably more relevant to Cape Town / Boland area] where I could leave some business cards or postcard sized pamphlets based on my photographs – let me know and I will drop off or send you a couple. I can even semi-customise the pamphlets to suit your vibe…

That’s it for stuff you can do that won’t cost you any money, or too much of your integrity… The rest is a slightly more detailed list of services I provide. This is probably also more relevant if you’re in and around Cape Town / The Boland [South Africa], although I am more than happy to travel – at your expense! We’ll start with the small stuff.

  • ID / Passport Photos. I can do this.
    You know how terrible those can look and how inconvenient it can be to get them done. If you want something you can live with…
  • School Photos.
    Got kids? Do they go to school? If it ever happens that your kids’ school is looking for someone to do School Photos / Class Photos etc, think of me.
  • Staff Portraits.
    Let’s say you own or work in a business and you [or ‘they’] need Staff Photos… This is especially cool if you have a web-site with a staff profile page or for your business’ Facebook page. It adds a personal touch that customers like and can be lots of fun to do!
  • Product Shoots / Pack Shots.
    You sell stuff? Maybe you’re making a pamphlet or need images for a catalogue etc. Or maybe you want to put an advertisement in the paper… This is also good for on-line profiles with product pages. Showing images of your product or work always adds value for visiting customers.
  • Family / Couple Shoots.
    Personally, I can’t stand most of this kind of stuff I see. Someone is usually just not digging it, turns out looking awkward and has to grin and bear it for a long time to come. I like to portray people in a context they are comfortable with, or do whatever I can to make them feel [or at least look] comfortable. It can take some doing, but will be worth it in the end. Awkwardness doesn’t last – only the images of it!
  • Portfolios / Profiles.
    Quite a lot of things can fall into this category, and some may overlap with other service headings. It covers services from a ‘simple’ portrait shoot to look good on your LinkdIn page to portfolios for aspiring models, so anything you may need a single or a collection of photographs / portraits for that make you look fabulous!
    Christmas is coming – Think of those Christmas cards you always wanted to send…
    Also – If you are in a band or do any kind of performance work – I can help you create an effective profile incorporating formal portraiture and performance work.
  • Residential / Architectural Photography.
    Estate Agent? Architect? Engineer? You know all those photos of houses that you always see on Estate Agents’ advertisements? Someone has to take them… And Engineers and Architects sometimes need research and reference material. Really. Ask them!
  • Event Photography.
    Planning an event? Anything from a sports day to a promotional activity. Sometimes you might want this covered / documented. Your sponsors will love you for some extra publicity, and the memories are often quite cool too.
  • Weddings.
    Yes, weddings too. I’ll do them. And Babies and Children (before, after or unrelated…).
  • Pets? You got pets? You do?! Some people – like you – like to have portraits of their beloved animals.
  • Buy some prints.
    I sell prints of some of my work. The internet doesn’t always do justice my images. Facebook in particular does not process reds well when they’re mixed or delicate.
    Prints are done by professionals and are available on various media [including canvas]. I prefer LightJet, Matt prints. These are very high quality prints on what is referred to as ‘art’ paper. I think this process best reflects my own understanding of my photographs. Depending on the image, prints can be made to just about any size. I do re-check all images before printing to ensure that they will translate accurately to whatever size is required.
    I can also do small postcard sized prints myself. These are 200 year prints on extremely durable, high quality glossy paper. The one possible limitation of these prints is that the system automatically enriches / saturates the colours of the image. This isn’t always a problem, but on some images’ detail is lost, so not all images are available for this.
    The post-card prints are also good for things like school photos or an old-school photo booth type set-up as I can deliver almost-instant prints!
    I also take on commissions for prints, so if you would like a photographic print of something specific that you haven’t found amongst my work, I could probably consider doing it for you it. Bear in mind though, I do look at things in a particular way, so make sure you enjoy some of my work first!
  • Refer clients to me.
    Any referrals that result in fully paid new work get you a percentage of my profit from the job. If it is a long job, there will be a limit to your benefit, but there will be a reward, so terms and conditions apply here.
  • Anything else?
    If you have read this far, I’m assuming that you’re keen to do something but haven’t been moved sufficiently by any of the options I have given. If that is the case – contact me! I’m sure we could figure something out.

That’s all from me for now.

Thanks for being here.

Peace.

Tim


Decemberism

O.k., so what’s the deal…?

It’s the beginning of December. That means you’re (hopefully) going to get to take a break from your ‘normal’ routine soon. You’re probably also going to try and find ways to spend lots of money on things that nobody really wants or needs. If you’re clever about it, you might buy other people things that you actually want for yourself – giving you an opportunity to either decide to just keep what you bought, or – if you’re tactful – find a way of getting it back from the recipients once all the fuss has died down.

While you’re busy wondering what to buy for Christmas, take some time and peruse these photographs I can sell you prints of: Buy Prints.

If you’re using your December break to get married and want a photographer, or if you eventually want to catalogue your prized collection of antique amplifiers or even if you’re going overseas and need ID or Passport photos taken… I can probably do it for you. Look here: What We Do (Services Offered)

Whatever you come up with, hopefully the idea of Christmas will remind us to make a little extra effort with considering those whose lives are not as easy as ours. Hopefully we can make some time to put a little light in someone else’s spirit while we relax and possibly spoil ourselves.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Take care.

Tim


Update

Hello, and Happy Friday…. night!

I have some very nice prints available.

Have a look here.

Depending on the image, sizes available are from A6-ish postcard size to A0 (really large).

Prints will be only be done on request.

All prints are in full resolution - so they will look even better than they do here!
The A6 size prints I do myself and are done on high quality glossy paper.
Sizes A5 to A0 will be done professionally (by people who actually know what they’re doing) and on a choice very good quality paper.

If you are interested, please e-mail me with the reference number (in [brackets] at the bottom of the image when you click on it to enlarge it), and I will send you options and pricing.

In the meantime - enjoy the photographs.

Take care and have a great weekend.

Tim
TimothyJHoney@gmail.com
www.timhoney.co.za
www.randomorder.co.za


Update

Hello everyone.

I have updated the content - just a little.

It has been a while since I’ve made contact, but besides an impending trip to Namibia there’s not too much report.

The actual reason for this post is just to say ‘Hi’, and to thank you for your continued support.

Take Care.

Peace.

Tim

www.timhoney.co.za
www.randomorder.co.za


Update

Hello everybody.

Firstly - you’ll notice this update is in the form of a blog post. I’m testing it to see how functional it is.

Further - there have been some other tweaks and updates to the site. Some of them are still in progress, but please have a look and let me know what you think. If you have any suggestions or ideas - please tell me. I will probably just ignore you, but give it a shot anyway. Who knows what might happen.

Peace.

Tim