I truly love doing these. I originally started exploring oil paints and did a few. My first love had always been photography, a link back to my father who inspired that, and a love for nature. Mom is a real people person, that’s her thing, she can spend an easy 30 minutes to an hour with anyone she wants to. So when I phone her, I need to make sure my battery is charged…LOL!
Some of that did rub off on me too. People, in general, are interesting to me, I love to watch them and figure out what’s going on with them. This may be why I chose to focus on portraits, composites, and digital paintings. I want to create a story from an image by whatever means that works. I can do this with any of the 3 options.
In a digital painting a take a photo from one medium add a few elements going through composite and deliver something that culminates in a painted format. I do not use anything else but Photoshop mixer brushes. I create a color scheme and work on trying to create the best painting I can within the framework I decided on.
I do box photo sessions with schools, especially now in this covid-19 era. I realized that it gives me great subjects to use for paintings and composites too.
I have been loving the look and the potential of photos created with boxes. It can be used to create unique family photos or celebrate an occasion, make a statement, like masked in the box or celebrate a birthday.
I built my first box a couple of weeks ago. To test the box and the light needed, I decided to create a series celebrating my son’s 7th birthday. This included things a grade 1 student is all about now such as maths, reading books but also enjoying his dog and soft toys.
In a couple of weeks the box with have its road trip, I did build it to be taken apart for this purpose. We will do a school class photo session. I cannot wait.
I was fortunate to spend time with a family over the weekend who have an interesting way of using their spare time. They help to protect the endangered Rhino. They do this by keeping an eye on them at times when they are most vulnerable. This includes their 7-year-old son. I invited them to bring him for a photoshoot in order to create a composite.
THE PROTECTOR WAS BORN
We decided to do a few family photos as well. Such a wonderful family and a great honour to photograph them.
This piece was created with the idea of “Out of Africa”. I saw a Giraffe laying on the grass on a visit to a nature reserve near us with my son a few years ago. I always wanted to create an image with it.
The idea came together with photos I took in the Karoo, semi-desert in Spring, with the seasonal flowers.
A giraffe laying down, unusual and tranquil. Combine this with horizontal lines the flower made and the little puddle and I had a base for my image. I wanted my son the fit in against the giraffe, but look out into the scene, not at me, leaving a multitude of things open to the viewer to think about.
My son loves animals, including his soft toys. He grew up watching wildlife out the vehicle as we do regular visits to National Parks here in South Africa.
The closest park to us, Addo Elephant National Park, is near our doorstep and we do a few trips to it every year, including staying in the camps for a few days.
I will share many more photos from our trips in future, but this one is all about a composite I did of my son and his Elephant. He tells them stories until he falls asleep and in the morning he shares new stories with us about what they did.
He is a soft-spoken man with a big heart. I see him nearly every day and without fail I get the same big wave and “Good Morning“.
One day, I told him, “Come sit for me, I want to take your photo!“. He agreed to do it without hesitation. It is only when we started that I realized he never got in front of a camera before and hard as I tried I could not get him to stop smiling, I tried to get a serious photo, but without luck.
Editing the photos I recognized the same truth I get every morning, a warm gentle soul with beautiful strong hands, that hints at his physical strength but is overshadowed by an aura that attracts you to get to know him better. It was my privilege to photograph him.
It’s been two years, nearly 3, since my dad passed on. He had suffered from Dementia for the last few years of his life.
We shared a passion for photography and art. He found lots of joy in the photos I used to send him and though he got to a point that doing it himself got too confusing, he enjoyed seeing beautiful images.
He used to love doing pencil sketches in his early years. I remember a sketch of a cute puppy he made for my mom. It still comes up in my mind every now and then. He did it long before I was born and still it made a impact on me.
I love creating portraits, maybe it started with this image my dad made or maybe all the others he drew around that time. It could be because we loved watching people, making up stories in the car, while eating ice-cream, about what they where doing or saying.
This translated into watching birds and animals interact, making little mental notes as we explored regions. We never lived in a big city, we tried to get into nature as much as possible, be it playing at the beach, walking or taking a holiday in far off regions with very little people around.
This shaped me into who I am today. I still love to be out of the main hustle of life. I love to observe. I love to create. My tools are a camera and a Wacom pen with Photoshop. I enjoy creating portraits of any type.
My wife and my son are my joy, my inspiration and trusted critics.