In Australia today is a day of remembrance, reflection, and in particular reminding. ANZAC Day commemorates and honours all those that have previously and presently serve our nation. It is also an important day for New Zealand, as ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. However, over the years and wars following the First World War (the time ANZACs were established), ANZAC day has become more of a day for the community as a collective to come together and honour all our service men and women. For me personally, I find it hard to stay in touch with our service men and women because living in Melbourne we are so sheltered from regions of conflict, and it is too easy to forget. This is why ‘lest we forget’ we have ANZAC day and even more so places such as the Shrine of Remembrance, a place easily accessible by all, and a major cornerstone to our cityscape. These photographs were taken on Remembrance day last year at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia.
Morning mist clearing slowly, sun climbing quickly up a rocky knoll. Young Yellow leaves of a Boab filling with light, the morning blue rapidly shifting hue to a warm yellow. Beads of dew gradually vapourising, leaving behind only an ethereal clarity. Calm still air is broken by an unassuming giant brushing past blades of grass. Movement is either rapid but silent or slow but sounding, held fast by inanimate rock.
Hopefully that livened your sensors! Moving down the frame, top to bottom, it sets the scene perfectly. Anyway, just over a week ago I licensed this photograph for a magazine to use, and since I have realised all it has been doing is wasting away on my hard drive. So, here it is! Photographed from inside the safety of the Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa. A lucky photo, but by no means a coincidence, like most animals (including us) we find it much more pleasant early in the day, when its cooler, hence tend to be more active. If you find yourself wandering the plains of Africa (Toto style), make sure you change your body clock to the AM!
A little while ago I was contacted by a paper company so intrigued by my Paper Sculpture photography that they wanted to use one for an upcoming exhibition. When I first did these three years ago I wasn’t thinking of the potential commercial value of these photographs, but more so a stand alone abstract. So, with that in mind I set out to replicate and refine my paper sculptures and present a fresh and more commercial series for the paper company to review. Long story short, they went with their first choice to begin with, as pictured below and winner of Shot of the Day!
Nevertheless, the moral of the story is that when you revisit a series or even return to a certain location that you once photographed its interesting how you approach it from new angles. Its the consequence of time and experience allowing you to incorporate new techniques and a refined sense of direction. Case in point, three years ago I was shooting with nothing more than the intention of making some call imagery, but today I am looking to create photographs that will be of value, maybe even timeless, and thinking of that final step of bringing it to market that influences each exposure I create.
But in this instance maybe I got lucky:D
As you may notice my photographic interests tend to be your vast natural landscapes or light painted cityscapes. However, I am not yet pretentious enough to pass up any subject matter, because I haven’t yet found my area of expertise. While I am still young and finding my niche I will do everything and anything I can get my hands on to diversify my photographic skills. So, a few days ago when my friend asked me if I could take a few corporate headshots for him, so from there it was just a matter of finding the right lighting…
The simplest lighting setup you could have is just one light, a key light, whether it be the sun or the light from your iphone flash, they can all be manipulated to act as a key light for a portrait. Nevertheless, I had three lights at my disposal positioned in the traditional three-point-lighting setup: Key light, Fill light and Back light, with the addition of soft boxes. The key light as the name suggests provides the main source of lighting and tends to be the one lighting the front of your subject. Whereas the fill light provides that balance to the subjects back, or side depending on the pose, to fill in the shadows and avoid a harsh contrast of lighting. Then we have the back light usually directed on the backdrop to avoid shadows and separate the subject from the background, again adding depth to the overall photograph.
So, 20 minutes, a few poses and one shirt change later here are the results, what do you think?
Its hard not to notice how similar Baboons are to humans, their appearance, behaviour and the little mannerisms that look all too familiar. Unfortunately, for us much bigger primates we have the worries of taxes and laundry to keep us occupied, something your average baboon would care little for. Then again, taxes and laundry aren’t the only things that separate us, believe it of not. I think its something like 2% DNA that defines us from them genetically and a whole world of rules and infrastructure called civilisation. Also, the theory that we as humans possess this empowering conscience that gives us the moral high ground over animals. However, sometimes this can lead people to commit terrible acts against animals, and believing that a lack of conscience gives justification.
As I watched and photographed these kind Kinda Baboons in Zambia, I struggled to see that lack of conscience or compassion, and the whole them from us debate. It might have been my dehydration due to the sweltering heat, but whatever these funny looking Baboons had or didn’t, it looked relatively bliss. It was as though materialism hadn’t been introduced to these characters, all they had was each other and their journey through life was central to sustaining one other. Maybe materialism is all that separates us from them?
You might be wondering its just a picture of some baboons, settle down! My time in Africa was eyeopening to say the least, and one thing that resonated most with me was Africa’s reliance on their natural resources, animals. As I post more photographs in the coming weeks of Africa’s most extraordinary walks of life, I will talk about the struggles that these animals face with humans materialistic obsession. I hope I haven’t read too much into this photograph and made it more than what it is, I just think we could learn a thing or two from them.
Anyway, how cute do these Kinda Baboons look!