Sometimes, as a photographer - or just as a person - you'll set out with the best intentions to create something and fail miserably. You'll get behind your computer, download the images and your heart will sink. All that effort, planning and time for nothing; or was it for nothing?

That "failure" is a valuable lesson. I know it never feels like it, but sorting through old photos I found one such instance - out of a deep well of failures or shall we call them; lessons? This particular one stuck with me though as it was for my series "Arguing with Myself" which I captured at a stage where I was experiencing a lot of inner turmoil and unease.

I basically had to beat my negativity and self-doubt down, tie them up, lock them in a room and swallow the key; to go out and make these photos. They weren't comfortable and I never intended for them to be anything but uncomfortable to go out and make.

Recently I wanted to recreate this painting by artist Mark Maggiori.

Do yourself a favour and click on the image to view more of his work.

Do yourself a favour and click on the image to view more of his work.

I am not sure how it happened, but I think my friend Gerhard Uys shared one of his paintings on Instagram and I was immediately drawn to it, so I got in touch with him and suggested that we should go out and make some cool photos of him as a cowboy. Editors note: Did I mention he f**king loves Cowboys?

So, eventually after months of trying to find a location, a horse and a time, that suited everyone involved we finally shot it in middle July. We all woke up really early, drove out to Hartebeespoort Dam, got the horse saddled up and drove out to the spot, set up for the shot and... I'd love to say; nailed the image, however that would be a lie.

Another shoot, another lesson learnt.

Here's the unretouched version of the failed recreation.

Here's the unretouched version of the failed recreation.

That's a pretty subpar image right? Heck, subpar is putting it kindly. It's shit. I am fully intent on going back and nailing it though. I have a different spot I want to shoot at and I think it'll work.

However, it wasn't a total waste. Right before we packed up the sun was shining through the trees to our left and lighting up the tall grass and I grabbed several portraits that I am pretty happy with and I am glad I took the time to shoot them, but the one that eluded me will be captured. Mark my words.

Thanks for reading

Droughts & Floods

Things have been quiet on the regular blog front, but for more up to date news you can check out my America adventures here. I'm currently busy with a new post about my west coast trip with the Arias family.

I am also in the "throes" of commissioned work for a local SA band, but I am keeping it close to the chest for the time being. Those who know, know what I am talking about ;)

I posted a little sneak peek on my Instagram feed or you can just look at it right here. The album will be titled; "The Reigns", more than that I won't divulge, but I will be doing some posts about each piece as it develops and try to explain my thought process without giving too much away.

Droughts & Floods: Detail

Droughts & Floods: Detail

So the idea behind the photos were to do in-camera multiple/double exposures, but after playing around with it and doing tests I found it to be a little trickier than I had anticipated and decided to change direction a little bit. The picture above might not even be the final image for this particular piece. I'm not too certain how happy I am with it yet, but for now it's a good start.

I need to find a few more models and shoot more plates. The plates will be used for the overlay/texture that I am adding to the images in post. This too is tricky, coz there are so many blending options and ways to go about it and move the texture around and warp it and it's driving me nuts, coz I keep second guessing, but that's just the usual path of my "creative" process :)

Metamorphosis (Part 1)

Oh man! So once again, I've had a post ready and waiting, just to be trumped by something else. I warn you, this post is a BIG one, so I'll be doing two parts. 2014 has been insane! In less than two months the amount of changes happening in my life are outweighing all of the changes in the past six years I have lived in Pretoria.

Today is my final day of working an office job and it feels good. I'm much calmer about it than I initially thought I'd be. It's probably one of the scariest things I've ever done though. Giving up the security of a monthly paycheck to pursue a career in photography. I prayed about it for a long time and asked for wisdom and peace in my heart that I was making the right decision. And I believe I have. I have to remind myself that I'm not in control. God has a much bigger plan.

I am thankful for having had a job, to pay bills, buy some worthless crap (and some awesome crap too) and to just stay alive. My mom played a big part too and I'm hoping with this decision, I can start giving something back to her as well.

So that's only part of what's going on with my life. I've been involved in some pretty awesome projects. After I did the shoot for The Watermark High, he (Paul) asked me to be part of a music video for one of his songs. I'm the dude with the long hair and cap!

Watch it in HD if you can.

And at the end of last year I helped shoot some videos for a friend's record company; Emote Record Company. Click on the name to check that out. The six newest ones are what I helped shoot along with the super talented Ett Venter and I'm sharing one of my favourites.

I'm also part of something called 43 challenge. Busy documenting this whole process - at the SABS Design Institute - of designers and entrepreneurs and generally creative people doing some amazing things which you can go check out here as well as follow, if it tickles your fancy. They're on Instagram and Twitter as well. This was probably the biggest proponent of why I felt the need to quit my job and pursue making and taking photographs. Seeing people doing really inspiring things and come up with possible world changing ideas. It's inspirational.