Christmas and Familia

It has come and gone.  The hype and madness for the Christmas weekend is over.  I’m sure this is said every year, but this Christmas in particular seemed manic!  The shopping malls seemed a touch bigger than a sardine can and people too involved in their Xmas shopping so they can vacate the nearest exit, couldn’t really give a damn if they walked you over.  As much as we resist we had to brave the human cyclone to get gifts for the people we love.  That’s love.  That’s Christmas.  I got to spend time with family and friends, I ate myself full and then had another helping.  I could not move, not that I wanted to.  Bliss.  I felt love this Christmas and now its finished and is slowly becoming a memory.  It now feels like that feeling of Christmas love is subsiding; giving way to a new year and all that is left are torn wrappings and left overs.

My Christmas was filled with Love, family, food and lots of relaxing.  This was my Christmas…

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Reflection

It’s the winding down of a crazy year for many of us.  A brief chance to shake off the past year and try reset before the most popular year takes hold.  Many of us will look apon this last year and take stock of all the good and all the mad and bad we have experienced.  This is the time of year we reflect on our thoughts and try make sense of this year of existence and hopefully we have learned from our collective experience.  We need to reflect from time to time as life continues.  It may be the end of a year but cycles have no end.  The seasons will come and go, change is imminent and life will continue.  Like the cyclic nature of the seasons brings change from time to time it also brings back the familiar, almost as if this life force is allowing us time to learn from it.  Since there ultimately is no “end” ; every end gives rise to a beginning, surely we can learn from these cycles.  We need to take the time to learn by observation and reflection.

Many people reflect in their quiet time, whatever that may be.  Some people use sports and others art.  These photographs are reflections off a window of my girlfriend painting.  I love watching her paint.  There is a calm about it, but yet a focus, possibly her place where she can reflect.  We all need that outlet.  So this year-end reflect on the world, reflect on your personal life, reflect on this life and what it is/means for you.  Hopefully this end-of-year-reflection will leave us a bit wiser and on solid ground for the most talked about year…

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I don’t shoot flash very often, even in low light.  I like to bump up the ISO even if it does bring about grain.  I feel it brings more of the feeling of how that moment really was.  These photographs were shot on 3200 ISO off a window in our lounge with the street in the background.

Acrobatics of Skateboarding

This past weekend was awesome.  I had performed on Friday, satisfying both my  guitar/music writing side as well as my drumming side.  On Saturday I was able to walk around nature in a beautiful garden and take photographs (see previous post) and on Sunday celebrated a friend’s birthday by photographing them skate.  I was able to feed all my passions this past weekend and it felt great.  Balance.

I’ve never photographed skateboarding before…or any kind of sport for that matter, but I really enjoyed it.  Everything moves so quickly and that “perfect” shot is gone in a fraction of a second.  I had to make sure my shutter was fast enough to freeze the frame and when I looked back at the images it seemed like full on acrobatics.  I ended up photographing the “imperfect” shot.  A split second frozen in time.  I found it quite amazing how they are able to manoeuvre their limbs which in turn manoeuvre their board to pull off a trick.  Incredible.  I found myself capturing more of their efforts than getting that shot of them landing a trick – Sorry Marco.  I just found the way the body of a skater contorts based around their board incredible.  I can easily spend an entire day photographing skaters defying gravity, amazing to watch!

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A magical garden

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to take a leisurely stroll and photograph this incredible garden in Constantia.   Not only is it beautiful but it was fulfilling a good cause.  This garden belongs to Ina Paarman, whom many of you may know as you probably cook with her sauces, spices marinades, chutneys…the list goes on.  Mrs Paarman, every year, has an open garden day where the public are invited to stroll through her garden, have some coffee and get a chance to meet her.  All the proceeds go towards Boys Town charity and The Cape Times Bursary Fund  and it was good to see and hear that people were most generous.  Paarman Foods had the humblest of beginnings and has flourished into a house-hold name whilst still keeping it a family business. I am not a fan of the corporate world and its good to see humble beginnings become successful whilst still giving back to the community.   They were able to raise R23,500 for the charities with nearly 800 visitors over 2 days.

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If you are a foodie, I highly encourage you to visit Paarman Foods website here or if you are on facebook keep up to date with her here.

 

Ending of a year…

My blog has been a bit slow of late.  New post ideas have not been carried out as I intended, but I do try to keep the blog active.   I guess the thing is balance.  I have a few passions that I’ve acquired over the years and I find if I don’t give them enough attention, I feel out of balance.  A yearning will suddenly arise, perhaps the universe’s way of encouraging me to pay more attention to a particular passion I have possibly neglected for a while.  My photography has been that passion.  But whilst photography has been quiet, my musical side has been more loud and active.  Balance.  The truth is we cannot do everything all the time.  That is just asking for burnout.  But I do try to touch on each passion as often as possible, even if it’s a fraction of attention – It’s never a waste.

The experiences this year has shared with me has taught me loads.  Although it has been a trying year in all aspects, global as well as personal, I honestly do feel I have learned important life lessons.  I’ve observed life around me and though I may not know all the answers, I do know what I DON’T want to be.  My eyes are open, my mind is free and at the end of the day that is the most I can hope for.

As 2011 draws to an end, have a good think of this past year and what has happened.  Lots has happened globally as well as in our personal lives.  All the woes of the world has in some way effected us.  The people in our lives (as well as strangers) have had an effect on us.  Put this past year into perspective and hopefully that will put you on the right footing to face 2012.

I leave you with an image that, to me, represents facing the unknown.   Its one of my favourites I’ve taken.  I call it BMTH.

This image was taken at Rhodes Memorial with my trusty Canon 30D.

Be a Simple Kind of man…

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
Oh if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.

Oh take your time… don’t live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And don’t forget son,
There is someone up above.

And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Baby be a simple kind of man.
Won’t you do this if you can?

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul,
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

And be a simple kind of man.
And be something you love and understand.
Baby be a simple kind of man.
Oh won’t you do this, for me son, if you can?

Boy, don’t you worry… you’ll find yourself.
Follow your heart and nothing else.
And you can do this if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
Is to be satisfied.

And be a simple kind of man.
And be something you love and understand.
Baby be a simple kind of man.
Oh won’t you do this, for me son, if you can?

Simple Kind of man by Lynyrd Skynryd

To be honest I haven’t heard the original, but was introduced this song through one of my favourite bands – Deftones.  It’s a simple song with a message that really resonates with me.  Take the time to really read these words and think about it.  It’s simply important…