In my last post of 2016 I want to leave you with my favorite photograph of the year. It shows a group of small children in a very simple and small one room building deep in the Massai bushveld in Tanzania, that triples as kindergarden, elementary school and Lutheran Church. A few sunspots fall on the floor and on the children.
Of all the photos I took in 2016 this is not only the one that means the most to me. Photographically, but also the visit to this small Massai congregation out in the bush, where the clans still live in their traditional semi-nomadic way in their simple “bomba” (fenced in circular houses) without running water and electricity, was one of the most memorable impressions of this year and surely one I will never forget.
This photo also stands for my greatest wish for 2017. Let the children learn ! I truly believe this is the only way we can overcome the chaotic times we live in. If we would succeed in providing education for all children on this planet,teach them the core values of humanity that are universal to all cultures, this world would be a better place. And my visit to the Tanzanian bush has proved to me once again that children are eager to learn. They are interested in the world. They want to broaden their horizons. This is natural to children. We just have to let them learn!
I wish all of you and your loved ones a great start into the new year. Have a peaceful, blessed, successful, healthy and happy 2017. Chase your dreams and make them come true!
In today’s world photography has become mainstream. Excellent cameras have become very affordable and smartphones are 24/7 companions that allow everyone to do serious photography on the spot.
Each second thousands of photos are uploaded to social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and image platforms (flickr, 500px). And all of us who contribute to this never-ending stream of photographic output hope that somehow our work finds some recognition.
With the growing numbers of aspiring photographers also the amount of educational and inspirational information has vastly increased. Photography magazines, how-to books, websites and blogs provide a wealth of technical knowledge and inspiration for just about every genre of photography that you can imagine. Thanks to this resources teaching yourself the technical and artistic aspects of photography (and even the business side if you want to look at that as well) is not difficult at all if you learn to differentiate the wheat from the chaff. I’m not saying that this replaces the need for a professional education (if you really want to work as a professional photographer you should have a proper one) but for all us aspiring wannabe professionals who dream about generating some cash out of our hobby one day the training material available online or what you can pick up by attending workshops is more than sufficient to get us properly started.
With affordable gear, a wealth of information and inspiration available remains the question what to shoot. I for myself feel attracted to all sorts of genres. Landscape, portrait work with available light or strobes, boudoir, street photography, macro, wildlife, fashion, travel, documentary, you name it. I have tried most of them to some degree or other. Even bought gear (ever heard of GAS – gear acquisition syndrome) to being able to properly do it, inspired by one article or another in one of my many photography magazines, books or on a blog or photography portal site.
The thing is, all of this is nice, some come with caveats that are not easy to overcome (e.g. getting yourself models for portrait/fashion shootings, getting up in the middle of the night to catch the golden hours of landscape photography) so the genres that eventually attract you will narrow down themselves. And if you really want to become good at something you need to focus. Most great artists / scientists have been or are specialists of some sorts. Sure there are exceptions. Bryan Adams is a great Rock Star and also a well-known photographer, but in music he focuses on Rock and in his photography on portraits and fashion.
So how do you focus, how do you find the style of photography that suits your aspirations, that allows you to become good enough that you yourself are satisfied with the results. And again, as long as you don’t have to make a living out of your photography your own judgement of your results is the only relevant criteria. If in addition to that your work finds whatever recognition on social media, image sharing platforms, websites or photography magazines that is just icing on the cake.
One of the things I observed during my stay in Tanzania were the many primary schools and young students roaming the streets. The Government seriously pushes for all kids to get education, and even in remote areas outside the cities the children have their primary schools. Continue reading “StoNur on the Road – African Primary School”→