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March this year saw me heading back to South Africa for my cousin's wedding, while on that trip I caught up with some great creatives and we did some studio shooting. I filmed some behind the scenes video from the shoot, which can be seen below.

I also did some photo shooting as well, but I mainly focused on 35mm film photography. So the images below make up some of the images from the day and some behind the scenes images as well.

Ill be posting up a proper gallery on the main portion of the site, but sure to keep an eye out for that.

Cheers,
Mike.

Creative Despondency

This year has flown by so quickly, it's already July, and I have found that as the year has gone on I have slipped into a level of creative despondency ... my drive to take photos and make videos has taken a big hit over the last few months.

My biggest problem, mainly with my video work, is that I expect such a high standard from my work, but I am still learning, and have minimal experience to pull off the quality I set for myself, and then end up getting disappointed when I don't reach what I was aiming for. A knock on effect from this, is when I am travelling I will spend more time taking video over photos, and then get disappointed when I capture only a 'few' images and a lot of video that I am not happy. 

I know that this is a silly thing to get worked up over and that it's entirely my fault, but its been something thats been bugging me for some time and wasn't until my last trip back to South Africa (& coming back from said trip with out what I set out to come back with) that I began to work out why I have been feeling this way lately.

There are a number of things I need to change in the way I do things to get those creative juices flowing again, I need to stop making excuses for my 'lack of time' and just get out there to take photos, shoot video, work on these blog/vlog posts (I currently have around 20 draft blog/vlog posts in draft form that need to be finished), I have my Europe trip vlogs that need to be finish, I also have a series of different ideas that I want to flesh out and get off of the pages of my 'Ideas Book'. I really just need to learn to better time manage myself, & stop procrastinating, to get my incomplete projects finished, or I must just leave them as is and move on.

Anyway thats where my mind has been lately, enough of all this Despondency stuff. I have an upcoming boy's trip down south next weekend that I am planning to photo and video like crazy. I have been planning the kind of shots I want to get while on that trip, I will also be testing out the new Sony A9 which is being kindly lent to me for that weekend. I am looking forward to playing and potentially reviewing the camera. I also have my own upcoming wedding later this year that I'll be documenting, to a point, as I cant be behind the camera when saying "I do". So there are lots of exciting things coming up, with a few exciting opportunities on the horizon as well.

This is something small I have been working on lately that has turned out like I was hoping and has started to reignite that creative spark.

So with that all said and done, I must get back to some video editing.

I'll be back.

Filming Africa

I seem to start a lot of these blogs with "Can You Believe ..." and this post is no different. Can you believe that we are nearly 6 months into 2017 already!? This Friday see's me flying back to South Africa for another wedding, this time for my Sister-in-Laws wedding. Unfortunately its going to be another short trip, just 9 days, which is the same amount of time that I went back for in March.

This trip is going to be a little different from my March trip, that trip was all documented on 35mm 'Analogue' film. I have developed some of the black and white film myself and will put up a blog post with those images and thoughts soon. But on this trip I am endeavouring to film this trip and make a movie out of it. I have made vlogs about my travels before, I actually did my first attempt at some vlogging on my first trip to the Philippines. 

But it wasn't until my first trip to the US that I started doing daily vlogs about what I was up to, and I've been documenting my travels since then. Speaking of which ... I still have to finish my videos from Europe earlier this year. 

I have tried to 'Up' the production value of my videos as I have continued to produce these videos, and I am my own worst enemy when I feel like I am not producing good enough content. I can get despondent and loose the desire to work on it, it's not a good quality I have but I'm trying to change that. Now to combat not getting despondent over my work I am trying to pre-plan the video.  

With my increasing desire to make videos, I have learnt that 'running and gunning' can sometimes leave you wanting, in terms of the content that can be used. Its not something that I have to worry about when it comes to my photography, it's a lot easier to make a single frame engaging, compared to a 5-10 minute video. A lot more thought needs to be put in to what goes into video, we live in a society today that is so over saturated with content, that being able to engage with an audience, and keep their attention, is becoming harder and harder. But that's a deeper and more thoughtful topic for another day.

I've bought a few new pieces of equipment that I will be using on this trip, a camera slider and a couple neutral density filters to keep that lovely "bokeh" look to the video I'll be creating.

So keep an eye out for that video, check out my instagram account @optic_canvas for my video based content.

Mike. 

Analogue Africa

We are 3 months in to 2017 and I haven't put out a blog post this year ... yup pretty lame. I've been a busy boy, having done a few paid photo shoots, but haven't done much of my own stuff this year.

Ive still got a lot of vlog editing to do from our Europe Trip in January, I just need to make some time to get those done. But I'll leave any major life updates out of this post.

I am heading back to South Africa on Friday for my cousin's wedding, and with this upcoming trip I have decided to make it an entirely 'analogue' trip just shooting with 35mm film. I have about 20 rolls of film that I'll be taking to use, I will also take my GoPro 5 to create a video of the weeks shooting experiences. Not sure entirely what to expect but I am really looking forward to the trip.

So that's where I will leave it for now, please enjoy some of the film photos from last years trip to South Africa. Be sure to keep an eye out for the photos and video from the trip.

Mike.

Jess Photo Shoot

Well its December & I have well and truly slipped with keeping my blog posts consistent. The last few months have been pretty crazy, but I wont be getting into that just now. There will be another blog/vlog posts about that in the next couple of weeks. For today's post, these images are from a workshop I did a few months ago that was focused on using natural light to light your model. I am really happy with the images that I got out of the workshop, I even got some film shots done from the day. If I get a chance I will post up another blog post with just the 'analogue' versions of this shoot.

Hope you enjoy, let me know what you think.

Mike.

Wellbeloved Baby Announcement

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Hey I'm getting pretty good at these blog posts ... let's keep it going. I still have a ton of draft posts that I'm working on that I will be getting out to you guys soon. But for today's post, it's an announcement post.  

I was asked last week to photograph Shay & Ant's announcement of their baby, the weather was kind enough to play nice with us and share a beautiful sunset to accompany the news.

All the very best to Shay & Ant, cant wait to meet the new family member.

Mike.

Engagement Shoot

So who would have thought I would manage to have a second blog post ready in just over a week after the last one?

Well todays post is relating to an Engagement Photoshoot I did a few weeks ago, Nick & Steph recently got engaged and wanted to celebrate.

This was the first time doing this kind of shoot, and Nick and Steph were fantastic to work with and the end results speak for themselves.

I am really happy with how these images turned out, and Nick and Steph were also very happy with the final images. I hope that you enjoy them as well.

Mike.  

time for an Update.

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Greetings everyone, it's been a long time since I last updated the blog or every the site for that matter. My last post was at the beginning of the year, before we flew out to Southern Africa for a month long adventure. It's been a tough time, in terms of my photography, I have had a major drop in desire to get out and shoot and there just hasn't been all that much time to get out anyway, but the bug has bitten again and the itch has been getting stronger.

Elephants at the Watering Hole in Botswana.

Elephants at the Watering Hole in Botswana.

I've done a few photo shoots and jobs throughout the year, but my personal work has been left to sit on my computer waiting to be looked at. I came home with about 3000 photos & video from Africa that stills needs culling and editing, I have compiled my Vlogs from the trip and they can be seen below. The YouTube playlist video will play through all the video's from the holiday. I have also change the website around so now there is more content on here rather than just the vlog, there will be some more changes and updates as the weeks go on. But for now its on the right track.

My desire to shoot more film is still as high as ever, and the desire to learn to develop my own film is one of my New Years resolutions ... Luckily that will be one resolution I can tick off of the list, I have started a darkroom course that will go through developing my black and white negatives, to printing my images. So far I have developed 2 of my own rolls, and will be starting to play around with prints next.

Along with the darkroom course, I also have a number of ideas that I've been thinking about incorporating into my photo and video work. As well as some major changes to my site, including the option to buy prints of some of my photos. I'll be putting up some possible images to see what people may or may not like and will take it from there.

And finally I will be pushing my photo business more from here on in, I've got a few jobs locked in over the next few weeks. With some possibly larger jobs on the horizon, I'll talk about those more as time goes on. Hopefully I'll be a little better with maintaining this blog/vlog, I'm still playing around with some different ideas on how to keep the blogs/vlogs interesting so lets see how we go.

Mike.