Portrait of a Fero Cactus

Good Morning! At last, after so many years, I succeeded in producing a flower. I’m a Fero Cactus and my ancestors originate from Mexico. They also name me Fish Hook Cactus and if you look closely you know why.

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The unhappy queen

Karuna has a new hat and Queen Beatrix of Holland is most probably very unhappy for she does not has this one in her collection.

 

P.S.: Rumor has it that after seeing this picture on Facebook yesterday Queen Beatrix went on national television to announce her abdication …..

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Playing with portrait backgrounds

Recently I posted about the experience with my first photo-model. Today I played with her a bit in Photoshop; i.e. adding different backgrounds. Think that the picture on top is the best. And if you have a different opinion just let me know. Never too old to learn!

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My first photo-model

In a small village like Stanford it’s not easy to ‘persuade’ people, especially women, to photograph them. Whatever the reason it took a while and against all odds (even her mother said that she would “never ever” do it) Karuna didn’t even think twice. She admits that she hates to be photographed but this time she challenged herself.

I prefer making pictures as natural as possible without artificial lightning and if I use a model I prefer him/her to look natural. The only compromise I make is the use of photo-processing software which I’ve done extensively with Karuna. I’ve been cropping a bit and processing in RAW I shifted the buttons for exposure, black, white, highlights, saturation, contrast, shadow, etc. numerous times to get the desired image. While taking these pictures I tried to emphasize on reflection with the use of windows and a mirror.

But before I really started to work with this first time model I made several snapshots of her and together discussed them. After that I made a serie of approx. 300 portraits and this is what’s left.

BTW: Karuna does not like bananas….

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The Chilling Chameleon

We are privileged to live where we live in South Africa; an abundance of nature and an amazing landscape. Hidden in the mountains are numerous waterfalls, patches with pristine fynbos and various other plant genera. And than the animals. In the Overberg you find everything from a small bug to baboons and leopards. And they all like to chill every now and than; human beings alike.

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Peruvian mask

During our travels in the past we always try to collect souvenirs. Sometimes these are just stones, sometimes genuine crafts or art. And we never went into a souvenir shop. If we bought something we had to like/love it and it had to be made by an artist on the spot. We’ve never been in Peru (South America is still largely to be discovered by us) but we met once in France an ceramist from this country working in the traditional way including wood-fired ovens scattered around his house somewhere in rural Burgondy, high in the mountains above the original French capital Cluny. And that is where we bought this mask and forgot in the meantime the meaning of it and also the name of the artist …..

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