As this is my first post on my new blog and also my first post for 2012, I thought I would start with a slightly out of character image.
My teenage daughters and their friends jumping into the air at my command! The images were made on New Years eve at a friend of mine's holiday cottage on the shore of the Ebenezer dam in Magoebas kloof in the Limpopo Province of South Africa . . .
Magoebas kloof is about 4 hours drive from Centurion, where I live. As the dam is quite high and surrounded by mountains it is not as warm in the day as in the rest of the province and quite cool in the evenings. Often one would wake up in the mornings and the whole landscape would be covered with a thick mist that would vanish as the sun climbed higher and higher. The dam water is incredibly clean because of the high altitude, delicious to drink and very soft.....My host made me a brandy mixed with water from the dam and it was very very smooth.....The Magoebas kloof is covered with tree plantations and many years ago there was even a large tea plantation but sadly this has fallen into ruin. Haenertsburg is a small town that has something of a reputation as a place where artists hang out and is only a few minutes drive from Ebenezer dam.
The first couple of photographs were made in a typical group photo style, everyone just standing in a line....This looked kinda boring to me, and as they all had such beautiful legs, I asked the girls to jump into the air... They all seemed happy to do this and there was much laughter and screaming as they jumped up into the air a few times.
My camera has only a tiny flash and there is a slight delay before it flashes after I press the shutter.... a bit of a nuisance...thus I only caught the girls on the way down from the jump......! It worried me a bit but after looking at the images on the big screen (my 22inch monitor) at home, I thought it had all worked out rather well.
I am posting both images, the static and the action one to show you how a little 'jump' can make a big difference.
As usual I prefer my colour images to be a bit de-saturated and the effect can be clearly seen in the 'action' photo. My usual raw converter software, Lightroom 3 also has a micro contrast adjustment slider that works well with the de-saturated images.
As my flash was on camera and not softened, as all on camera flashes are, I also photographed the girls against a black sky to eliminate the shadows that would have been there had I photographed them indoors against a wall.....in any case it was easier on the large deck outside the cottage.
Looking at my beautiful daughters and their friends, so full of life and in good spirits I thought that, that is perhaps how I should approach this new year, with the vigour, optimism and joy of the youth......