Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

12 Secrets for Unlocking Your Most Creative Work (by Chase Jarvis)

Posted by:johanbotha on Sep - 2 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

A lot of my breakthrough creative thoughts come to me when least expected. I’ve talked about “finding creativity” and “creative inspiration” all over the damn place… on podcasts like this and this (twice for example) or given a keynote on it here at SWSW.

That said, I’ve also learned from an entire life in the trenches as an artist what DOESN’T contribute to them (abusing myself, bad head space, partying too much), but more importantly, what does… I’ve learned that creative inspiration is something that can be directly CULTIVATED by putting yourself in a fertile environment. So I’m going to let ‘em rip. Here’s MY personal recipe — my day to day list — of things, states, and activities for cultivating maximum creative inspiration… and I’m guessing it’s different (and more achievable) than you think it is…

1. Keep a Schedule
This one is super counter intuitive to most — and why I’m leading with it here… For nearly my entire life I thought that schedules were meant to keep my creative self DOWN… that a schedule was the devil. That you had to live a life like Jim Morrison from the Doors to find creative inspiration. Come to find out that doing what you can to keep a schedule is supremely helpful for your creative brain. And I don’t mean 9-5… but I do mean some semblance of a schedule. Taking photos every day, writing first thing every morning, headphones on and painting from midnight to 2am every day…whatever works for YOU is what I mean. But the more you can schedule worktime, the better. Science tells us this, but so does my own lifetime of experience. The funny part? To this day it’s still my biggest challenge.

2. Meditation
I spoke briefly about this with Austin Kleon on cjLIVE and with Tim Ferriss recently, but trust me: it’s a doozy. Every day, I put 20 minutes aside when I wake up in the morning and before dinner at night to sit quietly and just be still. I practice Transcendental Mediation (TM), but I’m not recommending a particular kind in this post here… I’m just saying that meditation works. It’s made the single biggest difference in my life’s ability to perform at a high level and run the kind of gnarly schedule that I run. What’s the effect? Clarity. My ideas are more clear than ever before. You’ve heard athletes like Michael Jordan talk about seeing the game around them develop seemingly in slow motion? Well that’s what happens to the chaos of a packed life when one meditates. This are infinitely more manageable, things are less prone to get me off my game — and … here’s the kicker… my creative thoughts come more freely. I find it 100x easier to get into that creative “flow state” I’ve talked about before and that science backs me on…

3. Regular Exercise
Just like I thought schedules use to suck, I had no idea that being active contributes a huge amount to my ability to kick ass as a professional artist. Staying fit and getting your heart rate up during the day has even been shown in studies to increase creative connections and cognitive ability. When I’m in Seattle I go to this gym. When in SF, I see this guy. But given that I’m on the road about half the time, I’ll sneak in this 7-minute workout every day. Turns out that even just a daily 10 minute run can change my headspace.


Read on …

When Amateur Photographers Make the Front Page (by Olivier Laurant)

Posted by:johanbotha on Sep - 2 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

There’s a widespread belief within the community of professional photographers that amateurs, armed with cheap camera phones and DSLRs and supported by new media organizations and social sharing communities, have become full-fledged economic rivals.

It’s no secret that journalism is a sector in crisis – dwindling advertising budgets coupled with a deep-seated reluctance from media actors to evolve in the face of change have led many organizations to seek alternative ways to sustain their operations. But is the amateur photographer to blame?

On July 7, 2005, when four British Islamists detonated bombs aboard three of London’s underground trains and one double-decker bus, commuters Adam Stacey and Alexander Chadwick used their camera phones to shoot images from the darkness of the city’s tunnels, which journalists couldn’t reach. Their photographs ended up on television and, in some cases, on the front pages of international publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Two months later, the French newspaper Liberation raised the alarm, asking: “Are we all journalists?” It accused amateurs of trivializing and privatizing the news, with journalists left to wonder “whether the scaremongers who predicted the end of the media had been right all along.”

For Samuel Bollendorff, a French photographer and documentary filmmaker, amateurs are just scapegoats for a profession that has refused to accept… read on



Long Exposure Tips (by

Posted by:johanbotha on Sep - 2 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

Long exposure photography is the process of increasing the amount of time that your camera’s shutter is open in order to add motion to a photograph. If an object in your frame is stationary, and you have your focus set right, it will remain sharp while any moving objects such as clouds or water will appear blurred or smooth.

Like any other facet of photography, long exposure photography takes practice. The following tips, courtesy of Scott Wyden Kivowitz, will help you practice and get better. Be sure to check out Scott’s book Time is on Your Side – Exploring Long Exposure Photography for more long exposure photography tips and techniques.

10 Long Exposure Photography Tips

1. Watch for Big Color Shifts
The thicker the neutral density filter, the longer your exposure will be. The longer your exposure, the more color shift you are likely to encounter in your captured image. Be sure to set your white balance ahead of time as a point of reference when you process your photos later.

2. Set Your Aperture to f/8
Closing your aperture to f/22 might increase your exposure, but this runs the risk of softening the focus as well. The sweet spot of lenses is typically around f/8 but may vary from lens to lens.

3. Working with Moving Water
For water moving at average speed, an exposure of around 15 to 30 seconds should result in blurry water. Extending it even future can create a more puffy or icy look depending on how fast the water is moving.

Read on …

Sony World Photography Awards – 2015 Call for Entries (by

Posted by:johanbotha on Sep - 2 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

WPO is delighted to announce the call for entries to the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards.
Open to photographers of all ages and skill levels, the Awards have welcomed over 700,000 entries from more than 230 countries since their launch in 2007.
Join us as we seek to identify and champion the best photography of 2014.


Read more …

Mr X (by Rogue Films)

Posted by:johanbotha on Aug - 27 - 2014 - Filed under: Monochrome,Photography,Video -

Not only the Vimeo Staff Pick, but a very informative, artistic and well animated short film directed by Alex Nicholson on the ultimate form of “branding”, the Tattoo!

Beautiful Black and White imagery and superb lightning techniques to be seen in this clip.


Mr X from Rogue Films on Vimeo.

TEDxCapeTown 2014 – Design your Thinking (by Johan Botha)

Posted by:johanbotha on Aug - 17 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

Spectacular images captured by Johan Botha as Cape storm hits the coastal town.

Posted by:johanbotha on Aug - 16 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

City dwellers, tourists and locals were woken up this morning by howling winds, pouring rain and high seas when a violent storm hit the Western Cape’s coast.

These spectacular images was taken, early this morning, in and around the Gansbaai harbour.

All images © Johan Botha, 2014.


Please click to view Gallery: Cape of Storms

[Free Online Course] Documentary Photography and Photojournalism: Still Images of a World in Motion by

Posted by:johanbotha on Jul - 22 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) put this class online, the class was originally thought in 2009. The course we are talking about is Prof. B. D. Colen’s Documentary Photography and Photojournalism: Still Images of a World in Motion, published through MIT’s Open Courseware project.


The description:

This course is an introduction to the great tradition of documentary photography. Students learn to see the world around them in a new way and produce a documentary project. The course requires reading and writing about photography, as well as doing it on a regular basis. The class emphasis is on thinking about why people photograph, what photographs do and do not mean to us, and on doing documentary work, on telling stories with photographs. This is not a technical class, and it should not be considered an “introduction to photography.” I work on the assumption that any student signing up for the class has at least a minimal sense of the difference between f stops and T stops, and can find his or her way around a camera. While there will be some technical discussion in class, it will be limited.


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[Ebook] 31 Days to Overcome Your Fear of Shooting Street Photography (by Eric Kim)

Posted by:johanbotha on Jul - 22 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

Around a year or two ago I had this idea to write a free e-book on street photography, particularly one that was focused on overcoming your fear of shooting street photography. Over the course of that time, I have written a substantial amount on the topic, yet it sat in my folder on my computer. It simply felt too overwhelming in terms of how much I needed to edit the text, how to format the e-book, as well as what images to include.

However when I was in Berlin, my friend Andreas Weeber mentioned the book – and when I was going to release it. I stopped dead in my tracks, and thought to myself: “Oh yeah, what ever happened to that book?”

On my plane ride home, I then started editing it down further, and trying to prepare around an 80% completed project that I would simply share with others. After all, I think perfection is the enemy of getting things done.

Info about the book

As a disclaimer, the bulk of what I wrote for the book was several months ago – and some of my opinions have changed drastically during the time. However, I still think it will be a helpful resource to anybody who is having a difficult time overcoming their fear of shooting street photography. It is also unedited, full of typos, and grammatical errors.

What I ask for you guys is if you could help me edit the book, make some suggestions, and leave them in the comments below. Also if anyone is interested in helping design a pretty-looking PDF version of it, please leave a comment below!


Read on … 



Click to Download your Free Copy!

23 Quotes By Photographer Jay Maisel (by

Posted by:johanbotha on Jul - 22 - 2014 - Filed under: Photography -

Here’s a collection of quotes by photographer Jay Maisel.


“Always carry a camera, it’s tough to shoot a picture without one.” – Jay Maisel


“Never say you’re going back – SHOOT IT NOW!” – Jay Maisel


“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.” – Jay Maisel


“Try to go out empty and let your images fill you up.” – Jay Maisel


“Allow yourself to lose your way.” – Jay Maisel


“It’s always around. You just don’t see it.” – Jay Maisel 


Read on …

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About Us

I was born somewhere, and over the last 43 years I have been trying to grow up. Along the way I went to a prestigious university, two times, where I learned about things. Then I stayed around in Cape Town, South Africa and did various things for different famous and important people. I ended up where I am now. A romantic anthropologist, a social media community manager, a web editor and an award-winning photographer. I have survived my chemical based darkroom, outlived silver based film and I am trying to continue doing stuff in binary code now. I love food and wine and remain a fulltime student of life as apparent from my diverse interests and training. I am always looking for a challenge to work with odd and inspiring creative people.