In Exile 3

Today we have Thabang, a muso, who bared his soul for the In Exile series. He also chose to dress the part and bring props – these with the suitcase worked best for the theme. He looked far too happy with his guitar to look like he was suffering in exile! 🙂 Enjoy them and let me know what you think…

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In Exile 2

Last weekend, I did the second and third shoots in my series on the subject of Exile. The model was given no direction except the text below and the amazing music ‘In Exile’ by Australian vocalist Lisa Gerrard. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgHTf2qtX3o)

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Our model, Karma, chose to dress and use makeup in her interpretation of traditional afghan style. She was able to completely get into the role in spite of a difficult start. This is not an easy thing to do!

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Thank you Karma!

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In Exile 1

Dalene, you were amazing! Last weekend, I did the first shoot in what I hope will be a series on the subject of Exile. The model was given no direction except the text below and the amazing music ‘In Exile’ by Australian vocalist Lisa Gerrard. Dark and sombre stuff! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgHTf2qtX3o)

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(Noun) the state of being barred from one’s native country, typically for political or punitive reasons. Synonyms:     banishment, expulsion, expatriation, deportation

(Verb) expel and bar (someone) from their native country, typically for political or punitive reasons. Synonyms:     expel, banish, expatriate, deport, drive out, throw out, outlaw

Essentially, this shoot is about separation. Some people who are in exile live lives of luxury—think Napoleon—while others have horrific lives in refugee camps on the Horn of Africa or worse. However, they all have something in common and that is their forced separation from their homes, loved ones, treasures and special places. They are often unable to even contact loved ones for fear of being found or of causing harm to their people.

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I love the range of emotions that Dalene brought to the shoot – from deep sadness to absolute joy.  I am so excited to see how this progresses!

Body Parts (Not Safe for Work!)

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Sisonke contacted me to do a ‘body parts’ shoot. What resulted was a really great nude shoot with her.

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Fairies and forests

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Apparently Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes books, firmly believed in fairies and went to great lengths to photograph them. I don’t know how much success he had but  there are certainly fairies around Pretoria and I have photos to prove it!  Enjoy these selections from recent fairy shoots we’ve done. Thank you models Rebecca Stewart, Staci-Leigh Howard, Ané van der Walt and Leah van der Walt!

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…we decorate our horses and our women.

“In Rajasthan, we decorate our horses and our women.” I was browsing through a book of traditional Indian textiles. It was filled with bland photographs of the most wonderful saddle cloths and other tack items for horses and skirts, blouses and shawls for women. In typical Rajasthan fashion, the colours were bright and decorations over the top! The owner-manager of the hotel, the Hotel Nachana Haveli, looked over my shoulder and dropped that particular little non-PC bomb. I loved it and went scooting back to my, mostly feminist, female travelling companions to get the reaction! The westerners clucked and our Indian host said it was so typical of the male-dominated Indian culture, especially that of this particular desert state.

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But it got me thinking. About how incredibly clever we males are about decorating our women. In rural communities, where men still have horses, they actually have to go out, catch the horse, brush, comb and groom before they can add the finery and make it something that shows off the owner’s high status in society. Now, I don’t know much about rural women. Perhaps their men need to catch them before the decoration can begin, but the urban ones I know and the ones I saw in India are a particularly well-trained bunch. They are almost all self-decorating. They can be seen in the many exterior decorating shops measuring the feel and drape of textiles, matching colour schemes while ensuring that the whole picture adheres to the strict decorating rules, all laid down by the women who make the rules.

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While all this self-objectification is happening, the men are free to sit back, undecorated, and observe while putting back a beer or three. Sometimes the men are called upon to put in an admonishing word to an errant, undecorated women but it is thankfully rare. The women do a very good job of it on their own! Of course, there are some men who are part of the whole decorating thing. But all real men know that these are overly traditional, arty or otherwise limp-wristed. Real men wouldn’t fall for that kind of nonsense. Tie-dye T-shirts for us! (Not so?)

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So why all this Indian culture stuff now, 6 months after I should have got over it all and returned to being a proper westerner? It was all brought on by sitting at Fournos Bakery at the Grove yesterday, people-watching over a delicious salmon board.It is quite amazing how “In Pretoria, we decorate our women!” I’m not sure about the horses. And we do it the lazy way. Well, they do it for us. Pretoria ladies, even in the boring winter are well turned out. (It’s interesting that we use a horsey term for being well dressed!) In the fashion of the day, there are plenty of spandex-clad thighs and bums, peeping out from cheek-revealing tops, to keep the aesthetically-minded men happy all day. Our women are decorated. But so, it seems, are our horses!

spandex horse Spandex on the fashionably decorated gee-gee. (Pic from Google)

The final verdict? The men of Rajasthan are honest about it. In the west, we would deny it. Either way, our women and our horses are well decorated.

Are you?

Gliding

I’m not going to mess around—yesterday was awesome and all I want to talk about! The scene was the Kranskop Gliding Club at Brits. The occasion was a special open day for various students and interns from previously disadvantaged communities who are part of a couple of programmes to encourage flying as a profession as well as a recreation. A colleague of mine, Daniel Ralefeta, a pilot and all-round good guy, organised the whole thing. It involved getting more than 30 glider and powered flights done in a day at an airstrip where they usually manage 9. He did it!

I was asked to take pics, including air-to-air from a Lambada, a small plane and motor glider. When I got there I realised how small. The 70-200 lens was way too big for the cockpit!

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