Sunday, November 16, 2008

Such a poser!

I have a small water feature in my garden which I bought to encourage nature and wildlife. It's also great for the kids as there's often a frog or crab, or a few hundred tadpoles swimming about. Usually as soon as you approach the pond, the frogs and crabs scatter, so you have to be really quiet and not make any sudden moves. Yesterday however, when I got out my camera to take a few shots, this little chap didn't budge. On the contrary, he seemed to enjoy every moment. Me too actually.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Brushing up my skills

We are SO busy at work at the moment as we've been invited to tender for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. It's a HUGE honour involving only 11 design houses in the whole world, but there's a lot to do. Basically I get to run into the office in the morning, read the daily prompt, shoot my pic and upload, all in about ten minutes. So you'll have to forgive me if it looks at though not much thought has gone into my pics, because it's true!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oh, what a tangled web we weave...

So often in life, it’s the simple things that get out of hand and become a real mission. Like trying to untangle a pile of wire clothes hangers, or undoing a knot in my sons shoelace. This morning I thought I’d shoot a roll of tape for today’s HS:MS:HS prompt, which is ‘cling’. Before I knew it everything was stuck to everything else, and somthing simple had become a mission. Lots of fun though, and I’m pleased with the result.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I went for a walk

I went for a walk today. It's been such a rough day at the office today that by lunchtime I'd had enough and decided to go for a walk. I've been working for this company for over a year now and still don't know the area at all. Basically I drive to work and drive home, so it was quite interesting seeing sights I've never seen before, one of which was today's 'shimmering' gate.

And your point is?

Today's HS:MS:HS word is 'broken' and do you think I can find something broken? The brakes on my car need fixing, but I can't photograph that, my airconditioner is making a funny rattling noise, but I can't shoot that either. It seems everything that's broken can't be photographed. So I thought about a pencil, and can you believe it, not a broken pencil anywhere. Oh well, there is now!! Now where did I put the sharpener...?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Passage of time...

I wish I'd bought my new camera years ago. A lot of my photos were taken a while ago with my old camera which was a cheap point and shoot digital camera that came free with the video camera we bought, and it's that little cheapie that got me hooked on photography. When I look back at old pics knowing what I know now, I often think I could have done better had I done this or that. But I suppose that's what it's all about, getting better all the time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I feel bad for using today's pic because I took it a while ago. For me, the whole purpose of HS:MS:HS is to challenge me to think daily about how I'm going to shoot something so that my photography improves. It's shouldn't be a case of pulling out something I shot a while ago. But I couldn't resist using today's pic because it's so appropriate and it's one I really like so you'll have to forgive me today. That being said, here's today's 'Light'.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Glossing over things

Boy am I thrilled with this pic. I had actually given up on today's prompt and was getting ready to leave for work this morning. I was moving the car out of the garage when I noticed the 'glossy' part of the gear lever. Needless to say I ran back into the house and grabbed my camera, got as low as possible in the car, and snapped off four or five good shots. I'll admit I played with the contrast a little to get the shadows a bit darker, but overall, I'm very happy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Apple a Day...

I really enjoyed shooting today’s pic. As soon as I saw the prompt I thought of photographing my computer, which has the Apple logo on the side. It’s not exactly colourful but I still think it makes a great subject. It was either this or a can of Appletiser in the fridge, but I thought this one would be a little more original. Usually I snap a few pics and choose the best one to upload, this time however I took the first pic and was happy with it straight away.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Letting off Steam!

You'll have to forgive me for today's boring pic, but because I was stuck at the office all day, I really didn't get a chance to invest any thought into today's HSMSHS word of the day. And because we're an ad agency where everything is industrial and mechanical, there's nothing 'moist' to shoot, except for our very loyal and somewhat abused kettle, our faithful caffiene provider!! This shot is a close-up of the top of the kettle where a bit of steam seems to escape and condense on the lid.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Reflections on life...

As I'm sure you're aware, we recently returned from a week away in the Drakensberg, which is a beautiful mountain range here in South Africa. While we were there it snowed which was totally out of charater for this time of the year, and it was the first time ever that my kids got to play snow. There's a small lake in the resort which is the subject of today's pic. I would have loved the water to be still so that the reflections could have been more visible, but sadly it wasn't the case. I'm still pretty pleased with the resluts.

Dump the whole lot!

I often worry about whether or not to compose a shot to make it look as natural as possible, or to leave it as I found it, which is probably more natural, although sometimes it doesn't look natural, make sense? No! Today's HSMSHS word is 'set' and last nigh I thought about some tools, either a set of spanners or a socket set. The problem was how to spread them on the kitchen counter to shoot them. After much fiddling about I eventually just dumped the whole lot and shot them where they lay.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I don't usually take part in SOS prompts, not because I don't want to, but because weekends usually consist of soccer in the mornings, shopping before lunch, working in the garden after lunch and church in the evening, ie not much time for practicing photography. However while working in the garden this time, I saw this HUGE drogonfly, easily the largest I've ever seen, and he was quite happy to let me take a few shots.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baked (not fried)

On a recent trip to see family in Johannesburg (about 5 hours by car) we decided to take the kids to the zoo. If there's one thing South Africa has that we're really proud of, it's our wildlife. We have what we call the Big 5: Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino, as well as many others like giraffe, hippo, cheetah, etc. But the one I'm not that fond of is the crocodile, and even though I don't like them much, I couldn't help shooting these two 'baking' in the sun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To have and to hold...

If there's one thing I'm learning through photography, it's that I'm beginning to see beautiful things in everyday life that ordinarily I would have missed. In the past I would have seen my son pick a flower and I would have thought 'how sweet' and carried on doing what I was doing. These days I'm constantly thinking what a beautiful shot it would make. Again, I can't claim the credit for today's pic, thanks go to my ever alert wife (who's already claimed my old camera. This hobby could get rather expensive).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sorry Stripes

The HMSHS word for today is 'Stripes'and I've been battling to find something different. I'd love to spend some time on today's prompt in order to come up with something good, but with this week's workload, that's not going to happen. So after giving it a bit of thought I finally thought of shooting a barcode. Colourless... I know. Boring... yes, but sadly, this is all I have. Sorry.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Taking a Dip

Boy, has life been hectic!! I've really missed taking part in our daily prompts these last few days, but I'm making a conserted effort to keep up to date. The new HSMSHS site looks great by the way, it's nice to have a male reference in the title too! Anyway... on to today's prompt. The word for the day is 'Dip' and I couldn't help thinking about this pic my wife took while we were away (I can't claim the credit here). I think she did a great job catching me 'dipping' my fingers in the water, just before taking a dip in the stream! Needless to say there was still a little snow around and the water was FREEZING, but tons of fun nevertheless.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Back!!

I was so excited to be able to take some awesome pics while I was away to show all the non-South Africans how beautiful our country is. The sun always shines and it's always perfect beach weather. How ironic then that while we're away South Africa has freak, once in a lifetime weather including six inches of SNOW!! This NEVER happens!! At least today's prompt fits my holiday perfectly. And what's with this secretive surprise in a few days?!? Maybe one site where we all upload our pics? Perhaps taking turns to provide prompts? Will have to wait and see...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Big, really BIG!

Today's HS:MS pic is a cheat from our overseas holiday, and the reason I had to use it was because I was packing all night for our week away at the Drakensberg. There was a traffic jam this morning and I happened to be on the bottom level of a four level interchange. Had I stuck my head out the window and photographed straight up showing all four levels, it would have made the perfect 'big' photo. BUT MY CAMERA WAS PACKED LAST NIGHT FOR OUR HOLIDAY!!! That'll teach me to leave home without it. Oh well... NO MORE SLEEPS!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tender, Sweet and Juicy

Yesterdays HS:MS word was juicy and I really wanted to try something other than fruit. When I first saw what the word was I thought there would be so many different things to try, but when it got down to the actual shooting, I was stumped. So fruit it is. Tomorrow my family and I are going to the Drakensberg for a well-deserved 7 day break, so this blog may be pretty quiet for a few days, but hopefully when I get back I'll have tons of pics to show you. I can't wait to show all the non-South Africans out there just how beautiful our country is. ONE MORE SLEEP!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Time floating by...

I was packing the car the other morning, school bags, lunch boxes, etc, while my son was really taking his time about getting ready. There seems to be some sort of law of physics where the speed of the child in the morning is inversely proportional to how late you’re running, in layman’s terms, the later you are, the slower the kid. But if he hadn’t commented on the beautiful sunrise, I’d never have noticed it. I keep harping on about how everything is such a rush these days, and yet don’t seem to slow down myself. Sometimes us adults needs to stop and smell the proverbial roses once in a while.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All in a Row

Today's HS:MS word is 'Row' which actually has three different meanings. The one means objects or people in a straight line, the second means to propel a boat, and the third is an arguement. In order to clear up any confusion, the HS:MS girls give us the definition they want us to shoot which today is the first one, things in a straight line. I'm at the office at the moment (where it's always organised chaos), and the only things in a row here are the keys on my keyboard and the CDs in a rack. So here's my row...

Sunday, September 14, 2008


There are lots of things I’m really passionate about, the first being my family, with photo- graphy, gardening, my job, diy, and many others after them. But to choose one is pretty difficult, especially when you have to photograph it somehow. I’ll always have tons of pics of my family, as well as my DIY projects and my gardening exploits. But the one passion I don’t have many pics of is Springbok rugby, so I took out my shirt, camera and tripod and captured my passion!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Over the top!!

For those of you that follow rugby, you may have heard of the Absa Stadium, home of the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks, and a stadium favourite of the South African Springbok Rugby Team (current World Cup champions). I recently got to do an aerial photoshoot from the roof of the stadium, which was AMAZING!! The fact that we had no harnesses, rigging or any other safety gear made it even more of an adrenalin rush, and to top it off, the wind was blowing gales. Talk about over the top!

Bag Lady/Man?!?

The girls at HS:MS are making things so hard for me!! The prompt yesterday was for something purple, which ended up being a flower, and today's word is 'baglady' (and I'm niether a lady, nor do I carry a bag). Anita and Kirsty, if you're reading this, how about once a month or so we have a REALLY masculine word like 'Rugby' or perhaps 'Powertool'. Just kidding, if anything, it get's me to really think about what I'm shooting, which is a good thing I suppose. That being said, today's pic is of my camera bag.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Colour Purple

I really tried hard to do something other than a flower for today's HS:MS challenge. The word today is 'purple' and boy did I search. There's a Steers takeaway up the road which has some perforated sheet metal signage with purple strip lighting behind it, looks stunning but in the noonday sun photographs terribly. There's another shop further down actually called Purple Fantasy, but they wouldn't let me photograph their shop 'for security reasons'. Oh well, a flower it is...

Sweets for my sweet.

Moms are SO good. Whenever my kids and I crave something sweet we rush to the emergency sweet container, which is usually crammed to capacity with the most tartrazine loaded, sugar embedded rubbish on the planet. Some of the stuff even I won’t eat, like the sour worms or the jelly brains, but the kids love it, and we as parents have to monitor their junk intake. Moms, on the other hand are amazing when it comes to self control. Their weekly sugar intake is a breath mint or a chewing gum, sugar free mind you, and recommended by two out of three dentists. I just don’t get it...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Someone’s Portrait Saturday

My son has to be one of the most camera-shy people I know, and yet today when I caught him singing with his sister’s microphone he didn’t seem to mind at all when I whipped out the camera. He’ll never forgive me when one day he realises that I’ve photographed him using a ‘Barbie’ branded microphone to sing along to Hannah Montana, and then published it on the net for the whole world to see. Oh well, isn’t that a parent’s job, to embarrass their children?

Peter Pointer...

I didn’t get a chance to do yesterday’s prompt which was the word ‘point’, but fortunately today we decided to have a braai (barbeque for all you other nationalities) and I managed to catch the kids pointing at the flames. I’m quite proud of my built-in barbeque because I built it myself and have just recently completed it. I’ve never done any bricklaying before, so this is quite an accomplishment for me. Perhaps this pic should have been used for “Show off Sunday”...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Enter (if you dare)

Now this HS:MS prompt was fun!! Firstly I had to find a website that had a 'click to enter' page, and believe me there are some really, REALLY weird sites out there. Secondly, I'm so used to uploading from a camera to the internet, not the other way round, shooting from the net onto my camera. Her Space:My Space is constantly challenging us to think differently and I'm loving it!

Hedge Hog?

When my wife and I first moved into our home, the garden (if you could even call it a garden) was shocking. The grass was knee high, with almost no other plants, and a rickety old fence that was standing against all odds. We've since managed to rescue the grass, rebuild the fence and fill the garden with all sorts of wonderfull green foliage. Unfortunately it's winter at the moment which means everything is dry and half dead so today's HS:MS pic isn't that impressive, but at least it's here!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Romantic Getaway...

Today's HS:MS prompt is the word 'Romantic' and as I'm stuck at the office all day I can't really shoot a spontaneous shot of something romantic, so I'm having to resort to sifting through holiday pics. I love a romantic fireplace every now and then, and sadly, in South Africa where it's always warm, we don't get to enjoy them often enough. We'll be going to the Drakensberg in a couple of weeks, where the nights are always cold, so who knows. A romantic getaway?


We recently went on our first ever overseas holiday! We've had to save for a really long time to be able to afford it as the exchange rate between us in South Africa and England is 16 to 1. Basically buying a beer at home would cost about 12 Rand, whereas in England it would cost me about 190 Rand for the same beer. Scary! But the one thing I loved about England was their castles which provided amazing photographic opportunities. Today's HS:MS word is 'gate' and this particular gate was at Carrisbrook Castle. It's a awesome gate, hundreds of years old, beautifully weathered and easily over 20 feet tall.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Show Off Sunday

Yesterday we had an awesome evening. We met our friends (three other couples) at a place called T-rifik which is an amazing kids adventure venue complete with water cannons, treasure caves and mini theatre productions that take place every 30 minutes. But the best part is the adults get their own section, so while our kids are all getting it out of their systems, all us adults are enjoying each other’s company over a few cocktails and some snacks. Afterwards, once the sun had set, we took a walk along the promenade, where of course I had my camera ready! Enjoy today’s ‘show-off’ pic.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Y is for Yoyo

I was going to give today’s HS:MS prompt a miss today due to time constraints. As I mentioned yesterday (and probably the day before too) work this week has been chaotic. So when I got home this evening I opened a bottle of wine for my wife and I and prepared to settle down on the couch and hopefully catch a good movie. It was while I was opening the wine that I spotted the perfect letter Y for today’s prompt. Needless to say, before I sat down I was up again to take a photo and later I’ll get to settle down. Up down up down, just like a yoyo!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I for Indigo

Today's HS:MS prompt is the letter 'i' and my pic is a cheat from a few weeks ago. Things have been a bit hectic lately so I've had to resort to digging up something from the past. Which is a bit sad actually because every day I look forward to the challenge of looking around my world to find something appropriate, and I'm really missing that today. Oh well, as soon as my work life calms down, I'll be back!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

E is for echo echo echo...

Today's pic, for me, was a no brainer (probably because I have 'no brain'). As soon as I saw that today's HS:MS prompt was the letter 'E' I immediately thought of a traffic light. I believe first world countries refer to them as traffic lights, but here in good old South Africa they're called 'Robots'. I'll admit this one could use a coat of paint, but I actually prefer the battered, rusty look.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

O is for Mosaic?

I have a LOT of respect for people that do mosaic work. To slowly, painstakingly break tiles into tiny little pieces, only to put it all back together in a different pattern, baffles me. I suppose there's some sort of therapeutic release, an unwinding or relaxing process for some people, but I'm not one of them. I prefer instant gratification ie: I want it, and I want it NOW! I suppose that's why I like photography. Click, here's my 'O', finished.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The perfect Double You

This last week at the office has been chaos, and today was no exception. It’s frustrating wanting to spend time searching for the right ‘W’ to photograph only to have to shoot whatever you can because of time constraints. But shooting today’s pic was great, because it’s a shot of a wooden bowl of ‘Monkey Balls’ in my living room that was right in front of me. And I think the bird’s legs make the perfect ‘Double You’!!

Someone's Portrait Saturday

I'm learning (very quickly) that some of the best photos are taken when the subject doesn't know it's been taken. Today's pic for example was shot at the beach while sitting under a cliff type overhanging rock thingy (don't know what you'd call it). I noticed my son looking out to sea, totally mesmerised by the waves, and thought it would make a great pic. I think I was right...

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Elusive Boobs

I’ve been looking for ‘the letter B’ all day and it’s only now, towards the end of the day that I’ve found one. It’s not the best and I’ve used a bit of creative licence, but I’m sure if you look carefully you’ll see the two curves on the car’s dashboard as the curves from the elusive ‘letter B’. It was frustrating to shoot because I couldn’t fit a tripod on the driver’s seat, so in trying to hold the camera still I kept moving and blurring the shot. It turned out pretty well though.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Q for Quebec

This was an easy one! I can't start my day without a cup of coffee, not even the daily HS:MS challenge comes first. As I was making my first cup I looked down at the cup and thought it would make a great 'Q'. (I seem to be doing that a lot lately, I'm seeing letters of the alphabet EVERYWHERE). Anyway, after my morning caffienne intake I logged on and hey presto, today's challenge was the letter 'Q'. So here's mine!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

'Jay' walking is not a crime

I've been wracking my brain trying to find a 'J' pic!! I finally found a right turn arrow while driving and had to pull over quickly and 'jay' walk across the road. I must have looked like such a fool waiting for a gap in the traffic, dodging cars and buses, only to photograph the ground and then run back. The things we do for our hobbies...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

V is for Victory

You're gonna have to excuse me from yesterday's HS:MS challenge but I worked a 14 hour shift and couldn't get a chance to shoot an "S". So this morning I made sure I got to the office a little earlier so that I could find a "V". I looked EVERYWHERE, and just when I was about to give up, there was a "V" right in front of me. V is for Victory! BTW, these 'letter' challenges are harder than they sound.

Monday, August 18, 2008

SOS and SPS?

It was my daughter's eighth birthday this weekend, feel's like she only recently turned three!! She's a total High School Musical ADDICT so the party had to have HSM invites, decorations, posters, etc. So with showing off in mind, today's pic is the poster I created for the party. I've Photoshopped her into the pic so it looks as though she's standing in the pic along with the cast members. She LOVED it!! Don't know how I'm gonna top this next year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brace(let) yourself!

I’m not one for jewellery, I wear my wedding band and that’s about it. However my wife and kids saw a bracelet once and thought it would suit me, and I have to say I really REALLY like it. It also seems to be a lucky charm of sorts because I’ve lost it twice and managed to find it both times. Once the clasp opened and it fell off my arm and straight into my jacket pocket. Talk about lucky.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Chew on this...

Now this prompt was LOTS of fun, lots of bright colours, plenty of fun shapes, and something to chew on while I'm typing out the post. And my typing speed sucks so I can probably get through another three or four cherry-flavoured chews before I finish this. This is the one prompt where I was offered SO much help from my daughter, she offered to sort through our secret stash to find the sweets she thought to be the right colours. I think while you take a look at today's pic, I'll finish off these chews.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Can you see it...?

I love this pic. I had absolutely NO intention of making my daughter's outline a perfect triangular shape, but obviously that's what happened. For those of you that can't see it there's a triangle from the top of her head, to the tip of her toes, to the seat of her pants and back to the top of her head. (I had to point it out to some friends at work, that's why I feel obliged to explain). It's a cheat from a recent holiday, but it's the perfect opportunity to show it off.

Monday, August 11, 2008

African lightning protection?!?

I've been living in South Africa almost my whole life and I'm only now beginning to recognise her beauty. Today's HS:MS prompt is 'leaves' and my pic is of an Aloe Aristata (Guinea-Fowl Aloe). Africa is full of superstition, and as a result this aloe is grown in a pot to protect the African homestead from lightning strikes and is also sometimes ingested as a medicine to induce pregnancy. Unfortunately it's now on the endangered list but nevertheless has a beautiful set of leaves.

Stealing Love Jones

Today the company I work for hosted a 7km fun walk to raise funds for a safe haven used to house abused women and their children. We called the event "Tarts with Hearts" and encouraged all the walkers to dress up like a tart, fishnet stockings, feather boas, the works (All the guys too!!). After the walk we were entertained by one of South Africa's top rock bands "Stealing Love Jones" who were AWESOME. Today's pic is Esjay's portrait.