Archive for photography

Blogging Black Hole.

Posted in life in general, photography with tags , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by Sarita

I know. I haven’t been posting AT ALL recently. I have no concrete reason apart from feeling extremely blah, with nothing particularly special to offer you – and let’s face it, you deserve riveting reading and hilarious humour, neither of which I feel capable of churning out at the mo.

I think my naturally boring nature has finally caught up with my online incarnation. Lord.

I switched over from Nikon to Canon – *goodbye Betsy, hello Missy* – only because my D700 was getting on in age and the D800 file sizes made absolutely no sense to me for the amount of shooting I do, top that off with the fact that most of the photogs I associate with shoot Canon and the choice was clear-ish – I still miss Betsy though, and grieve over her. Couple that with my also saying goodbye to my little Leica V-Lux1, all to minimise the trauma of getting Missy, my new 5DMk3 on my credit card, and you have a recipe for no blog posts.

Having said that, I did go to New York for the first time ever to trade in my gear, and made the expected pilgrimage to BH Photo, to worship as most photographers who have passed before me have. My first experience with them was in their used dept. and I was underwhelmed at best. If I had not just travelled over 7 hours to get there, I would have turned around and left without hesitation. I suppose when you get to be that big you don’t need to be polite or even acknowledge when people walk into your store, but in my little world, where most fish are tiny, ‘Hi’ or even a nod go a long way, and not even the cool girl by the 5DMk3 counter who loved my camera jewelry made up for that first impression – I would think long and hard and have to be desperate before spending any more money there…

Compare that to the treatment at Adorama, where within 5 minutes, Andy at the used counter was calling me ‘Trini’ and Gene was bending over backward to get deals for us on the system and it’s no wonder that in a 4 day trip, I went back to Adorama 3 times and bought stuff, including my whole new camera system and accessories that I don’t even need for crap I don’t even use – everyone there, from Meyer who called me on the Sunday before I travelled to NY to ask about my trade-in, to Jack who offered to throw in an extra $500 on a 1DsMk3  belonging to a friend even though it was a slow seller, made Adorama feel like a home away from home, and somewhere I would happily blow all my money in in a heartbeat. One loyal customer coming right up!

So now I have a 5DMk3 and although the kit lens it comes with – the 24-105/4L is extraordinary, I find the camera itself to be just ok. Is it the noise at ISO levels Betsy would have breezed through? Or the not-quite-so-pink-people-tones of its predecessor the Mk2? I don’t know. All I know is that it doesn’t feel like an extension of my arm the way Betsy, or even Markie did (Scully’s Mk2) – maybe it’s the trickle of blood still oozing out of my credit card that’s colouring my judgment, or the tabanca I still feel over Betsy and Leica. Maybe I just need to get over myself and realise it’s a tool like any other…

😦

Ok, enough self pity! Wanna see some pics from NY? Ok then:)

My Fan Snores (and other random pieces of nothing)

Posted in life in general, stuff no one wants to know with tags , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by Sarita

#1. *Ggggkkkkkk…Gggggkkkkkkk…* I realised my snoring fan was a problem the fourth time I incorporated the sound into one of my dreams, waking up each time wondering ‘what the -?!?’ then taking over an hour each time trying to recreate my subconscious masterpieces. It doesn’t snore when stationary, but then the mosquitoes come…

I’m a light sleeper – my snoring fan clearly wants me to look like hell.

#2. I never realised how strong I was until a friend and I were forced to PUSH my Rav4 up the incline of my driveway after it shut down half in and half out. I also never realised how freaking heavy cars were till last night too…

#3. My body is out to get me. Right now I have to be awake in 2 hrs. to head out to a shoot. I tossed and turned for 30 mins. trying to get sleepy, gave up and came outside. Now my eyes are burning and I’m torn between trying to sleep again for maybe an hour or going straight through till tom at about noon.

Crap.

#4. Still thinking about #3…

 

The Next Martha Stewart?

Posted in life in general with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by Sarita

When I started my blog, I said I wanted it to be an insight into my brain, so you could feel you knew me better and we were friends. In that vein, I’ve shared things that have surprised me and those who know me well, because I’m pretty private generally (surprise surprise).

Having said that, I debated the wisdom of my next post, because there’s a fine line between knowing someone, and thinking them a complete retard and hot mess. I’m beginning to suspect that if this blog goes on much longer, anyone who reads it will begin to believe the latter.

So you’d remember I bought myself a power washing attachment, yes? While this has nothing to do with it directly, that freaking attachment is responsible (something has to be and I refuse to acknowledge it could be me) for what I’m writing.

After concluding that there was no place for a hose and power washer inside a house, I took it back into the yard for a test drive so to speak, to see how it stood up against the cleaning resistant layers of moss around my house.

It was crap. That’s what my brain kept telling me while insisting that I persevere because I spent so much money on the stupid thing so I had to use it. All this, while simultaneously appreciating the appetizing smells wafting from my neighbours kitchen. The scent kept getting stronger. Strong enough, in fact, to reach me where I was, way in the back of my yard, with my power washer in hand. Strong enough for me to start thinking to myself that maybe she should take it off the stove right about now because it smelled like it was beginning to burn.

Then I remembered.

This.

No Funny Bone In THESE Elbows...

I wish that picture was also a scratch and sniff because words can’t describe how bad my house smelled.

I also wish I could describe the moment of absolute horror tinged with resignation when I realised it was MY forgotten pot on the stove smelling like that, and how I must’ve looked pelting pellmell back into the house.

Not Even Ivory Can Cut This Grease.

There’s a reason I don’t cook. This is it.

Broken, But Beautiful!

Posted in behind the picture, photography with tags , , , , on September 22, 2011 by Sarita

We were shooting stills for a production company doing a cool new series for local tv yesterday when, horror of horrors, Betsy decided to pitch a fit and stop functioning. (I don’t want to assume it’s because Markie was in such close proximity to her for so long, but what else is there?)

At first I thought it was early onset retardation on my part, and that I may have accidentally flipped something or pressed something and caused her to get all PM-essy, but her autofocus stopped working and she refused to show me anything on the LCD, so after clicking and pushing, twisting and turning and even swapping out lenses and batteries, I laid her to rest in my camera bag and sent out an SOS email to Nikon, who, as luck would have it, serviced her 3 months ago, with the service warranty expiring last week. (I haven’t gotten a response from them yet…)

Balls.

And she’s so beautiful, with her little 50 f/1.4… 😦

Broken, But Beautiful.

I’m going to be seriously upset if I have to pay to get her fixed AGAIN, and even more upset if I’m forced to contemplate sell(sniff)ing her, since a few posts back we established that I’m a hoarder.

Which is not to say I won’t get over it pretty quickly if Santa brings me a D3s for Christmas:)

It’s That Important.

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , on September 6, 2011 by Sarita

I’m editing wedding images from a really fabulous one we shot this weekend gone – Peter Gabriel’s Book of Love is playing on my iTunes playlist (how appropriate is THAT?) and it’s making me feel all fuzzy and warm (maybe it’s the 5hr. energy or the most excellent crock pot curry beef I just ate:)

Since I started shooting weddings (total aside – wow, now All I Ever Ask by Freddy Jackson is on – does my iTunes have a serious tabanca or what! ‘Tabanca’ – an extreme sadness and/or a depression following one’s breakup or separation from one’s significant other) I’ve met some amazing people, and been privileged to be a part of one of the biggest days of their lives. It’s humbling when people trust you enough to capture details that will form the things that they remember from that day – from little things like cake toppers

It Wasn't Me:)

to important people like favourite aunts or grandparents – and I’ll never forget the biggest lesson learned from top wedding photographer Doug Gordon, at a workshop held here earlier this year, who said that, and I paraphrase, photographers shoot many weddings in a month, but for each couple, it’s their only one (hopefully) and it’s special to them, AND you never know if that would be the last picture they have of them with a parent or grandparent or sibling, so that makes your job even more important…

Not to be a total wet blanket, but a very big reason getting married is not very high on my list of priorities, apart from the fact that it would take someone with the tolerance of a SAINT:), is that most of the important people who would feature on my wedding day are already dead (and I can’t see my brother assuming ALL the roles, superdude though he is:), so I realise even more, how special those little pieces of picture history are…

Blogging Delinquent! or I Told You So…

Posted in behind the picture, life in general with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2011 by Sarita

So much has been happening over the past 3 months that I don’t know where to begin.

I think I’ll keep it simple and pretend that it hasn’t been as long as it has that I’ve been such a blogging delinquent (that actually sounds like it could be an insertion for a *bleep* instead of a real word – just an observation).

I’m sorry – here are some flowers…

Really Sorry!

So Very Sorry :{

A very good friend of mine lost his wife in a car accident less than a month ago, and it rammed home the fact that in less than a minute, life as you know it could never be the same. The night that it happened, I came home and started a post, but nothing I typed could convey the weight of what I felt. The weirdness of being with a group of friends and experiencing a total paradigm shift in the space of a phone call – the shock, the disbelief. It’s funny how heavy hollowness can be. I’ve had my share of deaths, and have done the dance many times over the years, and it always amazes me how resilient people are. And how people rally together in times of grief and sadness. And how much more bearable times in our lives like that are because of family and friends.

(Segue something appropriate here) So there’s a really great programme for young boys (how schizo was THAT topic change?!?) being put on by photographer Michele Jorsling in conjunction with the YMCA to teach them the basics of photography, and I’m really happy I crashed it the first day:) Last week I showed them a few of my street images and am more grateful than you can imagine that none of them fell asleep:) It’s a very cool thing to be able to connect with young people in a way that gets information across to them without being preachy or condescending – it also helps that I’m 30-something going on 17… :p

Annnnddd finally, for this post anyway, tomorrow is the culmination of my 5 month UWI photography course with Mr. Desmond Clarke. There was an exam last week, which I passed, thank GOD! and an exhibition of 5 pieces of work from each student taken during the course tomorrow, for marks – lord. I collected my pieces today and will be choosing my 5th piece tomorrow (yes, I need help…). It’s open to the public and is free if anyone is interested – at Belmont Senior Sec. on Belmont Circular Rd next to the Police Station, in the main hall from 1-5, tom (Sat 30th) only.

Ok, having not written for a while, my fingers hurt, so if you’ve made it this far without being bored to tears, thanks for hanging in there:)

Muah!

Of Eating ‘Below the Line’ and Learning.

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by Sarita

Wow – what a week. Trying to eat what I could afford for TT$10/day has been an eye-opening and humbling experience.

I initially saw the website livebelowtheline.com posted in a photography forum looking for photos of what poverty looked like to you – a friend suggested I join because I have a few photos. So I took a look, and saw that there was a challenge beginning May 16th – 20th where people were to eat no more than what US$1.50, or the equivalent – TT$10.00, could buy. Since I’ve recently become involved in a programme that feeds the homeless, I decided it would be a challenge I would try, approaching it as an exercise in an awareness of how much the money could do – rather than spend it on ‘x’, I would stop and think that I would have to spend it on ‘y’ in order to eat and it would make me more aware that while in the ordinary course of life, that is not a life and death decision for me to make, it would actually be one for many people, who not only make those choices for themselves, but for their children. I hoped it would give me a better understanding of what the people I met and spoke to every day were going through.

I got so much more.

I expected I would feel hungry, but that has been manageable – no worse than if I’m just running on fumes for a couple days – but what I didn’t expect was the feeling of total isolation I would get when faced with situations where people were eating or snacking, or in places selling food/snacks, or even seeing road signs for various eateries and not having the option of partaking in any of it. It’s very demoralising.

I CHOSE to do this for only 5 days and it’s been extremely difficult for me – the lack of options I have to eat, the lethargy and extra effort it’s taking me to be positive, and having to constantly account for money ‘spent’ on food. What do people who have no choice and not only have to budget for food, but also health-care, school, transport, living costs DO? It’s become very clear to me how a cycle of poverty could just continue, beginning with very little to eat, because it affects your ability to function – yes, you will continue to survive, but existing and thriving are very different.

There’s a lot I take for granted – one of the cooks in the feeding programme told me she feeds 100 people her soup for the cost of a manicure. – It cost her $140TT to make a soup that people send messages about how much they loved it back to her about, so it wasn’t even to say it was lacking in ingredients. I started doing this for myself, to make myself think more and appreciate more – I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’m going to eradicate poverty or hunger, but I don’t think trying to appreciate what someone is going through would be doing me or others any harm either.

It’s great to be in the Top 5 for fundraisers globally, but the top 10 thing is purely monetary, and that was never my motivation for doing this – I really just wanted to put myself in the other person’s shoes, if even for a little while. Even if me and my team never made any money, I think we’ve changed our perspective, reached some people and at least made them start to think, or question their own spending, or assumptions, so for me, a monetary reflection isn’t accurate as a success marker, because if we never raised a cent, I think we’ve done what we set out to do, if only for ourselves…

And at the end of the day, it’s about making your own journey to where you’re going in your own way – be it through pulling other people down or trying to raise them up or just trying to see and understand their point of view, and now more than ever, I think it’s a sin that in this super wealthy world we live in, there could be people wanting proper nutrition…

Sar