I remember reading somewhere that the quality of a photographer is judged by how much they throw away. I was doomed.
So over the years, I've been honing my discipline with regards to deleting photos. However, in one of these culling sessions I came across a photo that should have ceased to exist years ago. Fortunately it didn't and after playing around with it for a while I came up with an image I'm now pretty fond of.
What a great lesson not only in why there's sometimes a good reason for holding on to things, but also in portraiture.
When taking photos for a mountain bike challenge, one rider came off his bike in front of me. With no way to assess the damage, he asked me to take a photo of him so he could look at himself on the camera. The rest is history...
Praying Mantises (or is it "Mantii") aren't uncommon in Swaziland and this one only caught my eye because it was relatively large and I because I needed a subject to try and my new Kodak point and shoot (which also happened to be my first ever camera). It wasn't until about 3 snaps into the photo session that I realised the mantis had something in its mouth.
I submitted this photo to the (then) BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the Animal Portraits category I think. Needless to say, I had absolutely no idea how to properly prepare an image for a competition and I think that, instead of reducing the file size slightly, I converted all my images into small thumbnails. Anyway, this shot actually reached the semi-finals.
Would it have made the finals had it been taken with a better camera? Who knows? All I know is that it was about a metre from my front door.
Executioner's Rock, Swaziland. Taken back in 2007 before I knew how to screw a lens on and off.
So this is where it gets really fun.
I recently spent the weekend working at the Bushfire festival in Swaziland as part of a larger installation organised by Yebo ArtReach. As part of Creative Beans we set up a section called "Out the Box" - an area where people could express themselves through dressing up.
We included the much-seen photobooth idea but with a twist.
The results were spectacular and the portraits below really don't do justice to the creative explosion that was going on inside that box.
It's worth bearing in mind that the subjects all only had about 3 or 4 minutes from start to finish.
Quazi Design is a small company based in Swaziland that make paper jewellery. And it's almost as simple as that - almost everything is made from recycled magazines.
I loved the fact that fashion magazines (although not exclusively) were themselves being transformed into fashion items.
I'm working on a promotional video for them (soon to be released).
more info: www.quazidesign.com
One of the most enjoyable aspects of following Clowns without Borders South Africa was the audience reaction. The children were very often squealing with laughter but part of the magic was in watching their expressions change and the different emotions they revealed - confusion, intrigue, wonder, curiosity, joy and even pity (for the clowns) at times.
And of course, with such a large number of children, you find so many different personalities - from the wild, excitable ones who leap up at every opportunity, to the quiet, reserved ones who reveal their emotions in a more introverted way.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite "faces" from the Vuka Mphakathi (Awakening the Community) programme in Swaziland.
I could be accused of removing all the fun from these photos by publishing them in black and white. I'm probably guilty but I think the true colour of the images is in their faces.
Visit the CWBSA website at www.cwbsa.org
As part of the International Save the Children Conference in London (2010), we prepared a short montage of key projects undertaken by Save the Children Swaziland.
The three main items were:
more info: Facebook > Save the Children Swaziland
A timeline of various photographs and photographic projects. Unless otherwise stated, all images by Edward Morgan.