Photo A Day Challenge – January 2013

Ever since I saw my best friend wandering around with a camera and capturing priceless images, I’ve had a crazy love for taking photos. It sounds terribly cliché, I know, but I mean it. I remember grabbing my camera and watching him and then copying him. I soon realised it wasn’t about just taking a photograph, but seeing it. It’s all in the eye, not in the camera.

Having touched the tip of the iceberg when it came to learning how to use a camera, I found every book, video, magazine, tutorial, blogpost and whatever else to teach me. And the more photos I took, the more I saw to photograph. And the more I photographed.

Anyway, let’s cut to the point of this post. Last year I started a challenge set by the Nikon South Africa page on Facebook. It’s the #NikonPhotoADay challenge, where one takes a photograph everyday that fits into the theme for the day. I started it in August last year, and completed 3 months before university ate my life, and almost me too. I took a 2 month break, and now I’m running around with my camera in my hand, taking photos every day. It does feel good again, I’d forgotten how much I missed it.

Here’s the first 6 days of photos, and I’ll be posting one every day, or a few photos every few days so I don’t overload you.

Day 1 - New Years Resolutions
Day 1 – New Years Resolutions

For the past 2 years, we’ve gone camping with amazing friends for New Year’s, to a place 150km north of us. It’s 4×4 country, but it’s beautiful. At about 11:00pm, we hop into a 4×4, grab some drinks and head out to an empty field where everyone gathers to celebrate the new year. We set off fireworks (there are no animals nearby, thankfully!) and cheer into the new year, greeting strangers and wishing everyone a happy new year. Then we all head back to the campsite, plonk around a fire and talk about last year’s resolutions, and make new ones for the new year. It’s special, personal, intimate, and fantastic. Sadly this year we didn’t get to go out there, so we headed out to some friends on a farm. It wasn’t as much fun, and I felt horribly ill not long after arriving. Something didn’t feel right, so we headed back home just before midnight. I welcomed the new year in while on the road, but watching fireworks and floating lanterns as we drove past.

Needless to say, there was no campfire reminiscing. So that morning, I came up with my resolutions, and jotted them down in a journal I received for my birthday. This year I’m going to stick to them as much as I can, and if they’re written down, I’m less likely to forget them. Well, that’s my thinking for now, but let’s see where it goes.

Day 2 - Skyline
Day 2 – Skyline

I’m not the greatest landscape photographer out there, I do really prefer to photograph people. But on the odd occasion, I grab my camera and attempt to photograph the landscape. This was as close to a skyline as I could get, since being on the West Rand isn’t a good place to photograph the skyline of Johannesburg CBD. This is the Roodepoort skyline instead, the mountains that surround the valley of Roodepoort and Randburg. And it’s a rather pretty view indeed, so this one will have to suffice!

Day 3 - Hair
Day 3 – Hair

Hair is quite a personal thing for me. The term ‘Ginger’ should give it all away – yes, I have ginger hair. It was the bane of my existence when I was younger, forever being teased and called names. I hated my hair colour, but there were the few who liked it, and for their sake I didn’t dye it.

About 2 years ago, I met Anthea Pokroy. I’d known her from Twitter as the ginger collector. She started a project called I Collect Gingers whereby she photographs gingers. I was amazed, and for once in my life I felt proud to be a ginger. I met her one day while at work, interviewing her for a photographer position at the company I worked for. She got it, and we spent a few days together, which was fantastic. Sadly, that didn’t last long and the company disintegrated. I still kept ties with her, and took part in being one of the gingers (I’m number 101!). Since then, I’ve learnt to appreciate my hair colour and it’s uniqueness, and become proud to be a ginger!

Day 4 - Behind You
Day 4 – Behind You

Meet my evil furry four-legged sister. Yes, sister. We rescued her from death, and she grew to love my Mum. We get on every now and then, but we fight more often than not. But she’s particularly partial to being photographed, and she loves the sound of the shutter snapping away. So she became the subject of my stalking session (just to annoy her) and the subject of my photograph. She’s the strangest cat in the world, but she fits right in at home with the rest of us.

Day 5 - Now Playing
Day 5 – Now Playing

My boyfriend is a gamer. He loves gaming, game reviews, game gear, gaming expos. Anything game related gets his ears up. While I’m not much of a gamer, I do enjoy the odd session of Guitar Hero or Dirt 3. Those games I can play, since they relate a little more to my skills range, unlike COD or whatever other things might be lurking out there. On this particular day, we woke up incredibly late and played games for most of the afternoon. It was fantastic to do so little and have fun at the same time. I almost forgot to take my photo for the day, and it worked out so perfectly. I’m not much of a product photographer, so I gave it a little more personal flair.

Day 6 - An Addiction
Day 6 – An Addiction

I think this covers a wide range of my addictions – baking, chocolate, cake and photography. Baking is one of my addictions. I call it “therapy for the poor”, because if I don’t have to go out and buy ingredients, then it’s bakeable and usually theraputic. It can sometimes undo me at times, and sugar seems to be my worst enemy. Chocolate, however, makes all things better – including headaches! Cake is just a recipe for happiness, and while I don’t often make cakes, it’s generally something I’ll order at a coffee shop to cheer me up. And photography, well, it very rarely makes me sad when I get the shot I want.

This was my birthday cake, and I made it because I needed to bake on the first day of the year! It’s a chocolate cake from Nigella, with icing and frosting based on a Ho Ho (Ho) Cake recipe by the BrownEyedBaker. Relatively easy to make, although my idea of an easy cake takes anywhere between 3-4 hours from start to finish. Strange, I know. Anyway, it’s remarkably light and sweet, and the white frosting inside balances out the sweet chocolate frosting on top, and the cake just goes with everything else. My best cake to date, and I cannot wait to make it again. Yes, again. And again. And again.

Day 7 - Key
Day 7 – Key

This topic suited today perfectly. I should’ve seen it coming. For the past 2 and a half weeks, I’ve been climbing into my car via the passenger’s side door. My driver’s door decided to conk out on me, and would no longer open. Nothing worked, not even the central locking. It was a huge pain, but at least the car worked (while the other one is out of commission due to a blown turbo. Yup. Good times.).

So, why was today so good? Because I finally got into my car from the driver’s side again! Having phoned around for parts, we took it to the locksmith down the road. The young guy climbed into my car, pulled half of it apart, banged, rattled, shook and clunked until he got the door open. Bear in mind it was close to 35 degrees centigrade, with no shade. 2 hours later, he fixed the lock motor, put it in, put the door back together. I’ve never been so happy to see a door open and close in my life. Never again will I take my opening and closing driver’s door for granted! Thanks to the awesome guy at Andy’s Locksmiths in Blackheath for making my day!

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