New Year, new project: As the loyal followers know I live in Omaruru Namibia, just at the edge of beyond. The upside is I have near limitless access to people, places, and critters. The downside is that I largely work in a bubble. I have little or no access to meaningful conversations with other photographic artists. I am a regular participant of photographic competitions mostly in the outside world (OSW) which while a decent ego stroke when I win or place well, provides me with no meaningful feedback on what and how I can adjust my work to, well, improve. It is supposed to be an evolutionary process after all. But unless you have meaningful exchanges, critiques you get stuck. Competitions are money making undertakings, not designed to help you grow.
Late last year, I bought for the price of a couple competitions, an on-line portfolio review with. EYEIST (www.eyeist.com)
Its pretty straight forward process, you submit 30 images, the portfolio is assigned to a qualified reviewer. In my case, Ms. Susan Baraz, Ms. Baraz has an impressive CV and on the face of it, has seen and knows, a whole lot more than I do about what does and what does not make a great photograph. A hundred bucks and a few days later and I received a 5 minute audio review. Overall it was a worthwhile experience. Her observations are that I am a bit chameleon like, in that my style is all over the place, apparently a bad thing. Ms. Baraz liked my nudes, my studio still life’s but recommended I concentrate on my portraiture. AND that I work hard to create an attributable style.
Omaruru has always provided me with an eclectic cast of characters; imagine the issue from the cast of Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure. No shortage of great faces.
So my ongoing project called ‘garden shots’ (for now until I come up with something arty) began late last year with this engagement photograph of my friend Chris and his new bride. Chris is a Prison Guard Officer at the Omaruru Prison, grew up in a small town about 75kms from Omaruru where he was married just before Christmas.