I’ve written a book. So, now what?

This is possibly the most significant work I’ve done to date. And it’s very definitely only the beginning of much, much more to come. …if you show your support!

Portraits of Madagascar

Writing a book is something that is often romanticised and dreamed of. It’s said that everyone has a novel within themselves, and the notion of adding “Author” to one’s list of credentials is for many very alluring.

For those who do embark on the journey of writing a book, the motivation is different in almost every case. Indeed, some set off without the right amount of motivation required to successfully complete the writing process. Of course, many do cross the finish line and in a world where a large number of people have never read a book from cover to cover, they can proudly proclaim to have written one – a feat which is an order of magnitude greater – however commendable or poor the resulting manuscript might be.

For me, the motivation to write Portraits of Madagascar came unexpectedly and with little foreplanning. Like many others, I’d toyed with the idea…

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Fire in the House

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This afternoon, we had some drama at my housing complex. Upon getting up to make myself a cup of coffee, and a brief glimpse out the window, I noticed a humongous plume of thick smoke filling what is usually my uninterrupted view of the river which runs past the back of the complex.

Now of course, being concerned about the possibility of losing my home to fire, and wanting to do something about averting a possible neighbourhood catastrophe, I did what any decent person would do in such a situation – I grabbed my camera and ran down to get a closer look at the spectacle, shoving the neighbour’s kids out of my way in the hope of getting some awesome shots!

This was the scene that met me when I got down to the river bank. It was a matter of only a couple of minutes later when the cavalry arrived.

 

Although there was a lot of smoke, at this point there wasn’t actually too many great balls of fire. Being the end of our summer, and given the fact that we haven’t yet had any serious rain in Cape Town, the river is very low and the wide bank is thickly overgrown by long grasses and some very dry reeds. I thought they’d use one pump to water the lower garden, and that would pretty much be the end of it. But that was before the flames hit the reeds. …and then all hell broke loose.

  

  


Look closely. There are fire fighters in the middle of that blazing beast!

With some of the flames subdued, the heroes headed further into the veld to chase after the spreading fire.

 

By this stage, even the neighbourhood watch had arrived to, erm… watch.

…along with the rest of the neighbourhood:


I decided to make myself useful by rallying the residents to organise some drinks for the fire fighters, and this table with drinks seemed to appear instantly. It was a small, yet much appreciated gesture.

Meanwhile, by this time, one or two of the civilians on scene had begun to lend their own efforts directly to the fire fighting.


…while the rest of us watched and tried our best to stay out of the way

The neighbours in the next complex had begun to take measures of their own by watering down the dry reeds, which are right at their doorsteps.

And it’s a good thing that they did, because the fire was moving towards them rapidly.


But the fire fighters had it under control.

With flames now raging on both sides of the fence, and  of the river, additional fire support was called in and the flames were being attacked from multiple fronts.
  
 

While the heros continued to draw a keen crowd of spectators.

 

At one point, once the worst was under control, I did get a little bit closer, and was a bit concerned about some small flare-ups that were getting closer to one of the hoses. 

Worried that it might damage the water line, I informed one fire fighter, and he quickly remedied it.

This, indecently, is what happens to your clothing when you get a bit too close to that fire hose when it’s being used to douse the smouldering ashes of the burnt ground.

With things looking like they were coming under control quickly, relieved crowds eventually started dissipating.

Job well done!

One can never really offer enough thanks to the men and women who put their lives on the line when it comes to fire-prevention and safety, but nonetheless, I’d like to thank each and every one of them – amateurs included – who helped manage the situation today.

It’s worth mentioning that the last fire truck left here well after dark, and only after the very last lick of flames was extinguished. Testimony to the fact that these guys know that their job simply ain’t done until it’s done!

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Heaven and Earth

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I’m pleased to release some of the images from my latest fine art collection, entitled Heaven and Earth.

The collection is a series of black and white landscapes of Namibia. All, except for one, of the photographs were taken during a recent hiking trip across the country.

I’d like to thanks my friends and colleagues at Absolut Tours for making this trip possible.

If you’d like to see the entire collection and purchase limited edition framed fine art pieces, please visit my website www.PaulSutton.co.za.

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Photography Courses with Studio22

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Come do "Photography 101" with Me and Studio22

Come do “Photography 101” with Me and Studio22

I’m VERY EXCITED to announce the partnership between myself and Studio22, one of Cape Town’s leading photographic retailers and the home of all things photographic!

I will from now be presenting my photography courses (which I hosted previously under my own brand, Digital Memories) in ongoing partnership with Studio22. The first of which, “Photography 101”, starts on Monday evening, the 2nd of June.

To find out more, or to purchase yourself a place on the course, please visit here.

If you’d like more info about this and our other upcoming courses “Photography 102”, workshops, and more, please feel free to contact me at paul@paulsutton.co.za or give me a call on 078 640 6793.

Self Portrait

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Seeing that it’s the 1st of the month, I’ve decided to take this blog in a slightly new direction. One which will see me showcasing much more of the work that I do to contribute to the evolution of photography, specifically that which highlights the importance of the emerging trend of “selfies”.

As from today you’ll begin to see a lot more self-portraiture appearing on this blog, and it is my hope that I can begin to establish a legacy as a professional photographer, that will inspire upcoming photographers too.

This image was taken spontaneously, at the exact moment I’d realised that I’d run out of instant coffee.

For younger photographers who would like to hone their skills, remember that often portraiture is about the candid, and that it can therefore be beneficial if you are able to photograph your subject without them realising that they are having their picture taken. The same is true for self portraits. Try to capture yourself when you are not aware of it.

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Chobe Safari Lodge

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Full Moon Rising

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The full moon rises over the orange River, as seen from the South African bank, looking across towards the Namibian side in the|Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

The full moon rises over the orange River, as seen from the South African bank, looking across towards the Namibian side in the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

Exactly two weeks ago, I was on the bank of the Orange River taking this picture of the full moon as it emerged from the middle of a trough of the darkened skyline.

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Stay in Luxcery

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…over there.

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Victoria Falls

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Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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Butting Heads

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Goats playfully butt heads, and graze the banks of the Orange River, the border between Namibia and South Africa’s, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.