People around the World: Africa

Any self-respecting photographer will continuously try to better him/herself. Ways to do this include taking classes, buying manuals, upgrading equipment, and, quite simply, practicing. (That’s how you get to Carneghie Hall, man.)

One category of photography that I have wanted to become better at is photographing people. My travels are usually to see places, not people, but it so often is the people themselves that become the “attraction” that lingers longest in my memory.

I am starting a new feature – People around the World. Each installment will focus on a particular region of the globe. Geography notwithstanding, the recurring element of these pictures is the presence of people. Headshots? Not really. Close-ups? Sometimes. Action shots? Often. Staged? On occasion.

For today’s post, my first entry in the series, I’m sharing pictures that I took on my travels to Africa. Although I like each one of these pictures, some are better than others, and all of them could probably be better.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Remembering Nelson Mandela

It’s been an interesting couple of months.  My October and November were particularly fraught with hassles, some of which were side effects of living in a big city while others were simply bad luck.  December, so far, has been looking brighter.  The weather has been fabulous, I’m going stateside next week for an entire month, and my end-of-year class schedule has been simultaneously relaxed and productive.  This afternoon, however, threw me for a loop.  I returned from running some errands, turned on my computer, and learned that one of my personal heroes, Nelson Mandela, had died.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see it coming.  Mr. Mandela was plagued with recurring health problems for much of the year.  Still, he looked great, and life in post-Apartheid South Africa was good to him.  He was 95.

I had the privilege of touring his former home with a friend of mine when we visited South Africa in 2009.  Two of his former homes, actually – although only one was resided in by Mandela out of choice.  For the former, I’m talking about his house-turned-museum in Soweto, near Johannesburg.  For the latter, I’m talking about his tiny prison cell on Robben Island, near Cape Town.

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