Daniel Berehulak shares scenes from the 10 days of mourning for Nelson Mandela

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Earlier this month, social media exploded with status’ about the death of Nelson Mandela.

He was a truly inspiring man that achieved incredible things during his life and whilst being the first black president of South Africa.

Today, Nelson Mandela was buried in Qunu, following a memorial service in his village after 10 days of mourning.

Photographer Daniel Berehulak (an Australian photojournalist) has been photographing the past 10 days for the New York Times.

The images show the thousands of people that came to pay their respects. The crowds emotion is very evident in his photographs and so is the celebration of a life well lived.

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“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

Rest in peace.

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NaBloPoMo: Instagram

What makes me happy about Instagram are Instagram’s own posts. I have found so many interesting people/photographers simply by reading what the team behind Instagram share with us.

The other day I found someone called ruddyroye, thanks to a post about his work by Instagram.

Since then I have been following his work and this particular post made me smile (I took screen shots of the Instagram feed)…

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I firstly thought the picture was interesting and it reminded me of when I was trying to take pictures of strangers on the subway myself.

Then I read what he had written about it and found it even more interesting. Someone posted a comment on the post saying, ‘I feel like I am sitting next to you watching this transpire’ and she couldn’t have been more right.

The way he describes the happenings on this train really do make you feel as though you could have been there yourself.

The expressions on the faces in the photograph ruddy has captured also speak a thousand words.

Judgement is a way of life. We all do it even if we wish we didn’t.

I look forward to seeing more of his work on my feed.

Thank you Instagram

NaBloPoMo: Printing photographs

Today I spent hours going through all the photographs that I have taken during 2013. Once a year I do this because it makes me very happy having a whole years worth of images printed out.

When I manage to get my own house I have big plans for some the photographs I have printed out, but for now they get stored in photo albums. With the special photographs that remind me of special events in my life, I plan to create an entire wall filled with different sized and shaped photo frames.

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I use photobox to print all my mobile and digital pictures because they often have lots of offers on. This time I managed to print 485 pictures for £20.00 + £6.49 postage.

I cannot wait for them to be delivered.

 

NaBloPoMo: Photography Books

Over the past few years I have taken a liking to buying photography books.

They are not just normal books, they are big, heavy and smell delicious. They are filled with inspiration and I just love owning them.

My most recent purchase is a big orange hardback titled 50 Photo Icons: The Story Behind The Pictures.

Front of book features Alfred Eisenstaedt, 'A Stolen Kiss'

Front of book features Alfred Eisenstaedt, ‘A Stolen Kiss’

The book presents us with in-depth descriptions behind some of the most well known photographs. It concentrates on the most important pictures that have been taken throughout history.

As I have been taught, during my degree, photographs have an interesting way of shaping and sometimes developing the way in which we see the world.

Each chapter focused on a different image, most of which I had seen before, but the book allowed me to view some of the photographs in a different light, due to the description and analyses that accompanied each image. The author uses aesthetic, historical and artistic contexts as a way of delving deeper to reveal the true power behind the image at the time it was taken.

Naturally, the book begins with the very first permanent photographs by Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre. In 1827 Niepce produced an eight-hour-exposure of a rooftop and in 1839 Daguerre became famous for his street scene.

Nicephore Niepce, 'View from the Study Window' (1827)

Nicephore Niepce, ‘View from the Study Window’ (1827)

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, 'Boulveard du Temple' (1838)

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, ‘Boulveard du Temple’ (1838)

The book then continues its journey throughout history, stopping at very significant landmarks such as the avant-garde photography in the 1920s, Robert Capa’s ‘The Fallen Solider’ (1936), Alfred Eisenstaedt, ‘A Stolen Kiss’ (1945),  to more recent images by Martin Parr.

Robert Capa, Falling Solider' (1936)

Robert Capa, Falling Solider’ (1936)

Martin Parr, 'A Temple in the Viewfinder' (1991)

Martin Parr, ‘A Temple in the Viewfinder’ (1991)

I absolutely love this book and I cannot wait to have my own house so that I can proudly display all my photography books on a shelf in my lounge or study (at the moment they are stuffed on top of my bookcase because they are too big to fit on the shelves).

I am currently saving for my next purchase, ‘the eye of eisendstaedt’ which features the work of Alfred Eisenstaedt.

NaBloPoMo: Photographers

When I find a new photographers that work inspires me, it makes me happy.

I love discovering someone that provides new ideas that I can test out or envy.

I recently discovered a collaboration between Michael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse.

They produced large rectangle light boxes that featured lots of small photographs of people’s televisions, doors and windows in the iconic 54 story ponte city residential tower in Johannesburg.

It was an interesting way of displaying unusual details of the lives of the people who lived in the tower. I would love to one day carry out a project similar to this as I enjoy taking pictures of mundane objects that give an insight into the lives of others.

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Doors, ponte city, 2009

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Windows, ponte city 2009

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Photographer Angelo Merendino; The Battle We Didn’t Choose

As I scrolled down Facebook, aimlessly reading some of the status’s from my friends, I stumbled upon a link to an article written about photographer Angelo Merendino.

The title of the article read, ‘This guy’s wife got cancer, so he did something unforgetable. The last three photos destroyed me.’ With a heading like that I found difficult to ignore.

I clicked on the link and scrolled down the page looking at these heartbreaking photographs of Angelo Merendino wife’s battle with cancer.

The black and white tones bring out the sadness and hardship that possess the images. The love this man felt for his wife is demonstrated in the candid shots of them both together.

The simplicity of capturing a few pieces of hair in somebody’s hand speaks volumes, demonstrating one of the devastating effects cancer brings with it.

I had to share these incredible, yet tragic photographs. In the face of such sadness, Angelo Merendino has set up an organisation called The Love You Share which aims to help women with the costing struggles of breast cancer. In order to help spread the word, please share this post or one’s like it and visit Angelo Merendino website.

Here you can find the full set of photographs that tell the story of Angelo and Jennifer’s love and her battle with the horrible disease.

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“Love every morsel of the people in your life.” – Jennifer Merendino

NaBloPoMo: Photography

I have decided to try and blog once a day as part of the National Blog Posting Month challenge.

I hope it will encourage me to regularly update my blog with new content, rather than leave it from week to week, like I do at the moment.

Whilst I was at camp lots of the staff started a happy book. The idea behind it revolves around finding out what makes other people happy. The owner of the happy book goes round to all their friends and gets them to write as many things as they can think of that makes them feel happy.

I thought it was a lovely idea and a great way to get to know someone. When I read some of the entries I found out new and interesting things about my friends that I did not know. Most of the things were silly and insignificant but it still allowed you to understand that person on a deeper level.

It also helped you relate to each other because you realised that you had more in common with someone than you previously thought.

I have decided to focus the majority of this months posts on what makes me happy and maybe some of you will be able to relate to me.

Were appropriate I will probably post pictures to go along with my posts as one of the things that makes me happy is photography.

I think this is were I will begin…

I really enjoy going to new cities and taking photographs of the people, architecture and interesting things that catch my eye.

A favourite subject of mine is my dad. I just find him interesting. He hasn’t got a stereotypically photogenic face but for some reason I enjoy capturing him in his natural surroundings.

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I also find it a personal victory whenever I am able to catch a great shot of an unusual person I see on the street. Street photography is extremely difficult and I take my hat off to all the street photographers out there.

I guess when I have my camera in my hand I am in my own little world. Wondering around taking pictures of this and that. It is just something I enjoy to do.

Travel: The glitz, glam and golden nugget

The drive to Vegas was long but the scenery was interesting with its large mountains that stood tall either side of the road. It was as though someone had carved through the rock face in order to pave way for the road that we were driving on.

When we arrived in Vegas we had our eyes glued to the strip that ran alongside us. We saw huge buildings with gold facades and hotels that looked like castles, I was very excited.

We pulled up outside the Golden Nugget which was to be our home for the next few days. With little experience as to what to do when you pull up outside a hotel that offers valet parking, we sort of hovered near the entrance whilst one of us went inside to check in. We were then told to give our keys to the man standing outside in a white outfit and to unload our luggage. The entrance to the hotel was magical, this huge fish tank greeted us with all sorts of tropical fish inside. I was impressed and the fear that I usually experience before checking into a new place was not present.

The room was spacious, clean and the beds looked comfy. Even though I was excited to be in Vegas, I could not wait to climb between the white bed sheets and fall asleep on a comfy mattress. Before I could do that we had to go and explore.

We decided to go and look at the hotel facilities so we donned our swimming clothing and headed to the pool. I couldn’t believe our luck as we entered the pool area and I laid eyes on the huge shark tank that had a slide running through it. The first thing I did was head to the three story slide and whizzed down it. On our tight budget I could not believe we had managed to bag ourselves a room at this swanky hotel.

The boys decided to do some more exploring but Siobhan and I felt we hadn’t fully made the most of the hot tub so we mulled around in there for a little longer before retreating to the room to get ready.

All dressed up we went to find something to eat. God only knows how we ended up in a restaurant that had not left the 1970s. The food was very average and the place was filled with old aged pensioners with gambling addictions. Not what I expected from our first night in Vegas. The Downtown strip however, was very glitzy with its loud music and flashing lights.

Siobhan and I watched the boys gamble whilst we drank our drinks. At around 2am we headed to a fast food takeaway, ready to eat some greasy food and call it a night. In the middle of eating we made friends with three Americans who promised to take us to a great place that stayed open until 7am.

All excited we got in a taxi and followed them to where the locals hang outs. When we got there are mouths dropped open as we entered a bar that was about to close. The DJ was persuaded to put some music on and the lights were turned back off. We sat on the chairs and hoped it would get busier. When it didn’t liven up we sat waiting for a suitable time to say we were going home so as not to appear rude, luckily they bailed on us first.

We returned to the room at about 5am and I quickly fell asleep.

The following day I got up and went for breakfast, enjoying some alone time whilst the others slept. As I sat there two men started talking to me, they must have been in there 30s. I discovered that they were here on business and after overhearing part of their previous conversation I new they had wives. This did not stop one of them giving me his number on a napkin and asking me to call him so I could ‘catch a drink’ with him later that night. Needless to say I left the piece of napkin with the number on it on my plate before leaving the restaurant.

I then went and fell asleep on the sun loungers for a good few hours and before I new it, it was time for diner. We ate in the hotel and I ended up watching a film in bed before having an early night. It was a much needed, lazy day.

The following day we planned to take a trip to the Grand Canyon. A lady had told us that it takes three hours to get there so we left at nine in the morning thinking we would arrive around midday. This lady was an idiot! It did not take us three hours, no, it took us five or more hours to reach the gates to the park and then probably about another half an hour to get near the Canyon. When we finally got there, all restless and annoyed, we could not believe our luck because the mist that had rolled in from the east was covering the whole of the Canyon. Feeling like we wanted to commit we couldn’t have been in a better place. Trying to stay calm, we decided to drive a little higher up the road. This was a good decision as we were able, at long last, to see what we had driven all those hours for.

The Grand Canyon certainly lived up to his name and I may be slightly ashamed to admit it but it almost took my breath away. The sheer depth and size of the place was incredible. I have never seen anything like it. I am so glad we persisted with the long drive to see one of the seven wonders of the world.

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A friendly warning, if you go to the Canyon, make sure you wear something warm as it was very windy!

After hours of viewing the Canyon we all piled back into the car just before it started to rain. Josh was very brave as he drove down the windy roads in the pouring rain. By the time we got to the bottom it was dark and visibility was very poor due to the weather. We decided to stop for some dinner at a pizza place and I took over the driving.

After eating we got back on the road and I was driving along at a steady pace when suddenly I saw a ball of fur in the middle of my lane. With nowhere to turn as a lorry sped on past me, I had no other choice but to run over the poor little creature that was in my way. With a sudden bang followed by an incredible smell we all thought something had happened to our tyres. I pulled over and the boys got out to look. I had images of a shredded up tire, just like the ones you regularly see at the side of the road. Luckily we could not see anything wrong so Josh decided to take over the driving and we carried on.

As we got back on the road we could hear a distictive banging sound so we thought it was best to get off the freeway and find somewhere with a little more light so we could have a proper look. We still couldn’t see anything so again we carried on and I was positive I had ran over a skunk which is what was causing the horrendous smell. Getting back on the freeway however proved a little tricky. Josh ended up going the wrong way down a road which attracted the attention of a cop. I could not quite believe it when I saw the blue and red flashing lights in the wing mirror.

We pulled over yet again and the cop came up to the drivers window and asked us what went wrong. Josh explained our story which only led to the officer asking to see his ID and for our entire car to be fully searched whilst we stood at the side of the road in the rain chatting to another cop.

It turns out that we were in one of the biggest and well known areas for drug smuggling and a common story that someone tells, when being pulled over having been smoking weed, is that they have ran over a skunk because it is a similar smell.

We obviously did not have any drugs and I think the officer realised this after chatting to us, so he gave us a souvenir sticker and sent us on our way. We can all laugh about it now but at the time it was just another thing that had gone wrong that day.

After another hour or two we finally made in back to the Golden Nugget and I was able to climb into those lovely bed sheets and fall asleep.

The following day we decided to explore the main Las Vegas strip. We went to the Hard Rock cafe for lunch and Siobhan and I shared a full rack of ribs.

We then wondered through all the different hotels, admiring all the different themes.

The Mandalay had a huge casino floor and an Aquarium inside but unfortunately you had to pay for that.

The Luxor was incredible, with its pyramid shape I really wanted to see what the rooms looked like as they lined the slanted roof.

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New York New York hotel had a huge roller coaster that surrounded the permitter and inside it looked like an Italian market with quaint little shop fronts.

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Late that afternoon we all went back to the hotel and chilled by the pool. That evening we decided to go to a club and I had managed to get us free entry due to a club promoter contacting me on Twitter. The club was called Marque and we later found out, as we were dancing away inside the spectacular club, that you are supposed to pay $90 to get inside.

It had dancers that lined the stage, hot tubs outside that lit up and very expensive drinks. I have never been to a club like it and I don’t think anywhere will ever top the place.

The following day we recovered by the pool in the morning and went to see the White Chapel and the rest of the strip in the evening.

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A highlight of my trip to Vegas would definitely be standing outside the Bellagio hotel watching the fountains dance to music. It was enticing and magical and I wanted to watch it over and over.

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We ate dinner in a place called Serendipity and it just reminded me of the film. We also went inside the Venetian hotel which was had boats floating up and down a river on the second floor.

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The last thing we did in Vegas was watch a very cheesy pirate show in the Treasure Island hotel. It was a great way to end a fabulous trip to such a crazy place.

Travel: Surfers paradise

Our travel destinations always surprised me. It was strange how we managed to create the route considering we had not really planned any of the trip. We didn’t really discuss what route we would take or where we would stay, it sort of just happened the way it did – very disorganised travellers.

The next stop on our marvellous American tour was San Diego. It was approximately two hours drive from LA and we were all very excited to go and see another place. We arrived quite late so didn’t really get to see much of our new destination until the following morning.

The following day was very relaxed. We drove to Ocean Beach and spent the day enjoying the sun, sand and waves. I lay on the sand reading a book and watching the surfers surf the big waves.

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The waves were very powerful and knocked me off my feet on a number of occasions. I envied the regulars gliding above the rolling white horses on their surf boards as we all got wiped out by the relentless herd.

Later in the evening we watched the sunset over Ocean beach pier and saw a seal hovering in the water waiting for the fishermen to throw him some fish. Queue cheesy line…I felt blessed to be able to experience such lovely surroundings.

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For dinner, we found a lively New Zealand bar named Raglan Public House where we ate mini sliders (also known as mini burgers) in the midst of laughing at Josh’s sunburnt face. It was so burnt he had to buy an emergency stock of moisturiser and a bag of ice which he face planted every few seconds.

With an aching stomach from laughing at Josh’s face we returned to our hotel and fell asleep.

The following day we ventured out in the Sin Wagon to another beach called La Jolla Cove. It is pronounced holla, incase you ever ask for directions and nobody knows where you mean.

I think there must have been a surfing competition or event taking place because there were lots of stalls and no parking whatsoever. We drove around for a while before finding a spot a few streets away from the beach. We didn’t stay very long at the main beach because the reason we had decided to check out this particular one was because we were told it contained lots of seals. With no seals in sight we decided to ‘wing it’, yet again and go and find them elsewhere.

Further along the coast, what we believe to still be La Jolla Cove, we managed to find what we came looking for. Sat on a rock, bold as brass, was the biggest, wettest with whiskers the size of my arm, seal you could ever imagine. We turned a corner and saw loads of them swimming in the sea trying to dodge the divers who were brave enough to try swim next to them.

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It was pretty incredible how close the divers could get without being harmed by these slimy creatures.

Once we had, had enough of the seals we left the beach and went to get ready for our final night in San Diego.

We dressed up a little and went in search of some cheap alcohol filled slush puppies. We found the bar that was famous for slushies but it was empty so we decided to go and grab some food and see if it livened up a little later. We ended up in a restaurant called Henry’s bar and I enjoyed a nice pizza with a side of mash potatoe. I was craving normal food and the mash was as close as I could get.

Later in the evening we found another bar and ended up dancing until the early hours before returning to the hotel to sleep.

That concluded our trip to San Diego, next stop VEGAS!

Photography: Camp America project planning, ‘create a rainbow’

Whilst I am in America, I will be teaching children photography and I have therefore had to prepare various projects that I propose to teach them.

The campers range in ages from 7-15 years so I have produced a number of activities that cater for these different age groups. Over the next few weeks I plan on producing examples for the children to look at so they understand what it is they are expected to produce.

Today I carried out the ‘Create a rainbow’ project. This requires each camper to go out and find different things that have the colours of the rainbow. They will need to take photographs of these objects so that when the images are put together they form the colours of a rainbow. What will make this project interesting is the different textures/patterns that will appear on each colour.

Within this exercise the campers will be taught about macro photography and the importance of looking at things differently to see if they can create an interesting photograph by getting close to the subject.

Here is my example:

Rainbow Project Example