Wednesday, 12 September 2007







There are no secrets in photography; you can find EVERYTHING in books, and now on line, on courses...

First the ‘learning’ process, and yes, I still think it is of the utmost priority and necessity that you know the basics about light and photography, after that it only took me years of experimenting in the studio. That’s where the individuality comes in!

When you start out in the beginning, you hit it with everything you've got, like all things in life, hihi, now it is less and less.

Just one spotlight set up in the position so that the light catches the edges and part of the flower... until I'm happy... a black bg.

A BLACK bg has been a 'signature' for over 10 years now when virtually nobody did that, you can see it all through my pf, good to see so many 'enjoy' it.

Just to EXPLAIN how it came about FOR ME?

It stems from my paintings, one day I did a flower border against the black painted bottom of a house in Flanders (used to be very common), for a client.

I moved the idea on from oils on canvas to soft pastels on black, from there to the studio-photography.

I use cutters and flags to shield and play with the light.

Photography can be a creative Art, a way of life and seeing life. For me, it also very often an urge, when I get that feeling, the embryonic idea, then the need to take it further, a passion seems to take over, I can rationalise everything else (except clients) away, without any sense of guilty responsibility, And everything has to ‘wait’ till I have the desired ‘result’!! Mental and emotional nourishment, great satisfaction or enormous frustration at my inability and shortcomings, I don’t always win!

All I can say is experiment, experiment, experiment... the camera, the lens, the exposure are irrelevant because each subject (in this case a flower), the material, circumstances, light source is different. Make it your own!

Have a wonderful day, filled with love and thanx for your visit, M, (*_*)

Included images:

1. Sensual: the petal of a red tulip, just some edge lighting.

2. I made this photo with a giant slinky.

Another eyeteaser, I really had a lot of fun with it, always the child at heart... thankfully.

I love all the vibrant colours in this funky and temperamental 'model', it is 'alive', misbehaved a lot and got entangled quite a few times, oohh give me children and animals any day, tee hee!
Mind your eyes, don't jiggle this about...

3. Oil and vinegar. Glass is one of the most difficult substances to photograph; my challenge is to use the reflections in a positive manner so that they add to the image.

I love using different oils and vinegars in the kitchen, so over the years these glass beauties have now become part of a collection, the first was the 'ball' cruet in front.

4. The painting where the idea originated from, now almost 20 years ago.

5. This is one in a series for an exhibit; the series was called Secret Garden.
No model was harmed during the making of this image.
These are flowers believe it or not, like little lanterns, about the size of a tennis ball. Very prickly.
I've always loved the reflection on the back.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007



2. 2 with water, 1 with sand

3 the way it used to be.

4 The station master with a display of old luggage

5 Engine 30926 leaves.

6 I ran alongside as the steam train was leaving the station..., it made the driver smile,

7 The stoker

8. The stoker's hand, looks like a charcoal drawing...

9. FROM A BRIEF ENCOUNTER, an air of mystery and romance forever linked with that classic A Brief Encounter...
The driver was smoothly reversing the train out of the station,

10. The driver11. Bye, off in smoke.

All in good cheers, I’m writing this with a big smile.
PHOTOGRAPHY comes from the classical Greek
Grafein=to write, to paint.

1: the act of taking and printing photographs.
2: the process of producing images of objects on photosensitive surfaces.
3: the occupation of taking and printing photographs or making movies. (

Like everything else, you need the tools of the trade…
Camera, light and ACTION!
Note I wrote camera, no distinction, it is my firm conviction that it is the person using the tools that is responsible for the result.

So that whole squabble and debate about film/digital, I WILL NOT EVEN GO INTO THAT NOW! Because it is irrelevant, just like the whole 'debate about brands', Canon versus Nikon, how silly.... I have and still do use both, often. Oke, digital is winning, but I still think that film has a 'natural' moody (colour/grain) quality that you have to 'put in' digital? Digital has other qualities, but that is really for another blog.

My camera HAS to be me my partner, I must love it straight away, I must love the feel of it immediately, we are going to work and have fun together, I must be able to rely on it, make it give me the results I have in my minds eye, my creative brain!

Give me any camera and I’ll do you the job, that’s a fact not a boast, been there, worn the T-shirt, bla-bla-bla!
Personally, far more important, a good portrait depends on my ability to communicate with the subject, my rapport. No matter the person, age, country, religion or any other circumstances, the success rests on how I approach the situation, the light and most importantly, my state of mind. Surprised? You shouldn't be!
The Greek have a lovely word: logiki... people sense the mood you are in and will respond accordingly.

It does not come easy to me, because I’m a shy person.
If I can put them at ease, often simply by empathizing about the fact that I do understand, because I also do not like to be photographed, relax them, often by explaining what is going on, why a specific light or lens, they get interested and into it. Be strong but not overpowering, be kind and understanding but keep that gentle strength (and when it is a NO, ACCEPT IT! Nothing can work in such a situation).
You always have the hopeless ones (like, for example, hihi, photographers, radio-people, now I know why they are just a voice!!), but the TV-people are difficult in a different way, as soon as they sense the lens, they give you the ’stereo-type, standard' smile, which is also not what I want.
Often on sites, portraits are less appreciated; I think most people are scared? On the other hand on the website it is by far the MOST VIEWED section!

I had a comment once;
“I usually don't click on portraits because I don't know much about them (but I hope to someday). But this is a classic that gives me lots of ideas on how to do them!”
Someone else wrote:
“And Magda is a professional with many years experience. Most of us amateurs (enthusiasts=the new title recently) are still learning and finding our feet.”

Do you think I’ve stopped learning? I probably work harder at it than most, trying out different, new light settings and techniques.
You must all realize that, like in everything else, there’s also an ever changing TREND.
You only have to look at the family/school/wedding portrait of 50-20 years ago!!!!!!!!
I say it time and time again, there are no secrets!

I upload some images of portraits I took last Saturday! The steam train was late, I'd been told: 'no luv, not t'day anymore'. I photographed some details at the old station, I heard the whistle, Had to run all the way back. By the time I got to the driver and stoker, they were about to reverse away, I was able to 'establish' a quick rapport (often people get a fright when they hear I have a foreign accent, which is an additional obstacle, some freeze!), give them a card so I'd be able to send them some prints, took some portraits, ran alongside, a few more... It was over, right out of A Brief Encounter.

Enjoy your photography, make good use of, play and paint with light, in your FREE photography take images ONLY for YOU, overcome barriers if you have to...if you can...
Thanx, M, (*_*)