Photography for Africa: the Bulembu Calendar

This February I travelled to Swaziland after filming in Rwanda. I was on assignment with the Teldon Community Foundation, photographing the town of Bulembu. A former mining town, Bulembu is now being transformed into a centre of job-creation, commerce and orphan care.

The images were destined for a fundraising calendar, which you can now get your hands on here. The final product is excellent, and I’m excited to see the photographs used for a good cause. Head to Bulembu.org for more info and to purchase your copy of the calendar. 100% of the purchase goes to Bulembu Compassion.

{{ Check my Bulembu Archives for more posts & photos from the trip. }}

Gallery: RED on Set

RED on Set

This week I’ve been working with Martin Wood and David Geddes on the set of Sanctuary, SciFi network’s latest TV show. Our new company, Inspired Cinema, is providing the complete camera & support package, as well as a data management cart (nicknamed Winivision, after the guy who operates the cart). I’m on set for the first few weeks providing workflow support. I haven’t had much time to take pictures, but here’s a few from the last couple days of shooting (click the pic to view).

Gallery – 2002: First Shots

Exit Sign

Over the last few weeks I’ve been scanning in old film negs… a fun reminisce for me, relationally and photographically. I started with a Pentax point & shoot and Costco bulk film. Then along came my first SLR, a Canon Elan II. Soon after I started shooting on professional film (Fuji NPC) and using a better lab. Can you spot which is which, and where things changed? Have a look: “2002: First Shots

Photo Neg – Branches

Trees neg scan

I’m finally getting around to scanning the pile of negs & slides sitting beside my desk. (I’ve been wanting to do this since… well, for-freakin-ever.) Some of this stuff goes waaaaay back, before I even considered myself a photographer. It’s fun to look through… see where I’ve come from, where my visual side got its start.

Photo Essay – The Bulembu Story

Bulembu Cableway

Bulembu went from a sleepy hollow of Swazi homesteads to a major mining operation – producing one-third of Swaziland’s GDP – to a near-ghost town in the space of several decades. Now it’s in the midst of another transformation. To tell the story, I’ve put together a photo essay from my recent assignment: “The Bulembu Story” (There are a few dozen photos, so it may take a minute or two to load).

Gallery – Portraits of Bulembu

Maria Portrait

My recent assignment in Swaziland was a 2009 calendar on Bulembu. The concept was to photograph people involved in transformation, telling their story in a single frame. I approached this primarily through wide-angle portraits of the characters in context, attempting to include hints of past, present, and future as much as possible. I made extensive use of my new lighting rig to control tone and contrast.

Click the image to view a few selects from my portraits in Bulembu.

N.B. I’ll be posting a photo essay about the town after I get back from some R&R on the mountain this weekend.

Wallpaper – Bulembu Moonrise

I took this photo a few nights ago, waiting for dinner out on the lodge porch. The clouds were billowing over a nearby hillside. When the crescent moon began to peek over the horizon, I grabbed my camera, tripod and telephoto and snapped this long exposure. I’ve created it as a wallpaper for you to enjoy (right-click to save): Bulembu Moonrise Wallpaper