A New Project

I enjoy taking photos, playing around with camera settings and experimenting with composition, lighting and different subjects. I’m mostly self-taught and while my technical understanding of the basics is not too bad, I still need a lot of practice. On top of that, I would definitely not call myself an artist.

I always wanted to take photography more seriously, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on new equipment that’s only occasionally used. I did a fair bit of research (and drooling) into DSLRs and lenses, but just couldn’t get myself to fork out money for even an entry level model.

In recent years, as I tried to experiment more, I got increasingly frustrated with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5. It served me well for many years, but things like high noise levels, bad low light performance and limited ability to change settings was getting on my nerves. Then, in early October 2011, I was walking around in Amsterdam when my battery drained faster than usual. I tried unsuccessfully to find a replacement battery. I was quite unhappy about the situation and to make things worse, I missed the last tour of the day at the Heineken museum by 5 minutes. Life can be cruel. The next day, on my way back to South Africa, I found a good deal on a Nikon D5100 at an electronics shop in the airport. After years of research, desire and dithering, I finally bought my first DSLR on an impulse. Typical.

October 2011 was also when I started Actualiser, my new business. The setup and initial work engagements  kept be busy. Off course, being busy is often not a good excuse, but its the one I’m abusing today. Sadly, during those initial months I only occasionally made the effort to go out to do some shooting. The sessions I had was very enjoyable, but I wanted more.

About two months ago I bought a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS lens and a Nikon Speedlight SB-700 flashgun. The new lens is much better than the kit lens and I can certainly see myself having a lot of  fun playing with lighting. I’m still learning the ropes though.

Recently, a friend that’s in the market for a new camera, started playing with the D5100. She liked playing with the built-in “miniaturisation” effect. That lead me to do some reading on tilt-shift photography and the dirty sounding Scheimpflug principle. Along the way I did some research on the LensBaby system. It looked like a pretty sweet toy. I especially liked the adaptability  and the affordability of the system. I ended up buying the LensBaby Composer Pro body with the 50mm Double Glass OpticsWide Angle (0.6X) and Telephoto (1.6) Converters, Macro (x4 and x10) Converters  and the Creative Aperture Kit.

Ok, that was a somewhat long story to get to the point. With all the equipment that I now own, it will be a sin not to use it. So I decided to start a project, a sort of self study course, as encouragement to take more photos, learn more, experiment more and maybe commit some art along the way.

Circadian is based on the “photo-a-day” concept. I commit to post at least one photo a day for the next year. Off course, if this hobby becomes more serious, and if I actually take more photos, I can much easier justify spending money on better and more equipment :)

So, lets start this. Here is Circadian’s first photo. May there be many more!

Taken at the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens.


  • Nikon D5100
  • LensBaby Composer Pro with 50mm Double Glass Optics and x4 Macro Converter
  • Manual Focus
  • f/2.8
  • ISO 400
  • 1/60

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