She was my mom and I could not be more proud to be her daughter. I will always miss her. I really would have liked to have had her wisdom and her laughter around me for a lot longer. Don't feel sorry for me though. I feel really grateful to have had her for the time I did.
I love you mom, always. Rest in Peace.
- Listening to: Nat King Cole - Rambling Rose
- Reading: Agatha Christie
- Watching: Monk
- Drinking: Tea
It's little awkward for me to say since I'm such a private, shy person but everyone's been so sweet and supportive here since I joined that I don't want to just ignore the long absences that have happened recently and will probably continue.
So.. I'll just say it.. My mom has been sick for a long time. We're not really sure what it is, but she does seem to be getting better slowly but surely now. I feel so sorry for her because she's this amazing, strong woman who's not used to asking for help at all. She's incredibly proud. Now I'm doing almost all of the stuff she used to do, except badly, and she can't stop wanting to help me even when she can't. My house is kind of a mess right now. I'd say "fire the maid!" but I'm the maid.
It's just been weird and confusing and more than a little scary. I have a so much more responsibility than I'm really used to and I've just been trying to keep afloat. I don't know how she used to do it all. She was a single mother and worked full time. I work from home part-time and I'm doing half of what she did. She's definitely secretly a superhero.
I'm just so relieved that she's on the mend now. Things are looking up! I'll try to post a painting I've been doing soon and I'll try to go on DA more, but I'll still need a whole lot of patience from you all. I love it here but it's kinda hard to really go on here for now.
See you soon again (hopefully),
- Listening to: Dodie Clark - 6/10
How long have you been on DeviantArt? It's going to be two years in a week.
What does your username mean? Well, I'm South African and my name is Amber, so "African-Amber". Ja, it was kinda lazy naming on my part.
Describe yourself in three words. Lazy, Crazy and Adorkable.
Are you left or right handed? I favour my right-hand, but I'm actually ambidextrous(One of the advantages of Dyslexia)
What is your favourite type of art to create? Realistic I suppose. I just do whatever pops into my head. I like rainbows.
What type of art do you tend to favourite the most? It depends on how I'm feeling that day. Mostly Traditional paintings and photography though. I go through phases.
Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist? Oh wow. I have so many and I find more all the time. I can't choose just one. These are the ones I can think of right now
I love R3dFangz sense of humour. Her drawings are wicked and when I see how much her art is getting even more awesome every time I see it, it makes me want to work harder at my art.
VelvetRedBullet makes so many awesome and amazingly creative photos. Looking through her gallery is like looking through stills from the weirdest Victorian dream you'll ever have.
Ubhejane takes amazing shots of animals. His understanding of the animals comes through in his photos, making for some really beautiful and often funny portraits.
IntelligentZombie is an amazing wordsmith. With the awesomeness of her stories, I'm half convinced she's a sorcerer. I know for a fact her questionnaire will be so much better than mine.
If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be? Hmmm. To be honest, I'm kinda a hermit so meeting someone irl is not something I'd really want to do. Scary new peoples
That being said is not only really great but he makes me laugh everytime I talk him. And I love to see the great marcobusoni work.
How has a fellow deviant impacted your life? Barbarian-J kept me working on my art even when I was pretty unmotivated. He makes me try harder and is kinda like my digital sensei.
What are your preferred tools to create art? Paint brushes and Acrylic paint, pencils, my Camera. Depending on what kind of art I feel like doing really.
What is the most inspirational place for you to create art? I get the ideas from everywhere really. It can be a movie or a thing that happened to me. Sometimes it's something someone's said to me and sometimes it crashes through my head while I'm doing something completely unrelated. After I have the picture in my head, I work on it the spare room of my house.
What is your favourite DeviantArt memory? I guess it would be the projecteducate Live Chat challenge I took part in. Even though it was pretty late for me, I loved chatting and drawing with all the other artists. And the ridiculous theme suggestions were so funny. Banana Mad scientist anyone?
I also love when I suggest a DD and it actually gets one. I don't suggest a lot but when I do and it works. . .
- Listening to: Hit the road Jack - Ray Charles
- Watching: Side Effects (Youtube series)
Feature: Little Worlds
The inquisitor by MadameStrawberryNite
Once When I was Little By JasemineDenise An October Rose By adarkerpurpose
The water is where I belong By DFausto
Little Mr. D by adarkerpurpose It's a Big World by lucyforbidden
Frosty Morning Winter by anastasiya-landa
My 9 tips for photographing kids
I'm not a professional photographer but about twice a year, every year, for the past three years I've been hired by a nursery school to take photos for their yearbook and website. It started back when I worked there as an assistant. They seem really happy with the photographs I take and often sell them to the parents. I decided I'd just share what I've learnt from this experience.. You might know some of these, and some of these might be wrong, it's my personal experience with it.
1. Get down to their level. This is harder than standing and taking photos. It's hard on your legs and your jeans., but it's really worth it. Photos taken at eye-level to the kid feel so much more personal and just plain cute. Plus often if they're wearing a hat ,this is the only way you'll see their face.
2. Focus on their eyes. As the saying goes "the eyes are the window to the soul". Their eyes usually show the most about the child's personality and thoughts and that's really what people want out of photos of their kids.
3. You can also use a smaller aperture, like F5.6, or put your camera on sport mode to block out all the noise and craziness that goes on around the kids. Also kids move so fast, the fast shutter-speed or sport mode will help reduce any blur. Taking lots of photos will make sure you get the shot even if the child suddenly moved or blinked.
4. Work with the teachers. It's a good idea to be introduced by the teacher to them in the morning. She/He can just say, "This is Amber, she's going to be taking photos of you today." It allows them to know you're not just some random stranger taking photos. A lot of a little kid's life just happens to them, that's why I think they like to know things in advance so that they can get used to it. The teachers often know that they'll be doing an extra cute art project or that the kids are going swimming later, so ask them for suggestion(when they're not too busy). The teachers' job is hard: avoid becoming a nuisance by making sure they know they can kick you out whenever they need to. Try to avoid being a distraction to the kids when they're doing actual school work. You are something new and interesting which means they'll want to stare at you instead of the teacher. Be quiet and turn off all your camera's beeping noises especially when in class.
5. Candid shots are your friend. Avoid really posing the kids unless you have no choice . Sometimes I don't had a choice and I have to get the kids to pose because the parents specifically requested a photo like that but, most of the time, my best shots come about just by watching the kids being kids and taking shots like a sneaky ninja while they play. A zoom lens works best for sneaky ninja work. I use a 55-250mm lens). It doesn't have to be that long distance but you should be able to stand a little way back from all the action.
6. That being said. let kids pose if they want to. Often kids will come up to me and tell me to take a photo of them with their best friend or with them jumping off the balancing beam or even them braiding the teacher's hair. I find the best backgrounds comes from playful areas - like brightly coloured jungle-gyms or rainbows-coloured tubes. If you're going to pose them, you should look around for somewhere fun or pretty for them to be.
7. If kids want to see the photos you took of them: Make sure the lens cap is on, you are wearing your camera strap and you have a firm grip of your camera. This should stop any accidents from happening (like the sticky finger print that happened to appear on my lens once).
While we're on the subject of sticky fingers, Make sure you bring your lens cleaning kit and charger/extra battery, this has saved me more than once.
8. Be nice and remember kids are kids. Treating kids like you would've wanted to be treated really goes a long way to a happy little kiddie. Be friendly but don't expect anything from them. Don't expect them to be little obedient, well-behaved kids. Kids are usually sweet and cute but they're not always and will probably not listen to you if you try to boss them around too much. People pick-up on your emotions so just relax and have fun and the kids will most often follow your lead. kids are fun.
9. Finally, The most important thing I can tell you is to take a photo that allows you to see into their little world. Kids make their little places in the world everyday. You want to take a photo that gives an idea of their experiences or what it was like to be them in that moment. Maybe it's taking a photo of them concentrating on drawing or learning to write their name or maybe sitting under the jungle-gym and giggling with their friend while playing hide and seek. It could be a photo of them talking to their teacher or even just looking at something they found on the ground. You find these little stories by looking at the kids. Find the story you want to tell and then all you have to do is point and shoot.
It's not hard to get a cute photo a child because children are also very cute.
- Listening to: Heavenly Sent - MiCasa
- Playing: Portal
- Listening to: Goldfish - Take back tomorrow
- Reading: A Song of Fire and Ice: A Game of Thrones
I decided I'd feature the first five artists that I talked to. The artists were so friendly and helpful while also being amazingly talented. They really made me feel welcome on DA and I loved it here ever since. I put the first deviations I faved first and then more recent work that I loved from the artist next to it.
Thanks for being so awesome!
- Listening to: London Grammar - Strong
being Flowers and Plants the theme. After some time (quite some time)
of judging all the entries (132!), We let you know the photos awarded and the runner-ups.
1. First place
"My own miracle" by IndigoSummerr
2. Second place
3. Third place
Congratulations to all the winners! Well deserved guys!
I actually got the idea from 's contest fav.me/d7gmb4d. While I am a little too late for the contest, I thought it was a nice idea anyway.
Now the problem comes in with what to do? So I figured I'd ask you guys what you'd like. It can be a photo or a drawing or a fanart or maybe just a feature with your favourite work (or my favourite work of yours. It's a good thing I have so few or that one might be a problem. Just stick a suggestion of what you'd want in the comments.
In other news: I haven't given up on the 365 challenge, but right now I'm losing. I've been skipping days I'm really bad at it. Anywho, when I get the time, I'll upload the photos I have taken. It's just been really crazy around here.
P.S. If you're not a premium member, check out this awesome tutorial on how to make your page pretty: fav.me/d7dww77
- Listening to: Lefties Soul Connection - Sling Shot
- Eating: Chicken Pie
This March CRPhotography has held the second edition of the Monthly Contest, the theme being Still Life.
1. First place
"A Trip to Fantasy" by IndigoSummerr,
in the category Still Life / Other.
2. Second place
in the category Still Life / Dolls and figures.
3. Third place
in the category Still Life / Food and Drink.
And also: Lost at Sea
Congratulations to all the winners!
- Listening to: Lucy Spraggan - Last Night(beer fear)
- Listening to: Passenger - Holes
- Listening to: Adele - Make You Feel My Love
- Listening to: Whitney Houston - I wanna dance with somebody
- Watching: The Mandela Memorial at Soccer city