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I'm so sorry about how little I've been on here. It's been three months or so and I think I owe you guys an explanation as to why I ghosted you.

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),
Heart  Amber
  • Listening to: Dodie Clark - 6/10

  1. How long have you been on DeviantArt? It's going to be two years in a week.

  2. 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. Sweating a little... 

  3. Describe yourself in three words. Lazy, Crazy and Adorkable. 

  4. Are you left or right handed? I favour my right-hand, but I'm actually ambidextrous(One of the advantages of Dyslexia) 

  5. What was your first deviation? This one.   Flames by African-Amber 

  6. What is your favourite type of art to create? Realistic I suppose. I just do whatever pops into my head. I like rainbows.

  7. If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be? I'd love to know how to play the guitar.-Rock on- 

  8. What was your first favourite?  Pastel Pearls by Thelma1 ooh rainbows.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. Hide Under Rock  Scary new peoples
    That being said :icongorachi-ii: is not only really great but he makes me laugh everytime I talk him. And I love to see the great marcobusoni work.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. . .:chairdance: 

  • Listening to: Hit the road Jack - Ray Charles
  • Watching: Side Effects (Youtube series)
I don't whether it's Witchcraft or Alien technology that these shots were made with,
but they're all taken as a single exposure and not digitally edited in anyway. 

The Boundaries of the Universe by Golden-Pegasus     I make magic, catching rainbows in my hands by The-Cute-Storm

Spring on Acid |121 sec by zhenyab

From the Inside | 338 sec by zhenyab

Icy by AlejandroNavarrete

Fiery Sky by mizzspidey

Basement 5.0 by CzarcasticRemarx    Fun With Steel Wool 3.0 by CzarcasticRemarx

     donut bokeh by hypertech

  • Listening to: Hit the road Jack - Ray Charles
  • Watching: Side Effects (Youtube series)

Little Worlds and Tips for photographing kids

Journal Entry: Sat Feb 28, 2015, 6:47 AM

Feature: Little Worlds

The Inquisitor by MadameStrawberryNite
The inquisitor by  MadameStrawberryNite 

Once When I Was Little by JasemineDenise     An October Rose by adarkerpurpose 
         Once When I was Little By 
JasemineDenise                       An October Rose By adarkerpurpose

  The water is where I belong by DFausto    
The water is where I belong By DFausto

Little Mr.D -6 by adarkerpurpose          It's a Big World by lucyforbidden
Little Mr. D by adarkerpurpose                                         It's a Big World by lucyforbidden

Frosty morning. winter_4 by anastasiya-landa
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. 

4Work 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.

Happy Snapping! 

South Africa, My Home

Journal Entry: Sun Feb 8, 2015, 6:02 AM
Johannesburg from high view 2 by designerlizard

Sunset over Signal Hill by AfricanObserver   Open Space Panorama by cnrd

Here It Comes by Suds344

Blue II by Rudis1261   Cape - Robberg Peninsula by Ubhejane

Sunset, South Africa by InVince9

Spring 2013 08 by RGDart   Giraffe - African Wildlife - Silhouette of Color by LivingWild

Johannesburg-city of gold by Jonowood

Sunflowers at Dawn by vanecka Boulders by Gerjen

This Journal Skin was designed by Night-Beast
  • Listening to: Matthew Mole - You and Your Crown


Sydney NYE I by ProcyonA

"When the stars threw down their spears 
    And water'd heaven with their tears "

 -From The Tyger by William Blake

You're a firework by naked-in-the-rain

Happy New Year 2015 by Burtn

Blooming Gold by Kaeley

Happy 2015 by Stariva

New Year's Eve by absolemus

  • Listening to: Masquerade - Phantom of the Opera
Be one of the first 18 people commenting on this journal entry, and I will add you to the Featured List!.

 For each of the 18 first people answering this journal I will put their avatar and the three deviations I like most from their gallery on the list.


1. :iconfive-pm:five-pm
to a T by five-pm  Swing, Swing by five-pm  Smoth as Jazz by five-pm  
  • Listening to: Heavenly Sent - MiCasa
  • Playing: Portal
Pencil HugI recently fell in love with coloured pencils.Cutie In-Love - NaNoEmo14 Day 14 

rainbow vans by HannahLouCatherine feathers by HannahLouCatherine 
pencils by HannahLouCatherine

a divider by ucurmi

:iconelinkalo: elinkalo

Beta Fish by elinkalo

Parrot Heart by elinkalo When the Darkness Come by elinkalo

a divider by ucurmi

... and here's a hedgehog riding a tortoise 
 Go-go! by Alena-Koshkar
Go-go! by Alena-Koshkar

Bullet; Blue Best Wishes.Bullet; Blue 

  • Listening to: Heavenly Sent - MiCasa
  • Playing: Portal
Hi! I'm looking for something new to listen while I paint to so please comment with the names of some songs or artists you really like. I have some really weird tastes in music, so don't worry if you don't think I'll like it. Just comment!

Thank you. Jammin' 
  • Listening to: Goldfish - Take back tomorrow
  • Reading: A Song of Fire and Ice: A Game of Thrones
Er.. I know a little late to the party - about a month or so Sweating a little...- buuut I wanted to celebrate it anyway.
  Happy birthday 14th DA!  Blower fella (Party) 
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.

Pastel Pearls by Thelma1  Secret Signs by Thelma1 Rainbow Bicycle. by Thelma1
By :iconthelma1: Thelma1 (Gaze at her awesome rainbowness!)

2013040 by Zwitch1122  14008 by Zwitch1122  14006 by Zwitch1122
By :iconzwitch1122: Zwitch1122

 Lynx and squirrel by EsthervanHulsen   Cat Portrait 2 by EsthervanHulsen  Idas World by EsthervanHulsen  
By :iconesthervanhulsen: EsthervanHulsen

St. Peter's Basilica Dome CE by R4p70r Ponte Vecchio by R4p70r Forum Romanum by R4p70r
By :iconr4p70r: R4p70r 

A solas by ElenaDudina  Mermaid's cave by ElenaDudina  Rebirth on fire by ElenaDudina 
By :iconelenadudina: ElenaDudina 

Thanks for being so awesome!

  • Listening to: London Grammar - Strong
Finally spring is here in South Africa partay - NaNoEmo - day 3 So I decided to celebrate with a feature of some beautiful Spring photos.


  I Love Spring

By Colololor 

New Life by Amoeba777          the longest winter. by ofthestarrs
By Amoeba777                                            By ofthestarrs 
But Mom! - Manning Park 5 by WildernessMan
By WildernessMan 

By jyoujo 

Meadows of Crocusses by DuchesseOfDusk    188 by Aura-2
By DuchesseOfDusk                                       By Aura-2 

Spring in Idaho by BaiMilPhotography
By BaiMilPhotography

Hello everyone! 
This May CRPhotography held the third edition of the Monthly Contest
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.
There were a lot of good entries, so it hasn't been an easy choice to make... 
Thanks to all the 132 participants, it's been a completely success!

1. First place

My own miracle. by IndigoSummerr
"My own miracle" by IndigoSummerr

2. Second place 

Pure Dreams 04 by GregorKerle

"Pure Dreams" by GregorKerle 

3. Third place

Singled out by TriinErg
"Singled out" by TriinErg


 bloody Red by syinthetic Tender by JuliGrey Cliche love song. by OliviaMichalski
Gloomy Sunday by augenweide 

Congratulations to all the winners! 
Well deserved guys!

   Purple Rose Divider by AngelicHellraiser:iconcutevioletplz: Purple Rose Divider by AngelicHellraiser

I want to do a little something to thank my watchers(you guys Wink/Razz ) for all the support, even though I'm really bad at uploading stuff.
I actually got the idea from :iconprojecteducate:'s contest 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:D (Big Grin). 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 Sweating a little... 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. :iconimdeadplz:

P.S. If you're not a premium member, check out this awesome tutorial on how to make your page pretty:

  • Listening to: Lefties Soul Connection - Sling Shot
  • Eating: Chicken Pie
Hello everyone! 

This March CRPhotography has held the second edition of the Monthly Contestthe theme being Still Life.


1. First place

A Trip to Fantasy. by IndigoSummerr
"A Trip to Fantasy" by IndigoSummerr,
in the category Still Life / Other.

2. Second place

Rescue Mission by ZahirBatin

"Rescue Mission" by ZahirBatin,
in the category Still Life / Dolls and figures.

3. Third place

Golden Hour Lemonade by thedaydreaminggirl
"Golden hour Lemonade" by thedaydreaminggirl,
in the category Still Life / Food and Drink.


Closed inside by DianaVVolf An Old Fairy Tale by mushuni
Smile at the Cafe by FlabnBone Our time by FrancescaDelfino Natural delight by ilNeofita
And also: Lost at Sea

Congratulations to all the winners! 

You can see the rest of the entries here:…

  • Listening to: Lucy Spraggan - Last Night(beer fear)
  • Listening to: Passenger - Holes
Time flies when you're having fun. I was truly shocked when I got a little message yesterday saying that I've been a deviant for six months. I really should have done something to celebrate.
Maybe next time Wink/Razz 

  • Listening to: Adele - Make You Feel My Love
I've never had a boyfriend on Valentine's day and yet I love the day. It's all about having the courage to love and to support love, no matter who tries to stop you. The legend of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. I'm not sure if that's historical fact but just the idea of a guy willing to stand up to an entire government is really brave. He was willing to risk jail(or worse) so that someone else could love, it wasn't even for himself.

So here's to having the courage to stand up for love. Cheers!

True Love by African-Amber
Starting Saturday drawing classes. Yay! :happybounce: 
I'm finally getting some proper lessons and I'm learning so much already. It's a lot easier learning how to draw when you have a good teacher.
  • Listening to: Whitney Houston - I wanna dance with somebody
Some soundtracks make anything seem epic. I really believe Hans Zimmer is a musical magician. Amazing.

  • Listening to: Hans Zimmer Soundtrack Compilation - Part 2
Goodbye to Former President Nelson Mandela, the father of the nation. A man I will always be grateful to. Through him, this nation began with forgiveness instead of tearing each other apart. Rest in Peace Tata Madiba, you were and always will be loved.

He once said,"I am not a saintunless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying."
He certainly was a very good and inspiring man and will continue to be remembered forever.

When I was about six-years-old, I saw a photo of Nelson Mandela for the first time and I had no idea why everyone seemed to think it was a big deal that he was president. He always made me think of Santa Claus. It was probably the kindness and humour in his eyes I was seeing. You see, I was brought up not to see race. The closest I got to it was being jealous of my best friend in Grade 2 because she didn't get sun-burnt as fast as I did and she had super curly hair (which I thought was way cooler than my fly-away hair). As I grew older I learnt more about our past and racism, but I was always grateful that I could grow up not having to always be careful or look back at the past. Our country isn't completely free from it, but I think most people are working towards a better South Africa. We remember our past but we're not stuck in it, thanks to Madiba. He was so good, kind and forgiving that we trusted him. And because we trusted him, we started to trust one another.

  • Watching: The Mandela Memorial at Soccer city
  • Listening to: Donovan - Season of the Witch
  • Watching: Random Youtube videos
It's amazing how many artists will help you if you ask them. I love looking at art on DA and when I find something amazing that I have no idea how the artist did it, I always ask them. I've only been here for a couple of weeks, but I've never found someone who completely ignored the question or who said, :rage: "No this my super secret technique!"

These guys are so talented and they don't mind taking some time out from creating awesomeness to teach me, a random person on the internet, some of their awesomeness. I'm learning so much from everyone and I feel so grateful for all the help and support from them  :dalove:

Amber :wave: