Put intention on your photos

Put intention on your photos. You can travel  with full awareness of where you are going,  or you can travel and do photography in a naif way, without doing any research about the places you will visit, ignoring traditions and history of the country, and without a clue on what the local horse and dog breeds should look like

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Young lady riding a Sanfratellano horse, local endangered breed, in the Sicilian mountains

As easy as that. Awareness. Easy to find online LOTS of information about just anything, in English, so if you can read English, there is no excuse for traveling  unprepared.

Trips should be prepared and the itinerary should NEVER be a surprise when you get there, as that would put you in a “disavantaged” situation, because you won’t understand what you are looking at, and I don’t mean monuments, I mean the local CULTURE. That is the main reason why I keep a Facebook group for the people traveling with me. The more you know about the places, the people and the animals at a new place, the easier for you to get positively inspired.

You can very easily find in the movies, books, music and local art the input to get better results while shooting, and a stimulus for even more creativity when post processing your images.

I always encourage people who travel with me to read a few books or watch some videos before the photo-trip, and I do that many months before the actual event, as it is something very important to do with plenty of time and a relaxed mind.  Most of the times the movies suggest you the “mood”,  and books give you the knowledge.

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Little boy in Sicily

Show people around you that you care, when you travel. You will get more willing “models” and a happier human environment, if you do. Show people that you cared so much that you took the time to learn a couple of important words, just two, like “thanks” and “please.

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A Sicilian goat “Girgentana”, local breed. Researchers believe it descends from the taken to Sicily by the Greek about 700 BC, or in the eighth century AD by Arab invaders.

Don’t you feel like a colonizer, but vice versa, let your open mind be colonized by the traditions, the music and the local gastronomy, at least while you are there. You will then get amazing photos, photos that have a meaning, not just touristic snaps to show that you were there. Put intention on your photos.

 

 

 

 

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The more I edit the more my desire grows, by Margreet Schouren

Beautiy in man

 

There are still many places in the world I would love to visit, explore & feel.

I am so grateful for the life I have the talent I got and the help I got, of the best in the world, to expand my talent.
Being able to feed my family with that talent makes me humble.

As a tourist there are many places we could visit observe like an outsider, lovely safe relaxing.
My job gives me the opportunity to skip the superficial conversations go strait to the centre of the subject, that is what I love about my job,it feeds my hunger for information. I believe knowledge is the first step to truly understand what is going on in the world.

The “On Focus” approach is even one step ahead on that, by traveling a part of the world like we do it, long days, travel many miles, pressure on delivering stuf not just look at a situation, welcomed in the life of the people who love and live in that part of our beautiful world, is insanely intense. A real challenge but a even bigger opportunity, the opportunity for me to share the culture, my experience and the love of the people we meet.

By telling that story true, along with my Art & share it with the world. The common love and interest of the beauty of the horses is what makes us able to connect real fast, but the On Focus adventures are just as much about the people and their vision on our world as it is about their horses.

As I am editing the pictures, I get more and more overwhelmed by the beauty and passionateness of Sicily. The need to share that with others is getting bigger every day. Regretting the pictures I didn’t take by being overwhelmed, the little pieces I miss to be able to tell the story a bit better, is annoying, I am sure many photographers have had that same experience. It does proof the importance of a good scouting and it eases the pain a bit to keep in mind that this was just the scouting that the real thing is still about to happen.

By editing my pictures the desire to go back to that beautiful and wild Sicily grows and grows, I am counting the days!

Yours, Margreet

To learn the hard way… ( by Margreet S.)

so preciousThis image has become so precious to me… I will share with you why. 

Traveling is great fun but it also has a downside as I found out this week, during the scouting in Sicily . 

We made long hours starting at 5 a.m. and all the way up to 12 p.m. We tried to organize 2 shoots a day, and driving the car in a foreign country can be a challenge…To me lots of fun, I really love it, but have to admit you do get to loose  your sharpness while getting a bit tired. 

Last week we were in Corleone and we did the 3rd shoot at that beautiful place. Just imagine : we had a great scenery at the golden hour, nice props, an old fiat 500, lots of models, beautiful kids and women  dressed up for a special shoot, ad a wonderful stallion & great atmosphere…well you have an idea right? I absolutely loved it and had great expectations of this shoot. We shot for 1,5 hour and had lots of fun. I think it was my favourite set up… now it is for sure.

That night while we where downloading the cards I got distracted, I allowed myself to get distracted. Normally I check the downloaded cards twice before I format the cards. This time I did not… and with the result of loosing one card… a whole card was lost with precious pictures, I had even checked them on the computer, and when I saw them fell in love, but I never saved them in my HD… this pictures will be in my heart forever… this is like mourning to a photographer…

 Believe me this will never happen to me again. But knowing that will never bring these pictures back to me, I will never be able to play with my HDR attempts or see and feel the joy of giving the brilliant anniversary pictures to the two beautiful people that made our stay in Corleone unforgettable, so sorry for them,  so mad at myself so not ever going to happen to me ever again!! 

Good thing was that I was not shooting there alone so there are great pictures for the people who deserve them, and I will be back in April… for take 2, I wil keep my fingers crossed that it will be as good as it was last week. 

With sad love, Margreet Schouren

Scouting for Sicily On Focus

Tomorrow I will meet Margreet and Susan in Palermo, as we will spend next week doing the Scouting for Sicily On Focus.

As always before a trip I feel excited but also a bit worried, hoping everything is properly organized and we don’t get lost in the small roads, and it doesn’t rain,  and and and…

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One of our hosts, Francesco, painting a background for some of our photos! Thanks Francesco and Patrizia!

 

 

Meeting the ladies will be great fun, I haven’t met Margreet since Brazil On Focus so we will have lots of things to talk about. Susan traveled with me to Iceland so I have been with her recently.

Sicily makes me think about Portugal, windy, with beautiful beaches, great wines, and lots of horses.

We will keep you updated, we will blog whenever we have time 🙂