Chasing Colours

Steve Fraser.Life.Adventure.Inspiration.Photography

What do 600 million people have in common?

It seems unimaginable that over 600 million people across the world don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. 1 in 10 people on the planet, twice the population of America, struggle to find clean water to drink every day—something you and I take for granted. Access to water is not only the difference between life and death it is also the catalyst for sustainable change. Each day, thousands of people in Africa make the long, and often dangerous trek to fetch water. It is the younger women who often carry out this arduous task. Not only is their personal safety in jeopardy, but so is their education. They either miss school or are unable to attend at all. Women are at significant risk of being attacked when they leave the safety of their villages to trek many kilometres to collect water.

Just one well in one village can be life changing. Infant mortality rates are vastly reduced, the risk of violent attacks outside of the village is removed and school attendance increases significantly.  The result is a new generation of healthy, happy and educated people.

I love the change Water for Africa are bringing to hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Phil and Julie Hepworth have a passion to see Africa transformed through the provision of clean water. I visited Tanzania and saw what villages were like before the provision of a well, and after. Water transforms lives.

It is clear that Water for Africa have a plan, a strategic approach, and a tender heart for the people of Africa.

If you want to be involved in bringing about long-term sustainable change then I would strongly recommend you partner with Water for Africa. Together we can bring clean water to the forgotten 10% of our planet, and in the process, help restore hope for a better future.

What do 600 million people have in common?

It seems unimaginable that over 600 million people across the world don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. 1 in 10 people on the planet, twice the population of America, struggle to find clean water to drink every day—something you and I take for granted. Access to water is not only the difference between life and death it is also the catalyst for sustainable change. Each day, thousands of people in Africa make the long, and often dangerous trek to fetch water. It is the younger women who often carry out this arduous task. Not only is their personal safety in jeopardy, but so is their education. They either miss school or are unable to attend at all. Women are at significant risk of being attacked when they leave the safety of their villages to trek many kilometres to collect water.

Just one well in one village can be life changing. Infant mortality rates are vastly reduced, the risk of violent attacks outside of the village is removed and school attendance increases significantly.  The result is a new generation of healthy, happy and educated people.

I love the change Water for Africa are bringing to hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Phil and Julie Hepworth have a passion to see Africa transformed through the provision of clean water. I visited Tanzania and saw what villages were like before the provision of a well, and after. Water transforms lives.

It is clear that Water for Africa have a plan, a strategic approach, and a tender heart for the people of Africa.

If you want to be involved in bringing about long-term sustainable change then I would strongly recommend you partner with Water for Africa. Together we can bring clean water to the forgotten 10% of our planet, and in the process, help restore hope for a better future.

Adventure is a not a dirty word

So much of our lives have become controlled, always living safe, being risk adverse is fast becoming the normal and yet we are meet to live a unique adventurous life.

An adventure is best defined as a journey with an unknown outcome. Every year I plan to do something that is adventurous, something that pushes my limits and is not always a guarantee of success, but it is always a guarantee on making me feel alive. I have swam with sharks, treked through the Andes, been to Antarctica, lived with the Masai in Africa and sleep in a swag in the Australian desert. These moments allow me to feel alive, they test and stretch me and I get to experiance a world far beyond anything I could imagine.

So as I sit and plan one of the biggest adventures of my life, it is something that seems like a huge challenge, somewhat scary, totally crazy and yet a part of me feels alive and excited.

I hope we don't loose that sense of child like adventure, the desire to explore and feel alive. Maybe it time to put the world of social media on hold for a while and experience our own unique adventure.

30 Day Christmas Book Sale

Can you believe that Christmas is just around the corner — where did 2015 go?

A lot of people have been asking and ordering books for christmas presents so we’ve decided to do our first ever Christmas sale on a range of our books, including my latest release Fragile. As part of the 30-day sale all books will include free shipping within Australia.  All copies will be personally signed. 

BTW December’s image of the month is one of my favourites for the year. I’ve been saving it to give you some inspiration for summer. Look out for it on the 1st of December.

 

Order online at         www.stevefraser.co/Gallery/BOOKS/9/1



Steve

Fragile

I am really excited to have the release of Fragile - my latest book later this month.

It has been 4 years of work, covering every continent on the planet and over 25 countries. The book is about discovering the incredible beauty of the our planet, the adventure of visiting some of the worlds most remote locations and the inspiration that comes from experiencing these untouched wilderness areas.

During this time I have spent time alone in Antarctica, lived with the Masai in Africa and climbed high in the Andes. The people I have meet and the amazing beauty I experienced all have one thing in common - Fragile. These locations are delicately balanced and the challenge is to see what this generation does to ensure we leave a positive legacy for the next generation. Climate change and ever growing industrialisation are impacting our planet at an alarming rate, Fragile will highlight what the planet is supposed to look like, beautiful, inspiring and untouched.

I hope you get a chance to check out the book.

Ted Talk Part 1 - Chasing Colours

The alarm sounds it 4am, I its an effort to get up, I am really tired, I get dressed, grab my camera gear and start the 4 mile trek along the beach. The first sign of light is staring to appearing. I set up my gear The next 30 minutes are breath taking and a reminder to me that there is no prize for staying in bed.

I spend my life chasing colours. I travel to the most remote parts of the world, searching for the right light, at the right time to capture some incredible moments. Photography is about light— it is the critical elements that makes the difference between the ordinary and something special. The perfect light often only lasts a few minutes, or at times, just a few seconds. This can mean I have long periods of preparation and waiting, followed by a few incredible moments of inspiration.

 

No Risk No Story

There is no reward for staying in bed. This is something I have told myself many times when the alarm goes off at 3am, when the weather looks bad and it's a tough trek to get to another sunrise location. Time and time again I have told myself to get moving and head out as I have learnt you achieve nothing by staying in bed. So many times when I have pushed myself beyond my comfort zone I have been rewarded with some of my most incredible images. Making the choice to get out of bed is one challenge, but if you want to get great landscape shots taking risks is part of the job. 

Risks need to measured and something you are willing to take on personally. I would not advocate putting others at risk unless they are very clear on the challenges and potential dangers and they accept them. 

For some, a risk may be simply heading across some rocks on a coastal zone. For others, the risk may be far more adventurous. The risk level for me has increased over the years as my experience and preparation has improved. You can achieve nice results by playing it safe. Taking images of cities or popular beaches is great however, it is important to remember that these will be images that hundreds, if not thousands of others, have captured. 

I work in the wilderness and my main desire is to capture incredible moments in remote areas that no one else will. Being in very remote areas on your own and pushing yourself to take calculated risks that others are often not willing to take, results in the images that make up my story.

What level are you willing to go to if you want unique images? If you are willing to take risks then be willing to accept the possible dangers, educate yourself about the environment you are heading into, speak to others who have been there before you and only take calculated risks.

If your risk level is low it may be as simple as pushing yourself to get out of bed at 3am to be at that special beach for sunrise, standing alone, capturing a beautiful sunrise.

My journey is No Risk = No Story.

Get out there, have fun and make your own story.

Photography - A technical pursuit and artistic endeavour

I find most people either approach their photography from either a technical approach or an artist approach. So where do you fit in?

I have come from the artist side which has meant that the technical has been a learnt skill and not something that has been natural to me. I am sure you know someone who has the opposite approach, someone who has a very technical mind and they get fstop's, chromatic abrasion, hyper focal length etc. The real challenge if this is you is to step back and look at composition, colour and see the abstract. Don't leaving behind the technical skills you have but using them to perfectly capture something that is beautiful. Once you realise it takes both the technical and the artistic to capture wonderful images, then you are on your way to becoming a complete photographer.

If you are artistic you can lack the technical skills to properly capture your amazing composition. As artistic as the image is if you can't reproduced or printed because it is out of focus or you have used an incredible high iso which has compromised the image quality, then it is an opportunity missed. Likewise if you a pure technician you run the risk of being the guy with "all the gear and no idea'

One of the things I would challenge you it to work out where your strength lies, continue to grow in this area, however ensure you have enough other skills to be well rounded. Work at improving the artistic or technical whichever you are lacking in to make you a complete photographer. I find it generally easier for people to learn the technical side as it is a science, although sometimes a confusing one. The artistic requires a degree of the x factor, which is difficult if not impossible to learn. However that is not an excuse for not improving in this area, spend time around others who are good in this are, try and understand how the approach an image, what they are thinking and importantly what story they are trying to tell in the image. After all as photographers we are story tellers who use images to do our talking.

Technical or artistic the reality is we need both.

Fragile - A symphony of colour

I spend my life traveling to the most remote and unique locations on the planet. I have been fortunate enough to travel to every continent including Antarctica. No matter where I go I am always impacted by the fragile nature of nature itself. The delicate balance of the environment we live in, which is so easily impacted by changes in the weather, climate change or by the impact we have as we continue to consume, build at an alarming rate. 

There are areas I visited only 20 years ago that are now very different today, coastal erosion, natural disasters, man made development or progress. A combination of these factors have left an irreversible mark on some of the most unique and beautiful parts of our world. As photographers we have a responsibility to highlight the amazing beauty that we find in nature, to share it and leave it untouched for the next generation. If I can encourage you to be a champion for the planet, to photograph responsibly leaving no trace, only adding a great image that will highlight your work and our amazing environment.

Fragile is also how I see the challenge of capturing a special image, the challenge of capturing the right location at the right time with the right light and in the right season. It requires so many elements to come together to create a truly special moment and image, that I can only describe these few moneys in a year as both fragile and precious. Great planning helps, it put me in the right place in the right season, but it has little impact on great light, this key ingredient has little to do with my ability or planning, I can only add my patience and some good luck.

I love what I do and the special moments that make up another year, I hope and pray that 2015 is a special year for you. That you get to experience more of our planets fragile beauty and just maybe capture a few very special moments for the rest of us to enjoy.

 

 

Alone in the Silence

Alone in the Silence

 

“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” – John Muir

I love this quote from John Muir, it speaks to the very heart of who I would like to be as a photographer. My desire is to seek out the unique, taking the road less traveled. I find the moments of stillness to be the most inspiring, where you realize that you are truly alive. Leaving behind the noise, the chaos and a world driven by technology. Entering into something so much simpler and more enchanting.These defining moments are when I am alone, simply a person, a camera and the ultimate beauty of nature. I never tire of this and the longing to return becomes stronger and stronger with every journey.

One of the challenges for each of us is to find our place, where we truly belong, where we find lasting joy. I hope you get to explore and discover the place you can call home.