Before We Get Going

This trip has taken a lot of quick organisation but I’m on the road now and the work starts tomorrow. I thought I would post a little bit about what I’m going to be doing over the next 20 days, what I’m taking with me and what I’m hoping to achieve.

To read more about the purpose of the trip, check out the about page.

The aim is to produce a set of compelling portraits to show the faces of the real people affected from working in the gold mines. It’s important to keep the setup simple and always keep in mind the final output. The portraits will be printed as A0 images and exhibited all together in Johannesburg on the 12th October. Because of these factors the portraits need to be high resolution, captivating, simple and consistent. My gear needs to be portable and quick to set up but also give the best possible results.This means having the right tools for the job.

For those of you who want to know the gear I will be using on this trip, below is a quick guide to what is coming with me.

  1. Nikon D800 digital camera with 50mm 1.4 Nikon lens
  2. Sigma 35mm 1.4 lense
  3. Nikon 85mm 1.8 lense
  4. Profoto B1 light
  5. Profoto Air Trigger
  6. Fuji X100T digital camera
  7. GoPro Hero 4 silver with sucker mount
  8. Nikon SB910 speed light (spare)
  9. Nikon SB700 speed light (spare)
  10. Pocket wizard speed light triggers (spare)
  11. Hoya ND filters
  12. Backup hard drive 1
  13. Backup hard drive 2
  14. Photographic library hard drive
  15. Battery block
  16. Zoom audio recorder
  17. Sony headphones
  18. Passport (to get in to Lesotho)
  19. Leatherman penknife
  20. GoPro battery charger (for car charging)
  21. Most importantly Aeropress coffee maker and some decent coffee!

I am going to be using a lastolite reversible backdrop (black and white) for the portraits and some light modifiers including the Profoto 60x90cm softbox, 150cm Octa Softbox and a Chimera Octa Beauty.

Initial Thoughts

It’s going to be quite a gruelling 20 days. In order to get round the 68 people on the list of plaintiffs I am going to have to shoot an average of 3 a day. The distances between people are vast and the where there are roads, they are not always good. The language barrier is always hard especially when trying to explain the intentions of the project and it is never easy hearing people talking about the hardships of their life, but that is what we are here for, to tell the stories of the people who are too often overlooked.

To get started, today I flew from Cape Town to East London and will start the drive from there tomorrow. I am taking a giant 4×4 as the roads could get pretty rough in the mountains of Lesotho and I will be picking up interpreters along the way to travel with me.

From tomorrow I will start uploading images and information about the journey and the people that I meet along the way.

Follow the journey on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, RSS feed or just by checking here once or twice over the next few days. Feel free to share and comment.