Project 365 Photo a day: 365/30

Wow can you believe it my first month of my project is at his end. Time surely flies when you are having fun.

Well today was a very wet day indeed. It rained outside and in my passage.  Sometime last week our geysers element broke and we did not know it.

On Friday morning I took a shower the water was warm but it did not get warmer and I had no need to open the cold water. Then I remembered about the it on Saturday and by then the water was luke warm  hubby went and look if we had maybe switched off the Geyser but nope. To get out a plumber or electrician over the weekend would be  very expensive.  Hubby phoned uncle Fritz to hear if he could help.

Early this morning uncle Fritz arrived with all his tools. I got him the ladder and he went up into the roof. He tested to see what could be the problem and luckily it was not to expensive to fix. It was only the element of the geyser that broke.

Well no one said this was an in and out job. Poor uncle Fritz was in that roof  nearly the entire day. First he had to empty the geyser. The gadget were the last 60 liters of water is suppose to come out  was blocked ( I have no idea what it’s called).  Uncle Fritz started with the element so long and then I saw water dripping down the wall the gadget started leaking. I gave him old towels to put under the geyser were the leak was and then it happened  because off the water a piece ceiling caved and splash in my passage. Just before this happened I told uncle Fritz that this is not the firs time it leaks and that is why we put the basin there.

After all the water was out after nearly four hours he could remove the old element and put in the new one… That also did not go according to plan the old one was so corroded that when uncle Fritz tried to take it out it broke and he first had to get all the pieces out to put the new one in. Eventually the new one was in and he opened the tap so that the Geyser can fill up with water. HaHa we opened the taps and all that came out was water. Air in the pipes and we had to get the air out before putting the electricity back on so that we can test the element. That took a while but uncle Fritz knows what he is doing. I asked him why must all the air be out of the pipes, he told me that the geyser can blow and then it would be one big mess…

Wait for it this Monday just got better. As uncle Fritz tried to repair the leak the gadget broke off one piece still in the geyser and the other in his hand and the water spraying like mad. He eventually got it under control and we head to the nearest hardware store to get a new gadget.  The Geyser is fixed now and tonight I will have a nice warm shower. Not that I really need more water on my body was soaked enough today…

Here are a photo of the hole in the ceiling and water dripping as uncle Fritz is repairing the gadget.

Our Passage under construction...
Water poring from the ceiling.




Playing with a box, Black paper, Prism light and Rose Quartz

Today I did an little experiment.

I took a box,  some black paper and covered the insides of the box with it. Then I took my little Prism light stand and put one of my Rose Quartz  on it.

It looked spectacular with the naked eye and when I photographed it I hoped to capture the “energy field” around the Rose Quartz. I was very happy when I downloaded the photo’s and saw the results.

I used my Canon EOS 7D, my 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS Lens, my Takara Tripod and my Hahnel Remote Shutter Release. I took over 140 photo’s to get the right effects. The best photo’s came out with the following settings: Shutter Speed 1/10, Aperture Value  5.6 and  ISO 2500.

This will not be the last time that I’ll be playing with my box, paper, Prism Light….



A quote from a book hubby bought me about different crystals.

“Rose quartz is an important crystal for removing blocked emotional stress. It is generally considered to encourage love and harmony. It is true that the vibration of pink does reduce aggression and promote understanding and empathy, but it is a mistake to think that because of this wearing a rose quartz will make you feel happier…… Keeping some Rose quartz at your bedside can sometimes be effective as an aid to restful sleep.”  – Healing and Harmony for Body, spirit and home. Crystals Colour & Chakra.

Project 365 Photo a day: 365/29

My photo of they day delivered more than one photo.

On one of hubby’s trip’s he bought me a Crystal with a cross in it for me. According to the man where he bought it it’s made for a Capricorn. We then bought a little stand for it with little lights at the bottom and it turns into different colours. I just love it and at one stage I packed it away high on a shelf so that no one can touch it, not even the cat.

Well today I took it off the shelf and I decided I am going to do a little experiment. I used a box and inside I covered it with black paper. I then put the little light and Crystal in the box and set my camera to manual. First I tried taking photo’s without a tripod and my remote but that did not work that great. So I  used my tripod an Hahnel Remote Shutter Release.  I did get the effect I was after…. Today I am one happy girl.


Light in a box
Light in box. Black & White




My photo’s everyone’s words… Week 4/52


“Like a morning dream, life becomes more and more bright the longer we live, and the reason of everything appears more clear. What has puzzled us before seems less mysterious, and the crooked paths look straighter as we approach the end.” – Jean Paul Richter


“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

Renosterveld Private Nature Reserve on Mooiplaas, Brackenfell

“Earth is crammed with Heaven.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Renosterveld Private Nature Reserve on Mooiplaas, Brackenfell

“Each day offers us a new opportunity to take steps in the right direction, steps that enlighten, enrich or improve us and others.” Margaret Fishback

Mountain Zebra National Park, Eastern Cape - Springbok

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.” – Vince Lombardi

Mountain Zebra National Park. Eastern Cape - Red Hartebeest

“All things come round to him who will but wait.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mountain Zebra National Park. Eastern Cape - Zebra and Springbok

“Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.” – Richard Bach

Project 365 Photo a day: 365/28

How many times did you made breakfast in bed for your parents?

I did it allot.  Not only for Mothers day, Fathers day and birthdays but just because I loved my parents allot and just wanted to say thank you now and then for everything.

It was no fancy Breakfast nope just a bowl of porridge and a cup of tea or coffee on a tray served with a big smile. Later we upgraded the bowl of porridge to toast with cheese and tomato a fruit juice and then afterwards a cup of tea or coffee. Then when I was big enough we added eggs and bacon to the breakfast…

My boys also makes me breakfast in bed and this morning mine also upgraded from a bowl of porridge to Bovril  and Cheese spread toast with a cup of tea. They served it on a blue tray with a green plastic plate and a maroon mug  with a big smile and lots of love…

So here is my upgraded breakfast….

Breakfast in Bed


Project 365 Photo a day: 365/27

This morning when hubbies alarm clock went off I was not a very happy girl. I did not want to wake up at 6 O’Clock on a public holiday I wanted to sleep till at least 9 O’Clock.

Well after hubby left  just before 7 I was wide awake and while I was lying in bed I was thinking, what now?   Do I get out of bed and start my day or do I try to get back to sleep?  So I decided to start my day, took a nice shower and got dressed and then went to the studio to pack my camera and charged batteries in my camera bag. I asked the boys if they are coming with and both said nope it’s to cold they rather stay indoors.

Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day I grabbed a dry Weet-Bix and a bottle of water and off I went.  I know some people don’t know what Weet- Bix is so just a little useless information it’s porridge made out of wheat and looks like a little brick. One of these days I will show you how it looks. I hate milk over some of my  porridge so I eat  them dry. I’ll rather drink a glass of milk afterwards.

I went to my spot on the Bottelary road to photograph some cyclist. Yes I still need to get my settings right and practice some more. If I do something I want it to be perfect.

The previous week my eye caught this chair hanging  so on my way to the Bottelary road I decided that I am going to make this hanging chair my photo of the day. When I got to it I saw it was and old Riempie Chair, Painted light blue and a enamel porridge  bowl was attached to the back of the chair. I don’t think anyone will have any problem finding the farmers farm with this unique landmark…

Blue Riempies Chair in the air...
Riempies Chair in Black & White

Project 365 Photo a day: 365/26

Today was a cold and miserable outside.  It’s been raining since this morning.  This afternoon we had lightning and thunder but that only went on for an hour or so.  Afterwards it stop raining. I wonder if this is the beginning of winter. Now a days everything is out of sync. Flowers bloom when they not suppose to. The seasons are totally not what it was a few years back….

When I passed my studio window I saw these two Pigeons on the  railing  in the garden. I grabbed my camera for my photo of the day.

I wanted to photograph the lightning but just could not get a nice spot around the house. And to drive to a place to take photo’s would have been plain stupid. I listened to the traffic reports and everywhere it was accidents and traffic backing up for kilometers.

So these two guys will have to do for today.  Shame as they sat there I was thinking maybe I must build them a little house as a shelter from the cold…

Brrrr it's cold out here..
Pigeon. Black and White

Project 365 Photo a day: 365/25

It’s cold outside and the pigeons are all sitting in little bundles on the branches to get warm.  One pigeon however sitting all alone on a branch way on top of the Oak tree caught my eye.

I took a photo of  it and then waited for it to take off. I stood outside in the cold for half an hour before the pigeon decided to take off. Only after I took the photo’s of the pigeon taking off I realized that I was still in manual mode. The photo’s did not come out really great.

Pigeon on branch of Oak Tree. Black & White
Pigeon taking off....

Project 365 Photo a day: 365/24

Armand loves playing on my studio floor when I don’t have photo shoots.  Last night he packed  out his little Lego men in their fighting positions. When he went to bed I told him he could leave it and go on today after his homework is done.

If I look at the expressions on the faces of these Lego men I get scared. No wonder the children these days are in war mode the whole time. When I was small our Lego men smiled and they did not have guns….

I decided to make some  of his Lego men layouts as my photo of the day.

Ready for action
Lego men ready for action in Black and White
Lego men ready for action

Cycling Photography: I’m getting there only 2 weeks more practice time.

Okay people so I am trying my hand at cycling photography.  I’ve looked at other photographers cycling photo’s, visited several how to get the best cycling photographs websites and in the end it came down to me, my camera and the cyclist…

On Saturday my youngest Lian and I took our camera’s and headed to the Bottelary Road for some cycling photography. This road is a very popular road and many cyclist make use of it to practice. I know a few years back I was one of those cyclist who were riding along that same stretch of road.

By now you know that I am going on a Cycle Tour in aid of the SAPS Educational Fund but I am not going to be one of the main riders, my job will be mainly to capture the moments of suffering, fun and scenery along the road and supporting the riders. I am going to pack in my cycling clothes just for the fun, hubby is taking with the tandem so I will do a few km for the cause. But more about the tour on a later stage let’s focus on my practice session on Saturday.

It was  very misty and I decided to shoot in Aperture Priority (AV on my dial). I set my ISO to 800, and my Aperture F5.6. I always shoot in RAW, Al Servo and continuous shooting 8 fps I don’t want to miss a nice shot…. On the screen the photo’s looked great and on my desktop it looked good, but because I am Coreen and always my worst critic I want it to look out of this world fantastic. There were some grain in the photo’s and next time I’ll try to bring down my ISO to 400 and if the light allows it even 100. Maybe try my hand at shooting in Manual mode.

Tomorrow morning I want to go down to the Bottelary road again and do some more practicing. I must keep in mind that they are on the road the whole day so as the day progress I will have to adjust my settings on my camera. So tomorrow I will be doing a long practice session. I wanted to go this morning but I have a patient this morning. Lian my “assistant”, photographer in the making what ever you want to call him is home and I don’t want to leave him alone.

I must say I got a few looks, waving and comments from the riders. Some just ignore you and then others slowed down and waved and asked for what magazine do you work. Ha ha only in my dreams will I be working for a magazine. They don’t employ self made photographers they want people with degrees or diploma’s All that I have to show is hours and hours of practicing and a hell of a lot of photo’s.

If any of you out there are into action photography and using a Canon 7D please leave some tips. Well here are a few collages of my first practice run.

SAPS Practicing for Cycle Tour


Project 365 Photo a day: 365/23

Today I played with my manual mode without my flash… Just love the way the photo’s of my candles  came out.

This was a one of a set of three candles that Anton a boy we had in foster care a few years back bought me for Christmas…. Anton still come and visit me now and then.

Well here are today’s photo’s.

Candle reflecting in the mirror Black and White
Candle burning

Practicing for a 5 day cycle tour.

Members of  SAP Brackenfell are practicing for a 496 km cycle tour that is just around the corner.  My husband is one of the cyclist that is cycling in aid of the SAPS Educational Trust Fund.

I am also practicing but not  so hard on the bicycle but behind the camera. I am going to document the whole cycle tour. I hope to get some lovely action shots and of course try to capture all the fun afterwards.

We are leaving on the morning of 7 May 2012  and will return on Friday 11 May 2012.

7  May 2012:   92.1 km

Tour start at Cape Gate Shopping Centre from here we go through Durbanville, Melkbosstrand, Atlantis, Mamre and then we retire at Darling for the night. That evening there will be a big concert in aid of the SAPS Education Trust Fund.  Artist that will be performing will be Hugo Nieuwoudt, Le- Lue  Roode, Burger Le Roux, Jomari, Rooies, Wynand and Cheree  and the Master of Ceremonies will be Boesman van Zyl.

8 May 2012: 98 km

We leave Darling  on route to Vredenburg. We will be going through Langebaan, Saldanha and then we retire for the nights at Vredenburg. Again a big concert that evening staring Die Broers , Hugo Nieuwoudt and again the Master of Ceremonies Boesman van Zyl.

9 May 2012: 105 km

We leave Vredenburg on route to Piketberg.  The towns that we will pass through will be Hopefield, Morreesburg and then we retire for the night at Piketberg.  Again we will have a concert with Hugo Nieuwoudt, Le Lue, Burger Le Roux, JoMari, Rooies, Wynand and Cheree and Master of Ceremonies will be Boesman van Zyl.

10 May 2012:  111 km

We leave Piketberg on route to  Malmesbury.  Towns we will be passing through will be Porterville, Hermon, Riebeeck – Kasteel and then we retire for the night in Malmesbury.  Again we will have a concert with Hugo Nieuwoudt, Le Lue, Burger Le Roux, JoMari, Rooies, Wynand and Cheree and Master of Ceremonies will be Boesman van Zyl.

11 May 2012:  92.6 km

We leave Malmesbury heading home.  Towns we will pass through will be Wellington, Paarl, Klapmuts to Hazendal Wine Estate. From Hazendal members of the public can join the cyclist with their aching bodies for an 8km ride to Brackenfell Sport Grounds. Here there will also be a concert so far Rooies and Hugo Nieuwoudt will do the entertaining.

Here are just a few photo’s of some of the members practicing. Armand my son is also practicing but unfortunately he must go to school during the cycle tour.

Rudi,Carike, Armand, Ronald and Fanie
Rudi, Carike, Armand, Ronald and Fanie
Ronald (Hubby) and Armand (son)
Rudi, Anton, Fanie, Ronald and Armand
Rudi, Fanie, Anton
Rudi, Fanie, Ronald, Armand and Anton
Fanie, Rudi, Anton, Ronal, Armand and Lian
Rudi, Fanie and Anton
Ronald, Armand and Lian supporting them the last few meters.
Ronald, Armand and Lian
Anton and Fanie on their way home on their bikes...



Project 365 Photo a day 365/22

Today was Earth day and since this morning I was playing with ideas in my head what to photograph.

Ideas that came up was  how we save water  in the Kuhn household and I even thought of photographing an energy saving light bulb, but non of these two really tickled my fancy…

So after staring out of the window for a while I took my camera and went outside. I walked around in my garden looking for something that catch my eye. Only then did I realized  that my garden is busy getting out of hand and that  the trees need some pruning, I don’t think now is the right time to do so…  I was so busy with my photography the past year that I never worked in my garden and that need to change right now. In the past I could spend hours in my garden and now I after neglecting it for a year it’s totally out of control.

My mom gave me a branch of a Frangipani  from their old house when they moved here. I planted it and took great care of it until last year that is…  I wondered if the Frangipani is still alive and just as I moved some of the Bottlebrush tree’branches something caught my eye…

Between the branches of the Bottle brush and the Spekboom I saw two  white and yellow flowers. Oh my word  it was my Frangipani it bloomed in the one spot were it got some sunlight… Then I decided this will be my photo of the day.

Frangipani through the branches of the Spekboom.
Frangipani Black & White

My photo’s everyone’s words… Week 3/52

Taken just outside Ceres

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” Rachel Carson


“Believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when their right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” Marilyn Monroe

Addo National Elephant Park

“Gods gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.” Elizabeth Barrett  Browning

Addo National Elephant Park

“A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams.” Yiddish Proverb

Addo National Elephant Park

“The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us to become our best while looking our worst.” Marge Kennedy

Addo National Elephant Park

“Life is a gift and the present is the time to cherish it.” Richards Shadonna

Addo National Elephant Park

“Nothing will work unless you do.” Maya Angelou


“In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged.” Dalai Lama


Please feel free to share with your friends and family.

Project 365 Photo a day 365/21

This morning I was doing a bit of cycling photography and this fellow came riding past.  My first thought was this is my photo of the day….

According to my husband he rides his Diamond Back Mountain Bike  everyday and they see him in regularly on the Bottelary Road and in Stellenbosch.   On his head you will find his pink Swoop cycling helmet. He’s not only very environmentally friendly he is also safety conscious.

He decorated it with South African flags and wait for it he also has a radio somewhere on there.  How do I know that well he was riding to the beat. Between the spokes of his wheels he have three tennis balls and reflectors.He makes sure you see him he’s got lights in front and at the back.

I wonder were his bike took him over the years… Maybe I must wait for him one morning and ask if I can interview him….

Cycling for South Africa
Cycling for South Africa in Black & White

The First time for all of us…

On Friday 23 March 2012 I got my new ” Boyfriend” (Canon EOS 7D) and on Saturday 24 March 2012  the Van Der Merwe family had their first Photo shoot.

Well I was super excited about my new boyfriend and took him to the photo shoots on the next day just as a “back up”. Like all new relationships one needs to get to know the other person and their limits.  I took a big jump from my Canon EOS 500D to my 7D but it was worth it. Everyday I am learning and enjoying every millisecond of it.

One of our friends told Allison about me and that I have some Autumn specials running. She phoned me to ask if she can book a photo shoot.  From the beginning she told me this was their first photo shoot as a family and they have no idea what to expect. I gave her the link to my blog and told her to read the part Preparing for your photo shoot. I also told her that all that they need to do is relax and don’t worry about the camera.

I realized that they were going to be on their nerves. To be honest  I was also a bit nervous and excited all combined.   To play it safe I took photo’s with my old and new camera’s. I was not familiar with the 7D’s settings and did not want their first shoot to end up one big disaster.

Weather was playing along and we only had a light breeze when we started out with the shoot.  I normally have 2 to 4 locations at Joostenberg Bistro were I take my photo’s. The first set on a blanket  on the grass. Then we move to a part where there are a row of  Pine trees. When it’s a long shoot the people go change their clothes after this location then I move on to the Dam and the Gazebo.  On this particular day we could not go to the other two locations because they were busy getting ready for a wedding later the morning.

Well after location one we moved on to location two the Pine trees and what happened they put on the sprayer so that location was out of the question. I looked at another few options and then Allison brought the trees on the other side of the dam to my attention. We went over there and I must say we got some awesome photo’s with the lovely colors of the tree trunks.  In future I will surely make use of them again…

Oh yes just need to say this. At the end of the day I only used the photo’s of my 7D.

Macro Photography: Rough Stink Bug

These photo’s was taken in a tree just outside our house. I was taking my photo of the day when these two stink bug’s caught my eye.

Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug
Brochymena quadripustulata - Rough Stink Bug



Project 365 Photo a day 365/20

Yesterday I took some macro photo’s of tree sap dripping and ant’s gathering food but when I downloaded it it was not of a very good quality. On the camera’s screen it looked awesome but like I know by now the computer screen reveal the real quality of the photo’s.

First attempt at Tree sap dripping with ants... 19-04-2012

Well I don’t give up and this morning I came across a Thomas Shahan You Tube video explaining macro photography and that even he takes thousands of photo’s and only use a few…. I am only a starter at macro photography so if I keep practicing I will become better and better.

Sap dripping from tree. Ants gathering food for the cold winter..
Sap dripping with ants. Black & White

Project 365 Photo a day 365/19

Today I am introducing Arnie my mom’s long legged Fox terrier and Buddie’s brother.

As a child my mom had a long legged Fox terrier (his name slipped my mind) she talked about him allot so my hubby and I decided to get her one for Mothers day one year.  My mom and dad went to Arniston  for the Mothers day weekend and when she got back we gave her puppy to her.  Arnie got his name from Arniston.  Arnie is my mom’s dog but he loves my father to bits.

When Arnie had to start sleeping outside because he was old enough he barked allot some nights it went on for hours and then when everyone is up and getting ready for work he would go and sleep. I think he barked at his own shadow to.

Every time my parents car drove off  Arnie would start howling and it will go on for a few minutes. In the beginning we thought he was howling because it’s my parents, but one day I borrowed their car and my mom said he did the same.  I don’t know why he started doing it it’s not like he is alone.  Then when the car returns the howling begins again.  My parents are bribing him now with treats.  Every time when they go out they give him a treat and then when they drive off he is still busy eating…. Clever dog….

Arnie taking over the chair.

Project 365 Photo a day 365/18

This morning when I went to open up the chickens I saw allot of activity going on in trees on the other side of the swimming pool. I had a closer look and saw bees and other insects hard at work gathering food for the winter. I came inside got my camera and went outside again.

My first thought for my photo of the day was the bees gathering nectar for their winter supply. I took some photo’s with my 200mm lens without a tripod. The photo’s came out okay but I was not really happy with the results.  I then remembered that my Sigma  70-300mm lens has a Macro function so I replaced the 18-200mm with my 70-300mm. I got my Takara  Tripod and head outdoors again. While setting up my tripod a yellow and black bug caught my eye and I took the first photo not even zoomed in on it properly. The bug gave me ample opportunity to photograph it. Now I just need to identify the bug…. As soon as I worked through the database of  insects I’ll update the blog with his name..