Photographer Chris Bava ~ Gone but not forgotten

Self portrait – © Chris Bava

A new friend and photographer that I massively admire has died too soon. Chris Bava, his wife Cat and his brother, sculptor Mark Bava, lost their lives tragically in a car crash this week in San Jose, USA. I wanted to remember Chris here because he inspired me when I lost my own inspiration and because not nearly enough people saw his outstanding work.

Chris Brava walked his talk and could look into the eyes of his subjects with an honesty and kinship that many cannot. Recently introduced after coming across the first photograph below of one of his many subjects on the streets of Tijuana. We talked about how coming back to photography later in life has truly changed our lives and began to work on a project about just that.

I am incredibly sad that photography lovers and others around the world won’t get to see what amazing images Chris would of continued to make and also I won’t get to work with him further on a project that excited us both. A shy artist, he need not of been.

May we all learn the kinship and understanding that Chris learnt through his own life path and then brought in his support of those struggling with drug dependency and to his art and honour of his subjects.

I’m really glad you picked the camera up again Chris. I won’t stop now. See you in the great darkroom in the sky big man x

All images in this post are solely the © of Chris Bava

The evolution of an image

It is a Sunday morning, actually I lie, it is Sunday afternoon and I am still in pj’s in bed reviewing some of my beginners photography teaching stuff, drinking tea and dunking ginger biscuits. Honesty is best I find…

Looking for a simple image that encompassed the rule of thirds and threes (I like learning rules often then to mix them up and go on and break them!) I stumbled across this shot I had taken of two khmer wives, at sunrise on the riverside in Kampot, Cambodia. Made because I loved the colour and the early morning light on the women’s hats as they chatted in front of the thronging scene of turquoise boats.

 

Looking harder I realised what I had thought was a seemingly innocuous image of colour, friendship and community had another story within it. When editing I looked at the image in black and white, the shapes and textures would suit it well I reasoned.

But in taking out the colour that had initially drawn me to make the image revealed in the background was a more dramatic out of focus scene. A toddlers face at the prow of a fishing boat shone out sleepily, a little stunned in the early morning light. It’s mother shouted to the people ankle deep in the river below. Bartering her catch, the child’s father behind, almost counting three with his hand.

The rule of three was still running through the theme in many ways but the light and shadows, the mothers gestures, the shadows of the passing women and the child’s face changed the story. There can be many stories in a photograph made is therefore todays lesson.

With some simple editing (and more munching of ginger biscuits aka crumbs in the bed) an image that may have been suitable for some travel photography became an image that evoked another time and hinted at the history of the Cambodian people. What photographs do you have that you can find more stories within?

 

Really excited about doing some beginners photography workshops in Siem Reap when I return soon and also to be helping others gain the confidence to create evoking images. No long fancy lenses nor complicated editing programmes required, just a new way of seeing and trusting your own vision. Get in touch if you would like to join one of our travel photography beginners workshops when you are visiting Cambodia, see you down the road…

What a show off!

In my grandmother’s New Forest garden was a huge buddleia bush accompanied by a long lavender bed. In the summer I would sit there hypnotised watching the butterfly coated tree and hearing the somewhat
magical sound of peacock and red admiral wings thrum past my ears. My memory tells me there were many many more than hover on the buddleia bush in the New Forest Garden I am looking after currently.

This may though be a case of romantic childhood memories as Butterfly Conservation’s research shows that they have increased, possibly encouraged by the warming climate, in the South of England. BC tells us that there has been a “significant overall increase in the abundance of the Peacock since 1976.”

Well I am jolly pleased about that. The above Peacock butterfly surprised me by settling within perfect focus range when I was concentrating on some mating Chrysolina herbacea on Mentha aquatica…that’s wild mint beetles on copious wild mint to you and me!

Cheeky!