By: Sandy Nene
Siseko Mzimela known as Casey Waves is a marketer who’s digital career kicked off when he started working with event promoter, Junior Lavie then went on to work with Kgolo DaGuru as an events coordinator and social media manager. Casey’s love for digital photography motivated him to invest in a decent camera and used internet tools to teach himself photography basics. He has since collaborated with models, bloggers and artists across KZN, check out his Instagram page to see some of his work.
What inspires you? The eye. I’ve always been fascinated with eyes, its reason I started Shooting. I wanted to recreate what the eye sees. That’s why I Try make my photographs look as realistic as possible. I’m trying as hard as possible to recreate what the eye sees.
What is the influence of digital technology on your photography? Digital technology has everything to do with influencing photography. Flickr, Instagram and Digital photography school taught me everything I know. Also it gives you a platform for people all over the world to see your work. If you hashtag correctly, your photos can reach almost anyone. It’s brilliant because even visuals and concepts you get from digital platforms.
What makes the good picture stand out from the average? What makes the picture stand out from average ones? It’s about emotion. If you can capture emotion through a photo, you’ll have a hit. That’s why I like street photography and weddings. Because you’re just in the mist.. it’s up to you to capture the right moment. Whether it’s a tear, a smile or the sun peaking in the morning. If the picture doesn’t make you feel a certain way, it doesn’t stand out.
What does photography mean to you? Photography means everything to me. Before I never had enough money for a camera. The one I use I bought from a friend. It’s from 2005 imagine, but combined with skill and editing, it’s a powerhouse. If we had a strong photography industry in South Africa, id shoot full time.
One of today’s main discussion points amongst photographers is about the use of digital photography; do you use digital cameras? 100% digital because it’s the future and nobody can fight change. I use a Full Frame Digital Camera. Gives positive results and more realistic photographs with quality to match.
Which is your favourite lens? Has to be my 50mm 1.8 Canon EF lens. Light, very quick autofocus and very high quality. Even when I track moving objects it’s able to keep up. It’s called the “nifty fifty” online and I perfectly understand why. Its extremely versatile.
When you go in one of your travels, what do you take with you and why? I have my camera, the battery pack, my Flash(which Is detachable”. And 4 batteries. I take my 50mm and my 85mm canon Lenses and a cleaning kit. Can’t go wrong. I don’t own a tripod as yet.
Among the gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn’t bought? There’s absolutely nothing I wish I hadn’t bought. All my equipment works with me all the time. Always do research before buying to avoid wasting money.
In the field, what are your settings? No professional photographer can give you a set in stone answer for this. Because you adjust with every light change and amount of people. I shoot manual. In low light, bright light and morning to evening light with gold rays, I have to adjust my settings with every change of environment. But I do shoot manual
What kind of tools do you use for post processing? I only process and edit with Lightroom for Mac. Sometimes photoshop cc if major adjustments have to be made like making someone look slimmer or reducing the stomach.
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures? Google. Always research what other photographers do and how they do it. Look at their settings, lighting and equipment. Makes a huge difference.
Among your works, which one is your favourite? A photograph I took at the Childhood Cancer Foundation of a young man who was just filled with pure happiness. I couldn’t have timed that photo any better.
Whose work has influenced you most? Whose work had influenced me? Theres a woman from the UK, young girl, her name is Sheyna Reece and a huge guy from New York called Ryan Millier. They’re geniuses.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos? One thing I wish I knew when I started taking photos? I wish I knew not to shoot so wide. Meaning that if my lens is a 1.8, doesn’t mean I must shoot f1.8 all the time.
How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with his subjects to bring out their true self? It’s extremely important. It’s like working with a child. If you don’t connect with the child, the photos will never come out as well as they could’ve. Connection is key because of a mutual understanding created between photographer and subject. The message of the picture becomes much clearer.
Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors? You have to plan ahead. If it’s going to rain, and you check the weather, plan before hand, umbrella rain coat etc and choose a location that isn’t too open because you’re get wet. Choose something like a car park or an area within building where the rain won’t dominate the shoot. For light use a lens hood to stop your lens from being flooded with light