Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Faces of Africa

Photo by: Ron Sim,csc/ Accra, Ghana
Current Location: Midland, Michigan, USA / 43°37′25.0″N 84°13′45.7″W


A Beautiful Mind said...

These are so moving! There is so much emotion in every face. It is interesting to see the faces of the children as opposed to the face of the older man. I am in love with the little girl in the headscarf. You most definitely have a gift and you use it wisely.

Bon Don said...

Beautiful! but for some reason the last one makes me feel his exhaustion. You are so talented.

So you've already seen I passed along an award to you, but you don't need an award from me to know your blog kicks ass!

... but you do need an award to know you are a cool kid in my book!

*Bon Don*

Ron said...

@ Beautiful Mind: Thanks for your kind words. These kids are so naturally beautiful, which makes photographing them so simple. It's them that makes these pictures stand out...I'm just the photographer.

@Bon Don: You rock! You are my favorite Orange County House Wife! Thank you! Now, what do I do with this award? Did I win? Or was I just nominated? I'm so confused :?

Cheryl said...

I love these pictures! I might steal one and save it as my desktop wallpaper- let me know if you approve.
I miss Africa, what a beautiful place to be- the people, the culture.. I love the simplicity of life.

Jay said...

Oh wow. The last one takes my breath.

I shot 2 newborns this week, that one was quite a change for me.

All of those images are amazing, each one wih it's own story. You rock.

Muse said...

really love these, the grainy look. What type of camera do you use?

The great thing about children and the elderly is they don't seem to "pose" or so self concious of the lense like most adults do. So you can capture them in the moment really well

Ron said...

@Cheryl: Not a problem, Cheryl, go ahead and use them on your desktop, but if you prefer a higher rez, email me the one you like. Africa holds a very special place in my heart. It was one of my favorite assignments.

@Jay: Those girls were so adorable. They were so welcoming to me and the crew. The girl in the first picture even gave me a parting gift when we left--a wild dandy lion....cherished it forever and made my heart melt.

@Muse: I use a Canon 5D and a Canon 40D with prime lenses and a 28-105 for these shots. The grain was added in post. Some of my other shots were done with a point and shoot Canon G10.

Javier said...

They're great, Ron. I always wonder what makes a photo great... It's just... well... sometimes I can't help staring at a photo for hours on end... Images speak worlds don't they? It's like they're a free pass into a person's soul. It's kinda hard to explain, actually...

Francesca Woodman is dead, yes. She killed herself at 22. She was a young American photographer and her body of work is simply amazing. There's a very insightful article at


Jay said...

I also shoot with a 40D...

I've never played around with the grain, but I will now. Watch P365 for it and let me know what you think...

Have you ever done anything in Uganda?

Random Hiccups said...

Those are lovely!

As always, wow. I love the way you captured the African people. I get so sick and tired of the photos that you see on World Vision and other relief places. Here, they look like people not impoverished animals.

sanrann said...

Everything has been said.

floreta said...

very great portraits! my favorite is the last image. black and white photography is so powerful.

DUTA said...

The girl with the headscarf is the winner .She 'takes it all'.

Carol said...

Beautiful photos Ron..I do love the grain that you've added. I think that these photos are so important for us all to see. So many individuals in Africa have become nothing more than a statistic, to see the human face is vital :-)

The Demigoddess said... are a talented photographer. If you took my pictures, would you be able to transform me into a beautiful woman? Oh wait, you need Photoshop to do that. lol.

Great pictures, Ron. A life story captured in a brief moment.

Hillbilly Duhn said...

I absolutely love the way the light reflects off the darkness of their faces. I'm absolutely in awe. I could just stare at these pictures all day, there is so much in the simplicity of them it's startling.

I am not worthy... :)

Ron said...

@Javier: Thanks for posting that link, I'm interested to read what happened.

@Jay: The grain was added in Photoshop, not a camera setting. The 40D is a great all around camera. Lookin forward to your pics on p365! Never been to Uganda yet, but would love to one day.

@Random Hiccups: Yes, you are completely right, I absolutely hate images that show nothing but suffering in Africa. There's a need to show suffering, but I always like to show happiness as well because in all honesty, the people are extremly happy and joyful.

@Sanrann: Thanks for reading!

@Floreta: I absolutely love B+W photography too! It just makes everything more intimate, I think.

@Duta: That girl was an amazing little person. I see so much beauty in her. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to take their pictures.

@Carol: You're completely right. Africa is no longer like what it was in the 80's or 90's. It too is flourishing and prospering just like the rest of the developing world. I love showing that.

@Demigodess: Oh come on, you're beautiful! I've got a special lens just for photoshop needed ;P

@Hillbilly: I think the B+W effects realy bring out the reflection on thier faces. African faces are so distinct, unlike any other people. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity!

Random Hiccups said...

Is it weird to be like AHK at you and your amazingness and I've never even met you?

That sounded creepy. I didn't mean that in a stalkerish way... ugh.

Never mind.

Diana said...

I love the first and second photos :)
The children are beautiful!

Were these recent pics taken in Africa? I'm so jealous! I want to visit there! haha

Lastly, thanks for the advice on my photos! I will def take them into consideration :)

Dr Zibbs said...

Great pics!

Ron said...

@Random Hiccups: What is AHK? Never heard of that accronym, so yes, that does make you a stalker..whatever AHK means. Sorry, we don't use AHK in Canada :p

@Diana: These pics were taken in Nov/Dec 08 during my assignment in Ghana.

@Dr Zibbs: Thanks, Doc.

asonlysheknows said...

Absolutely stunning photos!

I am very keen to travel the world and capture images of life and people living their everyday lives. So very fascinating!

I will definitely be back to read your old posts and any new ones :)

j.wi said...

love these!

would love to know what you're shooting with.

Dan Denardo said...

One word: Brilliant.

John said...

AHK could be:

1. Die Deutschen Auslandshandelskammern (Germany)

2. AutoHotKey (Windows open-source utility)

3. Acid House Kings (Swedish band)

4. N-Acyl Homoserine Lactone (a class of signaling molecules involved in bacterial quorum sensing)

5. American Health Kennels (manufacturers of premium, all natural pet treats)

6. Alliierte Hohe Kommission (Allied High Commission, currently dissolved)

7. Arxhs Hlektrismoy Kyproy

8. Air Hong Kong (the only dedicated freighter airline based in Hong Kong)

9. Anterior head kidney

10. Albert H Kirkham

11. Atelier Helen Keller (I think she's a Swiss artist)

12. Aktive Hinterachs Kinematik

13. Accommodations in Hong Kong

14. Audio Hong Kong

Random Hiccups said...

'AHK' when read aloud is the exclamitory sound of people who are boardering stalkerdom.

but I am liking the idea of "Arxhs Hlektrismoy Kypro" Probably because its so incredibly random. Love it!

In any case, I'll keep my stalking tactics to my Fiance before he starts wondering why I never hang out with him anymore...

Love Crackhead said...

The images evoke emotions better than a painting can. These pictures are so beautiful.

Maggie May said...

these are incredible. beautiful.

Sara Baulenas said...

Dear Ron, I admire your work a lot and find that your photographies communicate the true soul of the peoples that you capture with your camera. One of my dreams is to be able to visit Africa and know its peoples, its culture and whether they're happy or not!

Thank you very much for your comment in my blog! :)


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