Tag Archives: Photography

Photographing Sophie – Highs, lows and lessons!

My father’s body wasn’t even cold in the hospital body, but I ran up to the car, grabbed my camera, came back to the Intensive care unit and started taking a few `forensic’ photos of his torn ear, head injury – all through my tearful and blurry eyes!  That was one cold hour past midnight back in January 1990.  And here I am, on a Summer’s day in June 2018.  What’s that got to do with Sophie?   Well, the common thread.. is Photography! And  she’s very well, energised and happy that her photo’s going viral all over new sites around the world this morning, following our visit to Stonehenge yesterday – in case you were worried for her!

Sophie photo - woodland autumn 2017 by Mani Navasothy.jpg
Autumn Equinox ceremony- September 2017 – with Aaron as Hades and Sophie as Persephone . Photo (c) Mani Navasothy.        www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Sophie first attended one of my Woodland Witches & Pagan ceremony- back in Autumn 2017. She had glitter make up on her cheeks and a new agey jacket.   But that’s not what caught my attention (well that did catch my eyes).  I was asking for volunteers form the attendees to take on a ritual role of the Goddess, and Sophie  stepped forward.  Now normally only experienced or regular attendees volunteer..  so I was surprised, but she looked every bit like she could carry the beautiful and maiden Goddess Persephone who gets abducted by the Dark Lord Pluto/ Hades and taken to underworld..  So I accepted her offer..  And my friend Aaron took on the role of Hades!  The ritual went well, and their roles – symbolic – and directed and coached by me – went well too.

Since then, Sophie has attended many of our woodland ceremonies & socials, hung out with us, gone camping with us to Glastonbury, day trip to Hasting and sea side, and more recently (yesterday) an ver night drive out trip to Summer Solstice at Stonehenge and then Avebury.   She’s become a good magical friend of mine..  (and still remains awesomely beautiful like a Goddess!)

For me, Photography is not a hobby..!!

As the opening paragraph will have told you.. `taking photos’  is  a serious `interest’ of mine..  capturing real life moments and characters of people on photo – as I do that ..be it my father who had just died, or a sun set, or a Maypole Dance …or a mermaid like Sophie after a ceremony !)   Why ?  because life is precious, moments are magical and once past ..can never be lived again, and I have insecurities about loosing people that are dear to me.  So I snap away..  moment after moment.. trying to hold of to them all, lest I forget!   I have done since I was a little boy.  (Now am almost a 49 yr old middle-aged man!)

That said, one of my growing gripes / disappointments / irritations in modern times – is that of my creativity being hijacked or worse `stolen’ .

I see moments …character..  beauty ..  life..death..  and all inbetween..  and capture it..  Or compose it creatively and artistically.  If it’s people – friends – I direct them (be it a video production or a photoshoot).  Then I shoot the picture.  So it infuriates me, when someone standing next to me – swoops in – without so much as a polite request – and takes the shots that I line up and the people that I direct.  This happens a lot now.

On the one hand, I am happy for the person whose photos are being taken.  They are being `seen’ and their moment being recognised and captured.    But unlike me who honours, respects and uses it to empower people, others often seem to just steal a moment..  and that person’s soul!  They don’t seem to give acknowledgement or thanks to the subject at hand.  They don’t seem to celebrate them.  They don’t seem to offer them anything in return as a kind gesture.

This I realise happens a lot in the cut-throat world of Photography, Journalism, media, movie and celebrity culture we now live in.  If someone is in public eye, they are fair game?  Is that it? Is that right?

sophie photos - Baz Beltane
Sophie with Maypole  at Woodland witches Beltane Ceremony – May 2018.   Main photo shoot by Mani Navasothy (3rd photo by Baz).          http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Of course some of my other friends who swoop into copy or steal a shot that I line up or direct ..aren’t all like that.  They are part of my world, my friendship groups and my spiritual communities.  When they do too much that swoop & shot, I do hit back with a joke..  (or in the case of one friend, I actually did throw a light punch at his stomach ..with a smile on my face!  We hugged it out afterwards..  but I needed to make the point, and words were not sinking that message!)

sophie photos - david mani
Hastings.  Sophie adoring Sea.    Main Photo shoot by Mani Navasothy (1st photo by David). http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

Ever since a Hindu priest threw a bucket of water in my direction at a Temple chariot festival 2 years ago, and that blessed water splashing all over my camera, my equipment has not been its full self.  The view screen doesn’t work, and video image stabilizer malfunctions.  Currently I don’t have enough finances to buy the next gen DSLR.  So I make do with a wounded camera…

Well, half the time, I don’t even carry it..  because that’s not my work!  My work is Priesthood, and as a Magical /Pagan events Organiser and Teacher.  I can’t organise an event, take care of all the  related matters, and support, nurture and empower the people ..attendees.. if am clutching on to a camera.  So moments come and go..and others capture it..   and sometimes I take out my mobile phone and catch a part of it.  (well, effectively, I conjure the Event and others capture it..  Put it the media way, I make the News and others report it!)

I say I don’t worry about this..  but writing this blog indicates that I do!  In so much as if my artistry and creativity and Art directions are being used by other people, they should do the decent and honourable thing- of either paying me a proper fee – especially if they used such a shot and sold it to papers…and that got used by many news sites all over the world!

 

sophie photos - Dail mail
Sophie at Stonehenge, Summer Solstice 2018.   This shows screen capture of pic that some other photographer swooped into steal and sold to media. (screen shot of DailMail news site).

Sophie was just walking away when I called her to stand by that stone, to put her head on that stone, to not look at camera, but look at the Sun, and to close her eyes.  That was my work…capturing a moment of my friend ..to give it back to my friend.  But the thief who stole that over my shoulder has sold his shot, and earned some money off my creativity ..and my friend.

Does that seem right to you?

There are two upshots to this whole experience.  1.  Sophie is feeling happy that her photos and her rune & glitter make up creativity – yes that’s her own magical creativity and her face ..is seen all over the world.  (How long before she gets a modelling contract?! Yeah!)    2.  I finally realise the value of my own Artistic talents…and it’s time I put my Photography services forward.

I’ll leave you with the exclusive shot of Sophie (test shoot) as an Antlered Goddess!!

-Mani Navasothy

Author Teacher Ritual Magician (and Photographer!)

Antlered Goddess poject sophie
Sophie – Antlered Goddess .  photo (c) Mani Navasothy  http://www.QuantumPhoenix.net

 

Links:

London Woodland Witches – Outdoor pagan Rituals (meetup)

Quantumligh Photography & Videos by Mani Navasothy (facebook page) – 

Daily mail feature – Summer Solstice 2018 

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A Ceremony of Flow – Photoshoot with Melanie Ivy

Hi all, amongst other creative and esoteric things, I also enjoy taking photos, filming & producing videos.  I have been working with the divinely delightful Melanie Ivy (to call her an important muse in my life is an under-statement).  She is a  Lifecoach, fusion Belly dancer and a snake-charmer (I’ve gently played with her pet Python). We’ve been doing some videos (more on that another time).

Earlier this afternoon, Melanie & I drove up to a rather important woodland and an actual Spring..     Here’s a few of the photos I took.. More soon. 🙂

Bright Blessings.  -Mani

ps.  Please head over to her professional facebook page and give it your support  with a `like’ and share.  Thanks .. https://www.facebook.com/melanieivyunplugged/ 

pps . If you like to work with me on magical photoshoot , please do contact me. Thankx.

 

Photo: Jupiter & Venus in same frame (5th May2015 @ 22:17hrs gmt. S.London)

Just by chance I happen to glimpse a bright `star’ from my bathroom window..almost at low horizon in the west..and I knew instantly what it was..so ran out to garden with my Digital SLR ..and started clicking.. and then I looked to the SW sky and saw an equally bright object and knew ..that’s gotta be Jupiter.. Of course both were confirmed by me using my SKy-eye app on the mobile..(by pointing it / centering on object). So here we are..:-)

This blog shows 2 photos. Here are a few photos I took just hours ago (5th May 2015.. around 22:17hrs GMT) from my garden in South London area…in between fast moving clouds, using my DSLR (sony DSC-HX300).

Jupiter (top left) Venus (bottom right)  - Photo taken on 5thMay'15 @22:17hrs gmt from S.London  (c)MN
Jupiter (top left) Venus (bottom right) – Photo taken on 5thMay’15 @22:17hrs gmt from S.London (c)MN

This shot was taken (hand-held) using the 3D viewable function of the DSLR.

DSC01485
Jupiter (top left) Venus (bottom right) – Photo taken on 5thMay’15 @22:16hrs gmt from S.London (c)MN

This shot was taken using the `superior auto’ function (low light).

It’s notable that currently  Jupiter is at 13’41” Leo, and Venus is 27’17” Gemini.  These two planets are of course called the beneficial planets..  So to capture them both in one frame is a great thrill for me.. 🙂   (no trickery..  it’s why I didn’t even stamp a `copyright’ note on the photo..  lest anyone thought I `graphixed’ it 🙂

-Mani Navasothy

Visionary Art: Creating Maya Pyramids using UK Landscapes

Here’s a Graphics that I created recently for the newly published `Yule Rites’ book.

maya landscape (c)ManiN 2012
maya landscape (c)ManiN 2012

Guess what? I didn’t get on a plane and go to the land of the ancient Aztecs or Mayas, to get photos.   Below are the actual photos I have used in creating this Maya Pyramid scene.   The steps were created using sections of a photo repeated and pasted. This is just for fun..

By the way, the baby I am holding in the photo is my nephew 🙂

ps. I’ll do a mini-blog another time on how the `Mayan Priest’  graphics was created. Would you believe it has features of an arch from a Church?

-Mani

Photos of a metal Maya Calender Dish, Tree in Croydon, Masked face & an outdoor garden (steps) in Surrey were used for  creating the Maya landscape.
Photos of a metal Maya Calender Dish, Tree in Croydon, Masked face & an outdoor garden (steps) in Surrey, and a sun-rise photo at Stonehenge were used for creating the Maya landscape.