I love my Granddaughters! I really do! Sometimes though it's a mission to try and make a simple portrait. On our way back from picking them up at Cape Town airport we stopped at Primi Piatti, a restaurant chain that you cannot really go wrong with. The stairs leading up had a beautiful brick wall to use as a backdrop for some nice quick portraits. So I thought. LOL! After many tries struggling with flipping hair and "two fingered puckered posers" and "duck faces". And, "my hair is not right." I finally got one image that I really like. The one you like is up to you so I posted them all.
Leaving 2014 Afrikaburn I was able to await a lull in the people leaving to be able to make an image of the entrance and the gong that Afrikaburn Virgins are to hit on entrance to the festival. It looked a lot different during the day against the morning sky. It was an experience that I was not well prepared for with regard to food, ice, etc. If I am to attend next year I will be better prepared. It is definitely an event that someone in South Africa should attend at least once.
Many of the images I made at Afrikaburn could have been made at Burning Man in the U.S. Most of the images were not uniquely South African. Except for this one. The girl with the South African flag draped around her. I thought it fitting to highlight this one. I really like it. It's contemplative. My 365 Project 123/365.
Table Mountain is virtually everywhere you look in Cape Town. This is a view of the mountain at dusk from one of the Northern Suburbs along Plattekloof Road, in what is known as the Boerewors Gordyn (Eng Phonetic: Boorevors Hoardane) (Translation: The Boer Curtain) beyond which the main language spoken is Afrikaans. This dates back to when the English controlled Cape Town. The English ruled the Cape and people in and around the city and the Southern Suburbs spoke mainly English, where the Afrikaaners that were not fond of English rule stayed in the Northern Suburbs and mainly spoke Afrikaans. To this day I almost need a translator there. Not really, but you can instantly tell that the primary language is Afrikaans. Plattekloof offers a beautiful view of the city as it is at this point where you start gaining elevation away from Cape Town toward the East. My 365 Project 103/365.
"Melkbosstrand Sunset Panorama" 50/365. You really have to have this image fill the screen to appreciate it. This is my first serious foray into a Panorama. The sky was kind of ho-hum with my 35mm f1.4 lens on the Fuji XE-2 but all of the parts left and right put together with what I saw would be what I wanted. I made individual images and stitched them together in Photoshop. Then I turned them into the exact tone I wanted in Black and White. Actually a slight Gold and Selenium tone. I really like it. I really enjoy requiring myself to make an image everyday as it is pushing me to be creative. At least in my mind.
"African Runner" 19/365
I was out for a run on my Cape Town beach, and making sunset images when I saw another runner coming my way. I waited for him to enter the frame anticipating a silhouette caused by the sunset. #365project #iphoneography #capetown #beachrun #sunset #melkbosstrand.
I made this image from one of the many public beaches between my apartment in Melkbosstrand and Cape Town. I just happened to see Table Mountain with the Southeaster, or Cape Doctor clouds developing just before they roll down the North side and the wind begins to howl. I got out and really did not know what to expect from the scenery on the beach. It was beautiful and deserted. The wind was already blowing pretty hard and it was difficult to keep the camera steady. I had to sit down on a dune and secure the camera between my knees and my face to get this image. If I see this effect from home then I know the winds will reach me in about an hour if they're mild, or forty-five minutes if it's really going to blow hard. For the photo geeks out there, I used my Canon 5D Mark III, 24-70mm 2.8L lens @ 42mm 1/250 sec @ f5.6 to make this image. Oh and yes, this is an HDR image. Enjoy...
My photography group here in Cape Town, South Africa planned an excursion to West Coast National Park near a city in South Africa called Langebaan. I've been hearing for a long time that it's a must see place because of the flowers blooming in Spring here in the Cape. Yes Northern Hemisphere dwellers, it's Springtime here in South Africa. Langebaan is about 105km from Cape Town. If you want it in miles it's a little over 60 miles. We wanted to start out early to avoid the crowds and we planned well, or better said Sarah, the planner, set it up it perfectly. We were the third car through the gate. There is a special area in WCNP called the Pottsberg area where the Flowers are best and the area is only open in August and September as it is a fragile eco-system. I guess I shouldn't say that too loudly or someone will try to drill for oil on it. I was the passenger this time, in the back seat and it was great. We were headed down the road and I saw Ostriches that I wanted to photograph. The South African's I was driving with said not to be silly there are Ostriches everywhere. Well I finally convinced them to stop and I made these images of either an angry or a very sexually driven Ostrich.
As we kept driving I still had my medium zoom lens on the camera and I saw what looked like a Buffalo off in the mist. It was running faster than the car, and I got my long zoom on just in time to catch only one image of a Black Wildebeast.
The rest of the day was just magnificent. The flowers were incredible and the scenery so diverse. A field of flowers at one turn and then boulders, cliffs, calm bays and crashing ocean waves.
Last Saturday I traveled to Stellenbosch at the urging of a friend as it is definitely a place not to miss if you visit Cape Town. I was also advised that I may have trouble communicating as Stellenbosch is also VERY Afrikaans. Well, they were right on both accounts. I've seen towns, but what could be so special? When I got there it's as if I had been transported back in time with all of the Dutch and Afrikaaner architecture. Not to be lost in the conversation, it is the home of Stellenbosch University. A fact I did not know is that Stellenbosch University is where the South African National Rugby Team, Springboks, was founded. The town was founded in 1679 by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, who named it after himself — Stellenbosch means "(van der) Stel's Bush". Humble guy. It is situated on the banks of the Eerste Rivier ("First River"), so named as it was the first new river he reached and followed when he went on an expedition over the Cape Flats to explore the territory towards what is now known as Stellenbosch. Yes, there were modern shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafe's, but all was in theme with the aged charm, of the town. It was a shame as most Galleries and shops were closed as I got there later in the afternoon after getting lost on the way. Not a surprise. There is wine everywhere. During 1690 some Huguenot refugees settled in Stellenbosch, grapes were planted in the fertile valleys around Stellenbosch and soon it became the centre of the South African wine industry. I don't know much at all about wine personally as I am a beer snob, but I have been told that the South African wines are among the best in the world. Unfortunately, my stay was cut short as it was raining, so my time there was very limited. Here are a few select images. I will definitely be traveling back to Stellenbosch in the near future on a nice day. Hopefully I can find a bar with good beer!
I made this image the other day on a beach run in Melkbosstrand. I saw the the little girl just standing there with her cute hat on and thinking that she must be wondering what is out there. I asked the parents if it was ok to make her image, and made several images with my iPhone. Yes my iPhone. "The best camera is the one you have with you." In this case it was the iPhone. I edited the image in a program called Snapseed that is free and owned by Google. I've had it since it came out and I actually paid for it. Oh well, it was worth it. It's what I use to edit most of my iPhone images. It allows for a lot of creative control and not just some standard filters. The point of the post though is not the image, the editing program or the camera. The point is that you can usually find the best images or ideas in your own backyard, so to speak. Not literally your own backyard, though it may be in my case, but somewhere that you have unencumbered access, is close, and one that you are very familiar with. We all have these locations. I'm looking out my window right now and I see a Kite-Surfer preparing his kite for a ride. I am sure that if I go out there I will be able to find something to shoot. You get the point. Find the spot you know like the back of your hand and concentrate on that. Push yourself to make good images. See you later. It's a beautiful orange kite!
I tagged along with my group of friends to go to the Cederberg Wilderness Area for a four-wheeling excursion. The Cederberg is about 200km North of Melkbosstrand where we all live. That's roughly 120 miles on a two lane crazy road with trucks, bicycles, people walking and anything else that will move. That's just how Africa is. When you get into that area there is a small town that you go through called Clan William. Not much there. Some gas stations, restaurants, school, etc, however, there is a very famous resort called Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat. Supposedly this is one of the top ten resorts in the world. It's out in the middle of nowhere. Cederberg has beautiful terrain.