Over the weekend I attended the Miami Street Photography Festival. I am overjoyed that it was hosted in Miami, that there was great attendance, and an international group of renowned photographers were present to share their knowledge with those in attendance. However, I came away more confused after leaving the festival about what street photography actually is. Especially to those that are held up as the experts of the genre. Additionally, there was a clear under-representation of Black and White photography. in favor of color photography. I would have thought at least it would have been closely equal. Street Photography has always been dominated by the black and white image. Making black and white images is clearly more difficult. As was said by a famous photographer, “Any fool can make a color image!” Besides image color I was even more confused by composition. Many images were obviously staged, and admittedly so. While a street portrait of an individual in a natural pose, as well as candids are called Street Photography, there has always been a recognized line to not purposely pose an individual or create a specific scene. And yet I saw many instances of this. I don’t know if all of these things are a trend or an evolution. Some people argue that we see in color, therefore, images should be in color. I don’t really know. Nor do I know that it actually matters. Like I said, I am confused, but that is not to mean that I will change my style.
Since we moved into a brand new Training Center, my offices are almost a mile from the site that you see in the distance. That puts our offices right in the middle of the Nature Preserve. There used to be all of your typical African Game in this area until the last Lion was hunted and killed in the Cape Town around 1910. Shame. This image was made right outside of our offices. The animal you see is a Springbok. Delicious, uh, I mean beautiful. They are very plentiful here and they are served in restaurants. Not as a paying customer but on the plate. They also make excellent Biltong, which is South African Smoked Jerky, only 100 times better. The Springbok is also the National Sports Mascot, or was until the current government wanted to remove all vestiges of the past in every way shape and form regardless if it was innocent of past disgressions or not. Now the only Springbok Team is the Rugby Team. The Cricket Team are the Proteas (a flower), and the Soccer Team is Bafana Bafana (the boys, the boys) huh? Anyway, so nice to work in a Nature Preserve. If you get hungry, just go hunt down a Springbok LOL! Springbok at Koeberg Nature Preserve - 154/365
When surfing in the Cape Town area i.e. somewhere near the Cape of Good Hope a wetsuit is essential. It's not just a nice thing to have. It is what you get when you get a surfboard. Booties on the other hand are not always necessary especially if you primarily surf in Muizenberg where the water is warmer than the Atlantic. Since I live on the Atlantic side they are necessary. My first surf at Big Bay with no Booties resulted in having to come out of the water every 20 minutes because I could not feel my feet enough to be able to stand on the surfboard. Notice that they are Reef Booties and Proudly South African made. Had to get with "The Booties" - 153/365
Surf Emporium was the first place that I had my first private lessons and has also been the place that I continue to do so. The one thing I can say about the Surf community in Muizenberg is that while they all compete with each other for business, they are also friends. I bought my surfboard at Expression On The Beach. I bought some wetsuit repair glue and a shirt at The Corner Surf Shop. I purchased a carry bag for my surfboard at Lifestyles Surf Shop and that's after someone at Surf Emporium did not have the correct size and sent me there. Oh and by the way I went to Surf Emporium to get the bag at the recommendation of Expression On The Beach. So it's all like a family. And everyone is genuinely nice. My Surf Emporium Hat - 152/365
This is an all too common scene all over Cape Town and South Africa in general. I usually do not make images of the homeless because they are gratuitous and a way too easy way to get some emotional response for your image. I do, though, need to add this to make the visual images that I make about my time here real. It can't be real without the ugly reality. Why does this situation exist on such a vast scale here? Well there are a lot of reasons for it, but most of it is literally uncontrolled illegal immigration from other African countries. There is virtually no immigration enforcement unless of course you attempt to do it legally. Then there is a vast network that has to be navigated. A blind eye is turned toward the illegal immigration. Mostly being self serving. The public statements are that these individuals cannot be aggressively pursued because their home countries assisted the ANC (Afican National Congress) during the fight against Apartheid. The practical reason is that every Black African that comes to South Africa somehow finds a very expeditious way to become a citizen just prior to elections and are able to vote. Most of Black South Africa votes for the ANC. This guarantees that they stay in power. So over a period of time the ANC has systematically moved a huge population of Black Africans to the Western Cape with the promise of jobs, economic prosperity, a better life, and has not delivered. Anyway, my discussion on the crazy history of this place could go on for a long time. More than my blog could stand, but I thought it important to discuss because the reason the man is flat on his face sleeping in the street at night is not totally of his own doing, and there are tens of thousands like him mostly living in the squallor of crime ridden squatter camps that would be an outrage in the USA. Very sad. The Ugly Side of Cape Town - 149/365
Another abstract photographic experiment. In my mind it all starts out when I see a grouping of colors, light, or shapes of normal mundane items and imagine then in an alternate way. Most of the time by adding movement. In this image, which was one of many attempts, I shot my instrument panel while rotating around the axis of my speedometer. My365Project - 145/365.
Most of my friends know that lately I spend a good deal of my weekend time in Muizenberg, surfing. This allows for plenty of opportunities to photograph Muizenberg at different times of the day and in different weather. While rain keeps the average tourist away, it really doesn't make a difference to surfers. Wet is wet! Here's an image of a rainy day at Surfer's Corner in Muizenberg as the train passes by. It's called Surfers Corner because of all of the surf shops and surfing activity. The Corner Surf Shop in fact, is the first surf shop on the Continent. They are all separately owned businesses, but what makes it really cool is that they refer business to each other. My365Project 144/365
It is a relatively recent phenomena that South Africa has received the "Fast Food Spawns of Satan": McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, etc. Here in Cape Town it is all the rage. Before you know it South Africa will have similar obesity problems as seen in the USA. Too bad. The food is so good here! My365Project 143/365.