I made this image immediately after my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video. Luckily it was warm in Cape Town that day, but as usual, the water was Ice Cold so I needed neither a bucket nor ice!
I made this image by getting as close to the ground with my camera as possible to accentuate the sand and shells in the foreground as well as the sky and upcoming sunset. What drew me to the scene initially were the wisps of clouds that look like smoke coming off of a fire.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) here is not just a flat-water sport as it is in Florida. Here it is quite the opposite. Yes there are people that SUP on flat water, but most do it as a form of surfing. Some people here were quite amazed when I told them that in Miami people do Yoga on them. You can do that when the water does not move. The SUP's are also much shorter for performance riding on the waves, like these guys were getting ready to practice. I saw them almost at sunset and I asked them to pose for a photo. I also gave them my card, and when the one on the left emailed me I sent them the image for free. I do that with all of the images I make of people I encounter.
Storm at Sunset, Cape Town shows the impressive colors that can be experienced by the combination of the two. This is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image where three images at different exposures are combined to be able to get detail in the shadows, and highlights where one would normally not be seen. It's not as easy as it sounds as you have to determine on your own what the initial exposure should be. If you want to know more about HDR a photographer named Trey Ratcliff gives a tutorial on how to produce the images at www.stuckincustoms.com .
Cape Town is known as "The Cape of Storms". I thought storms came into Florida quickly and they do, but in Cape Town they are ferocious. The wind howls, the rain blasts, and the ocean churns with such force that amazes. It is also beautiful. There is something calming and relaxing about watching a storm roll in. I remember rounding the Cape of Storms when I was in the Navy on an Aircraft Carrier. There was a huge storm as we were rounding in winter with 90 foot seas. The huge ship was bobbing like a cork in the water. We could not eat for two days and we had to strap ourselves in our bunks. I remember thinking, how did these guys in little ships make it around? Well a lot did not. To this day the Cape of Storms takes it's toll on even modern vessels.
I spend a lot of time surfing on the weekends, and one of my favorite time is when I can go right out my door and go straight into the water. No traveling, or hassle, but I do miss seeing my friends in Muizenberg. As I've said before, it is very meditative for me just being out there on the water. Maybe that's why surfers and surfing in general is so mellow and laid back. Never really grasped all of this in my earlier days of surfing. Road-trips and girls were the order of the day then. Will never forget those days, with Hector, Jimmy, Willie, Lee, Bobby, Shelly (he didn't like Sheldon), Joe, Pepe, Billy, and many others. Good times.
I woke up this morning to an ocean, that for Cape Town, almost looked like a lake. Though there were small waves, it was very calm. I knew that if I just looked carefully enough during these conditions, it would not be difficult to spot the Whales. I opened the blinds and I did not have to search. They were about 50-100 yards off the beach. Right in front of my place. The last time I saw them they were much farther off. I made some photos of what I saw this morning and you can see those below. What I tried to emphasize was perspective. I wanted to show their size and how close they were to shore. These are the Southern Right Whales. They come close to shore between June and November to calve and feed their newborns. As such you do not see them breach (jumping out of the water). It paid off being patient though. The last few images were of the tail. Enjoy!
I don't ever remember wearing beanies in Miami. Only on the odd trip up North or an infrequent ski trip. In those cases I even had to borrow them. I certainly was not the type to wear one in ninety degree weather as is common to see now. That's just ridiculous. Anyway, the beanie is necessary here and I've collected a few already. This is a self-portrait after a surf session in the backyard.
A Night Scene of the town Melkbosstrand (Melkbos Beach) where I live.
I saw this Surf Fisherman on a cold afternoon run on my beach. No idea what he was fishing for. I made several images. Most did not show his hand with this gesture. It added interest. The others bored me as it just showed his body with the fishing rod sticking up.
An image of the Lifeguard Stands in my town of Melkbosstrand. Melkbos is a Milk Bush and Strand is Beach in Afrikaans. It's like a little fantasy village. Unlike any other place in Cape Town. It was actually voted the best place to live in South Africa. A surf town. Neighborhood Watch. Kids walk and ride their bikes to school. People run and walk their dogs on the beach. Police and Armed response patrols are always somewhere close. Couldn't think about living anywhere else while I'm here. Lifeguard Stands at Melkbosstrand - 142/365
The surfboard in Hawaii has a deep and spiritual history. In this modern era of mass produced popout boards, the custom Hand-Shaper is an increasingly rare breed of artisan who continues to respect the importance of carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of constructing sacred craft. Bill Foote… is one of those legendary Hawaiian surfboard shapers… where quality, innovative design, and customer enjoyment of his boards is what he really cares about and focuses on. Bill’s constantly evolving designs are borne out of a rare and unique depth of experience that spans over a 40 year period as a well respected and world renown Surfboard, Stand Up Paddle, and Sailboard shaper. My surfboard was designed by Bill Foote, cut out to his specifications, then sent to him for correction and approval prior to covering with material and then epoxy. Pretty cool actually. The company, Signature Surfboards was started by Neil Esterhuizen here in my town of Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. He coordinated with famous surfboard designers around the world and created this line. I wanted to make sure to buy local and this was the best of all worlds. My Bill Foote Designed Surfboard - 139/365
Yes, this is real. I made this image as a panorama so that I could fit in the rainbow end to end. I did enhance the blue of the sky so that the second more faint rainbow was visible. Never seen anything like this. I do have witnesses! Full Double Rainbow in my Backyard - 136/365