There are three very close breaks on Jeffrey's Bay main beach. Dolphin Beach is a beach break, meaning a sandy bottom and waves break randomly based on the days contour of the beach bottom. It's called Dolphin Beach because in the evening you literally see the Dolphins surfing the same waves you are on. Next to that is Kitchen Windows, named by an old timer at J-Bay because he could see the break out of his kitchen window. After that a restaurant opened in front of the break called, "Kitchen Windows." It is a point break, meaning the waves break the same way all the time as they are formed by a reef on the ocean bottom. Today Kitchen Windows was a bit crowded so my coach, Kelvin, decided we would go to Phantoms about 100 yards next door. Why Phantoms? Because while the waves are as good as Kitchen Windows, there are fewer people. You see the break is a lot farther out which means a long paddle. No worries, I'm very fit. Ha! My arms were rubber when I got out there. It was great though to surf a point break, knowing that the waves would generally break in the same spot every time. The tricky part is that you have to keep yourself in that spot. Harder than you'd think. Another first for me was surfing at night. It wasn't totally dark as we paddled in but all of the lights were on. You'd think it would be scary, but it wasn't. It was actually very peaceful and relaxing. What a great day!
The West Coast of South Africa has many great surf spots: Noordhoek, Long Beach, Llundadno, Big Bay, Melkbos, and many more. One of the best, however, is Elands Bay, also known as the Jeffrey's Bay of the West Coast. It was made famous in the surf movie, The Endless Summer. Well I will be visiting this weekend on a surf tour run by my friends at Surf Emporium in Muizenberg. We'll be leaving on Friday afternoon and coming back to Cape Town Sunday afternoon. Elands Bay is only about 100 miles North of Cape Town and a surf is planned when we get there. We're staying in a B&B on a real working ranch. Elands Bay is also known for its hiking, wildlife observation and pre-historic cave paintings. Our guide and Coach will be Karel Lewy, an ISA Level 2 coach and Naturalist. Really looking forward to the trip! Also looking forward to using my new board and making plenty of images!
I continue to post my 365 images as I get to them. It was tough enough to make the images let alone post them everyday. To that end I am still catching up and I plan to make a small book of all of the images. I'll have more information on that as soon as I get some information on details and possible publication methods. I want to get back to real photographs that you can hold in your hand and not just see on the computer. Nothing beats having an album.
I made this image one evening when I saw this beautiful fiery sunset and there were a couple of people walking on the beach. I wanted to convey how nice and simple life can be by just taking a walk with a loved one. I made this with my Fuji camera and I made three exposures and combined them to be able to get the bright light of the sun and the shadows in the same image.
I made this sunset image along the "Cape Wine Route" while I was having a pizza at a Craft Beer Brewery. Table Mountain can be seen in the distance on the right. Beautiful place. Great beer!
One of my passions is street photography. I really like capturing what I see at just a random moment on the street. Late at night you have to use a slower shutter speed and what I like about this image is that the guys standing there are sharp, but the girl is somewhat blurred due to her motion.
I helped host a photo-walk at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. It's like many other City, State, or National Botanical Gardens except that this was the yard of Cecil John Rhodes i.e. "Rhodes Scholars" still funded by his trust. Rhodes made his fortune in Diamonds in South Africa and Rhodesia (a country he named after himself), by founding the DeBeers Diamond Company. He is both revered and reviled. Much like John Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, regardless of their reputations, these men helped make their countries successful. I almost ran into this spider until warned by a friend. It was about the size of a tennis ball. I have no idea if it was poisonous or not, and I know nothing about it. I did think, though, that it would make an interesting image.
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!
A herd of Springbok at Night that I encountered as soon as I opened the door leaving work one evening. A quick snap with the Iphone was all I could manage before they took off. They were probably more surprised than I was. Since it was an Iphone image you can see how close they were to me. My365Project: Springbok Night Encounter - 170/365.
The beauty and look of the Old School Longboard is Classic and ageless. While this board may not actually be a longboard (greater than 9'1") the shape and look fit the profile. So does the gray haired guy carrying the board. Surfers here in Cape Town have surfed all their lives. Many were taught by their Fathers or Mothers and have passed it on to their kids and Grandkids. While there are many places with better and bigger waves than Muizenberg in South Africa, it is definitely the center of the universe for the sport in Cape Town. Everyone learns in Muizenberg.
I made a couple of images of this Skateboarder while he was sitting. I liked the scene from behind him as he was looking out toward Muizenberg Beach, False Bay, and the Cape of Good Hope in the background. Yes, nothing but water between here and Antarctica. But I preferred this image as it is more dynamic. I like the way he is turning away, almost as if he is turning away from surfing to go Skateboard, while the girl in the bottom is entering the frame. Or maybe he has to go use the restroom LOL! Muizenberg is the beach and the town, however, False Bay is the body of water that it fronts. There is a small granite island in the bay called Seal Island, which is one of the main breeding sites for the Cape Fur Seal. The seals attract many Great White Sharks and some of the biggest sharks ever seen have been spotted in these waters. These sharks are famous for the manner in which they breach the surface of the water while attacking seals, sometimes jumping entirely out of the ocean. Despite this, swimming, surfing, yachting, scuba diving and so on are popular pastimes around the bay, at centres such as Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Smitswinkel Bay, Strand and Gordon's Bay. Shark attacks are generally uncommon but by no means unknown, with two deaths since 2010. Skateboarder on Muizenberg Beach - 137/365
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.
AfrikaBurn is the spectacular result of the creative expression of participants who gather once a year in the Tankwa Karoo to create a temporary city of art, theme camps, costume, music and performance! http://www.afrikaburn.com/
Getting there was a mission. About 3-4 hours from Cape Town including a 113 km Tire Eating dirt road. I was advised to deflate my tires and I made it there and back OK. When I got back to Cape Town I noticed I had a definite slow leak in one of my tires. So I didn't escape unscathed. Lots of color, performances, crazy costumes, awesome landscape and great people.
I pass this windmill frequently, and until lately the sky has always been bright blue behind it making it rather uninteresting. This time, I passed by and saw a much more dramatic sky than usual as a front was coming in. I pulled over to make this image. I love these windmills. They are everywhere and are seen and used as an unofficial symbol of the Western Cape. My 365 Project 117/365
A Cape Town Farmstall - My 365 Project 106/365. Trying to catch up on my 365 project postings. I'm still working the project and shooting everyday, but I've been falling back on my postings. I pass this place everyday and it's just a colorful little Farm Store. Here in South Africa the call them Farmstalls. In Afrikaans it translates from Padstal (pronounced Patstall) for roadside store. What really attracted me was the colorful windmill, that is an unofficial symbol of the Western Cape.
I can watch these guys and girls for hours out of my window, and I do! They are amazing athletes. Little did I know that I would be living in front of a small gravel parking lot, in front of a beach where some of the most famous professional windsurfers and kitesurfers practice. Some of them are bound for the Olympics and some are previous Olympic medal winners. Pretty amazing. I can walk through this parking lot on any day and hear a bunch of different languages. Great experience. And very down to earth guys and girls, as you would expect. 36/365project
I saw this little bot in Hout Bay, a harbor town just on the other side of Table Mountain from Cape Town. I had gone to a market that they have there especially so that I could do some photography at the market and the fishing boats in the Harbor. This boy's Mother was selling sea shell trays that you would put change, or your keys in. I stopped and asked if I could make some images of him and she said yes. I also bought to little trays. I will never make an image of someone if they ask for money, but if they're selling something I will always buy.Read More
I was running on the beach in Cape Town last evening on Melkbos Beach when I passed this broken sand pail just left there by someone. The beach in front of my place is usually pristine. Not a paper, can, or any trash to be seen for miles. The ones who use it regularly are excellent stewards of the beach. The runners, walkers, dog owners, and surfers really appreciate this wonderful place. I had to make this image to show what happens when the infrequent beach goers happen to visit in droves during the holiday season. What I noticed when I was ready to make the image with my iPhone was that it may be more dramatic showing a ground level view, or what the smallest living creature may see of this left at their doorstep. I tried several angles using the sun in the back. It was difficult because I could not see the screen so low so I had to approximate my framing. This image is uncropped but I added some filters to make it more dramatic and enhance the colors. Quite beautiful for trash. I love contradictions in photography.