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.
I generally do not make images of the homeless or the downtrodden, as I generally find it too easy and gratuitous. When I do though it is to add to the story or the description of the location. Sadly, this man is representative to a large population of Cape Town and South Africa. I found it ironic for him to be walking in front of the Mercedes with the two guys sitting inside with the blank stare. The image was not made to judge anyone in the image, but just to give a complete representation of the people of Cape Town. All three in the image are therefore to this city.
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!
Muizenberg is a special place for me. It's where I resurrected my love for surfing, where I made new friends, and where I started to understand South Africa a little better.
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.
You've all seen this type of image before if you've followed my blog, but every one of these is truly different. The mood and the look changes so quickly that sometimes I look out of my window and think it is blah, and then like on this occasion, I see something that has potential and I run out to the beach. Black and White for this type of image is ideal as it sets the mood.
An abstract image where I twisted the camera to make the subject a little more mysterious and interesting.
There's a place on Long Street in Cape Town that serves awesome burgers, "The Royale Eatery". There's usually a wait especially on weekend nights so they created a bar upstairs for customers called "The Waiting Room." The bar has evolved into more than just a waiting room for customers. It's gritty and relaxing with old couches and picnic tables on a balcony overlooking Long Street. The night that I went they had a great DJ that was mixing Rock and Roll Classics all night. It was so good that after having my burger I went back upstairs to have a beer. While I was taking it all in I came upon a backroom that had a Foosball table and a bunch of guys hanging out playing. It reminded me of my old college days so I asked if I could make some images and they were cool. In this image I really like the way the smoke trails from the cigarette as well as seeing how much fun these guys are having.
If you've been following my posts, you can probably tell I love photographing the weather here. I never lived on the beach, and never realized how quickly the weather changes and how beautiful and dramatic it is when it is extreme and combined with a sunset. This is another image of "The Cape of Storms" in all it's glory.
Cape Of Good Hope : Bartolomeu Dias originally named it the "Cape of Storms". If you have felt the winds in the Cape, you can draw your own conclusions as to why he named it that.
However, it was later renamed by John II of Portugal as "Cape of Good Hope" because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of a sea route to India and the East, which would be fruitful for trade.
I posted an image similar to this a while back, however, it does not change my amazement. When I step out of my office I don't know what animal I may encounter. Pretty amazing!
My most relaxing place to be is on my surfboard out in the water. As I have stated before, time does not matter and the focus is on the here and now. It is a pure state of being in the moment. Rocking gently in the water up and down with the smaller swells and knowing that the larger ones that you will attempt will come in due time. No need to try and anticipate because you are not in control. The power of the ocean is incredible and you absolutely have no influence on it. You must be resigned and willing to surrender to the power. I find it very spiritual and relaxing to surrender completely in that way. If I had known that I would experience this the way I have I would have resumed my surfing way before getting to Cape Town. I am so glad I've been able to experience this again!
Walking into the Fog. There are not many mornings in Cape Town when you encounter no wind at all. There is usually always a breeze. This was one of those morning where it seemed that if you followed the footsteps onto the beach you would disappear into the fog. Rather eerie. As if you are walking to an unknown whiteness.
There's a really classy, upscale bar in Cape Town called The Alexander Bar and Theatre. They have a small theatre upstairs where they show movies free of charge. The owners are fans of quirky, foreign, artsy movies, as am I. I love going there.
This artist's palate with fresh oil paint caught my eye at an exhibit during the First Thursday's Art Walk every month in Cape Town. The mystery is that I can't really say whether it was there because a piece was being worked on, or if it was part of the exhibit. There was no one present that could answer that question. That in itself makes the placement of the palate brilliant. At least to me. Plus I loved the colors and texture.
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 .
The white flag with the black shark indicates that a shark has been seen in the area and the beach is closed. The day before there had been an attack on a surfer. The detailed report is published here on Shark Spotters. The surfer escaped with relatively minor injuries compared to the size of the shark. One surfer was initially unsure whether the animal was a shark or a whale, but stated that b the size leaned toward thinking it was a whale. This is the first attack in Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa in ten years much of this credited to the success of http://sharkspotters.org.za/.
People having fun in the water. Some surfing, taking lessons, jumping in the waves, or a girl with a surfboard just walking by. That's why I love Muizenberg! Another Day in Muizenberg - 208/365
The Alexander Bar in downtown Cape Town is a cool place to just relax with friends, have a drink and something light to eat. What makes it special is that upstairs they show Indie films for free. The owners love Indie films and they show them every couple of weeks. People have fun and it brings in customers.
An early morning sunrise from the Koeberg Nature Preserve. I work in such a beautiful place.
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.