Category Archives: Photography

28 km Run

Journal of a reluctant runner

This morning was our 28 km run. Starting at 6:16 am we would run out along Chapman’s Peak drive and back – a slightly challenging and exquisitely beautiful route. The weather is glorious. A perfect day for a long, long run.

And I was on it. Organised. I was not being caught short this time. So yesterday afternoon, after collecting The Kid (lugubrious after some high school teenage drama during the day) from school, I drove past the shop to stock up on some salted caramel GUs, as recommended by Firstborn Daughter. The salted caramel is the best flavour, she insisted. It got her through the Rome Marathon, and if it did that for her, imagine what it could do for me.

Then, last night I took the dogs for a gentle walk, taking care to keep my legs rested for today. I had taken Thursday as a rest day…

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So you want to be a freelance photographer (part 5)

Journal of a reluctant runner

I feel so angry this morning.

 

Sitting at my desk, checking emails and thinking back to this weekend’s shoot.

 

I had a Bar Mitzvah to photograph on Saturday night. Now, I really dislike events photography. Sometimes it’s fun, especially if it’s a corporate event – the people are nice, they treat you like a professional, the money is good and I leave feeling quite energized and positive. Often, though, people want your lowest price and treat you like one of the waiters … which says more about the people than it does about the waiters and about how waiters should be treated.

 

Saturday night was one of those events. I knew it would be like that, though, as I had worked for this guy before. He wants your cheapest price, then doesn’t pay on the night, and later pays in cash, a little bit now and a…

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Walking the Daisies 2013

Journal of a reluctant runner

One of our various annual pilgrimages is coming up soon: Rocking the Daisies, our eco-friendly music and lifestyle festival, on 3-6 October. The line-up on the main stage includes artists such as Goodluck, Spoek Mthambo, Gangs of Ballet and Desmond & the Tutus. I would have liked to have seen TheCity have their own gig … but maybe next year.

Part of Rocking the Daisies is the Pick & Pay Walking the Daisies – a soul-lifting, inspiring two-day 50 km environmental hike from Cape Town to Darling.

I walked with them two years ago, and it was amazing. I applied last year, and didn’t make the cut. I found out later that some people who did make it, didn’t turn up, thereby denying others the opportunity to take part. This year, the Walking the Daisies organisers have wisened up: they’re separating the men from the boys, the women from…

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Journal of a lone walker

If you have started following my blog because you are interested in blogs about health and fitness, or the New York Marathon, please follow my blog at Journal of a lone walker. I figured not all photographers are interested in fitness, and not all fitness types are interested in photography, so I am keeping the two topics in separate blogs.

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20 days to AfrikaBurn! (… thinking back to last year)

Only 20 days to go before we set off to travel the long, dusty road to this year’s AfrikaBurn. And a long, long, dusty road it sure is …

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Long, dusty road to Tankwa Town, home of AfrikaBurn

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Enter Tankwa Town, exit the Default World … the AfrikaBurn adventure awaits

Last year we travelled most of the way in the rain.

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A rainbow on the way to AfrikaBurn 2012

We were lucky, though, because the next day the Tankwa Karoo showed us what she was capable of doing. My daughter aquaplaned into the campsite in a car so caked with mud that she couldn’t see out the windscreen …

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Moments after she arrived, Tankwa unleashed the mother of all storms. Rocks of hail pelted down from the heavens, massive winds whipped tents from their supports, and angry rains fell so fast that the Karoo had no time to soak the water into her thirsty earth. Massive pools of brown water formed and those tents that had withstood the gale force winds were flooded. The men from the nudist colony had time only to don some wellington boots before heading out to hammer down the guy ropes and dig trenches around their tents.

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Campers scurrying to save their tents from flooding.

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It was easier to just pick up the tent and carry it, than break down and pitch again.

Miraculously, our tent – put up in the pitch dark the night before – stood on a patch of ground soft enough to absorb the water, and high enough – by mere inches – to avoid being flooded. We hulked down under our gazebo, watching the chaos play out around us. I made hot chocolate, popcorn and, later, a big pot of stew to feed the cold and (temporarily) homeless campers around us.

The storm left the site covered in water and structures smashed to pieces.

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The fire-breathing dragon, made of strips of balsa wood, was smashed by the storm

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Just when we thought it was over, the rains came down again.

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But what a sky it gave us …

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That night, Tankwa Town was dark and cold. It looked as if AfrikaBurn was not going to happen this year. Sculptures, geodesic domes, tents, plasma screens, all in pieces, ruined.

But burners are made of stronger stuff than Default World people. The next day the sun came out, the puddles dried up, and the desert was transformed into a fantasy world of colour.

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Where’s Wally? Which one is Wally?

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Everything is turned into art at AfrikaBurn

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A spectacular giant aloe in the desert

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If you’re not wearing a tutu at AfrikaBurn, you’re not properly dressed.

My velvet roses were attached to dry, prickly bushes around our campsite …

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A (velvet and satin) desert rose.

… and even my grumpiest friends managed to smile …

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And that night it was as if the storm had never happened. The party had started. The dragon breathed its fire and there were fairy lights and laser lights everywhere. It was bitterly cold, though, and most of the tutus were worn under coats. The nudists wore scarves (around their necks).

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The fire-breathing dragon, dressed up for the night.

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An origami bird in laser lights?

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And, of course, there were the burns …

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Dancing polar bear, in flames.

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This year we’ll be having our own theme camp. Only 20 days in which to create our own fantasy world. Best I get to it!

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Filed under AfrikaBurn, Festivals, Landscape, Low light photography, Nature photography, Photography

Venice by night

Photographs of the Venice Carnival here brought back memories of my few days there in the spring of last year. It was still biting cold at night, and the crowds of tourists hadn’t yet arrived – although, I do think Venice is never quite without tourists.

The shopkeepers were so friendly and I was fascinated by the elaborate masks that were for sale everywhere. The owners of a shop where I bought numerous items I didn’t need told me about the Venice Carnival. They were so enthusiastic about it, that I wanted immediately to book my hotel room for the following February. Then they mentioned how very cold it is at that time of year … and May was pretty cold enough for me already. Maybe I’ll look at other people’s colourful photos for a while longer.

I have long ago given up the argument about whether or not to travel with a tripod. It’s big, heavy, cumbersome and yet another piece of hand luggage to heft through security and find a space stow on board an aircraft. But it’s a small price to pay if you’re a lover of low light photography. I don’t think any city looks quite as pretty as it does at twilight, and if you want sharp images and lighting effects, you need a good, solid tripod. So my heavy Manfrotto travels. No debate.

These are a few of the low light shots I took from various bridges in Venice.

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ImageImageImageImageImageMaybe one day I’ll make it to Venice for Carnevale. In the meantime, I’ll stock up on some thermal underwear, diligently practice my conjugation of verbs, and polish my tripod.

These pics are some of the latest upload to Online Images.

 

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Delayed by a caterpillar

There are some days during which one’s goals can quickly dissolve in the bog of ‘other things’.

Today I thought I would ‘just quickly’ keyword and upload some of the many caterpillar photographs sitting on my computer. I am determined to not upload any image, especially a nature image, that is not keyworded with its correct scientific and common names. This caterpillar was found on a tomato plant in my garden (as are most bugs – I sure do have trouble growing tomatoes) and, since many of its kind find their way into my small garden, I thought it would be pretty easy to identify.

Well, I’ve googled for hours and pored over every butterfly and caterpillar photograph in the Struik Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, and cannot find a similar looking fellow. The research led me to numerous websites with pictures of some amazing looking insects – very beautiful creatures, none of which I would like to find in my garden. How do you kill a big, squishy caterpillar that looks as if it has flowers growing from its body? Rather let it eat what it wants … decimate the garden.

My caterpillar looks pretty much like the Cherry Spot caterpillar, but the markings are not quite the same. I posted a pic here, so let’s see what happens.

Anyway, having spent some hours achieving nothing, it’s time to move on to some other work … like edit that novel of mine that’s also been rattling about my computer for some years.

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This type of caterpillar is found quite often in my garden, usually on the tomato plants. I have no idea what it is, though.

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Mom caterpillar and baby caterpillar, feasting on some tender tomato leaves

I took these pics with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens and the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX Flash (still my favourite piece of camera equipment).

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