Archive for ‘Cape Town’

February 17, 2016

The eastern Table cloth

Kirstenbosch downslope, upmarket Newlands
The eastern Table cloth
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February 16, 2016

Distant Beach

Cape Town
Distant Beach
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May 18, 2014

Two doors in Bo Kaap

My only regret about Bo Kaap is I didn’t spend a couple of hours there. I got maybe eight minutes, and I was stopped and complained at for shooting by a local for half of that time. With all the irregularities of the space there are hundreds of composition opportunities. Any pair of doors was awesome simply for the stark differences in color. Green against red worked fine by me.
Two doors in Bo Kaap
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April 23, 2014

Late in the garden

To me, it’s weird to leave a residence in South Africa at night. It’s like you slide into an abyss. Every garden surrounds a home; a wall outlines every garden. The walls are topped with electric fencing. Inside the wall you’re on an oasis of calm. Lights from the house and the lanterns illuminate the foliage in colors you understand. When you venture out the streetlights feel foreign and cold. As you pass through the gate the shadows shift. Or do they move?
Late in the garden
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April 2, 2014

Dry dock, Cape Town

A colleague of mine visited the Panama Canal last year and got some awesome shots out of a helicopter that made it look like the earth was bending around him. That hit me when I walked past this dry dock in Cape Town. It’s funny how things pop back into your head all of a sudden. I image they can get much bigger boats in here.
Dry dock, Cape Town
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March 30, 2014

Bishops’ Memorial Chapel

I had the honor of 30 free minutes to shoot at Bishops, one of the prestigious boys schools in all of South Africa. I spent the entire time photographing two chapels. This, the newer one, was named in memory of those students who fought and died in World War I – 110 of them. The place is simple and very beautiful. I hear the school has a pretty amazing rowing team, too.
Bishops' Memorial Chapel
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March 29, 2014

Recross way

Nabbed going 80 kmh through Cape Town, this man is climbing a staircase to a bridge that goes back over the highway. You can purchase naming rights of the bridge if you like, which seems very American to me, and I was surprised to see this sort of money-grab in South Africa.

When I returned to the USA I met a man from Togo at a wedding. Upon asking where he was from and explaining where I’d returned from, he was quick to point out while simultaneously gesturing to the beautiful room in which were were standing, “This business. America business.” He said it with a massive smile, with this calm body language that suggested it was why he was here. “Africa,” he said with an even bigger smile, “Africa, life.” He held his head cocked sideways to allow me to let it sink in, but I was already thinking the same way.
Recross way
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March 28, 2014

Bo Kaap color

From what I understand Cape Town’s Bo Kaap neighborhood was settled by freed slaves from Dutch colonial areas back in the 1600s. It’s been a vibrant home to the Cape Malays since shortly thereafter. One man came up to me while I was shooting these homes and asked from under a thin moustache, “Are you a professional photographer?” The answer is… yes… but I felt this was a trick question. “Why,” I asked, trying to be as abrupt as he was. He went after me again, “Are you local?”

“I’m from Jo’burg,” I said, twanging my accent as best I could to sound anything but American. The truth was I started my trip in Johannesburg and nine days later had worked my way here, for thankfully the only dispute with anyone on the trip. “Nobody makes a cent off of these professional photographers’ post cards, you know?” It felt like the brightly-colored walls were closing in around me, and I only had 10 minutes to shoot the neighborhood and book it – so I offered to fight the fight alongside my detractor rather than against him. “You know,” I started, “those photographers just don’t appreciate how long it takes to paint these walls.”

That got him. He offered up a slow and thoughtful crack-toothed smile. “OK,” he smiled, and headed up the hill.
Bo Kaap color
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