It’s been busy recently. I haven’t taken any photos in ages. It’s still busy, but sometimes you need to take your chances. And after yesterday’s rubbish day, I had some English muffins drenched in butter for breakfast and decided to blog early as well. Good start.
Mist – the photographer’s friend – is fairly unusual on the side of the mountain here, so when it arrives, you need to get the camera out and get going. Sadly, today’s episode was very transient – the descending and then disappearing within 10 minutes – and coincided neatly with the requirement to get the kids to school, so some some degree of balance was required.
This is actually not a monochrome image, but as well as softening everything around you, the mist also drains all the life and the colour from the scene, which works nicely when you have vegetation at various distances from your position.
There are actually three layers here, but only two are really discernible. More time and less private property would have been really helpful to fine-tune this shot, but as mentioned above, sometimes you just need to go with what you’ve got.
A quick trip to Kirstenbosch Gardens (we’re members now, don’t you know?) this morning with a camera (50mm prime lens only) in hand yielded some decent exercise and a few nice pics, not least this Common Garden Orbweb Spider (Agriope australis), which was much better camouflaged than you might imagine.
Not sure what the thicker woven threads top left and bottom left are, but it was quite an impressive construction for a relatively small spider.
And how about a bit of Erica densifolia to brighten your day?
Because of… well… you know what, a lot of outdoor spaces (basically those without controlled entrance) are out of bounds at the moment and even Kirstenbosch is only open 9-6, leading to huge, mostly socially-distanced queues outside the gates when we arrived. And then the frustrating stupidity of the official at the entrance with his mask under his nose, touching everyone’s hands while taking their temperature, but telling us all to behave safely.
Still, once you’re in, and past the muppets, you can lose yourself nicely for a while. This was an hour or so well-spent.
My Flickr is here, btw, and desperately needs some new additions. But that’s not important right now.
The email in question was the announcement of the winners of the Your Best Shot competition from last year – an opportunity for the photographers in the community to share… well… their Best Shot from 2020 in an effort to win prizes, fame and fortune.
But mainly prizes.
I didn’t enter this time around so as to give someone else a chance to win. Same as every year.
I was actually a little disappointed with the overall standard of the winning entries, but it (quite literally) isn’t for me to judge, and so well done to those whose images were selected.
One thing I did like was “the photographer’s words” bit under each photograph, describing why or how they took it and what they were aiming for. It’s cool to have a bit of a story and some context while you’re looking at the image. For example:
“This bottle kept floating into my shots… and I decided to make it my subject matter. It’s very tough to see what you are capturing when the sun is shining hard, the waves are lapping, you are treading water, and you have a snorkel mask on. The phone has a plastic case on it (all giving off reflections making it hard to see properly), so I was pleased when I got back to the beach and reviewed the images that a couple of them were just what I had hoped for.”
The photo was shot on my trip to Kathmandu, shortly before the Covid crisis made these kind of trips difficult or not possible at all. On a walk in the old city of Kathmandu… a man appeared and stopped some meters away, unfolding his newspaper and (possibly) reading what is going on in Nepal and the rest of the world.
As I impatiently listen to the coffee machines gurgle, a hazy somber morning observes me through the old windows of my apartment building. With my trusted bike on my shoulder, I head for the stairs. As I pull the door open, it’s clear that my windows made no illusions. My neighborhood’s Covid-infused streets are shrouded in a fog so thick it turns every light source around me into beautiful living organisms. I mount my bike, and a green light appears ahead. As it pulls me into the unknown known of my hometown, I reach for my camera.
[Puts away thesaurus; closes adjectives dot com webpage; hands in Year 6 English homework assignment]
Alright, Shakespeare. Take it easy. This is the literary equivalent of #RBOSS. No need!
Look, I’m not saying that I could do any better in Danish (and I’m not saying that for very obvious reasons), but Jesus, Henry: please just stick to the photos in future.
More ‘togging, less blogging?
Incidentally, I think his photostream has some wonderful pictures. But their descriptions are thankfully much less verbose.
Today, we went back to Theewaterskloof Dam. And wow. What a difference a day 980 days makes.
Compare this from February 2018…
…with this from this morning:
Quite chuffed how close I managed to get those two images, given that it has been 2½ years and given that the place (thankfully) looks completely different.
Cape Town will always be threatened with water shortages, given the twin issues of rapid population growth and global climate change, but this is about as good as things could be and it was a truly heartening sight.
And yes, everyone knows that the dams are back up to 100% – I didn’t need to personally go out there and take this image to prove it. But we need these little wins right now, and this comparison very much fits that agenda.
I couldn’t get the drone up – the wind was blowing like a overenthusiastic lady on Kenilworth Main Road – but there will be more photos to follow.