Category Archives: Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monuments in the Veld

Long before Diaz, Da Gama and Van Riebeeck set foot on Southern Africa soil, there were people here – The First People. And they left monuments in the form of petroglyphs to remind us of the delicate balance in Nature.

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The First People regarded the rhino with awe, and even then realised how important it is for later generations to respect the presence of these huge creatures in Nature.

Some animals are depicted as 'getting out of the rock', like this Eland. It s still trapped in the spirit world, waiting for the dream to become reality.

Some animals were depicted as ‘getting out of the rock’, like this Eland. It s still trapped in the spirit world, waiting for the dream to become reality.

They were great artists, leaving us wonderful pictures on their stone monuments.

They were great artists, leaving us wonderful pictures on their stone monuments.

Did they write us a letter in a language we don't understand? Or were they aware of...other things? Distant galaxies perhaps? Foreign visitors?

Did they write us a letter in a language we don’t understand? Or were they aware of…other things? Distant galaxies perhaps? Foreign visitors?

These stones now are scattered across the veld in the Northern Cape; a monument seldom visited and it’s powerful messages lost in translation.  Maybe one day, after the nuclear dust has settled and the last plastic bottle finally decayed, it’ll remain as a reminder of how Man once respected his surroundings…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections of the Cederberg

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Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside Kolmanskop

THIS WEEK, IN A POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO THAT SAYS INSIDE.

In the early 1900′s, Johnny Coleman traded his simple wares at the little harbour of Luditz, after travelling over the desert with his ox-wagon. Then, in 1905, a sandstorm forced him to hide in his wagon after turning his oxen loose. They, of course, thought this to be a bit short-sighted, and took off to seek shelter themselves. Well, to cut a long story short, poor Johnny almost died there, but was eventually rescued.

Little could he have guessed at the tremendous wealth he was sleeping on during those long nights he waited for salvation. Three years later the richest diamond field in the world was discovered at this very same spot, which bears the German equivalent of his name to this day. In 1956 the mine was abandoned, leaving only the memories of heady riches and back-breaking labour.

Today, when standing inside the abandoned buildings, one gets the feeling that the ghosts of the past aren’t far away.

Come on. Come inside…

The old generator has lost the battle against time

The old generator has lost the battle against time.k3Sweat-soaked miners would clean up before strolling over to the theatre or casino especially built for them.k2The silence of the dunes now rule where once gossip and laughter reigned....and they drank with gusto, of course.  One can only guess what fun these bottles brought to the isolated village. …and they drank with gusto, of course. One can only guess what fun these bottles brought to the isolated village.Sit down on the red chair. Let your left hand dangle down, touch the bottle at your feet. Close your eyes.  Imagine....Sit down on the red chair. Let your left hand dangle down, touch the bottle at your feet. Close your eyes.

Imagine…. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective…Holey Moley!

South Africans are famous for many things. We make mountains out of molehills. And we are great at ignoring important stuff. We live with shocking figures when it comes to murder and rape statistics; turn a blind eye to corruption and crime; and hide behind the high walls of survival.

Our national animal should be the humble mole, who hides below the surface, digging blindly to…nowhere.

This morning while walking on the beach, a little mound of sand caught my eye…

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The last photograph is blurred (sorry!). Moles are shy and extremely reluctant to be photographed. They hate being seen in the open, and usually disappear quickly when they see strangers near their homes. They don’t like surprises, you see?

So they live solitary lives, avoiding the dangers lurking outside their warm and cosy and dark tunnels. They prefer to let the outside world take care of itself while they live in the dark.

Like I said: the perfect national symbol for a society struggling to get the right perspective on what the word ‘normal’ means… Surely it can’t just be a setting on the program of the washing machine?

Daily Prompt: Our House

What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.

breekyster 2010 118Our house was built with stone. It was strong and warm and safe.breekyster 2010 122

I remember the windows. They were large and let light in. In summer I could smell the rain. Or the flowers. Even the sheep as they grazed nearby. I liked those windows. It showed me the world.

breekyster 2010 112We had a Dover stove. Mom baked bread, birthday cakes and leg of lamb, filling the house with delicious aromas. The fire was kept going during the cold winter months, and we’d sit there, listening to Dad telling stories by candle light.

breekyster 2010 127Dad’s pride and joy was kept in the shed. It was a Chev, I think. Like the house, I believed it to be indestructible…

breekyster 2010 036I though nothing would ever change.

I had such a lot to learn…

Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold,
Let it be forgotten forever and ever,
Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.

If anyone asks, say it was forgotten
Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall
In a long-forgotten snow.

(Sarah Teasdale, 1884 – 1933)

The Faces of the Cederberg

They’re there.

Stone faces frozen in time. Speaking without words. Telling old stories, inventing new fables.

All you have to do is to look.

And listen, of course.

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Brooding Neanderthal? Old baboon watching his family?

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Darth Vader taking a nap

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Planet of the Apes….

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Lion straining to emerge from the rock.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy…the bigger picture.

The depict Joy, one must have an open mind. It can be so many things… j1                                Of course, it may be the happy faces of loved ones. j2                                                                   Or the happiness of giving a soft toy on Christmas eve. j3                                                           Or simply sharing the digital image on your camera with somebody who’s never had the privilege before. j4                                                                                                                               Or posing with a Masai warrior in the Serengeti. j4                                                                      Or watching San women dancing – being grateful for the little they have. j5                               But me? Give me solitude. Silence. A limp line in the water, waiting for the Big One. Time to think – and time to remember. That’s when I contemplate joy…and find beauty.                      j6Joy – I found – is in every dawn. Other people cannot discover it for you. You have to do it yourself.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Community…The Natural Way

Society – as we know it – has turned into an ego-driven, selfish mass of people. Oh I know there are many, many exceptions, but one tends to become a tad cynical about humanity when the media feast on the mistakes, the wrongs, and the mishaps of the world – every day. Then the obvious question sneaks up in our quiet moments: are we really supposed to live like this?  That’s when I escape to seek answers in the only place I know: Nature…

e1I see mothers protecting their young, fathers defending the herd.l1I see her eyes close to doze off peacefully, knowing she is protected and cared for.

h1I see  having to share doesn’t have to lead to conflict.

g1But it’s also okay to be shy, to watch from a distance and to keep to yourself.

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And true beauty needs no fancy dress, makeup or jewellery.

t1That’s why I turn my back. I want to be where the word ‘community’ still means something…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand…Africa at her best.

Grand…

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How else can one describe Bogenfels – the vaulted rock – near Luderitz?

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Or the huge, lonely dunes of Sossusvlei?

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Or the mansion Stewart Gore-Brown built in the 30′s – Northern Zambia – with local materials. The ‘modern contents’ (stoves, baths etc) were carried up by labourers from the coast. (Kapishya)

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Or the mysterious mistiness of Victoria Falls?

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Or the surprising luxury of sundowners on the Serengeti plains?

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Or the tenacity of a shrub that refuses to die, budding once more once the rains come?

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Or the lonely giraffe stalking away quietly into the gloom?

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Africa can be described by many words – but one comes close: Grand

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be Light – A night in Africa…

You need light to survive here…

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Oh, for more light than just the flickering campfire! . Was that a twig snapping? And…is it the wind or something breathing rather heavily?

IMG_0134aThe bleak moon behind the warped map of Africa doesn’t help at all. The sound of…feet? What is that?

bufIs it an angry buffalo, sneaking up with only parking lights to guide him?

badNo! Thank goodness! It’s just a badger – headlights turned to ‘Bright’, sniffing around for scraps.

elWhen at last Light dawns, Africa becomes Paradise again, with endless vistas and peaceful neighbours.