Category Archives: Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Creepy African Fairytale.

They knew it would happen one day – the old people had been warning them of the danger for years by then.

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“There’s a bogeyman in the woods. He watches us all, day and night. If you show any signs of life, he’ll come and get us all.”

IMG_5544a But you know how it is. Young love will not be denied…it’ll find a way, somehow. And it did. Wanting to get married, they invited their families to join in celebrating their joy.

IMG_5590bIt was a real dandy occasion. They whooped it up till late in the night, forgetting all about the bogeyman.

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And the bogeyman came, ravishingly hungry and ready to cook them all in his big pot.

IMG_4997aBut the slewed elephant, the king of the forest, would not allow it. He stomped out of the trees in rage, rushing to the rescue of the family.

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Then, using the magic only slewed elephants know, he turned the ugly bogeyman into a colourful guard at his palace door.

And yes, you know the rest…they lived happily ever after.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Underfoot

In this challenge, I want to get away from the act and leave the Stage of Life where where we stomp feet and laugh where the script calls for it. No longer a puppet to the playwrights of the world, I need to escape; I need to  get back on solid ground…

Woordfees 013a For:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,                                                              W. Shakespeare

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But wait….

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.                                                                                             R. Frost

IMG_2453aAnd so…

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.                                                                                      R Frost

IMG_4817No more crowds for me, No more pretence. Because:

From childhood’s hour I have not been

As others were; I have not seen

As others saw; I could not bring

My passions from a common spring.                                                                        Edgar Allen Poe

x15The answer is in the dream of quiet solitude …

For this is where the mind is content

This is where the Soul leaves its print…                                                                 Scott Mcintire

Close Up Natural Facials…and naked fear

So there I was, camping in the wilderness and fascinated by the animals on the plains. What would happen – I wondered – if I asked them nicely for a few close up portraits? I had to find out.

c3Zebra didn’t mind at all, although she insisted on combing her mane first. She wanted to look her best.

c5Elephant couldn’t care less and ambled past. “You have once chance, Buddy. Then leave me alone…” The threat was unmistakable.

c2Mrs Aardwolf wasn’t interested either. Her new baby needed all her attention and left no time for cosmetics or a visit to the hair salon. “Come back in three month’s time,” she pleaded, “I’ll try to look a bit more presentable then.”

c4The young lovers were…er…busy. “Please…this is a private moment. Leave now or face the consequences. Stick around and you’ll see….”

c1That’s when I heard the roar behind me. The camera bumped against my hip as I ran back to the vehicle, snapping the shot.

Up close? Maybe not a macro, but close enough…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

Every country offers the traveller something unique – something that makes you come back time and again. Namibia has it all: people, culture, comfort and wilderness. The countryside offers vast vistas of unspoilt nature where one can simply sit down and wonder about the magnificent creation around you. It’s a place filled with silence, solitude and…surprises.

For this half-and-half challenge, looking for some symmetry in the picture, the following:

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The contrast between the dry veld and the sky – with the thin line of mountains in the background – made me stop for this one.

IMG_4610Drawing nearer, the landscape changed as the sun slowly released its grip on the desert in the later afternoon.

IMG_4883aThe next day, the landscape was covered in withered grass and stunted trees – but the hills of ancient volcanic rocks formed a barrier between sand and sky.

IMG_5070aAnd here the surprise waited: a shallow pool, where two juvenile desert elephants posed for a while.

I’ll simply have to go again.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The colours of the rainbow..

Colour defines Africa. Across the world, people assume it’s a  Black/White thing, with colonialism and politics dominating the conversation at the mention of Africa’s hues. But over here, we revel in the true colours of the continent and it’s cultures.
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There are the red Himba people, proud traditionalists and fiercely independent. Red ochre, herbs and fat help to enhance the natural beauty of the women.

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And yes, there are green forests – plenty of them. The most beautiful green in the whole wide world, however, is found next to unexpected little streams in the desert.
breekyster 2010 140aBlue is for the sky. No Telephone poles, no power lines, no sign of man’s invasion. Africa’s blue heaven is a statement of her unblemished purity – a haven of peace when you leave the cities and the townships behind.

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It’s not that man doesn’t add colour to the environment. In the remote bush pubs tourists and lorry drivers leave mementos to spice up the scene.

IMG_3001Yet. nothing beats the colours of a real rainbow, like this permanent one at Victoria Falls. The symbolism is there for all to see: despite the raging torrent, the cascade and the noise, the rainbow hovers quietly to assure us that beauty can be found if you view anything from the right angle.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Off Season…

When the rains have gone and the waterlevel drops, Life becomes harsh.

420The veld loses it’s vitality as the small pools dry up.
Trip 2012 305 The fishermen give up hope. The boats will wait patiently for their return.

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The elephants are the last to leave. They know the way to a hidden spring.

begin 2004 130aAt last the veld is empty. Silent. Waiting…

103_0319aBecause Nature knows: the winter will pass. The rains will come and the animals return.There is – indeed – a time for every season under heaven.

Weekly Photo Challenge: En Route…

Escape! Get out of the city and the rush! The engine’s steady growl is the confirmation that you’re leaving the mad world of pretence behind and that you no longer have to put up with all those artificial smiles in the office.

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Now it’s only the open road, peace, tranquility.

aa1The tar stops and the gravel road beckons. Mountains ahead promise isolation.

aaThis is more like it! A splash of green suggests water nearby as the sun beats down.

aaAt last: freedom….

e4Now: change the default setting to: Recharge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken – a sad and common tale

There once lived a two friends in a poor suburb of a large city. The one was happy to continue his father’s business as a carpenter, but the other always wanted more; he swore he’d rise  rise above mediocrity.

b3He bought a flashy car with money he borrowed, and set out to establish himself as an important businessman in the city.

b2His business thrived, allowing him to approach the bank for another loan to buy a villa near the sea.

b1He’d often invite his carpenter-friend over, bragging continuously about the modern conveniences in his mansion. The carpenter was impressed with his friend’s wealth and often expressed his admiration for the success his old friend achieved.

b4“How can you afford such luxury?” The carpenter marvelled at the splendour of it all. His friend laughed and said anybody could live like a king: “Dream big, my friend. Impress people. You’ll see how easy it is if you talked to some moneylenders.”

IMG_3510But the carpenter didn’t do that. He loved working in his father’s old shop where he fashioned chairs and tables for the rich people’s houses.

b5One day, a strange thing happened: the bank demanded repayment of their loans. They used words like ‘inflation’, ‘credit squeeze’, ‘world-wide recession’ and ‘regrettable circumstances’.

b6The wheels of industry ground to a halt and the businessman went bankrupt. The bank sold everything he had, forcing him to live on the streets.

IMG_3122On a cold and rainy night, he breathed his last and was buried in a pauper’s grave.

Trip 2012 415The carpenter lived to a ripe old age, often remarking on the luxurious life of the rich and the famous. “But,” he’d then quickly add, “it just isn’t worth the sacrifice.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nature’s Power

Many, many years ago, there once was a vast lake  – an inland sea – where man and animal lived happily. And Man was instructed: “Take care of the wall I made to keep the water in bay. Make sure the lake does not find the way to the sea”.

orangeNature provided a good life for all and her abundance was proclaimed upon the rocks.

water 5Man became lazy and did not notice the trickle of water that started draining the lake.

IMG_2451The trickle became a stream…and the water gushed down from the lake.

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it found it’s way through the desert, carving ravines and washing away rocks and trees, until only the barren landscape remained.

water 3And then it reached the sea, where Nature’s anger crashed into the rocks on the shore….

water 2The message: if we don’t look after her, Nature will take revenge. Taking care of her doesn’t require much effort – but if we neglect those small duties, the consequences will be disastrous. The way things are going, Nature will leave us destitute…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Life in Motion

A few years ago at the Cape Town 100-Miler, I realised that Life is like a series of 100-mile races against time.  We all start off with starry eyes, filled with abundant enthusiasm.

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Along the way, some support helps us along.

bBut, in the end, it becomes a lonely journey – it’s up to you to take the next steps. Nobody else can run your race for you.

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There’ll always be the fast ones – the winners who make it look all too easy.

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But, with enough courage and conviction, we have no choice: press on! (Even past the point where you simply feel like quitting).

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At last! The goal you’ve worked so hard for!

cTriumphantly you sag down in a chair. You’ve done it! Now for a well-deserved rest….and then the next race awaits. You’ve completed  only one step of the process we call life – and will have to keep it up until you cross that final finishing line…

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‘Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.’

From, Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.