A walk on the Green Side

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I just had to say something about an article in The Huffington Post; an American internet publication. I browse it every now and than and wish South African publishers would be able to put something like this with the relatively high quality on the net. That set aside; the author of the article was for 24 hours in Cape Town and she has been rushing about talking with one after the other PR-person. But she did a fine job given the short period she was there. And of course there were some comments; one of these a very nice one if I may say so myself.

Well … read for yourself:

“For the 24 hrs you experience Cape Town and surrounds it’s a remarkable well written article. You emphasize however all the positive sides of the Mother City and have visited the obvious tourist destinations. Hope you will have more time available during your next visit to South Africa. The real South Africa journey begins >100 km beyond Cape Town. It’s there where you find true personal hospitality and discover where Capetonians got their ideas from (Cape Town is known as one of the top 3 copycat cities in the world). And also from a budget point of view the ‘Hinterland’ is really cheap to stay and to travel in; surely in comparison with Cape Town. Having said that I must admit that once or twice per year we like to go to Cape Town just to experience a bit of city-hassle and than to come to realize that we are very privileged to live in a small village somewhere in nowhere between Hermanus and Gansbaai that was recently awarded with ‘Best Village Destination in South Africa”.

 

Stanford, 14 January 2013

Herman (& Yvonne)”

Ollie THE Ant

Somewhere on a farm near our village lives a guy who has dedicated his life to ants and spiders. And these insects you can find in abundance around his dwelling. Oliver (but all say ‘Ollie’) will never kill an insect. He’s so inspired by them that he copies them in diverse materials. And they look real. Ask  a dear friend of us in Zurich; she jumped and screamed and the whole of Zurich was awake in the middle of the night. This might be exaggerated a little bit (not too much) but it just shows how well crafted these little creatures are. Last Saturday Yvonne bought a silver ant and I started to experiment with my camera.

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Again in the garden

Both, my wife and I, like flowers. Maybe it’s our Dutch background (“Dutch say it with flowers”) but more likely it has to do with the restoration and extension of a historical botanical garden in South Africa that has kept us busy between April 2000 and July 2011. Anyway you find me every day in our garden with my camera and virtually every day there is something new. We live in an area with a subtropical climate (climate zone 10); ideal for succulent plants including cacti. Here are some pictures I shot during the last week or so.

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My bracelet

Pure silver and there is only one: that’s my bracelet. Made in 1977 by a woman named Rose in Glastonbury (Somerset, UK) and I’m wearing it every day since than. Yes; I was born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

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Minimal colors; an experiment

I like both: black & White and color pictures. There are many grades in each of both and I just experimented with grades between both.

To be honest: I don’t like it but you may think different.

A few examples. The full color ones as shot with my camera and the minimal color images by moving the ‘saturation’ slide in Photoshop to the left.

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My first photo-model

In a small village like Stanford it’s not easy to ‘persuade’ people, especially women, to photograph them. Whatever the reason it took a while and against all odds (even her mother said that she would “never ever” do it) Karuna didn’t even think twice. She admits that she hates to be photographed but this time she challenged herself.

I prefer making pictures as natural as possible without artificial lightning and if I use a model I prefer him/her to look natural. The only compromise I make is the use of photo-processing software which I’ve done extensively with Karuna. I’ve been cropping a bit and processing in RAW I shifted the buttons for exposure, black, white, highlights, saturation, contrast, shadow, etc. numerous times to get the desired image. While taking these pictures I tried to emphasize on reflection with the use of windows and a mirror.

But before I really started to work with this first time model I made several snapshots of her and together discussed them. After that I made a serie of approx. 300 portraits and this is what’s left.

BTW: Karuna does not like bananas….

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