On the Road in South Africa

This week we made a road trip via Matjiesfontein, South Africa’s own ‘Grand Canyon’ (even South Africans have to discover this little gem) and Barrydale, to Robertson. In Robertson we did some maintenance in the cactus garden we created last year at Fraai Uitzicht in the Klaas Voogds area; Klaas Voogds East to be more precise. This is one of the rare guesthouses in South Africa where owners and staff succeed in adding an extra dimension to ‘ordinary’ great hospitality. Real Value for money; surely in comparison with the accommodation rates in Cape Town. And now we mention the Mother City; the real South African journey begins 100 km beyond Cape Town. See for yourself. What you see is just an impression and elements from some of the pictures I will use in future ‘Elementary Posters’.

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Cactus Party

The past few days we’ve done some specialised maintenance in the cactus garden we created a year ago at Fraai Uitzicht 1798. It was a party in the garden and this is what we made of it:

Portrait of a Hottentots God

This nice poem about the Hottentots God inspired me last week to picture one but than if you search it takes long so I took my chance and did the search like a Capetonian (very, very, laid back) and yes it worked (this time….). The insect suddenly landed on my hand and I had to hand-over to Yvonne’s hand for the picturing. After some photoshopping and adding some elements this came out of it. The featured one is with Clarissa. ‘Clarissa wants to have a ride’. Personally I go for the second one below (with bird) and the bottom one also is a nice composition. And for the rest; see for yourself. Fascinating insects; ET was modeled after it.

And yes; still practicing to master the equipment and especially the Adobe software. We’re out for a few days. See you back this Friday!!!

Reflections (2)

Referring to yesterdays posting herewith another self-reflection. The thumbnails below tell you how this picture was compiled. Simple but with severe troubles with inverse/refine to get it exactly right. From left (mainframe) to right (last addition) how I fitted it all together. For the colour edition of the cropped self-portrait I had to choose first the layer of the mainframe picture before I could ‘hide’ it a bit.

 

And with the second thumbnail from the right as mainframe added with a inversed/refined picture of a bird in the water (see thumbnail at the bottom) plus the same bird picture filtered plus inversed/refined resulted in this ‘quicky’:

Reflections

The last few days I’ve been experimenting with reflections and this came out of it. The mainframe of the featured picture is the bathroom sliding-door (shot from our outdoor shower -brag, brag, brag….) added with me and the camera (inversed, refined mirrored and filtered/polarisation).

The one below is similar but than without the addition of the polarised eyes.

For the next one  I used the sky as mainframe and a mirrored (+inversed, refined) B&W self-portrait in front of the bathroom door. As usual all pictured with a Sony A77 VQ (this time with 16-50mm lens) and processed with photoshop Cs6.

Bottom picture consists of the bathroom door as mainframe with inversed/refined/filtered ‘fillings’ of a b&W self-portrait, my left hand, flowers from our garden, bathroom mirror, wooden bathroom floor, my hands holding the camera (twirled in center and the very same as in the top 2 pictures) and polarized drink glasses. Fairly complicated and mind bogging…. but than discoveries of possibilities surface. The only problem I have with Adobe photoshop are the tutorials on their website. These are incomplete and could, with the same effort, far more sufficient.

Next week we go back to the elements again (see first posts). Photography and photo-manipulation are one big challenge and we still have a long path to walk.

The ‘Eco-Warrior’ (self-portrait 2)

What is, in South Africa, the general conservative perception of an environmental activist ? We recently discussed with a group of friends and acquaintances. That’s not very positive. Some conservative minded people regard them as ‘queers’, ‘softies’ or as people who live of welfare, etc. (sounds like an American president candidate). Some kind of a ‘poof’ so to say. And that inspired me to make a self-portrait imagining that I am the ‘eco warrior’ in the general ‘narrow-minded, perception. Indeed; a bit of a ……

The mainframe picture is the sky, filled up with a self-portrait, plants/flowers from our garden and the horse I shot at the local riding school.

Self reflection of yesterday

Yesterday we had an educational tour in ‘Die Kop’ (‘The Head’) five km outside our village. Die Kop is an informal settlement where the ‘less fortunate’ (hate those expressions) are living. The settlement lacks of proper sanitation, medication, education and many more -ations. But in 2004 ‘Black’ and ‘White’ took the initiative to start improvements; beginning with pre-primary education and that story you can read here. Very touching and heartbreaking once you’re there to see it and hear the stories….. These moments makes me realise how priviliged I am. Life is not in balance for there are so many inequalities and with that, although working hard on it, I am not (fully) in balance either. Are you?