The Landscapers

Thousands of books, magazines and webpages are written about landscapers who create gardens, public green, and minor landscapes in the open. Minor these are; for one tend to forget that the major landscapers in this world are the farmers. Where ever you travel, just look around. The images below I took last Tuesday on the way home from a day trip. The pictured landscapes are between Caledon and Stanford in the Western, Cape, South Africa.

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Toes

Photographing toes is a subject with endless possibilities. There is even a blog dedicated to toe pictures and this blog inspired me last Sunday to picture a few toes moving around along the Grotto Beach in nearby Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa.

The first toe subject is that of the “Beach Boys” (life guards) and the second are the toes of our dear friend Beatrice Pooke (best Masseuse around and this is not exaggerated) who came with us from Stanford for a long walk  along the beach and the lagoon.

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Beautiful View

Guesthouse ‘Fraai Uitzicht’ (‘Beautiful View”) in the Klaas Voogds hamlet in the Western Cape, South Africa does not only offer the guests stunning views from the restaurant terrace or amazing surprises to look at in the own garden but also a look at the guesthouse itself is worthwhile to stay there for a couple of days. And than I’m not going to describe the mouthwatering dishes that are prepared in the kitchen. This superb guesthouse qualifies with ease for five stars but the owners stick to their 4 stars for marketing reasons. Well …. let’s have a look.

 

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Whale Watching

Hermanus in the Western Cape, South Africa attracts many tourists for whale watching. Even in season (June-December) it can happen that there are days that you hardly see any and other days it’s a joyful sight seeing them play as far as the eye reaches. Yesterday, virtually the end of season, they were very quiet but just before I went back to Stanford I could make a few shots and added together with photoshop it looks like real. And I realize now that many (commercial touristic) shots of whales nearby a beach are manipulated ….. Best is to go with one of those whale watching boats and a telelens mounted on your camera to obtain a nice close-up.

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The stand-in BEE farmer in South Africa

The last few weeks  a large part of the Western Cape in South Africa experienced disruptions caused by striking farmworkers. In fact the farmworkers themselves did not disrupt but the ‘hired’ professional strikers of the trade union according to (internal) police reports. But the general grievances of poor pay (10 US-Dollar per day) and poor housing conditions for many of the workers are real although there are also farmers who do better (pay better, proper sanitation etc.). It’s easy to solely blame farmers for the situation. It’s all far more complicated and dirty politics played by ruling party and opposition parties (The ruling party ANC is setting the rules and the minimum wages….., etc.).

Since 1994 South Africa has merely failed to put changes on the right track despite the enormous potential present (we still believe in it…). Empowering farmworkers in this province (Western Cape) does not really come from the ground and independent empowered black  farmers in this province …… still have to find one ..

All this inspired me to compose these two pictures representing Black Economical Empowerment (BEE) farmers. Apologies for the fact I had to use an Alessi bottle-cap as stand-in.

Beef it up South Africa

 

The South African meat industry promotes its products with the slogan “Beef it up South Africa”. Well …. here is our contribution from Stanford, Western Cape..

The mainframe picture is that of Stanford’s main Victoria Street taken from the cross with Moore Street. The cows are true free range ones from the nearby farmers/farmworkers community Papiesvlei. Photo’s (RAW-format) made with Sony A77VQ camera and processed with Photoshop.