Photo of the Day
At the very end of a job I was working in Cape Town, I was able to briefly escape up the beautiful Table Mountain for an evening and this panorama is the result.
On the job, we only had a rather massive studio tripod, so that’s what I dragged up there with me, but that turned out for the best. It was a windy evening and the stability proved handy. It was also useful to have the full ten feet legs at my disposal. I wanted to get slightly over one of the railings near the edge and needed to send a fully telescoped leg down to a ledge below to do it. Lengthy tripod legs were a welcome addition to my kit that evening.
Cape Town was such a photogenic city and I pine for a time when I can go back to spend more time shooting it.
Click for a larger image:
Last year, I was in Cape Town, South Africa for a couple weeks on a product shoot with work. It was a hectic schedule though – it left almost no time for seeing the city. That was a bit of a shame, of course since Cape Town is a captivating place with a lot to explore.
The top of the list of things to see is Table Mountain. Ok, you can’t help but see Table Mountain if you’re in Cape Town; what I mean is to see Cape Town from Table Mountain. It took until the last night of my two weeks there to get the chance to ride up the cable car with a camera in hand and gaze out at the magnificent views of the scenery below.
It’s a rather astounding place and I imagine the person in this photo has found nirvana. Perched on a rock high above the city, the sun gleaming in the sky and an endless ocean stretching into the distance – that’s contentment.
Click to see it larger on flickr:
And thus ends a month of jet setting. I’m now home in the UK from Cape Town after participating in some great work out there. We had a fantastic team whose personalities gelled perfectly and whose knowledge and ability got the job done efficiently and effectively. Thanks to everyone out there for a great time. I genuinely enjoyed the experience.
And that was just the work! The rest of the trip that wasn’t spent behind a computer was highly enjoyable as well. Though there wasn’t a lot of time for sightseeing and slacking off, I did manage to take in a few sights including Table Mountain, Cape Point, the waterfront, the Christmas marching bands and the tourist market. Then there was the numerous drives and stops around the city and beyond that afforded great views of the picturesque mountains and bays, or the calm respite of the beaches and wineries.
Really, my impression of Cape Town is pretty different from what I would have if I had travelled there simply as a tourist. For one, I wouldn’t have been staying in a hotel that nice. I’ve been spoiled and I will now miss that little chocolate that appeared on my pillow every night!
I suspect that most travellers are also not touring the mansions and swanky homes of the area. For each of the locations on our shoot, we ended up at some palace of a home that usually had a incredible view of a mountain or overlooked the sea via an infinity pool. They were the kind of place you couldn’t afford to buy and maintain even if you won the lottery. I don’t know how these people do it.
Contrast that with the glimpses we had of the townships from the road, or the wilderness that exists beyond (and in some places within) the city’s borders and I suspect there a few different experiences to be had in Cape Town. My experience of the place was that of some rich European, not of a traveller visiting Africa. Of course, that means I’d love to go back in a different capacity sometime to explore those other paths.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, I now have to squeeze in a trip to the shops to get some presents. Rather than buy carved, wooden giraffes from South Africa that wouldn’t fit in with everyone’s decor in the UK, I’ve decided to try to find gifts that suit their recipients a bit more than stereotypical tourist trinkets. Not sure when I’m going to get to do it though!
There’s also plenty of photographic work to be done. I do have a few photos from South Africa that need processing, but more dauntingly, a massive pile of them from my recent trip to Spain. Plus, my outdated portfolio site is in dire need of an upgrade. And those are just a few of the top priority items on my long to do list, so I might find myself wandering away from Christmas festivities from time to time to do some of the work I love. But for my family’s sake, I’ll keep that to a minimum!
The reason I haven’t posted much lately is that I was just on holiday in Spain. Preparations were hectic enough that I didn’t even get a chance to mention it here. Oops. But the trip was great and all the cities I visited (Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Zaragoza) were lovely. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to process some shots sooner than later.
Part of the reason preparations were rushed is because, tomorrow, I’m off to South Africa, Cape Town specifically. I’m heading down there as part of a team doing a catalogue shoot, so I likely won’t get a chance to see much of the city other than the locations we’re using for the shoots.
I’m told, however, that I absolutely must visit Table Mountain at night. From the little bits that I’ve seen of Cape Town’s geography, I can imagine it would be quite a view. Fingers crossed that I get a few hours spare while I’m out there.
This stop home was all too short and I will barely have time to settle back in here before Christmas, but happily I will be able to be back here in Manchester before the holiday season has passed. I may even have the chance to buy a present or two!