And so… it is the last day of October and phoctober comes to an end. What will I do tomorrow, I wonder? I shall possibly sit here and wonder what on earth to write about!
I have to thank Maht of The Moon Topples for running phoctober. I don’t think he can ever possibly imagine just how much phoctober has given me. It has, for one, given me a huge boost in getting back into photography, something I used to love but simply gave up on when development costs became too high. And although I’ve dabbled a little since getting my new camera there hasn’t really been much aim or objective to that playing around. Phoctober, however, gave me the purpose that’s been missing. And in going out and exploring and finding things to photograph, I’ve learned to see again, as it were. Photography, I remembered, makes us look at the world with fresh, observant eyes – everything becomes an opportunity to find the beauty or the dramatic not just in the wonder of the natural landscape and changing seasons but in the ordinary and often the overlooked. I find myself driving and walking around looking at all sorts of things and thinking “Ooh! That would make a great shot!” Or “Yes, that could be the start of a brilliant series!” Or, “There is a chance for some photojournalism, a story to tell, that must be told.” But more than that, Maht has given me the opportunity for something else; to look at my own surroundings and realize how incredibly blessed I am to live amidst such amazing beauty. And in doing so, I’ve come to gain some balance to my perspective of the country I live in. Yes, of course the crime and the violence and the corruption, the greed and the poverty and the AIDS pandemic are all still here (I have taken shots that reveal some of those aspects too). Yes, the insecurity and irony of living here remains – but, and this has been critical, it has been given symmetry, been equalized by the sheer beauty that is this land. I remember long ago saying that if South Africa could resolve its people problems this would indeed be paradise. Perhaps once it was the original garden of Eden - given that it is said to be the cradle of mankind as homo sapiens and humanity spluttered and bumbled its way into being.
And so, Maht, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you’ve given me in hosting phoctober. And yes, fellow bloggers, this means I will probably continue to post photographs on my blog and on Flickr - though perhaps with less intensity!
And so to the final phoctober post… Continuing the theme of beauty, I thought I might show you my more immediate surroundings. Now try not to be too envious when I tell you that these shots were taken at a location which is but a five minute drive from my doorstep… Yes, this is what I live amongst, and you’re right, I am indeed very blessed – both to be able to “see” it and enjoy it!
And a special note to Verilion who seems concerned about these things - yes, the wine is very good! Come along and try some, one day.