More about motivation

Underneath Virginia

An excerpt from a post a few weeks back:

Last night: My old motto – if you post the good photos, slave like hell over the bad but don’t post them then you are perhaps doing yourself a disservice.

The photos below nearly killed me. I even ventured back to an HDR automated programme (eek!!) to see if it could blend the photos of the pier where I was struggling to do it manually. The programme also failed. After four separate blends (manual & auto) I gave up on the pier. Eventually I used one RAW image and applied a few effects that generated some lovely halos (photos should not have halos). The Hitachi photo ended-up with a third of no thirds and although I really liked both shots, either my capture of them or processing will have to stand down for another day. The F-stop on the machine is low and the DOF is thus lacking.

As fate would have it, I bought myself a bottle of Tullamore Dew 12 year old Irish whiskey today and have had a few to calm my post-processing blues .

This morning – I removed some halos on the pier and fiddled the contrast after getting some late night motivation from Henry J Starbuck, Tammi Harding, Alwyn J Mouton, Elmer van Zyl, Mike Brookes, Joanne Gouveia and Elmo Jones to go round 6.

PS – the guard at Virginia Beach says no other photographers have visited. I would encourage you to go there soon as the pier I’m under is only temporary – it’s being used as a ramp to build the culvert on the left.



Virginia Gold 1


“All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Port St John’s – South Africa

Homeward Bound

I suspect legends have been made in Port St John’s (PSJ) but far more have fallen. As one unassuming highly intelligent gentleman (RIP) who resided there once said to me, “Andrew, whatever riches you bring with you to Port St John’s, will not leave with you when you go”. This same chap, from what I could gauge during my chats with him, lived a full, interesting but hard life that was cut somewhat short.

On the morning that I took this photo, I woke at 04:00 and left Umtata at 04:30 to head down the hill into PSJ. I arrived at around 06:00.

I can count on one hand the locations I have shot where I felt a strong sense of gratitude and satisfaction during and after the shoot. This feeling arose this same morning high on the mountaintop some 300 metres above and overlooking Cremorne Estate, Spotted Grunter, Claude’s Rest, Port St John’s River Lodge and the mighty Umzimvubu River seen down below.

PSJ is a really interesting little town full of many surprises but perhaps only if you are an interesting person. Great fishing and hiking opportunities also await one (plus crayfish thermidors and sun downers at Delicious Monster Restaurant – 2nd beach).

If you’re not adventurous and consider yourself above us common folk then rather head straight to Dubai via business class and mix it up with Prince Dollar of Obnoxia.

On the other hand, if you want to savour the fresh largely unspoilt Wild Coast, throw your watch away, leave your shoes at home, drop out the rat race, stop putting up the hard show, meet the locals, sip on beers with backpackers and maybe even meet the Mad Hatter in person, then drive 4.5 hours there from Durban on some challenging roads; it will be well worth it!

The photo gets its name from the road leading over the bridge and into the background: 4.5 hours to Durban, homeward bound from PSJ.

Canon 6D, 17-40mm, F16, 1/8 second

Forever in my dreams

On The Beach



“Between the eyes of love I call your name

Behind those guarded walls I used to go
Upon a summer wind there’s a certain melody
Takes me back to the place that I know
Down on the beach

The secrets of the summer I will keep
The sands of time will blow a mystery
No-one but you and I
Underneath that moonlit sky
Take me back to the place that I know
On the beach

Forever in my dreams my heart will be
Hanging on to this sweet memory
A day of strange desire
And a night that burned like fire
Take me back to the place that I know
On the beach” ~ Chris Rea

Tried to Hide

Crashed Out

“You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side, yeah

We chased our pleasures here
Dug our treasures there
But can you still recall
The time we cried
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side” ~ Break On Through (To The Other Side): The Doors

Canon South Africa 6D, 17-40mm L, ISO 100, F 10, 61 sec

Location: Bluff Durban