Tag Archives: bluff

Poenskop, Transkei South Africa

Musselcracker Hill


Port St John’s, South Africa

Pondo Amphitheatre


“Port St. Johns (or Port Saint Johns) is a town of about 6,500 people on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is situated at the mouth of the Umzimvubu River, 220 kilometres (140 mi) northeast of East London and 70 kilometres (40 mi) east of Mthatha.

Port St. Johns is situated on the Wild Coast, a coastline of about 270 km long, boasting some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the country. It lies at the mouth of the Mzimvubu River, a river flowing through an impressive gorge known as the “Gates of St John” into an estuary located on the Indian Ocean. On both sides of the river ravine are high sandstone mountain peaks: Mount Thesiger (342 meter above sea level) andMount Sullivan (304 meter), named after two British Military officers.

It is the main settlement in the Port St. Johns Local Municipality which forms part of the O.R. Tambo District Municipality in Pondoland of the former Transkei. According to the 2011 census it had a population of 6,441, of whom 90% where Xhosa-speaking.[2]

The climate is humid subtropical (Köppen: Cfa).

This town is thought to have been named after a Portuguese ship (the São João),[6] which was actually wrecked at Port Edward.[7] Later seafarers mistakenly identified the mouth of the Umzimvubu River as the site of this wreck.[6]

The town was established in the 1880s by the British, after negotiations with local Pondo chiefs for rights to the banks of the river and adjacent territories.[6] The river mouth was used as a port, however this activity was abandoned in the 1940s due to siltation, which caused the river to become too shallow for vessels.” ~ Wikipedia

Hillbilly Goat

Of progress, mindfulness and photography

I started taking photography seriously as a hobby in or around November 2012. At the time I got hold of Photomatix HDR software and was running every single photo through it. I just loved it and thought the results were just awesome.

Dogs, cats, people, trees, taps, ornaments at any time of the day could not escape my Canon 550D and edgy trigger finger. I would “HDR” anything just because I could, thought it was necessary and always had to bracket 9 shots using Magic Lantern. Noise and uninteresting were my good friends.

I’ve been itching to post another one of my first few “HDR” photos I took and processed in December 2012 together with a current photo for a few reasons. Both photos were taken at the seaside.

I often see people post something on the photography sites along the lines of “hey guys, your photos are so great and beautiful. I have just bought a camera and will post some photos when mine are a little better. I just wish I could take photos like you… your photos are so amazing… you must have been taking photos for a very long time… where did you study photography. I’m still learning a few things and will post some photos soon. I wish… I wish…”

Could their photos be any worse than some of the processing I was doing back in December 2012? I doubt it as I can see what is out there now and my own example photo OMG THIS IS ROUGH by “anonymous” is a shocker (I really loved it back then, thought it was good and also thought what a wonderful creation). I would have to look very long and hard today on South African Amateur Photographers Facebook page or any other to find something worse.

I also need to stay mindful of where I was back then and the road I had to follow to get to where I am today. This is important when teaching others, myself and looking at the current efforts of other photographers who are much “better” than or “worse” than me.

One can perhaps become too critical, impatient or boastful / misguided about how good they really are (I thought I was a fairly accomplished HDR photographer back in December 2012, produced good work and was an authority on the associated processing – how wrong I was if I look back now).

As much as I think I’ve come a far way since then and currently post some good photos, this will surely be laughed at silently by some now and surely by myself in another two years if I keep improving i.e. my current photos are actually not as good as I presently think they are.

I hope that any photographer who has just started out and is struggling will keep at it constantly / daily and stay positive, as improvement can come in little jumps and bumps up within weeks / months of each other. Before they know it, they will also be looking back in awe and having a good old chuckle at themselves. It’s all fun I promise.

I hope that they will post their photos today and be proud of them; they might not be as good as another’s but they are good for the person posting them and that’s the important thing.

PS – some of you might even recognize photo 1 from one of my posts back in 2012 :).

20121216_beach (8) Barnacle Wash