Friday, December 28, 2007

The G String And The Stump

I had been wondering the beach looking for a picture. I think I had a few too many pre-conceived ideas, I had thought too hard about what I wanted. I blame a certain gallery owner who explained to me the difference between documentary and fine art.

So I had conceived of my picture before I had put foot on sand. I was also short of time and, to be honest, feeling like I should be on holiday. And just as I was washing the sand off the girls feet before heading to the car I saw the picture.

I am still trying to think like a fine artist. I think, however, that I enjoy the phrase 'found objects' and like to think that this is a found photograph, and that I may just work this method for a little while longer.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Soweto Derby (in Durban)

The FIFA Preliminary World Cup Draw was anything but exciting. I was glad to have been spared the pain of the draw as I was photographing the cricket just around the corner. The Soweto derby played between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates the night before at Kings Park Stadium on the other hand was great.

Apart from a great game of football the fans make the entire experience. I have covered many rugby matches including this years Super 14 final, and love the feel of game day in Durban. The Sharks fans and general mood make working on a Saturday evening tolerable. And the same can be said of the Chiefs and Pirates fans.

Although the mood is entirely different to the rugby crowd, it is just as compelling. The energy is completely frantic and the vuvuzelas are louder than one can imagine. Although there have been incidents of fan violence in the past this night the fans were on form.

If you have not been to a big game I can highly recommend the experience.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Beauty in Pain

I do not say this very much about a picture of my own, but I like this one. The child is on of 2 babies to have survived a klebsiella outbreak at the Prince Mshiyeni hospital in Umlazi near Durban. It was a difficult assignment emotionally knowing that 5 babies had already died.

And to look at the picture again while writing this makes me wonder about how I as a photographer I make beautiful a scene such as this. Many would say that I am gaining through someones illness. I hope that by making an image such as this that we will not have another outbreak.

As much as I do like the picture, as a parent it breaks my heart.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lightning Over Durban

It has been an age since my last blog. I have been using my terrible signal out here in the sticks as an excuse, but after the storm last night I am going to battle the GPRS network to post a picture of the Durban skyline during last nights electric storm.

After an almost unsuccessful stake out the heavens opened and we were treated to a spectacle! I am so looking forward to the next one.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The 10th Body

The tape marks the area in which the tenth body dumped by the alleged murderer known as the cane field killer was found. Not being able to photograph the accused in court after two appearances is frustrating, but if in the interestes of putting him away for a long time I will wait.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I found the 3 legged chicken!

I visited the Natal Musuem for the first time since I was a child. After 25 years the only vivid memory I had was the 3 legged chicken on display. It took a while but I eventually found the unusual chicken.

We were following the kids and did not have time to photograph much but I feel a series coming on. The museum has not changed much in 25 years. More to follow as I plan on going back this week.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

God Bless Our Black Hands

A fortress of a home in Umlazi south of Durban.

The Car Washers' Cons

I love the every day details which, if we are not looking, would walk past without noticing. This picture was made near my favourite Indian takeaway in Pietermaritburg, and I just could not resist the scene.
The old cooking oil containers belong to the men who wash cars in the street, and the shoes probably belong to one of them too. I liked the colours and the odd items arranged, but most of all I love the life slice. A piece of time which in the future will change.
I read a list of 13 things a photographer is working to change. I would have a link to said photographer but have managed to get my old bookmarks which I lost back, and have now lost all the bookmarks I had made since then. One of those was to pass fewer photographs. As I read that I knew it is something I need to work on too. I have missed so many good opportunities to make picture. This is one of those.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The lottery conversation

I cannot remember the number of times I have become involved in the 'what I would do if I won the lottery' conversation. I do know that the first few times left me with a strange hopefulness. The same feeling I experienced when, while on an assignment, I was given R200 to gamble at a casino. Thoughts of a lucky run and leaving with wads of cash soon became that sick feeling of what the hell am I doing drawing more money from the ATM!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Durban July

I have no interest in horse racing. I have a tainted interest in fashion. But to go to the Durban July and watch the people is a treat. This was one of the people I enjoyed observing most.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


Toilets on the side of the road. A common sight although these seem to be defying gravity.

Monday, June 04, 2007

My new mailer

A peak of my newest mailer. I am pretty proud as I designed it myself with a little guidance from Trevor from Sploosh. He makes killer websites.

Should you want to receive future mailers please drop me a line to

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Standing on the corner

I spend much time sitting and waiting for things to happen. It is a part of my job which sometimes frustrates me as was the case on Friday. I was waiting on a street corner for striking civil servants to round the corner down the road. And I waited.

I was a little irritated as I had things to do, people to see. The usual story, and since giving up smoking four or five years ago these waits have become a little more difficult. I miss the street vendors in Cape Town selling packets of peanuts. It is a Cape Town phenomenon I think. Peanuts have replaced cigarettes during those long waits outside court or in times of observing African time.

No protestors and no peanuts. Bother.

I think to myself how nice it would be to wonder the streets and photograph life happening in front of me. But I have to wait. I could do that while I wait?

My wait yielded a picture which I am very happy with. And then the striking marchers arrive and it's back to work. Couldn't they have taken just a little longer?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Boy will be boys

Some days it is good to be reminded of what it is to be a child. I stumbled upon these guys while looking at low cost housing for a potential story. When I first spotted them the boy in the vest was lying upside down in the wheelchair, just checking out things from a different angle.

I remembered doing things just because... I now feel that I have to be doing something constructive, or am thinking about work. So I came home. I sat down on the carpet and then lay on my back and just looked at the nails holding the ceiling up. And when I had finished looking at the patterns and spacing of the ceiling board nails I watched my kids. I never tried to talk to them or encourage them to do anything in particular. I just sat and watched.

That was the best afternoon I had last week. I am going to try and just experience something once a week now, whether it is lying on my back (again) staring at the clouds and sky, or driving past gum plantations and watching the patterns and shapes in the trees as you speed past.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Point Road

I spent time recently on Point Road which could soon be Mahatma Ghandi Street. I was making photographs for the New York Times who are doing on a story on the name changes happening in the city. The writer, like the cops who stopped me to make sure that I was not an insane tourist wandering point road with a camera, thought that one of the roughest streets in the CBD could be named after a man who stood for peace.

I asked a couple of locals in a bar where the prostitutes which Point Road is infamous for are. And then had to explain that I was doing a story and not looking for a room to rent by the hour, which I might add you can find on Point Road. I was told by a reliable source that the Esplanade is the best place to find a prostitute. Well, he looked reliable in that I would not like to meet him in a dark alley. The dark alley which was right outside the door of the establishment I had
found myself in.

I did not find a prostitute but met some interesting people along the way. I think I will go back again sometime soon. There was something in the seediness which seemed so much more alive and real than the malls I find myself in. A sad place, but an honest one.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blue Lagoon

There's not much I like more than fishing. For me it is a release from work. For some it is about putting food on the table.

When I am on the beach front in Durban I like to head to Blue Lagoon. If I have an hour to kill I will fish for a bit, but usually it is fairly brief visit long enough to find out what has been caught. And I am not alone. Many people stop in during their days. Men in suits possibly between meeting talk to the regulars, some of whom are subsistence fishermen. Beaten up old bakkies park next to luxury 4x4's. Rusted bicycles are chained to rustier poles

When you get there it is a bit like walking into a club. An open air club with salt in the air, where there is no dress code and no annual subs to be paid. No waiters, barmen or cleaners. There is only common ground of a fishing rod, smelly bait and an ability to natter piscatoraly for hours.

I am not sure whether this elderly couple were fishing for food or pleasure. I hope it was for pleasure. In fact I will ask them when I see them again.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Splashy Fen

I was a little apprehensive on my way up to Splashy Fen. I had not been to the music festival held in the Drakensberg mountains since 1999. The tent was packed, the tins of curried vegetables rattled behind my seat on the dusty roads and the prediction of rain heavy on my mind.

I have had so much fun. All of the excuses I have made for being out of touch with music seemed silly! The music on the whole has been amazing and varied. Last night Cape Town band Bed on Bricks fronted by Mike Hardy (pictured above) cooked. I am sad to say having lived in Cape Town until recently, this was the first time I have seen the band.

It has been great to get back to my other passion which is music and make photographs in the same instance. And next year I'll be back.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A wing and a prayer

For one reason or other I have been doing some thinking on death over the last month. And then I found this picture which I had filed away and not edited. I nearly let it slip by without seeing the light of day.

This picture and a few other coincidences have left me thinking that life lived honestly and completely is beautiful once that same life has gone.

I am not ready to go yet though. And I am not afraid.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mannequin holding cell

This scene tweaked my sense of humour. I had to make the picture. I have seen mannequins abused in pictures before, but this was too good an opportunity to pass by.

To be honest I have little to say. I just wanted to post this new photograph.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I have had a lot of time to think lately. Work is coming in slowly but surely, and I am looking for some good projects to sink my teeth into. Much of the work I have been doing is of bread-and-butter variety, and is not what got me to pick up a camera.

And then you see something that has almost no relevance to the job at hand. In between the speeches and handshake a moment you hope to do justice to when you fire the shutter.

Look for it, because it is usually there.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A New Chapter

This is start of a new chapter. I have finally left my job and have made the move across the country to KwaZulu Natal. The choice was easy to make as this is what I really want to do, but also difficult because I had a good job on the newspaper and we were in a comfort zone.

Moving the furniture and the cats, driving twice to get both cars here and all the other unplanned obstacles and has finally ed. We are living in a small country town between Pietermaritzburg (KZNs capital) and Durban (KZNs biggest city) and I do not miss the traffic, shopping centres or the wind.

So what is it I am going to be doing? I am going to be doing more social documentary work wich is the reason I started photographing in the first instant. I feel that I am ready for the next challenge and that is to make my dream job my real work. I will also be freelancing, hoping to do more editorial work and less corporate work.

Although I am taking a break I have been doing a little work on the annual Shembe pilgrimage. Tens of thousands of pilgrims dressed in white walk for three days to a holy mountain where they spend nearly two weeks praying and dancing. It is fascinating to witness and will make for great AV shows when I get the gear.