Camera on the Ready
We all pack a camera when going on a holiday. From time to time, we even include a well-known landmark or breathtaking landscape as a backdrop for a portrait of our endearing old uncle or of our cute little niece.
Why not do things differently this time and make the well-known landmarks and breathtaking landscapes of South Africa not an incidental, but primary subject of your photographic endeavours?
In a country as abundant with natural beauties and man-made marvels as South Africa is, it is difficult to pin-point just a handful or so photogenic sites. Still, at the peril of omitting to mention your favourites, here's our take of the most photo-worthy spots in South Africa:
Augrabies Falls (Northern Cape). This place of great noise and beauty comes into its own in the rainy seasons, when the waters of the Orange River swell and cascade over cliffs, creating perfect opportunities for a landscape photographer.
Namaqualand (Northern Cape). It's worth postponing your holiday until spring for the joy of snapping away at daisies, from up close or further away.
Table Mountain (Western Cape). Yes, it has been done before, so many times, by so many people. It's up to you to make an effort to capture the magic of Table Mountain in your unique way. A suggestion: try doing it from the Milnerton beach.
The unfinished highway of Cape Town (Western Cape). Who could resist snapping at it! (Especially if one happens to be staying in the hotel facing it.) Bo-Kaap. (Western Cape). Also known as Cape Malay Quarter, this area features brightly coloured traditional houses that date back to the 17th and 18th century.
Chapman's Peak (Western Cape).Actually, practically every spot on the road stretching from the southernmost tip of South Africa to Cape Town along the Atlantic Ocean is worth your viewfinder.
Mkambati (or Mkhambathi) Nature Reserve (Eastern Cape). Crystal-clear rivers, deep gorges, waterfalls… Simply spectacular.
The Owl House (Nieu-Bethesda, Eastern Cape). The cement sculptures crowding the yard around the house are just waiting for your camera.
Drakensberg Amphitheatre (Kwa-Zulu Natal). One of the most impressive cliff faces on earth.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park (Free State). Golden, ochre and orange-huedsandstone cliffs illuminated by the last rays of the setting sun… If this sounds like your cup of tea, now you know where to go to capture the scene on your camera.
Blyde River Canyon (Mpumalanga). This huge "green canyon" with lush subtropical foliage is one of Africa's great wonders of nature and as such… You know the rest: it deserves to find its way onto your digital camera's memory card.
Kruger National Park (Limpopo and Mpumalanga). Love photographing wildlife? Go to Kruger National Park, armed with a lens with a strong zoom. A very strong zoom.
Johannesburg skyline (Gauteng). No, you cannot get away from it. So, just go with it and start snapping at it.
Now that you've filled several memory cards with the highest resolution photographs your camera can take, what to do with them?
For starters, you may print some of them, frame them and arrange them on a wall in your living room. That way, as one avid photographer says, their beauty will motivate you to go out and shoot more pictures.
Next, create your own greeting cards with your prints. You can also put together mini-albums to use as gifts for Christmas or birthdays.
A great way to show off your best work and get peer reviews is to join an online photo-sharing community, and remember to enter online photo competitions.
When you feel that you are ready, you may try to get some income from your photographs. You may sell the prints and the digital copies on one of the stock photo websites.
And who knows - perhaps, one day, it will be galleries and museums for you!
In any case, don't consign your lovely pictures to a life of captivity in your computer.
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