It’s not New York, Milan or Paris, but living in South Africa has so much enjoyment: from being able to capture wildlife, through to being up close enough to shoot the majesties of unblemished cultural beauty, South Africa’s visual splendour is intrinsic to its diversity. If tourists travel to South Africa, one item you’ll surely find in a backpack or carry case is a camera; and, to make mobile computing just that little bit easier, buy a tablet PC and use it to update your social accounts on the fly. On the other hand, you might simply want to upload your images to an Apple iPod Touch.
South Africans are also known to be tech-savvy when it comes down to talk about photography and cameras. They know the secret hideaways away from the mainstream tourists areas, and with their cameras, they can capture on film or file some of the most inspiring pictures the world will ever see.
The Lure of Photography
It’s always about the next shot and being able to create angles, and use light and subject matter to craft a stunning image. That’s what photographers are always aiming to do, and nowhere else in the world can they find as massive a diversity of subjects as they can in South Africa.
This makes South Africans a lucky group because all they have to do is step outside or look out their windows to find inspiration. It may not happen in the middle of a major city, but luckily, it’s relatively easy to travel around South Africa.
The Birds and the Bees and You
Ambroseli National Park, Kruger National Park, other game reserves, wildlife parks, private game reserves, Taita Hills, and Mount Kilimanjaro are just a few of the Earth’s wonders where you can practice your photography skills. It’s a good thing that there are digital cameras for sale in South Africa, because you can easily upload images to your PC and free the memory to take more shots. With digital photography, it’s also common to do touch-ups, although some purist-orientated professionals balk at touching the image, preferring to leave it in pristine, original condition.
It’s very common to see photography students “touring” different communities and towns in South Africa. Their goal is almost always to find an original shot; one that has never been done before and since the 1950s, camera buffs have been hard at work in South Africa, so it is a tall order for most of these youngsters.
The 9th Bamako Encounters
Currently on show is the 9th Bamako Encounters at the Bamako Mall. It is a much-awaited photo exhibit that will be open to the public until December 5, 2011. The theme this year is very apt; that is, “For a Sustainable World”, and the organizers have managed to convince some of the best South African photographers to join the show.
Aside from photos, there are also videos that can be viewed. Some of the South African photographers whose works are on display are Lien Botha, Pieter Hugo, Joe Ratcliffe, Sabelo Mlangeni, Hasan et Husain, and Thandile Zwelibanzi.
Other countries who have sent participants to the Pan-African show are Ghana, Tunisia, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Morocco, Haiti, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Libya among others.
One can spend a lifetime taking pictures of South Africa and South Africans, and never have to repeat the same shot. In a sense, this land is a fairy tale fantasy for photographers.