Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Gariep Dam

At 915 and 874km's...

The Gariep dam is our largest dam and is situated almost halfway between Johannesburg and Capetown. Its always a nice stopover as the countryside is quite arid so its almost a bit surreal to see all this water in this sparse country side. The dam wall is massive and its quite a sight to lean over the ledge and look down the side of the concrete slab. The town is very modern and thus quite ugly from a photography point of view, but the sight of this expanse of water always makes me want to stop and take out my camera for a few photographs . . 
































We arrived at the dam at midday and in sweltering heat....not always the best time for photography...

While I stopped and just enjoyed the sight another photographer screeched to a halt next to me and jumped out, mounted massive lenses on his camera, leaned over the bonnet, banged off a few shots, chose another viewpoint and did the same...Before I could say 'cheese' he had packed up his gear and off he went...

I hope I never get like that....

Photography for me has many facets, first is to 'see' what I want to photograph, then a decision has to be made to stop the car and actually do something about what I 'saw'. Harold Carlson, my old photography lecturer always said landscape photography was 90% climbing over the fence and 10% vision. And sure I agree, sometimes the best image lies over the fence, and to climb a 'doorndraad' or barbed wire fence is not always the easiest, but a photographer has got to do what a photographer has got to do.....

But we should also enjoy the moment and soak up the atmosphere of a place. Smell the grass, trees and flowers. Walk through the veld and just look at things...experience the quiet, or the sound of a car from miles away as it becomes louder and louder, as it gets closer....Otherwise we are in danger of just collecting 'trophies' along our journey without actually having experienced the sense of place....

click on images to enlarge...



I find that the processing of my images to be a re-living of my journey. Every time I look at my images, even years later the memories come flooding back....and vivid memories of the 'place' helps me to accurately process my images to reflect, not only what I saw but also what I experienced...

Here are two images of the dam. One was 'solarized' with the Color Efex plug in....the other one is just a straight landscape.....two very different renderings of the same scene, one 'traditional' and the other more 'surreal' but in a way they quite accurately reflect my feelings about the place....and I also thought a bit of colour was needed after all the previous b&w posts....

Regards, Ivan