Tuesday, 28 February 2012

On the beach, Ballito

Its not the easiest thing to walk around beaches and just point ones camera at half naked people..not here in South Africa anyway...and at this time of the year when the beaches are relatively empty, its even more difficult.





























So,  the solution is to either 'steal' a shot without the subject even being aware of the fact that his/her photographed had just been taken or one asks permission....I tried both.

I saw these young guys running at Thompson's beach and I walked over to the 'supervisor' and asked If I can make a group photo...that's were I learnt that they were trainee lifesavers that are trained by the local lifesavers and then hope for a job when they graduate...there was lots of running and swimming involved...and I got exhausted just looking at them....

In the days of apartheid there was a whole 'beach cult' so to say of  lean and bronzed life savers in their red bikini's and bleached blond hair 'ruling' the beaches.  All the girls wanted to be as close as possible to the cordoned off life saver areas and there were lots of hangers on, not least the young life saver 'wannabees' called 'nippers', if I remembered correctly. They strictly enforced the swimming rules with whistles and megaphones...there was always a buzz around the life savers..and if you wanted to see the prettiest girls on the beach you knew where to look...

On this trip I went to many different beaches and not once did I see any of the old 'white' lifeguards, only black men.....they kept mostly to themselves and there was very little if any interaction with the mostly white and Indian beach goers....the 'buzz' had gone.....

click on image to enlarge..










My wife and I wondered what had happened to all the old life guards...since the demise of apartheid many many things had changed mostly for the better but some for worse...somehow a little bit of the 'magic' of 'going to Durban by the sea' had disappeared and I longed for those carefree days of my youth when all we did was lie on the beach and swim, and of course look at the pretty girls and envy the handsome lifesavers....

regards, Ivan...
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