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Photo Writing is the web version of the Photo Writing mini-magazine produced by Limephoto and Emil von Maltitz since 2010. As of 2015 it is now completely online. Feel free to browse through the articles and please leave comments in the comments section if you would like to engage with us.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Great Photographs Require Walking! April AI Drakensberg Trip



Edward Weston apparently once said that, "Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn't photogenic". This, I suspect, was made when he was more interested in still life than in landscapes. I also suspect that he may have changed his mind later in life considering some of his later images. The one thing about the statement though, is that he was dead wrong!




Great landscape images require actually getting there, and there tends to be a whole lot further than 500 yards from the car. The late American photographer Galen Rowell epitomized this in his relentless pursuit for backcountry views that left his viewers mesmerized. One needs to leave the maddening crowd and be surrounded by nature, miles from the usual viewpoint haunts to obtain unique and captivating imagery.



It is one of the reasons why I love the Drakensberg so much. The great American and British landscapes have been photographed ad nauseum. Beautuful as they are, images of the Slot Canyons, Grand Canyon, Tetons (and the famous Horse-shoe Bend) or the iconic views of Britain's pebbly coastline or Scotland's much photographed (and for good reason) Isle of Skye. Certainly, anyone familiar with South African landscape photographers and their work will recognize the distinctive shape of the Amphitheatre with the Tugela River flowing underfoot, or the cone shape of Cathedral Peak. But how many people will see an image of one of the majestic passes and think, "I've seen that before". The answer is very few.

To see and to photograph these places requires using your legs. A lot. So it was with great pleasure that I spent the last weekend with a wonderful group of photographers and hikers from the African Impact project. For the most part the fitness of our guests is usually middling to low. This group on the other hand were like a group of mountain gazelles (a lot like the few that summited Cathedral and Sentinel with me in the past...I'm looking at you Iceman Studios). My wife teased me mercilessly on my return, and no doubt any of the group will snigger when they read this, but my body hurt after they were done with me. I ached from toe to head. In fact my hair hurt.



The result though was finally climbing Tryme Hill for sunrise and exploring Tunnel Cave for the first time. I do believe that had we stayed for another day, the group would have suggested summiting Cathedral or even Cleft Peak. I think I can safely say that I was bested by this group and their almost inexhaustible energy. Thanks for a wonderful weekend to Alicia, Helen, Jeff, Cela, Sarah, Frenchie and Sophie. You'll walk away with unique images for the trouble you put your legs to!


Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic. - See more at: http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/12034/23-quotes-by-photographer-edward-weston/#sthash.SLKYV4Ij.dpufA
Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic. - See more at: http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/12034/23-quotes-by-photographer-edward-weston/#sthash.SLKYV4Ij.dpuf
Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic. - See more at: http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/12034/23-quotes-by-photographer-edward-weston/#sthash.SLKYV4Ij.dpuf
Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic. - See more at: http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/12034/23-quotes-by-photographer-edward-weston/#sthash.SLKYV4Ij.dpuf
Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic. - See more at: http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/12034/23-quotes-by-photographer-edward-weston/#sthash.SLKYV4Ij.dpuf
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