Around South Africa in eighteen days. A photographic journey, by Mike Johnson
Around South Africa in Eighteen Days contains photographs taken, along a roughly circular route that covers what are generally considered to be the most scenically attractive regions in South Africa.
As the title, Around South Africa in eighteen days: A photographic journey, (with apologies to Jules Verne) suggests, the collection of photographs in this book were all taken along a broadly circular route which, for most of the way, stays near the outer circumference of South Africa. Starting in Pretoria (or Johannesburg), this circuit will take us via Upington in the Northern Cape to Namaqualand, then down the West Coast to Cape Town and along the southern coastline as far as East London. After that we head northwards past the Drakensberg escarpment and through the north-eastern Free State back to our starting point, with a short detour into Lesotho along the way, our journey will generally stay "far from the madding crowd" and the bright city lights, with most of the images reflecting the quiet and peace of South Africa's countryside and seaside, its small towns and villages, its mountains, rivers and natural vegetation. For those travellers with photographic interests that lean towards places rather than people or even fauna and flora, i.e., landscape photography in the broad sense, this book will give a glimpse of the kind of picture-taking opportunities that abound along this particular route. As in most classical landscape paintings, legitimate ingredients of landscape photographs include sky, land, water, vegetation, domestic animals, buildings, (traditional) means of transport - and even people on occasion! The South African sky can be infinitely varied in its moods, ranging from the brilliant blue of a clear midday to the bright reds and oranges or more pastel shades of pink at sunrise and sunset, the sombre greys of menacing storm clouds or the pale uniformity of rain, mist, or falling snow. The mountains and hills compete with the valleys and kloofs, sometimes bare, but more usually covered with grass, trees, wild flowers or crops to which, each season lends its with rushing waterfalls, calm seas with wild waves. Sheep and cattle will reinforce a pastoral, mood, while buildings, roads and bridges lend form and substance to the scenes of which they form a part. Boats and trains (especially the steam variety) are leisurely means of transport that occupy an acceptable place in landscape photographs. Aircraft and motor vehicles, on the other hand, are uncomfortable reminders of today's hectic lifestyle - even if they are the usual means of reaching our getaways! Like the landscape artist, the landscape photographer seeks to combine these various elements into a harmonious whole that is visually pleasing, making appropriate use of colour and lighting to enhance the overall effect. There is an important difference between, the two mediums, however, in that the artist potentially has unlimited freedom when it comes to deciding what to include in the picture, how to arrange these components, what colours to use and how to handle the lighting. Photographers, on the other hand, have always had to do the best they could by finding a suitable vantage point and choosing the appropriate lens that would combine to maximise the aesthetic possibilities of a given scene - and then, if necessary, waiting patiently for the clouds to move or the light to improve! Of course, with the advent of digital manipulation these distinctions are no longer quite that clear cut, but even so (apart from certain special applications such as advertising) most people would consider a landscape "photograph" created on a computer by combining various elements such as mountains, clouds, buildings and trees from unrelated scenes to be inherently meaningless. This is because we normally assume that the photographer is sharing with others something unique that he or she saw and experienced in a particular place at a specific moment in time. [...]
This is an extract from the book: Around South Africa in eighteen days. A photographic journey, by Mike Johnson.
Book title: Around South Africa in eighteen days
Subtitle: A photographic journey
Author: Mike Johnson
Publisher: Protea Boekhuis
Pretoria, South Africa 2008
ISBN 9781869192358 / ISBN 978-1-86919-235-8
Hardcover, 24 x 22 cm, 144 pages, numerous photos, English
Johnson, Mike im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Around South Africa in eighteen days documents the author’s journey to the country’s most scenic and photogenic areas.