Okay, so it’s more of an amble, lazy stroll or perhaps just a mooch on the wild side if I’m honest, but if you head on down to The Sheds at 1 Fox in Ferreirasdorp, Johannesburg, you can wander round the studio and admire the crème de la crème of 2015-2016’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.
The images are stunning and include battling bee eaters, ethereal insects, an army of soldier ants and surreal (and yet in actual fact real) landscapes. Some images are mind bending and it can take a while for your brain to decode what you are seeing. Other images are so beautifully and creatively composed that it’s humbling to realise that the very youngest photographers are only 10 years old.
It was blissfully quiet when we visited, presenting the opportunity to take our time and enjoy the exhibition. Understandably, no photography is allowed inside the gallery space, so you’ll have to drop by in person to appreciate the skill, infinite patience, ingenuity and star aligning luck involved in capturing these amazing shots.
There are a selection of glossy photography books, magnets and postcards for sale at the entrance. Prints must be ordered from the Natural History Museum in London. The exhibition runs until 31 August 2016, you can find out more HERE.
The New Year is often a time for reflection. Rather than bore you with my inner navel gazing though, I’m instead going to share two photographic reflections with you. Before heading back to the UK for Christmas, we spent a glorious week down South exploring Cape Town, Knysna and Franschhoek. Both reflection photos come from that trip.
Knysna is a small touristy almost-beside-the-seaside town in the south of South Africa. If you look at a map and draw a line between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, Knysna is roughly two thirds of the way along it. It nestles by a tidal lagoon, protected from the worst of sea storms (hence the ALMOST-beside-the-seaside description). The lagoon ebbs and flows into the sea between the formidable rocky Knysna heads.
Pronounced nize-na, Knysna is a bit like an African version of England’s Cornwall. The coastline is dotted with beaches, there are plenty of seafood restaurants, lots of holidaymakers and plenty of outdoors activities. Although, be warned, if you are thinking about choosing canoeing in the lagoon as an outdoors activity you will get splattered with lagoon water and it STINKS.
….And should you furthermore decide to take both your children out on the lagoon, (“Pleeeeeeease Mummy, we’d love to go canoeing. Please.”) it helps if they are proficient paddlers. I took a tandem canoe with Pickle and Sweetpea struck out on her own.
Once we’d paddled quite a distance they both decided they were “soooooo tired” and which resulted in me trying to get back to base with the second canoe tied to the back of the tandem one and two dead weights flailing their oars about in my face, further dousing me in ghastly lagoon water, while I battled against the tide. Meanwhile Mr Incredible was shoreside busy reflecting (falling about with laughter at my predicament) over a cheeky esspresso.