Weekly Photo Challenge – Textured……………

Another wonderfully diverse topic this week, with so many opportunities to interpret in different ways. I suppose the biggest dividing line in the category is the line between texture that is naturally inherent in something, and texture that is created, one that is the result of some intervention. Generally, the intervention in the manufacturing process that results in a texture of some sort would probably be human. So I figured maybe I should once again try to take the unconventional approach. So firstly, a texture that is not inherent in anything, and secondly a texture created by an animal rather than human.
Not too long ago, I visited the West Coast National Park, about an hours drive from Cape Town. A wonderful area that is covered with fynbos, is situated on a lagoon on one end and has a beach on the other. The reserve has quite a few antelope and other animals, but also has a huge bird population, which I would imagine fluctuates a lot, considering their ability to fly, affording the opportunity to migrate to wherever they please. Anyway on this occasion, walking along the shore, one could not help but notice what appeared from the distance to be some “art on the rocks”. On approaching the area and getting closer to the rocks, it became apparent that it was actually ‘bird poo”. I can sense the chuckle as you read this, but, despite this being “bird poo” there was something quite artistic about its appearance. Almost as if it was a commissioned piece of art for a serious art collector, or the work of a famous “bird poo graffiti artist”. The point I’m trying to get to is that this is my sample of texture created by animal without any human or other intervention. So the rocks were textured with these abstract pieces of art :-). I know my friend Nelson and his buddies would undoubtedly have contributed to these works of art, but you have to wonder if there was an equivalent “bird Picasso” amongst them……………the journey continues…….
So todays images for the challenge are some of the examples of the textured art form I discovered, and some of the artists hanging around the area where they paint…:)

perfect landing………………..

Todays blog stays very much in line with yesterdays blog about sunset, silhouette and sea, though we have another visit from some friends of Nelson 🙂 Those that have been reading my blog for a while will know Nelson .. the seagull. Well, I was out on the Promenade taking some shots of the sunset not too long ago. There I was just getting on with my shooting, adjusting settings on my camera, composing the shots etc. And out of the blue arrives this seagull, he looked a bit younger than Nelson (come to think of it could have been a she too :-)) I’m none the wiser..Anyway, so out of the blue this seagull arrives and does a perfect landing on one of the bollards, barely half a metre away from me. So, shortly after landing, the bird (…gotta be PC here 🙂 was joined by another, and before long one was reaching out its neck to see what I was doing, almost in a supervisory kind of way 🙂 But a bit more subtle than Nelson, who sounds like he is actually shouting out instructions , Nelsons buddies just kept peering inquisitively :-). When I stopped shooting I noticed the birds were gone. Looks like Nelsons keeping an eye on me courtesy of his friends 🙂

The journey continues……………………

Todays images are of the sunset I was shooting, Nelsons buddy landing and checking me out….

storm clouds gather overhead…………..

Yesterdays blog was about waves meeting rocks, with some images of experiments I’ve been trying to capture a wave crashing on a rock at the right moment, or even slowing the shutter down enough to capture the implied movement of the water, that hazy misty appearance that comes with slower exposures.

Todays post is similar in that the images are also about another experiment, that of trying to capture almost that spotlight effect that you get on an overcast day when the sun momentarily punches through the cloud.

I was driving along the road from Hout Bay, a little fishing village on the other side of the mountain, along the coastal road that straddles it. It starts of quite high above the coastline and winds its way down along the contours, a very scenic drive. So on this day, as I reached the crest of the hill I noticed how  the sun was actually casting a beam onto the water’s surface. Of course by now I’ve learnt to always take the camera with me, so I found a suitable vantage point to take some shots. It wasnt long before Nelson the inquisitive seagull perched himself on a rock beside me, to come and oversee proceedings. :-). He kept squealing as though he was quite annoyed, perhaps a photographer in his previous life:-), dispensing criticism about my chosen composition or something:-):-).  Well, I named him Nelson, after the song “and the seagulls name was Nelson”, bet you, you just heard the tune play in your head :-):-).  Oops! better be politically correct here, I’m not sure if the bird was male or female?? Anyway, you get the idea!!

The light was almost surreal, with a very monochromatic look about it, which you’ll notice in the picture. It looked like it was raining in the distance, and the storm clouds were definitely gathering overhead. I had to stop shooting when it started raining, but I still manged to get some shots………..the journey continues………………………………

Todays images are of this amazing moment and my friend Nelson 🙂


Seagull you fly………………….

Cape Point is home to at least 250 species of birds, some of them are more readily recognisable, and others require someone who knows a little bit about birds. You know the types that can tell by listening to a little sound and blurt out “red breasted white spotted tailed warbler” :-),   I know that may not even be a real example, but its just to demonstrate what I’m talking about. I must confess I know a little about many things, but I know very little about birds and trees. So I suppose this is like a forewarning that you must be a little circumspect about any facts that I may quote you in either of these categories. I dont know if everybody is like that, we have aptitude for certain things, and are just plain ignorant with others, either way I’ve just come clean about two things I’m pretty unclued up about :-). There’s probably a whole lot of people out there going, they know a little about everything, including birds and trees, and I’m sure everybody has met their fair share of people who know everything about everything!! But, I suppose it takes all kinds to make a wonderful world 🙂

The rocky habitats and beaches of Cape Point are obviously home to coastal birds, (see, I knew that :-), the ones that come to mind right now are the seagulls, the comorans, and the oyster catchers. But one thing is common amongst all of them, in this environment, they just appear to be so free, and content. Not that they’re not any of those in another environment, it’s just that it fits so much better in this environment. They seem to have an abundance of food, fish, crabs, mussels, etc, amazing landscape to fly over, no pollution, no humans trying to keep them out, high cliffs and rocks to perch on and observe the surrounds, not to mention freedom to practice “poo” grafitti on :-). All in all a sense of contentment is what seems to be evident to me.

Somehow, whenever I’m in the area and observe the birds I’m constantly reminded of the song by Bad Company, “Seagull you fly” ..some of you  will remember it, for those that dont recognise it, the lyrics that seem to ring in my head whenever I see these birds just flying around with wild abandon are… (all and any credits to the songwriter and Bad Company) …hmmm…not sure I can type the tune though 🙂 so I’ve attached a link to a live version on You tube…..check it out.

 Seagull, you fly across the horizon
Into the misty morning sun.
Nobody asks you where you are going,
Nobody knows where you’re from.

Here is a man asking the question
Is this really the end of the world?
Seagull, you must have known for a long time
The shape of things to come.
Now you fly, through the sky, never asking why,

Which brings me to todays images, birds in flight, or on the rocks or otherwise, completely content……perhaps theres a few lessons in there for us….the journey continues……………..