Some wonderful images emerged during June as I continued to open boxes of old slides in my collection, in fact some of the strongest images came to light this month so that I had to raise the bar as to which made it into this post! Here are the picks from June in strict order of least to most popular (bearing in mind that they are all the cream of the crop).
An image with strong lines and perfectly balanced colors, as well as some interesting textures, after editing. Two people on the far left and right create the ultimate balance of elements. The central building is quite striking. What I love most are the power pylons disappearing in the mist, the coral shade of the plane’s tail, and the little patch of damage in the top right corner.
An African Baobab tree, on a dirt road at sunset, in a Southern African game reserve. The Baobab is an iconic tree – thought of by children as an ‘upside down’ tree as if the roots are in the air. This image has delicious colors; dusky purple and buttery yellow, with the flash of an orange sunset. There is fine damage and mold all over this slide, adding a satisfying texture. It has gathered around the ink of the branches and looks at first like leaves.
It’s the 1970s and here is a group of young people on a hike in the Drakensberg Mountains. The view is majestic with a deep river valley cutting through the hills towards a distant cloudscape and we realize we are very high up. I love the almost-silhouetted group and their shadows in the foreground. It feels like the early morning before setting off on the day’s walking. This image reminds me of the family hikes we used to do when I was in this age group.
The Brighton seafront on the south coast of England in the late 1950s. It’s cold and wintery but people are still out walking and enjoying themselves. The little bus fun ride for hire is quite the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! I’m especially amused by the group of adults sitting in it, having a second childhood.
Family groups are stock standard among vernacular photographs but this one stands out for many reasons. The group forms a perfectly round shape making a square crop possible. The low angle and formal but relaxed mood really works. But the best part of the image is of course the pair of red-headed twins at the back. They are just gorgeous!
Close up of a ceiling in an English chapel. I imagined lying on a wooden pew bench and looking up, letting my eyes wander until I dozed off. It would be cool, a little uncomfortable, and deeply peaceful. I think people loved this image because of the intricate detail, patterns and touches of gold.
Iconic Table Mountain viewed from Blouberg Beach. A classic image, of a well-loved view that has been photographed countless times. Cape Town is known as the mother city and Table Mountain is her anchor with Devil’s Peak on the left and Lion’s Head on the right. This is not a swimming beach with it’s jagged rocks, rough currents and cold water but people come here to walk on the long stretch of white sand and to gaze at the mountain.
An exciting image of a New Orleans street from the late 1950s. The terrace buildings with their cast iron balustrades and lamp posts are typical of the old city. But it is the gleaming vintage cars and hints of culture that are so enticing. Perhaps one day time travel will be invented.
The facade of this newly-built 1960s house is so daring. It must have grabbed the attention of passersby like the woman in the photo. There are trippy black and white murals on a panel below the balcony and a cute yellow car tucked into the carport. These people must have been creatives.
One of my personal favorites. A ruined cathedral window arch offset by a dark sky, thick bushes and a spidery patch of mold. I made use of strong filtering and textures to create a gothic mood and Instagram loved it. At the time I was reading a novel by Peter Clines in which huge, hidden creatures in the sky plan to devour all humanity and I think this may have struck a cord.
Las Vegas 1970s with it’s brash, mid-century-style signage. This image was a hit with Instagram; so much is packed into it. I love the names of the establishments: The Mint, Golden Nugget, Lucky Casino, and Queens.
And the winner in June is this image of rock art from the Cederberg Mountains in the Western Cape. Neither my editing nor the anonymous photographer can take any credit in this case, except perhaps for bringing it to the eyes of Instagram. All the beauty and power lie in the work of an artist from ancient times. The scene shows a group of elephants and anthropomorphic human figures on the wall of a rock shelter. The Cederberg is a UNESCO world heritage site. As a student I spent time there with UCT’s archaeology department mapping rock art sites and I’m pretty sure I visited this one. The experience touched me deeply. Below is a typical scene of the wild Cederberg terrain.