I don’t normally keep nature and wildlife photos because the subject is timeless. An elephant in 1958 looks much like an elephant in 2017. Thank goodness we are still able to say that. Amateur photographers with their Lo Fi cameras cannot do justice to the subject except by attesting to the amazing experience of being in the parks through the sheer number of pictures they take. Vain attempts to hold on to the magical atmosphere of the bush! This small collection, however, has recorded the rest camp environment and buildings and has captured the 1970s aesthetic of the game reserve so well that it all comes back to me complete with smells and sounds.
The game reserve aesthetic of the 1970s includes:
- The simplicity and neatness of the landscaping and use of ‘rockeries’
- The slasto paths and walls made with rounded river stones
- The rondavel accommodation with that exact shade of green paint
- The thick wads of thatch perfectly maintained
- The gleaming, polished linoleum floors of the slightly austere dining rooms
- The hand made, bilingual tourist map and institution-style furniture.
I loved staying in a rondavel. The circular space was a novelty, the polished cement floors and veranda, lying in a cot-like bed, gazing up into the thatch, and smelling its lovely grassy smell, the outdoor folding table and chairs (also painted that uniquely African shade of green).
Having said that amateurs do a bad job of photographing game, I nonetheless liked the composition and Lo Fi quality of this buffalo picture. I included the ‘before’ image to show how I edited the backdrop and sky and enhanced the colour.