I like the natural, simplicity of this beach sunbathing scene from the early 1960s. The beach looks wild, possibly on the Cape West Coast. The women (‘Me’ on the frame), is in a blue bikini and blue sunglasses to match. With just a towel and blow-up pillow, she looks super relaxed – just as it should be at the beach. Is that a radio?
Category Archives: Nature
People love finding rock formations that, from a particular angle, look like something else, especially an animal or human. The Internet has many examples of rock formations that look like a fox, rabbit, elephant, dog, penguin, bear, porcupine, fish, horse, camel, dinosaur, rhino, or human face. There are of course many examples of human breasts and buttocks as well as human genitals in rocks. Here is a rock formation that looks somewhat like a frog located in the Western Cape alongside the road between Betty’s Bay and Rooi Els.
The last time someone updated the paint job on this rock was in the early 1990s I’m told. It used to be cool to paint on rock formations if they were small enough, however these days one doesn’t see it often. It’s not cool anymore to paint on a natural feature. Instead people do it virtually in Photoshop; some of the examples I’ve seen in Google look like they might just start walking!
Four young girls playing at camping, mid 1960s. The wooden fruit boxes have Graymead Farm printed on the side, and Google tells me that this is probably the present-day one in the Villiersdorp area, Western Cape. It was probably a fruit farm. Love how this shows us a contrasting childhood for girls to the norms today. Nothing here is pretty or pink. These girls are down and dusty, barefoot campers, having fun with the simplest of props. It even looks like they’ve been making fire. Its rough and earthy and I love it. Respect to the parents who allowed their girls to create this experience and lovingly photographed it.
This image – of a man posing with a Welwitschia plant – is one I’ve had for a long time. It is no doubt taken in Namibia, an extremely arid place, to which the plant is native. The man has always intrigued me with his triumphant pose and his vaguely unsavory looks. I’d wanted to write about the image, to restore it, but I seemed to be in a creative desert. Then I thought of the iPad game Plants vs. Zombies and it struck me that the man has an uncanny likeness to the zombies, with his open mouth, broken tooth, greasy wisps of hair and dull clothing. With a bit of a stretch, the Welwitschia plant is like one of the plants the zombies try to eat in the game. I put this little (un-restored) scene together just for fun.
In Afrikaans, the common name for the Welwitschia plant is tweeblaarkanniedood (translates awkwardly as ‘two leaves cannot die’). The game needs one of those! That’s Plants=1, Zombies=0.
Sunday lunch was always done right – no matter where you were in the 1960s. At least it was in privileged white society in Southern Africa. One can feel a little uncomfortable noting this, however the undeniable beauty of the setting offers an alternative, more aesthetic focus for this image! The pastel colors of the veld, all yellows, blues, browns and greens, look perfect with the pastel pink crockery. I love the rich simplicity of the era and the formal traditions, so stuffy at the time, seem quaintly appealing now. No gadgets, branding, or cheap, bright camping paraphernalia – indeed outdoor repasts today have a completely different look and feel.
These weirdly shaped rock formations remind me of mushrooms and a few other things. I’m guessing they were photographed on a road trip in Iran in the early 1970s.
The original was extremely grungy, and although that is an aesthetic I love, this one needed to be cleaner to appreciate the dramatic shapes and late-afternoon light. I applied some effects to simplify it and then brought out stronger colors.
Before and after
Click for big
Beautiful scene of an English countryside in spring. It looks cold and many of the branches are still bare, but blossoms have begun to show. A red coat sets of the greens and looks really cozy for a brisk walk.
Note to self: Solitary lady in garden setting = sort of cultural icon. This is one of many. Must investigate.
The sky was white and I needed to bring back the blue with some clouds behind the branches. After this I deepened the color and sharpened the image overall.
Before and after:
Click for big
The Kaibab Plateau borders the Grand Canyon in the South, Arizona USA. This trail, shown in 1962, was either the North or South Kaibab trail into the Canyon. Touring this vast area on horseback is still a popular pastime but it does come with warnings as, once out of the trees (the Kaibab National Forest), the exposed, rocky and very hot conditions of the Canyon are challenging for riders and horses alike. Canyon officials prefer to use mules. Certain images really make me want to go there, and this is one of them.
A dramatic improvement from the original as the blue tone was removed, and light and color was brought into the image.
Before and after. Click for big.