Category: South Africa

Best of June

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 Read More

Best of April

Some stunning images emerged during April. I unpacked several boxes of unseen slides, and also returned to collections I had liked and put aside years ago. The mix of favorites in this post reflects both the beauty of the images and a level of curiosity about South Africa shown on Instagram. The order below reflects Read More

Volksie

Best of March

Hi there, here are the top Instagram picks of March 2018. This was the first month in which I really got posting on a daily basis and this selection reflects the images that people responded to most enthusiastically. The response was not always what I had expected so I’ve learned a lot about what appeals Read More

Racing Cars and Crowds

This collection of racing event photos was a great find. It had been kept in a musty garage and had developed a thick white mold which, when cleaned off, revealed a small treasure of images from 1962 South Africa. The names on some of the cars are those of international racing drivers so my guess Read More

Me on the Beach

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 Read More

Beach Grab

My guess this is a Cape Town beach on the Atlantic seaboard, 1960s. It’s a wonderful example of vernacular photography that weirdly works. Despite being hastily snapped and, as a result, being skew and blurred, there are enough details from the era to make it interesting. I love the relaxed indifference of the women as Read More

Fynbos Lady Nerds

I just love how these three nerdy ladies are enjoying the Cape Fynbos, in 1968. My guess is that this is somewhere near Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town. Read More

Cable Car Table Mountain

The Table Mountain cable car pictured in the early 1960s with a lone man inside. These cars could transport about 12 people comfortably. I can just remember them, the open air and greasy smell of the cables. Nowadays the cable car company transports about 800 people per day up and down our famous and wonderful Read More

Painted Frog Rock

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 Read More

Retreat and Spotty Dog

Here is another pic of iconic Spotty Dog the roadhouse on the Main Road of Retreat, taken in the mid or early 1960s. I’ve previously written about Spotty Dog in another post so go here to read about the history. The building is so iconic and so often photographed without context that it was nice Read More

Birthday Party

Birthday Party

Two moms enjoying a chat at a toddlers birthday late 1950s. A classic snapshot that perfectly captures the tête-à-têtes between the mothers with an offbeat composition. Tempting to crop it but I liked the deep well of the veranda space and the way the balloons poke in at the top. The square format slide had Read More

Petting the Horses

Petting the Horses

Who has not stopped on a dirt road to climb a fence and pet the horses? Such a lovely found snapshot with two teenage girls gently connecting with a horse and foal in the mid 1960s. This was a genuine moment on a family holiday, but surely the photographer had seen images of beautiful young Read More

Camping Girls

Camping Girls

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 Read More

Johannesburg Festival

Johannesburg Festival

These two pics are labelled ‘JHB Festival’ and date to the late 1950s. They are tantalizing in their hints at a large, public event and location. However, I cannot be sure what festival this is. The Rand Easter Show is one possibility, so too is the annual Wits University RAG procession for the second image. Read More

Double Kodak Moment with Hairnet

Double Kodak Moment with Hairnet

The cultural practice of photography is usually hidden – you see the snapshot that was taken not the photographer in the act of taking it. That’s why I love this 1966 find in which a woman is photographing two girls in the small front garden of a house in what looks like Mowbray, Cape Town. Read More

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