Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Arches And Rock Formations Of Sehlabathebe

Bob Cnoops and I recently spent three days photographing the rock formations at Sehlabathebe. Although it was extremely hot and windy, with very little cloud, we each managed to bag a few shots.We spent the evenings talking photography and doing our bit to keep the Namibian brewery workers busy!

Images captured with a 6x6 pinhole camera on Fuji Acros developed in Caffenol.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Circles Of Sehlabathebe

The Sehlabathebe rock formations and tarns present some of the most spectacular sights a photographer is likely to encounter. Over the eons, wind and rain erosion have carried away layers of the softer sandstone and left intricately shaped arches and rock pools.

Images captured with a Hasselblad SWC on Fuji Acros, developed in Kodak HC110.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Jewel In The Crown

Motorists, driving on the winding R617 between Underberg and Bulwer, may be forgiven for overlooking an old and forlorn group of buildings on the banks of the Polela River. Looking very much like the many farm building and sheds that dot the landscape, the sight of a church spire however suggests otherwise. The complex is in fact the Reichenau Mission.

Established in 1896, Reichenau was the Marianhill Mission’s first inland satellite station.  Led by Abbot Francis Pfanner, a group of hardy and self sufficient monks built the complex which included a church, school, mill, butchery, bakery, store and forge.

A short detour off the main road rewards the intrepid traveler with and extraordinary scene.  Like a mediaeval European village, the sprawling mission complex overlooks the Polela River and surrounding farmlands.  But the jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the Church. Constructed in the Neo Gothic architectural style, this magnificent building was essentially built from local stone and timber. The masonry work, interior woodwork, stained glass windows and elaborate decoration bears testimony to a level of dedication and craftsmanship not often found today.

Regardless of one’s religious convictions, a visit to the church is an awe inspiring and spiritual experience. It is difficult to imagine the conditions which the monks must have had to endure whilst creating this lasting structure – rain, snow, heat and drought would have imposed severe challenges to both physical well being and general morale. (On a lighter note, being a silent order, I can imagine Abbot Pfanner dropping his paint brush from the high scaffolding.  No calling out for someone to retrieve it – he would have had to climb down and fetch it himself. Or the carpenter hitting his finger with a hammer and having to suffer in silence #$?^%?!)

Time and the elements have not been kind to Reichenau. Peeling paint, loose plaster and fading murals are sad reminders that loving care and restoration is urgently required. Recent murmurs of a financial grant are most encouraging and would go a long way in ensuring that this important part of our national heritage is preserved for future generations.

An excursion to Reichenau Mission is certainly rewarding and should be on everyone’s list of places to visit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Window And Bench

The Hasselblad went for a spin yesterday. With an 80mm lens and a roll of Fuji Acros, I spent a few hours at Reichenau mission. Developed in Pyrocat HD.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Namibia Archives

Going through my old Namibian trip negatives, I came across two images I had previously overlooked.
The dead tree was shot with a Hasselblad SWC and the mountains with a 500CM and 500mm lens. Captured on Kodak T-Max 100 and developed in HC110.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lesotho - August 2011

Images captured after recent snowfall. I used my Rollei SL66 with a homemade magnifier lens which produces a "dreamlike soft image". The out of focus and diffused picture is reminiscent of infra red film.

Fuji Across developed in Caffenol.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Graphic shadows on the stairway of the Circa Gallery, Rosebank, Johannesburg.

6x6 Pinhole camera. Captured on Fuji Acros, developed in Caffenol.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Graphic Forms

July's very heavy snowfalls, across most of the south eastern part of the country, provided some interesting photographic opportunities. Fences, trees and other bold objects are shown in isolation,  resulting in strong graphic designs.