April 365 Project – Travel Shots

This is my first post for my new daily post themes. “Foto Fridays” are a place for me to  post stories about photography and my ongoing 365 project. If you follow my blog for the photographic content, these are the posts for you.

Earlier this year I committed to writing about my photography journey each month. One reason for making this promise to myself was to give me a reason to do another full year of 365. Something I haven’t done since 2015. So far so good. I have stuck with it.

For April on my 365 project, I didn’t have a specific theme. I shared shots that I have taken so far this year on my travels but have not processed or posted anywhere yet. I also posted the same shots on my Instagram feed. The shots I used were taken when I was in Botswana for a conference in January, or during our trip to Cape Aghulas in March.

Using photos that I’d already taken gave me some breathing space to focus on other things, like my A to Z Blogging Challenge and a very hectic work schedule.

Themes

When I have a lot of photos to share, I sometimes find it useful to find some pattern or structure for sharing. It doesn’t always work but this month it did. I gave each day of the week a theme. It meant that my monthly calendar on 365 looked really good.

  • Monday = Nature
  • Tuesday = Patterns, Textures and Details
  • Wednesday = Reflections
  • Thursday = Sunsets and Skies
  • Friday = Boats and Ships
  • Saturday = Silhouettes
  • Sunday = Landscapes

What have I learnt about myself and my photography this month?

To keep my promise to myself that I would reflect on my learning each month here are my thoughts for this month.

I have always said to myself that I am NOT a landscape photographer. I tend to gravitate towards details and macros; shapes, patterns and textures and you can see some of those kinds of shots in my monthly posts. But I think I am beginning to understand how to compose a landscape shot and to make it my own – developing a style in this genre I suppose. If I look closely at them, I can also see shapes, textures and patterns within the bigger picture – my core style elements.

Most of the landscape shots this month are taken from a low perspective and into the sun (see Moody, Fynbos Sunset and Through the Decking Beams below). Quite a few are silhouettes too (Contemplating and Flowing Rocks). My followers on 365 liked the Moody shot too and it made it to the weekly Top Twenty for week 399 (27th April 2018), which is quite an achievement, as there are some very fine photographers on 365! I was so pleased that one of my landscapes was chosen. In the past, it has been detailed shots (have a look).

I am quietly excited! 🙂 I am developing a landscape style – I think!

Onwards to the photos…

Nature

The Cape Francolin’s Dilemma
To drink from the cup or not? In the end, it did and looked very pleased with itself! I was quietly drinking my morning tea when he jumped up on the table and approached my cup. He didn’t flinch even as I took photos. He was so close, about 20cm away! I posted this one for week 14 of the 52-week challenge. You can read about it here.

Stott-week-14

Left to right below

  • Windblown
    I couldn’t work out if this bush is windblown or cut like this…
  • Ribbon
    Seaweed is such interesting stuff – smelly, yet fascinating at the same time!
  • Chatterbox
    Not the best composition with that horrible shadow in the background and definitely not sharp, but I liked this weaver having a chat with an unseen friend.
  • Swift terns are bigger than you think
    We have never seen a swift tern, so we were really excited to not only see one but have one as a willing subject for photographs.

April-2018-nature

Patterns, textures and details

Left to right below

  • Hearty sponge
    I felt so lucky to spot this heart-shaped sponge on the beach!
  • Cairn
    We found this cairn on one of the lagoon beaches at Aghulas. It is dedicated to Wilhelm Schalk Baard who died on 23rd December 2013. Sadly there was no further information. But if he loved this beach, I can see why.
  • Rust and dimples
    Details from the roof of the Aghulas Lighthouse
  • Water tower at sunset
    This old-fashioned wooden water tower was on the farm where we stayed overnight. I loved the textures in the wood and took a few shots earlier in the day. But then came the sunset and the whole thing took on a whole different feeling!

April-2018-texture

Reflections

Left to right below

  • Ripples
    At the beach
  • Half and half reflected colours
    I don’t know why the pole is covered in metal but it provided me with an unusual photo opp – the reflected colours and the textures of the metal. It’s also a half and half composition.
  • Airport reflections
    I snapped this at Gaborone airport because I loved how the shiny floor mirrored the group talking.
  • Convex and concave
    This is just so funky and is a building at the University of Botswana in Gaborone. No processing apart from transformations.

April-2018-reflections

Sunsets and skies

Left to right below

  • Lagoon sunset
    One of the many lagoons at Aghulas
  • Aghulas contrasts: Wispy clouds, sharp rocks
    I cannot get enough of these big sky landscapes from Aghulas. The skies just seem to go on forever, and I suppose they do because beyond here is just ocean and sky until you reach the South Pole.
  • Through the decking beams
    We sat on the deck of our cabin in the Aghulas National Park and watched the sun go down. The supporting beams made a great frame!

April-2018-sunsets

Boats and ships

Left to right below

  • Rusty hulk
    The Aghulas coastline of South Africa is renowned for being treacherous and many boats over the centuries have floundered in these waters. This is one of them which is a permanent feature in the National Park. I’m unsure of its name or history – will have to do a little research. Cabo das Agulhas is Portuguese for “Cape of Needles” and is the Southernmost Tip of Africa. Wikipedia has some interesting facts about this area.
  • Fishermen’s tender
    This grotty looking boat is a tender to get to the fishing boats in Struisbaai Harbour. You will not believe how many men they fit into this
  • It’s for the birds
    It seems the boats are more for the birds than the fishermen.
    Taken in Struisbaai Harbour in the Western Cape of South Africa.
  • Calling! Birds on Bella! Can I come on board, please?
    … even though I’m a duck!
    A bit of fun…

April-2018-boats

Silhouettes

  • Contemplative
    My son, contemplating the water

April-2018-silhouettes

Landscapes

From left to right below

  • Flowing rocks
    An oxymoron I know, but in silhouette, the rocks seem softer and more flowing somehow.
  • Rockpool and ocean (Indian or Atlantic?)
    This is from our recent trip to Aghulas in the Western Cape of South Africa. Aghulas is Africa’s southernmost tip, where the two oceans of the Indian and Atlantic meet. So not sure which ocean this is exactly! I also used this for week 13 of the 52-week challenge, leading lines.
  • Fynbos sunset
    Fynbos (meaning fine-leaved plants) is a small belt of natural shrubland or heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. Fynbos is known for its exceptional degree of biodiversity consisting of about 80% species of the Cape floral kingdom.
  • Moody
    Another fynbos and big sky shot, this one a little moodier than the others. This shot was my most liked shot by my followers on 365 this month and also made the weekly Top Twenty for week 399 (27th April 2018)

April-2018-landscapes

To read other features in this series, have a look at the list at the end of this post. Until next time,

Debbie blog sign off 2018

All photos © Deborah Ann Stott 2018

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