My experiences living in Cape Town and travelling in Africa

Posts tagged “experience

Insta-anxiety, or was it just me?

Augrabies Falls Instagram

So I finally reached the end of my previous cellphone contract and could upgrade from a brand of cellphone that I came to regard with as much superstition as actors do ‘that Scottish play’. Needless to say I have crossed over to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and, as some of my friends have pointed out, I’m all to eager to show it off. Forgive me, it’s new and exciting although I have had several futile debates with iPhone users as to which device is better. Either way, I am happy with my choice and that’s all that really matters.

Th touch screen took some getting used too but was all very intuitive but the app world was a whole other kettle of choices. The camera on the above former unmentionable handset wasn’t worth mentioning but now with 13 mega pixels at hand the Samsung S4 has added another weapon to my photography arsenal. The obvious first step was to create an Instagram account, easy enough, but then the anxiety struck.

What would the first image I shared be of? It has to be good? I don’t have any followers yet but if the first image isn’t good then will anyone follow me?

I also swore to myself that if/when I joined Instagram I wouldn’t share random pictures of plates of food (unless it was really unusual like the time I ate live squid in China), I vowed I wouldn’t take pictures of cups of coffee no matter how creative the design created by sprinkled cocoa on top is. There would be rules, I would only share images that were extraordinary but now where to start.

This had me paralysed for days and my account sat idle, until on a trip to the Northern Cape province of South Africa. We stopped overnight in the Augrabies Falls National Park and as the sun was setting I went off in search of a vantage point of the waterfall in the golden light at dusk and there it was. I took out my phone, played around with the effects, which I still didn’t fully understand, and picked a filter that matched the colours I saw with my eyes and I knew I had my first photo worthy of sharing on Instagram.

A post shared by Rory Alexander (@rory_alexander) on

Did you have similar anxiety before sharing your first photo on Instagram, or was it just me?

Instagram


Morning, afternoon & night game drives in Addo

Rory Alexander Photography

What’s a safari without a game drive? Even though you can drive yourself in Addo with tarred roads near the main rest camp and well maintained dirt roads throughout the rest of the park, there is something about going on a guided game drive. There’s the belief that the guide knows where the animals are and will be better at spotting them, the benefit of an elevated viewing position above the height of the shrubs  and of course not having to focus on driving so that you can have both hands on your camera and be ready to get ‘that shot’.

Rory Alexander Photography

But the best part of the game drives we did was the knowledge of the national parks guides. Even though I have grown up in Africa, and spent a fair amount of time in the bush, I learnt so much about the characteristics and behaviour of the various animals we saw as well as the history and management of the park. Different animals are active at different times of the day and so to cover all our bases we went on a variety of game drives during our five-day stay. The sunrise game drive meant a very early and continue reading + 10 photos


A bet, a bridge and my first bungy!

That’s right it all started with a bet in New Zealand. Known as the home of bungy, everyone I met was amazed that doing a jump was not on my list during my six-week tour of New Zealand and my retort was “if I’m going to bungy, I want to do a big one”, and of course I cited the Bloukrans back home in South Africa. The truth was that I’ve always been a bit of a sceptic as to the safety of bungy and its effects on our anatomy! Then in a bar in Queenstown fed up with justifying my position I came up with an ultimatum, which I thought was fairly safe bet, that if any of them came to South Africa in 2013 then I would do the world’s highest bridge bungy at Bloukrans.

Rory Alexander

I have stopped and looked at people jumping off this bridge before and thought no way would I do that. This time I was there looking at the same view but knowing that I had made a bet and I was going to have to do it. So after watching a few people jump we went to sign up only to be told they were fully booked for the rest of the day. Was this a sign or just a test of my nerves? click for more


CHAMP is f*#^ing brilliant

Champ follows three actors, struggling to get real theatre work, behind the scenes of their current gig working in a shopping mall as entertainment for all the little kids. The premise of this play is actually very close to home for me and here’s where I’ll let you in on a little secret. click here to find out what my secret is


There is more than you’d expect at Butterfly World

Last Saturday after taking my new car for a spin in the mountains behind Paarl and taking in lunch at a wine farm we were on our way back to Cape Town on the N1 when on the spur of the moment we thought we would visit Butterfly World just off the highway.

As you enter the greenhouse you are hit by the humidity and warm temperature that the butterflies are dependent on but you soon forget about this as you are surrounded by hundreds of butterflies from very colourful ones to ones with transparent wings (see above). They flit about seemingly unperturbed by your presence and some may even land on you although you are cautioned not to touch them as they are very delicate. It’s not only about these winged insects though as through the next door is the continue reading + 7 more photos


Camping in the Kgalagadi

Having been out of the country for two years, when a friend said there was seat going begging on a trip to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, I jumped at the opportunity and I could barely contain my excitement about getting back into the African bush and my first chance to photograph wildlife with my DSLR camera. The Kgalagadi is located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, crossing over the border into Botswana and the border of Namibia forms the Western boundary of the park.

With the trailer hitched on we set off from Cape Town at 4:00 am heading towards Clan William, Calvinia and then up Van Rhyns Pass, the border between the Western and Northern Cape provinces with this spectacular view on the way up.

The landscape changes dramatically once you are over the pass and I strongly recommend taking some loud music with you to avoid falling asleep at the wheel as there is no radio or cell phone signal and the road is long and straight. We stopped in Brandvlei, with 37°C on the dashboard temp display, and a guy at the petrol station asked ‘have you ever been to the Devil’s Pit?’ to which we shook our heads and he replied continue reading & see 6 more photos


Kicking it at Kirstenbosch for New Year’s Eve

I know it’s been a while but since New Year’s Eve but the start of 2012 has been a busy one for me; more about that in posts to come. Right now though it’s time for a bit of catch up so I’m going to let the pictures do most of the work.

As a group of friends we had started discussing plans for New Year’s back in October with nothing being set in stone. Time marched on, suddenly it was December and we still hadn’t made definite plans when my mate, Guy McDonald, said that he was MC’ing the Kirstenbosch Concert and that we should all join him there so that’s what we did. We made sure we got there early, as the gates opened, to get a good place on the grass. Then all that was left to do was sit back, relax and enjoy the music. Meanwhile Guy had to keep going up on stage to introduce the next act and here he is, doing what he does best, entertaining with no less than 3 costume changes over the course of the evening.

Guy McDonald, our MC for the evening

I took along my camera as I continue to experiment and improve my photography. This was going to be my first experience of photographing a concert which was tricky with the low light and lots of movement but it was fun none the less and I got these few shots that I was pleased with. continue reading & see 8 more photos