Monday, April 10, 2006

Out Of Africa...

"Jo'burg at last, and the plane's touching down..."
I sang this song, inspired by Elton John, while getting off the plane in Johannesburg, South Africa. A black man in uniform saw us coming, realised that this white man was singing in public and gave me the warmest welcome smile ever seen at an airport.

It made me realise that taking pictures here was not about objects or landscapes alone, but foremost about people.

"Will you allow me to take a picture of you?", I asked these children. They jumped into formation to make the best of the photo, the container of water they had been pushing on a small trolley was forgotten for the moment.

These bars look like they are meant to keep the children in. In fact their main function is to keep unwanted elements out.

"Beautiful umbrella ma'am". She does not pose when I point the camera at it. Only we know that the camera has a super wide angle lens, which leads to totally relaxed models...

A Silent Watcher on an East Cape beach. No clue why it is there, but it offers a nice counterpoint to the incredible vegetation in the sand.
Behind me is the Indian Ocean.

This is not a cute dog, as visiting Chinese tourists found out.
The locals referred to the incident in terms of 'take away meals'.
Photos Koos Fernhout


elena said...

WELCOME BACK, KOOS!!! We've missed you!! Beautiful photos!! So, music make friends, hehe....You have to tell us more about your trip, about the people, their habits, the food...Seeing your photos and reading your post seems that people are very nice..
Lovely experience I guess...

I'm glad that you here again.


Dale said...

My Dutch Hero, Koos!

Welcome home!

You look like a true Afrikaaner!
I think...

A white man singing in the airport.
I love it!

The photos brought the hair on my arms to attention & tears prickling behind blue eyes!
The children are so sweet & lovely.
...and the COLOURS!!

A rich tapestry of colour appears to blanket this country of South Africa. Is it a reflection of the people's attitude, as well?

You mention something about a wide angle lens on the camera. Does that mean that the photo can be taken without pointing at the subject?

You & Val make me feel rich, too, Koos.



Anne-Marie said...

Welcome back, Koos! I love the new hat, my dear, and the pictures are fantastic. The children you captured are so beautiful, and they do fill a photograph much more than a building or a tower.
I hope you had a wonderful time. The Silent Watcher stands before some lush greenery of many shades. Stunning. I look forward to more of these incredible memories.


Gina said...

Colorful, vibrant, telling photos. Thank you for sharing them.

neilbymouth said...

Koos- missed you man- brilliant brilliant pictures!

meylog said...

Baaie goeie foto's Koos.
Vir hoop so ons kom ook daar.

Koos F said...

Hi Elena
I feel so welcome. Missed you lot as well, really. We just met very nice people, but... More about the people later. Did you get the link to my music?

Hi Dale, together again (with you), lovely.
There is much colour in the places I have seen, which is only a modest bit of a country so huge. The province Eastern Cape alone is many types the size of The Netherlands - a tiny country, I admit.
I have noticed that communicating with a big grin and large gestures works wonders in South Africa. I hardly try the same style here, let alone in Belgium, where interaction with complete strangers is an almost comlete no-no. This is what Valerie misses the most when not in Africa; well, apart from the weather, of course.

My camera points at the handle of the umbrella, so people don't expect that such a wide area around it is covered as well - thanks to the wide angle lens.

Anne-Marie, you were with us when we were on the beach. Val took several pictures for you, and so did I. There is more to come.

Thank you, Gina. You know what you are talking about, beauty seems to be part of your core business, I learn from what you publish on your site, so I value your comments highly.

Hi Neil, great to see you here now and then. Huge compliments for your merchandise mate, you'l be wealthy in no time! Thank you.

Hallo Henk,
Jy skryf Afrikaans? Ek nie, sorry.


Michael said...

Welcome back.....thanks for the comment. I hope to go to S Africa someday. I think my children need to see other countries instead of beaches and sand and sea. I bought some old 8mm movies like WC fields and Phantom of the Opera and Abott and Costello we are having movie nioght on Saturdays.....mivchael

gypsy noir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dale said...

I had to comment on the "take away" meals, too!

There are many Japanese tourist that come to visit our area & it's the bears & the elk that have that market cornered...

Mary Beth said...

Hi Koos!! I've missed your posts in your absence!

These pictures are fascinating. It's just so...different. Everything in your shots are so filled with bright colour - wonderful. It's like looking at National Geographic magazine. I'm sure the children were thrilled for a break from their task in the hot weather. I'm assuming you have a good zoom lens to get that close to the lion??! :)

Koos F said...

Lovely, Mary Beth. Missed you too, Val and I, but time was limited, so we easily resisted the temptation of going into an internet café.
Can't say I'm against the comparison to National Geographic photography ;-)
Great to read about your career / study move. Loads of support for you from this side of the ocean.

Gypsy noir, listen, you and Neilbymouth were made for each other. You two are so much alike, you could be one, Dale said that too. As for the age difference: she is only 13 years older than you.
Would be worse if you were 13 years younger than she is!

Dear Dale,
Parallel things happen all around the world, it seems.
On the flight back we met a Chinese woman. Just in time I realised this was not the moment for remarks about takeaways. I resorted to the question:
What, in South Africa, is the difference between a touris and a racist.

Meaningful silence, then:
One week!

Hey Michael, I am sure you have started a new trend. No nifty electronic video stuff, just basic and straightforward film projection.

Love you all,

In our absence the dog stayed with Val's daughter. She missed us so terribly that she started her own blog

Koos F said...

Gipsy noir,
I terribly messed up my encouraging words to you!
Should read: you are only 13 years older than he. Would be worse if he were 13 years youger than you.

gypsy noir said...

koos ...age is but a number inflicted on us by bureaucracy...i will always be the age of discovery has no number....x...

blue said...

Hi Koos!

Beautiful and impressive photos..
They are telling SOMETHING.
Love your photos!

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.I believe my dream come true.Hope you keep sharing your GREAT experiences.

Much love,
Tomoko xx

elizabeth solaka said...

I love the umbrella, or should i say parasol, photo.

Anonymous said...




Chris. B. said...

Monday the 8th, absolutely brilliant, Koos. Sue his ass I say!
You have every right to be grumpy middle-aged man.