My final morning in South Africa was perhaps the most memorable moment of all. While I thoroughly enjoyed being at the Australia/Germany game and breathing in the atmosphere of all that was going on, there is nothing like a 'photo walk' through foreign city streets. The joy of that experience is twofold at least. Firstly, there is the joy I find always in taking photographs. Secondly, there is the memorable connection you make with a stranger, a moment with a person you meet and whose company you enjoy. I am a gregarious person by nature, and the joy of photographing that person is accompanied by the chance to interact with someone of another mindset, another culture, another language or location. Walking with Madlen, Shem and Teymur through the streets of Durban on our final morning in South Africa proved to be just that kind of experience.There would be many who would not recommend it at all. In fact, there were. Our driver, Earnest, was not keen at all. When we mentioned our desire to be dropped off in down town Durban, you could tell by his reserved but manifest concern that he did not like the idea at all. But, we were not going to be walking alone and we were there in broad daylight. Not only that, but Teymur is a pretty big fella, so I know I felt safe enough! It didn't matter that he probably wouldn't hurt a fly. But I am not one to live my life in a box. I believe that people take bigger risks in every day life. I also believe that there is a balance to be found. I would not, for instance, do this on my own. Neither would I recommend it. Downtown Durban is a rough place. But, it sure was interesting.Stopping a group of young men headed for the beach was our first social experiment. Madlen, knowing that I run a photography workshops business that educates photographers around the world, asked me for a lesson in photography and so I got into the zone. A white wall upon which the South African sun was pouring all of its unforgiving contents was to be our backdrop. Madlen was keen to know what could be done with it. Kismet would dictate that just at that moment, a group of young men would pass by and grant us an opportunity to prove what a white wall could do. All we needed to do was ask. That was perhaps the hard part. After all,what would their response be?They were shy at first, and not at all rough or intimidating. Rather, they were happy to pose against the wall and in the end came up with some ideas of their own. They laughed as we showed them the images we were taking and I was reminded that they had probably never had a formal photo session in their lives. These handsome young men were very friendly and obliged us with anything we asked.
|"Yoobie keffle witt dem kemrez, eh!"|