A few month ago I stumbled across a short documentary about the French photographer Michel d’Oultremont, who sets out to photograph the common bird, squirrel, or whatever it may, in a remarkable way. This idea, to make the ordinary, extraordinary, both liberated and inspired me.
I felt liberated because I no longer had to travel to these magnificent, faraway places to make photos; I could literally do it in my back yard. This is great news when you only have so much leave in a year and actually have to work to bring home the bacon. I felt inspired because I now knew it was possible to make beautiful photos of nature anywhere, I just had to go out and do it.
So I did it, and although I am still learning, I managed to make a few photos that I am really proud of. The first few, I took in the back yard (yes we do get African grey hornbills in Joburg, lots of them, especially in the winter months); the second to last was taken at a garbage dump in Joburg; and the last at the Marievale bird sanctuary, an hour’s drive away.
We live in a beautiful city, a city with incredible birdlife, all you have to do is notice it.