Gamidah’s Golden Cooking!

cc13smallMeet Gamidah, she is one of the most amazing and positive people I have had the privilege to meet. Her joyful heart and constant smiles and laughter make you feel right at home but it is her home-cooked Cape Malay food that captures your taste buds and a special place in your heart. There is also a clear passion for teaching others about her way of cooking and her culture that shines through in her cooking classes.

cc12smallcc5smallcc10smallThis is everything but a mundane cooking class! When booking for this cooking class, expect heaps of fun, flour and freedom to be yourself. Participation and  getting your hands dirty is hugely encouraged! Being taught how to make Cape Malay cuisine ranging from Samoosas and Rotis to cooking up a delicious Dahl has never been this fun!

cc8smallcc4smallThere is a simplicity to Cape Malay cooking but do not underestimate the time and love that truly make these meals special. It was a wonderful and delicious experience especially being able to sit around a table to eat the fruits of your labour!

Photographs and Content by Demi Szucs

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Colourful Cape Town!

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We recently visited the Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town and there is no doubt that it is one of the most beautiful and unique spots in Cape Town. Physically, this area grabs your attention with it’s colourfully painted homes but it is the history and its people that grab your heart. There is such a sense of community and togetherness among the residents of the Bo-Kaap and a true dedication to not only their historical importance but their beliefs.

bk7smallbk5smallbk2smalThe Bo-Kaap area has become a popular tourist area, with many people exploring through the streets and excited to learn about this part of Cape Town’s history. The residence of the Bo-Kaap are proud of their homes, their heritage and their community. This shines through their smiles and welcoming hearts.

bk4smallI truly enjoyed this tour as it widened my knowledge about not only Cape Town and its history but about its people and their beliefs. Walking through these colourful streets, you cannot help but fall in love with the Bo-Kaap!

Photographs and Content by Demi Szucs

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A True Coffee Experience!

truth6smallWe recently visited Truth Coffee in Cape Town and honestly what an experience! It is a known fact that their coffee is absolutely divine but what grabbed my attention was the fine attention to detail in the steam punk decor, the whole look and feel of the space and the passion shining through the Truth Coffee employees! It is no doubt that this attention to fine detail is reflected in their coffee. There is also an incredible determination in constantly improving their coffee and their brand. They have already been rated the best internationally but yet they work to make their coffee even better! Unfortunately we could not stay in order to taste their meals but I am sure it will be just as amazing as their coffee! I cannot wait to return and experience some more of the Truth Coffee’s magic!

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Township Tourist

reflection smallThe South African townships are beautiful, unique and definitely worth the visit!  The joy and positivity among the people are incredible and heart-warming. They have managed to make the best of their situations, living each day with a smile on their face and a heart full of hope. They set an example for the rest of the world to follow with their sense of community and Ubuntu.

gogo portrait smallVisiting their homemade breweries where they create beer purely from boiled water and sorghum is a must! The experience is unforgettable, sitting inside the shack, with everyone contributing a little bit of money until the price of the beer is paid and then passing a rather large can of beer around and enjoying a few minutes of pure simplicity and good people.

beer drinkers smallThe children living in the townships are filled and are over pouring with laughter, energy and imagination! Living in poverty, they still manage to create their own toys, games and futures. They are simply beautiful!

kids smallkids3 smallpanning smallWe, as the photographers had some fun experimenting with panning and creating movement in photographs. But in the end of the day, the joy of photography and being a photographer is being able to capture a single authentic moment and sharing it with you.

kids2 smallsmiley2 smallWe also visited the beautiful lady’s in the townships preparing the famous “Smileys.” Even though the whole concept seems to be a bit bizarre and well, weird to some of us… It is somewhat beautiful and is, in the end of the day, part of the township culture. Personally, it makes me happy to know that no part of the animal goes to waste. And you never know, you might enjoy it so maybe it is worth a taste!

smiley smallThis is definitely a tour worth doing as it does not only improve your photographic skills but it opens your minds and hearts to another part of society and how they live. We need to understand South Africa and it’s diverse people and we can start by visiting our unique South African townships and its beautiful people.

Photos and content by Demi Szucs

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Mzoli’s, an absolute atmosphere of Ubuntu!

It epitomizes ideas of connection, community and caring for all. The atmosphere draws you in with vibrant music, food and people. Mzoli’s is a purely and proudly South African experience!

fire smallThe mouth watering scents of Mzoli’s meats emerge from the kitchens where they are cooked on beautiful live fires by Mzoli’s joyful staff. The food is amazing and the sauce they dress their meat with is even better. Unfortunately, there are not many options for vegetarians but don’t let that stop you from going! There is a good chance that their delicious meat has the power to convert you and you might walk out a whole new different meat-eating person! And if not, they also provide yummy samp and beans, pap, home-made breads and the best chakalaka you will ever taste!

portrait 2 smallmeat smallrainbow nation smallPhotos and content by Demi Szucs

 

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The way I see it…

Cape_Photographic_Company_01Sometimes I write “Drink Coffee” on my To-do list just to feel like I accomplished something.

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The Secrets to Better Landscape Photography

Want to add drama and impact to your landscapes but don’t know how? Most of us like to take landscape shots, and it is a great way to get out in nature. Some of the questions that I always get: What is the best lens to use? Do you always need a tripod? How can you make your photographs stand out? And it is easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged with all the camera settings!

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So here are my Top Secrets to take better landscape photographs:
Secret 1: The Golden Hour

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Most landscape photographers prefer to take photographs in the early morning or early evening, and I know it can be a drag to get out of bed early in the morning, but the subtle qualities of the light at this time makes it worth it.
Secret 2: Composition

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Include foreground interest, but make sure it is actually interesting. Look for something really interesting and compose the rest of the scene around this.

Curves and leading lines always enhance your composition and will lead your eye through the scene, use whatever lines there are in the landscape.

Composing your photograph with the rule of third in mind creates a pleasing balance between the elements of the scene.
Secret 3: Focusing, Aperture and lens choice

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Don’t just point and click, think where your ideal point of focus is, and then focus on that. This has a huge impact on your landscape photographs because it will determine where people will instantly look.

The aperture choice will determine how much of the scene from front to back will be in focus. A wide aperture (like f4) will provide shallow depth of field and very little in front or behind your subject will be in focus. A small aperture (like f16) will provide more depth of field, so more of the scene in front and behind your subject will be in focus.

There is no right or wrong lens for landscape photography. Ultra wide zooms, like a 10-22mm are great for capture complete vistas and a standard zoom lens like a 18-55mm are great for everyday landscape shots. To pick a specific part of the landscape or to isolate elements within the scene, use a telephoto zoom, like a 70-200mm lens.
Secret 4: Camera Filters

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Circular polarisers are great for boosting the colours and increasing the contrast of blue skies. Polarisers can also reduce reflections, such as the glare on water and foliage. To get the most out of a polariser you need to twist them around. By rotating the filter you can increase or decrease the effect of the filter.
Neutral Density Graduated Filters helps to retain detail in the sky while keeping the foreground correctly exposed. They’re graduated from dark at the top to clear at the bottom. They’re rectangular and slot into a holder, which allows you to move them up and down to get the transition point (when it turns from dark to light) exactly on the horizon.

Secret 5: Capture the motion

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Use a slow shutter speed, a tripod and a cable release to record the movement of water in your scene to add atmosphere and drama. Depending on how fast the water is flowing, start with a shutter speed of around 1 second. Timing is everything and I found taking the photograph as the wave recedes creates the most impressive water patterns that draw your eye into the picture.

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Two Days in Cape Town with Felix

Felix visited Cape Town from Germany, and wanted to use the opportunity to improve his portrait photography, specifically his flash photography.

Day 1: People and Portrait Township Tour

After our lunch at Mzoli’s in Gugulethu, and going over the camera and flash features, we set off on our People and Portrait Township Tour in Langa.

Cape_Photographic_Company_Township_Photo_Tour-8165    While at the Traditional Healer I noticed some children playing on a near by Merry-Go-Round, and explained to Felix how to pan and use fill-in flash.

Cape_Photographic_Company_Township_Photo_Tour-9556 Then we photographed using diffused light, no flash, apertures set to f2.8 to create shallow depth of field.

Cape_Photographic_Company_Township_Photo_Tour-9605Back inside, we used flash- but bounced the light to create a softer, more natural light.

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To use fill-in flash outside, with an aperture of f2.8, you need to use High Speed Flash Sync- on the Canon camera’s it is set on the flash itself, Nikon however, you need to set in the camera’s menu.

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We also had to set the flash exposure compensation, this can be done on your flash or in the camera menu. I often find that shooting in the township on a bright sunny day, I get better results by increasing the flash power slightly.

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We ended the tour photographing some of the local ladies preparing street food we call “Smiley’s”- it’s basically sheep heads, first placed on a open fire, then boiled and when it is done, well- it smiles at you!

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Day 2: Studio Photography

I used a local model agency to find just the right model for Felix, and while she had her hair and make-up done, I showed Felix different studio set ups, from a basic one light set up, with and with out reflectors, to more advanced set ups using two studio flashes and even three studio flashes.

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Felix was a natural at studio photography and only needed a little help with posing our beautiful model, Monica.

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Four days in Cape Town with Steve

Day 1: People, people and more people.

Our plan was to get early morning photographs of Table Mountain, but as I drove in to Cape Town to collect Steve from his hotel in Sea Point, I realized that is not going to happen. The mountain was completely covered in cloud!

As we set off on our Photo Tour I showed Steve how to shoot car trails lights, from the car, while it’s driving.

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So instead we headed out to photograph sun rise at Kalk Bay harbour.

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The light was beautiful, and we also photographed the colorful beach huts at St. James

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Steve wanted to improve on his street photography, and we spend the morning in Cape Town City, photographing the locals as they went on with their daily activities.

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In the afternoon we photographed some of the children at Gloria’s Creche in Langa Township.

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Day 2: Shooting Stars

Steve doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to photograph stars in the UK, and was keen to join my photographic workshop at the Taal Monument in Paarl and learn how to photographs star trails.

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Day 3: Wine, more wine and wildlife

Before heading out to the wine lands, we returned to Blouberg Beach to get the photograph of Table Mountain that we could not get on our first day together.

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In Paarl and Franschhoek we photographed historic buildings, enjoyed a wine and art paring, photographed some more and had some more wine…

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And in Stellenbosch we went on a game drive at Viliera Wine Farm.

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Day 4: Lighthouses, Horses and a gorgeous sunset

I collected Steve in the afternoon and we went to Slangkop Lighthouse in Kommetjie, and then for a late afternoon horse ride on the beautiful Long Beach in Noordhoek.

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And then we ended our last day together enjoying a glass of wine, while watching the sun set over the Atlantic from Chapman’s Peak drive… Cheers!

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Shooting silhouettes in Manual

Photographing silhouettes or even sunsets in Manual Mode on your camera is relatively easy. The first thing you need to decide is which is more important, a the shutter speed or the depth of field.

If your photographing a landscape, and require a great depth of field select a aperture of say: f11 or f16, and then adjust your shutter speed until you get the desired effect.

If you are photographing a moving subject, select a fast shutter speed, say: 1/500 or 1/1000th of a second and adjust your aperture until you get the desired effect.

I took these photographs of my daughter and her friend on a tire swing while enjoying a sunset picnic in Noordhoek. The light was so beautiful and just watching them reminded me of what it was like to be a child and just enjoying the bliss of the moment…

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Because the swing was moving (yes, I was the one that had to push them), I selected a shutter speed of 1/500 and set the camera to continuous shooting. I adjusted the aperture until I got the effect I wanted.

I also took a couple of photographs with a higher ISO setting.

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And adjusted the camera’s white balance to the “Cloudy” setting to warm up the photograph a little.

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The photographs were taken with my Canon G1x compact camera.

 

 

 

 

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