Reporting From The Mother City
Greetings From Cape Town, South Africa! (bet no one every used that on an album cover…)
This is full day four here in Cape Town. Last Friday morning, I shoveled about 2 inches of new fallen snow off the drive way, zipped my one bag shut, kissed my wife and kids good bye and headed to the airport. By 7 p.m. that night, I was in the air. Window seat, of course.
I settled in with a book, and a movie to watch, thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. – All Is Lost (3 out of 5 stars – not a bad job by Bob Redford). (have to admit – I think I watched another one, but if I can’t remember it, it must not have been good.) As well as my favorite magazine to read when I travel, Vanity Fair – sharp writing, good photography in this one.
First leg of the trip was seven hours, to Amsterdam. We landed about 8:30 a.m. there, and had about a one-hour layover. Which was extended due to….who knows that. I took the time to wander around the terminal, seeing if I could catch anything good.
I didn’t get much and I was blue.
From there it was back on the plane for the 11 hour flight to Cape Town.
I alternated book, VF, movies and sleeping.
In the movie aisle, I watched Inside LLewyn Davis (4 out of 5 stars – not a heartwarmer, but a decent character study), Runner, Runner (2 out of 5 stars. Pretty bland. Not a very unique effort by Affleck and Timberlake) and The Counselor. (5 out of 5 stars. Brilliant. Loved it. Sharp, stylish, memorable characters. I eat these type of flicks up.)
During the flight and between movies, I watched the sliver of day close into the black night, literally. (another window seat)..
Finally at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, 11 hours after leaving Amsterdam, we landed in Cape Town. Surprisingly, they didn’t get all overwhelmed that I arrived. I guess getting guests from New Jersey isn’t all that new to them. Nice to have your thunder stolen.
At the airport, I flew through customs and I met up with a member of our crew, Wesley (of Steel Productions), who took me to the hotel. Wesley has been a constant on this trip so far – Driver, Time Clock, Geographer, Historian, Cat Herder, Man With A Big Smile. I’m sure he’ll come up again as I recount this trip.
After arriving at the hotel, I fell asleep a short time later. Long damn day.
Sunday and Monday is now a blur of meeting the rest of the team. The day started with a short 3 mile run at 6 a.m., and then introducing myself to our photographer on this project, Bruno Barbey, at breakfast, as well as the rest of the agency team I’m working with. From there it was location scouting, production meetings, final talent selection for each scenario, and even clothing checks. This is the biggest still image shoot I’ve been a part of, and it’s being carried out like a movie production. Because it has to be.
The task for the team here in Cape Town is come away with 50 images that represent the “brand” of the company I work for, and the major geographical areas we touch. Print, web, Power Point, projected into the night sky, these images can and will be used in a number of ways. So we are setting up the scenes and getting the images that will reflect the brand promise. And we’re here in Cape Town, a long way from home. This isn’t run-and-gun. We have to know what we are going for, or else we’ll pay. Literally, via the budget.
Whew. No small chore.
So far, so…well, pretty good. Sunday was blazingly hot here, making me think I didn’t pack as many pairs of shorts as I should have (funny to think I was just shoveling snow a mere 48 hours prior). Monday was more temperate but Tuesday, we were chilled to the bone in a misty morning mountain shoot at the Silvermine Nature Preserve.
During a break in the action, though, I was able to catch a nice shot of some local mountain bikers.
It warmed up nicely later in the day Tuesday, where we ended the day at a local lake. Even had a dog as part of the cast there. He seemed to enjoy his times in front of the lens, and his jumps in the lake.
I’ve enjoyed, too, working with Bruno. Born in Morocco, now living in Paris, he’s seen it all. When he started a sentence with “So Bresson said to me…” I knew I was in hallowed air. In Six Degrees of Henri Cartier-Bresson, I’m at two now. Sweet.
The thing I really like about Bruno is…he’s always shooting. For the job we hired him for, or for himself because he sees something visually interesting, he’s in the moment, shooting. I’ve worked with photographers who never pulled a camera out except if they were on location, at the job.
Never understood that. Being visually inquisitive doesn’t just shut off for me. I’m glad to see it doesn’t for the Big Guns as well.
We’re here for another week…chasing the light and the pixels.
More to come…
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014