Around Johannesburg

Newtown and Art on Main Again
- 18 January 2014 -

At the end of last year, I attended an advanced photography fine arts course. I wanted to explorer a bit and get in touch with other photographers, at the end of the course there was a planned exhibition at the Africa Museum in Newtown. The idea was to get some photographs and present the prints as a group, one photo of the people of Newtown and any other photo. The exhibition was supposed to take place last year, but people requested that the exhibition be delayed till the new year. So Mark and myself went to Newtown to get some additional final shots.

We started out in Newtown walking through the streets between the buildings, it was early morning so we were mostly taking photos in the shade, but at times we got lucky and the sunrise light was reflecting onto the streets from taller buildings windows.

As we walked into a small street we started taking some photos of the locals sitting on the sidewalk, but the one man wasn't very impressed with us. I approached him in a friendly manner and told him we were from the newspaper and he would be on the front cover, I did this in a "joking" way which put a small smile on his face. After having a brief discussion he allowed me to get a quick portrait of him. 

This spot was getting boring so we moved onto a busier street. There was a muslim gentleman in the window of some apartments, I showed him my camera and he showed me a book. I took this as acknowledgement, but wasn't sure if this meant I have permission.... I took the photo anyway.

At this point we were relatively far from our starting point and wandering outside of the Newtown area, so we started heading back stopping over at a street market site where the vendors were setting out there goods for the busy day ahead. The streets and sidewalks were littered in fruit, vegetables and rubbish from the previous day.

We then passed a butcher who was unloading some pig heads from a truck, he noticed us and put on a bit of a show. I had my 50mm prime lens on, so I had to snap up whatever I could quickly. He acted a bit crazy.... surrounded with pig heads it made for a surreal moment, which unfortunately I couldn't capture properly.

Arriving back at our cars we decided to go get some breakfast at Arts on Main. On the way there I passed an area which looked interesting, so we parked our cars at Arts on Main and walked back to the potential site.

We ordered our breakfast and some coffee and then whipped out our laptops to compare images and supply some commentary. It is always good to get another photographer's opinion, especially when there is an exhibition looming.

Once done with the food and coffee we headed into the main "Market on Main" building where each Sunday a market is hosted with lots of interesting stalls. This being Saturday, they were preparing for the next day, but we decided to take advantage.

This was our last opportunity to get the photos we needed for the exhibition. In the next week we convened at the DPC centurion studio where we held the course and supplied our final selection of images. However only 6 people arrived and Danie informed us that this will be too little for an exhibition, so the exhibition was cancelled. I was very disappointed....

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