Monthly Archives: August 2009

Simply Asia

Shopfront of Simply Asia Thai restaurant and noodle bar in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, South Africa


A cracked and damp-stained wall with the corner of a closed shutter visible at top right.

The photo above is the second of two photographs I submitted for consideration in the competition associated with the second annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk.

The winning photo from the Stellenbosch walk has been announced and sadly it wasn’t one of mine. Congratulations to Lizna Boshoff, who took the winning photograph. My photograph above was however one of four named as honourable mentions. Congratulations as well to Jurgen Blignaut, Lino Steenkamp and Wibke Dunaiski, who received the other honourable mentions.

Let’s not be L7

I have had a busy few days at work without much time to keep up with reading feeds, so I’m sitting here catching up on the feeds that have built up during the week. I saw Jeff Revell’s mention that the gallery for the walk he led was up on the official page so I went to check the page of the walk I took part in.

Sure enough the photos were up and I scanned the thumbnails to see what was there and check that my submissions had made it. It was only when I reached my own images, the last two, that I thought “Hey, one of those images doesn’t look right.” It took me a moment to realise what the cause was; the thumbnail was square and my images have the standard DSLR 3:2 aspect ratio. As the images below show, one of them is a minimalist photo that doesn’t lose much when cropped to a square, but the other one loses a lot.

In the case of the photo walk galleries, these are not clickable thumbnails but I have seen other sites do this and it concerns me that sites would use thumbnails that crop significant information from photographs. With all the millions of photographs out there that a potential audience might view, it’s vital that the first impression grabs the viewer’s attention to draw all possible viewers to your photograph.

So site developers, don’t be square and crop your member’s thumbnails; and photographers, think twice about signing up to and posting your photos to sites that are going to unfavourably crop your images.

Leaves and Gable

Looking up through dead oak leaves and branches at a gabled Cape Dutch style house.

It has been two weeks since I took part in the second annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. I walked in Stellenbosch where our route took in Stellenbosch’s historic Dorp Street, with perhaps more national monuments in close proximity than anywhere else in South Africa. Our walk leader asked that we try and capture the essence of Stellenbosch and after processing all my images I think that this one is the single one of my photos that really does that, incorporating the oak trees that fill the town, and the historic Cape Dutch architecture. It is also the first of two that I submitted for consideration in the competition associated with the walk.