Nicholas Ashby Photography

Reflections, One Shot, Flipped

Natural & urban landscape reflections on surfaces of Cape mountain & seawater pools, turned upside down.

palmiet.river.reflecting.kokelberg.JPG


beginnings

'Seeing comes before words, says John Berger. 'The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.'

saunders rock man

Some years back I heard of an oil spill up the road. Cleaners were using strewn sand and chemicals to mop up the mess, and were flushing it down a storm drain.

I knew where it would end up.

I went down to the nearby beach. The gunk was spewing from a pipe into the sea. This is a popular site where people jump in from granite boulders, and is home to beds of anemones.

I calmed my frustration by going over and staring into the uncontaminated water at the nearby tidal pool.

It was one of those rare windless days. Its water was crystal clear. On the surface floated a small butterfly. I took a picture.

saunders rock man

Back home, unsatisfied with the photo, I flipped it 180 degrees, to make it seem that the butterfly was still in flight.

A more interesting scene appeared, with a new and strange, though not-entirely-unfamiliar sky.

On subsequent seaside and mountain walks I began playing, and once home flipping the results. By turning some of the Cape's less visible biodiversity into the firmament, I noticed the floors of inter-tidal zones or streams now came into an unusually stronger focus; the water surface reflected landscapes, sometimes architecture and living beings.

As a guide on local mountains I often feel bound to mention the celebrated biological richness of the region to hiking companions - who are often visitors to the Cape. The trouble is, the more I try to ‘get’ biodiversity, the trickier I find it to define, without trotting out usual dictionary or text-bookish axioms about it being "the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable."

So, where words failed me, these photos are a personal reflection of all that.


HUNTING ETHICS

On still days, when lying at strange angles, on wet and uneven surfaces, I can no more ask permission to shoot the subject of a photograph, than a hunter can of his or her prey.

1

on hunt

hunting, the hunter

- limited edition -

That I have ended up photographing reflections of people on the rocks of Cape Town's littorals and mountains has evolved through personal traits, like my aversion to posed photos. Also it's an interest in water, its moods and sensations. And the ancient pull o' the hunt.


(Info about South African legal issues of public photos here.)


2

dog in fynbos

fyn dog, bos


4

Saunders Tidal Pool Bantry Bay

Emerson, Saunders


5

restio reflected, good hope nature reserve

restio, good hope


6

Signal hill from Green point urban park

signal hill


7

Lion's head hiking sunrise

lockdown, deep


8

lions head reflected, floor of sanders pool

deeper, dawn

- limited -


9

saunders rock man

Saunders Rock, man

- limited -


10

anemone reflection nicholas ashby

beach road, Actiniaria

- limited -


11

frog  table mountain

upper disa


12

upper disa gorg

upper disa too

13

beach road sea point reflected

asteroidea, beach road


14

sea point homo sapiens

follow me home


15

starfish seapoint

starkeepers


16

pond green point

green point


16

foam table mountain

woodhead

- limited -


17

woman sea point littoral

lions head


19

false bay coast

the other side



20

reflected man in companys garden

Francisco Motta


20

man reflected seapoint

sea point contact

- limited -


22

wooly's pool, reflecting house where Capital Radio 604 conceived

... all the hits ...


23

moiuntain frogs

table mountain bush, frogs

- limited -


24

girl ball games

granite, girl


25

Alaya Ashby Let me Take this picture under protest

Taken, under protest


26

mouile point


27

kasteelspoort quarry

kasteelspoort


28

doggy eye dog

eyes, canine


29

post fire

post fire, silvermine

4 stripe moon nicholas ashby

four stripe moon

- limited -


The images are not superimposed; they're composed entirely in the camera, and remain un-cropped & unedited.

All prints are signed. They are approximately 42x54cm.

Unlimited prints are on Heavy Coated Hi-White 230gsm paper.

Limited editions of 7 are printed on Hahnemuhle German Etching 310gsm.