The Women of Nepal

Experts say that the monsoon should hit Nepal within 48 hours. I met these women at a makeshift health camp, set up in a destroyed school, in Katakuti village in Dolakha – one of the worst hit regions after April 25th’s earthquake. I wonder what these women are thinking right now. I wonder if they’ve been able to set up structures that will keep them and their families dry and warm over the next few months. I wonder if the continuous aftershocks are still keeping them up at night. I wonder if they have enough to eat. I wonder how many of them are alone – their partners working abroad like so many Nepalese men do. I wonder…

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Inspiration from Florence Henri

“What I want above all is to compose the photograph as I do with painting. Volumes, lines, shadows and light have to obey my will and say what I want them to say. This happens under the strict control of composition, since I do not pretend to explain the world nor to explain my thoughts.”

French Photographer Florence Henri (1893 – 1982)

Things you can’t frame in your viewfinder: Respite

1.37am. Cape Town. That is when it happened. Silence woke me up. Deafening silence. City silence: there’s almost an echo; a comforting undertone of a low hum. All the way in Tamboerskloof – on the slopes of the mountain – you can hear the sea.

But mostly you can hear the STILLNESS. Respite after 48 hours of howling wind. I breathe like a person nearly drowned and taking that first spluttering gasp of air knowing that it’s going to be okay. I imagine others coming up for air… the city’s homeless relaxing the curled ball they’ve been in on their cardboard mattresses; rats and squirrels peering out of their holes, wondering if its safe to come out; other insomniacs such as myself opening windows next to their beds; tree’s branches still in exhaustion.

The best feeling, as I lie here awake, is that in the next few hours more than 3 million people will awake to this same feeling… in some way or another… They breathe it in, but might not be able to put words to it…

A Country Doctor

Like so many other professionals his age, Pete Reinders dreamt – for years – of moving to a small town, of opting out, of breathing out. It took some years (mostly waiting patiently for his kids to fly the coop) but in 2004 the dream finally became a reality and he moved to Prince Albert in the Karoo. Life in the fast-paced city is now firmly in his rear-view mirror. And he’s not turning around.
Pete is not just any regular plattelander, though. He’s my also my father. These photos are a result of years of watching proudly as he (and my mother) adjusted to a new life in the Karoo.
Moving there was never a retirement plan. It can be argued that he’s busier now than he ever was in his city practice. But it’s a different kind of busy. There is a happiness that oozes from him as he goes about his work and life. When I asked him to answer a few questions about these photos, he chatted so long my phone battery eventually died…
Regrets? “Not a single one…”

This photo essay – something that I thought I would never see the light of day – was one of the best things I had published last year and I’m really proud of it.

I’ve decided to keep working on this project….

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