I spent some time today going through images from some of my favourite location shoots. The time will soon come when we are permitted to to roam the fields and forests again. Realistically though, it will be a while before we get to experience our old freedoms.
With that in mind, I made a point of looking for some of the stunning outdoor venues we have here in my hometown of Cape Town. Places where we can have a fun, relaxing time on a shoot whilst maintaining all the necessary social distancing protocols.
One of my favourite locations here in the southern suburbs is the Alphen Trail in Constantia. It has everything a dog (and a photographer) could wish for with trees, open spaces, a river and rocks! These come in especially handy when you have a beautiful puppy like Amigo as a model. He is just the perfect poser.
Another great venue in the southern ‘burbs is the very popular Keurboom Park. Nestled in the middle of suburbia this park provides numerous stunning backdrops. Willow and Pip were quite chilled for their photo shoot as Keurboom is their regular stomping ground. Although often busy with walkers and their dogs, this park has lots of nooks and crannies tucked away from the madding crowd.
Not too far away is the well-known Rondebosch Common. This piece of open land is actually a National Monument and one of the best-known landmarks in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. It’s very popular amongst joggers and dog walkers and there’s plenty of space for everyone. Depending on the time of year, the lush vegetation may be dotted with pretty seasonal endemic flowers. The mountain provides a perfect backdrop to early morning misty shoots or a stunning silhouette just as the sun is setting. Skyla the Great Dane shows how it’s done, albeit in the middle of the day!
Still staying in the South, Arderne Gardens in Claremont is a beautiful safe park which allows dogs on leash. A Heritage Site, this 5 hectare piece of land contains over 400 trees interspersed with open patches of lawn. There’s also a pond with ducks and the most photogenic little bridge! Dear old Angus poses next to the famous Moreton Bay Fig, more fondly known as the Wedding Tree. During the season, the park is bustling with couples waiting to have their photos taken in front of this tree.
It’s just a short drive out of the suburbs to the Atlantic Seaboard. Water and dogs are a perfect combination and Sea Point offers a good mix of sea, sand, rocks and seaweed. Zeus the Staffie shows how it’s done. This shoot took place quite late in the day which is do-able. However, the best times are just before sunrise and just around sunset to make the most of the beautiful light.
Back again to the Alphen Trail and Spud the pitbull striking a pose on a fallen tree.
These beautiful locations (and many others) easily allow a photo shoot to take place without us humans getting any closer than shouting distance. I use my favourite long lens and dogs remain on a lead. It’s the law and I prefer it. The leash is edited out in post processing and everyone’s happy. Personally I can’t wait to get out doing what I love : photography and animals.
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