April 01, 2014

Cape Town Capers and Captures

By Crabby McSlacker

Yep, we made it to Cape Town after 30 hours of planes and airports and shuttles and close connections, fought off jet lag (with the help of various caffeinated beverages), and spent a day roaming around with our camera.  So this is yet another Cranky Fitness photo dump that will take a hundred f--king years to load if you don't have a fast internet connection. Sorry!

Oh, and remember how I just did the whole crappy droid test post so I figure out how to blog while traveling without internet? Such a brilliant move considering (a) my phone doesn't work here, and (b) the hotel has wireless so I can use my laptop. (Though when we join up with the Lobster's corporate sponsors in a few days, there is some mention of some sort of sim card thingy, so who knows, hastily blogged crappy camera phone shots may return at some point).

But the no-droid situation was actually an excellent development, because it forced us to drag out the real camera, which we just bought a new lens for, and try to figure out how to work the darn thing.

However, it brings up a difficult question I've been pondering, and the theme for this post since it doesn't seem to have much of one:

How do you capture a sense of a foreign destination without being a total asshole and pointing a camera at the people who live there?

Especially if you are just an annoying tourist and not a real photographer or anything?

Some possible ways to get around this:

Take a shot from the hotel window when you first wake up:

From the same window, The Lobster caught the creepy red fountain at the trendy red hotel next to us; we're assuming no actual bodies were dismembered to achieve the "matching color scheme" effect.

Faces on foreign currency don't mind being photographed, right? And they are always cooler than our dead green U.S. presidents.

And street performers expect people to take pictures so we're thinking they're fair game. (The Lobster caught these dancers as we passed on one of those dorky but useful hop-on, hop-off buses).

The cake below didn't mind a flattering photo, though I wanted extra credit for not cutting myself a slice, even though it was available for FREE in the hotel lounge--probably the only "high road" dietary decision made so far on this trip:

Taking pictures of your own beloved travel companion also seems fair game:

As does photographing obliging canines.

Scooters and restaurants don't object to photos:

And of course photos of oneself next to an indecipherable sign which could be about something gay or could be about doughnuts for all we know is ok I'm thinking.

But dang, it sure is tempting to be obnoxious and point that camera at the folks around us...

And my personal favorite--I think it was payday for the parking marshalls:

And sorry, more photos to come after some more adventures... Miss you guys and can't wait to catch up with what's going on with y'all!

So what do you like to take pictures of when you travel far from home?


  1. Those red fountains are decidedly creepy.
    When I travel I take pictures of buildings. Lots of buildings. Occasionally they have people in front of them, but mostly not. Buildings, even more than plants, don't move while I'm getting the shot. Also, rocks. In the country, rocks and water are my go-to subjects.
    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. Crabby, you've got some fine captures there. That fountain is going to give me shudders for most of the day.

  3. Those are some great shots, Crabby! I'm glad you busted out the real camera. It's like photo-Christmas for us. That fountain is kinda WTF, though. o.O

    When hubs and I went to Yellowstone a few years ago, my subjects tended to be mountains and rivers for the same reasons as Mary Anne. I did get a few nice wildlife shots, though. Buffalo can be very obliging when you keep your distance.

  4. That fountain. THAT FOUNTAIN! Who thought that was a good idea?

  5. You have some wonderful photos here, Crabby.. so colourful and some great perspectives.

    I couldn't resist.. I typed the words into Google Translate and it produced the headline: Gays Rebelled After Murder. I'd stay away from that fountain.

  6. Death Ride GrandmaApril 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Yeah, until I scrolled down, I had a hard time imagining a creepy fountain. My imagination obviously was not too good. Yikes.

    Pictures - well, I like pictures of people. I'm a lousy photographer, so I don't spend a ton of time on the spectacular scenery. I figure I can easily find a picture a pro took that will be a better reminder. Plus, my husband is great at scenery shots. I just like proof we were there, plus things that help me remember unusual activities or surprising wildlife encounters.

  7. I love the pictures!! The buildings are so cool with all the different bright colors!!
    I think the random people shots are fun - neat to see people in their natural environment!!!
    Hope y'all are having a great time!!

  8. The good thing about travel is that, even more so than the people, there are unique things to photograph that you won't see at home that won't get mad if you snap the pic. You've got some good ones here, they give the flavor of the area.

  9. Crabby - you have an eye for sure! Keep that lens clicking away :) The Leaning Lobster, the dog, the scooter, two women on the balcony and the workers.... ALL great shots and very compelling - each in a different way/sense. Also appears that you have mastered focus for depth of field VERY nicely!
    The picture of the cake?... I'd seriously consider offering to sell it back to the hotel for use in their advertising! It made me salivate.....................

  10. I love the girls in the first picture wondering why the hell you are photographing them and wondering if they should report you to the police. That cake? Yeah I would have faceplanted in that thing and not come up for air until it was all gone. You have a lot of restraint. I went to Shaws this weekend and was desperate for cake, for some reason they had no good ones so I went home empty handed.

  11. You are hilarious!!!! It is hard to capture the true sense without people knowing but I see amazing photogs do it - capture that slice of life! I just takes pics of everything & hope one comes out! ;)

  12. The very first picture looks like it should be on a brochure! You captured the bird perfectly - amazing!

    The rest of the photos are wonderful as well.

    Have a fantabulous time!!!

  13. I have encountered a red and a purple fountain in the past and my question at the time was 'What happens when the wind blows their colored water on to my best white outfit?'

  14. Love all the pics. It is great to see how the locals live, but I don't think I would take pictures of them...unless they were in them with me.

    I like to take pictures of animals, flowers, plants, trees, the sky, clouds, water, especially water, etc. And of course, I love to take pictures of The Boss.

    Do you have a fabulous bath tub in your hotel?

  15. P.S. That red fountain is a big NO. LOL!

  16. Crabby McSlackerApril 2, 2014 at 1:23 AM

    Thanks you guys so much for stopping by and saying hello! Had another lovely day ramblin' around town yesterday, though today it's POURING--so the locals will be quite safe from our cameras. Might be more of museum day, or perhaps we may even visit the (shudder) hotel fitness center. Sigh. (Cake avoidance did not go quite as well on day 2!)

  17. Thanks for posting! Your photos are so lovely. (except for fountain - not your fault!) Are all colors really bright and more vivid in Africa? Expecially the exterior paint on buildings.Sorry to hear about the rain. Try to get some photos of that too. It's all good.

    I too take photos of people but try to be sneaky about it. I did take a photo with some construction workers in NY. Then I posed for a photo with them. I'll see if I can email it to you. Does this even make sense??!?

    I'm dying to know, how was the chair/bed on the plane in first class? They look so wonderful to me as I walk by with a crick in my neck and my back hurting after a long flight trapped in a chair in economy class.

  18. LOVE all these pictures!
    okay this is a little weird but when we went to Africa there were some people who really hated having their picture taken. They believed it was evil - or that if they were photographed you snatched a part of their soul. Granted, this didn't usually happen in the larger city areas, but as we went out rural, we were told by our tour guides to always ask before we took someone's picture. Sure enough, some people REALLY didn't want to even see our camera. We found that kids absolutely loved having their picture taken. They liked seeing themselves on our cameras; so we'd ask and then take pictures and then show them the digital file and they loved it (and usually wanted to see 500 more ;)

    You could ask a trusted local source (if you have one?) how people generally feel about having their picture taken. I would've never guessed that some poor person assumed I was snatching their soul as I clicked! Some of the older people were fine with getting their picture taken as long as they weren't looking directly in the camera. But yeah, a safe rule-of-thumb is just to ask your subjects.

    Or don't! Probably not a big deal either way.
    Have fun! I look forward to much more crabby cape-town awesomeness. :)

  19. Wowowowowow! One of my favorite posts of yours! Beautiful pictures, beautiful destination! Enjoy enjoy enjoy!

  20. Great photos. Reminds me of our own trip to Cape Town in 2010 (about this time of year, actually). Hout Bay, Camps Bay, Simonstown, Stellenbosch, The Waterfront...just wonderful. If you get a chance to climb Table Mountain, do it - not only is it a really good physical challenge, the views on the way up and from the top are stunning.

    South Africa really is as close as I've seen to 'God's country' - it's just a shame about the crime. Some drug-addled guy tried to drag me down an alley to rob me in broad daylight, but the hours in the gym throwing free weights around paid off and I was able to 'subdue' him until local law enforcement came by and finished the job off.

    Be safe and enjoy...I envy you right now!


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