Why Cape Town in Winter is perfect for photography

Don’t let the word winter keep you from picking up your camera and venturing outdoors. Now that Covid 19 restrictions have become more lenient, we can enjoy a mild Mediterranean climate with day time temperatures averaging between 18 – 20 degrees on most days, without the drumming of the heavy summer southeaster wind that we frequently have to tolerate in the summer months. This is the time to take advantage of the outdoors, stay healthy and create mood boards of what you wish to photograph.

Most of the parks are green and lush, including Table Mountain and the surrounding mountain passes that we are so privileged to own and experience on a daily basis. Should you prefer the more urban city life experience, this pandemic has unfortunately forced businesses to operate from home and close the hype of what we once knew as the coffee culture hub and street life experience in an around our beautiful city. As a photographer, go out and capture the wonderful architecture, the new feel of a deserted city. It may make you feel sad and a touch uneasy, but as a photographer, moments are there to feel. Let your images set the stage for presenting this emotion, this confused state of desperation and uncertainty amongst the people. This is a really incredible time to be out there expressing yourself through the lens.

Sadly, conversing over a cup of coffee on the sidewalk before stating the day is no longer possible at this time, so use your time constructively and plan your photo shoot for the day. Make sure that you check the weather first to ensure good light and no rain. The next few months ahead definitely allow for great light with the co operation of cloudy winter weather, your subjects and outdoor surrounds are beautifully diffused and waiting to be captured. The best time to obviously be out there is early morning between 7.30am and 9am, so you have time to make a quick bite and prepare yourself for the mornings adventure.

What camera gear do you need to take

Firstly, ensure that you have a comfortable camera bag as you are most likely to do most of your photography on foot. Park the car and walk. Your bag should also be water proof, should you be caught in a down pour of rain, this is common in Cape Town, where our weather patterns are unpredictable. As the streets are not always safe to walk around alone with your camera, may I suggest that you take no chances, keep an eye open around you and avoid making conversation with strangers. Better still, a good idea would be to do this with a friend or another avid photographer who enjoys the same type of photography as yourself.

Depending on what you enjoy photographing will also dictate the choice of lenses that you will carry with you. Normally one lens is sufficient, so long as it has the range necessary for your purpose and choice of subject. A single lens is also more convenient as well as lighter to carry, remaining on the camera body throughout your walk. Having to stop and change lenses, not only wastes time, but needs to be done in a dry and dust free environment. Again, the thought of lurkers watching you is not very comforting.

Finally, ensure that your battery is charged and your card is formatted and in the camera.

This is also a great time to consider learning about the features of your camera in order to take better photographs.

My favorite places to photograph in Cape Town’s City Bowl

All in walking distance, makes Cape Town and amazing city to explore. Having lived in the city for many years, I am still discovering new and amazing picturesque sites to photograph. Being on foot, not apart of the usual grind of the city, affords one this wonderful opportunity to see and discover Cape Town as a tourist. I am really loving these moments. The solitude and space, the cleanliness and the crispness of clarity.

The Bo Kaap

Known as the Moslem Quarter, is one of Cape Town’s most historic and colourful places, aligned with stone and old brick architecture and cobbled narrow streets. The beauty I now experience is the quietness, no bus loads of tourists, just the local community and the bird life, along with the call for prey. The view from the foot of Lions head that dominates the ridge of the Bo Kaap offer great view and glorious expansions of the city’s vistas, stretching as far as the eye can see touching on the distant mountains of the winelands.

The “Central District” or City Centre

What attract me most to this area is the architecture, both old and new. There is no construction in progress, so the city is quiet and clean. There is an eeriness about, places that were once booming with a different life, a life we all were apart, that now stand alone and silent. The doors are shut, yet the mind still plays on past experiences and memories of a city that hummed. Here is a story to capture that effects each and every one of us. The thought of tomorrow and what is to become…

So, take advantage of this time. This is history in the making. When you decide to take a walk or to get some fresh air and perhaps do some exercise, don’t forget your camera. Your experiences are best explained and shared in photographs that tell stories that last forever.