I could write for hours about how the study of photography permits its practitioners to perceive the world through a multitude of different filters – both literal and figurative, but in the hope that a picture does indeed paint a thousand words, I’d prefer to simply present you with this photo I took while passing through a place called Prince Albert , in the Western Cape, South Africa, on a cold, dark, wintry day, while en route from Cape Town to Johannesburg, for the start of an overland tour. We’d stopped to stretch our legs, for fuel, and something to eat and drink – which my colleague, Robert, kindly bought from the tiny run-down shop, which is just out of picture.
I’m sure you know what I mean when I say that sometimes you’ll visit what is otherwise a beautifully quaint, peaceful place, and in that particular moment, for any number of reasons, it might just seem like a dump. Well that was the case in the few minutes I spent at what, in fairness, is not the main draw-card of the tiny town – its road and rail freight intersection.
Still, intriguingly, I felt the best way to make the most of the brief stop was to explore what I could of it, through the lens, and I came away with this being one of the pictures I grabbed. It’s rustic and derelict for sure! But if the reaction of most of the people I’ve shown it to is anything to go by, it’s oddly beautiful too.
Clearly the town has a lot more to offer visitors than only overcast skies and a rusty fuel pump, and I hope to have more time to explore its other sides when next I’m in the area.