Shelly Beach – Summer Flashback

As winter gets us in a firm grip it’s nice to look at summer. What can be more gorgeous than one of the country’s best beaches? This was Shelly Beach at Kenton-on-Sea in early October. We’d driven down from Grahamstown with a flask of coffee, a picnic, cameras and binoculars. The sea was biting cold but there were plenty of whales to see breaching along the coast. We had the place to ourselves too – which is the way we prefer it – and that’s something special about the Eastern Cape experience.


Roddy is a self taught photographer whose first camera, a Zeiss Ikon, was bought in 1974 from a second hand dealer in Glasgow. Through the forty years since then, he's taken landscape photographs with Pentax, Olympus and FujiFilm systems for his teaching and research as a geography academic at Kenyatta and Rhodes Universities. He has always been inspired by great nature and landscape photographers such as Nick Brandt, Beth Moon, Obie Oberholzer and Hans Strand. Since taking early retirement he has been able to pursue his passion for photography, published a photobook ’Symmetry in Nature and held three solo exhibitions at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. 

His landscape photography is about light: often at low angles, of forests, mist and clouds, the night sky and lightning. He prints on different media depending on the affects he wants to produce: brushed aluminium for reflecting angled light; Hahnemühle German Etching paper for soft diffusion; Ilford Metallic Gloss for vibrant night pictures.

His conceptual photography uses mirroring and merging of layers to explore patterns, motifs and the feminine in nature.