The Road to Rock Bottom, Assegaai Trails
We’ve had some memorable times down at Rock Bottom … it’s the overnight hiking camp (built in an old boerboon tree) at Assegaai Trails. You hike down into the thick bush of the Assegaai River from the farm and along the trail in the deep valley – not the road you can see twisting down in the photograph. You really get to #CelebrateNaturalHeritage along the way: the last time we were there the pools in the river were full of water lilies. The camp is nestled right beneath the cliffs you can see on the extreme left side of the photo. It’s a dramatic location.
The hike makes an excellent weekend getaway from Grahamstown as Assegai Trails is located between Salem and Kenton – so it’s a drive of half an hour or so.
This picture is one I took with a body cap fish-eye lens. The lens has no fancy electronics at all, just a small lever that you move to make the tiny lens protrude from the body cap. Shortly after I got this picture we rushed back down to Rock Bottom to shelter from the thunderstorm.


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.