St. Barts by Moonlight

The start of a new series of photos features the lovely St Barts church on Market Street. I’ve recently partnered with Masters student Zandile Dlongolo – she’s undertaking an examination of the status of Grahamstown’s 70 Heritage Resources – to take a photo record of them all.

We’ve had a beautiful full moon and clear skies this past couple of nights so I’ve been out in Sunnyside with my camera and tripod getting some moody shots. 

St Barts is on the list of Heritage Resources and it was looking particularly striking so I spent some time composing this shot. You have to be really careful taking night shots as drivers (especially bakkie drivers) are either going to ignore you completely (in spite of having a flashlight) or whiz past very close. This is a 15 second exposure and captures the vehicle lights as streaks of light in the foreground. The moonlight catching the high clouds and the sprinkling of stars also adds some nice atmosphere to the shot.


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.