Headlights along Powell Street, Fingo Village

I live in Sunnyside and directly across the Belmont Valley from our house lie the historic Fingo Village and Old Municipal Location. This photo shows the view I often see just after sunset. It’s looking straight across the valley (through all of the coral trees) at the cars and pedestrians going up and down Powell Street.


It’s a live composite image – each picture was a one second exposure and I took 300 of them (ie five minutes worth). The Olympus cameras have some very clever software that adds each image to the preceding one as it is taken. So you get to see the image being produced live on the display at the back of camera and can stop it when you’ve got the effect you desire. That’s exactly what I did with this image when the car trails made a nice symmetrical pattern – it reminds me of an electrical current joining the houses together.


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.