Winter Sunset over the 1820 Settlers National Monument

We get some really spectacular sunsets in Grahamstown – especially in winter around the time of the National Arts Festival. Here’s a seven image panorama taken on June 23rd five years ago. It’s one of my favourites. 

My Swedish friend, Jan Malmstöm, had given me a great tip for taking panoramas. He showed me that you get much better results if you hold the camera vertically (in portrait) when you want to get a landscape panorama. That means you take more images but they stitch together well and you can get a great range of colour tones. You can see that here with pale lemons, blues and purple reds. The clouds and smoke give some great textures too.


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.