Out with a Bang

This was taken last Tuesday night when a spectacular storm rolled along the Eastern Cape coast. The lightning in the storm cloud was continuous and there was a full moon that lit up the cloud beautifully. I went out on to our stoep to get a look at the moon rise and then I realised there was this amazing storm in the distance. It must have been at least 60 kms away from our house in Sunnyside. Fortunately I have a 40-150mm lens for my Olympus camera so I could zoom into the action through the trees – they’re blurred in the picture because it was very windy. This is 30 minutes of storm action using the Olympus Live Composite mode – the base exposure was six seconds so it’s a total of 300 frames superimposed on top of each other – the star trails coming out of the top of the cloud shows just how much the earth turns in 30 minutes.


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.