Just before Christmas (2006) we visited some friends of ours who live in the countryside just north of Pretoria.(The capital city of South Africa). I love the area around their farm, and my intention was to shoot some pictures during the weekend. We arrived on a Friday evening and at supper time that night the discussion turned to what I had hoped to photograph over the following two days.
I had just started shooting for the Abandoned series project. I told Willie that I was specifically looking for“thrown away” subjects. Confused, he replied “Like what?” I replied saying buses, cars, homes, furniture,graves, caravans, you name it. Willie mentioned that he thought he’d seen an old caravan, just a few miles away,stationary, in the middle of nowhere and off the beaten track. He suggested we go look for it in the morning.
Early next morning I took a look at the weather outside. To my joy a cold front had headed in overnight, bringing in heavy clouds, an abnormal weather pattern during the summertime in the South African High veld. I hurried Willie into the Land rover and headed off to look for this caravan. It was one of those surreal days in my career as a photographer; everything seemed to be falling into place, as if preordained. After a 30 minute drive we spotted what looked like a caravan far off in the distance. It took a while to find a path that led to this abnormal dwelling. As we came around the last corner I could hardly contain my excitement. The caravan was perfect, the weather, perfect and being a Saturday, the tenant had headed to town for the day. Honestly, it has to be one of the easiest photographs I have ever taken! I took three exposures using my digital SLR and post produced HDR (High dynamic range).
It is one of the few pictures where I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that the result would work even before photographing. I bought Willie a couple of bottles of wine to express my gratitude, and then duly assisted him in drinking them.