Harare is renowned for many things but luckily for us photographers one of them is the annual flowering of the hundreds of Jacaranda trees that line our Capitals avenues. Standing in the middle of the street under an over-arching umbrella of bright blue and purple must be one of the most visually stimulating urban experiences available to us Zimbabweans. It was while I was standing there, in the middle of the street with my head craned back and my camera poised that I realised that I haven't really properly photographed, or fully appreciated, Harare's Jacaranda's until now.
And then it dawned on me why; us photographers are always chasing the gold at the end of the rainbow, travelling frantically to get to places that may provide us with the photographic subjects we long for, or that we hope will reward us with some stunning images. And I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, partly because I do it a lot myself and mostly because if it works then whats the problem?
My point here is this, generally speaking photographers tend to overlook or ignore the opportunities in their back yard, often missing out on not just amazing picture opportunities but also getting to know their neighbourhoods and communities. I have had many an engaging conversation with people on the streets of Harare who have approached me with friendly intentions and questions. Often these have led to interesting debates and the offer to photograph their neighbourhoods or families and friends. You can't buy these kind of invitations and opportunities as a photographer!
At the end of the day wondering around your neighbourhood may well produce the kind of stunning images that you could travel thousands of miles for, and you may well walk away with some new friends!
Where: Leopold Takawira Street, Harare.
How: Stand in the middle of the traffic and make yourself skinny!
Tech specs: Nikon D800 with Nikkor 28-300mm VR lens shot @ 135mm on ISO 640 Aperture F8 Shutter speed 1/80th second.