Best of Getaway Gallery
Jacana Media with Getaway Books
Arguably one of the most read travel publications, Getaway, has released a coffee table photographic book, Best of Getaway.
In its true fashion, the dust jacket has the image of a giraffe in the wild, with the perfectly blue sky in the background. The picture is titled “Giraffe Landscape” and it was taken by Marco Franchini of Durban.
“By snapping this giraffe from far away, I was able to leave enough space to place the animal in a wide landscape composition, as opposed to just another giraffe portrait,” writes Franchini.
The dust jacket itself tells the reader what is to be expected between the 144 pages.
The Editor of Getaway, Cameron Ewart-Smith, says that “nearly all the images submitted are taken by pure amateur enthusiasts.”
“The book is a selection of the best of the very best that South African travel and wildlife photography has to offer.”
Some of the photographs in the book date as far back as 1989 with Getaway magazine was first published as a “space for readers to share their best travel and wildlife images”.
The book contains the work of almost a hundred wildlife photographers and the pictures are accompanied by narration.
“Donkeys are such comical animals. They are mischievous and cheeky, but ultimately they are adorable. I took this (picture) when I was living on a farm. One evening I heard donkeys racing around my cottage, but when I went outside they ran away. I followed them up the hill and took this shot of Roley (the donkey), who posed beautifully in between moments of dancing around and kicking dirt into the air,” writes Lauren Geldenhuys about her picture, “Roley”.
One image that stands out for this reviewer is “Dust and Dancing” by Wynand van Wyke of Witbank, Mpumalanga.
The picture was taken in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park, which can be accessed through the Northern Cape, Botswana or Namibia.
“Dry season in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a constant fight for survival. One late September morning, we made our way to the Houmoed Waterhole. After my dad positioned the vehicle, I set up my camera, ready for action.
“Our patience paid off as we spotted a herd of wildebeest making their way towards us. They started galloping and I was ready to capture the moment,” Van Wyk writes.
Elmar Venter of Pretoria also captured the Augrabies Falls in the later afternoon, resulting in one of the best travel images ever seen.
In this picture, which was taken in February 2010, one can see how the Orange River pushes almost two million litres of water per second over huge granite boulders.
However, it is not just wildlife that is featured in this book. Jack Smith took a picture titled “Local Cuisine” in Cape Town’s sprawling township of Khayelitsha on a busy Friday afternoon when people were preparing for a weekend.
In the picture one can see the smoke as a vendor is about to serve barbecue chicken to a waiting customer. The picture is in black and white, adding to its strength.
If there is one photographic book that a collector must have this year, Best of Getaway is it.
Review by Sabata-Mpho Mokae for Diamond Fields Advertiser in January 2012.