Around this time four years ago, I hatched a plan to start a blog. I was still living in Washington D.C. at the time (I moved to Joburg two months later), and watching the World Cup on TV.
I hadn’t started writing the blog yet but I knew what I was going to call it. I had a fair idea of what I would say in my first post.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since South Africa hosted the World Cup in June 2010. It’s even harder to believe that it’s been four years since I created the blog, and that 2Summers not only still exists today but has basically taken over my life.
I like to recognize blogging milestones and I’m feeling particularly sentimental about this one. So I’m trying something new. I’ve chosen one of my all-time favorite Joburg photos from my blog, and printed ten A2-sized copies on high-quality paper. I’m offering these prints for sale to you, my loyal readers, as limited editions.
Here’s the photo I picked:
“Hazy Blue Hour”
This picture means a lot to me. I shot it from the top floor of the Carlton Centre, also known as “the Top of Africa”, in April 2012. I remember that afternoon very clearly. I went to the Carlton Centre late in the afternoon with my friend Fiver. It was Easter Monday. I remember being skeptical that the building would be open on a public holiday, but it was. Not only was it open, but the staff let us stay until dark.
If I had known in advance I might have brought my tripod for better night photography. Instead, I just did my best to hold my camera steady against the building’s notoriously dirty windows, and took the best photos I could as the sun went down.
Here’s what the photo looks like printed and signed. Sorry, taking photos of a photo is hard. By the way: “Limited-edition” means that I will never print this picture again. So there will be only ten of them.
That April 2012 visit was my first time going back to the Carlton Centre since Jon’s death four months earlier. I went to the Carlton with Jon once, in January 2011 — also a memorable visit. I’ve been up there many times since, but I rarely take photos anymore. This shot will always be my favorite and I don’t think I’ll ever do any better.
So that’s the story behind the photo. I call it “Hazy Blue Hour” because blue hour is that magical time right after the sun goes down, when the natural light is dying and the city lights are switching on. The picture is hazy because of the early-winter smoke on the horizon, and because I was shooting in low light through a smudged window.
Conventionally speaking, “Hazy Blue Hour” isn’t a perfect shot. It’s not pin-sharp. Selling photographs couldn’t have been further from my mind at the time that I took it. But then again, I’m not a perfect person and Joburg is not a perfect city. That’s why we get along so well.
And now for the Ts and Cs:
I’m selling the prints for R1600 ($150) each. If you’d like to buy a print, please contact me in one of three ways:
1) Send a private message through the contact page on my blog. Do not reply in the comments section.
2) Email me directly (if you have my email address).
3) Contact me on Twitter at @2Summers. I will respond to you via direct message.
I will not consider requests sent through any other modes of communication and I’ll process requests on a first-come, first-served basis. A good friend has already purchased the first print so there are nine prints left. On the off chance that I have more prospective buyers than prints, I’ll keep a waiting list in case any of the initial purchases fall through.
For those in the Joburg area who want to buy a print: I will meet you at a central location to hand over the print once it’s been paid for. We will discuss payment methods on a case-by-case basis.
For those outside of the Joburg area who want to buy a print: I will work with you to get the print delivered but you will be responsible for the delivery costs. As anyone who lives (or has ever lived) in South Africa knows, mail services are unreliable here. We can work this out on a case-by-case basis.
If this experiment goes well, I might do more limited-edition prints in the future. I’ll keep you posted on this sale through Twitter and Facebook.
Here’s to many more Hazy Blue Hours in Joburg.