Joburg’s Most Iconic Buildings: Pick Your Favorite

I love Joburg.
I love Joburg buildings.
I love shooting pictures of Joburg buildings.
I love shooting pictures of Joburg buildings with my Canon.

For all of the reasons listed above, I was stoked when Canon hired me to shoot pictures of iconic Joburg buildings for an advertising campaign they’re working on. I was out the door, camera in hand, almost before I hung up the phone.

I’ve spent the past few weeks driving all over Joburg looking for the perfect iconic building photo. Here are my favorites, in the order that I took them:

Ponte core1

Looking up from inside the core of Ponte City.

Jozi view - Starburst sunset

View from the 30th floor of Ponte City (thanks for letting me borrow your apartment, Ryan), featuring the Hillbrow Tower and various Hillbrow high-rises.

Sunset Hillbrow Tower

Another view of the Hillbrow Tower from the 30th floor of Ponte.

Jozi view - Ponte and churchgoers1

Ponte City on a Sunday morning, viewed from Yeoville Ridge. Yeoville Ridge is my #1 favorite Jozi skyline viewpoint. The people in the foreground are Zionist Christians who come to the ridge to pray.

Hillbrow tower and woman

Another view of Hillbrow and the Hillbrow Tower, also from Yeoville Ridge. 

Hillbrow Tower through fence

Hillbrow Tower, shot from the ramparts of Constitution Hill. As you can see I really like the Hillbrow Tower.

Brixton Tower2

Brixton Tower, also known as the Sentech Tower, at sunset, accompanied by a couple of hadedas. This was the first time I’d ever photographed the Brixton Tower at close range, even though it’s right around the corner from my house. I’m going to do a dedicated post about it soon.

Jozi view - city skyline

 This shot doesn’t portray one building in particular. (Although the Carlton Centre, Africa’s tallest building, is on the far left.) But the skyline as a whole is pretty iconic. I shot this from a building on the east side of the CBD called Hallmark House, which I’ll be writing more about later.

Jozi view - Mandela mural daytime

This is also more of a general cityscape than a specific building. I love the shot because it’s so iconically South African. The building with the Mandela mural is called Access City and is part of the Maboneng Precinct. (Read more about the mural.) This photo was also shot from Hallmark House.

For the gearheads among you: I shot these pictures with my Canon 6D and mostly with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 lens. (The interior Ponte shot was taken with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 lens.)

Canon has chosen one of these photos for its campaign, which will have the tagline, “Find your own angle.” I already know which photo they chose. Any guesses?

I also want to know which photo that you, my readers, like the best. Please let me know by 25 March, either by commenting on this blog post or by posting your choice on my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook feeds. I’m going to tally all the votes, then produce the winning shot as a limited-edition print. (I did the limited-edition print thing once before and had great success, so I thought I’d try it again.)

I’m working on a couple of other exciting projects with Canon, which I’ll tell you about soon. In the meantime, please cast your vote.

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  • Reply Rob Wood March 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    I’d have chosen the interior of Ponte City based on it’s artistic merit but the Hillborough Tower Screams Jo’Burg

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:31 am

      So true. It’s hard to photograph the Jozi skyline without including that building.

  • Reply RosieJ March 18, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    I love Brixton Tower with the jaded as- they were probably screeching as usual!

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Thanks Rosie. I that shot is my favorite too. I love hadedas.

  • Reply RosieJ March 18, 2015 at 5:55 pm


  • Reply Kelly March 18, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I really love all of these, don’t know how Canon managed to choose just one ! For the theme, “Find your own angle.”, I think they may have chosen the inside of Ponte City. Looking up from the bottom, gazing into the light above, finding your own way through. As for my personal favorite, hmm, too hard ! I really like the perspective of the tiny worshipers against towering Ponte. And the Hillbrow Tower behind the barbed wire is really dramatic and captivating. But I also love the setting sun photo from the 30th floor of Ponte City, ok if forced I’ll vote that one ! Well done !

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Haha, thanks Kelly. I appreciate all the feedback.

  • Reply Roxanne Reid March 18, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I just love the patterns in the photo of Ponte from inside the core, but the Mandela mural in the Maboneng Precinct talks to my heart too.

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Roxanne. I’ll count both your votes 🙂

  • Reply Carol Carlson-Sunshinebright March 18, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Ponte City, hands down. What an angle it is!! Also loved all your shots. What is that zebra-like thingy on the right in the last photo?

  • Reply Tenney Mason March 18, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Access city number one; inside the Ponte number two

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Dad. I love how everyone is picking different shots.

  • Reply Ian March 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    It must have been the first one of the inside of Ponte. What an amazing shot!

    • Reply 2summers March 18, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks so much Ian. Actually there have been many photos like this taken over the last few years. Ponte has become a legitimate tourist attraction!

  • Reply Wendell A. Brown March 18, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    The first shot really amazed and moved me, and yet all of the pictures were awesome! There was a certain peace alive within the moment I embraced them…thanks for that very pleasant moment my sister! Hugs and blessings!

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks so much, Wendell. What a lovely comment.

  • Reply Ruth 2 March 18, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Hallmark house #1. I love the higgledy-piggedly

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Haha, thanks Ruth 2. Nice to hear from you on the interwebs.

  • Reply Gee March 19, 2015 at 12:45 am

    Hillbrow tower shot from Con Hill=my favourite for Canon’s choose your angle.

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Thank you! I think you’re the first person to vote for that one. It’s also my boyfriend’s favorite.

  • Reply Jay March 19, 2015 at 7:34 am

    This is awesome! I saw your photos in the BA High Life magazine and loved it keep up the good work

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Cool! I love it when I hear from people who stumble across my articles 🙂

  • Reply Gail Wilson March 19, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I would say Canon chose the Hillbrow tower but my personal favourite is the one from the Hallmark building followed by the inner core of Ponte City.

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Thanks Gail. Which Hallmark shot do you prefer – the inner city skyline or the Mandela mural?

  • Reply Mia March 19, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I have to say I love the Ponte core, and the view from Ponte’s 30th floor. The sunset behind the Sentech tower is also lovely

    • Reply 2summers March 19, 2015 at 10:21 am

      It’s has interesting…Everyone has a different favorite! I guess that’s a good thing.

  • Reply Mel March 19, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Too hard to pick just one. I really love one that is not in here (that we have discussed before) of the Joburg skyline with both Ponte and Hillbrow Tower). I also love 1,2,3 and 4. I would love to see a limited print “series” of iconic Joburg shots. You’ve got a great eye!

  • Reply Tim March 19, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Sentech Sunset

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