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Hermanus Times
A royal photographic feat for a naturalised local
David Wilson during a visit to Death Valley in the

Hermanus- A local photographer recently had the honour of having one of his photographs featured as the Royal Photographic Society’s (RPS) image of the day.David Wilson, a member of the Hermanus Photographic Society, said he couldn’t wait to switch on his computer early on Tuesday 7 July, after being informed the previous day that one of the images he had entered would be the featured image of the day on the RPS website’s home page. Needless to say, he was rather chuffed to see his image prominently displayed on the site’s front page, even if just for 24 hours.

The Royal Photographic Society in the UK has many members from across the world. Each week, members are asked to submit work according to a specific theme. The society them selects seven of these entries to be featured on its home page every day of the week.Last week’s theme was “Black and White”, and Wilson chose his image entitled “Golden Canyon in the moonlight”, taken in the Golden Canyon in Death Valley, California, where he was on a trip with daughter Alycia, who had recently recovered from cancer.“If the scene seems rather cosmic, it is not surprising, as this was featured in the first Stars Wars films, where the R2D2 crash landed,” Wilson said, “although this may be remembered only by some older people. And people far older will remember the Death Valley TV series, which starred the late Ronald Reagan, future President of the United States.

This iconic setting was regularly featured as a locale in the 1950s Cisco Kid film series.”Having travelled extensively, he has made a number of trips to Death Valley over the years. During his last trip there Wilson took a series of photos, some of which were featured in local and international photo competitions. He admits he took some “photographic licence” with his featured Death Valley photo.“The photo was actually taken in daylight, but was rendered a night scene thanks to newly acquired Photoshop skills, including replacing a rather indistinct rising and partial moon with a full moon from Hermanus.”

The British-born retired chartered surveyor and town planner, who has also lived and worked in Canada, the USA, Spain and China over the years, visited Hermanus on several occasions, and in May 2016 finally decided to settle in the town, where he met his partner, Margot.Always interested in photography, he only took it up “semi-seriously” after retiring. Since January, a number of his photos have been exhibited in 13 international photographic competitions as well as local South African ones. One of Wilson’s images of kite surfers at Grotto Beach was featured on the front page of the Hermanus Times (“Surfing the wind”, Hermanus Times, 13 February 2020).

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