We just love these photos of South Africa that Derrick Watterson has taken during his trips back home to Durban. Like so many others who’ve left South Africa’s shores, there’s no greater appreciation of the uniqueness of SA than when you no longer live here.
Derrick, who moved to the UK 14 years ago, takes regular trips back to South Africa to visit his folks and family.
“Over the last three years I have started doing street photography and I try to document as much as I can on any holidays or trips. Taking photos in South Africa has been an experience that I have not had anywhere else.
“The reaction I get from people has been amazing and their friendliness has made every photo so special to me. When I look back at them I can’t help but smile and feel proud. It just makes me excited to get back, and go out to meet more amazing South Africans and take their photo.
Ants for Africa
“I got the idea whilst sitting outside one day visiting my folks. Noticed how organised the ants were whilst they were going at something on the ground. So I printed the outline of Africa, painted it with honey and then laid a piece of cling film over it. Then I carefully laid that down on to the tiles so the honey transferred to the ground and waited for them to go to work.”
The Corner Shop with the Coke Ad (see photo above)
“This is a corner shop that has been going for years. It’s next to a ‘factory shop’ my mother has been going to for years to get us board shorts. To make up for lost time, I always carry a camera with me in case I see something that would make a great photo. South African corner shops have always had a look to them that I love and am fond of. Growing up, there would always be a shop with an arcade game inside that would be waiting to rob me of my change!”
“A friend had told me about the Faith47 graffiti work in Warwick Market in Durban. After taking some pics I had walked down a bit and saw Manu Salon. South African street barbers are so unique and I love the artwork they do to display what haircuts they offer. I actually have a book on South African street barbers that focuses on their artwork. It’s so much better than the cheesy black and white ’80s looking photos you see in barber shops. Not only is Manu the man who will be cutting your hair, he is also most likely to be the artist who painted the display sign.”
Lady with the Helmet on Her Head
“It was just before Christmas and I was in a township. I had taken some pictures of friends sitting outside having a beer and not long after taking their photo I turned around to see this woman coming out of her house with a huge grin on her face. She wanted to have her photo taken as well and just went straight into striking various poses. There was a pile of stuff that belonged to someone waiting and one of them was the helmet. The nice thing about a digital camera is that I could show them what the photo looked like.”
Earnest Profile Pic
“Taking his photo meant a lot to me. Earnest has been working with my dad for years and is basically like part of our family. Every time I see this photo it makes me smile and feel a bit homesick. He is always happy and always has a smile on his face. I have sent my mom a copy of his picture and they are going to get it printed out for Earnest so he can have a copy for his house.”
“These guys were sitting outside having a beer and I asked them if I could take their photo. They didn’t even think twice about it and just said yes. The first pictures had the guy in the hat sitting down and they didn’t like that so they told him to stand up and get in on the group shot. He was a bit shy and I think he was happy just to stay sitting down and finish his beer but they wouldn’t have it. I showed them how the photo came out to see if they were happy with it.”
Group Shot Inside Shop
“We were in Pietermaritzburg on our way to stay in a cabin. I had gone to a boarding school just outside of Pietermaritzburg so it felt really good to be back in the area after all these years. My wife and family were in the store getting some things and I went for a walk to see if there were some possible shots. I saw these guys sitting outside and approached them about taking a photo. I had just taken their photo and walked a few metres on when they called me back and asked if I could take a group shot of them inside the store. There was no way I was going to say no and miss this opportunity!”
Please view more of Derrick’s photos here: http://dwattersoniii.tumblr.com