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Cyntia Apps Photography » Blog

I think I might have been about 8 years old when I watched SHAKA ZULU, the Great Zulu Warrior King on TV. It was a series that was on for about 3 months, every Sunday night. The whole country of Panama was glued to the TV on Sunday nights. Not once I ever thought I was going to visit the land of the Zulus’ myself. 

After our Cape Town stop, we flew to Durban (the land of the Zulus), and after a 3 hour drive we reached our destination at the Thanda Reserve. This place was truly a piece of heaven on Earth. I have travelled to many places in the world, but after I have seen a place, I very rarely have a desire to go back. I usually have a “been there, done that, where to next” attitude.  This place changed my mind in a wonderful way. I would love to return to this reserve with my kids some day. 

Not only the interaction with the animals was amazing, but also the people at the place. Our guide, Truman, and tracker, Wyneth, were both local zulu men and made our experience superb. We had two game drives a day. One at 6 AM, for which we would have to get up at 5:30 AM every day at the reserve, and other at 3 PM. Animals sights are best at sunrise or sunset. Both game drives had either coffee break, or cocktail break. 

The purpose of a game drive, is to see the “Big 5”. The lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros were the five animal most difficult to hunt on foot,  back in the late 19th Century when the Safari culture started in Africa. Safari means “long journey” in Swahili language. Now a days, there is still hunting, but most reserves are all about preserving the wildlife instead.  

Some people take many years before they can see the Big 5, but we were lucky to see them all, plus cheetahs, zebras, hyenas, giraffe and many more. The only picture I couldn’t get was the one of the leopard. A very cautious animal, it is rare to see it. No picture of it, but the most amazing memory of its sight will always be in our minds. 

See for yourself, what I was able to witness in person, simply A M A Z I N G!!!
           All images are copyrighted © 2012 – 2012 Cyntia Apps Photography

Ever since I met my husband, he has had the tendency to outdo himself with the most amazing Christmas presents, from new ski gear, to my first diamond earrings, to my first laptop,  new camera lenses, etc. Yes, I know, I am very spoiled, and so incredibly fortunate to have him as my husband. 

Last Christmas, I think he set his bar way too high. He got me the most amazing present ever: a South Africa travel book, which he said came with a trip included. I remember getting a “high” in my brain from the news. I can straight tell you, the two things I enjoy most in my life are to travel and photography. 

So we had the most amazing opportunity to visit this magical country, sans kiddos (a big THANKS to my amazing parents who came from Panama to watch our kids).  First a stop in Cape Town, where we learned about their culture and history. The Mother City, as they call it, is a beautiful city by the sea, with a Table Mountain behind her. 

We stayed right downtown besides their party street, LONG Street; which was convenient at night, when we wanted to hit a restaurant for dinner, with good music. While in Cape Town, we did the usual sights, a City Tour, Table Mountain, a Coastal Tour, which took us from Camps Bay to Cape Point, which is the southernmost point in the African Continent (it is truly debatable whether California HWY 1 is the most beautiful coastal drive in the world, after seeing South Africa’s) , Stellenbosch, their wine country, and the Townships, where we learned about South Africa’s apartheid history, which I found fascinating.  

But the highlight of those tours was the Church Service they took us at the end of the Langa Township tour. Most of you that know us, can tell that we are not ‘church people’, but if you can find me a church service as fun, as that one, I will be there every Sunday. The singing was beautiful, and their message was even more wonderful. 

Now check out some of the pictures of our amazing trip to Cape Town. 
                 All images are copyrighted © 2012 – 2012 Cyntia Apps Photography

   A few weeks ago, I was scouting for locations for a couple of shoots I had over the weekend.  I was told about an amazing park, “very close” to my house; and I wanted to make sure the location was ideal for the family shoots. Unless I know the place really well, 90% of the time, I like to preview the location to make sure it’s right for my client. My kids, my companions at all times, were by my side. That day, we ended up climbing over the Evergreen Hills. The hills had the sharpest turns I have ever driven on. They had “car sickness” written all over them. But once over the hill, we found the park. So I ventured with my kids in a little hiking adventure to explore the place. Check out some of the pictures of our little adventure!

  • Sandra Fazzino - Looks like you found a great spot & the kids got over their car sickness pretty quickly! Beautiful light!ReplyCancel

I met Brandon Walker at one of his music gigs in Saratoga. The moment I heard him play the piano, and sing I fell in love with his music. Not only is he a great musician, but also a great guy. He has this cool vibe about him. 

We had been planning this photo shoot for quite a few months. But I told him I would wait to take a directing workshop from T&T Dynamite before we took his pictures. I have now taken three of T&T Dynamite’s workshops, or least all the ones they offer; and what an amazing learning experience that was. I admire their work, and they inspire me to become a better photographer. Every photographer should take their Directing Workshop. 

Back from the workshop, Brandon & I planned our shoot; and went over wardrobe. I rented a Medium Format Contax 645 — curious to know what the big deal about that camera was –, and bought 35 mm Canon AE; got myself some film, and off we went for a day of adventure.  This was an 100% Film Shoot. 

We started our day in Sartatoga at Brandon’s favorite music venue, The Blue Rock Shoot, and ended up at one of the beaches in San Francisco at sunset. What an amazing day that was! 

Take a look at some of the shots from that day. And to listen to Brandon’s Music, visit his website http://www.brandonwalkermusic.com/fr_home.cfm. 

And this is Bart from San Jose, who lives in the most awesome Ocean Front apartment in San Francisco. Hope you find my blog so you can see your picture!

Today, I had the pleasure to photograph The Boyles: a lovely and busy family of six.  They moved to the Bay Area from Ireland not long ago, and even though they are here, their hearts are still back in Ireland. 

Throughout the session, I could tell how busy this bunch should always be; I could also tell how loving and down to Earth they are. I’m so fortunate to capture moments like these. 

We had such a wonderful session at 70 F (21 C) at the end of January. This only happens in sunny California. Take a look at their pictures, and don’t forget to leave them some love comments!

And my favorite picture of the day: I’ll call it – “It’s all about Veronica”.