I hate the Christmas holidays! It’s a time when there is usually no work and expenses seem to rocket.
It’s also a time of immense boredom, so when my son suggested we visit the military museum next to the Johannesburg Zoo, I eagerly agreed.
Over the years South Africa’s military museum has grown and expanded and is well worth a visit. Unlike other South African museums, it has thankfully not become politicized and has on display the full gamut of the military conflicts in which ALL South Africans were involved -- including that by the participants of the freedom struggles. It offers an unbiased, honest look at South Africa’s history.
On display are many exceptionally rare pieces of military equipment, the most notable of which is the World War II ME262 jet night-fighter, the only example of its kind in the world!
But museum exhibits can be difficult to photograph and make look interesting. The lighting is often poor, other people somehow always seem to find their way into your shot and backgrounds are usually cluttered and intrusive.
To overcome these obstacles I decided I would isolate pieces of the equipment in a way that would hopefully evoke some sort of emotions. You’ll have to be the judge of whether or not I succeeded. All images were taken with a Nikon D40 and either an 18 - 55 mm zoom lens or and old 50mm/1.8 prime.
The first two images I got to take were of an old ambulance and 5,5 field gun, both quietly rusting away in the car park.
Both are familiar objects to me as they are to hundreds of thousands of other South African Defence Force veterans.
In a way they are symbols of a generation of men and women that gave much but is now forgotten.