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Working With What You Got

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Here in South Africa we face many challenges, ALL of them brought about by inept and corrupt government. One of the recent, but recurring challenges is the failure of the parastatal Eskom to be able to deal with the demand for electricity, so once again, some 9 years after this issue was first brought to the fore we are experiencing load shedding yet again. What's that you may ask? Well, imagine the power in your area gets cut twice a day for 2 hours at a time so that the power grid doesn't collapse. That's the challenge. And it would happen at an hour when I got inside one of the best houses I have been to photograph in a long time. Architecturally speaking that is. 

 

This house sits atop one of the many hills in our city, about 20km inland, but faces east, so on a clear day you can see the ocean from the huge double volume window seen in this photo. The exterior of the house is facebrick, so no major painting maintenance to be done. However, one of the most interesting features that the owner told me about are the floors. These bits of wood are the original hardwood floors from the Durban city hall and have been dated to be 160 years old. When they did some refurbishment of the city hall several years ago the owner of this house bought a bunch of the planks and stored them. He then had them cut into parquet strips, installed and bourne gleamed them for this amazing 3 story house. Simply wonderful! 

 

Unfortunately they were already halfway through moving out of the house so there was hardly any furniture and this was the only angle that I could shoot that showed off the kitchen, dining area, huge picture window and of course the floors. 

 

Processed with Aurora 2019 using three bracketed ambient frames. I love this software. 

PC060025_AuroraHDR2019-edit.jpg

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Nice floor indeed, but hardly practical for a kitchen/dining area.

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They are surprisingly hard wearing these bourne gleamed floors. Most of the old houses with suspended floors in the city have them throughout, including in kitchens and bathrooms. In our kitchen and bathrooms the owners tiled over the wooden floors, but in many homes they don't, so you'll often find them left natural or given the varnishing treatment seen here. I think that a lot of people who opt to use laminated faux wooden floors end up regretting it because those definitely don't react well to spills (depending on the product used). 

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Here's another shot taken from the entrance. 

 

PC060004_AuroraHDR2019-edit.jpg

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Looking at the table, there’s a bit of WA distortion going on!

Gladly only a minor detriment to the picture!

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I think that's just the table, Mike. I don't notice any serious distortion when using the 8-18mm (unless I try to edit the images in a program that doesn't apply the lens profile). 

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