Second up in my series on quick photo walks in the Southern Peninsula, is Kalk Bay. I've thrown St James in there as well, since they're such close neighbours. This is truly one of my favourite areas to explore, and there is so much to photograph, from mountain views, to rockpools, to nicknacks in antique and thrift stores.
1. St James' Walkway
Starting at the large gravel parking lot near the Muizenberg station, closest to the beach, is a concrete pathway that goes from Muizenberg to Danger Beach (close to Kalk Bay). It's a short walk that gives you some incredible sea views right across False Bay. There are rock pools to explore, soaring seagulls to snap, and some great sea splash to capture. Watch out when the tide is very high, the sneaky waves can drench you in seconds with no warning!
What to look for: reflections, sea views, graffiti and street art along the concrete wall, train shots overhead, mountain views behind you, sea gulls, and sunrises.
2. St James' Huts
If you keep walking along St James' Walkway, you're bound to reach the iconic colourful beach huts, standing proudly above the tidal pool. In the early morning, or at dusk, there's a great opportunity to get the brightly painted huts reflected in the pool. Try to time it for low tide, so that there's minimal turbulence in the water. These huts are a popular wedding venue shoot location, so you might end up a guest photographer as the bride and groom pose happily at the door of one of the bathing huts.
What to look for: calm watery reflections, symmetrical huts, textured rock pools, dreamy evening hues over the sea.
3. Dalebrook Tidal Pool
If you keep right on walking you'll pass the shark spotter's hut close to Danger Beach, walk across the beach towards Kalk Bay, and you'll end up at Dalebrook tidal pool. This is a secret gem hidden from the busy summer traffic on the other side of the railway line and a great place to take photos, or even better, to have an icy dip!
What to look for: blue seas with a mediterranean feel, sunbathers (in summer), early morning swimmers (all year round), some art deco architecture across the road, and if you're very lucky a whale nursing her calf in the kelp during whale season.
4. Antique Stores
Kalk Bay is known for its antique stores. If you're into bric a brac, textures, and crazy colour, visit What Not China Shop, on 70 Main Road for a record amount of porcelain in one place. With the combination of plates mounted on crazily coloured walls, you're bound to get some cool shots, and perhaps a bargain or two to take home with you. Other recommended antique stores are the Railway House and Quagga Rare Books.
What to look for: fine china, bric a brac, vintage wooden shop fronts, zany colours, faded memoirs, sepia tones.
5. Kalk Bay Harbour
The last stop, as you head through Kalk Bay Main Road, towards Fishhoek, is the Kalk Bay Harbour. Cross the railway line and wander along the pier towards the lighthouse. There will be fishermen offloading their catches, women scaling and gutting fresh fish, seals waiting for their treats, painted boats, and the lighthouse. Again, early morning is a great time to arrive. Don't forget to explore the beach underneath the train track, where you can frame your harbour shots with the arches from the train bridge.
What to look for: fishing boats, ropes, buoys and fishing nets, hungry seals, working fishermen, the lighthouse, and during high tide, some impressive swell over the harbour wall.