The Sibaya Coastal Precinct is the jewel in Durban’s crown and much of its appeal is owed to its coastal positioning and the sea-facing homes within our residential estates. The ocean is such a valuable asset and as part of celebrating the beauty of the North Coast, we caught up with local Umdloti resident and ocean photographer, Graham Brunt, to hear more about his love for Durban and the ocean.
It’s a real privilege to be able to wake up every day and see the ocean. It has such an enormous impact on me and makes me feel relaxed and happy. I think that if I had to spend an extended period of time away from the ocean, you would really see a difference in me- it’s part of who I am. I try to be in the water as much as possible and this makes me feel alive and healthy; it’s like drinking a coffee without the caffeine. The ocean is a mental elixir which gives me focus, clarity and gets my creative juices flowing. Try swimming during the cooler months in Durban and you’ll understand what I am saying. In fact, studies have shown that time spent in cold water is beneficial to the body’s ability to eliminate waste and detox, as well as increasing our lifespan.
As an ocean and surf photographer, every time I go down to the beach to shoot pics, I come back home pumped and revived – if I can get only one good shot from a session, I am happy. There’s nothing like being out on the water on a perfectly still day and the waves are firing. The piece de resistance is when the dolphins swim past!
In Durban, the ocean is home. We have perfect weather and waves pretty much all year. What more could we ask for? I have lived abroad and the grass is not greener on the other side; I think we are spoilt in Durban as we have a quality of life that is not seen in many parts of the globe; this is partly what makes Durban special.
My passion for photography began when I moved to Umdloti when I was much younger. We started out making amateur surf films and then I became interested in ocean photography. Once I got the water housing for my camera there was no stopping me and my passion just grew. I love shooting pics at sunrise, as the sun rises over the ocean. The lighting is out of this world and that kind of natural beauty makes you realise how small you are in this wonderful world of ours. We have to treat our natural environment as we would our homes; you wouldn’t leave your rubbish all over your house so why would you throw it in the ocean? Part of the privilege of being able to use the ocean for recreation and livelihood means that we have a responsibility to look after it. But we cannot do this alone, it has to be a collective effort with each of us playing our role. I pick up rubbish on the beach and at home we have made a rule to buy as little plastic as possible because it either ends up in landfills or in our oceans. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but as a collective effort the impact can be huge!
Without the ocean I would not be who I am – I could not imagine life without it and I want to preserve our amazing natural heritage for my children and my children’s children.