When a burning sun dips low enough on the horizon to touch the brown-black earth, that is when South Africa is at its very best – a blazing expanse of broad landscapes of sea and veld, dusty savanna and equally dusty pavements. For a photographer, this land is one dreams are made of. The light is quite extraordinary, the people welcoming and the photo opportunities as endless as the grasslands that stretch as far as the eye can see. South Africa is a vast country, extending from pristine coastal plain to rugged mountain passes across wide stretches of semidesert and forest, hills and valleys. Even travelling South Africans are unprepared for the sheer scale of the place and the enormous diversity of this grand landscape. Every day, everywhere, there are new sights to behold and new experiences to share – the wiry branches of an acacia, a leaf spiralling to the ground, a graceful old Cape Dutch homestead set against lush vineyards, blue-purple mountains, the demure smile of a Zulu bride, an insect in flight, a bird on a wire. It is the sun, the sand, the textures, the colours, the sounds that conjure up the spirit of South Africa. This volume is a fine tribute to the country, its people and its land-, sea- and cityscapes. This is the face of the nation – the essence of South Africa.