just add wind and waves……………..

The recent posts have touched on various aspects of the Cape Point Nature reserve situated about 60km from the city centre of Cape Town. As we’ve seen in these posts the area offers a plethora of activities ranging from walks, hiking trails, swimming (in tidal pools and in the open sea in areas), angling and diving, as well as game, bird and whale watching. There are also a few Historical monuments and buildings, and the lighthouses that featured in an earlier post. There are shipwrecks, as well as viewing sites throughout the park. From my perspective these activities range from pretty relaxed to mildly energetic.

If you happen to be someone who requires more of an adrenalin rush, then you could also try your hand at wind surfing or kite surfing. We’re not talking a placid lake here, we’re talking pretty churned up water, and some serious winds. The prevailing wind in the Western Cape is the South Easter and it blows pretty consistently, though sometimes reaching up to gale force. The South Easter tends to generate favourable swells for kite and wind surfing at Platboom, one of the beaches within the Cape Point reserve. On windy days, there is a colourful spectacle out there, with a large number of these wetsuit clad enthusiasts, charging along the water powered by the wind. The colourful sails and kites billowing in the wind, and it is not uncommon to see them being completely lifted out of the water by what I would imagine to be at least 3 metres, and perform an acrobatic stunt while airborne, before executing a perfect landing on the water and charging off along the water again. The water out here is pretty cold so I guess the wet suit is a necessity. The surrounding landscape, clear water and the remoteness make it a perfect location for this activity. There is an area not far from here where a big wave contest is held once a year, surfers are known to take on 30 ft waves in the quest to become the winner of the Big Wave Africa Challenge. But to each their own, I’m very comfortable on terra firma, thank you 🙂 The journey continues ………………………………………………….. 

Todays images are of one of my visits to Platboom beach………..

golden hour lessons………………

Yesterdays blog brought us back into the Southern Hemisphere in the Geographic sense, unfortunately with that into Winter in the climatic sense. So perhaps, it is prudent to stay with the sunrise that I was trying to capture, it will make the ambient temperature feel considerably warmer than it actually is at the moment :-). As this journey continues, there are many little lessons learned along the way, which I suppose, will become second nature as I get further into it, and that will undoubtedly start having an impact on my workflow to taking great shots. Some of these are obviously just process, you know like how to actually go about capturing the image, but, there are numerous others, that are actually quite significant in ensuring that yield of decent images from each shoot is increased.

The obvious thing about a steep learning curve is that as you progress, everything looks better than what you had done previously, so its easy to not see the wood for the trees. It is for this reason that I am trying to prevent making the blog a virtual progress bar. Instead I want it to be one that sometimes moves along with, and other times delves into the past, and even if possible tries to look ahead of this journey. 

So, what are some of these significant things, well, they range from ones that are within your control, and some that just cannot be controlled by you, no matter how hard you tried. Some examples of those within your control will be equipment, so that for a particular shooting opportunity, that you are taking the right photographic equipment with, or it may be that you take along the right clothing to deal with extreme conditions, perhaps a raincoat, or gloves, or sunglasses or even ear plugs for that matter if you are plannning to photograph an old building being imploded!! Similarly, there is checking out a location beforehand, so that, you’re not trying to find your way to a shoreline, without knowing exactly how far it is, or what the quickest route is to get there.

Yesterdays blog got me to a point where I was forced to set up my camera on the way to the shoreline, because the sun was rapidly emerging above the horizon, almost announcing that before long the photographic golden hour would be history. So in order to capture that very intense early palette of colours, I had to shoot from whereever I was at the time. I’m not sure if its only me, but somehow it just seems to go by so quickly, the beautiful colours just seem to start fading quite quickly and before long the special moments are gone.Fortunately, for me, this time there was quite a dense cloud in the foreground, that just slowed the process down by a little bit.  It wasnt long before there was enough light to see where you were going, so I didnt need the trusty torch anymore. I moved to the shore with the waves breaking in the foreground, set up the tripod facing the sunrise, and continued. But of course, that preparation lesson popped up again, it helps to know which way the tide is going to go, so that you can anticipate its direction of movement and set up the tripod accordingly. 

So, todays images are a continuation of the series from yesterday, just from a position closer to the water, I would have preferred to have been at this spot 15 minutes sooner, but that requires adequate preparation………one of the primary golden hour lessons…..The journey continues ………………………… 

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F10, 20 sec, FL= 50mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F10, 20 sec, FL= 18mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F20, 20 sec, FL= 18mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F20, 8 sec, FL= 22mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F20, 2.5 sec, FL= 18mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F20, 1.3 sec, FL= 100mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F20, 3.2 sec, FL= 130mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F10, 15 sec, FL= 100mm