Trip report: Golden Gate nature reserve – Sept 2012

I was invited to give an introductory talk on photography to pediatric surgeons (specialists and registrars) over the past weekend. After the talk we had a quick walk about – more specifically to “Holkrans” just behind the Golden Gate Hotel. The weather was terrible – the wind was blowing as though it doesn’t want us on the earth, it was cold and there was no clouds in the sky. Everything a landscape photography does not want to have on the menu. So, during our walk I looked for some interesting landscape opportunities or just for some “other” opportunities. So one can call it a “quick and dirty” shoot – so I thought I must try to think outside the box and do something differently. And here are some of the photos – judge for yourself:

 

The first encounter was this rock amongst the field of grass leading towards the mountain. Unfortunately it was still too early for a nice landscape photo – around 14H45. Nikon D700, Nikon 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 lens @ 17mm, ISO200, 1/1600, f6.3, exposure = -0.67, WB = sun. Aperture mode.

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Next up was a nice small tree/bush growing on a rock. I’ve tried to create a balanced in the photo with the placement of the bush on the left 1/3 of the photo and the mountain in the right 1/3. Nikon D700, Nikon 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 lens @ 17mm, ISO200, 1/250, f10, exposure = -0.33, WB = sun. Aperture mode.

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When we reached Holkrans, I saw this interesting feature. Bushes growing above the rocks and I’ve tried to create almost an X-ray or underground feeling with the sun from behind the rocks and bushes. Not sure if it works. Nikon D700, Nikon 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 lens @ 26mm, ISO200, 1/5000, f2.8, exposure = -1.00, WB = sun. Aperture mode.

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I saw this dead tree/branch and I thought about it for a while – how about a silhouette? Nikon D700, Nikon 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 lens @ 19mm, ISO200, 1/250, f11, exposure = -1.00, WB = sun. Aperture mode.

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In the cave (Holkrans), there were a few interesting patterns against the walls.  Nikon D700, Nikon 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 lens @ 24mm, ISO200, 1/6400, f2.8, exposure = -1.00, WB = sun. Aperture mode.

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And then we went for a ride in the late afternoon and we had the opportunity to use the golden hour. Too bad about the lack of clouds in the sky – the reason why I did not include much of the sky in my photos.  The very familiar sight of Golden Gate in the late afternoon. Nikon D700, Nikon 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 lens @ 35mm, ISO200, 1/125, f10, exposure = -0.33, WB = sun. Aperture mode.

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And to conclude.  Nikon D700, Nikon 17.0-35.0 mm f/2.8 lens @ 24mm, ISO200, 1/50, f10, exposure = -0.33, WB = sun. Aperture mode.

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All the photos were taken hand-held with no support what so ever – another “deadly” sin for landscape photographers.

Message to take home:

Once again, any landscape photography needs proper planning. One must visit the area the day before the shoot, look at the scenery and possible shots and plan ahead. Then, on the day of the shoot, you must arrive well before the golden hour, make sure about a proper set-up and the camera settings should appropriate and ready. A few practice shots to make sure about and composition. Then wait for the right moment and take the shots.

Until the next trip report, keep on shooting – and I think I must rather stay with wildlife photography but it is nice to have a break or take photos of something different every now and then.

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