It’s been a very long time since I visited the place of my boyhood adventures… the Kyalami Raceway north of Johannesburg. It was also an ideal opportunity to shoot some action sports with my Nikon D850 and D500. Using mostly the 200-500 f/5.6 Nikkor and occasionally the 70-200 f/2.8 Nikkor, I was able to rattle of a few images. The budget priced 200-500 proved to be a very capable lens.
Recently I spent a few days at ‘Buffels Bay’ in the Western Cape. Driving along the coast I spotted this large driftwood at the edge of the water. While sharing this final image, it was suggested that I should share the many variations that I had shot of the subject which should all be interesting. The truth, which an audience often does not see, is the hundreds and hundreds of other shots of the subject that were taken that are dull, boring and uninteresting. For this shot I went out to shoot the subject on four different occasions and only two images were captured with the correct balance of colour, sky details, water movement and a pleasing composition. On the other occasions the sky was an overcast dull grey and all the images of that shoot are for deleting. Getting the shutter speed as I wanted it to show rough, gritty lines of water movement, was a matter of trial and error, and very few of the hundreds of images show this effectively. So when you see the final image, it’s rarely as a result of one technically and well timed capture.
It is also worth sharing just how unpredictable the ocean can be. On the second day at sunrise I picked this location (below) and got to work to create an interesting image with this composition. For over 15 minutes I was comfortable with my positioning as the waves broke in front of me and the water trickled at my feet. The effort did not yield anything special. Then, in defiance with all the laws of predictability, a huge swell suddenly exploded against the rocks. Within seconds I was drenched from my neck down. I looked down at the now soaking Nikon D800 and 16-35 lens mounted on a soaking tripod and hoped for the best. After a quick wipe down, everything functioned perfectly fine. Always be cautious when shooting near water and never forget the unpredictability of the ocean!
I had to make a quick working, 2-day trip to Cape Town and photography was not on the agenda at all. I decided that I would just throw a Fuji X-Pro2 and a single 18-135mm Fujinon lens into my bag. My small Gitzo GT1542T with Giotto MH 1302 travelled in my check-in bag just in case it was needed. I glad that I took the small light pieces of equipment along to capture these colourful images of the beautiful city.
The local annual amateur tennis tournament dubbed the ‘Roshnee Masters’ gives me a regular opportunity to improve my sports/ action skills. It was also an opportunity to shoot with my Nikon D500 which can fire away at 10 fps and has a huge 200 frame buffer. The D500 is a wonderful camera for action. It enabled me to rattle of frames and increase the chances of getting good images. The autofocus is also superb. However, since I had unrestricted access to the court, I also used my D800 with the 24-70 (f/2.8) Nikkor. Some of my best images came with this combination, proving that timing is equally important in action photography and can compensate for high fps. Compared to my previous years images, I had more ‘keepers’ and I was satisfied that there is a little progress in my sports photography with lots of room for improvement. While shooting the event, it made me think of the great sports photographers who captured perfectly timed images with film cameras shooting one frame at a time using manual focus. The days of digital does undermine concentrating on good technique.
A few days of work in Cape Town provided me with an opportunity to capture some images in one of the most picturesque parts of our country. With only two short photoshoot opportunities (both at sunset time), I had no time to scout for good locations and to casually explore the stunning beauty that abounds all along the Western Cape coastline. With this in mind, I sought out a local photographer who might help to get me to the good places quickly and efficiently. I could not have made a better choice than Mujahid ur Rehman who was a superb guide and companion on my two shoots. On the first day we did sunset shots at Bloubergstrand, and on the second day we went out to Camps Bay. The images which I’ve added to my ‘Images Gallery’ under ‘Cape Town’, were a bonus! The whole experience and interaction with Muji was fantastic. If you’re in Cape Town and would like an accomplished, superbly organised and all round great guy to be your photoshoot guide, I would highly recommend that you look up Muji at http://www.mujahidurrehman.com/
The last few months has not been productive photographically. My secondment to the Emfuleni Local Municipality has added to my work load and I was unable to take any new images for the July 2016 themes of 'Motion' and 'Close-Up'. This meant I had to dig into my archives for some images to submit. The following images came to the rescue.
In December 2013 a group of enthusiastic local photographers in my hometown assembled to establish the Roshnee Photo Club. Since December 2013 the Club has attracted a considerable following of local amateur photographers. The participation of so many young photographers has been very welcome.
The Club is a 'Non-Critique' Club which operates on the principle of 'Share & Learn' . This has encouraged many absolute beginners to join the Club and to participate by submitting images based on monthly themes. The Club has also organised the occasional field trip close to home.
The Club meets on the last Friday of every month at the Roshnee Library Activities Room. If you require any further information, drop me an email at email@example.com or contact Haroon Pochee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Africa is a wildlife photographers paradise. The popular ‘Big Five’, the big cats, other quintessentially African large animals such as the hippo, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest and zebra, are all frequently seen in South Africa's conservation areas. Despite this gift in our magnificent country, I have been reluctant to really get into wildlife photography. I have no doubt that once ‘bitten’ , I’ll become obsessive about the subject. The rare presence of a few flamingos at a dam literally on my doorstep made me venture out with a few members of our local photo club to grab some pics at sunrise this morning.
In response to questions about camera equipment used, I must confess that I do enjoy the technical aspects of camera equipment. For many years I was an avid Nikon fan, having owned and used all the Nikons in the Nikon F range, from the early Nikon F to the still available F6. I've managed to keep them all in my vintage camera collection. Currently the Nikon D800 and Nikon D500 are my primary cameras with Nikon lenses covering 16mm to 500mm. The telephoto end is covered by the new (budget) 200-500 f5.6. The long, fast Nikon primes are way out of my reach financially! When I travel these days I much prefer smaller mirrorless cameras such as my Fuji X-Pro2 and XE-2 with Fujinon lenses. I have come to shed my brand attachment and also see cameras as tools to capture the image. At the point of setting up this website, several of the images included are captured on slide film (Mostly Fuji Velvia) others on digital cameras from Nikon, Fuji and Sony. If I did not have such a substantial investment in Nikon lenses, accumulated over many, many years, I would have happily lived with Canon equipment.
Finally got to launch my website today!