Down here on the Southern Tip, Christmas and the country-wide holiday season edges closer, heralded by the opening of the crayfishing (rock lobster) season. The road outside the house is a parking lot this morning, as perhaps as many as 100 people arrive for their dip at harvesting freebies from the ocean.
I’ve had to put chevron tape across the driveway to stop people either parking, or using it as a place to turn around and in the process, shooting the gravel everywhere with their tyres scrabbling for grip on the steep slope down to the house.
This week has been an interesting one, photographically.
First off, I finally wrestled the Hahnehüehle driver for my Epson 3800 into submission and broke the seal on a several year old box of 50 sheets of brilliant white A3 photorag. Paper loaded, I set about previewing some images I thought might print well, in Lightroom.
WTF! Every one was washed out and looked like a thin film of talcum powder had settled on each one.
Past experience with offset printing came to my rescue, making me realise that (the on-screen emulation of) the paper’s emulsion was telling me what it would be like as it inched (millimetred?) out of the printer.
30-odd sheets in and I’ve not yet managed to print anything close to an original on-screen image, but I am getting happier with every one. For a close match, I suspect I’ll need to go back to glossy stock. Either way, it’s a damned expensive process as neither paper, nor ink are manufactured here and the plummeting exchange rate of the SA Rand against everything save the Zimbabwean dollar just makes it all the more costly.
That said, I do have a growing collection of high quality prints. The tactile benefit(s) of them alone makes the effort and expenditure worthwhile.
Some weeks in the planning, I spent Friday morning with a small group (4) of photographers from the Cape of Storms (CoS), Facebook group. They all live in or near Cape Town, some 70km away – I had volunteered to be their guide around the area.
Rubbish Facebook if you will, but as a hub for the group activities of CoS, it works very well. We have a location for posting pictures, opportunities for peer review, comments, teaching and get-togethers.
So, my alarm went off at 03:30 on Friday and I could hear the rain outside – just as the weather wonks had predicted. Still, rainy dawn and sunrise pictures can sometimes be really interesting.
At 04:05, I was halfway up the hill out of Rooi Els, en route to Kleinmond, 25km away to meet my four companions, who had B&Bd there overnight. Ring ring, ring ring.
It’s howling at about 40km/h in Kleinmond and tipping it down, where in Rooi Els, the rain had lessened to a drizzle. Sigh and back home for more coffee and to re-visit the weather a bit later.
Long story short; I met up with my co-photographers at 09:00, drank yet more coffee and ate a toasted sarnie in a café in Kleinmond, where we decided to head down to the lagoon to see how things looked.
Not good. Thick overcast/heavy mist dominated, although the wind had abated. We shot a few pictures and I suggested a visit to the Kogelberg, a Cape Nature reserve, a couple of kilometres outside town.
The drizzle had left huge photogenic droplets on the fynbos (indigenous plant life), through which the natural colour was clearly visible. None of us was too keen to get wet, but a few minutes in this magical environment changed our minds.
Much sooner than I’d hoped, the time loomed for a meeting with my auditor, followed by a doctor’s appointment and reluctantly, I left my companions to venture off into the nearby mountains to explore even further.
I’ll keep the day clear next time.
For the technically-minded, or inquisitive, I used my Fuji X-Pro2 and a Zeiss Biogon 25mm f2.8. It’s a great lens and when I get the focus right, can produce extraordinary 3D quality in its output – see below:
PS! After nearly half a century, the Rolling Stones have finally produced an album to measure up to their raw and raunchy efforts of the mid-’60s. Released a few days ago “Blue and Lonesome” is a grand R&B (the real stuff, not that wimpy crud that passes as the genre today) romp, full of great music and no filler tracks. Give it a listen.
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