#539. The Monday Post (19 December 2016)

By Paul Perton | Monday Post

Dec 19

Not bad is it? The Monday Post (MP) that is.


Recent research has shown that most would-be bloggers give up at post no. 4. Admittedly, there are three of us here at DearSusan, but MP is already on post no. 4, so I’m signing-off on a round of pats-on-the back to all of us.


Actually, I like my co-bloggers a lot and if they weren’t in the back end of the Universe (instead of down here on the Southern Tip), I’d certainly be standing them several glasses of excellent local pinot noir, or perhaps some of our equally excellent shiraz, or maybe even a finely wooded chardonnay.


I digress (nothing new there).


It’s a quickie this week, though. Christmas is at hand and almost everyone’s attentions are largely elsewhere.


Down here, the summer is upon us and I’m raring to be out and about with camera.


But, the places I like to shoot are rapidly filling up with holidaymakers, most from up-country. Industry and commerce in South Africa has traditionally closed up over Xmas, predictably leaving retail as the sole working sector in the country’s economy. With a currency having high expectations of itself, but little real value, overseas holidays are closed to most, so the annual trek to the coast starts around now.


So, early morning outings need to be to places where there is no accommodation and little chance of joggers, or early morning meanderers, wandering through my viewfinder. The other option is to stay home and watch the arrival of morning and head out – usually on foot to somewhere nearby. It gets light fast down here and a last minute drive to get anywhere will ensure you miss a spectacular dawn completely.


Thursday was such a day. At 03:30, the sky was crystal clear and my plan to venture out for an 04:30 sunrise went into the bin. While supping a cup of essential Java, I decided to keep an eye on the sky, just in case.


Just as well I did. By 06:00 some cloud cover had appeared and the powers that be put on a spectacular light show.


Cape Hangklip - Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm f1.4

Cape Hangklip – Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm f1.4


Sunrise over the southern end of the Kogelberg - Nikon D800, Nikkor 28mm f2.8

Sunrise over the southern end of the Kogelberg – Nikon D800, Nikkor 28mm f2.8


These were shot with my D800 and forty year old 28mm f2.8 AI-s Nikkor,* or it’s sibling, the 50mm f1.4. Why Nikon, now? Having used my Fujis so much recently, I’d forgotten how comforting familiarity can be – everything was where I expected it to be and despite the D800 lacking an EVF, I wandered back to the house in the firm knowledge that I had a couple of re-assuringly good images.


Sunrise clouds - Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm f1.4

Sunrise clouds – Nikon D800, Nikkor 50mm f1.4


This time of year is also my annual check up time with the medical men. Wednesday was the day and en route, X-Pro2 on the seat next to me, I spotted this gauzy smoke high up in the Kogelberg. No doubt the result of a bush fire somewhere, it illustrates the air movement in the morning mountain light perfectly.


It also got a morning of interrogation, lifestyle lecturing, poking, prodding and blood-letting off to an otherwise perfect start.


* Why this lens? Ken knows

Smoke in the Kogelberg - Fuji XPro2, Fuji 23mm f1.4

Smoke in the Kogelberg – Fuji XPro2, Fuji 23mm f1.4

  • pascaljappy says:

    Thanks Paul. Lovely photographs (as usual) and yeah, I like the idea of the Monday Post too. Looking forward to that pinot noir 🙂 Know that Chardonnay in various incarnations awaits your visit here too 🙂

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I love the sunrise shots, Paul – I’m more of a night owl, so sunrises are unfamiliar territory for me – do they really look that colourful? – my recollections of them lie buried in a hazy mist of late nights (that ended up as early mornings), slinking home from night clubs, when I was young and single and very badly behaved. When you have a hangover coming on, and all you want is to make it to your bed and catch some zeds, sunrises tend to look anaemic and uninteresting – pale imitations of the glorious sunsets you can see over the top of a Campari & soda!

    After seeing yours, I must try getting up early, to check it out – my wife does, she heads off to the beach at that time of day – she assures me sunrises are beautiful too, and they certainly appear to be, judging from your photos.

    Is the Kogelberg on the route from where you live to the medic’s, or were you just stalling, and making a detour?

    • Paul Perton says:

      Hi Pete. The Kogelberg is the mountain range – the region where live.

      If you were standing beside me when I took this shot and turned around, you’d find yourself on the edge of the R44, which runs all along this coastal strip. Cross the road and climb the 300m/400m hillside, in front of you and down the other side – you’d find yourself pretty much is our garden. See here: https://www.google.co.za/maps/@-34.3146523,18.8396026,14.93z?hl=en

      So, no detour, more right place, right time.

  • Soso says:

    Absolute stunning sunrise images! Can you elaborate more on the Nikkor 28mm 2.8 Ai-s? Maybe a small, short review? Sounds like a very interesting lens that I never looked at. Thank you, Paul.

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