Friday, February 5, 2010

Lone Photographer, Lions Head Cape Town - February Essay

Lions head has been good to me. I walked up it in 2004 and managed to put together one of my best images of the moon rising and the sun setting simultaneously. This was stitched into a panoramic, which I have printed up to 4.7m long!
So I wasn’t exactly expecting much on my walk up Lions head this last December, I mean, I had covered the place really well in 2004. What I didn’t remember though, is just how beautiful Cape Town looks from that beautiful vantage point on top of the head. I took the camera along, leaving all tripods and other camera kit down at the bottom. If photos were to be taken, they were going to be snaps- nothing serious. Or so I thought.

We reached the top and settled into an awesome picnic complete with Camembert, tapenade and red wine to complement the sun setting over the Atlantic. What a way to end your day! As the sun set, the wind picked up and clouds started drawing over Table Mountain. We were about to head back down the mountain when I noticed another photographer taking pictures of Camps bay below.
I realised that this was a great image- except I had left my tripod down in the car…

Fully reliant (and optimistically trusting) on new technology, I pushed the ISO up to 1600, rested the camera on a bag and snapped off a few frames at 1/3 sec. Very, very slow, but I needed the image!
This was the one that came out sharp and in focus. The rest were image blurs (probably due to the red wine.) It was an agonisingly long wait to see if the images were sharp on the laptop.

Was taught a small lesson on top of the mountain.
Never drop the standards you set.

Exposure information:
Nikon D700 - 18-35mm lens
Exposure – f 4.5 Shutter Speed: 1.3 sec
Exp. Comp. 0. EV
ISO - 1600
Flash - none
Exposure mode– Manual, Metering Mode– Matrix
File type– NEF (RAW)
Focal length: 20mm
Camera resting on bag

This article first appeared on
Read more!