Cape Recife Lighthouse

At the end of June my parents and I went holidaying in Port Elizabeth.

After touring SAMREC we went for a walk/shoot on the beach at Cape Recife; a nature reserve including SAMREC and the Cape Recife Lighthouse.

The beach was full of abstract patterns, textures…

…and rocks of interesting shapes and sizes.

While exploring, I discovered this section of rock covered in flies – I half expected to find a rotting body around the corner. (By the way, did you know that a group of flies is called a business?)

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions about my images!

SAMREC

At the end of June my parents and I went holidaying in Port Elizabeth.  On the third day of our trip, we visited SAMREC: South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre.

The centre takes in a wide range of injured seabirds and attempts to nurse them back to health before releasing them back into the wild.  Here are a couple of their current inhabitants: a cormorant, and a cape gannet.

The penguins had their own enclosure, including a brick-red wall which made a decent background.

When feeding time came around, all the penguins lined up to get their fish.

This little guy was having a claustrophobic moment during feeding time; I took this shot through the thick, scratched glass that looks into the penguin pool.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on my images!

Maitland beach

At the end of June my parents and I went holidaying in Port Elizabeth.  After a boat cruise and late lunch on the first day, I took some shots of the sunset at Maitland beach – being the middle of winter, and fairly far south, the sun rose and set at very respectable times (these shots were taken around 5 pm).

In the middle of the beach stood a deserted lifeguard’s hut, which immediately drew my interest.

I approached the hut from multiple angles, including above. This was taken from a viewpoint next to the road.

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that P.E. has a few wind farms, which are able to generate renewable electricity (though later I found out that they have severe implications to birds which migrate through those areas – so perhaps it’s not a good thing after all).  The turbines from one such farm could be seen peeking out from behind the dunes.

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As always, I’d love to hear any comments and critique on my photos.

Raggy Charters boat cruise

At the end of June my parents and I went holidaying in Port Elizabeth.  Our first stop was the Algoa Bay Yacht Club, from which we set out on Raggy Charter’s Penguin Island Boat Cruise, from the PE harbour to St. Croix Island.

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We had some incredible sightings – a plethora of sea birds, two types of whales, some seals, and a pod of bottlenose dolphins.

This is a bryde’s whale, which kept frightening the poor birds.  I really struggled to get a picture of it – it only surfaced for a couple of seconds at a time, and after resurfacing it moved to the opposite side of the boat. In the end these were my best two.

Most of the penguins were out for their daily swim, but we had some good sightings of these cormorants on the Island

All of the above images were taken using my Canon 1100D, with my 70-200mm f2.8 lens.  I’d love to hear any comments and critique on my photos.

The Wonders of Boulders’ Beach, Simon’s Town

At the end of May, my parents and I flew to Cape Town for a weekend.  Surprisingly, the weather was relatively decent (i.e., it didn’t rain 24/7!) so I managed to get a few photos which I was happy with.

The first morning after our arrival, I woke up early was able to catch the last few minutes of a beautiful sunrise.

Though the wind was howling, making it freezing outside, a huddle of penguins was making its way down to the sea.  The penguins posed most obligingly for me.

 

 

I also found this gull perched on a rock.  As it was back-lit, I decided to try a silhouette-style photo, and then converted it into black and white in Lightroom.

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Later on in the day, we took a walk down Boulders’ Beach to see the penguins and dassies (Rock Hyraxes).  I found some gorgeous scenery there as well.

Many of the penguins were babies or juveniles – that is to say, the penguins were even cuter than usual.  I desaturated a few of the photos in Lightroom.

The following day we visited the Botanical Gardens before our flight home.

Suncream, Sandcastles and Stunning Scenery: South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastline (Part 1)

This is for all the beach lovers out there (personally, I’m more of a ‘safari’ kinda person, but even I cannot deny the photographic inspiration that can be found around the coast).  Last month, my family and I went on a trip to the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast.  Before we left, I did some research on beach photography.  Here are a few of my favourite ideas that I was able to put into use:

    • Try to add an object in the foreground of your photo, such as a rock or even a sandcastle.
    • Footsteps make great leading lines.
    • A long exposure gives the waves a mist-like appearance (unfortunately I wasn’t able to use this as whenever it was dark enough outside, it would begin to rain – remember that for a long exposure you need very little light. You could use a Neutral Density filter, though, if you have one.)
    • There are many things that would work as good natural frames at the coast – the beams supporting a pier, or even something as basic as two rocks next to each other.

Here are my favourite beach photos from the holiday (be sure to also have a look at Forests, Fungi and F-stops: South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastline (Part 2)!):

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I found this rock while on a slow afternoon walk down the beach.  I thought it was a great representation of texture, especially with the different shades of brown.

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This cute little bunch of shells was on a very similar rock to the one in my previous photo.  Something about the harder, more geometrical shape of the ones on the right against the softer, curving shape of the ones on the left really appealed to me, and I quickly took to photographing them.

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Unfortunately – from a beach-goer’s perspective – the weather was very cloudy for most of our trip.  Luckily, this provided a wonderfully moody sky for some of my pictures.  For instance, in this photo – though I eventually decided to set the White Balance to ‘Shade’ to counteract the extreme blue tinge provided by the sky.

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I loved both the shape and texture of the pier – is it just me, or does it remind you of a spine and ribcage?  By underexposing slightly, I tried to emphasize the texture.  I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 to convert the picture to black and white.