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Red Dawn - Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State, South Africa

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I have so many wildlife images to go through, it is immensely overwhelming at the moment to look at them. Luckily, I shot some landscapes on this trip as well, and a few stood out as really keepers. I'll do my best to intersperse them with the wildlife shots.

 

As I mentioned previously, I was in South Africa for two weeks with the first week bwing spent at the PSSA's annual congress. This year's theme was landscape photography and the location was near Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State near the little artsy town of Clarens.

 

And what do landscape photographers do? We get up at ungodly hours of the morning and chase light! This was sunrise on the third day and the location is near one of the many pull outs on the main road through the park. I'm sure it had a name, but we were in a hurry, so I failed to write it down. You see, the night before, a passing thunderstorm knocked out the power and my ride, one of the event organizers Johann, needed to make sure the right people knew about it at 5am so that the morning presenters at 9am could do their talks.

 

So Johann, Kendra, and I scrambled down the hillside and set up on the edge of this little valley. I kept moving and I'm glad I did as these rock patterns, red grasses, and the little pools of water made for a great foreground as the sun rose above the mist.

 

And before I get a ton of people asking, no I did not ditch my D300 rig. Nikon South Africa, one of the event sponsors (they paid for my plane ticket), loaned me a D3s, 14-24mm and 500mm lens for the week. The 500mm would have come in more handy for the wildlife, but I got good use of the 14-24mm. It is sharp, even at the corners. Great color and contrast rendering as well. Just no ability to use my filters, so this is a two exposure blend. One for the majority of the scene, one at -2 stops for the sky.

 

Nikon D3s

Nikkor 14-24mm @ 14mm

1/8 sec and 1/40 sec @ f16, ISO 100

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Taken on October 6, 2010