Category: Sunrise / Sunset

"Union Strike" © Harvey Grohmann

“Union Strike” © Harvey Grohmann

Shot details: Nikon D7000 | Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM
ISO-400 | f/7.1 |2s | EV -0.0 | Program Mode: AP | AF – Manual Focus | Tripod & GimPro Gimbal
Post Processing in part with Topaz Labs
Location: @ Pretoria, GP, South Africa.

Chasing Highveld storms on a typical summer afternoon. This lightning struck perfectly behind Pretoria’s Union Buildings and inspired the name “Union Strike”; considering how many labour strikes South Africa has endured since ANC rise to power in ’94 it’s ironically appropriate. The “Freedom Park blue lights can be seen bottom left. Photographing storms is not for the faint-hearted. Toward the end of shooting (2 hours) the storm was moving our way. The sheet lightning was awesome to see but we “bolted” and escaped all the same!

Gear I use: Bodies: Nikon D-SLR’s / Lenses: Nikon, Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar
Filters: Hoya UV & Polarizing / Flash: Nikon Speed-lights / Bag: Lowe Pro
Tripods & Heads: Manfrotto / Grips, Triggers, Timers, Batteries etc: BandH
Editing Plug-in: Topaz Labs Noise Reduction, HDR, B&W Conversion & more!

ALL IMAGES ON THIS SITE ARE © Harvey Grohmann. Read more for Terms and Conditions:
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Fine Art Print. My tribute to Dire Straits. It achieved a Top Ten (6/168) in the DPChallenge August Free Study.

Communiqué © Harvey Grohmann All Rights Reserved

“Communiqué” © Harvey Grohmann. All Rights Reserved.

Nikon D90 | Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8 EX DG | Hand Held

If you want to learn how to shoot images like this please Contact Me for affordable and fun hands on practical tuition with your camera in your time at your leisure in your home town or you wish to order a copy of the print please Contact Me.

Gear I use: Bodies: Nikon D-SLR’s / Lenses: Nikon, Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar
Filters: Hoya UV & Polarizing / Flash: Nikon Speed-lights / Bag: Lowe Pro
Tripods & Heads: Manfrotto / Grips, Triggers, Timers, Batteries etc: BandH
Editing Plug-in: Topaz Labs Noise Reduction, HDR, B&W Conversion & more!

ALL IMAGES ON THIS SITE ARE © Harvey Grohmann. Read more for Terms and Conditions:
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Red-Knobbed Coot © Harvey Grohmann

Red-Knobbed Coot © Harvey Grohmann

I recently had the pleasure of co-hosting a winter visit to Marievale Bird Sanctuary with friends, colleagues, birders and photographers. Up at 4am & a 5am departure from Midrand we arrived at the gate at 5h50. The trek up the reserve to the old bridge (built in the 1880’s) was mostly dark but on arrival in partial light saw us step out into -8.5° C temperature. Some of the wetland waterways were thinly or partially frozen over but it didn’t deter the Red-Knobbed Coots who were swimming away merrily and feeding before the sun had even shown itself, nor the Cape Shovellers or Red-Billed Teals from flying in. All in all we spotted over 50 species of birds, from African Rail, African Snipe, Purple Gallinule, Little Swamp Warblers, African Marsh Harrier and Greater Flamingoes. Water and Yellow Mongoose were seen as were a Mountain Reed-buck pair. With the arrival of AMD (Acid Mine Drainage) and the massive influx of invasive reeds clogging the waterways the numbers of birds is decreasing, due de-oxygenation and algae and increase of contaminants thus a lack of fish and insects.
Despite this Marievale is still a wonderful place to visit. Get there if you can! Especially in summer and as a group.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates of tours, workshops. Bookings and enquiries via the About/Contact page.


View Midrand to Marievale Bird Sanctuary Provincial Nature Reserve, Nigel, South Africa in a larger map

Gear I use: Bodies: Nikon D-SLR’s / Lenses: Nikon, Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar
Filters: Hoya UV & Polarizing / Flash: Nikon Speed-lights / Bag: Lowe Pro
Tripods & Heads: Manfrotto / Grips, Triggers, Timers, Batteries etc: BandH
Editing Plug-in: Topaz Labs Noise Reduction, HDR, B&W Conversion & more!

ALL IMAGES ON THIS SITE ARE © Harvey Grohmann. Read more for Terms and Conditions:
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The Park’s expansive scenery from grasslands surrounded by the Maluti Mountains is a photographers dream. Hiking and birdwatching are also a great reason to getaway here at the first opportunity. Many unusual species of bird can only be found here. Why did it take me 30 years to visit Clarens and Golden Gate National Park!?

Mild highveld summers with the possibility of thunderstorms in the afternoon and cold winters with occasional snow transforms the park into a white wonderland. Birds are a lot more scarce in winter but it shouldn’t stop you from being vigilant, as they are there and patience is required to get sightings and photos. I went to try catch a glimpse of the bearded vultures but despite a wonderful new hide funded and built by the SAN Parks Honorary Rangers on the site of the old hide, there were no regular drops of carcasses despite Park staff insisting this happens on Thursdays.

I’ve underlined the species I saw on my trip bar one or two LBJ’s I’m still identifying.

Look for Cape Rock-Thrush, Pied Starling and Red-winged Starling, Malachite Sunbird, African Stone Chat, Yellow Bishop, Ground Woodpecker, Swainson’s Spurfowl, Cape Rock-Thrush, a number of sparrow species and Cape Weaver. Cape Grassbird and Bush Blackcap in summer have been seen at the Campsite as well as Barratt’s Warbler between the wooded bush and the sandstone cliffs. Alpine Swift and African Black Swift nest in summer and Rock Martin and Greater Striped Swallow. A pair of Verreauxs’ Eagle usually breed each year on the ‘Brandwag’ or sentinel buttress, directly opposite the hotel; other smaller raptors such as Lanner Falcon and Rock Kestrel. Behind the hotel the valley has been noted to be good for African Harrier-Hawk, Cape Grassbird and Wailing Cisticola. Grey-winged Francolin, Bearded Vulture, Cape Vulture and White-necked Raven. At protea Corner look out for Gurney’s Sugarbird and Malachite Sunbird, especially when they are flowering. There’s a small dam on the Western side of the park and African Black Duck, assorted warblers and Southern Bald Ibis breed in the park and surrounds.

Winter temperatures can drop to a mere -9 to -15 degrees C with snow a regular occurrence.

Golden Gate primarily falls in a summer rainfall area (September to April). Annual rainfall is approximately 760 mm per year. In very wet years this figure can rise to 1250 mm. The area is prone to sudden weather changes.

Gear I use: Bodies: Nikon D-SLR’s / Lenses: Nikon, Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar
Filters: Hoya UV & Polarizing / Flash: Nikon Speed-lights / Bag: Lowe Pro
Tripods & Heads: Manfrotto / Grips, Triggers, Timers, Batteries etc: BandH
Editing Plug-in: Topaz Labs Noise Reduction, HDR, B&W Conversion & more!

ALL IMAGES ON THIS SITE ARE © Harvey Grohmann. Read more for Terms and Conditions:
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Thank you Mother Earth for presenting me a palette to take images like this:

Gear I use: Bodies: Nikon D-SLR’s / Lenses: Nikon, Sigma, Tokina, Vivitar
Filters: Hoya UV & Polarizing / Flash: Nikon Speed-lights / Bag: Lowe Pro
Tripods & Heads: Manfrotto / Grips, Triggers, Timers, Batteries etc: BandH
Editing Plug-in: Topaz Labs Noise Reduction, HDR, B&W Conversion & more!

ALL IMAGES ON THIS SITE ARE © Harvey Grohmann. Read more for Terms and Conditions:
(more…)