R23 Scenic Route – somewhere between Standerton and Balfour, South Africa at the end of a long photographic road trip in December, 2012. The image received a Free Study 6.1397 over at DP Challenge. A fair result but 0.8xxx off the pace.
I’ve had the good fortune to travel around Africa on my photo tours/workshops and see many camps, lodges, parks, hotels, conference centres and the like. There are only a handful that are memorable and make you want to return time and again. Not just the scenery, wildlife, facilities and peacefulness but what really makes the difference is the people. Seokama is one of those rare places where you can relax with family and friends and truly feel at home.
At the beginning of, and throughout the summer I visit Dave, Monika, Peter, Ryan, John and Tepa. The Waterberg is one of my favourite bush-veld getaways. Whilst there are dozens of lodge choices in the area, I occasionally need some escape from the pressure of only chasing the Big 5 for clients and not focussing on the other wild and birdlife, scenery that Africa has to offer.
Seokama Private Lodge is this escape.
Lodge Building. Seokama Private Lodge.
Within walking distance from the lodge, 4 luxury canvas tents sleeping 8 on very comfy beds, each one with a covered verandah and an en-suite bathroom where the shower overlooks the bush at the back (just your head is visible!). A well appointed lodge with kitchen, lounge, bar and pool deck with views of the bush-veld savannah tucked amongst some beautiful mountains and landscape, a boma with Bush-Baby’s calling at night, has all one really needs to wind down. There is also a conference centre for hire, with facilities. Seokama has an abundance of bird life, especially around the summer rainfalls, as well as a good variety of game..
Buffel’s-Baai (Buffalo-Bay), Goukamma Nature Reserve, Western Cape, South Africa
Pushed the limits on the HDR (ToneMap?) here as an experiment. (It is not my favourite processing style but simply an exercise for me.) The Haloing (created during Post Processing) is more evident on the Medium-High quality (Flickr) JPG than on the full size original (PC). I will have to work on that to reduce or remove the effect when posting to web.
Shot with my Nikon D80 (CCD) which is far richer than the later D90/D300 supposedly more advanced (CMOS) sensors! with my new Tokina AT-X 124 AF PRO DX 12-24mm f/4. and NO filter…
This is the original (2006?) Tokina 12-24mm, with glass made by Hoya (the filter people).
The newer PRO DX II version apparently has less flare and ghosting due to some improved coatings, but I don’t think my PRO DX is as bad as it’s made out to be in some reviews, judging by the above and other results I shot this week.
I took more care with the above processing and whilst perhaps not as impactful as the first, it certainly is more realistic and believable.
I noticed this image appear in the mirror driving home yesterday and conjured up this concept of a road trip with no-one else in sight. Stopped the car in the rain, grabbed the D90 and bolted across the road to get a few shots. I waited until only one car was visible coming over the rise to get that feeling of independence and freedom that the open road is renowned for.
Unaltered photo, no Photo Shop post processing except USM (UnSharpMask)
Photo 101: As a photographer you should ALWAYS look behind you, especially when shooting.
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