Fynbos, fire and rebirth

The fynbos plant kingdom is the smallest of this planets 6 plant kingdoms, and is endemic to the Western Cape province of South Africa. This is a fire driven ecosystem, requiring fires at varying frequency from every 5 years up to every 30 years. In a natural environment, most fires are caused by lightning strikes, but in the modern human intervention environment they tend to occur far more frequently then is ideal. In the Table Mountain National Park there are areas that burn every year, usually caused by cigarettes thrown from passing cars.

But, from these burned areas, new life erupts. Today we visited one such area, burned just over six months ago. New life abounds.

New Zealand. Forests and rivers.

Torn between hunting trout and chasing light. The Hutt river, North Island, New Zealand. 

Playing around, harbours and 10 stop mountains

So the day was spent relaxing and moving around different areas of Hout Bay, Cape Town. We started with a boat ride out to Duiker island so my daughter could see the seals. It’s a fun ride, the sea calm and none of the usual icy cold wind.

After that we wondered around the harbour. I was amazed to find 4 sunken trawlers lying in shallow water along the piers. This is a small harbour, and I could not figure out why these hulks were just left there, like drowned reminders of some past.

From there I took advantage of Chapman’s peak drive to find a piece of escarpment to photograph. I’ve just bought a Cambriox ND1000 filter to add to my bag, so was keen to try it out. 

I found that even 10 stops were too little, but then again it was midday. So I stacked a little (yes I know…bad bad bad) – CPL+ND1000+ND8 = 2+10+3 stops = 48s @iso200, f14. I’m rather pleased with the result. Looking in Lightroom6, there was no colour cast, and only slight vignetting from the stacking, which was easily fixed in post. 

The full scene taken with a Huawei P9, just to show the vista. I want/need a 10 or 12 mm wide angle!!!

Till next time


Cape Hangclip and Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Sunday saw a early start, driving out to Cape Hangklip, on the far side on False Bay, South Africa.

We left home at 4am to get there before the sunrise, driving along the coast road. This is possibly the most scenic road in false bay, where one is able to see right across to Cape Point on a clear day. Also a great place to whale watch in the August/September whale season. Awesome place to take photos, of waves and rocks and plenty of opportunities to explore along the route as well. I would say this is one the sunset side of the bay – that is best light at sunset.

Cape Hangkip sits at the East end of False Bay, just outside Pringle Bay. This is where the land end turns towards the east. So sunrise becomes the best light of day, although I will be checking out sunsets on this stretch as well in the future.

The Cape Hangklip lighthouse

Unfortunately the skies at sunrise were not very interesting, with just a smudge of cloud. The waves however were not disappointing!

After the sun was well above the horizon, focus switched to the waves!! I love these in Black&White.

Rene taking an image of the waves breaking over the rocks
Waves and rocks
Incoming waves striking the rocks.

From there it was off to Kogelberg Nature Reserve to take images of the river as it meanders through the mountains. Got there midday, so not the best in terms of light, but such as beautiful environment cannot be overlooked.

In the flow


Into the Kogelberg Reserve. Such beautiful mountain waiting to be explored

That’s it for now – time to plan the next outing. More to learn, more to see, more to shoot.