|Mark, Kobus and Danie|
This was the place I had dreamt of capturing and as it was a morning shot with a fair walk for a not so fit photographer it meant leaving the lodge in the dark way before sunrise. To my surprise I managed to get there quite some time before sunrise and set up the D7000 with the premise of doing a panoramic stitch. The exposure times were like thirty seconds and in the distance clouds with a rain shower looked promising. All along I kept shooting and with long exposures and bracketing the sunrise soon approached. The anticipation was building and the stakes high so I decided to spread the risk by shooting digital and colour slide film not being entirely comfortable with either. The big moment came when the sun popped, the exposure changed, the stitching was furious yet controlled as one unsharp image in the series ruins everything and the camera for this auspicious occasion was the Mamiya 7 with slide film. This incredible scene was too big for me and my heart still lay with medium format film. Six shots for a panoramic series and soon two 120 slide films were finished. It was time for digital's turn now and the light was changing rapidly as the sun rose. With the Nikon D7000 I did three shot exposure bracketing and mostly shot pano series of six images knowing how quickly the light changes in the scene whilst the wind had picked up significantly. This was spraying and praying on a whole new level and I didn't even mention the XPan stitching!
Once back home I could see how many digital images I really took. My hope lay in the two rolls of Fuji Provia taken at sunrise however I hadn't taken slide film in ten years and since our local lab had closed down the colour film was sent to Orms in Cape Town who did a sterling processing job. I started photomerging the digital images and with help from Danie the digital images were really coming to life. Having just used Photoshop before Color Efex Pro had some fantastic tools to enhance the images.I was honestly pleasantly surprised at the digital results and after plenty of blending could remove the flare streaks. The position of the sun when I shot with the D7000 was much warmer and livelier as opposed to the film version. Not having worked too much with colour my Photoshop skills are not quite up to scratch and the film version or both could probably do with some tweaking.
Despite the confusion and all the spraying and praying with film, digital and different formats hoping that some great photograph would somehow emerge it still was a morning to remember. As my wise friend Danie often quotes "when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" and here I would take it as the one driving the digital nail or the one forcing the film nail however on the other hand there is always my friend Jack who could easily be the master of none! Finally a huge thank you to my photographic friends Danie and Kobus for the great trip, the enlightening conversation and huge inspiration. Thanks too to my Film Buddy Lawrance who like a wise sage has come full circle.
|Original six images from Nikon D7000 with Tokina 12-24 @ 12mm|
|Photoshop stitching using different images resulting in different flare streaks|
|Final Blend of Nikon D7000 images|
|Sunrise Panorama taken with Mamiya 7 and 43mm lens, six images using Fuji Provia|