Pelican low key

My guide to capturing low key nature photographs

I recently made a trip down to Durban and had some time on a Saturday morning to get out to the Botanic Gardens, one of my favourite places to visit when I am in Durban (see the previous post on the other places to see when in Durban: I’m coming home…part 2 of 2).  It was a clear, sunny morning, creating light that lend itself perfectly to shooting, unlike most of my previous visits that were mostly cloudy and on one occasion raining.  The large patches of shade on the small pond created by the trees that surround it and shooting indoors in the orchid nursery allowed me to try my hand at some low key shots of the birds on the pond and some of the orchids, resulting in some of the pictures in this post.  I got a number of questions on how I achieved these dramatic shots and so I will try to explain some of the technique behind the photos. Continue reading “My guide to capturing low key nature photographs”

I’m coming home…part 2 of 2

The second part of my post on my home town  was going to be on the things one should do when visiting Durban.  After all, while I may still call Durban home, very soon its not going to be my home town anymore.  I’m going to be one of the Vaalies (if indeed I haven’t already become one) who only visits during school holidays to make the roads busier, fill up the malls and make visiting the beach impossible.  As soon as I was done writing part 1 of 2, I edited the feature image and wanted to dive right in and have this post done immediately.  Then I got to planning and thinking about it and I came to a rather disheartening conclusion. Continue reading “I’m coming home…part 2 of 2”

I’m coming home…part 1 of 2

34 Bishopfield Close.  What’s in an address?  Type it in to Google maps on your phone and it will probably take you 500m down the road to a dead end(I find google maps on the phone terribly unreliable…).  Google street view on the other hand gives an image from 2009 of 3Ps Tuckshop, complete with it’s green wheely bin outside the front gate.  I think that wheely bin eventually got stolen.  It was replaced and the replacement was also stolen.  For a long time that’s what 34 Bishopfield Close was, 3Ps Tuckshop.  But not many people actually called it that.  It was more affectionately known as Aunty Lallie’s Tuckshop, after my mother who started up the business years before that carrying a basket to the primary school on the opposite hill.  When we were young we would be able to look out from the school playground and see 34 Bishopfield Close calling us back when the buzzer went.  Time before that almost seems unfathomable but trust me, there was a time before that.  For years it was a partially completed construction site, complete with a putt putt course that only had one hole but different tees.  And golf putters fashioned from metal pipes and tree branches that bent just so.  Farther back still, and before any construction started there was a set of very uneven stairs that seemingly went up a grassy bank in every angel except flat.  A grassy bank that was extremely fun to slide down using a cardboard box but one that would occasionally wash away if the rains were too heavy. Continue reading “I’m coming home…part 1 of 2”