I'm going to kick off the Trekking Tripod with a couple of places that are close to home and close to my heart.
This is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa. It was supposedly bequeathed to the nation by Cecil John Rhodes a hundred odd years ago, but I like to think of it as my garden. It's got to be one of the finest gardens in the world, and it's located about 10 minutes away from my house, where my wife and I live ... gardenless. Come summer (it's just arrived for us southern hemispherians, woot!) and this is the place to be. For the cost of a day pass, or better yet a year pass, this can be your garden too.
Things to bring to Kirstenbosch:
- significant other
- picnic blanket
- two kindles (so as not to fight)
- long, cold drinks
- vienna sausages (don't ask me why, they just work here!)
- extreme relaxedness
I'm looking forward to many a summer Sunday propped under this very tree. The hardest part is deciding when to be in the sun and when to be in the shade.
Before and After
This HDR was part of a 9 exposure set, at 1 stop intervals. I usually rely on 3 shots at 2 stop intervals, but I was experimenting here. The before shot shows the centre exposure, and the after is the result of combining them all in Photomatix and cleaning up afterwards in Photoshop. My wife was in the picture at the time, enjoying a nap. That's her right in the middle, impersonating a rock. She fell victim to the 'cleaning up' when I photoshopped her out, and she will have you know that she is not impressed.
I often try and capture the effect of direct sun shining through leaves. I find it terribly beautiful in reality, but really hard to photograph. The camera exposure system usually screams and falls over. This HDR was an attempt to bring light into all the various parts of the picture, and as an added advantage ends up looking like it dropped a bit of acid along the way. I'm sure I saw a rabbit running by and exclaiming, "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" Didn't I?