The Amazing Sunset at the Lodge

As promised in an earlier posting: some sunset pictures shot at the Stanford River Lodge (Stanford, South Africa) and from a canoe in the adjacent Klein Rivier (= Little River). The camera settings adjusted to sunset/dawn. No photoshopping except for some cropping, grayscale and the copyright lines.

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Aircraft

It’s not easy to make pictures of birds if your equipment is limited to a maximum of 300mm. An 800mm lens is the least one should have to shoot wildlife including birdlife. But these lenses are from a budgetary point of view out of reach for many of us; especially if you want good quality. So simple souls like me have to stick to a bit of luck and cropping in photo-processing software.

Anyway, this week I gave it a try, in-between shooting a spectacular sunrise. Tomorrow (next posting) “More Aircraft”; part of it grounded….

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The Stanford River Lodge

And this is the Stanford River Lodge where I’ve been taking the pictures of the last few posts. More images (sunset) will follow in one of the next postings.

The first image I made Wednesday March 6 at around 6 PM.

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The second photo was shot Tuesday 5 March at around 6 AM. It shows that there is clearly a difference between the color of morning and the color of evening light.

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Reflections in the river

Yesterday I published some trial pictures of the sunrise at the Stanford River Lodge. While shooting I also clicked in between some reflections in the river.

And yesterday evening I discovered that this blog has 200 followers and I’m also aware that the last weeks the number of weekly new followers is increasing…. Number 200 is a promising young photographer/artist. Promising….?… well … stunning pics!!!!

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The amazing chilling sunrise at the Stanford River Lodge

Most of the pictures I shoot are from either our garden or our direct surroundings. Recently we met John and Valda of the nearby Stanford River Lodge and they were very supportive towards the photo-maniac I am. I already knew that the lodge is situated at a prime spot for photographers, bird-watchers and people who can enjoy natural silence. I really enjoyed it this morning and I will go back many times; starting with a sunset. This morning was just a trial but very much worthwhile. During the next days you’ll see more images taken from and nearby the jetty in the river.

The published pictures are all in chronological order. The Scene Selector of my camera was adjusted to dusk/dawn. No additional photoshopping except cropping and adding the copyright lines. It just shows the influence of (sun) light on the different pictures. Images shot within a time frame of approximately 45 minutes.

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Made in South Africa

A bit funny …. Yvonne is wearing Tsonga shoes for several years now and many South Africans make remarks as if these shoes are made in Europe. If she tells them that Tsonga is a South African product they won’t believe it. Negative self-reflection does not contribute to nation building. Buying locally made does!

The sandals she’s wearing (approx. 100 days per year) in the picture are 3 yrs old and are far from ‘wearing out’.

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At last: Wine Tasting

This week I had two posts about the grape harvest and the grape processing at Springfontein Winery. I promised to keep the tasting ‘in the barrel’. Well …. tasting is something personal for everybody has his/hers own taste buds. The majority of overseas tourists in South Africa choose for tastings at cellars of which the wines are commonly known in the supermarkets abroad. And also most South Africans go mainstream. If you are as stubborn as I am go for a surprise. Who has ever heard of Reynecke in Stellenbosch? Sumsare in Robertson? Or Veenwouden in Drakenstein? And have you, until my first post about this subject, ever heard of Springfontein?

If you like the wine of an ‘unknown’ cellar just buy a bottle for a special occasion at home. If you can buy these ‘collectors items’ in Europe or where-ever you live you probably pay a fortune. The average price of South African mainstream wines in the mainland of Europe is, for whatever reason, 20 to 30% cheaper than at the cellar. Sounds strange but is true!

But also from a visual point of view the ‘unknown’ cellars can surprise you. See here the tasting room of Springfontein reflected…

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After the harvest and tomorrow we taste

Growing grapes is one thing but creating excellent wines of grapes demands at least as much craftmanship. Although modern technology helps the wine maker he/she still needs the, as the Germans say, ‘Fingerspitzengefuhl’. At Springfontein in Stanford, South Africa, the grapes are first manually graded (no machine can do it that good) and next the stalks and (partly) skins are automatically removed… well to keep a long story short: via cooling, pressing and (temporary) storage, etc. the wine matures in wooden barrels (and after that some wines mature a few extra years in the bottle in an optimal environment  such as a cellar or climatized room).

You can read between the lines that wine-making is a kind of magic and I don’t understand any of it but I can tell you the difference between a good and not so good wine.

Let’s keep the tasting for tomorrow. Here a few post-harvest pictures.

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Light conduct

There are spot lights and spot on lights. It all has to do with ‘streamlining’ light. Libar in The Netherlands always has been (since the eighties) on the forefront in the development of transparent conductors and later in the design and engineering of upmarket high quality light elements. Not easy to acquire them for these elements are only for sale in selected shops around Europe but you can also try online.

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