In EP11 of Adventure Photography On Location you can follow along as we climb the famous Lion’s Head mountain in Cape Town to capture the golden sunrise light over this spectacular city.
Three Flights and twenty two hours of travel it took us to get to Cape Town. And with nine hours time difference we were perfectly equipped for early mornings… (not)
But I didn’t waste any time and grabbed my E-M1 Mark II and hiking shoes and headed out to explore the amazing Cape Town skyline. Not buildings, but imposing mountains!
I met up with fellow Aussie photographer and friend Lauren de Sousa who has been living in Cape Town for over 3 years now. She was keen to show me around and took me to some of the local spots.
What I didn’t realise was that our very first climb up to the top of Lion’s Head was going to be such a spectacular one: Shifting puffy clouds, soft golden light, a rainbow, mist, a cave and oh, what a view!
It was clear: I was coming back with more cameras to create an APOL episode.
So the next day I climbed the same peak with Freya and we got to enjoy another spectacular sunrise. Unfortunately not quite the magic from the previous day… but hey, nothing to complain about either.
We retraced the route I had done with Lauren on the previous day and basically captured similar shots but in slightly different light.
With the harsher sunlight my wide angle M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO was flaring a little more than it had done on the previous day and I tried to be a little creative by working in the flares into the shots and making them a part of the composition.
A wide aperture and lens can really make for some nice big flares. Check out the comparison between a low and wide aperture to see the difference:
We then moved on to Wally’s Cave a little bit further down the mountain.
Here it’s all about framing. The cave isn’t particularly deep, but it faces the front end of Table Mountain and can create the perfect frame for this view. Add a person / the silhouette of a person in the cave and you’ve got a great shot.
It’s all about how deep you go and how far you zoom back in. The deeper you go and the more you zoom in the ‘tighter’ the frame. I suppose you can call this compressing the shot. It’s similar to shooting with a long focal length to compress the composition… (see the effect demonstrated in the video).
Like I mentioned, Cape Town has it all, right there. A 5min drive from the city centre and you can go for some serious hiking and adventuring.
Cape Town comes with a sunrise and a sunset side, moody clouds rolling off the mountains, Atlantic fog, beautiful golden hour and a range of activities that scream adventure.
What’s not to love about it?
As usual it was all about keeping it light. Every single shot of the episode was captured with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO. Not because I didn’t feel like changing lenses, but because it was by far the best lens for the job.
I filmed the episode in Cinema 4K (4096x2160px) and flat profile (except for the time lapse sequences of the clouds – that was recorded 1920x1080px – All-I) . I used a second Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (thanks Olympus!) and the 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO for the filming of the episode.
This camera + lens combination has become my favourite video kit. The sensor + lens stabilisation is a miracle and seemingly by magic (and incredibly engineering), manages to smooth out ±90% of the shake I produce while handling the camera handheld. No need for a tripod or gimbal!
For the final render I downscaled the footage to 1920×1080 and cropped it to 16:9 aspect ratio for YouTube. By using a larger recording format you get more detailed looking downscaled image and I’m very pleased with the final result. This episode looks more detailed than anything I’ve recorded so far and I’ll be using the C4K recording mode on my E-M1 Mark II from now on.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (x2) – http://bit.ly/2jSptJP
M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO – http://bit.ly/2kgKjWo
M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO – http://bit.ly/2kblOYA
Lexar 2000x UHS-II 300mbs 64GB SD Card – http://amzn.to/2Dw27V2
Peak Design wrist strap – http://amzn.to/2F2MMeP
Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit – http://amzn.to/2rvqj89
Manfrotto BeFree Live Tripod — http://amzn.to/2E0s9Rb
Røde Video Mic PRO — http://amzn.to/2DXOC17
Walimex Aptaris Video Cage – http://amzn.to/2G7jT2B
MountainSmith Lumbar Pack – http://amzn.to/2DswFXC
Camera Insert for Lumbar Pack – http://amzn.to/2BmInRA
F-Stop Gear AJNA Backpack (orange) – http://bit.ly/FStopAjnaBackpack
I’ll be working on a new Lightroom Preset Pack during the next 6 weeks based on my Africa image edits.
This Preset Pack will be a huge help if you’re shooting in dry, bright and hot environments and like a slightly more high-key and every so slightly over exposed look, but without losing the detail or colour of your scene.
So stay tuned as I fine tune the presets in the coming weeks. Subscribe to my Newsletter to not miss out when they finally go online them.