The Miners are Coming – Photo Essay on Platinum Strike

It was a large gathering of  3,000 AMCU union members that sang and danced inside the Wonderkop Stadium in Marikana last week.

The Miners are Coming

The meeting marked the first day that 100,000 miners in South Africa’s platinum industry downed tools in a bid for, among other incentives, a minimum of R12,500. Shot at 1/800 f4 with 24-105mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

The Wonderkop Stadium, there is a long barbed wire fence that has been erected since last years strike in May. Shot at 1/8000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

It has been two years since the same miners went on strike on August 16, 2012. The scene in which 44 people were killed below a hill, now infamously known as the Marikana Massacre. Since then the platinum industry has been plagued with wildcat strikes. Mines can lose an estimate of R100 million each day it fails to operate. Shot at 1/8000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

So it was with no real surprise that when the miners gathered last week, there was an air of anticipation. In the sweltering heat leader of AMCU Joseph Mathunjwa addressed the crowd. Shot at 1/1000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

Shot with the 24-105mm 1/1000 f4.0

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/3200 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter. I really love how the shallow depth of field isolates figures in a crowd.

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/8000 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/3200 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

The Miners are Coming

Shot at 1/500 f1,4 with 50mm lens and the ND filter.

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A landscape #photo holiday in #CapeTown part 3

The final part of my Cape Town trip. I went and bought myself an adjustable ND filter for Christmas from my favourite photographic shop ORMS direct. (I order my stuff from these guys in Joburg, they are brilliant when it comes to customer service and have the best prices)

Ever notice how polarized glasses eliminate the glare? Well the filter works like that, except with an adjustable filter you can determine how much glare you want to eliminate.

Cape Town

This means that not only can I shoot during hard light, generally avoided by landscape photographers, but you can also darken your exposure allowing you to shoot delayed images to capture waves. Shot at 4 sec at f22. (usually you would only be able to push an exposure to 1/100)

Cape Town

You would obviously need a tripod to stabalise the camera. 4 sec at f22

Cape Town

The power of an ND filter is seen during golden hour. Polarized lenses allow greater colour. 15 sec at f 22 with 35mm.

Cape Town

13 sec at f22 at 24mm. This is Clifton beach, arguably the most famous of Cape Town’s beaches.

Cape Town

My last sunset before leaving back to Johannesburg. 1/4 at f4 with 75mm

A landscape #photo holiday in #CapeTown part 2

For part 1 click here!

Following a great few days on the beach we traveled to the interior of Cape Town. Here there are many nature reserves perfect for hiking and camping as well as the origins of South Africa’s wine farms in Stellenbosch.

Cape Town

Before the arrival of my ND filter, we took a brief trip to the Helderberg Mountains. A Protea strewn nature reserve full of colour. 50mm 1/5000 at f1,4

Cape Town

Stellenbosch wine lands. 50mm 1/8000 f1,6. I find when I go to wine lands I look out for this type of photo. A down the line shot with the vineyards in the background.

Cape Town

4 sec at f22. On this particular day there were large swells hitting the rocks. I needed to find a means of comparing the scale of the waves, which is why I took this shot with the people sitting on the rocks.

Cape Town

Near close to dark a couple stood on the rocks giving me a chance to get a silhouette. A very photojourn sort of shot (sometimes you can’t avoid thinking of work with you are on holiday). 1/800 at f1,4

Cape Town

This was the last photo I took form this angle a day later. I had to wait for about an hour to get the right amount of white, with the rosey reflection in the water. 6 second at f22

Someone asked me to demonstrate the difference between a slow shutter speed and a fast. This was shot at 1/60 at f,16.

Someone asked me to demonstrate the difference between a slow shutter speed and a fast. This was shot at 1/60 at f,16.  Compare this to the above shot and you can also see the effects of depth of field. In this shot the ships in the background are blurry, whereas the foreground is sharp. Compare this to the above shot.

A walk in the clouds in the Magaliesberg

Just when you think Johannesburg can get boring it throws you something interesting to do. Over the festive season we snuck out the city to the Magaliesberg Mountains, an hour and a half drive toward Hekpoort, for a day hike at Rustig Hiking trail.

Despite some overcast and rainy weather the hike was completely refreshing and offered some fun photographic opportunities.These were taken along Route 2, a 5km trail that wound around the mountain range. For most of the trip we were lost in the clouds totally isolating us from the outside world.

Rustig Walk

Hiking on a rainy day in the Magaliesberg Mountains. I came across this wild fig tree growing on the side of a cliff. I was attracted to the contrast of the roots and the rockface as well as the way the tree disappeared in the cloud line. I shot upwards along the root line.  Shot at 1/1600 at F1.6 with 50mm

Rustig Walk

A lonely Protea flower on the hillside. Shot at 1/1600 at F1.4 with 50mm

Rustig Walk

Shot with my ND filter, I really wanted to make the reds, yellows and green pop out on the rock face. The rainy weather added more colour to the image as well as helped to darken the highlights. Shot at 1/1000 at F1.4 with 50mm

Rustig Walk

Rain drops in action. Some flowers grown into the rock face capture raindrops. Shot at 1/640 at f1.4 50mm

Rustig Walk

Wild fig tree roots along the rocks. Shot at 1/160 at f4.0 with 24mm zoom. The wider angle helped show the volume of roots along this part of the face.

Rustig Walk

I liked the verticle lines made with the roots in this shot. Also the varied colours of the roots. Shot at 1/100 at f2.8 with 50mm

Rustig Walk

Shot at 1/125 at f1.4. Water droplets on the veld grass.

Rustig Walk

Shot at 1/1600 at f1.4 with 50mm. This photo summed up the whole days hiking experience. The low level cloud enveloping the surrounding views. The lone tree is a protea indigenous to South Africa. Shot at 1/1600 at f1.4 with 50mm.