I’ve had such positive responses from my recent blog post on the Karoo that it’s inspired me to put together these ten images. This time all of the pictures are different styles in black and white. They’re taken from Mt Zebra National Park, which is just outside Cradock, along the R61 to Ganora Guest Farm and Compassberg – just before you arrive in Nieu-Bethesda.
I get these rich blacks in the landscapes if I use the wide-angle M.Zuiko 7-14mm lens. It really picks out the contrasts when there are clouds and captures lots of detail and texture in the foreground.
Lone tree, Blaauwater Siding, Nieu-Bethesda
Karoo sheep and water tank, Blaauwater Siding, Nieu-Bethesda
I used the same lens for this view. I love the way that the fence line and clouds pull you into the photograph.
Gate, sheep and sky, Blaauwater Siding, Nieu-Bethesda
When the sun’s lower then the light often gets much hazier. I’m looking either through or into the light in this next set of pictures.
Compassberg from Witnekpas, Nieu-Bethesda
Karoo skyline north of Mt Zebra National Park
Misty Road, Kranskop Loop, Mt Zebra National Park
The next pair of pictures were both taken using a zoom lens (the M.Zuiko 40-150) with full sunlight bathing the focus of the scene.
Grass and bush at sunset, Black Eagle Hike, Mt Zebra National Park
Karoo roadside view, N9, Middelburg
Lastly I’ve a couple of pictures that I took looking upwards with the body-cap fish-eye lens. That means the sun gets into your picture unless you hide it behind something!
Drought, Blaauwater Siding, Neu-Bethesda
Jointed cactus, Blaauwater Siding, Nieu-Bethesda
I’d love to get some feedback so let me know what you think!
We are having a long drought in the Eastern Cape – it’s only early Spring and already hot after a very dry winter. On the drive up from Grahamstown to Mt Zebra National Park and the Sneeuberg there’s hardly any green vegetation to be seen. The landscape is dominated by browns and blues showing off the textures, the grain of the land, the rocks and thorny bush.
Karoo Skyline from Mt Zebra National Park
On the way north to Cradock there’s a great big Karoo sky above you and the folds and wrinkles of the landscape stretch far into the distance. You get lovely skylines like this one – taken from Mt Zebra’s Black Eagle Hike towards sunset – and you might be lucky enough to be able to sit behind some boulders and quietly watch a baboon troop pass by.
Baboon troop in the golden light of sunset at Mt Zebra National Park
If you take the Kranskop loop in the Park then you leave the throne bush (and monkeys) behind and climb steeply up to get more great views.
Ververt Monkey in the thorn bush, Mt Zebra National Park
Off to the west of the Park the Sneeuberg range stretches away towards Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg.
Sneeuberg Landscape from Mt Zebra National Park
This is the countryside that you will drive through if you go west towards Nieu-Bethesda. My final picture is taken from the lookout where the gravel road crests and you get a view down to Ganora Farm. Nieu-Bethesda lies just beyond the middle range of hills.