The First Prize for the Professional Category of the WESSA Natural Heritage Photo Competition 2018 is two nights at the luxurious Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. So I was delighted to get the news that my photograph ‘Oldenburgia’ had won. It was a pity that I couldn’t be at the prize giving but we were travelling back to South Africa from Sweden – I got the news via social media whilst waiting for my luggage at Port Elizabeth airport! I’m really looking forward to taking all of my photo equipment along to Kwandwe. There’s the big five to photograph, stunning Eastern Cape scenery and, If I’m lucky, I’ll get a clear night for some shots of the Milky Way and star trails.
The winning picture showcases one of the big Oldenburgia trees at the top of the zigzags on the Oldenburgia Trail where it climbs up out of Featherstone Kloof, south of Grahamstown. I took the picture using a very wide angle lens on my Olympus OMD E-M5MarkII – it was set at 7mm focal length – which is what pulls the clouds down into the frame. It’s a 1/1250 second exposure at F4, ISO was 200. I did a little editing in LightRoom.