Pave the way

Go! Camp & Drive - - YOUR PHOTO -

In be­tween farm­ing, Tom Kotzé from Sch­weizer-Reneke trav­els all over our con­ti­nent. And he al­ways has his cam­era ready.

“It took more than 300 photos to get one I was sat­is­fied with. We camped at Kubu Is­land in Botswana, where we sac­ri­ficed quite a few late nights and early morn­ings to try and take pic­tures of the Milky Way. A friend of mine, Kobus Kriek – who, by the way, was the per­son who in­spired me to start tak­ing photos – was with me and helped with the light­ing. We pulled a yel­low shirt over a torch that we used to il­lu­mi­nate the trunk of the baobab. Mean­while, the cam­era was on a tri­pod and the shut­ter was open for al­most half a minute.”

When pho­tog­ra­phy was still in its in­fancy you could only take photos in bright sun­light. But the dig­i­tal era has rewrit­ten the pho­tog­ra­phy hand­book. One of the most re­mark­able im­prove­ments is how light­sen­si­tive today’s cam­eras are ver­sus the film of yes­ter­year. A film with an ISO of 1 600 was re­garded as a “fast film”, but quite a lot of de­tail on the photo went miss­ing be­cause of the grain­i­ness of this type of film.

Today’s Nikon D5, for ex­am­ple, has an ISO that reaches a stag­ger­ing 3 280 000. It’s ex­actly this jump in light sen­si­tiv­ity that makes night photos eas­ier.

At an ISO of 3 200, Tom’s photo shows min­i­mum grain and it doesn’t im­pact the photo qual­ity. You can even see the specks of the stars clearly to where it be­comes like a cloud of dust above the baobab. This cloud – the Milky Way – is like an ar­row point­ing to the tree.

It’s smart com­po­si­tion be­cause it forces your eye to­wards the fo­cal point of the photo. Tom uses a light to il­lu­mi­nate some of the de­tail on the tree, which

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