READER PHO­TOS

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The Drak­ens­berg at day­break, a camp­fire un­der the stars, a wa­ter­hole gath­er­ing in Etosha… Has your photo been pub­lished?

MARK PRE­STON-WHYTE

Canon EOS 7D Sigma 18 – 50 mm lens

MARK WRITES: The area around Didima Camp near Cathe­dral Peak is my favourite part of the Drak­ens­berg. I took this photo as dawn was break­ing. My set­tings: shut­ter speed 1/50 sec­ond; aper­ture f8; ISO 100. In my younger days I used to hike a lot in the Drak­ens­berg. Now it feels as if the moun­tains have grown taller and steeper – I can’t keep up with the young­sters any more. In­stead, I limit my­self to wan­der­ing around the Lit­tle Berg, look­ing at the high peaks. I’m lucky that my daugh­ters have in­her­ited a love of the Drak­ens­berg. They of­ten in­vite my wife and me to spend a week­end with them in one of the camps. I used to hike fast with my head down to get to a sum­mit; now I take pho­tos and en­joy the views. TOAST SAYS: You don’t have to climb to the high­est point in the Drak­ens­berg to get an amaz­ing photo, some­times the best shot is the one you take from the stoep of your ron­davel. Com­po­si­tion is key, even when the light is good. Do as Mark did and keep things sim­ple. Ask your­self if the sky adds drama to the scene. It does? Okay, then give it at least a third of the frame. (In Mark’s case, the golden light of sun­rise was still vis­i­ble in the clouds.) And what about the fore­ground? Without that lovely green slope fill­ing the bot­tom third of the frame, the scene would have been rather muted. Mark was also clever to in­clude a lit­tle house for a sense of scale. (It’s there – look closely.) There’s noth­ing wrong with hang­ing around the ron­davel and tak­ing pho­tos. You can ap­pre­ci­ate the moun­tains any way you like!

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