Published on: 29th Aug 2016The past weekend we went on an impromptu Pilansberg National Park camping outing and because of the close proximity also visited Sun City. We left Sun City just before sunset (too late if you asked me...).
Less than 10 kilometres from Suncity on the way to Pretoria, on the R556 - we passed a piece of undeveloped land on the right which is cleared for some reason, except for all the larger thorn trees which were left standing in this bare landscape (I think it will become some sort of new development as there are quite a number of these developments in the area). By the time I realised what I saw, I already passed it and immediately made a u-turn to investigate it from closer by. The fence was still visible but run down, so after I took one photo of a tree close to the fence, I noticed another beautiful scene a little further in - and decide to investigate it even closer... But each tree lead to another and soon I found myself running from tree to tree - really running - to capture this unique landscape. It is an absolute rare phenomenon to find these thorn trees without the typical undergrowth of grass and thorn shrubs. It was like being in paradise. It became a race against the setting sun as the infrared photos look their best in direct sunlight.
On Friday, before leaving for Pilansberg, I received my X-T1 from Fujifilm after they converted it for me on special request to infrared. Like its forerunner -the X-E1 - it is now fitted with a 590nm infrared filter and will spend the rest of its life as an infrared camera.
On the Saturday morning I created a custom white balance using the new (barely visible) green leaves of one of the thorn trees in the camp site - one have to use whats available. I took these photos using that custom white balance. No post processing accept for fixing some skew horizons were done - correction, I had to lighten 2 photos and darken another to get the set to look reasonably the same as all the photos were not taken with the sun at the same angle towards the trees. The first photo was taken at 17:31 and the last photo was taken at 17:48. Sunset was at 17:59. Why did I leave 11 minutes too early?
Thank you to the owner of this piece of land for deciding to spare the thorn trees from disappearing.
(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)