Friday, 22 February 2013


In December last year we traveled through Molteno on our way to Hofmeyer...

It was a Sunday afternoon and a typically summers day. Molteno lies in the Eastern Cape and the town has some interesting architecture most noticeably the Dutch Reformed church that was build by Italian craftsmen. 

Click on images to enlarge

More info can be seen here at,_Eastern_Cape

Every single town that we drove through on our journey had at least one 'Chinese shop'. They sell cheap Chinese imports and often cant speak English. This is a new thing and I often wonder how they got here,  where do they come from and how did they get past the immigration authorities...? 

I used two cameras and three lenses for these photographs. My Mamiya Zd and a 50mm shift lens and the Canon 5d2 with 40mm pancake and a 24mm tilt and shift. I prefer to use shift lenses for architecture and structures because it shows the correct perspective.

I used a small spirit level attached to the camera via the hotshoe to level the camera. I would normally just shift the lens upward to minimize the foreground and include more of the building and sky. Aperture for the ZD is usually between f16 and f22 and for the Canon, f11. This results in fairly slow shutterspeeds that sometimes blur people and cars if they are moving. I don't really mind some blur but I usually make a few extra exposures that will  give me at least one usable image. Of course to use the shift lenses with resulting slower exposure I have to use a tripod. My favorite tripod at the moment is a Manfrotto Magfiber, with three way head. Its very rigid, sturdy and lightweight.

To convert these images into B&W I used Adobe Lightroom 4. In the past I used Nik Silver Efex for almost all of my B&W conversions but I have come to like LR4 more and more. It does not have the presets of Silver Efex but it gives a nice crisp natural image that reminds me a bit of silver halide prints...I am definitely going to experiment some more.

click on images to enlarge and please visit my website here

regards Ivan

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