First winter snow fall in the Western Cape

It all started with a phone call and the next thing we were checking weather forecasts online. We knew there was a cold front hitting Cape Town, but what exactly was the weather doing in the mountains at 2000ft or event 3000ft. After reading the snow report, we knew we had a good chance of finding snow with temperatures dropping as low as -10 degrees in the evenings and an average temperature of 2 degrees during the day.

It was on, we decided the Matroosberg Mountains would be the best place to find snow lower down the mountains, so we woke up at 5am on the 6th June, the car was packed with camera gear, food, coffee and pretty much everything we needed for an epic day out. We hit the road around 6am to make it to the Matroosberg Nature Reserve early. To our surprise we were the only car checking in for the day which meant we had the mountain all to ourselves.

It was suggested by the reserve officials that we let our tyres down to at least 1.5 bar if we were going do the 4x4 trail, and let’s be honest we didn’t drive all that way not to do the 4x4 trail, we were there for a real adventure. A few kilometres into the reserve the roads were less of a road and more of boulder hopping, rock sliding vertical climbs up the mountain. We pushed on and were eventually surrounded by snowy mountains with nobody else in sight. The cars thermometer blinked at 2 degrees continuously and our excitement increased with every metre gained. After about 2 hours of crawling up the mountain in 4WD low range we were welcomed by incredible 360 degree panorama views of snow covered mountains to explore all day.

We crept as close to the edge of the 1000m drop as we could and setup our spot for the day. With endless opportunities in which direction to explore, we wondered around on foot paths taking in the epicness of our surroundings. Eventually we couldn’t feel our fingers or face and it was time to brew some coffee, because we all know coffee tastes better in the mountains.

We made it back to Cape Town by 6pm to call it a solid 12 hour adventure day that has definitely set the tone for this winters missions.

Gear used: Sony a7iii body, Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4, Sony 70-200mm F2.8 OSS G

DJI Mavic Air with ND8 filter

Shooting with the Profoto B10 AirTTL Flash kit

Ok firstly, the Profoto B10 AirTTL flash kit is really expensive and not many of us have that kind of money to buy them, including myself. Im been lucky enough to build a relationship and use this lighting system thanks to ProfotoZA. Why are they so expensive and are they worth it? The answer is Definitely.

Ive had a lot of experience working with off camera flash systems, going back to my assisting days of working with huge bulky old school packs that need to be plugged into main power source. Not too say these are bad, often these produce the best light source and are extremely beneficial when working in studio.

My work mainly requires me to be on location and this means limited amount of gear (or what ever I can carry on myself). The Profoto B10 kit is perfect this type of work as they are battery powered and the flash head is a small package which only weighs 1.5kg and fits into my main camera backpack.

Each head is 250 w Flash, with 400 full power flashes on a single battery charge. This is enough the use in sunlight as a fill flash and work with the sun as your main light source. They are also Compatible with OCF Light Shapers which is incredible for location work giving you options to use various lighting shaping modifiers. In this shoot I used the OCF 2' Octa softbox as my main light in the front and one Profoto zoom reflector at the back to backlight the water splash and separate it from the dark background. A simple two light setup and is effortless to setup.

The Profoto B10 AirTTL flash also has a Built-in 2500 Lumen flicker-free Video light with adjustable 3000K - 6000K colour temperature which is unbelievable for video as well as creative lighting techniques for stills photography.

Gear used: Sony a7iii body, Sony Zeiss 24-70mm F4, Sony 70-200mm F4 OSS G

Camera settings for splash shot: 2500sec | F4 | ISO 200

Profoto gear: 2x Profoto B10 AirTTL flash, OCF 2' Octa, zoom reflector

Athlete: Mariella Sawyer - Triathlete

Red Bull Photography Academy

Red Bull Photography Academy, a week long workshop of information overload. Six photographers, a Red Bull international team of mentors and professional photographers. Advanced lighting, business insights, post production and self marketing sessions are just a few of the categories from the week.

Oh and also intense time pressured photoshoots with professional athletes. Learning from the best to become the best is the easiest way to put it. A dream come true to be exposed to and experience the most incredible opportunities. Imagine only having 30 minutes to work with an athlete to produce professional content and deliver to the client the same day. This kind of service takes prep and more prepping to operate under pressure in any type of situation. I needed to be the largest sponge in the universe to soak up all the information we were fed over this insane week but It has pushed me to create more and take my photography to the next level.

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