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September 01, 2011

Beautiful Boulders Beach – A Cape Town Tourism Photo Essay

Driving round False Bay on a drizzly winter afternoon I stopped off at Boulders Beach just outside Simon’s Town hoping for some good light and inspiring views.

Boulders Beach

The last time I was at Boulders was in mid-December and, as expected for summer and holidays, it was packed with people enjoying the beach and wonderful shallow water.

Boulders Beach

This time around it couldn’t have been more different. With the cool weather and light rain the beach was deserted and, bar the occasional visitor looking in for a few minutes, I had the whole place to myself, a rare privilege. I should add that it was high tide and, while the sea was very calm, if you know Boulders when the tide is in, the sea covers almost the entire beach. On a recent photo expedition around Iceland I learnt that wind, rain and water are no reason not to get the picture. So I was the crazy wet guy with his tripod in the sea…

Boulders Beach

Oh yes the penguins, one of the biggest attractions at Boulders is the colony of African Penguins. Now I’ve got nothing against penguins, they look cute and are very entertaining but I was there for the amazing rocks covered in sea life, lichen, etc, set in clear blue water with dramatic clouds rounding off the scene. Occasionally a penguin or two would waddle into frame and look expectantly at me: “What! no photo human?”, “Sorry dude you’re messing up my shot, move on”, “Weirdo”, and they’d duck into the water and swim off.

Boulders Beach

For the photo geeks here’s how I captured these images. I used a Canon 5D Mk II paired with a Zeiss Distagon 21mm lens – in my opinion the best landscape lens available. A 3 stop (0.9) soft grad neutral density filter to balance the sky exposure. This all combined with a 10 stop ND filter (Lee Bigstopper) to slow the exposure down to 30 seconds creating the glass like water. Post production was fairly minimal; I tweaked the white balance, some sharpening and a bit of masked saturation adjustment.

Do you have images of Cape Town you’d like to share with us? We’d love you to join the Cape Town. Live it. Love it. Flickr group!

Images ©  DavidBurstein


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