Untouched

Sometimes, you take photos which you need to edit a lot.
Sometimes, you take photos which you want to edit a lot.

But this isn’t either one of those sort of photos.

Sugarcane Sunset

I was actually running through the fields of sugarcane near the Mozambican border to take a photo of a tractor, leaping gazelle-like over irrigation piping, because that’s the sort of thing I apparently enjoy doing. But then I glanced to the left and there was this, and I stopped because there are just some moments you simply have to record.

It’s the sort of point-and-shoot nonsense that always looks amazing at the time but never quite makes the grade when it comes to actually reviewing  the image later on. Except, for me at least, this one does. And yes, it did go into Lightroom as a RAW file, but it came out the other side without being touched at all, because I couldn’t find a way to make it prettier: even with my new Sharples #RBOSS™ preset.

Sadly, this is one of very few images I took this week that doesn’t need editing. And that’s why I’ve already spent quite a lot of my Sunday in front of the computer. And there’s plenty more work to do.

So let’s leave this here and get back to it, shall we?

Homework can be cool

One of the assignments for my son’s photography lessons this term was to take a sunset photo. And where better to do this than at the Southern Tip?

That’s why we spent a couple of evenings over the weekend at Rasper Punt. The first one wasn’t ever so successful, thanks to a sudden bank of cloud diving in on us, but conditions – while not perfect – were certainly better on Easter Sunday.

He had a very set idea of what he wanted to achieve and while I was there to offer hints and tips, he wanted to experiment, so I left him sitting in the bushes, went along the beach and togged a bit myself.

Like I said, nothing spectacular, but it was just nice to be out and about on a pleasant evening. And a couple of extra shots for the Adobe Stock library along with it. Double bonus.

I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to share what he got, once it’s been edited and is ready for submission. But if I can, I will. #NoRBOSS

Longest day 2018

It’s tomorrow, if you find yourself south of the equator. Which we are.

Cape Town enjoys a remarkable 14 hours, 25 minutes and 5 seconds of daylight tomorrow, with the sun rising at 05:31 and sinking below the Atlantic horizon at 19:56 in the evening.
That’s a whole 4 hours, 32 minutes longer than on the June Solstice.

It’s fair to say that you’d have to have blinked (literally) to miss the change from today though, because it was only a fraction of second shorter. That’s because the summer solstice for us has actually slipped into the early hours of the 22nd (coincidentally 22 minutes after midnight to be exact, for the purists out there).

Things go badly wrong on the 23rd though, with a massive 3 seconds shaved off our daytime, as sunrise creeps later a little more quickly than sunset does – and it’s all downhill down there until midwinter. By the the 28th, we’ve already lost a whole minute!

The latest Cape Town sunset this summer is 20:01 on the 7th January.

And the sun is closest to us on 3rd January at 12:50 – a mere 147.100 million kilometres away: Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99: wear sunscreen.

Meh: Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.

Short long weekend

We had a great long weekend. It had been too long since we were down in Cape Agulhas. And so, after a bit of a shaky start, we made the most of the Agulhas weather and welcome, and the only issue was that it had to end. I’m now back in the lab, knee-deep (no, not literally) in paperwork and I would much, much rather be back here:

The good news is that it’s not going to be another three months before we’re back there. But I think that the old adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” fits completely here. We didn’t realise quite how much we had missed it until we got back there.

Even over the busy Easter weekend, the peace and quiet was wonderful. The kids stepped away from their technology and drew, did puzzles, carved sticks and made rope swings.

And us – we just chilled. Took photos, had naps, walked the beagle, sat on the beach.

It was a great long weekend. Just not long enough.

STATS: June and the shortest day – Cape Town

We’re into June (cue comments of “where does the time go?” etc.) and Cape Town (last time I checked) is located deep (about 33 degrees deep) in the Southern Hemisphere.
The relevance of those temporal and geographical observations is that June contains our shortest day. And this year, much the same as every other year, June 21st has won through once again. [polite applause]

Note: I’m writing this on the morning of June 1st, but as I don’t know when you’ll read it, some of the tenses might be a bit off. What a tense situation (lol, geddit?) that may would have will been!

Today, June 1st, in Cape Town the sun rose at 0743, will reach its meridian at 1244, and set at 1745, giving a daylength of 10 hours, 02 minutes and 08 seconds.
Today is 52 seconds shorter than yesterday. I know you’ll notice/have noticed.

On June 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0751, reach its meridian at 1248 (33 degrees (who knew?) above the horizon), and set at 1744, giving a daylength of 9 hours, 53 minutes and 32 seconds.
That’s more than a second shorter than June 20th was and a whole 2 seconds shorter than June 22nd will be.

BUT…

The days only get longer because the sun sets later. The sunrise continues to be at 0751 until June 24th and then gets even later (0752) until 5th July. However, this delay is offset by the later sunset to the extent that by July 8th, we’re back to a daylength of over 10 hours.

On June 21st, the sun will be 152.034 million kilometres from Cape Town, and while than might seem quite a long way away, we’re going to drift even further away until (again, obviously) the 5th July when we will be 152.092 million kilometres away. That might not sound like a big difference, but that’s an extra 580,000 km, meaning that the sunlight will take an extra 1.935 seconds to reach us on July 5th as it does/did/will have did on June 21st. I know you’ll notice/have noticed/have will did taked note.

For comparison, Cape Town’s longest day is December 21st.
On December 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0531 (2 hours and 20 minutes earlier than June 21st), reach its meridian at 1244 (80 degrees above the horizon), and set at 1957 (2 hours and 23 minutes later than June 21st), giving a daylength of 14 hours, 25 minutes and 05 seconds (4 hours, 32 minutes and 27 seconds longer than June 21st.)

As for Cape Town’s latest sunset this year: you missed it (or maybe you didn’t, but it’s gone already) it was 2001 on January 6th. The sun that day was “just” 147.101 million kilometres away. Light from the sun took 16.648 fewer seconds to reach us on January 6th than it will on July 5th. And light goes fast, hey?