Secret Spot - Landscape Photography

There it is! I stood in disbelief at the breathtaking water cascade of the "secret spot"! Not only had weeks of searching paid off but the image I managed to capture has just been selected as part of an exhibition - my first ever!


One of the largest photography shops in Cape Town has a photography school linked to it who are hosting an exhibition. The theme of the Space Open Exhibition at the Orms Cape Town School of Photography is ENERGY. It will be running for a minimum of 2 weeks from Thursday 28 March 2019. I am very humbled to be displayed alongside such great photographers.

Image Selection

I have various images that portray energy in various forms but at the end of the day the choice was simple. This image and I have a special connection as I know the amount of energy I consumed in capturing it.

Behind the scene

Whilst creating my 2019 calendar featuring waterfalls and streams of Western Cape, I had one "must have" image in mind. There was very little information regarding this spot hence I aptly named it the "secret spot". You only start to realize how large and magnificent mountains are when you are scouting for a specific spot!


As I searched the bank of yet another stream I was taken by surprise as the bushes parted way revealing a hidden path. It snaked it's way upwards along the stream until vanishing around a bend. I was carefully tackling the mountain path when all of a sudden I caught a glimpse of a cascade around a bend. I eagerly pushed on and rounding the bend I was greeted with the most amazing scene. Finally I had found the spot!


Whilst catching my breath from the climb I realized that capturing this scene was going to be a challenge. It also become clear why no photographers had given the location away as there is only place for one person at the base of the cascade. The weather was overcast which was perfect for me to control the highlights and details in the water.


A vertical crop would draw the viewer's eye from the cascade to the tree in top left corner. In order to anchor the image I used the rock at the base of the cascade.


  • Camera mounted in a vertical position on a sturdy tripod.

  • Polarizer to reduce the glare on the rocks, this will also slow the shutter speed down due to less light.

  • 3 stop ND (neutral density) filter in order to achieve more separation (ie lines) in the cascade due to longer exposure.

  • Vertical pano (2 shots) in order to shoot the whole scene.

  • Focus stack in order to get the image sharp from front to back (merged in photoshop).

Settings for the image below as follows:

Aperture : F11 (for depth of field)

ISO: 100

Shutter Speed: 20 seconds (my camera has BULB mode, else you will required a remote cable release)


Feel free to leave a comment if you require any detailed explanation on the techniques used above.

Till next time...