Quick sunset shot

Busy morning, and we’re off to Stellies for some wine tasting this afternoon, so herewith a very quick denoised sunset shot from the weekend in Agulhas.

I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations, and I’ve worked out that the image above isn’t going to win any awards. What is is going to do is serve as a quota photo for today’s blog post – just in case things get messy later.

Which, given the amount of wine involved, they may well do.

Caught short

It’s the shortest day of the year in Cape Town (and elsewhere in the global south too, obvs).

That means sunrise at 0751, sunset at 1744 and just 9 hours, 53 minutes and 31 seconds of daylight today. That’s 1 second shorter than yesterday, and 0.65 seconds shorter than tomorrow. It might not seem like much, because it’s not, but these things do get measured and those are the numbers.

Make plans now. Don’t waste your 0.65 extra seconds of daylight tomorrow.

Of course, that means that it’s also the longest day in the Northern hemisphere, and from tomorrow, the nights will be closing in as they head inexorably towards winter.

This year, this fact is actually rather annoying, given that we’re heading up to the top half of the world very shortly. But still, because we’re staying (generally) to the west side of their time zone, and because we’re staying (exclusively) a lot further north than Cape Town is south, we’re still going to have some lovely late evenings.

In fact, sunset on our second night in Ireland will only be at 9:58pm. Sunset has never been anywhere near that late in Cape Town.

It’s been a long, hard winter so far, and we’re not out of the woods just yet.
But hey, South Africa: summer is just around the corner.

One last day

Getting this written early, because it’s clear that even the local cell network is not coping with more than 10 hours without power each day. The batteries in the towers run down during the first lot of loadshedding, never fully recover before the second, and simply die before the third session has finished. And it’s only going to get worse because they’re starting for progressively lower percentages each time.

It’s not good.

Thankfully, there are other distractions here, like the beach, the braai, the dunes, and several (or more) family games to play.

Oh, and the sunsets – very pretty stuff last night (unedited):

After yesterday’s run, I managed another wander this morning on the very soft sand and into a hellish headwind to get a few snaps of Mrs 6000 on her beach ride (horse, before you ask).

And now, another gentle day before a walk round to the local lighthouse and a decision of whether the braai again this evening or head to the local pub. Both options have their merits, and for the moment, I’m completely undecided.

Long live pretending that this sort of thing being the most taxing problem I have to face.

Drone sunset

I’ve sat in my car park many, many times this year. In all sorts of weather (but mainly wet):

And I was there again last night for the team’s final practice session before the World Cup.
Last week when I was up North, I wished that I had brought my drone along. The sunset was incredible, but I was surrounded by ugly buildings and tall trees, which didn’t make for any decent photography.

So this week, rather than miss out again, I did take my drone along. And predictably, the sunset was completely rubbish.


I’d actually packed the drone away and was settling down in the back of the car to watch an episode of Only Connect when I spotted the first tinge of pink in the sky. And while I didn’t think it was going anywhere, I knew I’d be pissed off if it did and I missed it, so I unpacked and set up again and by the time I got flying… well…

First things first: this is a stacked image of 5 bracketed shots, given that the sky was BRIGHT and the mountain was DARK. I’ve already been accused of RBOSSery by someone on the family Whatsapp group (wow – et tu, Brute?), but in fact, it’s actually UN-RBOSSed:

Look at that! And that’s just because there was far too much going on in the sky for the teeny, tiny sensor on my aging drone to handle. So no, definitely no RBOSS or hypocrisy here*.

I think this image would have been better with a bit more Table Bay in the mid-ground, but I was just down the road from Blouberg (aka “Blow”berg), and the South Easter was pumping. I was getting wind warnings even just up at 30m, so I decided not to risk much above 50. A bit irritating, but there are some things that you just can’t control, and hey, I still have a drone this morning, so that’s nice.
Always look for the positives.

Because the World Cup is coming up, I’m not going to be in my car park for a while now, and when practices do start again, they will likely not be 4 or 5 times a week, so I think this was a really good way to sign off for a while.

* Add a bit of Whatsapp compression and I can maybe kind of see where he was coming from, but I’m still rather hurt.

I… I have no words.

Thanks to the work of the Ramsey Bay Over Saturation Society and their insistence on pumping up the Lightroom sliders to unbelievable levels, we’re now all painfully aware of the #RBOSS phenomenon.

Using software to make shots look better than they actually were is fine. Of course it is. It’s when you go WAAAYYY over the top that it gets silly and ugly and then when you have the audacity to suggest on social media that “it came out of the camera like that”, well, then we’re really heading way down the road of RBOSS wankerdom.
It’s just deceitful karma-harvesting and it pisses me (and a lot of other people) off.
Quite reasonably.

I’m talking about stuff like this, this and this. It even spread to Bergen, which really doesn’t need assistance in looking good in photos.

But all of that (literally) pales into insignificance with what I saw on a Sheffield Facebook group this morning. Because… I mean… even when a sunset is spectacular, you can’t claim that it looked… that it looked… like this:

What in the ever living fishcake has happened here?

This isn’t “Tonight’s sunset over the village” as the protagonist claims. This (I think) used to be Aston on the border of Sheffield. But this isn’t a sunset. This is the actual star crashing into our planet. This is thermonuclear detonation. Billions of megatons of raw explosive power blasting out streams of plasmatic energy across the rolling hills of South Yorkshire. Every atom right across the Western sky exploding in perfect synchronicity, creating an ultra-electromagnetic shockwave that instantly kills everything in its path.

And it’s not helped by comments such as “Absolutely gorgeous!!! [several heart emojis]” or “breathtaking!”. The only breath that’s being taken here is your final one as the blast of hyper-energy – having melted your eyeballs in a nanosecond – sucks the very last molecules of oxygen from your lungs, leaving merely a smouldering pile of desiccated remnants where you once stood.

What makes it impossibly worse is that this guy sells images from his drone. It’s his business. He wants you to pay for this kind of thing. Money. Real money.

To be honest, this is beyond RBOSS. No-one could have known that the technology to over-saturate to these sort of levels even existed. We simply didn’t think it would ever be possible, but this guy has unashamedly gone multi-Sharples.

End times are upon us.