Welcome to Incredible Photographs, a series of short interviews on South Africa’s very best nature photography. We ask the photographers a set list of questions to gain insight into the previsualization, planning, capture, editing and reflection of their best photographs.
Where was this image taken?
I took this image on a camping trip a few years ago in the Du Toitskloof mountains.
Did you plan this image or would you consider it a stroke of luck?
We woke up on our first morning and most of the area was covered in low hanging mist. I waited for the mist to drop down a bit and thi scene revealed itself to me by chance.
If planned, how many times did you visit this location?
Unplanned, I found it by chance while scouting the area.
Did you use an ephemeris or AR planning app like Photopills or TPE?
No apps were used.
Do you have any images of failed shoots to provide some background on what goes into an image like this?
I’ve only visited this area twice, but I’ve only shot this composition once. I think it is one of those shots that require these specific conditions to work at all.
Is the location physically challenging to access or is it a brief walk from a parking lot? Also, would you consider the location safe to go shooting on your own or should one be cautious?
This area is fairly easy to access, but access is limited to Mountain Club members.
Did you go out on a whim or was this shoot carefully planned in consideration of weather forecasts?
Our camping trip was planned around some interesting weather conditions that were predicted for the area (low clouds). The specific composition was not planned at all and I just worked with what I had on the day.
How did you feel when you saw the screen light up with that result?
This image is somewhat of a fine art image in my opinion. It's a more subtle and ethereal image, so it didn’t give me goosebumps when I first saw it, but it has grown on me over time. It feels like a scene out of Lord of the Rings or some fantasy world.
Let’s discuss the technicalities – shutterspeed, ISO, aperture, anything else?
1/20th, f11, ISO100
Body and Lens used?
Sony A7Riii with Sony G 70-200mm f4
Gitzo Traveler Series
No filters were used
Did you edit it the moment you got home or did you leave it in the photo cellar to mature?
My process is to usually try and edit my best images as soon as possible.
Let’s talk about enhancements made in editing
This image only required basic enhancements like adding some contrast. I also gave the image a cool/warm tone look by warming up the area on the left and cooling down the area on the right.
Do you think this image is one of your all-time top 10 photos?I wouldn’t say it is part of my top 10 all time images, but it is one of my favorite mist/low cloud images I’ve ever taken.
Do you feel you’ve done the location justice and you can move on now?I think the location is very weather dependent. This is the kind of location I will need to go back to a few times to get the conditions I want. This particular composition will only work when there is low hanging mist, so I’ve got a feeling I won’t be getting a second chance to shoot this any time soon.
Any advice for someone wanting to capture an image like this?
My best advice is to try and find a remote area on Google Earth and then just go and explore it. This will give you the best odds of finding a composition that has never been shot before.
Is this image for sale as a print?
Most of my images are for sale yes, feel free to check out my website for more info.
A big thank you to Janik Alheit for taking the time to answer our questions and his willingness to share the journey of creation behind the image. Below are the details to all his social media – please give them a like and a follow to show your appreciation. If you’d like to learn from him, check out their workshops and most of all, if you absolutely love this photograph, consider buying a print to support the artists.