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The Gateway...

The Gateway...
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-01-28
Categories: Mountain
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EFS 18-55mm, Digital ISO 100, Hoya UV - 58mm
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-01-31 0:04
Viewed: 5403
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Golden Gate National Park
Maluti Mountains

Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park's sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag rock, keeping vigil over the main rest camp.

This 11 600 hectares of unique environment is true highland habitat, providing home to a variety of mammals – black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell's zebra - and birds, including the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) and the equally rare bald ibis, which breed on the ledges in the sandstone cliffs. Ribbokkop, the highest point in the park, reveals a breathtaking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening.

Structurally, the vegetation of Golden Gate can be divided into grassland and woodland/forest. The climate is considered to be the major environmental factor that influences the floristic composition and distribution of the vegetation units. The Afromontane forest is restricted to the sheltered ravines and gorges where the necessary moisture level is maintained and the vegetation is protected from unfavourable weather conditions, as well as fire. While in the valleys and on the south-eastern aspect of some of the slopes, the vegetation is dominated by Leucosidea sericea (ouhout) woodland. Isolated patches of Protea woodland (Protea caffra, P. roupelliae and P. subvestita) also occur.

The two dominant veld types are Highland-Sourveld and the Themeda-Festuca veld. When hiking through the park, one inevitably passes through stands of trees of which the flaking bark and silky-haired leaves are characteristic. These trees are called Oldwood (Ouhout), Leucosidea sericea, because of the ‘old’ appearance of the twisted trunks of the full-grown trees and because the wood burns like old, rotten wood. It is without doubt the most common tree in Golden Gate and belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae).

An interesting fact is that no fewer than 117 species of beetles belonging to 35 different families associate with the oldwood in the park.

It was my first trip I took to focus on landscapes only. I normally plan my trips around wildlife in the area. I would appreciate your input regarding this photo a lot seeing that I don't normally photograph landscapes. Hope you like it.

soccer, petrudamsa, radz, red45, PDP, coasties, wallhalla15, Janice, scottevers7, thistle, dew77, eleana, slrnovice2, sandpiper2, Athila, Luc, marhowie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To PDP: Thanx for the kind word...gerhardt 1 02-01 04:28
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Critiques [Translate]


Another lovely lansdscape. The composition here is excellent. Good contrast of colours too with the greens, blues and browns. Very appealing pic. Golden Gate is on my list, now I just need the time to get there!

TFS, Sheriff

Wow, what a stunning landscape. No wonder it's a National Park. Very well composed, great sky and rocks.

Regards, Petru

Baie goed Gerhard,

Ek was onlangs daar vir 'n naweek, maar het geen goeie lig gekry nie. Hierdie is 'n puik landskap. Ek hou van die anders dan normale hoek waarteen jy die foto geneem het.


Hi Gerhard,
Brilliant landscape!
Very nice colours and excellent composition.
Thanks for sharing!

Nice one Gerhard. I was there last year and the place is amazing. You captured the beauty of the park very well. Great colours and composition. And the sky looks great.

Well done and TFS

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2006-01-31 2:03]

Lovely Landscape!Liked the composition,great sky colours you captured.TFS!

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-01-31 2:38]

Ok Gerhard, you did it again :-) After looking at your beautifull picture I've made decision - I MUST visit SA someday. Too beautifull. Light, colours, clouds, sky, rocks, jungle - everything here is perfect!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-01-31 4:06]

Wow, Gerhard. A superb scenery.
A majestic rock excellently captured with the brilliant blue sky.
TFS. : )

Hi Gerhard

Great shot. Looks like the gateway to Utopia. Good colour. Well composed with sharpness, detail and clarity spot on. Nice work. Thanks.

Gerhard,, this is an excellent landscape. Great colours, excellent sharpness, a very nice composite. Thank you.

Hi Gerhard,
NIce capture. Very strong composition, colours are punchy and the cloud in the sky works well. I wonder what this place would look like a little later or earlier in the day when the light is warmer.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-01-31 4:28]

Wow! Very impressive posting here Gerhard, and very interesting notes too.
Good composition with the Brandwag Rock strategically placed. I like how there are no clouds above the top area of the rock, that came out real well. Good job, thank you.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-01-31 7:36]

Un endroit magnifique Gerhard!

La prise de vue est parfaite et la lumière fait bien ressortir les couleurs du paysage.

Félicitations et merci.


Hi Gerhard,
Superb landscape shot! The wide angle has really done a great job of making the large rock cliff a very dramatic focal point. Exposure is perfect!. The colors are very beautiful. Your detail, DOF, and clarity in this shot are amazing. Great job!

This is a beautiful image Gerhard.

I very much like the composition and warm lighting throughout, the dark blue sky and clouds are always a winner as a BG to this type of shot.

Your note is also an interesting read.

Great job, thank you!

  • Great 
  • tinman Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 7 N: 458] (2663)
  • [2006-01-31 10:08]

Excellent one Gerhard - great saturation and colour, almost polarised. Lovely day and you got it captured, well done

It's a very nice picture Gerhard!
Love the colours here, framing is really good too. I don't really know much about landscape photography, but I know that I like it ;)

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-01-31 16:54]
  • [+]

Hi Gerhard, I like it. The composition is good and it makes good viewing. I think if yo uwaiting just a little longer for sunset this would have been even better, either that or dull down the bright area of rock on the main subject. Lovely shot!

PS I'm suprised that you can get such a good result from that lens, I use mine to prop open my door :-)

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-02-01 14:04]

Hello Gerhard!
Very nice landscape.Colors,POV,DOF you managed,
framing,sharpness and composition are wonderful.

  • Great 
  • eleana Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 206 W: 80 N: 75] (2247)
  • [2006-02-01 19:33]

Great light on this rock, nice POV; if one word - beautiful!

Gerhard, this looks great to me. The only thing I would say is possibly it could do with something to give it a sense of scale - well that is what all the photography magazines say anyway. Personally, I think its terrfic. TFS :)

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-02-02 10:00]

Hello Gerhard,

Was this picture really shot with the kitlens?! If so, you get my well deserved compliments. I couldn't get any good photos with that lens myself and switched to the Canon 17-40/4L USM. I do think the brilliant weather you experienced on your shoot helped you out. The colors are wonderful and the composition is excellent. Well done & TFS!


  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2006-02-02 14:12]

Hi Gerhard
Stunning scenery. The light is so clear.
I tend to photograph more landscapes than wildlife (see TE). This is personnally to my taste as I love this sort of rockscape set off against beautiful blue skies (hopefully with a few clouds like this one.
Regards Toni

Its just a stunning landscape and great note.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-02-11 0:58]

Dagsê Gerhardt
Welgedaan. This is an excellent shot with a very good POF, DOF and colour saturation. Obviously this rock/mountains have been well photographed over many years and one mostly see it from the side, yet you have captured a very interesting angle here.
Well done for your attempt at landscape photography. I surely believe you can tackle your next expedition with confidence.
Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • captain (538)
  • [2006-03-19 21:56]

A super landscape of good proportions and well composed, colours and focus are good. Good work. Ian

  • Great 
  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2006-03-29 22:57]

I didn't know you were as good in landscape as in animal photography! It's a very nice capture with excellent color saturation. Of course this is kind of normal when you got perfect exposure on a sidelit subject and a clear blue sky. The warm color of the rock contrast beautifully with the dark blue. And the clouds put a touch of detail in what would have been a flat blue sky.
Great work Gerhard and TFS.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2006-04-29 6:44]

great, amazing view! so deep and clear. the sky is great against the rocks! great visual impact. tfs

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