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Top of the world

Posted by
dobbino (Cape Town, South Africa) on 24 June 2009 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

If one wants to take photographs of the sunset from the top of Table Mountain during the winter months, one is limited to a fairly short period when the sun sets before 18h00. This is because the last cable car down from the mountain departs at that time.

On Friday (two days before the winter solstice), Jacqui and I took the trip up the mountain, specifically to watch and photograph the sunset. The Friday morning was very clear, but when we went up in the late afternoon it had already become a bit hazy, so a lot of the distance shots unfortunately didn't come out.

However, we were admiring the view and enjoying a quiet glass of sparkling wine at a spot quite close to where this young lady had settled down for a short period of reflection and meditation. She saw me taking photos of her and obviously didn’t mind – maybe she knew I would end up with a special photo that would turn out to be one of my all-time favourites. She looks so peaceful and serene there and the rays from the setting sun just add that something extra to the whole scene. So imagine yourself there, 1085 metres above sea level, not a breath of wind, cool but not cold, with a view to die for - bliss.

One can't really get a sense of how high up we were, but tomorrow's post will give a better perspective. In the distance, one can see the Atlantic Ocean.

Shortly after I had finished taking my photos, the lady came down from the rock, handed me her camera, and then asked me to take a few photos of her sitting there. I hope they came out as nicely for her as this one did for me.

Title from the song by The Carpenters

Canon EOS 40D 1/200 second F/8.0 ISO 400 85 mm

All images © Rob Minter, and licensed in terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 South Africa License

Lylou & Roland from BESANCON, France

Really strong picture... Nice light... The woman is "IN"... Great 5 stars for me !

24 Jun 2009 5:19am

@Lylou & Roland: Thank you so much!

k@ from Paris, France

A soothing place here too - love the light**

24 Jun 2009 6:31am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Very peaceful.. beautiful light!

24 Jun 2009 7:47am

MrsAmber from West Wickham, United Kingdom

The photo is splendid in so many ways. I am glad you interacted with the girl..I bet she is impressed by the shots you took on her camera! What a portrait for her to have. Will look forward to tomorrow's shot then...

24 Jun 2009 8:44am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

I see I missed an excellent selection while I've been out and about Rob. Lovely combination of sculptural rock and person here. Liked the macros and yesterday's almst abstract too.

24 Jun 2009 9:03am

Eric Fry from Houston, TX, United States

Fantastic scene, Rob, and a great decision to wait for the gorgeous light!

24 Jun 2009 9:38am

ManuelaR from Hainburg (Frankfurt/Main), Germany

The light is gorgeous!

24 Jun 2009 10:02am

Aaron Schmidt from Auckland, New Zealand

When I lived in Paris I would sit on the edge of this bridge that overlooked Notre Dame. Reading in the setting sun was always my favourite thing to do there. One time a photographer came by and took 30-50 shots of me. It didn't bother me at all (in fact, I was a little flattered) - being a photographer myself I understood that a good subject is hard to find. I wish I had talked with him though... I would have loved to see his photos - I'm sure he got 1 or 2 good ones.

Your photo reminded me of my experience. This is a stunning image. Thankfully she got you to take some pictures with her own camera. Even if they're half as good, I'm sure she'll be pleased.

24 Jun 2009 10:02am

@Aaron Schmidt: Thank you, Aaron - your comments are much appreciated, and I'm pleased it brought back good memories for you.

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

Indeed it is a soul-searching portrait, how stunningly beautiful, bravo for this portrait, I feel more peaceful just viewing it ;)

24 Jun 2009 10:28am

Veronelle from Lens, France

well done great portrait, i like it

24 Jun 2009 11:14am

Ronnie 2¢ from London, United Kingdom

This is exceptional . . a very powerful image full of meaning and significance. Beautiful.

24 Jun 2009 2:41pm

LauraS from Chico, United States

Ah, so peaceful and serene. I feel her meditation, and the light is perfect. Thanks for sharing all of your narrative with the stunning photo.

24 Jun 2009 3:38pm

zOOm from Paris, France

Beholding the sea ! yes, a great and ideal place to entwine with natural elements, to get rid from noise and crowd.

24 Jun 2009 4:15pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

Oh my, she looks gorgeous in that beautiful light. Excellent shot. So serene.

24 Jun 2009 4:19pm

jeff (aka dogilicious) from Millerstown, PA, United States

Very beautiful shot. The composition is outstanding.

24 Jun 2009 5:40pm

Jingz from Germany

a wonderful shot. i can feel the freedom :)

24 Jun 2009 6:56pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Very cool shot! I wonder what the view from up there must be.

24 Jun 2009 7:27pm

Graham Russon from Cape Town, South Africa

Magnificent shot, the setting and the serene model, has a zen feel to it all. Nice one, Rob.

24 Jun 2009 7:33pm

pernilla from Andonno, Italy

A beautiful and peaceful portrait. The light is fantastic.

24 Jun 2009 7:34pm

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Québec, Canada

What a great shot! The incredible light and her posture make it!

24 Jun 2009 7:36pm

peter from new york, Afghanistan

beautiful portrait! the lighting is just perfect : )

24 Jun 2009 9:43pm

Dulcie from Danville, United States

What a wonderful opportunity to make such a shot. Inspiring capture!

24 Jun 2009 10:37pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Marvelous composition. Exquisite lighting.

24 Jun 2009 11:29pm

Andrew Gould from Sydney, Australia

A stand out image, Rob. Wonderful composition, light and mood. I enjoyed reading your accompanying note, too.

25 Jun 2009 12:28am

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

perfect picture ! I love it

25 Jun 2009 8:34am

Mags from France

Very nice one, I love the compo, it's really great!

25 Jun 2009 10:43am

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

this is totally GORGEOUS!! and how awesome!! it looks to be simply a magical place!! a great height and view too!! bravo!!

26 Jun 2009 2:59am

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

Wow! This is really excellent. Just a wonderful landscape/portrait.

26 Jun 2009 12:23pm

Jason Kravitz from Brussels, Belgium

beautiful moment and image - great warm light

26 Jun 2009 1:06pm

MARIANA from waterloo, Canada

Fascinating image ! Congratulation on Spotlight !

26 Jun 2009 3:21pm

@MARIANA: Thank you Mariana - much appreciated.

stormtrooper from Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

Thats just cool man.

26 Jun 2009 5:03pm

angel from Iran


26 Jun 2009 5:59pm

Giovanni from Milan, Italy

Wonderful portrait! The light is marvellous!

27 Jun 2009 7:21am

ManuelaR from Hainburg (Frankfurt/Main), Germany

Congrats on you very well deserved spotlight :))

27 Jun 2009 8:20am

@ManuelaR: Thank you so much!

Lilly and Ronnie 2¢ from London, United Kingdom

Since making a Comment, we see you hit the Spotlight - Congrats, Rob !!

27 Jun 2009 9:48am

@Lilly and Ronnie 2¢: Sincerely - thank you for coming back and commenting again - much appreciated.

Barbara from Florida, United States

Outstanding! Incredible place for sipping wine or meditation.
Congratulations on making it to the AM3 Spotlight.

27 Jun 2009 12:03pm

@Barbara: Thanks Barbara - you know what it feels like, so you know I really appreciate your visit!

Judy from Brooksville, Florida, United States

Congratulations on making the Spotlight ... this is an exceptional image and your text adds to it.

27 Jun 2009 12:58pm

@Judy: Thanks Judy - and especially after all you have been through recently, I really appreciate your visit and comments.

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece

Very nice! Congratulations!

27 Jun 2009 1:57pm

@Eleftheria: Thank you, Eleftheria - appreciate your visit.

Bonj from Jefferson City, United States

Very nice shot and great story.

27 Jun 2009 7:37pm

@Bonj: Thank you very much for your kind comment.

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

CONGRATS ROB!! faaabulously done!! so glad i checked the home page before going to bed!!! bravo - bravo!! :D

28 Jun 2009 6:17am

@dj.tigersprout: Thanks DJ - you are a star!

Brian Chen from Seattle, United States

Beautifully shot, the light from the evening sun is just gorgeous.

1 Jul 2009 3:09am

Mehdi Memar from Iran

Hi, Very nice shot

8 Jul 2009 4:39am

Sadaf Agah from tehran, Iran

ah ! Beautiful !

10 Jul 2009 7:28am

MaryB from Staffordshire, United Kingdom

A superb shot Rob, and a belated congrats on making the spotlight page.

11 Jul 2009 2:45pm

Daryl Johnson from Farnham, United Kingdom

Just beautiful; what a feeling of serenity.

12 Jul 2009 9:26am

NaveenBachwani from Bombay (Mumbai), India

I've seen some of your splendid work, and also had the pleasure to catch the view from atop Table Bay, and I thought you could do better, really. There's too much distraction behind the lady, and a different vantage point could've got much more of the open sky in the frame, I think.

28 Aug 2009 10:51am

Mahdi from Tehran, Iran

Very nice shot

19 May 2010 10:50am

Canon EOS 40D
1/200 second
ISO 400
85 mm