Black and White Landscapes – Plains of Camdeboo and Valley of Desolation

Set against the vast and empty Plains of Camdeboo, abutted by the Valley of Desolation and surrounding mountains, the small Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet seems dwarfed, vulnerable, a fragile human outpost, more so when storm clouds gather.

Yet there is a beauty in the landscape, something stark and wonderful.

Storm Clouds over Graaff-Reinet

Valley of Desolation

8 responses to “Black and White Landscapes – Plains of Camdeboo and Valley of Desolation”

  1. These are fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

    Just curious…In the old emulsion-based days, I would use filters – red and polarizing, either separately or together to get these dramatic effects. Do you do this with software, filters, or did they just happen?


    1. Thanks Mark, so glad you like these images. I follow a number of steps, actually – starting with having a sense, when I take the photo, of the kind of image I want to create. This influences things like aperture and exposure, obviously. Then I process the image in Lightroom, in colour, before switching to the black and white module, and fine tuning, especially with the RGB sliders – drop the blues, increase the yellows, for instance, to darken the sky, lighten the earth tones. Then I export the file to Silver Efex Pro – in this case, using one of the presets as a starting point, and then working from there. Finally, I tone the image – in this case, using an ambrotype setting and increasing the amount of silver in the tone – decide if I want any vignetting – and, voila!


  2. However you achieved the results, brilliant.


    1. Thanks Ian. This is the digital equivalent of what you used to do in a darkroom, is all. A lot less messy!


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