Crank across the Cape

Nothing quite beats an Overberg morning for fantastic light, and the words ‘magic hour’ were most likely first used by a photographer looking through a lens at the landscape here within the shadow of the Langeberg and Sonderend ranges. Golden hues, eggshell skies, verdant mountains and endless rolling hills … it makes for an impeccable imaging space.

Not to mention the mountain biking … I may have been raving about the light, but the riders were beyond ecstatic about the landscape through which they were riding. No wonder, as they pedalled amidst the rolling hills of Swellendam and tackled the ecstasy and agony that comes as part of the deal with an ascent into the rugged fynbos paradise that is Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve.

The inaugural TransCape MTB Stage Race proved an unrivalled success, and the beautiful towns of the Overberg can once again look forward to hosting this amazing race in 2016 ... we know it can get bigger, but we’re not sure whether something so perfect can get any better!

The back roads of the Overberg make for a mystical backdrop as TransCape riders snake along the gravel tracks connecting Swellendam to Riviersonderend. The wheat fields, dust and dawn light combine to create a magical mountain biking moment, sure to be remembered by every rider for many years to come.

The fantastical light made this one of those images that pops into the view finder, screaming at you to depress the shutter button again and again. Which is what I did for nearly an hour until the morning haze burnt off, leaving me with some of my best photos from a whole week of shooting the event.

I wanted to compress the scene and opted for my 70-400mm GSM II zoom, shooting at f5.6, and fitted onto my SONY SLT-A99 DSLR. There was no need for tweaking or artificial light, as conditions do not get much better than this.

Body: SONY SLT - A99
Lens: SONY 70-400mm GSM II Telephoto Zoom
Focal Length: 400mm
Aperture: f5.6
Shutter: 1/800th sec
ISO: 1600
Lighting: Natural light only
Post-Processing: Adobe Lightroom 5
More info:

For information on the route and entry procedures, go to

Images taken on the route sections between Riversdale, Grootvadersbosch, Swellendam and Riviersonderend, en route to Greyton.
JMMsony-February 12, 2015_DSC5384
JMMsony-February 13, 2014_DSC0346