“Yeah, I want to leave Cape Town at around 5am” I said. There followed, one of those awkward conversational silences. My words had jarred slightly, caused a little extra cognition.  And maybe some small amount of anger also.  There was a very good (but ultimately pointless) reason for hitting the road so early though, and I knew she wasn’t going to like it…

Paternoster is about 150 long straight kilometers up the West Coast from Cape Town, on a generally empty tarred road. In days gone past, I might have done the trip in just under an hour, but recently installed average speed enforcement now allowed travelers more time to enjoy the scenery. Which is mostly flat and featureless, in a desolately beautiful, big sky expansive kind of way.  I wanted to be there a little before the sun dragged itself out of the cold Atlantic, to scout out locations for sunrise landscapes. Hence the need for speed and an early departure.

As a photographer I always want to be out and about shooting during twilight, be it at dawn or dusk. Twilight, that magical light that transforms day into night and night into day, almost always brings out the best, most emotive facet of any landscape. The light being warm, liquid and directional defines contours and textures perfectly with it’s mix of light and shadow. There are exceptions though….

The thing about the West Coast, is that it really has a bleached out summer feeling. Those whitewashed walls with azure ocean and sky as backdrop, brightly painted fishing boats and endless beaches just love full bright sun. So sure, she wasn’t super happy when I ended up getting my best shots in the late afternoon.

There was plenty to console her though. Seafood, for one. Then a long beach-walk, on horseback. Then browsing the local art galleries and craft stores. Then more seafood.