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The Basalt Fortress by hougaard The Basalt Fortress by hougaard
More images and info on my blog - www.hougaardmalan.com/blog

Me and my hiking partner left the sentinel car park in mellow temperatures and partial rain ready for a 2 night stay atop the mountains. As we gained altitude it wasn't long until vision was limited to a few meters by thick mist. One thing I learnt is that rock scrambles on wet basalt isn't fun when all you can see when you look down is a 80 degree slope disappearing into the mist. We climbed the chain ladders into near freezing temperatures atop the escarpment and walked until we found the Tugela river, then followed it until we could see the lip of the falls (2nd highest in the world). We pitched our tent and as if by some divine luck, just as we hit in the last few pens to secure the top sheet the higher rain clouds started clearing. The mist was just continually swirling up against the walls of the mountain kingdom they call Lesotho.

We grabbed our camera gear and ran for the edge of the cliffs, shot for 90 minutes straight until darkness and sub zero temperatures greeted us for a summer night atop the great Drakensberg. Lesotho is a very small country within South Africa with it's Southern and Eastern border being the Drakensberg Escarpment. In this photo everything below the cliffs is South Africa and everything above is Lesotho. The wall of the Amphitheater in this photo is at about 3000m and that little peak in the middle back (Mt Amery) is at 3143m.

I got a few okay shots, but all I learned up there is that I've got many back breaking hikes if I want to feel like I've done the beauty of that place any justice

5D II
24-70 f2.8
big stopper
3 stop hard
99 seconds

all rights reserved. This may not be used or reproduced in any way
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:iconlunafeles:
LunaFeles Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012   Photographer
excellent!
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:iconalexnagiphotography:
AlexNagiPhotography Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Hey Ive featured you here
[link] :)
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:iconflanggan:
flanggan Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011
what you went through for this awesome shot is a classic saga of determination! you did more than justice, you immortalized it! BRAVO!
Reply
:iconjasonkaiser:
JasonKaiser Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Professional Photographer
featured :: [link] ::
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:iconhougaard:
hougaard Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2011
Thank you very much :)
Reply
:iconalexnagiphotography:
AlexNagiPhotography Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
amazing
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:iconhougaard:
hougaard Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconnusunt:
NuSunt Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011
[link] Featured here. I hope you like it. Thanks
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:iconswongqt:
SWongqt Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011  Student Photographer
WHOA, amazingly breath-taking!
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:iconserhatdemiroglu:
serhatdemiroglu Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011
great work..
Reply
:iconporbital:
porbital Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2011   Photographer
I feature your work again [link] :)
Thanks,
Pete
Reply
:iconbeyondimpression:
beyondimpression Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Professional Photographer
This is beautiful.
It is amazing what nature creates isn't it?
Reply
:iconbeyondimpression:
beyondimpression Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Professional Photographer
o and btw... hahaha that water must have been REAL loud!
Reply
:iconcoulombic:
coulombic Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011   Photographer
Amazing, man. This is awesome.
Reply
:iconlily-m:
LILY-m Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
mmm amazing shot!
Reply
:iconvelky-jojko:
velky-jojko Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2011
Wonderful shot, well done on B/W.
Reply
:iconjieyi-lim:
jieyi-lim Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello!! I featured you here! [link]

:dance:

Happy New Year :hug:
Reply
:iconflippinphil:
FlippinPhil Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2010  Professional Photographer
What a show put on by nature, and captured briliantly!
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:iconneb11:
neb11 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2010
very dramatic
nice shot
Reply
:iconvideopixels:
videopixels Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010
Incredible, any dream of a South African to shoot those kind of images. 50 million people, maybe 1% know about this.
Reply
:iconhougaard:
hougaard Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
Yip. Most just want to go sit on a beach and drink!
Reply
:iconsarein:
Sarein Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010
Wow it's so beautiful. It's like Fantasia.
Reply
:iconthehomeboy:
thehomeboy Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2010
Fantastic!
Reply
:iconpestilence:
pestilence Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2010  Professional Photographer
Lovely, the B&W choise works really wonderful here! :)
Reply
:iconmorkelerasmus:
MorkelErasmus Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2010  Professional Photographer
superb work H!!!
Reply
:icongetcarter:
getcarter Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010   Photographer
:clap::thumbsup:
Reply
:iconjazzhead:
Jazzhead Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010
Nice..What does the color version look like?
Reply
:iconhougaard:
hougaard Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
Very blue and gray-ish...
Reply
:iconstu-dan:
Stu-Dan Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely fantastic.
Reply
:iconbringbrithehorizon:
bringBRIthehorizon Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010
Thats a hell of a great shot! :la:
Reply
:iconblooper1980:
Blooper1980 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010
Though it was table mountain for a couple of secs.. :) Good work. :)
Reply
:icondwth:
dwth Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010  Student Artist
This photo has been featured on Thumbs of the Week 149th.:wave:
Reply
:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010
the lost world....love it!
Reply
:iconjulesjustjules:
Julesjustjules Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2010
WOW!
Reply
:iconsofthea:
SofThea Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
awesome....
Reply
:iconappleplague:
ApplePlague Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010  Student Photographer
Amazing story! And love the picture!! :camera:
Reply
:iconsnaphappyalger:
SnapHappyAlger Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
This is so amazing!
Reply
:iconafeinphoto-com:
aFeinPhoto-com Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010  Professional Photographer
Oh man what a scene! Epic journey too. So rock me this...just held my hand up and try a 4:5 crop from the right side. All the sweetness is focused right/middle and the 4:5 eliminates the left side bringing the focus to a more cohesive finale. The muted gray above seems to bug me a bit too but overall what a sight to see :)

aF
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:iconhougaard:
hougaard Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
Yeah I definitely considered that, but I'm not a fan of changing aspect ratios. The light was very weird, blue channel clipped to hell and gone.
Reply
:iconafeinphoto-com:
aFeinPhoto-com Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011  Professional Photographer
nothing wrong w/ changing ratios...just the same as stitching. each scene works differently. crop is just another tool. yay weird light ;)
Reply
:iconaxlethebeast:
AxletheBeast Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Very interesting photograph, and captivating but I think it's the name that really sold it for me. A perfect title.
Reply
:iconhummingvoids:
hummingvoids Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
great and soft!!
Reply
:iconlife-flashes:
life-flashes Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
this is absolutely stunning! :faint: wonderful job all around! :love: hmm looks like it's time for me to get on some hikes!! :D
Reply
:iconocediis:
Ocediis Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
Stunning and mysterious!
Reply
:iconcheetahsintheearth:
cheetahsintheearth Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
oh my goodness! :love: this is so scenic i love mountains! so it can't be used as a drawing reference ???
Reply
:iconhougaard:
hougaard Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
It can
Reply
:iconcheetahsintheearth:
cheetahsintheearth Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011
oh, ok :)
Reply
:iconaprilclash:
aprilclash Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
pretty!
Reply
:iconruko777:
ruko777 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
simple perfection
Reply
:iconagent41:
agent41 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2010
Great piece!
Reply
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November 29, 2010
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