Series Black - Johannesburg Wedding Photographer | Ben Viljoen

Series Black

At one point my car said, “minus 9 degrees Celsius” and he even showed me a little * symbol as if to emphasize the fact. I was duly persuaded.

This was my first mid-winter fly fishing trip, and as I bravely slipped into the Vaal river (reasoning, naively, that my waders will successfully deny the sub 9 degrees water temperature) it dawned on me that I won’t have too many of these trips in the future. After about an hour or so passed, battling the stronger than usual current and the bone-chilling cold, I decided to take a lazy break under an upstream willow tree on the bank, in the company of two otters, a small raft of yellow-billed duck, and a banana.

Later on I fooled around again with an elk hair caddis imitation and a GRHE pattern, but a rising fish was nowhere to be cast at. The only life that seemed interested in the sudden appearance of the afternoon mayfly hatch were the black bulbuls, making short victorious flights over the water to gather a hatching fly. I watched them for a while and then decided that the early morning photo session was enough action for me for one day, and I snipped the tippet.


Photographically speaking I tried to see things slightly different than I usually do, getting in seriously close, as close as I could get with a non-macro wide angle lens, sometimes crawling on my hands and knees over ice cold rock formations and through frozen foliage, trying to see an interesting pattern or a captivating image structure. This is some of what I ended up with.



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