On Gunfire Hill

The storm clouds have been developing nicely this week so I have been out to see if I can capture the clouds seething over Gunfire Hill with a live composite long exposure. I just managed to get the 1820 Settlers Monument (it’s on Gunfire Hill) into the frame at the bottom of the viewfinder with the clouds overhead. Then I took a five minute exposure at my usual base setting of half a second (so 600 images superimposed). Capturing cloud movements when the sun is very high – this was taken in the early afternoon – is really tricky as it’s so bright and you tend to lose a lot of the cloud detail but I managed this by combining neutral density (ND 8) and circular polarising filters.

Perhaps you can guess where I was standing to take the shot?


Roddy is a self taught photographer whose first camera, a Zeiss Ikon, was bought in 1974 from a second hand dealer in Glasgow. Through the forty years since then, he's taken landscape photographs with Pentax, Olympus and FujiFilm systems for his teaching and research as a geography academic at Kenyatta and Rhodes Universities. He has always been inspired by great nature and landscape photographers such as Nick Brandt, Beth Moon, Obie Oberholzer and Hans Strand. Since taking early retirement he has been able to pursue his passion for photography, published a photobook ’Symmetry in Nature and held three solo exhibitions at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. 

His landscape photography is about light: often at low angles, of forests, mist and clouds, the night sky and lightning. He prints on different media depending on the affects he wants to produce: brushed aluminium for reflecting angled light; Hahnemühle German Etching paper for soft diffusion; Ilford Metallic Gloss for vibrant night pictures.

His conceptual photography uses mirroring and merging of layers to explore patterns, motifs and the feminine in nature.