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The Southern Right Whale

The Southern Right Whale

The southern right whale is a baleen whale and one of three species classified as right whales. This species is easily distinguished from others because of their broad back without a dorsal fin, wide pectoral fins, a long arching mouth that begins above the eye and small rough patches of skin (or callosities) on its large head.
It has very dark grey or black skin, with occasional white patches on the belly. Its two separate blow holes produce a distinguishing V-shaped blow. Southern rights have an enormous head which is up to one quarter of total body length. The callosities on the head are made of hard material, similar to human finger-nails, which appear white due to large colonies of whale lice called cyamids. The number, shape and position of the callosities are unique to each individual whale, and allow us to tell them apart. Southern right whales tend to have a large callosity at the front of the head, called a ‘bonnet’.
Photos taken in Hermanus South Africa
Hermanus, Western Cap

Merino sheep

Merino sheep

Merino sheep.

The Merino is an excellent forager and very adaptable. It is bred predominantly for its wool, and its carcass size is generally smaller than that of sheep bred for meat. South African Meat Merino (SAMM), American Rambouillet and German Merinofleischschaf have been bred to balance wool production and carcass quality.

Merino need to be shorn at least once a year because their wool does not stop growing. If the coat is allowed to grow, it can cause heat stress, mobility issues, and blindness.

The Phoenicians introduced sheep from Asia Minor into North Africa and the foundation flocks of the merino in Spain might have been introduced as late as the 12th century by the Marinids, a tribe of Berbers.[citation needed] although there were reports of the breed in the Iberian peninsula before the arrival of the Marinids; perhaps these came from the Merinos or tax collectors of the Kingdom of León, who charged the tenth in wool, beef jerky and cheese.[citation needed] In the 13th and 14th centuries, Spanish breeders introduced English breeds which they bred with local breeds to develop the merino; this influence was openly documented by Spanish writers at the time.[8]

Spain became noted for its fine wool (spinning count between 60s and 64s) and built up a fine wool monopoly between the 12th and 16th centuries, with wool commerce to Flanders and England being a source of income for Castile in the Late Middle Ages.

Most of the flocks were owned by nobility or the church; the sheep grazed the Spanish southern plains in winter and the northern highlands in summer. The Mesta was an organisation of privileged sheep owners who developed the breed and controlled the migrations along cañadas reales suitable for grazing.

The three Merino strains that founded the world’s Merino flocks are the Royal Escurial flocks, the Negretti and the Paula. Among Merino bloodlines stemming from Vermont in the USA, three historical studs were highly important: Infantado, Montarcos and Aguires.

Gear used:

Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark II

Zuiko 300mm f4 PRO

Photographer Sandro Tasso Wide Angle photo studio

Franschhoek and Paarl

 

Destemming

Destemming time at Boekenhoutskloof Wine Farm Franschhoek

Destemming time at Boekenhoutskloof Wine Farm Franschhoek

The harvesting of wine grapes is one of the most crucial steps in the process of winemaking. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels with winemakers basing their decision to pick based on the style of wine they wish to produce. The weather can also shape the timetable of harvesting with the threat of heat, rain, hail, and frost which can damage the grapes and bring about various vine diseases. In addition to determining the time of the harvest, winemakers and vineyard owners must also determine whether to use hand pickers or mechanical harvesters. The harvest season typically falls between August & October in the Northern Hemisphere and February & April in the Southern Hemisphere. With various climate conditions, grape varieties, and wine styles the harvesting of grapes could happen in every month of the calendar year somewhere in the world.

After the grapes are sorted, they are ready to be de-stemmed and crushed. For many years, men and women did this manually by stomping the grapes with their feet. Nowadays, most wine makers perform this mechanically. Mechanical presses stomp or trod the grapes into what is called must. Must is simply freshly pressed grape juice that contains the skins, seeds, and solids. Mechanical pressing has brought tremendous sanitary gain as well as increased the longevity and quality of the wine.

The destemmer, which is a piece of winemaking machinery that does exactly what it says, removes the stems from the clusters and lightly crushes the grapes.

Modern crushing and destemming machines consist of a large steel or aluminum trough with a screw in the bottom. As the screw turns the grapes are gently squeezed and pulled from the stems at the same time. Out one end pops the stem and out the other is your elixir of life (to be). 

For white wine, the wine maker will quickly crush and press the grapes in order to separate the juice from the skins, seeds, and solids. This is to prevent unwanted color and tannins from leaching into the wine. Red wine, on the other hand, is left in contact with the skins to acquire flavor, color, and additional tannins.

Shot in Franschhoek at Boekenhoutskloof Wine Farm

Gear: Olympus OM-D EM-1 mark II

Lenses: Zuiko 25mm f1.2 PRO | Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO

 

Polo game at Val de Vie Estate

Polo game at Val de Vie Estate

Polo game at Val de Vie Estate.

Val de Vie Estate, situated in the beautiful Paarl Franschhoek Valley, is a landmark of unsurpassed excellence. Here dreams are transformed into a breathtaking reality, making each event an extraordinary experience.

A polo game at Val de Vie is nothing short of spectacular, capturing a true sense of tradition and occasion.

Photographs by Sandro Tasso Olympus Ambassador in South Africa

Gear used Olympus OM-D EM-1 mark II and Zuiko 30

 

Supermoon

Supermoon

Supersoon

November 2016

This year, the full moons of October, November and December all take place when the moon is at its closest point of approach in its orbit around Earth — a so-called supermoon.

This full moon will be not only the closest and brightest supermoon of 2016 but also the largest since 1948. 

Skye

Photo shoot Skye

Photo shoot Skye

After two years I had the opportunity to re shoot this little amazing girl! Besides that Skye is turning in such a beautiful young “lady” I love to see how much she is growing I cannot wait for the next one!

Camera used: Olympus OM-D EM-1 and Pen F

Lens: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 PRO Olympus 300mm f4 PRO

Surfing at Muizenberg

Surfing at Muizenberg

Surfing at Muizenberg is a beach-side suburb of Cape TownSouth Africa. It is situated where the shore of the Cape Peninsula curves round to the east on the False Bay coast. It is considered to be the birthplace of surfing in South Africa and is currently home to a surfing community, centered on the popular ‘Surfer’s Corner’. Muizenberg has a fine, long beach that in effect stretches all the way round the top of False Bay to the Strand, a distance of over 20 km. False Bay, known for its population of White Sharks, also has a shark watch service that operates from Muizenberg, signalling alerts when sharks come in proximity of bathers and surfers. Above Muizenberg there is a line of steep cliffs that is very popular as a venue for rock climbing. However, certain parts of the cliff are off-limits to climbers when birds nest on the ledges.

Camera: Olympus OM-D EM-1

Lens: Olympus 300mm f4 PRO

 

 

Twins

Twins

Twins

I had the opportunity to take pictures to this two amazing little girls. I have spent few hours with them and they are really amazing full of energy and fun!

Location: Franschhoek Paarl

Camera: Olympus OM-D EM-1 and Pen F

Lenses: Olympus 45mm f1.8 Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 PRO and the new Olympus 300mm f4 PRO

Olympus 300mm f4 PRO

Olympus 300mm f4 PRO

Olympus 300mm f4 PRO

Olympus 300mm f4 PRO what a wonderful lens from Olympus. (35mm equivalent: 600mm) is a precision instrument that delivers pristine optical rendering across the entire image ‑ all packed in a metal body that is one of the most compact in its class. The fast aperture of 1:4.0 gives you full control of your creativity and outstanding image quality. It features the world’s first* 5‑Axis Sync IS mechanism, which works with your OM‑D E‑M1 or E‑M5 Mark II to realise an enhanced compensation by 6 EV steps. Tipping the scales at 1270g, this M.ZUIKO lens is up to 75 percent lighter than competitor’s SLR lenses ‑ while continuing to provide equivalent focal lengths for your nature, sports, telemacro or stage photography. In all weather conditions, extreme mobility is yours for any photo assignment! This must‑have lens with the high‑speed focusing ability of less than 300ms using the E‑M5 Mark II is beyond comparison.

Some sample images taken with Olympus OM-D EM-1 and Olympus 300mm f4 PRO