We hosted our very first landscape and seascape workshop at the beginning of September this year. Our venue was in Gansbaai, which lies right in the middle of the Overberg between Arniston, Hermanus and the Farmlands stretching from Botrivier to Swellendam..
We kicked off with a sunrise at the Kleinmond lagoon on the first morning. Conditions weren’t bad, but not spectacular. It gave everyone a bit of a chance to accustom to the concept of auto exposure bracketing and how landscape photography works. Everyone was quite taken aback by the fact that you drive to a place, get your compositions and equipment ready, wait for the light to peak, take a few shots and then you’re done. It’s usually quite a change for people who are used to doing travel style photography where you walk around for hours taking photos of everything you see, or shooting wildlife where you drive around all day in search of animals. Landscape photography is like a military mission. You go to your destination, do a reconnaissance of the area, decide on the best option, wait for the right moment and make sure you get a single shot that justifies that moment.
We went to the Walker Bay nature reserve that afternoon, an endless white beach with sandstone cliffs that stretches from Gansbaai to Hermanus. The weather was looking dramatic and promising, but a spring rain storm quickly approached and we made it to the cars just in time.
Cindy van Wyk
The second morning gave us a stunning lightshow as we shot sunrise from atop the cliffs of Arniston, while golden rays of light poured through moody dark clouds over the turquoise waters. Each day’s sunrise shoot was followed by fresh filter coffee and a filling breakfast, then some photoshop work. We paid our first visit to the farmlands that afternoon, just enjoying a calm and relaxed sunset between the endless rolling hills.
Saturday morning everyone decided to sleep in and recharge their batteries, which also gave us some time to work on the photoshop while enjoying more of Linda’s brilliant coffee. The afternoon we headed back to the farmlands for another tranquil, but icy sunset. The following morning we had a brilliant sunrise at the old Hermanus harbour as a phenomenal beam of pink light shot through the mountains to illuminate gray skies. A Perfect display of light to end off 4 very productive days.
We learned as much from our first landscape workshop as the clients did and we have already taken those lessons to improve on our future workshops.
- Although Gansbaai is centrally located, we found that it necessitates too much driving to get to the locations, so for 2011 we will be hosting separate workshops on either sides of the Overberg to minimize the time spent on the road.
- We will provide all transport between locations.
- The 2011 farmland workshop will be earlier as the weather balled us with the timing of the canola this year.
- We are looking into providing our workshop clients with Lee graduated filter kits, which will avoid having to teach the complex process of auto exposure bracketing and layer blending in such a short time. This will cut down on time behind the computer dramatically and allow us to spend more time out in nature.
Cindy van Wyk
Glynnis SalvadoAll images by clients that went on the workshop.