Mountain Masterclass: 5-day Drakensberg Experience

Mountain Masterclass: 5-day Drakensberg Experience

Our two primary locations for this Masterclass considers minimum of travel and maximum of shooting time which is why our locations are so diverse; the heights of the Drakensberg as well as the valleys and enchanting forests. 
Now this tour is not a typical relaxing vacation, it is a serious photographic workshop with teaching/lecture sessions at the locations and photography guidance on the field trips. It’s aimed at those photographers or enthusiasts who wish to take their photography to another level, with a good learning curve whilst visiting amazing locales with a tutor on hand to help you create worthwhile images.

Our emphasis is landscape photography and the teaching sessions will cover creative, technical and editorial aspects. Guests may choose the topics they would like to cover during the tour. Thus the teaching can be assessed and customised specifically to suit individual needs. That is why this workshop is suitable for both beginners and more experienced photographers. The group can be split up as and when is required as the two instructors can each teach various topics for different abilities. 
The added bonus we keep for the end of the workshop is a print of their favourite image for each of the photographers, as an A3+ Fine Art inkjet print on an Epson fine art printer. (On the occasions we can’t transport the printer, we then courier the image back to the photographers.) Which is why we feel confident guests will want to book this workshop with us. 
 

Key Information

  • Price €957
  • Duration 4-5 days
  • Group Size 5+
  • Date 21/02/2020 - 25/02/2020

Highlights

  • The Amphitheatre - one of South Africa’s most iconic mountain faces. 
  • See the sun rise from 2400m above sea-level and half way up the Drakensberg.
  • Explore the Tunnel and its exquisite sandstone curves. 
  • Capture one of the most iconic views of the Drakensberg, seemingly only ‘discovered’ by experienced photographers. 

Itinerary

Part 1 - Thendele Camp, Royal Natal National Park

Day 1

Whether photographers decide to travel alone or to join Nature’s Light in travelling, we should all arrive just after lunch at Thendele in the Royal Natal Section of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg National Park (there are detailed directions for participants opting to travel in their own vehicles). Nature’s Light can provide transport from King Shaka International Airport in Durban. After a short rest and introductions, the workshop group will leave for a photo-shoot to the Cascades to photograph waterfalls and flowing streams. Thereafter we are off to eat the some of the best pizza in the country!

Day 2

After a hearty breakfast our group will head out on a walk to the beautiful and fascinating ‘Tunnel’ at the base of the Tugela Falls. The Tugela River itself flows through this narrow sandstone gorge and the rocks form amazing abstract patterns and colours that are a delight. The 14 km walk is only moderately strenuous (7 km each way). The lush yellow-wood forests we walk through lead us up to the incredible views of the Amphitheatre massif itself as we move closer to the wall of the Drakensberg Escarpment. Back at our lodgings we relax, download images, do some editing and then it is ‘braai’ time for dinner. Then we set up our cameras for Star-trails over Sentinel Peak.

Part 2 - Witsieshoek, Upper Escarpment 

Day 3

An early start. Onto the boulder-strewn Tugela River we go, with the amazing Amphitheatre as our backdrop. There is not much walking so the day is quite restful as a result. After breakfast we spend some time on Photoshop and process our star trails before we pack up to go to Witsieshoek. Along the way we stop at several locations to do some landscape composition exercises and capture images amongst the sandstone boulders of Retiefsklip. Once at the fascinating Witsieshoek we will rest up a bit before a reconvening for a critique/seminar session on the morning’s processed images.

Day 4

We begin day 4 with a rather early departure for Sentinel car park as it is our goal to reach the Witches Viewpoint on this morning, halfway up the path to the famous Chain Ladder. This viewpoint is phenomenal to say the least. It offers up one of the most spectacular sunrise points in the Drakensberg. The walk is somewhat strenuous especially as the majority of it is done in the dark (which makes head torches compulsory), but the view to date is still one of the main highlights for most of our photography guests. We return after sunrise for a delicious full breakfast at Witsieshoek. Then a seminar, guided editing and a helpful critique session follow. For the late afternoon we head out for a photo-shoot before dinner and then another shoot follows dinner for some starry sky image capturing (preferably with a glass of wine in hand :)

Day 5

Our final dawn shoot is optional for the guests if they prefer to sleep in. It is however a perfect way to begin the final day. We will watch the sun slide up over the mountains from the edge of the ‘Little Berg’ as it overlooks Royal Natal and the Tugela River. 
Then after breakfast some fun; our photographers get to select and print their favourite image they captured as an A3+ fine art print on a Epson Large Format Printer that we bring for this sole purpose. 
At around 10 or 11:00am we shall depart, either separately or travelling back together to Durban’s King Shaka Airport. 
 

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