DATE: 21-23 November 2014
I have teamed up with the owners of the amazing Guest farm in the Tankwa Karoo, Hammelhoek Private Game Reserve. This stunning farm is situated in the heart of the Tankwa Karoo.
The Tankwa Karoo is a place to cleanse the soul, far away from cellphone recep=on and even basics such as electricity, it make the idea place for a weekend photographic break away.
Here we will shoot the vastness of the wide open Karoo and at night we will chase our dreams among the stars.
What you need to bring:
DSLR Camera (any make will do 😉
Set of lenses, specifically a wide angle lens IE 18-55 / 16-35 / 17-40 / 10-20, 70-200 and longer for wildlife.
Tripod [please note: This will be your most important tool, so it is a MUST
Shutter release with lockable button – for Star Trail images Warm clothes for the nights and summer clothing for day. Long Trousers is very important!!
Head Lamp or torch.
Enough memory cards for the whole weekend as there is no electricity to download cards onto a computer.
Drinks and beverages.
Personal medication and toiletries
Program for the Workshop:
We would meet at a venue and drive together from there. As there is no cell reception this is just for safety sake incase someone has car trouble.
I would like to arrive at Hammelhoek no later than 5pm. We could unpack and then we can shoot sunset from the cottages. We will have dinner and then we will start to set up for the first Astrophotography session.
Depending on how late we went to bed after our Astrophotography session we need to be up at 5am at the latest to catch the magic of a Tankwa dawn.
We will be back for breakfast at about 8am at the latest and from then on we can just relax or indulge in some wildlife photography as there is plenty of game on the farm as well as birdlife, so pack the super zoom lenses 😉
Lunch would be ready around 1-2pm and then those who feel like catching up on some sleep is welcome to. We will be heading out from about 5pm again for sunset, the Tankwa Sunsets is even more magical than the sunrises. We will decide during the day where we would shoot stars that night and after sunset we will head out and start setting up. We will shoot till we feel we have achieved enough for one night.
Those who are keen will be up at 5am again for dawn and we will be back at about 8am for breakfast. After this we will all pack up at leisure and head home.
Hammelhoek is a 1250 game reserve situated in the Roggeveld mountains,200 km north of Ceres and 80 km south east of Calvinia. Come relax and enjoy a perfect Karoo getaway.
The farm is fully game fenced,and hosts a wide variety of game species,such as duiker, steenbok, ribbok, eland, oryx, kudu, black wildebeest, red hartebees, springbuck, impala and zebra.
The one border of the farm consists of 80 feet cliffs with the most spectacular views of the Karoo and Cederberg mountain range.There is a wide range of fauna and flora and after the good winter rains it changes into the most wonderful plains of flowers and fynbos.
The farm was bought 7 years ago by Trevor Roux and was developed into a camper,hiker and bird watchers paradise.Using only natural products such as stone and clay to create the infrastructure.
No costs have been spared and this must be one of the most luxurious accommodation facilities in the Tankwa Karoo! Consisting of a main guesthouse that sleeps 7, with all necessary facilities in place. A large wooden deck with splash pool and fire place allow you the most spectacular views of the farm and the Tankwa plains.
A second cottage, “Hunters Nest” with 2 bedrooms, one of which is a honeymoon suite, with private fire place, and other being a 6 bed “Jagtershok”.
All efforts were made to keep this facilities natural as possible,keeping the old original stone walls in place. Between the 2 stone dwellings you will find a watering hole that will allow the photographer the most spectacular, close-up views of all the game species on the farm.
A natural asbos “lapa” with braai and cleaning facilities, catering for up to 30 people are available.
All meals will be prepared at the venue by a very good cook. These meals will consist of traditional South African cuisine like, braai, potjie and various other side dishes.
You would need to provide your own alcoholic drinks. Soft drinks like Coke, Sprite and Fanta as well as Soda Water will be provided.
I will be taking a battery unit along to charge batteries and there is also a generator that could be used incase we need to do lots of charging. Unfortunately we will not be able to use computers or phones on the farm.
I will provide each person with an info sheet on editing and shooting Landscapes and Stars. So when you are back home you will know exactly how to edit your images.
I am looking forward to spending this weekend with you in the heart of the Tankwa Karoo.