The Cape Vidal Seascape Photography Workshop – Des Jacobs
Recently I hosted the Afriscapes Cape Vidal Seascape Photography Workshop. Cape Vidal is situated within the Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site and is situated North-East of St Lucia. It is a true gem with magnificent beaches, plant life as well as wildlife. Cape Vidal has some of the most beautiful unspoiled beaches on the entire North Coast of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa.
The workshop started on Sunday 25 January 2015. It was very hot and humid and the weather forecast already warned that the next 2 days will be the same. My guests arrived at Cape Vidal and settled in in their cabins. At around 16H00 that afternoon we met at my cabin and I explained what we’re going to do the next couple of days and also gave them some workshop material and each of them an Afriscapes cap that they could wear to guard them against the hot Kwazulu-Natal sun. We immediately head out to the beach where I showed them where we would be shooting the next morning with sunrise and we played a bit with camera settings as well as compositions. As the moon was setting rather early that evening Hennie Conradie, Cathy Bell and myself head out to the beach later that night to see if we could photograph some stars.
The next morning we were up very early and the cameras were already set up on the beach half an hour before sunrise. This time of year the sun rises at approx. 05H00 in the morning which means we were on the beach just after 04H30. We had a great sunrise and we were blessed with some nice clouds to compliment the colors of the sunrise.
The rest of the day we spend working on editing and the guests did manage to get a bit of rest in as well after that. That afternoon we went for a hike on the beach to a lesser known stretch of beach south from Cape Vidal. It took us an hour to get there. We managed to get some photos there that afternoon and scout the area for nice compositions as we planned to be back at this same spot the next morning. That evening we had a braai (barbeque) and we were treated to a nice sighting of a Spotted Genet.
On Tuesday morning we had to get up very early as we still had to walk to our secluded stretch of beach. We started walking at 03H30 and we were at out our destination half an hour before sunrise. The walk there, so early in the morning, and still in the dark, was really something amazing to do. We saw literally 1000’s of crabs in the surf and on the beach and every now and then you would see someone jump and give a squeal as some of the crabs get confused in the lights of our torches and head for the nearest, safest point, which happens to be our feet. We had a great looking sunrise and the guests managed to get really nice pictures there. The early rise and the long walk to this stretch of beach were totally worth the effort.
For the rest of the day we had a good rest and we were out again at 16H00 that afternoon. This time we headed out to Mission Rocks, also south from Cape Vidal. Mission Rocks is a short 20 minute drive and once in the parking lot it is short walk to some of the best looking rocks on that area. As it was overcast that afternoon I convinced the guests to play around with longer shutter speeds while using ND filters. Again we all managed to get some great looking photos.
. On our way back to Cape Vidal, just after sunset, we came across 3 white rhinos in the middle of the road. Two of them were adults and I must say they were huge with very big horns. The other one was still a junior and I think because of this, and the dark conditions, the one bigger rhino wasn’t so happy with us there. We waited for approx. 20 minutes before we could safely drive past. Romien and her husband were in the first car and just before entering Cape Vidal they also saw a leopard in the road but unfortunately there were not enough time for a photo as it quickly disappeared into the thick bushes. Once at camp we had a braai again and I could see that everyone was very tired after a long days shooting.
The Tuesday night it started to rain. I woke at around 04H00 in the morning to see what the weather looks like and unfortunately it was still raining and I had to let all the guests know that there will be no sunrise shoot. Later that morning they told me that they were a bit glad that it rained and enjoyed the bit of extra sleep they received. Unfortunately the workshop was over on the Wednesday morning and everyone still had a long way to drive home.
As always Cape Vidal delivered great photos and I believe the guests had a great time. I can’t wait to get back there with the next group of people.
Des Jacobs – Afriscapes
The next Cape Vidal workshop dates are on the website. Have a look and make sure to book early to avoid disappointment.
Photos taken by our guests are on the Afriscapes Facebook Page