The Long Tom Pass Workshop – Des Jacobs
On the weekend of 7 to 9 November 2014 I hosted the Long Tom Pass landscape photography workshop. The Long Tom Pass is situated between Lydenburg (Mashishing) and Sabie in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The is the second highest pass in Mpumalanga with a height of approx. 2200 meter ASL. The highest tarred road is on the Steenkampsberg Pass (50 km to the West) and is approx. 100 meter higher than the Longtom Pass. The Long Tom Pass is spectacular after the winter and with good weather you can really get some amazing photos.
We started off on the Friday afternoon with a quick drive to some of the best spots I know in the area. The weather wasn’t playing along and it was raining a bit and the mist was closing in from Sabie’s side really fast. Within a couple of minutes the pass was covered completely in mist. in the meantime I showed the guests some of my landscape photos from the area and showed them what to look out for when we go out again the next morning. We enjoyed a very nice dinner that Hops Hollow Country House, where we stayed for the weekend, prepared for us.
The next morning we were ready for some action at 04H30 the morning and we left Hops Hollow and took the short drive further up the mountain. The excitement didn’t last long as the mist and rain didn’t clear yet and the whole pass were still covered in mist and every now and then it started raining a bit, chasing us back to the car to get cover for a couple of minutes. Although we couldn’t get any landscape photos that morning we still manage to get some great macro photos. The Long Tom Pass is home to some of the most amazing insects and plant life and the guests really enjoyed themselves trying to get photos of all these little things in the area.
We enjoyed a warm breakfast and after that I explained a lot of camera, editing and retouching techniques. At around noon the weather cleared a bit and we managed to get a couple of good photos from the top of the pass.
We hoped for a spectacular sunset but the cloud cover to the West of the pass just wouldn’t let us get that perfect sunset photo from the top of the pass. Well, we went back to Hops Hollow, had a couple of locally brewed beers and enjoyed another great meal. Things were looking good for the next morning’s shoot.
We were ready again at 04H30 the Sunday morning and hastily went up the mountain again as we could already see that we are going to have a spectacular sunrise. Well we did. The guests were finally shooting one of the best sunrises they have ever seen at one of the most scenic places in Mpumalanga. The weather played along nicely for this final day’s photo shoot, and as it goes with landscape photography, before we knew it, the great colours of the sunrise were something from the past. We stayed up there until after seven that morning and the guest really managed to get great photos.
After another great breakfast we headed home.
This is really a very unique landscape photography workshop, and even if the weather is not playing along 100% for landscape photography, you can still photograph something. If you enjoy great scenery, nature, plant life, insects and great looking sunrises, then this is the workshop for you.
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