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Workshops

Western Cape Coastlines Workshop – January 2019

Western Cape Coastlines Workshop - January 2019 Seascapes of South Africa This is the first time that I am offering the Western Cape Coastlines Workshop, and more will certainly follow! Mark, my first client, came all the way from Perth, Australia to learn how to create entrancing and captivating photos of the sea under any weather condition! This workshop is for photographers of all levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. As a beginner, he already had most of the camera basics under his belt when he arrived. We had discussed what type of images he was seeking to capture as well as the coastal destinations he would like to have visited during his three-day stay. The final day was dedicated to editing, which wrapped up and rounded off the whole process from pressing the shutter button to the final edit for printing. I was always on hand to guide, direct and offer advice when setting up a shot. Day 1: Arniston, Struisbaai and Agulhas Arniston Arniston is named after the shipwreck that took place on the 3rd May 1815, is certainly one of the best locations along the Western Cape Coastline. It is definitely a morning or sunrise venue when the tide is right and conditions favourable, whether it is capturing golden light reflecting off the rocks and waves, long exposures of the shifting seas and clouds, or powerful crashing waves pounding the shores, one can capture jaw-dropping images!  This is Mark had in mind for his one-on-one workshop with me. Mark Easterbrook © - Arniston That being said, you don't always get what you desire when it comes to the weather! That was an immediate discovery on day one! Leaving Worcester at 03h30 for a sunrise shoot in Arniston which was around 230km drive was filled with high expectations. On arrival, we were met with a vast, grey, drab blanket of cloud, which was lifeless and dead. All is not lost, as this acts like a giant softbox which produces soft muted tones, and no harsh shadows. As they say "Lemons to lemonade" and a visit to the historic fishing village of Kassiesbaai is exactly what we did to circumnavigate the disappointing non-existing sunrise. Kassiesbaai is a national monument and derives its name from the washed-up paraffin cases (“kassies” in Afrikaans) from the shipwrecks to build their houses. The wood from the paraffin boxes combined with lime and thatch from the area was used to build the now characteristic cottages of the coastal fishing village. True to the region, almost all the fisherman's homes there and the West Coast are painted white and usually have thatched roofs. Mark Easterbrook © - Arniston Built behind the rolling dunes of white sand, the cluster of lime-washed houses has nurtured generations of fishermen, some of whom who are sixth to seventh generation fisherman since some 200 odd years ago. Kassiesbaai is also one of the rare communities that have managed to hold onto their land and their traditions. It is the only fishing community in South Africa which still lives off the ocean in the traditional way. On windy days, the fisherman will not launch their boats, also called "chuckies". On that particular morning, there had been severe weather, which played into our hand as we had plenty of opportunities to capture their boats and homes in either colour or black and white. The locals were friendly and easily struck up a conversation on our photo walk. I showed Mark how to look for simple shots and to look for pictures within pictures as we looked for different compositions. Mark Easterbrook © - Arniston Having a look at the app Windy.com, we decided it would be better to move up the coast to Struisbaai and Agulhas and to later return to Arniston in the evening, as the low cloud cover would have dissipated by around midday. The evening rewarded us with some good images of The Blow Holes and The Cauldron which is much better suited to sunrise and the opportunity to free an entangled seagull from fishing line. Struisbaai This is a small coastal town to the west of Arniston and 4km from Agulhas. The town is an old fishing village which for many years sported a beautiful natural harbour. Some development has taken place since then but Struisbaai is still relatively untouched by the rigours of over-development. Many fishermen still reside in this settlement but it is now known better for its leisure activities, which include fishing, horseriding, hiking, paintball, quad biking and diving. Craig Fouché © - Struisbaai The exact origins of the name of Struisbaai, however, is still a subject of debate. The various historical stories uncover 3 different origins for the name of the town. The first being accredited to the thatch or straw (strooi in Afrikaans) roofs of the fisherman cottages scattered along the coast. Another is the ostriches ("struisvogel" in Dutch) that used to call this area their home, while others believe the name was derived from an old Dutch word meaning "huge" given due to the long stretches of beach. The last origin seems more plausible as Struisbaai holds the longest beach in the Southern Hemisphere which stretches for a total of 14 kilometres. The colourful, bustling Struisbaai Harbour is where visitors can see the traditional fisherman bring in their daily catch and buy fresh fish. As with Arniston, the fisherman had found it prudent to remain in the harbour. Also not to be missed, is the resident stingray Parrie making an appearance. The water was not very clear on the day, yet we were still able to see Parrie from the slipway. Craig Fouché © - Struisbaai The waters off Struisbaai have traditionally been treacherous for shipping, with at least 30 vessels that have run aground since 1673. One of them was the Meermin that stranded in 1766 after a mutiny by the Malagasy slaves that she was carrying, while another was the French ship Jardinière which sank 28 years later. We were able to capture a few images of the harbour, and as I had been there prior to the workshop, the colourful water was not as colourful on the day as my previous visit. Agulhas L'Agulhas is the most southern coastal village and holiday resort in Africa, located at the southernmost tip of the African mainland. It is situated next to the town of Struisbaai and about 30 kilometres south of the regional centre of Bredasdorp. The name "Agulhas", Portuguese for "needles", is said to have been given to the cape because the compass-needle was seen to point due north, that is, with no magnetic deviation. The Agulhas Bank is reputed to be the richest fishing area in the Southern Hemisphere. Some of the older residents and documents refer to the town as by its former name Cape Agulhas or Cape L'Agulhas or simply Agulhas which were the names that referred to this town before it was changed to L'Agulhas to avoid confusion when the Bredasdorp Municipality changed its name to The Cape Agulhas Municipality. Mark Easterbrook © - Agulhas A visit to the Lighthouse with a view from the tower and a walkway along the seafront to the new most southern African monument and a place where two oceans meet at the foot of Africa. A little further along the walkway is the shipwreck of Meisho Maru. The Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, the second-oldest working lighthouse in South Africa, is at the southern end of the town. Designed by Colonel Charles Cornwell Michell in homage to the Pharos of Alexandria, the lighthouse was lit on March 1, 1849. Some 150 ships lay scattered along the South African coast, many due to the treacherous Agulhas Reef. It is in memory of the countless lives lost and to warn passing ships of the pending danger that the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse was designed and built. The lighthouse was declared a National Monument in 1973. Mark Easterbrook © - Agulhas This is where we spent the bulk of our day. The tide was high which is neither a good or bad thing. Usually one would not shoot at high noon, as lighting is harsh, and usually best reserved for infrared photography. This did not stop us from learning how long exposure works with both the LEE 10 and 15 stop filters. The wreck was our main subject for this exercise and Mark pulled off some really impressive images. He learnt how to use the exposure triangle: ISO, shutter and aperture to achieve the various results he was looking for. Day 2: Paternoster, Yzerfontein, Melkbosstrand and Bloubergstrand Paternoster Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages on the West Coast of South Africa. It is situated 15 km north-west of Vredenburg and 145 km north of Cape Town, at Cape Columbine between Saldanha Bay and St Helena Bay. The origin of the name remains unknown. Many people believe that the name, which means ‘Our Father’ in Latin, refers to prayers said by Catholic Portuguese seamen when they became shipwrecked. It appears as St. Martins Paternoster on an old map of Pieter Mortier. Other people believe it refers to the beads that the Khoi tribe wore that were called Paternosters. Mark Easterbrook © - Paternoster Paternoster is a sought after tourist destination and is known for lobster and the white-washed fishermen’s cottages. I am willing to call it the Pearl of the West Coast. The remarkable coastline of jagged cliffs and white boulders makes this one of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast of South Africa. It was a little too windy for long exposures at the boulders near Cape Columbine, and no matter what we tried, we were unsuccessful in achieving the desired shots we were both looking for. We arrived here at 09h00 under similar conditions as the day before. Craig Fouché © - Paternoster The area is a pillar in the South African commercial fishing industry. The town itself has a lobster factory where we shot some lovely views overlooking the village. Yzerfontein Yzerfontein is a small harbour town with about 1200 inhabitants on the West Coast of South Africa about 90 km north of Cape Town. The name in Dutch means "Iron Fountain". The town started out when the farm 'Yzerfontein' was bought by the Katz-family in the 1930s. Then they started dividing the farm into plots. There are many expensive upmarket holiday homes to be found here, all jockeying for prime sea views. During our afternoon visit, I showed Mark the various locations I had scouted beforehand and we set off to capture a few of them. Mark Easterbrook © - Yzerfontein The sea was angry. It foamed, frothed and boiled as it crashed violently against the rocks, churning in gullies and exploded into fine seaspray when the waves impacted huge rocks with all that kinetic energy. Mark had the opportunity to try out my Nikon AF-S Fisheye NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Lens for some creativity, the result was an image that looked like the tip of Africa with Madagascar to the left of it. It did not take long for heavy afternoon fog to close in and to put paid to our shoot there, as dramatic as it was. Mark Easterbrook © - Yzerfontein Melkbosstrand Named after the species of Euphorbiaceae bushes which grow on the dunes and give off a milky latex-like substance, it is commonly referred to simply as Melkbos. The town and its 7 kilometre stretch of white sand beach is situated on the Atlantic coast with the Blouberg mountain to the east. The beach is popular with surfers but also affords unobstruced views of iconic Table Mountain with rocks in the foreground. Mark Easterbrook © - Melkbosstrand Bloubergstrand Bloubergstrand is a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, along the shores of Table Bay, 15 km due north of the city centre of Cape Town. The name Bloubergstrand literally means "blue mountain beach" in Afrikaans, and is derived from Blaauwberg, a nearby mountain. Bloubergstrand is mainly a residential area and attracts large numbers of visitors especially kitesurf enthusiasts. On the day the Red Bull King of the Air Kiteboarding 2019 competition was on where athletes will try to outdo each other with the highest jumps and most insane tricks in the ferocious Cape Town winds. When we arrived it was late afternoon as we had planned for a sunset shot, which was not spectacular, however, Mark thoroughly enjoyed the kiteboarding and landed a few good images. The beach at Bloubergstrand is a popular location for a classic view of Table Mountain across the bay and is one of the world's top kitesurfing destinations. Craig Fouché © - Bloubergstrand Day 3: Worcester Worcester My office is based in Worcester which is a lovely Boland town and a very central one indeed for my needs. After much travelling the previous two days, it was appropriate that a late start would be in order. We spent most of the day learning how to use Adobe Bridge and Photoshop, as these are the tools I use to edit my images. From the outset, it was imperative that we shoot in RAW, as this maximises the ability to capture and edit as much detail in one's images as possible. Sure, files sizes do increase, but when it comes to printing, there are no disappointments, as Mark discovered. Many people are quite happy to fire away and capture 100's of images a day, and possibly never look at them again, how many do edit and more so how many do print? Mark soon learnt that time is money and that editing can be laborious and time consuming depending on what you have to correct and enhance; the moral of the story is to get it right in camera first time, every time! Another valuable lesson that was learnt was how to see in black and white. Mark Easterbrook © - Agulhas Over To You If you have enjoyed this blog and would like to capture breathtaking, magnificent and powerful seascape photography with me while exploring some of South Africa’s finest coastline, the Western Cape Coastline near Cape Town – one of South Africa’s premier photography destinations, contact me here, and leave a comment below, I would like to hear from you! If you have not yet signed up for my NO SPAM email newsletter, please do so, and be the first to know what's happening. Acknowledgements Some of the historical information was sourced from Wikipedia. Gallery Craig's Images My workshops are easy going and my focus is on my client. I do shoot alongside my participants, but are not so engrossed in what I do and forget about the purpose of me being there. It is about helping my clients achieve the images that they have set out to capture. Here are a few images that I was able to take prior and during the workshop. Arniston Arniston Arniston Arniston Arniston


Rogge Cloof Private Sutherland Estate Photography Workshop – August 2018

Rogge Cloof Private Sutherland Estate Photography August 2018 Workshop Craig Fouché Photography in proud association with Rogge Cloof Private Sutherland Estate, an upmarket, exceptional standards establishment reserve near Sutherland, presented their first astrophotography, landscape and wildlife workshop for 2018 at Rogge Cloof Private Sutherland Estate. Here we had the opportunity to photograph the night skies, landscapes and wildlife on the reserve. My photography workshop clients came from as far as Pretoria and Cape Town to learn Milky Way and night sky photography while exploring South Africa ’s finest and darkest skies in the Upper Karoo near Sutherland – South Africa’s premier night photography destination. The group ranged from absolute novice to professional. The main thrust of the workshop was astrophotography, with landscapes and wildlife as an added extra. The weather played the game with us, and in true style, Sutherland teamed up with Jack Frost and Ice Maiden and breathed their frigid, bone-chilling atmosphere upon us. It was bitterly cold and lenses frosted up at 01h30 in the morning whilst shooting crystal clear milky way compositions! A week prior to the workshop, Sutherland had been blanketed in a canvas of white, much to my delight, as I was hoping for Milky Way images over a snow-capped landscape. Since the workshop, we have since experienced three snowfalls in the region and surrounds! Cryogenic Reflections Day 1: Arriving at Rogge Cloof Private Sutherland Estate, it was frigid, to say the least, and there were clouds about. This is the last thing you need when shooting night skies. Clouds can, however, create interesting long exposure images during night sky photography. My experience with Sutherland weather is that it is always subject to change, one moment there may be clouds, a little while later it is bound to change. I was not troubled by this and shared that with my clients. As with anything, you can plan and prepare for all scenarios, but have no control over the weather. This is something you need to accept with and be creative with what's sent your way. At the reception, we had some coffee and snacks and a lovely large fire to warm us up; each client was given a branded Craig Fouché Photography beanie for the cold nights ahead. We were introduced and briefed for the evening shoot. André of Rogge Cloof Private Sutherland Estate enthusiastically and entertainingly shared information on their wines that they have on sale. A brief wine tasting was had, and guests each bought a few bottles of wine for the cold. We had to depart timeously for our accommodation in "The Village" on the reserve, to settle in and prepare for the sunset shoot and night sky photography that lay ahead of us. Locations were pointed out, camera settings discussed, and final preparations for the night shoot were put in place.  A few lovely sunsets were captured, after which we returned for some heartwarming farm style soup made in true Karoo fashion. Sunset Planning Milky Way Planning We later made ready to shoot the Milky Way where I was on hand to assist with either light painting or advice. Day 2: The following morning I was up early, and those that wanted to join, did so, and we captured some very interesting frosty images. The sun rose and it felt as if it was getting colder as it peeped over the mountains and Salpeterkop, a now extinct volcano in the distance. Jack Frost seemed to refuse to want to relinquish his icy grip over us, and Ice Maiden sighed deeply over the landscape! Crispy, crunching, cold snapping sounds resonated under the soles of our shoes as with each step we scouted out our photographic compositions. Ice Maiden's Breath Breakfast was at 08h30 at the Pear House. After breakfast, some editing was done, where I was on hand to assist or offer advice. Some of the guests opted to explore the reserve on a morning game drive. Editing (Cell Phone Shot) Lunch was served at around 13h00 and those that wanted an afternoon nap had one. For the evening, we prepared to have dinner at the Rogge Brood restaurant at reception. Our subject shoot was one of two windmills close to reception. This had to be an early shoot as the Milky Way was rather high in the sky. We shot from shortly into golden hour until after dark. Dominique Cook, an absolute novice, astounded me with an amazing panoramic shot shoot captured at that location. After helping her set up, she photographed the windmill and decided to look in the opposite direction towards the restaurant, and capture that scene before her. Die Burger - 17 August 2018 She ended up with a truly stellar image incorporating the Milky Way; the gegenschein (which is a faintly bright spot in the night sky, around the antisolar point. The backscatter of sunlight by interplanetary dust causes this optical phenomenon); Jupiter rising with the zodiacal light and a shooting star! She later went on to submit this 18 image stitched panorama in Die Burger; a South-African, Afrikaans national newspaper who was running a competition until the end of August 2018. We await the results of this submission and have wished her the very best. This just goes to show that anyone is capable of capturing amazing images under the right guidance and instruction and allowing the person to bring their own creativity into the mix. Dominique Cook has done just that! Zodiacal Light Over Rogge Cloof - Dominique Cook ©2018   We then returned to our accommodation, where I took my clients to another windmill which has great scope for capturing reflections in the water trough. Conditions had changed, and the wind had picked up. This did not afford anyone that opportunity to be able to capture that shot which I had previously captured during my preparation for the workshop. Clouds had started to roll in too. It's Raining Stars, Rogge Cloof, Sutherland, South-Africa I had a further look at Photopills, an exceptional app for all photographers, and one that you shouldn't be without, to see where the Milky Way would be positioned for the last subject of the night: The Shepherd's Hut. It was already cold, and some were feeling that and decided to call it a night around 22h00, satisfied with the images they captured. I was prepared for a final magical Milky Way and met Kim around midnight for the final night sky shoot. By this time it was already -6ºc, and later dropped to -10ºc, the clouds had all gone! We ended finding different compositions at this spot, varying from light painting to wide panoramas. Our lenses were icing up. Icicles on my moustache were melting and forming under each breath. It was still so bone-snapping cold, in spite of me wearing seven layers clothing!! The Milky Way and Mars Over The Shepherds Hut The rewards were so worthwhile as you can see from the image above. In the end, and I am so glad we persevered through that. I crawled into bed around 02h30, to wake up at 05h00 to meet with Nigel for a blue hour shoot. Day 3: The blue hour is a special time of the day. Most people are not even aware of the blue hour, yet focus on sunset and golden hour instead. Nigel and my wife Dominique joined me for this special time of the day. Just as well as the golden hour that followed was just as special. The previous morning was an appointment with Jack Frost and Ice Maiden; this morning they were nowhere to be found. Being at the right place and the right time, seizing the moment is what it is all about. You may not have that opportunity come your way again. Blue Hour Over The Dam Cottage After shooting this scene, we explored other subjects, and I was on hand to help both Dominique and Nigel with settings and advice. Golden hour was exceptional this morning. The glowing reds and oranges of the sunkissed trees and mountainside popped and painted a whole new scene before our eyes. This was truly a magical time. Golden Hour Over The Village As quickly as it came, quickly it went, and the morning transformed into day. We met again for breakfast at 08h30, and those that wanted to leave earlier did so. The workshop was a success as you can see from the images captured. It was very cold, and that adds to the experience and the quality of the images captured. Our next workshop is being held on 9-11 November 2018, seats are already been filled. There are still slots available, book now to avoid disappointment. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the workshop, my wife Dominique for her support and managing the unseen background essentials of the workshop and for assisting me. Everyone came away with something from the workshop. To Nikon South-Africa for the loan of the Nikon D850, what game changer and superb camera body! Thank you Rogge Cloof for such a superb venue!   Book Here For The Next Workshop The next workshop runs from 9-11 November 2018, you too can learn to photograph the night skies as above. You don't even need to own a camera, there is a 20% Outdoorphoto / ODP camera gear discount voucher available to those that book. There is also a further 30% discount on offer for the printing of your images on canvas from sizes A1-A3 at Kodak SuperFoto Worcester. T&C's apply. Click now on the button to book for this exciting workshop and for more information! BOOK NOW   Dominique Cook


Craig Fouché Photography | Experience A Celebratory Photographic Journey Of My Works
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