Spectacular South Africa 

Where: South Africa, Africa – See it on a map here. 

Level: All Levels
When: October 1  – October 15, 2016 (14 days)
Maximum Class Size:  6 – 3 spots remaining!
Cost:  6599 Canadian Dollars (Includes tuition, shared accommodation, all meals, tips and gratuities, photography permits, entry and excursion fees, game drives, and transport, including airport shuttles)
Deposit:  1450 Canadian Dollars

Registration: To register, or for more information, please E-mail me, Christoph, at cgfischer@hotmail.com

 

Your Destination:

Seemingly hidden at the end of the world, a vast, spectacularly beautiful coast line traces the southern most edge of the African continent. A land of extremes, you will find rugged coastal mountains abruptly jutting out of a vicious and wild ocean while, barely a stone’s throw away, Africa’s wild animals feed on gently sloping plains covered in a kaleidoscope of blossoming wildflowers. Join me on a photographic adventure of a lifetime, and come explore with me this land they rightly call “A World in One Country”. Wonder in awe at one of the world’s most beautifully situated coastal cities from atop Table Mountain, the new 7 th natural wonder of the world, the sheer drama and pristine wild beauty of towering mountains framing a treacherous and churning ocean, penguins uninhibitedly frolicking on giant granite boulder strewn white beaches, and ever-green forests and the endemic fynbos rolling down to the sea in a lush carpet where ancient rivers have carved their path to the ocean through rocky ravines. But we will visit not only the coast line. There are many inland treasures such as the rolling wheat fields of the Overberg, South Africa’s answer to Tuscany, the unsurpassed scenery of South Africa’s Cape winelands with mountains, vineyards and Cape Dutch architecture as a backdrop, and the unmatched opportunities for viewing herds of wild elephants as well as the other “Big Five” in Addo Elephant Park, one of South Africa’s largest National Parks. South Africa is nothing other than a photographer’s dream.

We visit South Africa in early October, since this is the time when the Cape Peninsula’s exceptionally biodiverse Fynbos vegetation, which forms the smallest and richest (per unit area) of the world’s six floral kingdoms, is in bloom – dramatic ocean scenery complemented by beautifully exotic and colorful flowers.

Golden Light on Coastal Mountains Chapmans Peak South Africa

Not only will you experience and photograph the most beautiful landscapes South Africa has to offer, but you will also be able to rest in full comfort at your luxury hotels which I specifically have selected in unique and unforgettable settings. You will enjoy 3 course dinners, delectable lunches and delicious breakfasts at the many eclectic and excellent restaurants we will be visiting. I will take you to all the locations I have identified as the most promising for rewarding photography and, at the same time, you will benefit from an intense two week learning experience which is certain to transform your photography. Very few workshops offered in South Africa are as extensive, and I will take you to several locations which are not offered on any workshops I am aware of. My international workshops are specifically designed to avoid running off a list of mainstream locations and I pride myself on discovering and offering new and unique locations not offered by anyone else. Although South Africa is a big country, and at times we will have to cover large distances to reach our destinations, we will spend as little time as possible on the road. 

Together-Forever

 

Your Learning Experience:

My goal is for you to come away with great images which portray the beauty and unique nature of this incredible country. I will take you to all the locations I have identified as the most promising for rewarding photography and we will visit these only when the quality of light is most conducive for compelling images. As you photograph I will give you dedicated in the field instruction on all aspects of photography, ranging from the technical to the creative.  Although we will be spending as much time as possible in the field, it is important to balance this with an intense program of review sessions, lectures and processing sessions so that, as our tour progresses, you have the opportunity to appraise the photographic progress you are making, and identify those areas which need more work. I will be putting much emphasis on the creative aspects of photography such as composition and developing a vision. Another area we will be focusing on is processing and developing a workflow, which forms an extremely important part of photography, especially in the digital age.

I fully expect that you will leave this workshop as a photographer with a new vision and greatly augmented technical skills, both camera and processing wise.

 

Schedule:

Day 1, October 1st: The first evening of our two week adventure! After your long journey to South Africa, rest and relax in our comfortable, highly rated hotel, beautifully located right on the slopes of a coastal mountain in Simon’s Town, just outside Cape Town, and enjoy the spectacular ocean view of False Bay Peninsula as you sip on some delectable welcome cocktails. We embark for our welcome dinner,where we have the chance to get to know one another, and where I will give you an overview of your upcoming two weeklong adventure!  Within a short driving distance lies our destination for the next two days, the awe inspiring Cape Point Nature Reserve, one of my very favourite locations on this planet.

Trio-Cape-Point

Day 2, October 2nd: We rise well before dawn and are off to capture sunrise at Cape Point Nature Reserve, which I am sure will count as one of the highlights of this tour for most of you. After our sunrise shoot we break for breakfast within the park, at the breathtakingly located Two Oceans restaurant. We spend the remainder of the morning capturing the marvelous scene of Cape gannets and cormorants effortlessly navigating the winds and precipitous cliffs towering over the churning blue ocean below, where you also may see sea lions and seals effortlessly gliding through treacherous waters. After a delicious lunch, we spend the remainder of the day exploring this incredibly multifaceted park, in particular the locations we will try to capture at sunset and sunrise the following day. Not only will you have the opportunity to photograph Cape Point’s strikingly beautiful landscape, but also the many animals that inhabit it, such as Ostrich, Zebra and several species of buck such as the beautiful Bontebok and Eland, to name a few. Here there are excellent opportunities for wildscapes, where you can capture wildlife in the context of their beautiful surroundings. Following our sunset shoot, we return to our hotel and embark for a delicious dinner in nearby Kalk bay, a lovely seaside town which is very popular with Cape Townians. We return to our hotel and rest in preparation for the following day.

Trio-Cape-Point-2

Day 3, October 3rd: We rise well before dawn and depart to capture sunrise at Cape Point Nature. We will practice wide angle and telephoto compositions of furious ocean waves breaking on towering cliff faces, all dressed in the golden light of the morning sun. Following sunrise we visit a location in the park where we may be lucky enough to capture Ostrich feeding along the ocean – a unique and breathtaking scene to capture. After breakfast we explore the park for opportunities to capture sea birds and wildlife and, following lunch, we continue looking for opportunities to capture the wildlife and scout the locations we are considering for our last afternoon and sunset shoot in this magnificent park.

Day 4, October 4th: Our last morning at Cape Point Nature Reserve, after which we promptly return in the direction of our hotel to capture the amazing scene of penguins swimming among giant, 540 million year-old granite boulders strewn in the blue ocean. This beach, with its wind sheltered bays and safe sandy shores, is home to a breeding colony of over 2000 endangered African Penguins. A truly spectacular scene to behold! After lunch in a wonderful seaside restaurant, it is time to leave behind Simon’s Town and we make our way to Cape Town, the Mother City, as it is endearingly called by South Africans. On our way we drive along one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives, Chapman’s Peak drive, from where we capture the breathtaking scenery in the late afternoon sun. Early in the evening we arrive at our stunningly located accommodation with imposing, beautiful mountain scenery on the one side and an endless blue ocean on the other. 

ChapmansPK

Day 5, October 5th: Up early, and we are off to West Coast National Park to spend the day capturing the magnificent wildscapes of ostrich, zebra and several buck grazing among a sea of blossoming wildflowers with the blue ocean forming a magnificent backdrop. This is where we also have the chance of capturing flamingos wading in the park’s lagoon.  

Westcoast

Day 6, October 6th: Up well before dawn we are back on the road, this time to photograph Cape Town’s magnificent and world famous Table Mountain from the endless white beaches of Blouberg Strand. While you will be capturing Table Mountain from far away in the morning we will be capturing the sunset from its very top, with spectacular views of Cape Town nestled among truly dramatic coastal mountain scenery.  The view from here is world famous and for good reason! 

Sundowner.-Web

Day 7, October 7th: This morning we stay close to home and photograph beautifully located Cape Town in the morning sun:

Welcome-to-Cape-Town-950

 In the afternoon we drive to the far side of the peninsula we have been glimpsing from our hotel in Simon’s town. This is the home of one of the world’s highest impact zones, and giant freak waves explode on the beautifully textured and shaped cliff faces extending along the entire magnificent coast line, with gorgeous mountain scenery as a backdrop. We return to Cape Town for dinner at one of its many eclectic and outstanding restaurants before we return to our accommodation and enjoy the magnificent views of Cape Town and the ocean at night.

Fireworks-Website-900

Day 8, October 8th:  Following our morning shoot, we bid farewell to Cape Town and make our way to the beautiful and world famous Cape winelands, from which originate many of the excellent wines that South Africa has become so well known for. We will stay overnight at a vineyard, and not only will we use it as our base for tasting the amazing wines, but also for photographing the exquisite scenery of rolling vineyards in mountainous surrounds. In the evening we enjoy not only the wine, but also the delicious cuisine that this area is so well known for.  

Day 9, October 9th: Having captured the vineyards in the morning light we are back on the road, this time to South Africa’s answer to the rolling hills of Tuscany and the Palouse, the glorious rolling wheat fields of the Overberg. The scenery here is uniquely beautiful, not only in that towering mountains form the background to the rolling hills, but also in that it is frequented by flocks of storks and herons. This is also the time when some of the harvesting begins, with numerous photographic opportunities to capture a quilted tapestry of cut wheat.

Day 10, October 10th: Time to leave the Overberg and, now well on our way in South Africa’s famous Garden Route, we embark for incredible Tsitsikamma National Park. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan word meaning, “place of much water”. The Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes, a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys covered in mountain fynbos and temperate high forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. Our accommodation is some of the most beautifully situated in all of the South African National Parks. Our wooden chalets are in the middle of the park, right next to the ocean and you will fall asleep to waves crashing on the jagged rocks and cliffs.

Day 11, October 11th: We spend a full day in Tsitsikamma exploring the coastline, river gorges and waterfalls. There are numerous photographic opportunities and we will spend much of the day narrowing down the locations we want to revisit for our sunset and sunrise shoots the following morning. There is a spectacularly located restaurant in Tsitsikamma, and this is where we will have all our meals, while we enjoy glorious views accompanied by a gentle ocean breeze.

TsitsiPortfoio

Day 12, October 12th: We make our way to our final destination, and your opportunity to capture herds of elephants in South Africa’s third largest national park, Addo elephant park. But this park is about much more than just capturing elephants. Besides being a sanctuary to more than 600 elephants, Addo is also home to lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species. There is also a flood lit waterhole at the main camp, which brings with it a unique opportunity to capture Addo’s wildlife against the starry night sky!

Animal-Duo

Day 13, October 13th: We are up early for our guided morning game drive, in the hope of capturing  elephants or other members of Africa’s big five, as they emerge from the long night to quench their thirst,  bathed in the warm morning light. We return for a delicious buffet breakfast and after some rest we spend the remainder of the day in Addo, looking for opportunities to photograph any of the wildlife we have not yet had the chance to capture. In the afternoon we go on a second game drive and in the evening you have the option of going on a night game drive. 

Day 14, October 14th: Our last morning in Addo and this is our opportunity to complete our already extensive portfolio of wildlife images from South Africa. Upon return from our morning game drive, we enjoy our last delicious breakfast before we embark on our journey back to Cape Town. Our long day ends  in Cape Town with a celebratory dinner, where, in the company of newly found friends, we look back at our two week long adventure which is over much to soon!

Lions-in-field-950

Day 15, October 15th: Our last day in South Africa. Participants will be leaving the hotel at different times of the day in order to catch their flights home or to their next African destination. I will be available for our last one on one review sessions, to answer any remaining questions you may have or simply to enjoy a last drink together on our hotel’s terrace. The workshop ends at 12 pm. All good things have to come to an end!

 

What is included:

Photography instruction, shared accommodation, all meals, tips and gratuities, photography permits, entrance fees, excursion fees, game drives, and transport, including airport shuttles.

What is not included:

Flights to and from Cape Town, South Africa; beverages; snacks outside of meal times.

How do I get there?:

We meet in Cape Town, South Africa. This can be reached by flying to Johannesburg, South Africa, and then taking a connecting flight to Cape Town. If you book your flight directly to Cape Town it usually will proceed via Johannesburg. 

What about Visas and other logistics?:

Upon request, I will be happy to supply you with detailed information regarding travel arrangements and preparations, including Visas. Please feel free to contact me at cgfischer@hotmail.com