On the last day before I returned home Jackie and I went to Jacobsbaai a small little town situated between Vredenburg and Saldanhabaai. There are a few stories to how Jacobsbaai got it’s name. One of these is that the English king entrusted the piece of land to a local known as ‘Jacob.’
I found Jacobsbaai very peaceful. The whole town has dirt roads this help to keep the speeding at bay. While driving from one little beach to the next we spotted the following birds, African Stone Chat, Southern Black Koraan, Egret’s and Kittlitz’s Plover. The little fisherman’s boats all over the town gives it a small fishing community feel.
The show of wildflowers was absolutely a feast for the eye. The most beautiful scenery yellow, white, orange and a spot of pink here and there. When you go down on your knees you see the bed of flowers and the blue water of the ocean.
Even the local animals are so friendly. When Jackie and I got out the car to go and take some photo’s on one of the beaches a little Dutchound came to greet us. As Jackie was taking photo’s he went and sit on her lap. It was so adorable.
Before we returned home we made a quick stop at Bokkomlaan and then when we turned onto the road to St Helena Bay we saw a lovely rainbow. A perfect ending to a perfect photography Breakaway…
I just had to share this experience with all of you I did my first Equine Shoot on the 11th of February 2012.
My friend Jackie asked me a while back if I would take some photo’s her and the horse she is riding and like always I never let an opportunity go to waist and I said yes. I started looking at other Equine photographers sites to get a feel of what Equine Photography is all about. I studied the photo’s and was ready for my first shoot about 2 weeks ago but the wind and weather did not play along and I went home without any photo’s. This was very sad for me.
Jackie and I decided that the weekend of the 10th will be ideal and I did not have any other shoots planned. However when we woke up on the 11th it was cloudy, cold and raining, what a bummer. As always our Mighty Father had something better in mind and gave as an lovely evening to do the shoot. We left Jackie’s home after 17h00 and only returned around 19h30 and most of that time I was taking photo’s and got plenty of exercise.
I started out with head shots of the horses in their paddock. Jackie and her friend Anja then took the horses to the arena where they could run around and I could take some photo’s of them without their riding gear on. The light was perfect and Jackie’s horse just loved the camera. It was so cute every time he came running past he looked at the camera as if he was watching me and just making sure that I take lot’s of photo’s of him and I did. Both Anja and Jackie said this was a first. He’s never this alive. HAHA it must of been my good energy rubbing off on him.
After running around in the arena it was time to saddle them up and go for a ride on the beach. The horse looked so uncomfortable with that piece of metal in their mouth. I must just tell you that I am not very clued up on what everything is called but I promise you I will get to know all the terms in time.
My first experience on a horse when I was small ( okay not that I am that much bigger now ) gave me fear of getting on a horse and it runs off with me. I am short the horse is big and high and I don’t feel comfortable on anything were my two little feet are not firmly placed on the ground and were I can get off whenever I feel like it. Since Jackie asked me to take her photo’s she also told me that she was putting me on her horse and I will love it. Now knowing what is lying ahead for me I decided that I better push this fear aside and focus on the shoot.
While Anja was saddling up her horse I took some photo’s of Jackie and her horse then they headed to the beach. Because I was not on a horse I had to take the car and meet them down at the beach. It was a lovely evening and saw a cloud and just knew I had to make use of it.
The shoot on the beach went great and I got awesome photo’s. The third rider and his horse played in the water but Jackie and Anja was not sure how their horses would react to the water and led them in the pool of water very slowly. The third horse started kicking up water like he was telling the other two snap out of it and play in the water. In the end all three the horses was kicking up water till everyone was nice and wet Jackie and Anja was screaming of laughter. At he end of the beach shoot my legs were numb from running up and down on the beach. But I would do it again and again.
On my back to the farm I was a bit worried about getting on the horse, but when I saw Jackie unsaddle I was relieved…. But the next evening I was not that lucky… I got on the horse and could not get of f fast enough…. Maybe in the next blog I will share a photo with you.
My first Equine shoot was one I would not forget soon and hope to do thousands more in the future.
When I woke up on the 18th of August 2011 and looked out the window the weather was very gloomy. Jackie and I planned to go to Elandsbaai and do some Birding and take photo’s of the flowers.
The weather was ideal for photographing birds. On our way to Elandsbaai we first stop by Bokkomlaan in Velddrif to see what we could find. We spotted some Pelicans busy grooming, a Black-winged Stilt , some ducks and Pied Kingfishers.
Then we left for Elandsbaai a small little town on the West Coast. One of the attractions there are Verlorenvlei a marsh situated between Elandsbaai and Redeling-huys. It is the home to a myriad of bird life.
It was quite a long drive and Jackie and I talked the whole way while enjoying the lovely scenery along the way. Due to the cold and lack of sun the flowers were closed. We however spotted Jackal Buzzards, a breeding pair of White Necked Ravens, a Lanner Falcon, Fish Eagles, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Blacksmith lapwing and weavers on our drive . On our way back the it was a bit warmer and the flowers were open here and there. We also saw an African Wild Cat just sitting there and it gave us enough time to get some photo’s of it.
Thank you for stopping by. Watch this space for the last day of my Photography Breakaway…
When I think of Brittania Bay the first word that pop’s up in my head is Bokkomlaan.
To some people it might only look like a dirt road with small Bokkom factories, an Art studio and a Restaurant on the one side and The Berg River with all it’s bird life, fishing boats and jetties on the other side. But to me visiting Bokkomlaan is a tradition. Whenever I visit Jackie you can make a safe bet that we will go to the river even if we only drove past it on our way to visit Jackie’s Mom and Dad.
One visit to Bokkomlaan will always be stuck in my mind. In 2008 I was house sitting for Jackie’s Parents in Velddrif and they stay just around the corner from Bokkomlaan. Jackie, Steven, Charlie and I went to the river to celebrate Jackie’s birthday. LOL it was so funny we were all standing with our camera’s aimed on the river when I looked to the side I saw that the camera lenses was also from long to short. LOL mine was the shortest I only had a little Pentax “mik and druk”. I had to go search for these photo’s got it on one of my back up cd’s. Please keep in mind this was taken with a little Pentax camera and are not edited. I just made an collage out of them. Also at that time I was only dreaming of becoming a photographer….. Today I still have the shortest lens but I am living my dream and loving every second of it.
WOW that took me way way back. Let’s fast forward back to 16 August 2011.
Because we had so much editing to do we decided that we are going to do Bokkomlaan in the morning and the afternoon we did the Raptor run and some Landscape photo’s from Britannica Heights.
We left around 10 O’Clock and when we got to the river the Pelicans were by the side of the road. The pelicans were so tame and we got some lovely photo’s of them. The factories usually throw out some fish in the river but they were busy stringing bokkoms and left the pelicans waiting for food. Jackie then asked one of the workers if we could buy some fish from them to feed the Pelicans. The man was kind enough to throw the fish to the pelicans while Jackie and I was clicking away. This was the closest I ever came to Pelicans. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be so close to nature every day and get paid to do it…. Well a girl may dream nothing wrong with that.
Here are some photo’s I took at Bokkomlaan that morning.
The Hopefield Road is one of the back roads you can take from Hopefield to Velddrif. There are usually allot of Raptors and bird life on this piece of road and that is why we call it the Raptor Run. On this stretch of road is were Jackie first showed me the ropes on capturing Birds in flight. Over the years I got my share of lucky shots. That day was no different. There was a Jackal Buzzard sitting on a pole just as you reached the top of the bridge. Jackie stopped and I took some photo’s. Normally they fly away when you stop but not this one it just sat there and I was so wishing to get him in flight. After a few minutes it took off and luckily I was ready.
Later that evening we took Jessie ( Jackie’s four legged child) for a drive up to Britannica Hights.
Thank you for stopping by. Please hang around for part 4 of 5.
Normally West Coast fever sets in on the second day of my stay in Brittania Bay and I sleep till about 9 o’clock. However on 15 August 2011 I could not get out of bed early enough. I was awake form around 5 o’clock that morning. I checked my camera equipment, made sure all my batteries were fully charged and all my memory cards were clean. The reason for my excitement was Jackie and I were going to Postberg in the West Coast National park.
When Jackie woke up I was already dressed and ready for action. Ha ha but first we had to have a cup of tea and eat some breakfast. We left around 9 o’clock but had to make 2 stops on our way to the park. First we had to fill up the car and then we had to stop at the shop to fill up on energy bars, cooldrink, chips and whatever one needs to fuel your body.
Let me tell you a little about Postberg. Postberg is a privately owned Nature Reserve within the West Coast National Park. The park is usually closed to the public, but for a few weeks in August and September they open the gates and share the spectacular wall to wall carpet of flowers with the public. But flowers are not the only attraction there are antelope grazing between the flowers, Zebras, Ostriches, tortoises, birds the list just go on and on. I also read on one of the many pages about Postberg that one can do whale watching also.
Jackie and I headed straight for Postberg and when we got there we were not disappointed. Flowers everywhere and in the distance there was Springbokkies grazing. I tried to take a photo but my 200mm just were not up to it. Jackie took some photo’s with her 500mm it came out great. We totally got lost in the carpet of flowers. Stopping regularly to take some photo’s. It was awesome and one could only thank our Heavenly Farther for such a spectacular picture. We saw some Blesbok, Sprinbok and Eland. I also captured two little foxes without even realizing it.
While we were driving we spotted a turtle on its back. Jackie stopped and I got out to help the little tortoise back on it’s four paws. I walked back to the car and when I looked back again it was gone…. My good deed for the day.
After our visit to Postberg we visited Abraham’s kraal Bird hide and of course a visit to Geelbek for some lovely Cake and tea.
Jackie’s camera’s battery died on her while photographing birds at the Abraham’s Kraal Bird hide. I saw the opportunity to take her 500mm for a test drive. Hie Hie I got some great shots. But at this stage I will not invest in a 500mm yet. In the future yes. But for now I would like to build on my portrait photography kit.
I enjoyed my visit to Postberg allot and if I am able to do it this year again I would do it. This time I want to take the family out for the day. It’s only a 90 minute drive from our home.
Here are some of the photo’s I took at Postberg and at the Bird hides.
Thank you for your time. Look out for part 3 of my Photography Break away.
Okay let me rewind my thoughts and memories back to August 2011.
As long as I can remember I wanted to photograph flowering season in Namakwaland but our finances did not allow me to. Then Jackie told me about Postberg in the West Coast National Park. As she described the scenery I so wished I could go and have a look and of course take some photo’s. However I had two problems one the boys are in school and the best time to go would be during the week and the second problem was that it is only open to the public for a few weeks during flowering season.
I asked hubby if I can go away for 2 days. I would leave Sunday afternoon after getting everything ready for the boys for school, Monday Jackie and I would go to the West Coast National Park and on Tuesday morning I’ll return home. He told me that would be a waist of time and diesel why don’t I just go for the week. Lian was suppose to play rugby on the Saturday in Vredenburg anyway so I’ll stay there and just pick him up on Friday evening. Then after the rugby games on Saturday we can return home. I was so excited and could not wait to tell Jackie the great news.
On Monday morning 15 August 2011 I left for my photography breakaway. Yes I know how can a photographer go on a photography breakaway. Well as the saying goes ” a change is as good as a holiday.” Nature photography and Portrait photography is two different worlds.
I could not believe my eyes when I drove to Jackie’s. All the flowers and I had to restrain myself from not stopping every few meters. I then told myself I am allowed to stop only 2 times to take photo’s. I had a picture in my head of the old house on the Hopefield road and decided that I’ll make my first stop there. When I got there I parked my car put on the hazards grab my camera and head straight to the house. Well the pictured I imagined was filled with a ray of different colors of flowers. I took some photo’s and then another patch of flowers caught my eye across the road. I took a few photo’s there and then I hit the road again.
My second stop was very quick I saw three Ostriches in a row and it looked so cute I just had to stop and take a photo.
Here are some of my warm up photo’s I took on my way to Brittania bay.
Thank you for your time. Keep a look out for part 2.