Clarens {Personal}

On the 5th of October I was off to Clarens for the weekend on a landscape photography outing. If this was 2008 I would be excited – allow me to share some history with you… Back in 2008 when I got my first DSLR I thought I would become a wildlife photographer. I had all the trademarks of a good wildlife photog: patience, and patience and, well, patience… According to me you didn’t need much else except an appreciation for nature, which I had. So I spent my days taking photos of flowers and trees and birds in trees, and then one day I decided to photograph bees… This is when I realised I did NOT have the patience for photographing nature. So anyway, back to October 2012…
Thankfully by this time (2012) I was fully aware of the fact that I was not an aspiring wildlife/landscape photographer, but nonetheless I was excited about the trip to Clarens – namely coz I’ve never been there before, and because we were staying in real life ox wagons!

(Side note: I was studying last year so this trip was part of the landscape module we were doing)

Our weekend started off with a late afternoon hike on Friday – we had to find a spot and photograph the landscape. Despite my best efforts to find a good spot – this usually means trying to find the most remote spot far away from everyone else where, if I had to fall and hurt myself or become immobile, I would probably have to spend the night alone fending off wild animals (haha) – I was left with less than inspiring photos and my mood was slightly dampened about the prospects of the rest of the weekend.
Then came Saturday morning … We were up before the crack of dawn (4am), clad in our warmest clothing and all our camera gear, and I was determined to get better photos than the day before. I hiked to the top of the nearest hill, which would usually not be a challenge, but add a backpack filled with camera gear, a tripod in one hand and a reflector in the other, and it proves more of a challenge than one might think! Once I got to the top I focused on taking photos of the landscape, but as soon as the sun came up my attention was drawn to the smaller details…

Clarens 01

Clarens 02

Clarens 03

Clarens 04
{Doesn’t this look like a character from a Dr Seuss story??}

Clarens 05

Around 6am I was really enjoying myself! The sun was up and my warm clothes were all over the mountain. I had my headphones in and was singing to Jesus Culture at the top of my lungs while takings photos of grass and flowers and rocks, as well as landscape photos (which were still less than inspiring). Suddenly I saw a little critter that had also come out to enjoy the morning sun and clearly wasn’t bothered by my loud singing…

Clarens 07
{Kinda looks like he’s posing for me}

At around 9am I was getting hungry so I gathered all my things and headed down for breakfast. The rest of my day was mostly spent under a gorgeous tree on a hay bale reading The Hand That Drove the Nails.

Clarens 06

Later that day we went to a scrapyard to photograph rust and dust and broken down objects (aren’t photographers weird? ;))

Clarens 08

Sunday morning we were up again before sunrise and drove into the Golden Gate Nature Reserve. Here we found a spot on a mountainside and waited for the sun to break out over the hilltops. Once the sun had settled well into the sky we packed up and headed home…

Clarens 09

Clarens 10

After the weekend I realised again that I won’t become a landscape photographer any time soon, and have no such aspirations, but I do enjoy being out in nature 🙂

If you’d be interested in spending a weekend in an ox wagon, check out their site here

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