Trip report: Hole in the Wall, May 2013 (on location)

For those who are interested in Hougaard Malan’s photography workshops at/around Hole in the Wall (HITW) – just a “few” images to show you how it is done (in style). We were 6 photographers in the group and we had fun all the way from very early in the mornings (earliest was 03H00 for a star trial session) till “late” (if you can call my wife’s bed time late – no need to mention the time).


Thanks to Alma Erasmus for sharing her images with us (taken with a mik-en-druk (point and shoot) camera).


On location 01

1. Preparing for the shoot – after we had to walk all the way down for the parking area to the water below surrounding HITW in total darkness (just remember to bring your flash light/head light with on the trip – a very essential piece of equipment for this trip). Trying to get a good composition in almost total darkness – a real challenge




On location 03

2. But luckily Hougaard is always nearby and with advice such as: “Just change your camera about 1cm to the left” or: “HITW is too much to the left – do you like it that way? I would suggest that you (please) re-compose” how can you not get a great shot!


On location 02

3. By now the sun is starting to rise and you can hear shutters going off – sound like a very slow machine gun. Lamps looking (must say – a bit worried) at some of his images on his camera. Not to worry – he got some very special and excellent shots.


On location 04

On location 05

4. Doing the star trail thing – you press shutter release and it stays open for 1 hour for the sensor of the camera to capture the image for 1 hour. Then you need to wait another 1 hour for the in-camera noise reduction to kick in. So what do you do around 04H00 in the morning for two hour when you are not allow touch the camera or use a light? This is all you can do – after a nice cup of tea/coffee and rusks. “Vet pret”  – don’t you agree?


On location 06

On location 07

5. As you can see, the sun is up, all the great colours are gone, so it time to leave, climbing back up the steep hill and drive back to the lodges for a proper breakfast. For those unfamiliar with landscape photography, it looks still dark but the shooting session is over for the morning. After sunrise, there isn’t really anything more to do other than looking for some interesting shots on the beach. And there are usually something to shoot. Otherwise it is back to the lodge to download the photos, rate them and start with the post-processing procedures. For some of us (like his majesty), it is time for a quick 2hours nap before some more photo development.


On location 08

On location 011

On location 012

On location 013

6. The afternoon sessions usually start with the same procedures – driving to HITW (10-15min drive – the road was very bad after the rain) or walking unto the beach (30 meters). And then after the afternoon’s session, two people to prepare supper (according to a schedule drafted by my wife) while the other “kuier te lekker saam”. And Johan – with what he can do best, after all – give him some credit – he is from the Cape!!!


On location 010

7. You can only guess who was the braaier during this trip – according to him: “My braai skills are of the same standard as my photography skills”. And he provided the necessary evidence – excellent braaivleis and lobsters every time!!!


On location 014

On location 015

8. Like I’ve mentioned before – we had a rigid schedule when it comes to preparing the food, thanks to my wife (while initially Johan was not impressed) – two people on duty to prepare breakfast and supper on a rotation basis so that the other can relax. This time around it was Johan and Bessie who were on duty. And boy o boy, what a feast they prepared as well as setting the standard!!!


On location 016

9. All in all it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on – keep it up, fellow photographers!!! Looking forward to our next trip.



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