Not Too Long to Go Now!
It won't be too long now until we embark on a road trip taking us from the Eastern shores of KwaZulu Natal to the Western shores of the Northern Cape. Yes, an epic journey of consisting of 18 nights camping in our "Beauty" (Jurgens XT160 Tent Trailer) and the "Beast" (Ford Ranger Double-Cab 3.2 l, 4x4).
We've done the equipping, the testing, the packing plan, the travel plan, the daily itinerary and all that's left is to enjoy the trip!
What will we see: The natural wonders of the Northern Cape with it's amazing and phenomenal carpets of spring flowers, wildlife at no less than three of our national parks, natural rock formations, the local inhabitants of the different area and a whole lot more.
Checkout our route here:
Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide
Browsing the internet a few weeks ago, I discovered a blog site belonging to the Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide. http://vulturehide.blogspot.co.za/
Having always wanted to spend time photographing these amazing and endangered birds I emailed firstname.lastname@example.org Soon thereafter I received a reply confirming that there was space for myself in a 08:30 to 10:30 timeslot.
On the day of my booking the weather didn’t look great at all. There were occasional showers on route from Durban to Port Shepstone . On arrival at the meeting spot (you need to be escorted there as the site is located on a private farm) I was met by Andy Ruffle, the Chairman and coordinator of the Oribi Vulture Viewing Hide. I then followed Andy for a few kilomteres along a dirt road through the sugar cane to the viewing site.
Immediately upon arrival at the viewing site we could see the Cape Vultures using the wind to graciously glide around us. Andy pointed out a large cliff face across a gully which was home to several breeding pairs, at a quick count I could see over 20 nests.. All nests were also occupied by a chick, approximately two and a half months old. Several vantage points were also indicated.
Although the weather was still very dull and reasonably hazy we were close enough to the vultures to allow some great photos to be captured. If anything, the wind against the cliff, on top of which we were standing, was a blessing in that the vultures were using the wind to fly from below us up to over our heads.
It was an absolute pleasure to see the vultures in their natural habitat, caring for their chicks, taking off and landing from their nesting sites. An awesome experience indeed. I plan to make my next visit on a day when the there is a carcass available to feed the vultures and we can then use the hide to observe the feeding frenzy.
Here are a few photos that were taken on the day.
Royal Natal National Park
The Drakensberg remains one of the most scene places in South Africa. This time we visited the Northern Berg and stayed at the Royal Natal National Park for three nights.
The old hotel. last occupied some 20 years ago, is a sight for sore eyes. It is totally neglected and marked as being off limits to the public. However the nature and scenery around it is absolutely magnificent.
The many walks and hikes together with the mountains and rivers can keep one occupied for an eternity. Always a fantastic break from the stress of City life and of course a great occasion to get out the camera for that award winning photo.
A full portfolio of 152 photos is posted on this site for your viewing enjoyment.
Durban Motor Show
The Durban Motor Show has returned. The show has not been held for a few years and returned as a great success.
The advantage of having media access on all three days of the show allowed for a great opportunity to photograph the cars, both old and new. The show saw the official launch of the latest model Ford Mustang together with new releases from several other manufacturers.
A highlight of the show was the Drifting competition held in the car park across the road from the Expo site. This was the first time the a competition of this nature had been held within the CBD of a South African City. Well done Durban Motor Show, it was a grand event.
Peg Skateboards and Malaz vehicle modifications also put together a "Skate my Ride Skateboard competition which held everyone in awe. Skateboards exhibited their skills while skating up a ramp and over a VW Beetle. Very brave chaps these were, especially those that did not always make it but got up and continued.
Click to view more photos of the event: Day 1 & 2 Day 3
Today was an action packed one with an outdoor shoot in the park and then another in the new studio. Both shoots involved young children between 18 and 24 months.
Although these are always challenging shoots, all went well. The weather, somewhat inclement lately, held off and provided wonderful light for the outdoor shoot, The child was a very happy little boy who thoroughly enjoyed himself.
After the outdoor shoot we went back to the studio and set up for a very, very active little girl. Man oh man did she run a mock. Toys (props) finally caught her attention and slowed her down a little allowing us to go about getting some really great pics. Then it was off to downloading and workflows.
All in all, it was a fantastic day. Busy and most rewarding, leaving two families happy with their shoots and eager to get their hands on the results thereof.
Ok, so here we go. PdG PIX registered it's own domain name. can you guess what it might be? I thought so, and you're right it is pdgpix.com.
The site is in it's infancy and as a result of the many genres of photography that PdG PIX is capable in the site will take a little time to mature. Feel free to browse the site and let us know what you think. Is there too little info, not enough photos examples etc. etc.
Peter de Groot, keen photographer with competencies in several photographic genres