My parents own a small house on a private game and nature reserve in the Klein Karoo called Touwsberg. It’s between Barrydale and Ladismith and the house offers panoramic views of the Karoo.I
I try to go with them as often as possible but it seems the last time I was there was 2014 which was well before I upgraded to my current full frame, Nikon. I grew excited with the opportunity to spend a week there because I could work on some photography ideas I had been unable to try before. I was going to take my mountain bike up and get in some rides as well.
Upon arrival, I immediately started experimenting with photographing the Milky Way. I had a very useful app installed on my iPhone called PhotoPills that helps you determine where the Milky Way will be so you can plan your shots a bit better. I had scouted a classic Karoo windmill while mountain biking. I was keen to try to combine the windmill and the Milky Way in a single shot. I was out there for about an hour experimenting with illuminating the windmill and getting everything in focus. I was happy with my final results.
Touwsberg has quite a few animals on the reserve and I was lucky enough to be able to get close enough to giraffe to get some great shots. I was also able to get some shots of the Wildebeest that were hanging around the house.
Driving the back roads to and from Ladismith also meant I could continue shooting and documenting some of the old abandoned farmhouses along the way. I was lucky enough to be able to stop for some time to photograph an old house that I had been wanting to photograph for a while. Instead of photographing the house digitally I took my old analogue Nikon F-501 loaded with a roll of Kodak BW400CN, a black and white film. I quite enjoyed shooting film after such a long time. Not being able to see immediately what you had shot meant you needed to plan each shot more accurately. You only have 36 shots after all!
On the way home, we took the back roads through to Montagu which saw us drive through Sanbona. Last time I did that I was able to photograph a white lion and three rhinos. This time all we saw was one giraffe and a Gemsbok.
Before heading in Montagu we stopped alongside one more abandoned house so that had photographic potential. This lets me finish off the last few frames on my roll of film. Unfortunately, from Montagu onwards, the trip home was on tar.
Next time I get to go to Touwsberg I hope it won’t be in another 3 years!