|Photographic Tok Tokkie Trail on NamibRand Nature Reserve
We all know that there’s more to great photos than pointing and
shooting. Sunsets look great but what do you have to consider if you wish to
capture them in a picture? F-stop, ISO, burst, aperture and shutter speed –
what’s that all for? Why is it more difficult to take pictures of black than
of white faces? The participants of the photographic Tok Tokkie Trail which
Scott Hurd led from 20 – 22 March 2010 certainly know the answers
now.The eight aspiring photographers who set out together with Scott Hurd in
order to capture the natural beauty of the NamibRand Nature Reserve on their
cameras had all sorts of backgrounds and their photographic equipment ranged
from the good old analogue camera to semi-professional equipment. Also,
their motivation for attending the course could not have been more diverse.
It ranged from “I hardly ever use my camera as I do not know how to use it.
Now I want to learn how to make more out of it” to “I am a dedicated hobby
photographer and after this course I will win a photographic competition”.
Some were also not sure if the scenery would be to their liking: “I am
actually not that interested in the south, I like the north more”. It is no
betrayal of secrets to say that even these sceptics were soon converted into
With great passion and energy Scott Hurd explained all sorts of camera
functions and their usage. He also gave lots of advice on picture
composition, views, angles and avoiding the shakes. Following Scott’s
entertaining explanations, his trainees took great pleasure in learning that
rules must be broken: “Photographic rules were made in the days of film to
create really boring photographers”. But he also made it clear that no
technique or technology, sophisticated as it might be, can make up for the
photographer’s eye. Well, of course, the apprentice-photographers will now
never forget to “stand firm, hold it down and press the button”. Luckily,
there was no shortage of opportunities whatsoever. And, as it was a walking
safari, everybody could take their time on choosing their shot.
Nonetheless, the 3-day trip was not only about photography. When the tired
hiking photographers reached camp just before sunset, a sun-downer and a
delicious three-course dinner were already waiting for them. Now they
understood what their guide, Domingo, had meant when he had said that they
would be shown their “rooms”. Great surprise! Some had difficulties in
finding their rooms when it was bedtime, but all were overwhelmed by the
ceiling of stars. Although, most of the participants were Namibians, Domingo
managed to put forth many interesting stories about the desert and its
inhabitants that were new even to accomplished Namibia travellers.
“My children will be impressed when I get home. They will not take the
camera out of my hands anymore!” “One should definitely travel more in one’
s own country!” and “I’m buying a digital camera when I get home!” were some
of the comments made after the course. Goal achieved! Everybody was much
more confident with using their camera and the beauty of the NamibRand
Nature Reserve had made a lasting impression on everyone.