News & Press l News 08.04.2010
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 NamibRand enthusiasts.
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.
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