Experienced landscape, nature and travel photographers Paul Bruins and Jan Zwilling are pleased to introduce a photographers' paradise to you. After spending countless weeks, months and years photographing remote corners of the world from New Zealand to Canada and from South Africa to Norway they team up for their first series of workhops - taking place in Greyton in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Situated in a fertile valley in the foothills of the impressive Riviersonderend Mountain range, and flanked by two rivers, Greyton and the surrounding area offers an infinite variety of photographic opportunities. Late winter / early spring is the best time of the year to photograph Greyton's farms and landscapes, and Paul and Jan will guide you to all the best spots at the best times of day. Interested? Read on for the details!
The village of Greyton dates back to 1854, when it was named after the then Governor of the Cape, Sir George Grey. Many of Greyton's original buildings and thatched cottages have been faithfully restored to retain their rustic character of the past. Although the village is quaint and natural, with mostly dirt roads, the infrastructure is sophisticated with guest-house accommodation for over 300 people, 10 excellent restaurants, several antique dealers, art galleries, a chocolate-factory, and much, much more.
Complementing the charm of the village are its stunning sourroundings. Greyton is nested in the foothills of the Riviersonderend Mountain range and combines the grandeur of a wild natural wonder that is preserved in the Riviersonderend Nature Reserve with the beauty of a traditional rural landscape. The landscape in the vicinity of the village mostly consists of farms with meadows, grainfields, dams, and small fruit orchards. Only a few minutes further out of town, the landscape turns wild with pristine mountain ecosystems, lots of walking and hiking paths, rivers, gorges, and peaks rising up to more than 1.500 meters above sea level and roughly one kilometer above Greyton.
The unique feature of Greyton in terms of landscape photography is its versatility when it comes to photographic subjects. With a drive of less than 30 minutes we will be able to shoot a variety of extremely photogenic scenes including:
- Views from mountain peaks into a wide and wild landscape
- Fast-flowing rivers and calm ponds with exciting backdrops for dynamic compositions and reflections
- Beautiful flora including canola and aloe
- Traditional architecture in the village and on farms
- An almost light pollution free environment for photographing stars
- Lone trees in hilly fields, fog in the valleys and winding alleys and much much more ...
Both workshops have been organised to maximise your potential photographic outcome. To ensure that you are in position to capture the most beautiful and exciting photos we have planned our itinerary to include lots of shooting time - from dawn into sunrise and from late afternoon into sunset and dusk. In between there will be time for relaxing, joining us for easy-going photo walks in the village or - from dusk till dawn - trying night photography when we have clear skies. The itinerary is flexible to react to the weather conditions, but some cornerstones are already safe:
- We will meet in Greyton on Friday at 3 pm, get to know each other and prepare for the first afternoon and sunset shoot.
- There will be two sunrise shoots, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. The sun rises around 7 in the morning, this means we will meet around 5:30 each day.
- There will be two afternoon and sunset shoots, one on Friday and one on Saturday. The sun sets around 6:15, but very likely we will be shooting the whole afternoon anyway.
- Official workshop end is Sunday after the sunrise shoot and a well-deserved breakfast. We will be in the village for the remainder of the Sunday, so you are welcome to join us for a coffee at Paul's house if you would like further assistance or have any unresolved questions.
Tuition and Instructors
The main purpose of the workshop is to provide you with the best locations for stunning landscape photographs. Of course, our commitment does not end there as we will be committed to assist you in making the most of the place and the light in field. Topics covered in this in-field-tuition include composition, lens choices, basic and advanced camera use and employing filters among others. There will be no class-room sessions, as we believe the best way to improve your photography is to practise with prime subjects and good advice.
Paul Bruins' interest in photography was sparked at an early age while completing a school project of building a pin-hole camera and developing and printing the results in a homemade darkroom. From then on, photography has remained an integral part of his life. Despite qualifying as a civil engineer, his passion for this creative art has meant he rarely leaves his house without camera, and his love for nature and the outdoors has cumulated in his extensive skills as a fine-art landscape photographer. Paul is a Greyton resident and has extensively explored the village and surrounding countryside for several years.
Jan Zwilling lives and works in Berlin, Germany, but feels at home in many places around the world. He has spent several months of his student days in Portugal, innumerable weeks on the road with a motorhome in Canada and photographing northern lights in arctic Norway. His photography is fuelled by a love for the outdoors, for hiking and for conservation. Over the years he has developed an individual approach to his nature and landscape photography that is characterised by looking beyond the literal, carefully using abstraction and reduction for emphasizing the essence of what he sees in a place.
Requirements and Logistics
Included in the price is guiding you to our locations, access to the private farms that we will visit and in-field-tuition. Not included is accommodation, meals and transportation as we want to leave these things up to your personal preferences.
There are many accommodation options available in Greyton to cater for any wishes. We can highly recommend the "Old Potters" guesthouse just around the corner from the meeting point at Paul's house. Accommodation can be researched here: http://www.greytonaccommodation.com/
We will make dinner reservations for our group at a local restaurant. If you prefer to self-cater or eat somewhere else, then please let us know sooner than later. For breakfast and any other in-between meals we will provide you with recommendations when you need them.
When we drive to a location we will meet at an unambiguous spot and drive in convoy. Carpooling might be arranged spontaneously.
Here are some recommendations what to bring a long for the workshops:
- Camera, sturdy tripod, a variety of lenses (we recommend a range of 14-200 mm, full frame equivalent), filters (if you have them), shutter-release cable ... and any other camera equipment that you'd like to bring
- Head-torch with fresh batteries.
- Gumboots or shoes that can get wet (we might be walking through a shallow river, and will be walking through wet grass for sure)
- Warm clothes (it can be quite chilly before sunrise or after sunset)
- Inspiration, motivation, fun and a lot of questions ...
Price and Booking
The price for the a three day workshop is R1600. To reserve and book a spot, please contact Paul or Jan:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul)
- email@example.com (Jan)
We will be happy to answer any questions you might have and will provide you with the payment details. After paying the fee we will send you an invoice to confirm your booking.
If (for some unforeseen reason) the workshop should be cancelled, we will refund the full amount to you.
A weekend filled with photography from Friday afternoon till Sunday morning, includes two sunsets, two sunrises and everything in between
In and around the village of Greyton (Overberg, Western Cape), a town boasting with natural wonders and cultural treasures
Two Dates available in Spring 2017: Friday, August 18 - Sunday, August 20 and Friday, August 25 - Sunday, August 27.
Paul Bruins, landscape photographer and Greyton local, and Jan Zwilling, landscape photographer from Germany.
R1600 per Person
All photos on this page by Paul Bruins.