Last Darkmoon

Nieuwoudville 2018

What you will need to bring:

Firstly, thanks for joining me on this Landscape Photography Experience. Hopefully, I will be able to share some of my knowledge to help you discover ways to capture better landscapes in the years to come.

We will be there in near summer conditions and we could expect it to be pretty warm, so please pack accordingly.
Accommodation is based on a per person sharing. You will be sharing a room with a fellow attendee and we will all be sharing bathrooms.

As it will probably be hot, bring warm weather clothing. I prefer to wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers. There are two reasons for this, firstly is sunburn and secondly is that as we will be in the field it will protect you from scratchy bushes and thorns.
We will be shooting from early morning and till late in the evening. Comfortable hiking shoes or boots.
Also, a big must is a head torch and another hand torch for working in the dark.
A warm top or jacket could be useful should it be cool at night.


DSLR Camera (any make will do ;)) I shoot Canon so I know the system very well and I am sure I will find my way around other systems as well. Set of lenses, specifically a wide angle lens IE 18-55 / 16-35 / 17-40 / 10-20

Telephoto lenses can also be brought, there is very good birdlife and this could be fun to do during the day. 70-200, 100-400 or longer. Tripod [please note: This will be your most important tool, so it is a MUST]

Cable release for shooting stars and other longer exposures
ND Grad filters, if you have this will be an added bonus but if you don’t it’s not a train smash, I will show you how to shoot and edit with no filters.
I have a spare set and I will try to arrange some demo sets from one of the suppliers.
GoPro or a drone, in case you want to make some video.
Please bring enough batteries and memory cards. You do not want to run out of storage space and batteries when out shooting. There is electricity so we would be able to charge our gear.
Camera bag for hiking, as we will be walking quite a bit, you will need something comfortable to carry your gear in.
Please bring with your drone should you have one, mine is always in the car.

Personal sundries, like toiletries, personal medication etc. Also insect repellent.


Two Main meals will be provided, Breakfast/Brunch and Dinner.
If you want in between snacks, please bring your own with. Snacks like Biltong, nuts and fruit will keep you filled up most of the day.
A Menu will be provided beforehand to preselect our dinners. As we will be heading out early to shoot nightscapes.
Breakfast is a beacon and egg breakfast

You will need to bring your own alcoholic beverages and cold drinks. That is for your own discretion.
There are fridges in the cottages and ice will be provided. Please keep in mind we are a big group and there is quite a bit of stuff that needs to be kept cold, so please do not bring half of Woolies with you and if you do, try not to have to much stuff that needs to be kept cold in the fridges. If you have a fridge in your car, even better.

Please feel free to bring some water and Ice with should you need extra

Some facts:

This will be the last dark moon of 2018 where one would be able to get amazing milky way images. From the middle of November, the milky way will start to set too early at night to get good astro images of the milky way core. The milky way then only start to rise again in late March or April.
The Quiver Tree forest in Nieuwoudtville is said to be the biggest and one of the oldest quiver tree forests in the world. This makes for some amazing landscape photography. The textures and light in this forest are simply amazing.

My biggest worry is ticks, in fact, I am more scared of them than of the snakes. If we have a couple of warm days before the weekend there is a huge possibility that we might pick up some of them if we are in the veld. We will have to do thorough checks every time we were in the bush. They will make you very ill if you get bitten by one that is a carrier of Tick Bite Fever. That is also why I wear long pants and shirts. We did not pick up any ticks when we were there last time, but I just know they will be there.

You will need a headlamp or a torch of some sorts. We will be doing quite a bit of shooting at night and you will need it to see where you are going. It will be pitch black dark out there due to the new moon.

Our days will start very early, from around 6 am we would need to be out in the field already to get the sunrise. This is a magic time of the day! We should be back at the cottages at not much later than 9-10am and then we will have coffee and breakfast. During the day we will work on some of the images in Lightroom and Photoshop and I will discuss some editing techniques that I use. There will also be ample time for being lazy and relax and to shoot some of the life on the farm

We will start to head out for sunset at about 6 pm. At this time of the year, the milky way is busy setting, but it will be up long time already for when we start shooting. This is basically the last good dark moon for the year, before the milky way sets during day time. Two great things about that are that we get to shoot it an early evening and we can be back long before 12 am to get a good nights sleep in.

I will be taking along some fun things that we can shoot at night like stuff to do light painting with, we will make things like Orbs and spinning steel wool images, great fun.
During the daytime, those who are up for it can look to find some of the unique birds on the farm and do some bird photography.

The Sunday we will start to pack at around 10 am, we should try not to leave later than 1 pm as it is quite a drive back home to the city.

Getting there:

A detailed google maps with directions will be given to everyone. We will be staying in the town of Nieuwoudtville and simply head out for our shoots. There are also some amazing old buildings in the area that make for amazing astro images that we could use.

I am sure this will be a fun-filled couple of days where we will discover lots of new tips and techniques from each other and go home with a couple of new friends.

If there are any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Contact Me

Contact Dewald Kirsten

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