I'm Eric Palmer a photographer from Stellenbosch, Cape Town.
If you'd like to get in contact drop a line at ericpalmer@live.co.za or 082 697 9946

-all images ©Eric Palmer
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An Afreakin Photographer


De Hoop Workshop

Created 10/18/11 09:58 | Last change 03/15/12 09:21
The last week of September had us back at De Hoop. It's been a while since our last workshop there & was really glad to be there again & with the new management things ran so smoothly.

We left early on Monday morning & had to stop a few times to grab some shots in the Overberg & was looking so different in just 3 weeks.
After lunch we dove straight into the lectures & went to the dunes for our 1st shoot to warm up.
The next morning we were off to Koppie Alleen. I must say I've never really gelled with that side, but the tide was super low which opened up a few more possibilities & we were treated with a nice strong cirrus halo.

A few lectures later it was time to hit the vlei. Nice soft colours to start off with & then getting rich & really contrasty as the sun dipped & then back to soft pastels after it had dropped. I was quite surprised that just before we lost the sun it went behind some mist & I could actually see the dead spots in the sun through my 70-200mm & can see it on some of my full res shots from that evening.
Back to the Dunes the next morning with extremely soft light to start off with. Most cameras were not able to focus on the white mass of dunes, so added a nice challenge & was so soft you could just make out the lines & shapes of the dunes. It was perfect to experiment with movement (panning with no moving subject). After about two hours the sun decided to make an appearance & gave us the bright white dunes we know.
Long Beach was on the cards for the evening shoot & the tide was extremely high , which threw me off a little bit. I love the rock formations there, but most of them were under water, so had to switch gears in my mind & look for other options.

Just as we were about to leave the light was doing exactly what I was waiting for & couldn't miss the opportunity. I was so keen on soft slow exposures with the waves & green moss on the rocks & got my favourite shots after everyone had left. I needed to run back up the dunes to the car park & catch up some time in tha car, but made it without a problem & so glad I stayed for those extra few shots.
Back to Koppie Alleen the next morning with a cloud filled sky. I had a few things I'd seen & shot the previous time that I wanted to do again & having some cloud definitely made a big difference. The sand in the little bay to the right of the lookout point had been washed out almost completely so more of the interesting rock formations were visible. Amazing how just a few days changes the scenery.
For the evening shoot we decided to stay around the lecture room. Some people went back to the vlei, others to the fields of Eland, Bontebok, Zebra, Ostriches & Co.

I went for a little walk amongst the Eland & was starting to get flash withdrawals. Almost a week of shooting & I hadn't used flash for anything.

There is an old petrol pump just outside the lecture room & I had an idea for it, so went to our room, got all my toys & began my usual nonsense & fed my flash cravings.
The last shoot was in the dunes & again an amazingly soft light, but this time with nice moody clouds. Focus was a bit of an issue again, but everyone had worked out some tricks & were shooting away happily.
Toward the end of the shoot someone had spotted a smooth wave in the sand, but was getting an almost completely white shot with the soft light. A few of us were experimenting & shooting to see how much we could get out of it in post. I must say I'm surprised at how much detail we managed to get out of it without the image falling apart completely.
An amazing week with wonderful people in such a perfect place... you can't ask for more. Unfortunately that was the end for this year & am looking forward to what De Hoop brings us next year.

A few stops on the way back were mandatory & kept playing catch up with some of the participants on the way home. Napier's Coffee Shop was a must to keep the energy going & as we came through Somerset West we were treated to a good sunset over Table Mountain... the perfect end to the week.