In EP14 of Adventure Photography On Location I get my feet wet as I follow a river upstream and explore my way down into the cracks and canyons of the Drakensberg into a place called ‘The Gorge’.
Having hiked a 7 hour climb the previous day we were excited about the idea of an easy walk for the following day. 14km upstream to the base of Tugela falls – 7 up and 7 down. Easy!
What we didn’t know was that the walk only took as a far as a place called ‘the Gorge’ – nothing less than spectacular really. A place where water has shaped and carved its way through the solid rock and has formed all kinds of interesting places to explore.
But with out curiosity for more we went beyond the path and further upstream. We were keen to find the bottom of the waterfall we had looked down in on the previous day.
What was a rather surprisingly hard hike to begin with turned into one of those adventures where you know you’ll be racing time by the end of the day. There was only one way out of this place, and that’s back downstream the way we came in. How far would the bottom of the falls be? One more corner, one more crossing!
But by the time we reached 2PM we knew that we had to turn around soon. Or we wouldn’t make it back in time before the National Park closed its gates.
So we decided to go for a quick, refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters and turn around and make our way back soon after. We never reached the bottom of Tugela falls… I wonder if people ever do?
Anyway, the 4h hike turned into an 8h race and by the time we reach the car we had barely enough time to exit the park. Perfect timing!
And after 8h of exploring seemingly untouched nature I felt no regret that we hadn’t found the base of the falls. The Gorge and explorations were perfectly enough and I was quite happy with the images I had captured for one day.
At the base of the Amphitheater the Gorge Walk is a fairly easy hike and absolutely worth doing if you’re in the area. Start early and take plenty to drink and make a day out of it.
The previous day had taken its toll on me and I was heading out for an enjoyable 14km walk. I packed 2 E-M1 Mark II – one for filming, one for shooting. The 7-14mm, 12-40mm, 12-100mm and the 25mm f/1.2 PRO prime lens.
I reckon I had about 6-7kg all inside my F-Stop Gear AJNA backpack. (including water)
I filmed the episode in Cinema 4K (4096x2160px) and flat profile. I used a second Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (thanks Olympus!) and the 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO for the filming of the episode.
This camera + lens combination is my absolute favourite video kit. The sensor + lens stabilisation is a miracle and seemingly by magic (and incredibly engineering), manages to smooth out ±90% of the shake I produce while handling the camera handheld. No need for a tripod or gimbal!
For the final render I downscaled the footage to 1920×1080 and cropped it to 16:9 aspect ratio for YouTube. By using a larger recording format you get more detailed looking downscaled image and I’m very pleased with the final result.
Almost all of my Adventure Photography On Location episodes are self funded. I create them because I love sharing my passion for photography and the outdoors and I would love to keep creating more of these and hopefully create an ongoing thing. Many hours are spent coming up with and creating episodes for you and I don’t really make any money creating them. Which is why I decided to join Patreon.
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One more big Africa episode!
Next up a double location – 2 of my favourite locations in South Africa packed into one exciting APOL episode including raging waterfall and an epic sunrise over the famous Panorama Route. So stay tuned!
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Planning travels yourself? You should definitly check out our travel blog: The Sandy Feet that I run together with my ‘subject‘: Freya (the woman in yellow 😉 ) where you will find for all kinds of travel stories, tips and guides to the places you see me in.