Photographic Activities for Human Rights Day

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Penny 2 Comments

This Thursday is Human Rights Day, and you know what this means?

Apart from the obvious, it means that it’s time to pick up your camera and go on a photographic excursion!

Here are a list of possibilities that you can consider for your Photographic Thursday Adventure.

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Before the sun rises, head out to Marievale  Bird Sanctuary for a diverse birding experience and location. If you get there just before the sun rises, the mist that hangs over the water and the plants can create pretty stunning backdrops and alternate bird photographs. Once you are in the hides (there are a few to choose from), you can set yourself up there for a couple of hours. Being there before the sun rises and after also gives you the chance to photograph under an array of lighting situations.

Lion Park-2

Lenses I would suggest taking: 300mm and up! Also take a tripod as these are pretty heavy lenses, and is necessary for low-light conditions.

How to get there: Marievale is on the East Rand near Nigel. One can get to Nigel from Pretoria via the R50 Delmas road, which is a bit longer than the M1/N3 route, but is perhaps more pleasant. From the N3 (south of Johannesburg) Take the R550 offramp and turn left. After about 20 km you will reach a T junction. Turn right and go through Nigel. A few Km outside the town take the left fork towards the sanctuary(signposted). This road goes through rather run-down mine property, past an army base.

Alternatively, follow this link to google maps where you can type in your address (A) and Marievale Bird Sanctuary (B), and directions will be mapped out for you.

Entrance fee: Free.

The Lion Park

The Lion Park offers a variety of activities that you can choose from. These activities and experiences range from cheetah walks, guided day and night drives, being able to be ‘up close with many of the wild animals’, and more. This is a great place to practise capturing wildlife images and working on your composition and techniques as some of the animals are used to humans so they wont necessary shy away. There is a diversity of wild animals and activities so the photographic opportunities are immense.

Lion Park

Lenses I would suggest taking: 70-200mm is probably the safest lens to take.

How to  get there: Physical adress: Corner Malibongwe Drive & R114 Road, Honeydew, Gauteng.

If you want actual directions from where you are to The Lion Park, click on this link to Google Maps and type in the relevant details

Fee: Follow this link which will show you all the fees for the park and its activities.

The Lion Park contact details: Tel +27 (87) 150 0100 / + 27 (11) 691 9905 -11
Cell +27 (76) 187 3883 / +27 (82) 382 4473

Johannesburg & Cape Town Skylines

Night time photography is really fun. It also helps you understand exposure to a degree as you are capturing scenes with high contrast (bright city lights vs dark night sky). Being at an elevated position can really capture and show the life and variety of the area you live in. This is also a great opportunity to play with different techniques, like panoramic shots. Make sure you have a tripod for this as the low light will encourage camera shake and blurring of the images.

Lion Park-3

Here is an example of a panoramic view of the Cape Town City Bowl that I took from a balcony at an apartment last year.

There are a lot of places that you can explore around your area. Just make sure that you have someone accompanying you.

Market on Main

If you are in the Joburg area, day time activities are plentiful! An example would be The Market On Main happens every Sunday at Arts on Main in the blooming Maboneng Precinct. Arts on Main is known as a ‘hub for Johannesburg’s creative community to develop and share’. The restaurant,  rooftop bar, exhibition spaces, and more make Arts on Main the ‘premier food and design market’. Take your camera there and explore and represent the Joburg culture and its people.

This link will take to a very detailed page of directions to Arts on Main

Fee:  Free entry but make sure to take cash for the restaurant and other potential purchases.

We rent a variety of lenses, camera bodies, tripods and bean bags. Dont let your lack of equipment stop you from this day of experiences and fun.

Whether it is watching out from animals or for people, the principle is the same: be aware of your surroundings and always have at least one other person with you to keep an eye out while you are photographing. Most importantly: have fun! Go out to places that maybe you havent been in a while, or been to at all. Go let your photographic side stretch and explore the surroundings that we have available to us.

Don’t limit yourself to what you think you are capable of.

Penny Robartes


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