I wish someone had told me how fun photography can be

About six years ago, I found a NIKON digital camera with two lenses in a drawer at Woodburn lodge whilst doing renovations with Ramon Di Clemente who is now also doing more building work for us in Stellenbosch. I have never had a digital camera before but had always thought that it could be lots of fun taking pictures of people and events. 

My friend Michele Sparkes has beautiful cameras with massive lenses so she always takes the most incredible pictures – especially when we are together in Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana.

Michele is currently busy working on a show at the State Theatre in Pretoria called “The Gold Rhino of Mapangubwe” which I cannot wait to see. I went to ask her for some advice.

One thing I remember very clearly that she said was “You can’t have a digital camera and shoot on automatic.” (We are still trying to get our friend Christina to NOT shoot on automatic hehe – more on all I have learnt from her in another blog) So off I went to trusty old YouTube for a beginners class on how to shoot on manual. It was very confusing at first – learning how to set the shutter speed, the aperture, F-stop and more. But after a few lessons I was starting to get the hang of things.

Shortly after we went on a trip to Mashatu game reserve, I also fell in love with wildlife photography. My lessons paid off and even with a 15 year old camera I still manage to get some great shots. It is so satisfying to sort your photos after each game drive and see which pictures came out great and which ones are terrible and you have to delete immediately. I may take a few hundred on each drive, but usually less than 10 make the cut.

I am saving money for a new mirrorless camera and a Michele type lens so that I can get even better pictures when I visit the bush. And also to take pictures around the mountains in Stellenbosch where I now live.

Here are a few of my pictures taken over the years in Mashatu.

Talented in music and the arts, Rikus not only has the voice, but also a natural eye for events. His attention to detail, organisational skills and ability to keep things moving are unique. He is also a people’s person and is always ready to embrace the festivities and the dance floor!