What a great day we had with Liza in Cape Town. We had opted for the Photography Guided Tour for the day. The benefit of this is it came with a camera and memory card that my daughter could use, and we could tailor the day to do exactly as we wished. I let my 12 year old choose the itinerary and whilst I wasn’t surprised by the visit to the Ostrich farm, I was surprised by the Cape Malay cooking lesson … but what a great choice she made!!
Liza took us to the less well known Ostrich Farm in Cape Town, which rather wonderfully we had totally to ourselves. The visit was great fun in itself as we took turns to feed the Ostriches (at one point we had 3 leaning over from behind and feeding out of our hands), standing on the eggs (yes they really are strong enough!), as well as a guide explaining a few facts about Ostriches and how they are made. Did you know they only have 2 toes on each foot, and that their eyes are heavier than their brains?! Finally a photoshoot with the smallest adult Ostrich in the world, as recorded by the Guinness World Book of Records, at 50 inches tall!
It was also the perfect place to practise different techniques with our cameras – movement as the Ostriches ducked all around us as we fed them, and interesting close-ups (ruffling feathers).
Liza was engaging and chatty throughout, but also able to adapt to our interests. She quickly worked out that my daughter Kristyna would not be very interested in taking lots of landscape shots of Table Mountain so instead took us to the ‘coloured house’ area which is where some of the Mandalay population was moved to when District 6 was cleared for apartheid in 1968. The brightly coloured houses shone out in contrast to the rest of Cape Town and we quickly started using the contrasting colours for some interesting effects, and focused on a more ‘Street Photography’ style.
Next up was our Cape Malay cooking lesson, with the adorable Faldela in the purple house. You don’t get more authentic than this and when we asked for the ingredients she informed us the most important ingredient was “love”. Whilst not exactly a cooking lesson we loved our time with Faldela learning to make Samosas (with pre-prepared ingredients), and chatting to her about her life. It was a real privilege to spend some time with her – and the Samosas were delicious!
Finally we went up to Signal Hill for a great view back across to Table Mountain just as the clouds cleared, and learnt some of the skills of taking panorama’s and how to play with depth of field shots.
Liza then was kind enough to ring Table Mountain for us and find out if it had re-opened (closed earlier due to high winds), and find out how long the queue was. She then dropped us off at Table Mountain so we could finish our day up there by ourselves. Little tip for you from Liza – use Table Mountain’s Wi-Fi to book your tickets in the car-park so you can walk straight in – just show your tickets via a screen grab on your phone – otherwise there was a 2 hour wait if you just turned up without pre-booking!
It was a super relaxed day which we thoroughly enjoyed and learnt a lot as we went. Throughout the day Liza took us through practising one new technical challenge at a time so that we really understood the effects before we moved on to the next one, and as a result I definitely have been experimenting with more knowledge with my camera.
As for my daughter Kristyna? Did she get anything out of the day? Well for a start she has already made Samosas at our next dinner party, said it was the best day of her stay in Cape Town, and is now manically washing cars to earn enough money to buy a “proper Camera”. I would say that was a good day out, and one to be recommended!
Click here to see our break to Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls.