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Its Overberg Canola season. Get out the cameras

Joe Lategan

The canola landscape season is truly upon us. I took a drive from Hermanus to Riversdal through Arniston and Witsand covering a wide area of canola fields to look at photographic potential for the next two weeks.

The canola's are only starting to bloom and in some small pockets are in full bloom already. The area closer to Swellendam have some fields covered in canola's and like each year will bloom first. With the exceptional rainfall in the Western cape especially the Overberg this season, be careful to leave the road as the possibility to get stuck is real. I will guess from the end of next week it could be wise to pack the cameras and hit the road. If you have kids in school it is perfect to plan a outing during the next week and a halve and if you are waiting for the roads and accommodation to be more quiet and maybe get a discount just after the school holidays would be great as well.

As can be seen on the image above the flowers are still growing but they can cover up very soon with all the rain especially if the next week as predicted some good sunshine can be expected.  A couple of things to be aware of or take in consideration,

  • Be careful to just pull off the road on the N2. It is the most dangerous stretch between Botriver and up towards Swellendam and not worth the risk.

  • Do not jump fences of farmers it is private property and plain disrespectful unless you have permission of course.

  • Don't stand on canola's for selfies. The farmers worked hard to get them to grow.

  • For this reason pack the longer lenses or even better a 24-200mm lens and up to 400 and longer if possible. It is in the zoom range where the best images lay.

  • Don't bother if there is no wind and the land is covered with haze.

  • Try Astro photography with canola landscapes from a safe spot.

  • If you are not good in post production take a polarized filter with, it will greatly enhance the colours and the sky.

  • Look for clouds with canola foreground it puts a extra dimension in the images.

  • Do time lapses with clouds and canola's.

  • A good mobile phone is good especially if the rules of compositions are adhered to. The benefits are that apps with presets are readily available and easy to artistically tweak your images.

  • Try and go out early to get mist covering low areas of canola fields before the sun gets hold of them.

  • Look at your aperture settings to cover what you visualize.

  • Post your images on PhotographingSA FACEBOOK PAGE¬†