Truitjieskraal Nature Reserve is situated inside the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve of the Cederberg Conservancy, South Africa - a World Heritage Site.
Quite a mouthful for a site which is a very reluctant superstar.
Very few people visit Truitjieskraal when in the area. Admittedly there is so much to see when visiting the Cederberg Conservancy -the Stadsaal Caves, the Maltese Cross, the Wolfberg Cracks and Arch, to name a few - but you are seriously missing out on a very important part of the Cederberg when giving Truitjieskraal a miss.
Personally, I hope it stays this way. Truitjieskraal is fragile. The sandstone crumbles with every touch and the bushman’s paintings is on the same height as inquisitive hands. The vegetation takes years to recover from man made foot paths. The less people, the better.
500 Million years ago Truitjieskraal were formed by different coloured sands deposited in shallow seas. Over the years, temperature-, wind- and chemical erosion started to bring Truitjieskraal out of the ground. Differing hardness of the layers rock is the reason for these beautiful rock formations we see today.
If you have visited Truitjieskraal before, you would know that it creeps into your soul. It is spiritual, it’s quiet and it demands your respect. Most people whisper as they walk between the rock formations. Truitjieskraal has that effect on you.
I first saw Truitjieskraal 5 years ago as a landscape photographer. Later years, when I ventured into video and time lapse, I knew that I had to return to Truitjieskraal. It’s beauty begs to be captured on film. And what better medium than time lapse, where the creeping shadows makes you realize how fleeting time is?
Over the course of 10 days we carried 30kg’s of gear up and down the slopes of Truitjieskraal, 10 times. We started out each day at 3pm and stayed until 10pm, capturing a sunset scene and then a night scene. I had purposely chosen new moon nights to shoot the milky way and it was something quite different to experience nights in a place that is eerily quiet. Combined with a necessary blackout on any torch- or even cellphone light for two hours, we endured the darkness by trying to appear brave to each other and keep a conversation going. When that failed, we studied the stars.
Once we broke the rules on lights when a rat attacked our food - off course, we only found out it was a rat after switching on a light …
I am extremely grateful to my sister, Mari, who volunteered her services on this shoot. With all the gear, plus extra clothes, food and water we had to carry, this shoot would have been near impossible for me to do alone. She followed me up and down Truitjieskraal, exploring cliffs, caves and crevices, with a 15kg backpack without complaint. Even when her knees started acting up 5 days into the shoot and although she is frightened of the night and also baboons - which visited us on the very last shoot (see the clip at 00;02;17) - she soldiered on. Your are one in a million sis!
I also want to mention the stellar job Cape Nature did with Truitjieskraal, laying out the footpaths and installing information points along the route this year, making this site so much more informative to visit and experience.
I truly hope you enjoy this short film as much as we enjoyed the making of it!
Bunch of candles
Premiere Pro CC
Shot in 6K RAW.
Filmed, edited en directed by: Liesel Kershoff
Field assistant: Mari Dreyer
Music by: Nikita Kondrashev
Available in 4K.
For licensing please contact Liesel Kershoff either through Vimeo or the CONTACT page on lieselkershoff.com website. Alternatively use my direct email lieselkershoff(at)telkomsa(dot)net (Please, no freebie requests)
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2016 © Liesel Kershoff