Piercing Dark Skies


5 days / 4 nights

R15,100 per single photographer
R12,900 per photographer with partner
R5,290 per non-photo partner

Chalets including all breakfast & dinner

Mark Dumbleton

21 - 25 November 2018

5 spots


Dramatic landscape photography
See the best of the Blyde Canyon
Learn new photographic skills
Formal processing instruction
Individual photographic attention

Join Mark Dumbleton for 5 days / 4 nights as we go in search of spectacular imagery of the third largest canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon. Mark has a lot of experience in photographing this mountainous wonderland, and he will stop at no end to assist each client in taking home special images of this special place. During this workshop we will go through the entire photographic process - from scouting a location, to composition visualisation, to photographing the dramatic scene in front of us and then finally the processing of the image. 

The weather during November is quite dramatic. We can expect rain, mist, storms, clear skies, haze and more. Be prepared for an adventurous style of photography on this workshop as we chase the light and explore the beautiful views of the canyon.


We will not adhere 100% to a set itinerary, as weather plays an important part in our choice of where to photograph the canyon from and at what time. Dramatic conditions can occur at all hours of the day. Our only set itinerary details are as follows,

21 November 2018 - Arrive 15:00 and book into our chalets.
23 November 2018 - Processing workshop from 09:00 until 15:00, processing our images we have captured from the previous days. This day includes lunch for each photographer.
25 November 2018 - Depart 10:00

We will have breakfast and dinner each day at the resort restaurant. Lunch and drinks are not included in the cost. Each day will run roughly as follows :

05:00 - meet outside our chalets and drive / walk to our sunrise location. Shoot sunrise.
08:00 / 09:00 - breakfast.
10:00 to 12:00 - personal time.
12:00 - lunch option (for your own account if you wish to have lunch).
13:00 to 15:00 - personal time.
15:30 - meet outside our chalets and drive / walk to our sunset location.
19:00 - dinner (time dependent on sunset conditions - we may stay a bit later for star photography).

During the personal time you are welcome to explore the resort hiking/walking trails. One can obtain a map from reception and explore the routes to find waterfalls, forests and the trails are also good for bird watchers.

We will be based at the Forever Resort Blyde Canyon for all 4 nights. Each photo client will have their own chalet.


Included In The Cost

  • Expert personal photographic instruction and guidance, advice on capture techniques, thoughts on composition and location scouting, photo post-processing and critique on captured photographs.
  • Accommodation at Forever Resort Blyde Canyon.
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • Entrance fees into the public viewpoint at the Three Rondawels.

Not Included In The Cost

  • Drinks at the restaurant.
  • Lunch at the restaurant.
  • Items of a personal nature. There is a great market for curios at a viewpoint we will use, so bring cash if you wish to purchase African crafts.
  • Transportation to and from Forever Resort Blyde Canyon.


  • Non-photographic partners are allowed, but kept to a maximum of 1 per photographic client. This covers the accommodation, breakfast and dinner, as well as entrance into the Three Rondawels Viewpoint. Non-photographic partners are allowed to join us for each photo session, but will not receive photographic attention.
  • At any time during the workshop you may choose to search for your own compositions away from other workshop participants. You do not need to stay with the group during sunrise / sunset sessions.
  • Mark will be taking photographs on the workshop, but only when each client has been attended to and is comfortable with their own shooting. The goal is to take you to these amazing locations and teach you how to photograph them.
  • We unfortunately cannot control the weather. Mark is not responsible for an unpleasant experience because of foul weather. The best will be done with the circumstances at hand to make the workshop as enjoyable for you as possible.
  • The camera gear Mark uses whilst photographing the Blyde River Canyon is as follows : 1 x DSLR Camera (Nikon D810), 16-35mm lens, 24-120mm lens with a 77mm circular polariser nd 10-stop ND filter, tripod and ball head, spare camera batteries and memory cards, micro fibre cloth and camera cable release. Please also bring all of your filters as well. We will have good chance to use these.
  • On each photo session, please bring adequate rain protection for yourself and your gear. As we will chase dramatic weather, there is a chance we may get stuck in a downpour. Umbrellas are also a good idea. Good walking shoes are also recommended. The distances we walk are very easily manageable but we do traverse tricky rocky sections and good foot protection will make a big difference to your experience.

Please make sure to bring the following items with you on the workshop,

  • Laptop computer, hard drives and memory card reader for the processing session.
  • Headlamp with spare batteries.
  • Each chalet will have self catering facilities, so you can bring some snacks with you, and drinks.


To make a booking, please click the "Book for this workshop" button at the top of this page and enter in your details, alternatively email Mark at A booking confirmation form will be emailed to you to confirm your booking. A 50% deposit is required to secure your booking. Final 50% payment required 60 days before departure.


VIVEK BISHUN - Drakensberg Amphitheatre March 2017 - "Incredible experience in one of the most stunning locations in SA, with 2 great guides who make it fun and enjoyable while sharing their knowledge and skills of landscape photography. A great opportunity to learn from the pro's!!"

GAVIN HARVEY - Drakensberg Amphitheatre November 2016 - "I have recently returned from a photographic workshop done in the Drakensberg. This was an awesome experience as we were expertly guided through one of the most majestic mountain ranges in our country. The opportunities to take incredible pictures were presented at just about every turn of our path upwards. Both Carl and Mark were always more than willingly to assist our group in being able to capture these moments perfectly. I would highly recommend this adventure where you combine your love of the outdoor with taking amazing photos."

Please see below my portfolio of images I have captured over the last 10 years of photographing the Blyde River Canyon. I look forward to sharing in this amazing location with you.

 A massive summer thunderstorm whips across the rugged landscape of the Blyde River Canyon, engulfing the scene in rain moments after this image was captured.
 The sun sets lower to the horizon casting golden light onto the Blyde River Canyon landscape. The hazy afternoon portrays an essence of glowy light, quite characteristic of this part of the country.
 Heavy mist shrouds the Blyde River Canyon, giving way to seconds of peering light, creating an ethereal mood to the incredible landscape. I waited three hours in the same location for this image, hoping for something spectacular to happen, and that patience was rewarded with incredible rays of sunlight illuminating the Canyon walls.
 One of my most well-known images of the Blyde River Canyon
 An early rising summer sun casts vibrant colours onto high clouds above the escarpment looking towards the lowveld and engulfing the Blyde River Canyon in a wonderful twilight dawn glow.
 A rare sight - lightning over the Canyon.