Drakensberg Book: The Drakensberg Project

11 Jan 2018 19:40 - 11 Jan 2018 19:51 #72624 by Richard Hunt
Hi Guys

I don't know if there is a topic on Drakensberg Books in this forum.
Well I want to share with you about a coffee table book I am busy with at the moment. For a few years now I have had a passion to photograph the Berg and I got an idea to publish a book that has photos and snippets from every area of the Berg. The chapters would be based on the KZN Wildlife areas of which I have included twelve such areas (from Bushmans Nek to Royal Natal) There are some fantastic books out there on the Berg but none of them covers every area of the Berg in such a format. I have now edited a 290 page book as an idea of what I envisage and will over the next couple of months approach some publishers to take things further. On the 19th of this month we will go to Royal Natal to photograph a few scenes for the final photos needed for Chapter Twelve...Royal Natal National Park.
It has been very exciting to pursue this dream of mine. The many times I have had to get out of my sleeping bag well before sunrise, some times in the freezing cold have been totally worth the effort.
Any ideas and suggestions will be most welcome and I will keep you updated on the progress........

The front page (excuse the quality, but taken with a cell phone off the PC screen)

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Last edit: 11 Jan 2018 19:51 by Richard Hunt.

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11 Jan 2018 21:41 #72629 by Papa Dragon
Awesome Richard.. I hope, and am sure that your book will be a resounding success, knowing the effort that you have put into it, and the quality of your photographs.

All the very best..

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05 Apr 2018 21:23 - 05 Apr 2018 21:30 #73125 by Richard Hunt
Hi Guys. Just an update regards my book that will be published within a few months. This last Easter weekend I needed to find a decent image for the book cover. As you know the weather was not good with misty conditions and rain most of the time. As your read Andrew Porters group changed plans and headed up Mnweni Pass instead of Rwanqa Pass and then his amazing account of the Hanging Valley abseil. We had planned to meet them above The Pins but the weather made other plans. On our way to the escarpment above Hanging Valley we stopped on an outcrop next to Mnweni Pass and suddenly the mist parted for a 15 min window and now I have my cover image. The book title has been changed to "Spirit of the Drakensberg" and these images describes the title well.

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Last edit: 05 Apr 2018 21:30 by Richard Hunt.

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06 Apr 2018 13:43 #73134 by AdrianT
I'm sure it will be great. All the best with the publishing. Will be very keen to get a copy.
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06 Apr 2018 20:06 #73136 by Riaang
Hi Richard,

Regarding ideas etc, herewith a couple of possible things to consider:
- Who is your intended market? International customers, RSA citizens in general, hikers? Each may have a different requirement, i.e. the content would most probably differ for each. As a hiker I would like to see (as an example) detailed route descriptions, trip reports, maybe gps tracks and maps etc, but an international buyer would probably like to see more of an overview of the general area, the local fauna and flora, some photos of Basuthos etc.
- What will make your book different from all the others out there already? If I were you I would try to take a unique approach that will set my book apart from all the rest.
- Your photos are really world class, I would let them do a lot of the talking. You definitely capture things in a unique and different way when compared to some of the images I've seen in other books, so if you could add some personal experience (kind of pull the reader into the story, make him/her feel that they are standing there and you are telling them the story) it might work to grab the readers attention.
- Maybe provide a bit of education on the dangers and risks people will face when venturing into the wilderness areas. A sense of danger and adventure always seems to grab attention - well, for me in any case.

So there you have it, some ideas from my side :-). I'm no writer nor photographer, but if you can find some use from these ideas then by all means use it.
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07 Apr 2018 06:05 #73138 by Richard Hunt
@Riaang.... Thanks for your input and suggestions. Yes I am aiming mainly at your point 2 & 3. The book will be unique in that each chapter is based on the 12 main KZN Wildlife areas that everybody is familiar with. It is not just for hikers but all lovers of the Drakensberg. It will take the viewer from the EKZNW officers/rest camps/resorts on a journey from the lower Berg onto the escarpment as much as possible. Every photo will tell a story with snippets describing them. I tried not to write too much as the average viewer could get lost in in. The Berg is huge and it was difficult to choose the right photos to depict the entire range, as it is the book is already 290+ pages and I don't want it larger than that.

Below are blurbs:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KwaZulu-Natal born and bred, Richard Hunt grew up in Mooi River. With the mighty Drakensberg Mountains constantly in sight, his visual sense was honed by their shape, form and endlessly changing beauty. Richard Hunt has a farming background, which connects him in many ways to the earth and fuels his deep love for nature conservation. Wilderness areas have always called him but he only discovered photography in his later years, capturing magnificent landscape images during his monthly forays into the mountains. His vast collection of quality photographs depicting the entire Drakensberg range provides an unprecedented overview of the region.

ABOUT THE BOOK
The Spirit of the Drakensberg takes the reader on an evocative journey through the mountains. The twelve chapters are based on the demarcated Ezimvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife areas– a unique approach that informs the reader of the highlights and dramatic scenery waiting to be discovered in each particular section of the Berg. It took Richard Hunt six years to capture these Mountains in their changing moods and seasons; enticing one to take to the footpaths, if only from an armchair perspective, to enjoy the spectacular beauty that unfolds, page by page. The photographs are contextualized by succinct captions, allowing one to share Richard Hunt’s passion for this ancient mountain range, and recognizing its deep spirituality and endless lure.

Thanks Riaang.........
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13 Apr 2018 18:58 - 04 Jul 2018 11:57 #73203 by Richard Hunt
Hi Guys. My Drakensberg coffee table book is now coming together and scheduled for publication in October 2018. There will be 500 copies printed so here is your chance to pre order a book. You can also email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I can email you a Word Document order form to fill in.

Thanks Richard......

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Last edit: 04 Jul 2018 11:57 by Richard Hunt.
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16 Apr 2018 15:11 #73214 by AdrianT
Hi Richard, is the R80 via South African post office? Just wondering. Because they're so unreliable even Trail Mag has stopped subscriptions of their magazines due to SAPO :S It would be a terrible shame to lose a book because of their incompetency.

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16 Apr 2018 17:24 #73217 by Richard Hunt
@AdrianT.... The R80 postage includes a tracking number.
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25 May 2018 13:13 #73543 by AdrianT
Done and paid. Looking forward to seeing the final product :hike: :thumbsup:
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