What does construction and road photography and videography entail?

We have photographed and filmed similar projects like this in the past so we know that they are extremely long projects so they need to be approached differently.  We had heard that the upgrade to the Sani Pass road had just started so we contacted the contracting firms and requested a meeting to see if we could be their photography and videography company for the entire project.  We had a meeting with various stake holders on site and because we had done our homework and had prepared our proposal thoroughly we managed to answer all their questions and offer them some solutions and options for their media side of the project.  A  good description of the project can be found on this blog post

What could we offer as a media company?

We would do an initial visit covering the entire length of the project on the ground as well as from the air.  We had to arrange special permission to fly a helicopter in the park area as well as when we used a drone.

We would photograph and film all aspects of the project at regular intervals and deliver quarterly progress reports.  This meant that we had to remember what and where we had filmed and photographed each visit so that the before and after scenes could be seen.

Because our reports were so detailed it meant that government officials did not necessarily have to visit the site to gauge how much progress was being made.  Reports could be sent online and everyone kept up to speed with the project.The video below was the initial report at the start of the project.

Unfortunately, as far as we know, funding for this project ended abruptly and the project has come to a halt.  We are hoping that further funding will appear soon and that this important project can startup again.

To view a terrifying shoot of a rope access company in Durban on the job clambering down the tallest buildings please hold your breath and click here


aerial view of beginning of Sani Pass road upgrade construction photography videography

An aerial view of the start of the Sani Pass road upgrade showing the layout of the road in relation to the river

view of Sani Pass showing the zigzagging road up the pass construction photography videography

The view from the top of Sani Pass looking down on the pass showing the road zigzagging it’s way back and forth. It does no justice to the road and how treacherous it really is when you are actually in a car going up or down it. Quite an experience.

view of the switchback showing the progress made construction photography videography

The switchback as it was called showing the massive wall that had to be constructed to stop any landslides and falling rocks. You can see the road heading off in the distance towards the border post and the actual pass.

construction machinery working in the mud construction photography videography

The roads can turn to mud very quickly here due to the heavy downpours that take place in the afternoons in the Drakensberg. Suddenly you realise why so many drainpipes have to be installed.

close up of wall supports to stop landslides construction photography videography

Nothing is simple in the Drakensberg so every little wall or bank that had the potential to collapse at any point had to be strengthen. These are the ends of long reinforced rods that get drilled deep into the bank to help stabilise it and prevent any rockslides or banks collapsing.


This is after an afternoon downpour turning the dusty, dirt road into a mud bath. Not fun to work in I’m sure.

beautiful-bridge-showing-the-small-waterfall-and river-that-flows-underneath-construction-photography-videography

The bridges needed to fit in with the surrounding landscape as much as possible. Once the rainy season started I understood why so many bridges had to be constructed. There were small rivers and run offs every hundred metres or so.


Part of the developers brief was to make sure that any areas that were damaged by the construction had to be rehabilitated. They did really well with this which was great to witness.


The small slow moving river/stream turned into a fast flowing river overnight.


The dry riverbed about to take an afternoon shower as a thunderstorm starts to move in overhead.


I couldn’t understand why the wall that was built alongside the river was so big but apparently every few years the river will burst it’s banks and this would possibly destroy the road.


Another example of why so many bridges were built. There were runoffs from the surrounding mountains everywhere which would wash the road away quite easily so hence the necessity for bridges.


Nothing is straight in the mountains which is why the construction and upgrade of the road would take so long and provide the construction companies with numerous challenges and unforeseen headaches.


The construction workers finishing off the embankment by applying shotcrete to stop anything falling or collapsing.


Construction workers building another drainage system showing just how big each project was and why it would take so long to finish.


A 4×4 making it’s slow journey up the pass with the road upgrade in the far distance. Will this pass ever be fixed?


I can imagine just how long this section must have taken to stabilise and to make safe for passing vehicles. And this is only a 100 metres out of more than 11 kilometres of road that needed upgrade. A massive and lengthy project.