CTMT 2015: Creating the 10th anniversary programme booklet

In the run-up to the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2015 at the Castle of Good Hope, I was tasked with putting together the programme booklet for the event. Challenging, exciting, daunting, stressful, inspiring… and beyond exhausting… are just some of the adjectives that describe the experience.

With this being the 10th Anniversary of the Tattoo (after the first two in 2003 and 2004, there was a break in 2005 and 2006, and another in 2011 when we had a Sunset Picnic Concert instead, so that’s why we’re celebrating the 10th one this year), we were eager to create a professional looking programme booklet that people might want to keep as a special memento of a world-class event for years to come.


Click to read about the photo shoots – Part 1

Thankfully, I had a fellow musketeer on the same mission – Mandy, who, in addition to being a talented tenor drummer in the Drums and Pipes of the Cape Town Highlanders, also happens to be an absolute whizz in the use of InDesign.

For several weeks, we were in constant communication with helpful people in the production team as well as performers, directors of music, bandsmen and -women, musicians, support staff, members of the executive committee, a certain knowledgeable historian, fellow photographers, advertisers, etc., in order to gather and collate and make sense of all the information needed to populate the programme. Throughout, we were racing against the clock to combine text and photos in a visually attractive and logical design.


Click to read about the photo shoots – Part 2

While Mandy and I were busy compiling the programme booklet for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2015, we realised that we would need some additional photographs:

  • A panoramic image of the Castle to use as the backdrop to the running order in the centrefold
  • A portrait shaped image of the Castle entrance to use as the front cover and as the poster
  • Photos of red poppies

I thus headed off on a mission to take or locate suitable images. Even though we didn’t end up using many of the images, the whole process was so much fun!

Can you spot the Castle of Good Hope with its distinctive yellow walls down below?

Click to read about the photo shoots – Part 3

You can read more about the various photo shoots here, or by clicking on the pictures:

When it came to the Pictorial Retrospective of the Tattoo that we wanted to create, I was fortunate to have a database of my own photos from previous Tattoos and other military events dating back to 2010, and my fellow photies Brent and Lorraine had taken many beautiful photos since the early days of the Cape Town Military Tattoo as well (click to access the official website).


Click to read about the photo shoots – Part 4

Incidentally, it is Brent’s spectacular photo of the Fingers of Light that was unanimously chosen for our cover, as well as for the posters and flyers! As far as I can recall, we only had those lights one year, in 2010; and I still remember how, after he had taken that photo, we’d said “That is a keeper! That is going to make the cover one day…” And it did! Well-deserved Fame and Glory!

By pooling our resources, and supplementing them with photos supplied by the various participants, some of whom hadn’t been part of the Tattoo in recent years, we were able to put together a special Pictorial Retrospective of the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2015. To be honest, choosing which pictures to exclude was hard! We could have easily filled an entire book with photos and memories!

Lined up on either side of the ornate Kat balcony - a lovely group photo!

Click to read about the photo shoots – Part 5


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