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Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Richard Garvey-Williams

  
  

Published photographer and nature enthusiast Richard Garvey-Williams has been to Namibia twice on photo safaris. Richard was kind enough to sit down with us and tell us about his experiences in Namibia and how you can get the most out of your photography in the Land of the Brave.

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris 
Two gemsbok in dramatic scenery in the Namib-Rand Reserve 

 

Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

There were so many, but I did receive a parting gift that has certainly stayed with me. On my last evening, on the Namib-Rand Reserve, I decided to relax after dinner instead of rushing off to finish downloading images and get to bed ready for an early rise. I leant back in my chair and really took in the night sky for the first time that trip. I’ve seen night skies in a number of countries but this was special. I resolved to make some time for some night photography too on my next visit.

 

Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

Namibia is vast, relatively unpopulated spaces and the arid landscapes particularly strike those of us from more temperate climates. The rugged mountains and towering sand dunes provide some wonderful back-drops for wildlife photography. The colour palette is quite unusual being dominated by yellows, oranges and blues. There’s certainly variety too with the coastal regions, Fish River Canyon and the Waterberg Plateau just a few examples of locations offering different photographic opportunities. Etosha National Park is also great for photographers, particularly in the dry season when you are able to witness the whole cast of its dramatic wildlife taking turns visiting the many waterholes.

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris

Wildebeest seeking refuge during the course of the day on the Etosha Pan


One of the challenges we photographers have to face is that of heat haze. Photographing at the ends of the day when the air is cooler helps and it’s also important to get nearer to your subject if there is a risk of haze. However, when using very long lenses, there are bound to be a few images blurred by its influence. The other elements that we need to respect in these sorts of environment are the dust and sand- extra precautions are certainly recommended. Planning your travel itinerary can also be a challenge as the distance between locations are great and many of the roads are not tarred. I tried to always travel during the middle of the day to avoid eating into the precious morning and evening photography sessions. 

 

Which 3 photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

1. One of my favourites is the one of the Black-faced Impala drinking.

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris

This was taken early on during my tour at one of the waterholes towards the Eastern Gate of Etosha. I watched through the viewfinder mesmerized as the impala came in one at a time to drink, eventually lining themselves up to form a wonderful composition. The late-arrival, nervously looking around before lowering its head really makes the photograph as it breaks the pattern established by the others.

 

2. Another is the silhouetted elephant drinking.

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris

This was taken at Halali waterhole in Etosha. I was half-way into my time in the park and had yet to see an elephant- which is unusual. At sunset, I hurried on foot to the waterhole and was over-joyed to find a whole herd of elephants drinking there. I set to trying to capture some interesting shapes and outlines by silhouetting them against the glowing water beyond. I fired off a sequence as this one raised its head. The alignment of its head with the gap between the trunk and the reflection on the left made this one a particularly balanced and appealing composition.

 

3. Finally, I’ll go for the one I call Elephant Communion.

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris

I approached this waterhole to find these two bull elephants standing there coated with drying white mud. They looked as if they had been sculpted out of marble. I spent a good hour watching them as they gently swayed from side to side, occasionally turning to each other and gently resting their heads together. They had arrived together and I saw them leave together – clearly a close bond between them.

 

When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

There are opportunities to use the full spectrum of focal lengths with long telephotos being useful for many wildlife encounters and in particular the bird life. Wide angle lenses will enable you to include foreground details in some of your landscape shots and to get ‘creative’ with rock formations, quiver trees and sand dunes. I’d also strongly recommend a polarizing filter. These will often work wonders in this context by lifting and emphasizing the wonderful colours in the scenery. 

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris
Sculpted sand dunes in the Namib-Naukluft National Park.

 

Another essential item is a beanbag. Much of your photographing will be done from a vehicle so a beanbag to rest your camera and long lens on will make life a lot easier. It will also give you the stability you need to use slower shutter speeds when the light levels are low early in the morning or when you need a small aperture for a greater depth of field.

 

A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top three tips would you give them?

Firstly, as with any destination, it’s important to do your research and plan your travel itinerary with your photographic ambitions in mind. Make good use of an operator or contact with local knowledge. Factor in a little extra time as road conditions can be a little variable.

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris

Deadvlei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park


Secondly, you must protect your equipment from dust and sand. Dust covers or simple plastic bags fixed over your camera and lens with rubber bands or tape are a good idea. A blower brush to keep the optics clean, and cloths and cleaning fluid are also essential. Remember to put your cameras and lenses away in your camera bag and to zip it up when you’re on the move.

Finally, when lining up each shot, make a point of asking yourself about the fundamentals of lighting and composition. The aridity of the surroundings provides for some lovely uncluttered scenes, enabling you to simplify your compositions and to experiment with some precise placement of the elements contributing to the photograph. It’s not surprising that many of my images from Namibia were used as examples illustrating various points in my book, Mastering Composition – the definitive guide for photographers (Details of which can be found on my website).

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris 

Namibia, namibia photography, Richard Garvey Williams, etosha photography, photography, mastering composition, elephants, photo safaris 

Richard spent his childhood years in East Africa and was so in awe of the beautiful wildlife of that region that now, many years on, he still feels the draw of the African continent and the safari experience. As a professional wildlife and landscape photographer, he uses his skills to share with others these wonders and the empathy and respect that he feels for the natural world. Through his photography workshops he also welcomes others to share in the exhilaration of the safari experience. He is now busy working on another photography book.

Visit Richard's website, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook. You can also check when his next photo safari is happening here

More Photographer Tips

This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

          

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

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Capture Namibia: Photography tips from Marina Cano

  
  

Marina Cano is an award winning Spanish photographer who recently spent some time in Namibia. She took several amazing shots of the Land of the Brave and its creatures. We tracked her down and got her to share some of her wisdom and a few of her favourite shots from her trip.

describe the image

Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

There were many incredible moments in Namibia, it’s difficult to choose just one. But early one morning we were tracking a young female cheetah, Jacomina. She had been introduced to the wild for just three months. I went with the rangers who were taking care of her while she got used to her new habitat. When we arrived there, she was alone.

Then Jacomina started calling for her cubs. After a few minutes, the ranger's became anxious because the cubs did not come. She continued to call them while moving around the area. We were on foot and followed her cautiously in the distance almost without breathing. After what felt like an eternity, two adorable cubs came running towards her. I could see a big smile and relief on all faces. Everything seemed to be much more beautiful even more sunny. At sunset the same day we found them relaxing in the bush- all three of them were lit up by the last rays of the sun. The mixture of shadows and light spilling onto them was just awesome.*

*This picture appears below so keep on reading!

 

Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

Traveling in the winter, I had many opportunities to witness and observe a diversity of animals in large numbers at the many different waterholes. Sunsets were those magical moments that all photographers dream about. Every evening was a gift (sometimes it felt like I was having a romantic date with elephants, giraffes, rhinos, birds…) Simply put, it is nature at its best. 

I felt comfortable, safe and also fulfilled with the spirit of adventure in Namibia.

The challenge is to make sure that you are at the waterholes close to the lodges in Etosha when the light starts to become precious in the golden hours of the day. Everyday you need to have a very specific schedule because the distances from the lodges in the parks are far. The Namibian landscape is unique and spectacular, it does not matter where you are; you recognize an image taken in Namibia as soon as you see it.

describe the image

 

Which 3 photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

1. Okaukuejo waterhole at Etosha. 

describe the image

After sunset with giraffes and rhinos drinking, the sky turned into a swirl of reds, oranges and blues... In this picture you can only see the silhouettes in the reflection. I turned the picture upside down, so the sky remained in the bottom, and the silhouettes are in the upright position. The result is ethereal and mysterious.

 

2. Erindi Private Game Reserve

describe the image

The curious baby leopard. It was just a miracle that we discovered a leopard cub by chance. The cub was about one month old. After spending over an hour with it, the cub became inquisitive and more confident and allowed us close enough to photograph it.  The cubs curious beautiful blue eyes curious looked straight into the camera resulting in this delightful image.

 

3. Cheetah family in the bushveld

describe the image

The cold blue environment contrasted with the warm light surrounding their bodies created a magical atmosphere, almost surreal. They came across as very relaxed and at the same time very aware of us. They all looked straight into the camera. I love the baby cheetahs’ faces, looking mildly upset and curious, but feeling very safe close to their mum.

 

When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?      

This was my first time in Namibia, I was there for one month exploring and discovering the beauty of this corner of Africa. My equipment: Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EOS MARK IV, Canon 600mm f/4, Canon 300mm 2.8, Canon 100-400mm, Canon 16-35mm, Canon 85mm. Manfrotto tripod.

For this trip, Canon Spain lent me the EOS 1DX camera and the fabulous 600mm lens. All I can say is that I felt extremely lucky because I was able to get very close to the animals when I most needed it. I recommend that you bring two camera bodies so you don't have to change lenses due to there being so much dust in the air.

describe the image 

A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top 3 tips would you give them?

1. Winter in Etosha offers a lot of activity at the most waterholes. The best waterholes in my experience are the ones at the lodges, so you don't have to rush up and down when it gets darker.  Find a comfortable seating position and be ready to take the most exciting pictures. The weather is wonderful, not too hot in the days and evenings, but for sunrise shots wear warm clothes.

2. Erindi Game Reserve will offer you exciting and different approaches to wildlife photos. You can drive off-road and have really close encounters with the wild. The sunsets are endless, and some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

3. Book well in advance for Etosha because during high season it gets very busy at the lodges. Spend as much time as you can in the park, every single day is to be treasured. Every minute is magic and you might not want to ever leave. Anyone who wants to join me for my photo safari is very welcome.

describe the image

You can visit Marina’s website here or check out her Facebook page for more of her work. 

bio

About Marina...

Marina Cano is an award winning Spanish photographer who has published two books and is regularly featured in the National Geographic. She has exhibited her work in Korea, South Africa, Cuba, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. When not taking photographs Marina lectures around the globe.

 

More Photographer Tips

This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

          

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

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Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

 Marsel van Oosten 

 Christopher Rimmer

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Driving through Namibia with Carlo van Wyk

  
  

Namibia: A Solo Overland Trip

by Carlo van Wyk

Every now and then, we all need a break. A few weeks ago I decided to take a much needed escape from the daily grind, and set out on a 3000 mile road trip through the south of Namibia. I didn’t have a set itinerary, just a road map, my four-wheel drive vehicle, cameras, and enough supplies to be self-sufficient for more or less two weeks.

Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

The famous Dead Vlei.

 

Taking a break and traveling solo

I’ve always wanted to do a trip to Namibia. The country’s natural beauty and its vast and desolate expanses have always appealed to me. I wanted to take some landscape pictures, and to take a bit of a break from my working life. I decided to focus most of my travels around the south and south-west of Namibia so as not to feel rushed while I explored the country.

Namibrand Nature Reserve - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

The NamibRand Nature Reserve...
There are no fences on the side of the road and the wildlife roams freely through the reserve.

 

I was afforded a certain freedom by travelling solo. I travelled on my own time and terms, and it’s amazing how different one’s experience of traveling is when one travels alone. I met people I would never have met if I were traveling with someone or in a large group of tourists.

Old Car Wreck, Namibia - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Being on your own allows you to take more time to linger at interesting places.
 

 

Camera equipment for Namibia

I was using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and I ended up taking the majority of pictures with three of my lenses: A Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L MK II, a Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L MK II and an EF 100mm Macro lens. I also used an EF 24mm tilt shift lens for a few shifted panoramas. I did miss not having a 70-200mm zoom lens, as there were plenty of opportunities where such a lens would have been ideal.

Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park- Panorama taken with Canon EF 24mm Tilt Shift lens.


If I could take only three lenses to Namibia I would pack a 16-35mm, a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. These three lenses are my ideal choices for photographing landscapes and people. However, if I intended on photographing wildlife as well, I would simply add a 500mm lens with a tele converter to the above selection of lenses.

Namibian Winter Panorama - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Namibian Winter Panorama-
This panorama was taken with the Canon 24mm t/s F3.5ii L lens,
and really shows where this lens excels.


There’s a lot of dust and sand in Namibia. I managed to shoot with my camera for well over a year without the need for cleaning the sensor, but towards the end of my trip through Namibia, a number of dust spots started to show up at smaller apertures. So be sure to have a good camera bag to minimize dust build up.

Kolmanskop - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Remote locations like Kolmanskop (pictured above) are striking, but are hard on your gear.


Spectacular landscapes in Namibia

The light in Namibia has a magical quality to it. The skies have a very rich blue, and the light is unusually warm lending your photographs a rich tone. This country is breathtakingly beautiful with spectacular landscapes everywhere. It is a photogenic country- a photographer’s dream.

The Fish River Canyon, Namibia - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

The Fish River Canyon.

Climbing Dune 45, Sossusvlei - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Dune 45.

Trees at Dead Vlei - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Dead Vlei.


Remote, desolate beauty

Namibia is vast, desolate and beautiful. I really enjoyed the isolation of Namibia. Even in peak tourist season, you can pull over your car on the side of the road and not see a vehicle for a few hours. You can camp wild under African skies and some roads are so isolated that you can literally be alone for a day or two.

NamibRand - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

The NamibRand Nature Reserve.

 

I deliberately tried to stick to mostly gravel roads. The condition of the gravel roads in Namibia are excellent. Towns along these roads are mostly small, often consisting of a fuel station, a shop, with a few campsites or lodges scattered around it. A lot of the roads don’t have any fences and as a result I saw plenty of wildlife crossing the road. You quickly learn to look out for animals. It’s well advised to only travel during daylight hours, as nighttime brings the risk of hitting animals.

Gravel Roads in Namibia - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

The gravel roads in Namibia are great.
Wildlife crossing the roads poses a risk, so speed should be kept to about 80km/h.

 

For the most part, there’s limited or no cell phone coverage. Only the bigger towns and some smaller towns have coverage. The vast, desolate expanses of Namibia, coupled with a lack of communication to the outside world in many areas really allowed me to switch off, relax, and enjoy vistas of this beautiful country.

Wild Horses of the Namib - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Relax, take some time and find something special.


Why you should visit Namibia

Clearly, Namibia is a photographer’s paradise, and it’s easy to see why many of the world’s top photographers return to Namibia year after year. It’s easily the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited.

Tree Stump at Sossusvlei - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Tree Stump at Sossusvlei.


For first time visitors to Africa, it’s a very safe and peaceful country. Namibia has a low crime rate, there’s no wars, and religious or racial tension in the country. It’s commonly known to be the safest country in Africa. The people are warm and friendly too, always ready to greet you with a smile. Accommodation was also reasonable and top notch, with plenty of lodging and camping options to choose from, making finding somewhere to stay quite simple.

If you’re someone that enjoys nature, spectacular landscapes, world-class game, or if you want to have an adventure in Africa, Namibia should be at the top of your list of countries to visit. I returned home from my epic adventure, refreshed and with my batteries recharged. I met some great people and returned with more good pictures than I thought I would have taken.


NamibRand Landscape - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip

Namibia is rich in photo opportunities.


I returned home with an urgency to go back and explore more of this amazing country. There’s so much more to see: Etosha National Park, Damaraland, the Skeleton coast and more… Next time around, I will travel with my family. Watch this space.

The Dunes Surrounding Sossusvlei - Namibia : a Solo Overland Trip
On top of a dune, near Sossusvlei.


+++++++

 

 

Carlo has been a passionate photographer since high school, when his father introduced him to photography. Photography has been a life long learning experience for him. His goal is to share his passion with others.

Follow Carlo on Twitter

Contact Carlo


All words and pictures in this post are by Carlo van Wyk.
The original version of his article can be found on Photograhydo here.

Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Willem Kruger

  
  

After hearing about Willem Kruger's excellent landscape photography we decided to track him down and get him to share some of his best advice to photographers who want to capture the best of Namibia. Read on for tips and anecdotes from Willem's last photo safari through the Land of the Brave...

Vlei format

Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

I went on a landscape photography safari in the southern parts of Namibia with my wife. We entered Namibia via the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and travelled straight to NamibRand Nature Reserve. Just driving through the vast landscape of Southern Namibia is a highlight on its own.

Open road

Our stay in the NamibRand Nature Reserve was the highlight of the photography safari. Many pictures of Namibia usually highlight the beauty of Namibia portraying well-known places but not many images can be found portraying the beauty of the less explored south of Namibia.

Single tree in grass field

I was presently surprised when I arrived in NamibRand and I saw the many opportunities it provides when it comes to landscape photography. The thunderstorms on the horizon against red dunes were particularly spectacular. Therefore, I think my most unforgettable moments were the magnificent colours provided by the sun, clouds, sand and plants, all in perfect harmony.

 

Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

If you are a serious nature photographer (especially wildlife and landscapes), I am sure you are familiar with the two words – patience and rewards. In Namibia, the same principle applies. As a photographer, even when it comes to landscape photography, one needs to wait for the perfect moment. Wait for the all the elements such as light, clouds, dust, thunderstorms to be in place and just start shooting.

Ghost rain

However, the difference lies in the reward. When I first arrived in Namibia, I asked myself the following question: “What makes this place unique?” I soon realised that the colour, the light, and the storytelling elements can easily be found and matched to produce stunning images. While composition is the backbone of all great photos, in Namibia one just need to look around you to realise how many possibilities there are.

 

Which three photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

Red Dunes is certainly one of my favourite images of Namibia. It shows a different perspective of Namibia and it is not the usual image of some well-known spot. It shows almost all the colours what Namibia can offer as well as a perspective on what Namibia landscape is all about. Rich in diversity yet everything is in harmony.

Red dunes

Red Dunes

Road to heaven is my second favourite because it is almost if the road is taking you towards heaven and isn’t that what Namibia is all about?

Road to Heaven 

The Road to Heaven.

Thirdly, Quiver tree hill shows the reader the other side of Southern Namibia… Wide open plains and dunes between mountains ranges. These are not easy living conditions for humans or animals but the lines in this photograph, leading towards the clouds on the horizon, offer a glimpse of hope.

Quiver tree hill
Quiver Tree Hill.

 

When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

Definitely any type of camera! From a simple cell phone or a compact point-and-shoot camera, to a professional SRL camera. There are so many opportunities that even the most inexperienced photographer will come home with a great image or two. For the more serious photographer, I would recommend a prime wide-angle lens along with your digital SLR camera with a few filters in the bag. If you have one, bring a 200mm to 600mm lens if you are planning to travel in the southern parts of Namibia.

Windy Namibia

I know it is a controversial issue but I do not leave home without my tripod. An essential piece of equipment when it comes to nature photography – just to assist you the get that super-sharp image and to distinguish you from the rest.

Two colourful doors

 

A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top three tips would you give them?  

First, put down the camera and step back from the scene. Without the camera in front of you or even without worrying about the camera settings and the anticipated photo, you can free your mind and enjoy what Namibia can offer. Only then can you see the photo opportunities from a totally different perspective.

Sunburst over tree

The next piece of advice is not new to photographers but it is vital: We all want to quickly capture the moment and move on to the next scene because Namibia has some much to offer. With that approach, you definitely will miss out on some unique opportunities. Rather take a little more time with your shots. Look for something different such as a more interesting point of view to shoot from. What about finding a different angle of an already well-known spot? I would recommend that you evaluate all the possibilities before taking the shot rather than just jumping in and get that already familiar/well-known photo.  

Mudd formation

Lastly – remember a photographer is an artist and not a forensic documentarian. Enjoy what you do and let your creativity takes over. Do not try and be copycat but rather try something differently. The result might surprise you.  

Milky way in Dead Vlei

Practising photography as a hobby will take you places where you previously would not have been. I do love nature photography and taking photos in Namibia is in my opinion provide one of the best opportunities to see what nature can offer.  

+++++++

Willem Kruger, in his own words...

Nature photography for me is not only a hobby but it is a passion. I hope to capture the essential detail and show people what nature has to offer for those people who are willing to have a closer and a more creative look at it.

Visit Willem's blog for more information and images.


More Photographer Tips

This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

          

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

 Featured Photographers  

   
Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

 Marsel van Oosten 

 Christopher Rimmer

Paul van Schalkwyk

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Bill Gozansky  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa,

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Hougaard Malan

Bill Gozansky

 Roy van der Merwe

 Hougaard Malan

Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Ted Alan Stedman  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Skyhawk photography

 Matthew Hood

 Ted Alan Stedman

 Jan & Jaye Roode

Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Andy Biggs

  
  

The award-winning photographer Andy Biggs is the latest subject of our Capture Namibia series of interviews. Andy has been travelling around Africa for many years now and has a particular fondness for Namibia and the photographic opportunities it presents. Read on to find out why…

Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

    The dunes of Sossusvlei.

     

    Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

      One day we were flying along the coastline from Lüderitz all the way up to Hartmann Valley, and when we flew along the Lange Wand I saw an amazing sight. As I peered through the scratched airplane window, I was wondering how I could convey the giddy heights of the Namibian sand dunes. I wanted to capture the way the shafts of sunlight pierce the mist and highlight the sand textures.

      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

      The Skeleton Coast.

       

      The huddle of Cape fur seals - a dark smudge on the strip of beach - gave a sense of the vastness of this wilderness.' The Skeleton Coast is an area of about 16,000 square kilometres of national park that runs along the Atlantic coast of Namibia.

       

        Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

          The challenge with photographing in Namibia is how to capture how one feels about being in wide-open spaces.

          Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

          The vast Namib.


          The sights, the smells, the sounds all are difficult to translate into a 2-dimensional photograph. The reward is capturing that one photograph that tells a complete story in only one image.

          Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

           Four Himba women trek across the hot sand.

             

            Which three photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?


              Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

              Skeleton Coast, Namibia 2006.

              This image won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2008 in the Wild Places category.

               

              Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

              Sossusvlei in B&W.

              I have an affinity for clouds when I am shooting at Sossusvlei, and when they arrive and there is good light it is a wonderful combination.

               

              Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

              Himba Family.


                When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

                  I use digital medium format equipment from Phase One. This equipment allows me to capture photographs with tons of information and to make extremely large prints.

                  Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                  Namib dunes at sunrise.

                  I would also never leave home without my tripod, as it allows me to capture images at the edge of light when the colour is at its best.

                   

                  Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                  A tripod is essential for low-light shots.

                    A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top three tips would you give them?

                      1) Spend more time in each location and take the time to learn each area.

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      The iconic Dead Vlei.

                       

                      2) Bring a second camera in case of equipment failure.

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      The camera buddy system- two cameras are always better than one!

                       

                      3) Bring a tripod so you can shoot during the best times of the light.


                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      A quiver tree at sunset.

                       

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips

                      And remember... Find time to have some fun!

                       

                      Namibia, Namibia photography, Capture Namibia, Namib, Sossusvlei photography, Andy Biggs, Namib, Himba, photography tips 

                      Andy Biggs is an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. His photographic safaris allow the traveler to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa's beauty and culture.

                      If you want to see more from Andy visit his website or his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

                      More Photographer Tips

                      This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

                      Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

                                

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

                       

                       Featured Photographers  

                         
                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

                       Marsel van Oosten 

                       Christopher Rimmer

                      Paul van Schalkwyk


                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Ted Alan Stedman  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Skyhawk photography

                       Matthew Hood

                       Ted Alan Stedman

                       Jan & Jaye Roode

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Bill Gozansky  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa,

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Hougaard Malan

                      Bill Gozansky

                       Roy van der Merwe

                       Hougaard Malan


                      Exploring Namibia's Starry Skies

                        
                        

                      Namibia is one of the top destinations in the world for stargazing. Its dark and clear night skies are amongst some of the most pristine in the world and below are four reasons why we think you have to go stargazing while visiting Namibia.

                       Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      The moon rises in the clear winter sky.
                      (Image via I Dream of Africa)

                      1. Dark Sky, Bright Stars

                      In 2012 the NamibRand Nature Reserve was selected by the International Dark Sky Association as an official dark sky reserve on account of its low light pollution and cloudless night skies. And indeed the whole of Namibia has some of the darkest skies measured on earth allowing stargazers to gaze deep into the night sky on just about every night of the year. 

                      Many lodges around Namibia take advantage of the unusually dark skies in the country and have their own telescopes. All you need to do is enquire at the reception of wherever you are staying to find out if your lodge has such facilities.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      Starry sky over the desert.
                      (Image via I Dream Africa)

                      2. Photographing the night sky

                      The night sky over the Land of the Brave lends itself incredibly well to photography. Countless photographers, amateur and professional, travel from all over the world to capture astonishing images of our universe. 

                      Below is a particularly stirring video made from a collection of over 16,000 still images of the Namibian night sky.

                      The award winning Namibian Nights by Marsel van Oosten.
                      (Video ©Marsel van Oosten Squiver Photo Tours)

                       

                      3. Guided tours

                      The great thing about visiting Namibia is that you can always find someone willing to take you on a guided tour of its attractions. The night sky is no different. There are several tour operators around the country that offer guided tours of the night sky.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      Taking a guided tour of the night sky is perfect for the whole family.
                      (Image via I Dream Africa)

                      The local guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the stars that shine down on Namibia and they are always more than willing to share their stories with visitors from near and far. Below are a few tour operators who offer stargazing tours.

                      Solna’s stargazing experience.

                      Rob Johnstone has been an astrology enthusiast since 1986 and his company SOLNA (Space Observation Learning in Namibia) offers two guided tour options for visitors.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      Guests at the SOLNA viewing site.
                      (Image via SOLNA)

                      The first is just 29km south of Windhoek at the Gocheganas Nature Reserve. If you wish to book a tour at the reserve then email reservations@gocheganas.com or telephone Gocheganas at +264 (0)61 224 909.

                      SOLNA also works in partnership with Wilderness Safaris with whom they organise stargazing tours throughout the whole of Namibia. It is best to get in contact with Wilderness Safaris if you want to organise a stargazing trip and you can email them on constancet@wilderness.com.na.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      A picture of Saturn taken from the SOLNA viewing site.
                      (Image via SOLNA)

                      Stargazing tours near Swakopmund

                      Stargazing Adventure Namibia is a company run by Dr Ansgar Gaedke and Lynette Gaedke that is based in Swakopmund. Dr Gaedke is a professional astronomer who graduated from the University of Hamburg in astrophysics and astronomy and now gives tours to visitors interested in astronomy.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      Photographs of one the company's many star tours.
                      (Image via Stargazing Adventure Namibia)

                      They have several activities for would-be stargazers and you should check them out here to see which tour suits you. They also have a great gallery of photographs to whet your appetite ahead of your stargazing adventure.

                      Hakos guest farm

                      Just west of Windhoek on top of the Gamsberg is the Hakos guest farm. On this farm the German-based International Amateur Observatory maintains an impressive collection of telescopes and other equipment for stargazing enthusiasts. There are several tour options on the farm and you can view them here.

                      The guest farm is specifically geared towards giving guests a memorable astrological experience in an environment that is largely untouched and unspoiled by man.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology 

                      One of the farm's many pieces of advanced equipment (L).
                      The isolated location of the farm (R).
                      (Images via Hakos guest farm)

                      4. Sossusvlei by night

                      If anyone needed another reason to visit Namibia’s iconic Sossusvlei, here it is: The stargazing opportunities at Sossusvlei are simply incredible. The sky is clear almost always and there is almost no light pollution out in the desert near the vlei.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      A tree on the vlei against a slowly rotating starry sky.
                      (Image via Rhino Africa Safaris)

                      The Sossusvlei Lodge was in fact recently ranked amongst the top 12 stargazing hotels in the world by CNN Travel. But this is not the only lodge in the area and there are also several other lodges that offer stargazing opportunities.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      The Sossusvlei Lodge by night.
                      (Image via Sossusvlei Lodge)

                      Below are three of the top-rated lodges that offer stargazing activities at or near Sossusvlei.

                      Sossusvlei Lodge

                      Little Kulala

                      Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

                      No matter where you are in Namibia the night sky is simply beautiful, and if you are visiting Africa from the Northern hemisphere then you should not miss out on this opportunity to see a totally different set of stars on the other end of the world.

                      Namibia photography, sossusvlei, stargazing namibia, photography, astrology

                      Quiver Trees by Night - Florian Breuer
                      (via Florian's Photographs)

                      Christopher Rimmer on Capturing Namibia's Ghost Towns

                        
                        

                      Words by Charlotte Hughes.

                      Images by Christopher Rimmer.

                      Southern Son

                      Christopher Rimmer’s fascination with Namibia began in 2009 when he included images of the Himba people in his ground breaking ‘In Africa’ exhibition. Since then, he has visited Namibia several times and travelled the length and breadth of the country documenting the landscape, the wildlife and the people of this unique country through the lens of his camera.

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      Chris’ forthcoming exhibition, ‘Sign of Life’ opens in Reims, New York and Melbourne in 2014 and features stunning, large scale photographs of the ghost towns of Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop.

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      ‘I was at Etosha Pan in 2010,’ recalls Rimmer, ‘ the BBC were out there filming for, what later became the ground breaking ‘Africa’ television series and one of the crew happened to show me some images on his phone one night of the ruins at Elizabeth Bay and Kolmanskop,  where they had been filming footage of Hyenas.’

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      ‘I was immediately struck by the stark beauty and the poignancy of these structures  slowly being re-claimed by the desert sands and resolved to travel there and document them before they disappeared from view completely.'

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      Rimmer, who was shortlisted for Black & White Photographer of the Year in 2012, travelled to the area twice spending a total of three weeks meticulously compiling images with a large format camera, this time in glorious colour. The resulting collection is a visual examination of what he terms the ‘tragedy of lost significance’ and the ‘ultimate futility of human endeavour.

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      ‘I have always found the quality of light in Namibia extraordinary, he says, ‘There is no doubt that it is a paradise for photography. The way the light reflects the landscape is truly unique. This was even more so around the ghost towns of Karas. The way the light enters the buildings at various times of the day provided some amazing opportunities for ambient light photography. You have to put in the time though; you can’t expect to capture the essence of the place on a single day trip.

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      ‘What makes the ghost towns really impressive is how substantial the structures are. These people thought they’d be here forever yet, within barely 50 years the place was completely deserted. It’s like walking through a lost world. I found the experience incredibly moving and I have tried to articulate that sense of loss in my work.’

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      The images Rimmer presents in the Sign of Life exhibition are both disturbing and beautiful and are a timely reminder of the power of nature over human enterprise in this era of climate change.

                      Christopher Rimmer, namibia photography, namibia, kolmanskop, elizabeth bay, Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery, Galerie Huraux, New York Art Expo

                      Dates and exhibition venues for 'Sign of Life'

                      New York Art Expo
                      Pier 94, NYC, April 4 - 6

                      Galerie Huraux
                      21 rue Tambour, 51100, Reims, France. (Date to Be announced)

                      Angela Tandori Fine Art Gallery
                      55 Victoria Pde, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia (Date to be announced)

                      Visit Christopher Rimmer’s website here.

                      Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Gary Arndt

                        
                        

                      2014 Travel Photographer of the Year, Gary Arndt has visited all seven continents and over 140 countries and territories around the world. He recently spent some time in Namibia and we managed to get him to sit still long enough to give us his top tips for capturing Namibia on film.



                      Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

                      I wasn't actually shooting at the time, but it was when we drove down the Long Wall. 100m straight down a giant dune with the ocean at the bottom! I had my hands firmly on the dashboard holding on for dear life. As I later learned, no matter how large the dune, they have pretty much the same degree of steepness. Driving down a large dune isn't that much different than driving down a smaller one. 

                       

                      Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

                      I have always found deserts to be fascinating places and some of my favorite to photograph. The incredible dunes in the Namib are unlike anything I've seen anywhere else in the world. They are big and dramatic regardless if you view them from the ground or in the air. The challenge of shooting in the desert is the sand. It gets everywhere and it can cause problems with electronics, especially with sensors in digital cameras.


                      Which 3 photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

                      It is very hard to pick just 3. But I'll go with the following:


                      1) A solitary tree at sunset.

                      During our first night camping along the Kuiseb River, our campground was marked by the only tree we saw above the river bottom during our entire trip. I managed to get this shot of the tree just minutes before sunset.

                      2) Damara boy smiling.

                      For our two days of adventure, I joined the trip going to Twyfelfontein in Damaraland. During one of our stops we visited a Damara village and I took this photo of a young man who was in a very good mood.

                      3) Aerial view of sand dunes.

                      During the conference I took a short break to fly over the dunes on a two hour flight from Swakopmund. It was an incredible experience and something I recommend that everyone do if you can. 


                      When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

                      Unlike most photographers, I don't have a home. I am traveling continuously and I have to carry my gear with me wherever I go. For that reason, I have to pack extremely light. 

                      My primary camera body is a Nikon D300s. I carry 3 lenses with me: an 18-20mm VR, a 12-24mm wide angle and a 50mm f/1.4.  I usually will use the 18-200 as it is very versatile and will cover a wide range of shooting circumstances.  

                       

                      A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top 3 tips would you give them?

                      1) Be aware of the sand. Try to avoid swapping lenses while you are in the desert if you can. This is one region where you are better off bringing a separate body so you don't have switch lenses.

                       

                      2) Seek out the people. I found Namibia to be a much more diverse place than I expected. I had the pleasure of meeting some people in Damaraland and some people in the German speaking community. I would love to return and meet some of the Himba people as well people from the other tribal groups in the country. 

                       

                      3) It is big country. I really only scratched the surface of Namibia. I was there for a conference, so I didn't get to explore as much of the country as I would have liked. Be prepared to drive long distances. If possible, take a flight over the dunes as it gives you very different perspective of the landscape.

                       

                      featured photo  

                      Gary Arndt, in his own words...

                      In March 2007 I sold my house and have been traveling around the world ever since. Since I started traveling, I have probably done and seen more than I have in the rest of my life combined.

                      So far I have visited all 7 continents, over 140 countries and territories around the world, every US state and territory, 9/10 Canadian provinces, every Australian state and territory, over 125 US National Park Service sites and over 250 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

                      Follow Gary on Facebook, Twitter (@EverywhereTrip), Pinterest and Instagram.

                       

                      More Photographer Tips

                      This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

                      Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

                                

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

                       Featured Photographers  

                         
                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

                       Marsel van Oosten 

                       Christopher Rimmer

                      Paul van Schalkwyk

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Bill Gozansky  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa,

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Hougaard Malan

                      Bill Gozansky

                       Roy van der Merwe

                       Hougaard Malan

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Ted Alan Stedman  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, Skyhawk photography

                       Matthew Hood

                       Ted Alan Stedman

                       Jan & Jaye Roode

                      Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Scott Sporleder

                        
                        

                      Scott Sporleder is an American photographer from Laguna Beach, California. He sums up his philosophy on photography like this: "If I can get a person to daydream, zone out or relax for just 5 seconds everytime they view one of my images, than I've accomplished my goal."  We recently caught up with him and learnt how he managed to capture some amazing images while adventuring through Namibia. 

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                      Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

                      It's hard to narrow down to just one unforgettable moment that I had during my time in Namibia, but I would say that a memory that I keep coming back to was spending a day in a Himba village.

                      We met a woman in Opuwo who offered to take us on a small tour through her village on the outskirts of town, which we gladly took her up on. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but when we arrived at the village it was extremely laid back and we spent the better half the day simply hanging out with the women and children of the village and talking about everyday life. It's the smell of ochre that was being applied to my arm that keeps filling my mind when I think about that wonderful day.

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                      Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

                      What I found difficult about shooting in Namibia was the endless amounts of opportunities and trying to do too much. It's such vast country and every corner that we traveled too still felt untouched, so I was constantly wanting to head down another random road just to see what was over that next bend.

                      I could have spent months driving and shooting through the remote areas and still have felt like I didn't have enough time in Namibia.

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                      Which 3 photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

                      That's impossible, for me there are special attributes about all of the photos. I find something unique about the wildlife, about the nature, about the cultures… There is no way that I could narrow it down to only three images. I had a difficult enough time selecting the nine images that I did!

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                      When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

                      It can definitely get dusty out there, that is for sure. So you will need something, whether it's a cloth or small hand pump, to constantly knock the dust away from your lens. Also, I would not forget to bring a polarizer, the huge blue sky is so vivid that you want to make sure that you are pulling out as much of that colour as you can.

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                      A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top 3 tips would you give them?

                      #1 Visit Sossusvlei. Without a doubt, that's number one, such a magical place.

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                      #2 Spend some time in Etosha. You can't beat it for the wildlife.

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                      #3 Experience Damaraland. It is just a bizarre setting. A place that really feels like you are on another planet.

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia

                       

                      Photography, namibia photography, photos namibia, Scott Sporleder, africa photography, sossusvlei, damaraland, namibia  

                      About Scott Sporleder

                      Scott Sporleder is a photographer and filmmaker & Creative Director at Matador Network. 

                      Since graduating from San Diego State University, Scott has dedicated 3 months a year to travel and photographing the world's unique cultures. While not on the road, you can visit Scott every summer at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. You can also view his travel photography at ScottSporleder.com or Sporlederart.com.

                      Follow Scott on Tumblr, Facebook, Vimeo and on Matador Network.

                       

                      More Photographer Tips

                      This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

                      Follow us to get the latest in the Capture Namibia series:

                                

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa

                       Featured Photographers  

                         
                      Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Marsel van Oosten, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Christopher Rimmer, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa  Namibia photography, photos Namibia, Africa photography, Paul van Schalkwyk, photography tips, photography in africa, photographs of namibia, photographs of africa, hasselblad masters

                       Marsel van Oosten 

                       Christopher Rimmer

                      Paul van Schalkwyk

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                      Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Lizzie Shepherd

                        
                        

                      Capturing the best of Namibia on film can be as challenging as the land itself, but never fails to reward avid photographers. We asked professional photographer Lizzie Shepherd from the UK to share some of the thrills and spills of her latest expedition to Namibia.


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                      "Skeleton Coast Dunes" © www.lizzieshepherd.com

                       

                      Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

                      It probably won’t surprise you to know there were several unforgettable moments during our trip, so it’s quite hard to choose. My first instinct was to say an evening spent in the Giant’s Playground with thunder and lightning nearby. But I think I’m going to have to go with my dawn shoot in Deadvlei. We’d walked across the cool sands in the dark, arriving in the pan just as the darkness was starting to ease. My husband decided he was going to climb Big Mama dune to catch the sunrise, whilst I opted to stay in the pan to capture the Camelthorns in the soft light of dawn. Soon after he left I heard the sound of feet clattering on the pan. At first I couldn’t think what could be making the sound but as I looked towards the distant edge of the pan I was just able to make out a couple of Gemsbok. At the same time, they noticed me and stopped to stare back for a while. Clearly not impressed by this intruder, they then continued on their way, trotting round the edge of the pan. It was the most magical moment to share the pan with just these two Oryx - the rhythmic sound of their hooves on the pan will stay with me forever.

                       

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                      "Quiver Tree Portrait" © www.lizzieshepherd.com

                       

                      Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

                      Namibia is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding places I’ve photographed. I have always loved deserts and Namibia boasts some of the finest. The vast open spaces, big skies, at times desolate scenery have always appealed. Equally, the more hidden riches and the amazing flora and fauna that thrive in the desert. The diversity of the landscape and its inhabitants is extraordinary and offers wonderful opportunities for photographing grand vistas, abstracts and, of course, wildlife.

                      One thing I must mention also is the wonderful hospitality of Namibia - of all the African countries I have visited, it stands apart as being an incredibly safe and stable place to visit. The people are friendly and welcoming, and the infrastructure is excellent - it really is very easy to get around most parts of the country and the accommodation options are superb. All these things make it so much easier to concentrate on your photography and to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.

                      I think the biggest challenge during our visit (in December) was the sun - for the most part the weather was a little too good! Of course I tried to concentrate my photographic efforts on the first and last part of the day but, even then, the skies were often cloudless. If you are on a limited timescale, as most of us are, it is inevitable you will at times be photographing nearer the middle of the day in quite harsh light - you just have to adapt your approach accordingly and make the most of the conditions you find.

                       

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                      "Grasses & Sand Namib Rand" © www.lizzieshepherd.com

                       

                      Which 3 photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?

                      I think the first one I’d choose would be ‘Camelthorns and the last rays, Deadvlei’. When I visit a classic location such as Deadvlei, I try very hard not to look at any photographs of the area for some months before I visit. I’m always keen to try to forget what anyone else has done and hope simply to respond to the place, in my own way. It was such a thrill finally to visit the pan and, if anything, it exceeded my expectations. I hadn’t realised the dead Camelthorns would be quite so beautiful - often they are portrayed as quite dark - yet the wood is surprisingly light and the colours and textures are fabulous. There was a graphic beauty about the combination of trees, pan and dunes and I felt this composition, in the fading light, really captured what I found so special about the place.

                       

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                      "Camelthorns and the last rays, Deadvlei" © www.lizzieshepherd.com

                       

                      My second choice is one of my more abstract landscapes - ‘The long and winding road at dawn, Wolwedans’. This was taken shortly before sunrise in the immaculate NamibRand nature reserve and I love the cool, silvery green tones of the amazing grasses, giving way to the rich red sand below. These grasses varied in colour from a rich golden yellow to a silvery blue colour and it was wonderful to witness how the hues changed as the sun rose above the horizon. I have a very similar image taken about 15 minutes later and the ground looks a completely different colour.

                       

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                      "The long and winding road at dawn, Wolwedans" © www.lizzieshepherd.com

                       

                      My third choice has to be ‘Lightning strikes, the Giant’s Playground’. I have to say that, at the time, I was a little disappointed with this image - I had no chance to do a recce beforehand and had to rush like mad to capture that last bit of red sunlight on the Quiver trees, taking repeated shots in the hope of also catching a lightning bolt. As a result there really was no chance to fine tune my composition. I was extremely lucky to catch the lightning and, on reflection, feel proud to have made a striking photograph at a time when I was having to rely on instinct to make the most of some amazing conditions in a spectacular, but unfamiliar, location.

                       

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                      "Lightning strikes, the Giant’s Playground" © www.lizzieshepherd.com

                       

                      When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?

                      My main camera is a Nikon D800e but I also have a backup camera with me - at the time it was a Nikon D600 but I now use a Fuji XE-1 as a small and light alternative and/or backup. I like to have a range of lenses with me - on this trip I had focal lengths between 14mm and 300mm covered. A sturdy tripod is a must, along with a couple of cable releases and spare batteries for the times when recharging is difficult/impossible. Plenty of memory cards as well as devices on which to back them up. I also like to have a laptop with me to review images on the trip. When going somewhere with a lot of sand, a really useful addition is a couple of small paint brushes for cleaning off the sand from the camera and lenses - it gets everywhere and this minimises the chance of it finding its way inside your gear!

                       

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                      "Burnt by the sun Sossusvlei" © www.lizzieshepherd.com

                       

                      A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top 3 tips would you give them?

                      #1: Do plenty of research and to work out the kind of scenery that will appeal most to them. Also do they want to see big game or do they want to visit some of the tribes like the Himba (both things we had to omit on this trip due to time constraints). Unless you have endless time and resources at your disposal, then it really is impossible to include everything on your trip.

                      #2: Plan an itinerary that gives you at least two nights in most places. A few one night stays are fine but you don’t want to be on the move all the time. I would also recommend having a few ‘wild card’ or spare days, where you do not have a fixed itinerary. We did this and really enjoyed the freedom of being able to make a few last minute decisions, including a fascinating detour to Terrace Bay on the Skeleton Coast.

                      #3: My final tip would be to do something we didn’t do - take a flight over the dunes. It’s expensive but by all accounts well worth it if you can afford it. You should get some super photographic opportunities and it’s something I would really love to do on a future visit.

                       

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                      About Lizzie Shepherd

                      Lizzie is a professional photographer based in North Yorkshire in the UK, specialising in landscape, nature and travel photography. She provides commercial photography services to a number of different clients and exhibits her work at a number of galleries locally. She runs small group and 1-2-1 photographic workshops, both individually and for Tripod Travels. Find out more about Lizzie by visiting her website www.lizzieshepherd.com or following her on Facebook and Twitter.

                      More Photographer Tips

                      This part of a series of blog post interviews with photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.

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