Seeing beyond the literal image

BrendaTharp_O1A1997

 

So here I was in this incredible Quiver Tree Forest* in Namibia, amazed by the bizarre shapes, colors and the textures I was seeing. As the light lowered in the sky, getting warmer, the trees glowed. Yet it was my second afternoon there, and I was looking for something different. Something that went beyond the literal image of trees, no matter how great they were. I was keeping an open mind in case a tree or three jumped out unusually, but I was looking for something else, although I didn’t know what.

While walking, I was thinking about the unusual way the trees grew amidst the rocks of the area, and how shallow the soil was. I was marveling at how the roots spread down around/over rocks to get enough hold to stabilize and grow – and that’s when I saw it. This tree’s trunk spread out over several large rocks in a strong grip, reaching down between them to contact soil. This one also looked like a tiger’s forearm and paw! I can always tell when I’ve found something good; my pulse races and there’s usually an audible ‘wow’.

In order to get the photo, though, I had get back into my left brain, and set up quickly. The sun was getting lower in the sky and I wanted the warm light to add to the bark color. I composed the scene on the tripod, then used my remote release as I held a diffuser to block the sunlight that was creeping in at the top left.

* Quiver trees are actually giant aloes, and the are so far the most bizarre trees I’ve ever encountered. Sociable weaver birds loved nesting in them, and rock hyrax lived in amongst the trees and rocks of the ‘forest’. It’s a highly unusual place and I’m glad we’ll be going back to photograph it again on next year’s tour to Namibia! Check the workshop and tour calendar page soon for more details.

 

Thanks for visiting,

 

firstnamesigntransp

Brenda Tharp
Brenda is an award-winning photographer, author, keynote speaker, workshop instructor and tour leader. Her acclaimed books include Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography, and Extraordinary Everyday Photography.
Brenda Tharp on BehanceBrenda Tharp on FacebookBrenda Tharp on FlickrBrenda Tharp on GoogleBrenda Tharp on InstagramBrenda Tharp on LinkedinBrenda Tharp on RssBrenda Tharp on TumblrBrenda Tharp on Twitter
This entry was posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Insights, Namibia, nature photography, Photo Blog, photography, The Blog, workshops & photo tours and tagged , , , , , .