Category Archives: Namibia

Telling stories of the Etosha Pan

My wildlife photography has mostly been about telling a story – by capturing a moment, a gesture, an interaction, of the animal(s). While I love portraits, too, gestures make the picture more exciting and storytelling to me. 

Last August-September, our tour group spent time in Etosha National Park, a park teeming with wildlife and birds. It was a drought year, but that made the animals more concentrated around and at the water holes and certain savannah areas where there was still grass to graze. I set a goal to capture stories – in just one frame. That meant observing the animals closely and watching for signs of behavior or gesture. Our guide was great – he would call out what he thought was about to happen, which helped us all learn to see the ‘telltale’ signs after a while. But even he couldn’t predict all the moments that we saw, which made it fun for him, too.

In the main blog picture, ostriches, as it turns out, love to eat the acacia blossoms. Only they don’t just pluck them off the thorny branches; they toss them

in the air as they feed on them. Once I saw this, I knew I had to get a photo of it. It took a lot of tries to get the timing right, and this was one that I just love because the ostrich has such a happy look on it’s face! And why not when there’s food to eat! 

In the images below of the zebra, knowing they were very social animals, we just had to stay long enough to watch and see what might build between groups or pairs of them. First, there was the wonderful ‘necking’ and this mother and child were so sweet; then there were three ‘bad boys of the plains’ who were biting each other…

Mother and young zebra necking, a social and bonding activiity amongst zebra. Etosha National Park, Namibia.

And on our way to lunch we encountered a group of Black-backed jackals who were seeking shade to rest up and cool down. This wash with a small cliff was right near the road and our vehicle and it was perfect position to watch and photograph. I waited for this one to finally relax and put its head down, to tell the story of resting in whatever shade they could find. It’s eyes are open slightly, because it was still watchful, but it’s head is tucked into the edge of the wash in a way that tells the story. 

It’s interesting to watch the hierachy of the animals as they visit the water holes. An oryx trumps zebra – if it decides to charge them. But then again, maybe it’s a lion outside the frame that trumps them all? not in this case, but that would have done it – they would all scatter. 

In the end, I made a lot of single-image stories on this past trip and I am really looking forward to our journey this September into both Etosha again, as we’ll be finishing off our Caprivi Strip & Botswana Photo Safari with a visit to eastern Etosha. There are going to be many more stories to be told on this entire journey!

Thanks for visiting,
 

 

Also posted in bird photography, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, nature photography, workshops & photo tours Tagged , , , , |

More Namibia Photographs

tharp_20160802-4602

 

In all my crazy travel schedules this past summer/early Fall, I only did one post from our fantastic tour in Namibia! I can’t believe it. So here’s another posting from that journey.

The trip was amazing this year, too. Because of the extreme drought there were a lot more animals around the watering holes, almost too many at times, making it a little chaotic photographically – but oh-so-exciting to experience! We managed to get in the air over the dunes at Sossusvlei this year, weather was perfect – and I always love a good ‘top-down’view of the world. Each place we went, was a new experience, even for me, because the light, the people, the conditions – were all different. Fog in the Deadvlei was awesome! There are way too many pictures to show here, so go on over to my Website to check out the rest.

We plan on doing “The Wonders of Namibia” photo tour again in 2018. Meanwhile, enjoy the images and start planning ahead to join us!

I’ve added a new gallery in recent work on my website for this tour, too.

 

Click on these to see larger versions, especially the last one with the hidden oryx in there!

tharp_20160812-3850

 

 

 

tharp_20160801-4369

tharp_20160731-1423

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting,

 

firstnamesigntransp

 

 

Also posted in bird photography, Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Landscape Photography, nature photography, workshops & photo tours Tagged , , , , , , |

Shifting Sands in Namibia

Tharp_20160730-2296Hello, everyone. I’m back from Namibia (and Italy, Germany and Switzerland), and hard at work finalizing the manuscript on my book, but it’s been so long since I posted anything, I just had to share a picture or two with you! Kolmanskop, the abandoned German mining town in Namibia that is succumbing to the shifting sand dunes, is a favorite amongst many of the photographers that do our tours. There is so much history in the rooms, and there is a mood in the air as you walk around that you can feel.  The passage of time and the elements of nature preside in my thoughts while photographing. The town continually changing. Just 2 years ago, I photographed a building that is now off limits due to parts that collapsed. So each time I visit, I am mindful of how special the place is, and challenge myself to make pictures that represent the spirit of place.

 

Tharp_20160730-2404

 

Thanks for visiting! I’ll be back with plenty more Namibia pictures soon – after I get the book off to edit…

firstnamesigntransp

 

 

Also posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, general photography, travel photography, workshops & photo tours Tagged , , , , |

Shifting Shapes in Namibia

Afternoon light creates shadows and shapes on Sossusvlei dunes, Namibia.

Those of you who know me well know that I love visual design. So it’s no surprise that when faced with these huge dunes in Namibia, I was seeing shapes everywhere. The reach of my Tamron 150-600mm lens created an optical compression of the depth, furthering the graphic quality of these shapes. And all of them mattered – the darker and lighter dune shapes, and the sky shape. A long time ago when studying Freeman Patterson’s work I remember him saying that everything is a shape in your picture. I felt the same way but hadn’t expressed it as well to my students.

So, using my telephoto lens as a spotting scope, I scanned the dunes looking for a combination of shapes that was pleasing to me. I had seen this with my own eye, but with the viewfinder framing it and the tight angle of view from the lens,  I found the right combination of proportions.

I am looking forward to going back to Sossusvlei dunes on our Wonders of Namibia Photography Safari this summer. I’ll be looking for more shapes in the shifting sands, and sharing what I see with others, on this amazing journey with pro-photographer and co-leader Wendy Kaveney.

If you haven’t seen her A/V show yet, Fall in Love with Namibia, you have to check it out! She’s blended stills with some video that make the place come alive. And she includes a variety of pictures to tell the story of the journey between the amazing, iconic locations.  You can also view still images at my site and Wendy’s website.

Join us this summer for a wonder-filled journey.

Thanks for visiting.

firstnamesigntransp

 

Also posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, Landscape Photography, nature photography, photography, workshops & photo tours Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |