Category Archives: Namibia

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.

 

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

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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.

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Rockin’ around the rocks in Namibia

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I love geology, and when I travel to places with weird rock formations, I get excited. Nature’s processes to shape our world never cease to amaze me. I’m also amazed at the transformation an image can have, when it’s converted to monochrome. The image above has the drama that I was envisioning for this area in Namibia called the Giant’s Playground – a region filled with odd-shaped boulders of dolorite. It reminds me of our own southwest USA, yet the rocks have more blocky shapes than our Arizona/Utah area. And, this “playground” has quiver trees, also unique to that area.

After we photographed sunrise in the quiver forest, we went off nearby to explore this rocky playground as the sky was getting more interesting with clouds, and we thought we could make some cool black and white pictures with the contrast of mid-morning light. The reddish rocks looked nice in contrast to the blue sky, but the light was really strong. It’s funny how we accept the strong light in black and white, but not in color always! To find images that would work in black and white,  I switched on the black and white ‘filter’ in my eyes, looking for tonality differences, textures, and shapes to put against the sky. I knew I wanted to bring out the texture of these rocks, too, and it was just a matter of finding things at the appropriate angle to the light to make that happen. A polarizer helped to increase the contrast in the sky. We had a lot of fun scampering around on the rocks making pictures. This was one of my favorites – it looks like a huge earthenware jar with a lid on it.

Thanks for visiting!

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P.S. We are going back to Namibia in 2016. Deposits are being taken and we have 3 spaces sold at this time. Please consider joining in the fun! It’s a terrific country with such diverse landscape opportunities combined with the adventure of wildlife and culture.

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When Things Seen Are Not What They Seem

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I love it when you see things in nature that remind you of other things! As I was walking through the Quiver Tree forest in Keetmanshoop, Namibia, this root looked a lot like a tiger or lion paw and forearm, draped over the rocks. I framed it to capture what I saw rather than simply record it for what it was; I was fascinated by the way the root had grown in and around the rocks. While I have several nice larger landscape images from the place, this one remains a favorite because it suggests something other than what is really is.

Thanks for visiting,

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