Complete Namibia Tour 2018 Travelogue #2 (Podcast 622)

Complete Namibia Tour 2018 Travelogue #2 (Podcast 622)

This week we continue our travelogue series covering my 2018 Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop, as we spend a morning in Kolmanskop and an afternoon at Elizabeth Bay, another deserted diamond mine town, before driving on to Sossusvlei.

Kolmanskop Day #2

With this year’s tour being so productive, it’s been difficult to whittle down my images past a certain point, and even today, although I try to limit each episode to 10 photographs, I ended up with 12 to talk about this week, so that we can move on to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei next week. Because I haven’t been to the big houses on the hill at Kolmanskop for a few years, I decided to walk up there early on the morning following our first visit for this year.

Kolmanskop Manager's House
Kolmanskop Manager’s House
Door on the Floor
Door on the Floor

As you can see, there was plenty of light flooding into this space from the missing roof, and because the light wasn’t really high contrast, I was able to easily balance the inside and outside of this space with the Levels, Highlight and Shadow sliders, and a slight Luma Tonecurve in Capture One Pro.

I also positioned my camera at a height that allowed me to get the vertical beams in the space vertical, which I like to do when possible, and when it makes sense to do so. I shot this with my Canon 11-24mm f/4 lens wide open at 11mm. My aperture was f/14 at ISO 100 for a 1/10 of a second shutter speed.

Door on the Floor

This is one of the few buildings that for some reason is being cleaned, and is in pretty good condition, as far as derelict houses in the desert go. I find it interesting though that things like the back door that has come away from its hinges are just left flat on the floor, as you can see in this next image (right). There is sand around, and you may be able to make out a mound of sand two rooms deep in this photograph, but the door is just off. 

Due to the low angle, and the fact that I wanted to get just the door without the door frame, I do have a little bit of outwards lean in the verticals in this shot, but this is one of those times where I just choose to roll with it. I can correct this in Capture One, but I lose too much of the image, and it really doesn’t bother me.

My main composition consideration here was getting the door straight and symmetrically aligned with the bottom corners of the frame. My settings for this shot were a shutter speed of 0.5 seconds at f/14, ISO 100 and a focal length of 18mm.

Accountant’s Bathroom

I think I have it correct in saying that the next house I visited was the accountant’s residence back in the day. It’s funny that the accountant seems to have a slightly better plot of land than the manager, with an unencumbered view across the dunes at sunset.

This next photo is the bathroom from this house, which as you can see, still has some beautifully well kept black and white checkered tiling on the floor (below). The walls are also still in very good condition, although the metal in the room has all rusted quite badly. It’s interesting to see how the various materials deteriorate at different rates. My settings for this image were a 1.6-second exposure at f/11, with ISO 100 and a focal length of 12 mm. If you are wondering why I didn’t use my usual f/14 for this shot, it was basically because people were walking around the house, and I could feel a slight vibration, but more just because I could.

Kolmanskop Accountant's Bathroom
Kolmanskop Accountant’s Bathroom

With a lens at 12 mm and an aperture of f/11, if you focus at just over a meter or three feet in front of the camera, everything from 60 cm or 2 feet to infinity is in focus anyway, and that’s information from my Photographer’s Friend app in Pixel Peeper mode, so the reading is a little harsher than traditional calculations. So, although I like to shoot at f/14 for landscapes, there really isn’t much reason to do so in a situation like this, as I was standing up and nothing in the scene was so close that it would not have been in focus.

Note that here too, I am not at all concerned that the window is completely overexposed. I was asked by email last week if ever do HDR to reduce this contrast, and my answer is no. I know that some people like to do that, or sometimes just merge two exposures, one for the inside and one for the outside exposure, but I really just don’t think that’s necessary for my own photography. Not only are most of these windows quite dirty, preventing us from seeing much outside anyway, I actually quite like using these windows simply as a light source. They glow, and in my opinion help to keep the image somewhat minimalist just as they are.

School Corridor

I guess there are just many things about photography that I just decide not to care about. I’m sure there are people out there that cringe when they see my overexposed windows, but I really just simply do not care. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, I’ve made a conscious decision to leave them as they are. In this next photo of the school corridor, which is actually at the other end of Kolmanskop from the accountant’s house, you can see a little bit of detail outside, and if I wanted to, I could bring that under control a little more in Capture One Pro, but I really just don’t like the look of the photo when I do that. I prefer the glow that these windows bring to the photograph (below).

Kolmanskop School Corridor
Kolmanskop School Corridor

In this image, I’ve positioned my camera at such as height that I could get the vertical frames of the windows straight. I’ve also used my favorite one-point perspective composition here, with the window at the end of the corridor positioned perfectly in the center of the frame, to add tension and drama. I moved that dark frame on the floor a little more into the scene as well. It was closer initially and would have been cut off by my framing had I left it where it was. As you can tell, I’m constantly giving attention to certain details when it makes sense to do so, and completely letting go when it doesn’t.

Slatted Room
Slatted Room

Slatted Room

This last photo from Kolmanskop is one of my favorite rooms, and most of the group had gathered here shortly before lunch, hoping for a chance to make this kind of photograph (right).

Before lunch, the sun wasn’t quite high enough in the sky to get light shining through the slats in the ceiling like this, so I was pretty pleased that I’d decided to start our Elizabeth Bay visit from 2 o’clock, as that gave us an hour after lunch to work this scene. Actually, it was probably a bit less, as it was a Namibian lunch, as in it took quite a long time for our food to arrive, so I think it was about ten past one when we got back there.

I love this look though. You have to really work to figure out what you are looking at, especially as you try to fathom what’s happening with the multiple doors in the bottom right corner. And of course, all of the highlights and shadows add additional directions that our eyes try to follow throwing off our perception of what we are seeing even more.

Compositionally I was conscious here that I wanted to be in a position where I had as much of the slat shadow covered walls in the frame as possible, as well as being able to see through the first do to the others in the rooms further back, and this was just about the best position to achieve that. My settings were a 1/50 of a second shutter speed at ISO 100, back to f/14, and a focal length of 22 mm.

Elizabeth Bay

After photographing the slatted room, we made our way down to our safari vehicles just outside the gates to Kolmanskop and waited for our guide to arrive and accompany us through the tight security on the entrance to Elizabeth Bay. 

We were entering to visit a second deserted diamond mine there, but there is still an active diamond mine that we pass on the way, so the checks are quite serious. This year, for the first time, every member of our group was breathalyzed. This worried me at first, as a few people had drunk a beer with their lunch, but there were no problems. I guess they are checking for high levels of alcohol rather than traces.

The way that the houses in Elizabeth Bay are decaying is different from that of Kolmanskop. As Elizabeth Bay is right on the coast, sea air is literally dissolving the bricks, leaving the mortar in place, as you can see in this photograph (below). Note how the cement is left sticking out in the foreground building, but also if you look at the distant building in the center of the frame here, you’ll see how the roof is gone, and the walls are decaying almost looking like lace with some of the bricks completely gone now.

Elizabeth Bay Houses
Elizabeth Bay Houses

As is often the case, there was a good sea breeze blowing. I often make recordings of various sounds with a digital record that I carry around, and I tried to make a recording of my footsteps crunching in the sand as I walked between the buildings, but because I didn’t put my wind protector over the mics, the recording is mostly wind noise, although a nice audible reminder of the day. My settings for this shot were 1/100 of a second shutter speed at f/14, ISO 100 and a focal length of 35 mm. I was using my Canon 24-105 Mark II lens now.

This next photograph was from inside a room that has a painted wall that Freeman Patterson made famous by using his photograph of it on the cover of his book “Odysseys Mediations and Thoughts for a Life’s Journey“. That book was first published in 1998, so twenty years ago now, and although the wall looks a little bit worse for wear, the table is still in place, and that kind of shows us that things are changing slowly in some respects.

Elizabeth Bay Palm Tree Mural
Elizabeth Bay Palm Tree Mural

In the past, I’ve shot this building through the window which is just to my left as I made this photo, but this year, I actually entered the building from the front door, which we’ll look at in a moment, although I didn’t realize it was the house with this room until I walked through the door to the left. My settings for this image were a 0.4-second shutter speed at f/14, ISO 100 at 17 mm.

This next photo (below) is the same building from the outside, and you can see just how badly the building is actually decaying from the sea wind and elements. Compositionally I kept the top of the frame close to the top of the building, as I didn’t want to include too much of that clear cloudless sky, but I like the amount that I have, as it is a good indication of the dry conditions that we associate with the desert that surrounds this abandoned town.

Palm Tree Mural House
Palm Tree Mural House

I also, of course, wanted to include more of the bricks and sand in the foreground, as these add to the overall story of desolation and decay in Elizabeth Bay. My settings for this shot were 1/60 of a second at f/14, ISO 100 at 20 mm. I switched back to my 11-24mm lens after that first shot in the bay, and although I was carrying both lenses on the separate 5Ds R bodies, I seem to gravitate towards the wider lens for this location.

In this next photo we can see that the end of one of the laborer’s quarters buildings has now almost completely fallen away, leaving us with a clear view down to the beach (below). This is good to show how close the sea is, giving us a better idea of why these buildings are decaying so quickly. It does make me wonder though, as with Kolmanskop too, just how many more year’s these buildings will last. The room with the mural painted on the wall is almost unchanged in 20 years, but everything else makes me think that we’re probably only looking at another five to ten years for most of these buildings.

Really Laborers?
Really Laborers?

Another contradiction that this photo calls to the fore is whether or not the people that slept in these tiny compartments really were laborers or slaves. The people that run the tours tell us that they were laborers that were well paid, which they may have been, but our local guide tells us that the work was so hard that these so-called laborers were chained at night to stop them from escaping, and that sounds much more like a slave to me. My settings for this shot were a 1/60 of a second shutter speed at f/14, ISO 100 and a focal length of 18 mm.

Drive to Sossusvlei

I had a few more images to look at from Elizabeth Bay, but we’ll skip those as it’s going to take too many episodes to get through this trip if I don’t. Let’s quickly look at three more images, taking us to 12 for today, just to illustrate what happened the day after this, as we made our way north, to Sossusvlei. On our way out of Luderitz were we’d spent the previous two nights, we stopped briefly to photograph the old abandoned train station at Garub (below).

Garub Train Station
Garub Train Station

I like the desolation, almost desperation of this abandoned train station. Although the train line itself is still operational, trains just don’t stop here anymore. You may be able to tell too that I’ve cropped this down to a 16:9 aspect ratio. Again, I’m really just not a fan of blue skies, and as there wasn’t much in the foreground either, I just chose this more cinematic aspect ratio to reduce both of these elements, and I also think that this helps to add to the sideways motion of the train line. My settings were 1/125 of a second at f/14, ISO 100 and a focal length of 105 mm.

We drive through some beautiful countryside on this day, and it’s always nice to be able to capture a bit of wildlife in this kind of habitat, as I did with this pair of ostriches (below). As there were two birds, I actually should have kept my aperture a little bit smaller for this shot, but I had opened up to f/10, because the birds were moving around, and I wanted a faster shutter speed because I was hand-holding my 100-400mm Mark II lens for this, extended out to 400 mm. 

Ostriches on Plain
Ostriches on Plain

The male ostrich is slightly soft because of this, but he has a nice catch-light in his eye which kind of makes up for that. My shutter speed was at 1/800 of a second at ISO 400, so I could have gone to ISO 800 at f/14 for greater depth of field, so I consider this to be a bit of a failure, although I quite like the shot.

Our last photo today is of a male Oryx with his harem, and all of them looking back at our vehicle, probably wondering why we’d just screeched to a halt in the middle of the desert (below).

Oryx Male with Harem
Oryx Male with Harem

We can identify the male as the second from the right in the group, because he’s thicker set, and has thicker horns for fighting, and also, our guide told us that the mail Oryx have a thinner dark stripe on their underbelly, compared to the thicker stripe that you see on the two female oryxes on both sides. I really just thought this was a fun shot with all of them grouped together like this, looking back at us in wonder. My settings for this were f/8 for a 1/1000 of a second at ISO 800, and a focal length of 400 mm. This aperture was fine in this instance because there’s no real distance between the four animals, so they are all in sharp focus.

OK, so we went two images over, but that takes us to the end of our fourth day on the road, as we arrived at Sossusvlei to make our way to our lodge for the next three nights. Next week we’ll take a look at some photos from Deadvlei, with the silhouetted camel thorn trees against the brightly lit sand dunes at dawn, and some of the other picturesque dunes in the area. 

Complete Namibia Tour 2019

If you might like to join us on this tour from June 2 to 18, 2019, please check out the tour page at mbp.ac/namibia2019. It really has matured into an amazing tour, and I’d love to travel with you in this beautiful land.

Moonlit Quiver Trees
Moonlit Quiver Trees
Moonlit Quiver Trees
Moonlit Quiver Trees
Moonlit Quiver Trees
Moonlit Quiver Trees
Start your day in the Giant's Playground
Start your day in the
Giant's Playground
In one of the most conservation aware countries in the world
...in one of the world's most
conservation-aware countries
Amazing Cultural Experiences
Savor life-changing
Cultural Experiences
Mind-Boggling Landscapes
...and
Mind-Boggling
Landscapes
Take a walk on the Wild Side
Let's take a
walk on the
Wild Side
Your Adventure Starts Here
The Complete Namibia Tour & Workshop
June 2 – 18, 2019
Your Adventure Starts Here!
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Visit the 2019 Complete Nambia Tour page here: https://mbp.ac/namibia2019

Music by Martin Bailey


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Namibia 2013 Travelogue Part 1 (Podcast 372)

Namibia 2013 Travelogue Part 1 (Podcast 372)

From today, for a few weeks, I’m going to do a travelogue style account of my recent trip to Namibia. I have around 145 images in my final selection currently, so I’ll select up to 10 favorites each week, and talk you through them, including details of where we were, and what was going through my mind when shooting.

To get to Namibia, I flew from Tokyo to Hong Kong, then on to Johannesburg, South Africa. My plane arrived a little early, but the huge queue for immigration stole all of my leeway, but I still arrived at the meeting point only a minute late. As there was no sign of the group though, I ended up walking up and down Terminal B three times, before I finally found the group down in one corner. Everyone seemed in good spirits though, and we proceeded to board our plane to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.

It was to be just under a two hour flight, and then we were met by our guides Jeremiah and Festus. Although we’d discussed switching cars occasionally, Jeremy Woodhouse, the group leader pretty much stayed in his car, and once I’d started to teach the folks in my car things, they said they weren’t going to let me switch either, so Festus became my guide for the duration. Both guides were incredibly knowledgeable, professional and fun to be with.

After a few minutes to settle into the hotel, we drove into the town of on the afternoon of May 6, and found Windhoek to be a booming city in the heart of Namibia, with new building springing up all over the place. The people mostly seemed happy and upbeat, and I would feel safe through pretty much my entire journey, though the young men selling trinkets or asking for money for some sort of imaginary charity, would prove an annoyance. They started really nice, but one guy, on realizing that I wasn’t going to pay him anything shouted for me to stay out of his country as he walked off, which I thought was a bit sad.

Slightly jet-lagged, and tired from 36 hours of straight traveling, we settled down for an evening meal of Oryx steak at our hotel, and then I woke up at 5am, and wrote a quick blog post to announce the release of the Craft & Vision digital magazine, PHOTOGRAPH Issue #3, that I saw had been released as I checked my email. As I wrote the post, my stomach started making some funny noises, and before long I realized that I’d eaten something that didn’t agree with me, and would spend the next day or so in a slightly frail disposition.

It wasn’t a show-stopper, but I recall spending most of the 500km drive as we made our way to our first major shooting destination just trying to sleep, and get well as soon as possible. The main roads were amazing, and we made good time, stopping a few times for gas and the toilet, and although I didn’t feel 100%, by the time we reached Keetmanshoop, I could tell that my being somewhat out of sorts wasn’t too serious, and I had a good time photographing the Quiver Trees up until sunset, as we can see in this first image.

Quiver Tree Sunset

Quiver Tree Sunset

The Quiver Trees are so called, because the branches are soft and easily hollowed out, and so they were used to make quivers to store arrows in, and not because the trees quiver. I didn’t initially find this spot that photogenic, and didn’t get any photos that I really liked from the first day, except this last sunset shot. The following morning, we went back, bright and early, and there was a beautiful slither of a waxing crescent moon, and a beautiful clear sky. This next image is probably my favorite from this morning, and although I’d skipped dinner the night before, I was feeling decidedly better on this second morning.

Quiver Tree Sunrise (with Moon)

Quiver Tree Sunrise (with Moon)

In this photo you can see the slither of a moon to the left of the large quiver tree on the right. Although Ideally I’d have liked to place the trunk of that tree on the right in the space just to its left on the horizon, here I gave priority to maintaining a little bit of separation between the tree and the moon. Had I been able to move to the right a little more, I’d probably have gotten a little separation between the smaller trees on the left too, but I’m not going to sweat it too much. I still really like this shot. Once the sun came up though, I did start to pay more attention to separation, as the moon basically disappeared in the brighter sky.

Slats and Dune (Kolmanskop)

Slats and Dune (Kolmanskop)

Once we’d finished our morning shoot, we had another couple of hundred kilometers to cover, as we made our way over to the port town of Luderitz, close to the abandoned diamond mining village, Kolmanskop. The name is actually Africans for Coleman’s Hill, which might make you think it was a coal mine, but the town was actually named after a guy called Johnny Coleman, who stumbled across the place in a sand-storm.

According to Wikipedia, In 1908 a worker named Zacharias Lewala found a diamond while working in this area and showed it to his supervisor, a German railroad inspector named August Stauch. After realizing that this area was rich in diamonds, lots of German miners settled in this area and started to exploit the diamond field.

Driven by the enormous wealth of the first diamond miners, the residents built the village in the architectural style of a German town, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theater and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere.

The town was abandoned in 1954, as the diamonds ran out, but the standard of the German architecture was so high, many of the houses are still standing, although the desert is slowly reclaiming them, as you can see in this photograph of a house that no longer has a roof, allowing the sun to shine through the slats in the decaying ceiling.

As the sun shines at varying angles as it moves across the sky through the day, the slats move across the walls, making beautiful patterns, complimented by the small sand dunes that you can find in many of the buildings, like the one we see here inside the back room. I used Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 to enhance the detail on the walls, and if I recall, I used the Reflector Efex filter to bring out the golden color of the sand through the door.

The town is large, and you could literally spend a couple of days exploring. By noon I found myself in a darkened room with light pouring in through the gaps formed as rust ate its way through the corrugated steel nailed to the outside of the window. The sand had frosted the pains of glass left in the top of the window, but with the bottom windows shutters thrown open, I exposed for the bright light, allowing the internal wall to go totally black. I remember saying to Judy, a participant I was shooting with at the time, that if there were ghosts here, I really hoped that they knew how beautiful their houses were.

Window (Kolmanskop)

Window (Kolmanskop)

By the afternoon, there was a sand-storm blowing, and I ended up scratching my sun glasses, as I must have gotten sand between my glasses and my camera’s viewfinder, and I also ended up with a nasty scratch on the front face of my iPhone, probably from the sand too. I’m not one for mollycoddling my gear though, and to change lenses in a sand-storm, I simply shielded the camera with my body, changing lenses with my back to the wind and sand. I’m happy to say that after that, although I cleaned my sensor once during the trip, I didn’t really have a problem with dust. My lenses on the other hand are all a bit crunchy, and might need looking at, but nothing broke, and believe me, it’s not just this location, everywhere we went was dusty and sandy.

The next photo gives you a good visual on this, as we can see this room was well over half-full of sand, coming almost to the top of the door. Again, I used Color Efex Pro to enhance the detail and texture of the walls and sand, but I like the feeling here of the room being totally overwhelmed with the sand. I used my 16-35mm f/2.8 lens for this, but I used my 14mm and 24-70mm lens a lot through the day too. My lens range in total took me from 14mm to 300mm and included a 1.4X and 2X Extender, to take me out to 600mm, and on the whole, having used each lens I brought a lot, I was very happy that I lugged all of this gear to the other side of the world.

Sand Filled Room

Sand Filled Room

The important thing to note as you shoot in this location is that you have to keep off the sand in the buildings. I’d have loved to seen what is in the other room, but climbing on the sand to take a look would ruin the room for the next photographer, so you just don’t do that.

I’m not one for looking at photos of places I’m going to visit before trips. This is partly because I’m usually so busy before leaving home for a while that I just don’t have time, but also because I don’t want to plant seeds of ideas that could paralyze me to other possibilities, as I fixate on finding the shots that I’d already seen. I like to just remain open to my own creativity. Having said that, there was one room here that I recall seeing in an old Michael Reichmann Video Journal, and this was paralyzing me to a degree, as I searched for it, just what I wanted to avoid.

The scene was a single door in a room, with sand almost up to the ceiling, similar to the last shot, but it was a much prettier room. One lady in the group, Nancy, had found the room during the morning, and told me where it was, but by the time I got there in the afternoon, the light was coming in through the windows behind the door, and the shot was lost. I’d actually poked my head in to the same building in the morning, and was kicking myself for not going in further, but I’d been trying to keep the sand clean for others.

Rays of Light

Rays of Light

Although the shot was lost, as I photographed the room anyway, I was a little spooked by what I can only describe as the sound of a family at a dinner table, clanking their cutlery on the plates as they ate. After hearing the sound I went around to the back of the building from where I’d heard the sounds, and the rooms were all full of sand, and there was no way in, so by now the hair on the back of my head was standing up, convinced I’d just been haunted.

Towards the end of the afternoon, as I’d looked through most of the houses, and was starting to wonder what to shoot next, when Jeremy Woodhouse, the tour leader came running out of a house and called me in. He’d found this room with light pouring in through the rust holes in the corrugated steel, and we proceeded to through sand against the wall above the window, to accentuate these lovely rays of light.

The sand is so fine and light that it just seems to hang there for a while, so it’s perfect for this kind of effect. We shot the window from either side, and then played with a very faint shadow that we noticed on the wall beside the window, as we stood in the doorway, but this was my favorite shot, with the rays of light actually hitting the ground, although this does include the hand marks where we’d been scooping sand up to throw at the wall.

After we’d finished shooting in this room, Jeremy walked back around to the earlier building where I’d been spooked, and as we looked in through the window, as I relayed my story, the wind caught the corrugated steel on the window, and a nail loose in one of the holes started to clatter against the glass, making a sound just like cutlery hitting a plate. There were my ghosts, and I breathed a small sigh of relief under my breath.

One of the furthest buildings from the entrance at Kolmanskop is, I believe, a school, that we can see in this last photo. The wind was howling, and shutters clashing around as I worked the scene, and I was still a little spooked, so I recall laughing at myself from time to time as I looked around to ensure I was still alone, but these building really are magical. Again a little Color Efex Pro helped to bring out the texture here, but I tried to keep it as subtle as possible.

School Corridor (Kolmanskop)

School Corridor (Kolmanskop)

There were a number of things that this location that I’d love to do differently if I ever get back here. There were certain rooms with the slats that look great at certain times of the day, and nothing much to look at, at other times. If I come back, I’ll create a map of where to go, at what time, because although I’m happy with what I got, this place has so much more potential, especially for a second visit.

Namibia Trip Map

Namibia Trip Map

I’m going to include a map here, from Lightroom, showing the locations at which we shot, with the little balloons and the number of images shot in each location. As with all the images, if you click on them, you’ll see a larger version, but to help you understand where we traveled, if you look at the map you’ll see a 35 in the middle just below where it says Namibia, and this is the first afternoon in Windhoek.

The Quiver trees were some 500km south of Windhoek, where it says 202, then Luderitz and Kolmanskop is on the coast to the east of there, where it says 355. The morning after we’d shot at Kolmanskop, we stopped for gas at a small town called Aus, just to the right of that, where you can see it says 210. There were some wonderful kids playing near the gas station here, and although I’d love to show you all of their photos, let’s just look at three of them before we finish today. The best of the rest I’ll put on my Portfolios page this week some time, so you’ll be able to check those out later too.

Here first is a very cool little boy with a great hat and wonderful attitude (below). All of the kids seemed very used to posing for photos, and this one had his pose down pat. Every time anyone pointed a camera at him, he’d fold his arms, and create a very stern cool look on his face. I managed to get him to crack his look into a wry smile for just a frame or two, which we can see here.

Jeremy Woodhouse is great with these kids, and as soon as we found some willing subjects, he’d heard them over to a spot in the shade, and the group would take turns photographing the ones we found interesting. The trick I found was adjusting them to a position where there wasn’t something sticking out of their heads, just common compositional practice, but then getting a nice look sometimes took a little more work.

Boy with Attitude

Boy with Attitude

Unlike this little boy, there were some kids that just didn’t seem to know how to smile, and would just show their bottom teeth for example, but I’m sure if we made them laugh for real, they’d have beautiful smiles. The language was challenging for the smaller kids though, and it just didn’t always happen.

This group of five boys were great too, with their cool looks and body language. I called this Best Friends, because I got the distinct feeling that this is exactly what they were. We would buy sweets at the shop, and hand them to the kids for their trouble, trying not to overdo it, and spoil the experience for others by making them expect to receive something. Pretty much every time we stopped like this though, were were quite demanding, so I think it’s only right to offer a little something.

Best Friends

Best Friends

This last photo is of a little girl with an incredibly pretty face. Here again, she knew how to pose, and I got a distinct feeling that she has been watching TV and knew how to carry herself. Because we placed almost all of our subjects in the shade, they all have great catch-lights in their eyes too, in which you can always find a photographer looking back at you.

Young Namibian Girl

Young Namibian Girl

The trip was mainly cultural, so this kind of street portraiture will be a major theme, especially as we look at some shots of the Himba People that we visit, in a future episode, but as we traveled between locations, you’ll see on the map that we stopped along the way, grabbing shots of the wildlife as we went. There were also a few days towards the end where we concentrated on Wildlife, doing game drives etc. and I’m looking forward to showing you the results of those days too.

For now though, let’s wrap it up for today, and we’ll pick up the trail again next week, as we look at some of the wildlife that we saw along the way, and then some shots for Deadvlei, that wonderful dried up lake where the dead camel thorn trees make for beautiful graphic elements as the sun illuminates the red sand dune walls before it hits the dried up lake floor. If you haven’t seen these images before, you’re in for a treat as we look at these next week. If you’d like a sneak preview, there are already a few on my Google Plus profile, and as I say, I’ll start to upload some to my Portfolios pages this week too, once I’ve got this episode recorded and in the stream.


Show Notes

Martin’s Portfolio page: https://martinbaileyphotography.com/portfolios/

Music used with kind permission from the staff of the Kulala Desert Lodge.


Audio

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