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Text Annabelle Venter | Photographs Hentie Burger
Panorama n. an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer. (Oxford dictionary)
P hotographically speaking I have always favoured the 2×1 format of panoramic images. So it was with interest that I looked forward to Hentie Burger’s first book, Namibia Panorama, launched in July this year in Windhoek. He hinted that it would be something different and he certainly did not disappoint!
Namibia is a land of vast open spaces, and what the visitor will remember about this country are the huge vistas. Namibia Panorama is a book filled with visual treasures that capture this sense of space wonderfully well, and the panorama format gives you even ‘more image for your money’ if you like to put it that way. Each image depicts the sense of space in Namibia that both locals and visitors value so highly. With room to breathe and to think, one’s eye is drawn across the page to take in the whole vista. This is important because most of us will never see these scenes otherwise – such as the spectacular aerial view of the Chudob waterhole in Etosha National Park. He has spent many hours flying with pilot friends to capture these impressions from above.
Hentie’s variety of subjects illustrates just how diverse Namibia is. From elephants in a dry river bed and colourful community meetings to close-ups of delicate lilies and rare lichens, windmills on remote farms and our famous wildlife: Hentie has captured it all.
The layout of one image on the right hand page, per double spread, allows room for a map on the left side with general location information. Each image has a carefully selected title and a short description of the subject and its location in English, French and German.
The compact size and the unusual format make this book a winner. Roughly 30cm x 15cm, with 184 printed pages, weighing just over 700 grams, it’s the ideal visual souvenir to stash into your luggage and remind you of Namibia’s beautiful and secret spaces once you’re back home.
Namibia Panorama is Hentie Burger’s first book – his ‘firstborn’ as he calls it and Hilda-Marie, his wife and business associate of 40 years, has been the diligent midwife at the birth of this book.
In today’s world where everyone is a ‘photographer’ on social media, this book stands out as a carefully considered and well-executed masterpiece of the life’s work of a professional photographer.
Hentie hinted at the launch that there may be a sibling or two on the horizon and we look forward to any subsequent offspring.
Self-published by Hentie and printed by John Meinert Printing in Windhoek, this is a truly Namibian product that you need to have on your bookshelf. And of course it’s the perfect Christmas gift this year.
You can find Namibia Panorama in Windhoek at Foto Namibia in the Namibia Craft Centre, Namibia Book Market, the Scientific Society, Johan Steyn PhotoVision, Wecke Voigts, Windhoek Buchhandlung, Book Den and Rogl Souvenirs. In Swakopmund it is available at Die Muschel, Art Africa and Swakopmunder Buchhandlung, in Etosha National Park at Halali Rest Camp and in Mariental at Aneljo Boekwinkel. It is also available in Cape Town, South Africa at Buchhandlung Naumann (www.buchhandlungnaumann.co.za).
This article was first published in the Travel News Namibia Spring 2016 issue.