Ground squirrel hiding behind a grass stalk.
1/640 sec, f/8, 400mm, ISO 400
The dancing White Lady spider.
1/125 sec, f/9, 105mm, ISO 200
Western Keeled snake profile
1/250 sec, f/14, 100mm, ISO 200
Flap-necked chameleon walking across a road.
1/500 sec, f/8, 190mm, ISO 100
Deadvlei – dead camel thorn tree after a rare rainstorm over Deadvlei.
1/1000 sec, f/10, 140mm, ISO 400
Sossusvlei, a soft scene. This place has been photographed millions of times, so getting something “new” is quite a challenge.
1/800 sec, f/10, 105mm, ISO 400
Majestic old gemsbok bull near Sossusvlei.
1/800 sec, f/10, 300mm, ISO 200
My all-time favourite photo is a lightning bolt at Namib Desert Lodge near Solitaire late one evening. My 600D Canon was still very new, and I was actually just fiddling around with the manual settings teaching myself about the bulb option. I was trying to capture the lightning bolts far away on the horizon. A bolt of lightning shot down very close to me just as the shutter closed (in fact, to this day I am pretty sure I heard the shutter close before I saw the lightning). The immediate thunder was deafening. I got such a fright that I tripped over my tripod, caught the camera on the tripod just before it hit the ground, picked everything up and just walked back the hundred metres to the lodge, shaking. Then I wondered about the last photo and when I looked at it on the camera, I could not believe what I captured! I think this is the moment that truly “sparked” my passion for photography.
I never studied photography formally, but I have learnt a lot from my guests, from online articles and frankly, most of all by trial and error. I saved for a long time to buy the cheapest digital camera I could get – a little 2mpx Fuji Finepix. After two years I got frustrated with the quality of the photos and upgraded to a Fuji S9500 – that is the camera which taught me about photography, and it’s macro was exceptional. Photography brings a moment in time to a standstill. Macro photography opens up an entire new world. It gives me the chance to teach humans about the fascination of small life. About the importance of opening your eyes to the wonder and beauty and significance of small creatures. My highest priority when photographing these animals is that they should not be stressed, meaning slow movements, no flash or at best a very weak flash with a diffuser. The rest can be done in Lightroom.
This article was first published in the Summer 2019/20 issue of Travel News Namibia.
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