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I always tell my ‘students’ that nothing is more important than putting yourself in a landscape and practicing as much as you can. Those words always hit home when I revisit a place that I thought I knew. After spending 7 weeks in Namibia (bringing my total time spent there to nearly 5 months) I would certainly like to consider myself wiser.
There were quite a few differences this time, but the most prominent was probably that I had two cameras instead of one and for the first time I had a long lens. People who own one camera will think of every imaginable excuse to get a second one…I can say this from experience. I finally justified buying second body to start shooting timelapse so that I could shoot stills AND TL when the light is great. The two bodies certainly fulfilled that requirement, but I also learned the pain of dragging 2 bodies, 4 lenses, 2 tripods and enough water around the desert. Having a second body was by no means revolutionary to my experience of Namibia, but a long lens was.
I have always been stubbornly addicted to wider lenses and ever since getting Nikon’s super-light and ultra-sharp 70-200mm f/4 I have been in love. This lens truly came to life in the Desert where so many landscape features lose scale through the 14mm. Nowhere was this more apparent than at Sossus- and Deadvlei. This location has never really spoken to me and prior to this year I had spent more time chilling than shooting in Namibia’s iconic sandy bowl full of petrified trees. Approaching it with a longer lens changed my view completely and I really enjoyed Deadvlei for the first time. Capturing the scale of the place is not an easy task, but I think I may have a shot or two that does it justice.
Below is just one little spoiler of my Namibia images from this year’s trip. There are many still to come and I think that my relationship with the desert has taken a few steps forward. I enjoyed Kolmans as much as Deadvlei, I had three opportunities over Sossus for Aerials, the light was at it’s best Spitzkoppe and I even ventured north to Etosha. I depart for the Wild Coast tomorrow and after that I’m taking a short breakaway to Magoebas. I’ll have the best of Namibia up on my site before the 10th of May!
This image is the intellectual property of Hougaard Malan. It may not be used in any way without the author's written consent.