Namibia Tour - Kolmanskop Ghost Town

In southern Namibia near the small mining and fishing port of Luderitz is a truly unique and interesting location for photography. Surrounded by an apocalyptic looking barren landscape, Kolmanskop Ghost Town is unlike any other location that I have been too. Like many other locations in Namibia this is one of those places that has been on my wish list for some time and one of the reasons I decided to return to Namibia.

Kolmanskop is a long deserted diamond mining settlement that is slowly being swallowed up by dunes and disintegrated by the harsh weather. I suspect that the deterioration is not as quick as it might have been in a an environment with more moisture and regular rains. The mining operation dates back to when Namibia was still under German colonial rule, starting in the first decade of the 20th century and finally petering out in the 1950’s. The settlement was built in a German style and is a mixture of commercial buildings, worker’s barracks and elegant management residences – some still with German nameplates on the front like ‘Architekt’.

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Namibia Tour - Quiver Tree Forest

I have just returned from a twelve day driving tour of southern Namibia. It was a fantastic (if exhausting) experience during which I was able to revisit some locations for the second time and finally see some locations I hadn’t been able to previously. The Quiver Tree Forest is an utterly unique and world famous place that I have been wanting to visit for a long time. On this, my third visit to this amazing country, I was finally able to do so. The location itself is five to six hours drive south of Windhoek, Namibia’s capital and about twenty minutes’ drive from the small dusty town of Keetmanshoop. It is privately owned, not in a state reserve or national park. It is in fact part of a working farm and you have to pay a fee to the owners for access. Fortunately it is possible to get a night photography permit for unrestricted access at any hour which is essential. I stayed at the Quiver Tree Rest Camp which is located on and run by the farm operation.

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That Wanaka Tree

There are many landscape photography locations around the world that have achieved iconic status. Locations that because of their uniqueness or particular beauty, attract obsessed photographers like myself to them in droves. They have become places that you go to put a notch on your tripod or a tick on your bucket list. I've been to a few of these locations (Deadvlei in Namibia and Glacier Lake in Canada are two examples) and the experience has usually prompted a mix of emotions.

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Wreck Beach

I had an opportunity to visit the Great Ocean Road region of Victoria recently. I mainly wanted to re-visit a few locations and improve on the efforts of my previous visits. I had mixed results in this regard due to weather (something I will talk about in a future post). I did however, manage to visit a new location with some success...

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Wyadup Rocks: A lesson in light.

Recently I was reminded how the quality of light and the time of day affects the look and feel of landscape images. An identical location photographed on different days can obviously look different because of changing conditions but pure direction of light is equally important. All the photographs below were taken at Wyadup. Wyadup is not far from Dunsborough, Western Australia. There is an interesting and popular spot here where an eroded portion of a rock finger allows wave surges to burst through and create nice waterfalls into a narrow sea.....

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Dunes and Pinnacles

Nambung National Park is about two hours drive north of Perth - not far from the small coastal town of Cervantes. I recently made my second photography oriented trip to the region. It is host to the famous Pinnacles Desert with its unique rock formations but also to large stretches of pristine white sand dunes. Unlike the Pinnacles which are easily accessible by car and is set up for tourists, the dunes are a little harder to get to. You can see them from the highway as you drive past, drifting glacially over the scrubby vegetation like advancing fog-banks. All you have..... 

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Project Spindrift

Landscape photography largely boils down to light, skies and location.  If you have a great location then all you need then is to be there when the light is good and the skies are dramatic and you have the ingredients for an excellent shot.

I've recently been taking a number of images at the same location to see how many different versions of the same scene I can get. The location itself is unremarkable - just a standard beach near my home. The variables are the conditions on the day - light and sky plus whatever.....

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Karijini National Park

One of the most amazing places in Western Australia is Karijini National Park. It is located in mining country in our 'red centre' and its main feature is the layered rust-red rock canyons. The geology of the Pilbara region is interesting.  The rock has a high iron content so when it is exposed to the air through erosion it oxidizes to a distinctive red rust colour.  If you break open a rock you can see the black iron colour of the natural rock.  The gorges show the layers that have built up over millions of years and in some places (like Hamersley gorge) you can.....

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