Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Land God Created in Anger

'One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.'
~ Henry Miller, 1957

The San people calls it 'the land God created in anger' - Namibia.

You cannot help but be in awe of this land of sand, mountains and vast open spaces. It took my breath away. It made me stop and take notice. I fell in love with it.

Perhaps in a way my feelings are linked to the fact that Adele and I had our wedding at Wolwedans in the Namib-Rand Game Reserve but when I look at some of the images and think back to the emotions and feelings that we all experienced during our time there I am convinced that it was more than this.

From the moment we entered Namibia at the Nakop border it felt like we have entered a place that held a beautiful mystery. It is a place that feels familiar and brand new all at the same time. A place with landscapes so vast that you get lost in your own thoughts.

We spent our first night at the Hotel in Helmeringshauzen. This town, and no jokes here, consists of the hotel, a petrol station and about 200 meters of tar road - that's it! Even in this isolated spot of Namibia we were blown away by the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

We had the most amazing afternoon up on the hills behind the hotel taking pictures and just soaking up the beauty of this very different natural landscapes. The next morning Pieter, our wedding photographer, and I were up early to get a few images of the hotel and surrounding area.

This is pretty much half of the town of Helmeringshauzen. Just behind the funky looking guy is a petrol station and that is about it. I quite liked the look of this Toy Story looking fellow and it just goes to show that there are picture opportunities everywhere!

This old car and dead tree was located within the grounds of the hotel and must have been photographed many times in the past. We had a great deal of fun playing around and shooting this scene. Many different times of day and different kinds of light gave us a lot of chances to 'work the scene'.

After leaving Helmeringshauzen, and stopping a few times along the way to take pictures, we arrived at Wolwedans.

Once we entered the Namib-Rand Game Reserve we were met with some of the most amazingly simple and beautiful scenes I could ever have imagined. The first image in this post was the first one I took as we entered the gates to the reserve - and that was just the start of it.

Later that day we went on a drive with the guides from Wolwedans. This foreign world offered so many images it was almost as if it was designed by a photographer, for photographers.

The lines and shapes in this world of red sand, yellow grass and blue skies was almost too good to be true. Between Pieter, Glen and myself we were like kids let loose in a candy store. Images waiting to be captured - everywhere!!

The next morning we left on an early morning game drive and again the natural scenes of Namibia did not disappoint.

The morning light gave us many different ways in which to shoot this amazing landscapes and with the rolling hills and vast open plains I am quite keen to see what Pieter comes up with when we receive our official wedding photographs from him.

As the morning slowly matured into another scorching hot day in the Namib dessert I got some of the most amazing shots of Oryx - something I have not been able to get in Madikwe. These majestic antelope specialize in this harsh environment and in a way look very natural in this harsh and unforgiving dessert.

The images I got of these Oryx along with a few Springbok is pretty much the total sum of wildlife images for my trip to Namibia. Landscapes, lines, shapes and abstracts. This is what kept me occupied, excited and made me think about my own photography in a whole new way.

Think about your own 'style' in a new way and be forced to look at things differently. This has opened up a whole new, or at least a long forgotten, world to me. I have started looking at landscapes differently. Abstracts have a new appeal. Great feeling.

Apart from my wedding, which was everything we hoped for and more, I have had the most unbelievable photographic time in Namibia. The passion has been rekindled. The creativity has been awakened and the comfort zone has been shifted which will (hopefully) make way for a new growth in my own work.

If you ever feel the need to visit a place of endless beauty which will spark your photographic spirit let me know and we can head up to Namibia for the photographic trip of a lifetime! The country is massive and is begging to be photographed! IAfter our 4 days in Namibia I have more than 1000 RAW files I am slowly working through - the place is unreal!!

Make no mistake, wildlife photography which I enjoy and would like to think I am quite good at is still something that gets me excited and makes me want to get up and out into the field every day but there is more. Much more and during the next few months I will be looking at expanding my focus (excuse the pun) and venture into different genres of photography.

I will be updating my own page on Photo-Africa which will be featuring various new galleries, images and services I will be looking at exploring. I will be posting some of these images, along with all the regular posts, on the Blog and would love to get your feedback.

Adele and I will be heading back to Madikwe on Wednesday but I will be back with the Weekly High Five on Friday.

As always I look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time.

Gerry

2 comments:

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Looks stunning and you have captured some amazing memories for us all to share, congrats also with the book.

Schmanda said...

reading your posts and seeing the photos of Namibia makes me miss it so much! i used to live there and i agree it is a photographer's dream - beautifully stark landscapes...it does truly inspire! i hope you will have a chance to visit Deadvlei, if you haven't already. http://unworthyami.blogspot.com/2006/05/respite.html