Recent Work

Quiver Trees

You may have guessed, but posts have been a little out of order. The Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanshoop was our first real stop after a long drive from Windhoek.

First, we arrived in the afternoon and spent an hour or two in the forest as the sun set. There were no clouds in the sky this day, but we still managed to get a lovely colour transition in the western sky as the sun set.

In disappointing news, this was the first shoot with my new 3 Legged Thing Winston tripod. Although the tripod was generally great throughout the trip, on this shoot, one of the feet came unscrewed and became lost among the grass and boulders. Similar happened to at least one other photographer durig the trip, with their much more expensive Really Right Stuff tripod. A handy reminder to regularly check your gear and make sure everything's done up secure and tight. 

The next morning, my jet lag paiud off with a 4:00am rise to take advantage of the moonless sky just before the morning twilight. The darkness of the sky without the moon allowed us to capture the Milky Way, which was lying pretty much parallel to the horizon by this time of the night. We did some light painting of the trees, but I much prefer the photographs with the main subject silhouetted against the sky. For me, the subtle light on the other trees in this shot (from others light painting their own composition) kind of works. A happy accident.

As the sun rose, we took a short drive to the Giant's Playground, a vast pile of dolerite rocks, with the odd quiver tree dotted around. 

Namibia Dunes

A rare sight as we left Luderitz, with clouds and rain over the dunes. The way the light and shadow was falling on the sand resulted in the first "Quick! Stop!" of the trip.

And then onto Sossusvlei for the real dunes. The tallest, and highest in the world. We spent a a couple of pre-sunrise mornings crossing the dunes to Deadvlei for *that* photo. Made famous by Frans Lanting a few years ago, this shot is achieved by waiting for the sun to illuminate the dune in the background. You have just a minute or two while the petrified trees stay in shadow and before the clay pan of Deadvlei begins to lighten.

Etosha Wildlife

I went to a travel expo when I was around 15, and came home with nothing but brochures about African safari tours. Twenty-odd years later, and I finally had the opportunity to go, assisting Martin Bailey to lead his Complete Namibia Tour and Workshop over the last three weeks.

The trip ended with three days in Etosha National Park, a 22,000 square kilometre game reserve, home to hundreds of species of animals, including several which are endangered, including the black rhinoceros.

I don't do a lot of wildlife photography, so I found myself struggling a little on the first day with an interesting problem to have - there were just too many animals! At the Okaukuejo Waterhole, there was literally a rotating cast of hundreds of zebra, wildebeest, oryx, impala and springbok. It was hard to decide where to point the camera, and then once you'd composed a shot, another animal would come along and stick their head or butt into the frame. Like I said, a good problem to have.

The following days I found my groove a little more, relishing the opportunity to photograph lions, elephants, giraffes and more. The trip came to a wonderful conclusion with an afternoon spent watching and photographing a herd of around 40 elephants arrive, drink & play, and then leave a waterhole.

Click below for the full gallery.

Chris Cornell

This may be a little self-indulgent, but I'm sad and don't really care.

I first saw Soundgarden in Newcastle in January 1997. If I'm honest, that wasn't a great show - it was just a couple of months before they broke up, and in hindsight, you could tell they just weren't into it.

Fast forward to 2012, and I was a music photographer, shooting my first Big Day Out. Soundgarden were back together and on the lineup. Here are some photos I took of Chris Cornell.

RIP.

Hobart Dawn

I recently spent a weekend in Hobart. I didn't take many photographs because, well, it wasn't that kind of trip.

I did get up early one morning and drove to the summit of Mount Wellington, where it was 2.7 degrees, with crazy winds making it feel like -8.2 degrees. The drive back down was much more pleasant, so I stopped when I saw this golden dawn light falling on the foothills and Lenah Valley.