From Etosha we drove to Otjiwarongo, where – with some misadventure, i.e. the theft of cameras, iPad, cellphones, but fortunately not the Nikon, or our passports (!) – we spent the night. Next morning, somewhat disillusioned with the place, we went on to Ugab, where we stayed at the fabulous Ugab Terrace Lodge. Fabulous for its views, that is, its accommodation, and its extraordinary location, atop a narrow ridge reached by a death-defying climb up a track that in the last stretch seems to point vertically into the skies. Everything good, except for the food, which was merely decent, though […]
Here are three photographs of gemsbok, in Etosha, one in black and white two in colour – I might try the colour photos in black and white, also. What do you think? Also a photo of the Okaukuejo waterhole in the early morning, with zebra caught in the bands of sunlight, and one more (sorry about this) of a zebra misbehaving. All, by the way, from the files I restored on Friday.
Here is a photo of the Okaukuejo waterhole, at daybreak: this one’s in colour, to try to capture that crisp, sharp, brilliant light of the early morning. And a photo of springbok. You’ll notice that the nearer animals are blurry, with the point of focus somewhere there in the middle. It’s an odd effect, and I’m not sure that it works, but I kind of like it anyway because it gives, to my mind at least, the impression of a sea, a wave of springbok sweeping across the veld, which is what it was like, really. See what you think.
Following some comments I’ve received, I thought a note might be in order, on the aesthetic behind the black & white Etosha landscapes I posted last week. In deciding how to process and frame the images, I was very conscious of not wanting to produce the ‘Wuthering Heights’ effect, or even the Ansel Adams – I wanted to avoid the tropes of nature’s grandeur, its wildness, ruggedness, ‘otherness’ etcetera. When you look at the landscape in Etosha, especially around the Salt Pan, where we were, there’s nothing there. That’s the whole point, really. You really have to look to see […]
I missed it, but Rob’s eagle eye – over breakfast this morning, at the bottom of page L4 in the Life and Arts section of The Globe and Mail – spotted my photograph, just as it was about to be tossed into the recycling. I had submitted the image last week, just for the fun of it – to be clear, this was not a competition, there is no jury, no fee or award – and had heard nothing back from Canada’s national daily, so had forgotten all about it. And it was a little thrill, to be honest, to see my image […]
Etosha Pan – a salt pan which lies like a vast silver sea at the heart of Namibia’s premier wildlife reserve – is hard to describe. Shimmering, lifeless, it stretches out to the horizon and reaches into the sky – until suddenly you see a troop of oryx plodding silently across it, way off in the distance, or an island rising out of the motionless ocean. The four images here focus on the pan itself, not on the wildlife; I hope with the black and white rendering to communicate some sense of the immensity, the desolation, and the spiritual beauty of one […]
The viewing site at Etosha’s Halali camp is built into a rocky crag, with the cliff at your back and the Moringa waterhole below. You look down upon an arena, or theatre, with the evening sun in your eyes, until the light begins to fade and the orange glow of the floodlights comes on. Trundling down the path to our left, out of the bushes, or wings if you like, came the first of our first evening’s protagonists – a large black rhinoceros. He proceeded straight to the pool, dipped his head to drink, and took a few steps into the water. Stepped […]
A lot of our viewing in Etosha was at the waterholes, where we would sit in the car and wait and watch, and watch and wait. Sometimes we would see stuff, and sometimes we wouldn’t. On the open plains, too, we would drive and drive and see very little, and then we would come across vast herds of springbok, or zebra, or wildebeest, or oryx, whose sheer numbers would overpower the eye – I will include a few photos later, to see if I can give you a sense of the sheer scale of things. At one waterhole, we were watching a […]
From the black rhino that paddled in the waterhole one night at Okaukuejo, to the hulking, huge bull elephant who loomed out of the bushes near where we were parked and scared the bejesus out of us, here are a few more Etosha images.
Day One in Etosha ended as it had begun, back at the Okaukuejo camp. The camps in the park, run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts, were comfortable and clean, though not always well maintained, and the staff, I regret to say, were for the most part graduates of the Soviet school of hospitality – surly, unhelpful, unresponsive. The food was pretty dreadful, and expensive. The best bet, we discovered, was to get a burger for lunch at the cafeteria, and avoid the dinner buffets altogether. The waterhole at Okaukuejo, famed in the guide books for its ‘teeming’ animals, was mostly deserted. […]