We were away in Niagara-on-the-Lake this weekend, Rob and I (actually, Sunday and Monday) – a little getaway to mark the fact, of no global importance but important to the two of us, that it was 10 years to the day, yesterday, that we first met, in a swanky Afro-themed bar in Sandton City, Johannesburg. The relationship almost didn’t happen – but it did, and here we are, a decade later, two married old fogeys living in Toronto, to prove it. Who woulda thought, eh? I don’t have many photos – we were too busy with other things – but […]
I have been experimenting, in B&W, with some of the images I took after dark, in Etosha, hoping to suggest something of the elusiveness, silence, otherness you sense when creatures materialise out of the shadows, and go about their business, before melting back into the darkness again. All of this is work towards an ‘at home’ that Rob and I are planning for the fall, when we will hold an open-house event to show some of my pictures, along with some of the artefacts we brought back with us from our trip in April to South Africa and Namibia: for those […]
We are off to Detroit in the morning, to spend the weekend with my favourite sister-in-law – Cindy to her friends, but Cynthia to her sister. I thought – considering where we are going – I should leave you with a photo, as I will most likely be maintaining radio silence until we are back home after the weekend. No, it’s not Trump – it’s about as good-looking, but it’s a helluva lot smarter. It’s a rhino, heading down to the waterhole at Halali in Etosha, Namibia, for an after-dark rumble. Which about fits the bill, doesn’t it?
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 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 […]
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. […]