Namibia Landscape & Night Photography Workshop 2024
A landscape and night photography tour visiting amazing locations in Namibia, Africa
£3,995.00 / £500.00 deposit
22nd Sep - 4th Oct 2024
Join me this September for a trip of a life time to photograph some of the world's the best landscape locations with a twist - shooting imagery under the most incredible of night skies. Concentrating our work to the most evocative hours, to get the very best of the morning and evening light, the excitement extends into the night time as we will endeavour to shoot world class imagery beneath the brightest and most detailed Milky Way, in some of the most incredible locations you have ever seen.
I will be supported by Greg Hillyard, a South African photographer and adventurer.
As a specialist in night photography, I want everyone to extend their knowledge to become competent shooting night imagery. This means basing ourselves on location, so I have changed the usual ‘luxury hotel’ trappings that most overpriced tours offer, to get you out shooting at literally any time, day and night, positioning ourselves for the best outcome. The trip will be a mix of quality hotel accommodation and camping, but don’t think of this as roughing it in a sweaty dusty tent! We have organised an Overlander truck, a very capable equipped tour bus, so we can wild-camp in some beautiful locations with the minimum of effort.
An Overlander is a self contained vehicle with two crew, including everything the group will need for a great experience. It has the following features to make your journey effortless -
- Larger, more comfortable seats,
- Luggage racks,
- Lockers for photo backpacks,
- A safe for your valuables,
- Charging facilities for cameras / phones
- A full kitchen, freezers and fridges for food,
- First aid kit
You will be expected to assemble tents, with camp tables and chairs, help prepare fooa and wash up, as a team not on your own, but don’t think of this as traditional camping. We will remain focused on our photography at all times, with the logistics taken care of by the rest of the team - it is the Overlander that makes the very best photography opportunities by putting us in the right place at the right time.
Flying into Windhoek we will spend out first night enjoying an evening meal and getting some rest. As participants often come from all over the world, it is necessary to start the tour fully recharged. We will leave Windhoek and head south to Keetmanshoop for two days, setting up camp at the Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp, to start the adventure by shooting our first sunset and night shoot. We'll be photographing quiver trees in golden light before heading out after dinner to shoot the trees with a back drop of stars. The following day will repeat the same idea, allowing us chance to improve our work with greater understanding of the environment and develop our night vision.
Then onwards to the coast to visit Luderitz were we will shoot the strange and quirky town and visit two famous attractions - Kolmanskop Diamond Mine, both in the day and at night and an excursion to the lesser known Elizabeth Bay Mine on the second day. We will be staying in hotel accommodation in Luderitz.
Up to Sossusvlei Dunes - three nights of camping and shooting the night sky with access to the Deadvlei playa, in the day and exclusively at night. The size and distances will give many options, from dune abstracts to long lens details. By keeping ourselves on subject, we can get three sunrises and sunsets as well as at least one night shoot.
Then up to the coast for a much needed day of rest in a hotel in Swokopmund. This will be a place to recharge our own batteries, as well as our equipment. There will be an optional scenic flight at dawn over coastal sand dunes, which means the possibility of abstracts, before we move on to Spitzkoppe.
With two nights of camping at Spitzkoppe, our objective is to explore and shoot the Milky Way with incredible granite landscapes, from rock arches to massive boulders. We are also close to Uis, which we will visit on the second day.
Then we pack up, head back to Windhoek for our departure.
Optional Helicopter Ride
Enjoy an incredible 'doors off' helicopter ride over the deserts as an additional option.This makes such an incredible aspect to the Namibia adventure and seeing the deserts from the air is an extremely rewarding photography excursion. Choose between an hour and two hours in the air, with a number of routes possible.I have managed four flights in my time in Namibia and it has never disappointed.
Astro Photography Guaranteed
We will be undertaking astro photography at every available opportunity, especially in the more remote desert locations of Keetmanshoop, Sossusvlei and Spitzkoppe. Even if you are a complete beginner, you can come away with some outstanding astro pictures with expert guidance and help. Many of my clients have never even tried to shoot the night skies, but with such incredible opportunities you make the most of every moment.
I classify myself as a landscape photographer dabbling with astro, as I enjoy light painting and astro landscapes as much as I do the more technical disciplines of image stacking. You are welcome to use my astro tracker to help you take long exposures of the Milky Way and other objects. Let me teach you exactly how this fascinating subject can be captured.
Is Namibia safe?
Namibia is very safe. Literally all Namibian people are kind hearted, welcoming and speak fluent English which makes our interaction and experience a friendly and positive one. There’s no big game risks from lions etc. as these are nowhere near the locations we will be visiting. There are also no poisonous insects or spider risks as most locations are arid deserts.
What flights do you recommend?
Flights to be added as flight details aren’t released a year in advance.
Where do I meet you?
Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek. If you do arrive early on a different international flight than the recommended flight, then a shuttle bus will be able to pick you up from your hotel to bring the group together. Contact me for further information.
What vaccinations do I need?
It’s best to have Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid and Diptheria vaccinations with Cholera and Hepatitis B as vaccines to consider. We are not visiting any Malaria risk areas so there will be no need for a course of Malaria tablets.
Can you explain the sleeping arrangements?
When we are not staying in reputable hotels, we will be sleeping under the stars in 2.5m x 2.5m canvas tents. Each participant will have their own tent. For this experience, you will need to bring your own three-season sleeping bag and pillow and that’s all. You’ll have your own comfortable foam mattress to sleep on, provided with your tent and the rest is taken care of for you.
What are the campsites facilities like?
All campsites have electricity and running water on every pitch, but this won’t be a worry as the vehicle has its own electricity and its own water supply. All campsites have hot water shower blocks and modern western style toilets as standard, which means you’ll feel clean and fresh whenever you need to.
Food and drink?
We will be enjoying our meals under the starry night skies cooked by the Overlander crew. A ‘braai’ is the traditional African bbq and we’ll be enjoying a range of cultural and wholesome food as we travel across Namibia. As I am vegetarian, I will definitely have that side of things covered, but we will be able to cater for all dietary requirements. I recommend drinking bottled water as a precaution but water in the campsites is potable just like any UK campsite.
What's the temperature like in Namibia?
Temperature in September will be anywhere between 20-30ºC in the day-time and in the night-time lows of about 10ºC. The temperatures are very comfortable both day and night.
What clothing shall I bring?
Dress in comfortable loose clothing, like T-shirts, loose shirts with a collar or base layers as these will work very well at keeping you cool. I would refrain from any dark coloured clothing, like navy blue, black, dark red, as these will only make you feel even hotter. You will need shorts and perhaps a light fleecy sweater, for dawn / twilight shoots, but do bring pairs of longer trousers for night shoots. Don’t forget a floppy sun hat of some sorts. Sunglasses are an absolute essential - polarised ones will really help with creativity.
Walking shoes are perfect for the terrain. You will not need heavy leather walking boots, these will just make you feel more uncomfortable. A pair of trainers / sneakers will help keep you feet cool and the walking easy, but these could fill with sand so I recommend a comfortable pair of broken in walking shoes.
What camera kit should I bring?
A wide angle lens (16-35), medium zoom (24-70) and a longer zoom (70-300) will be ideal to cover most compositional eventualities but don’t forget the macro lens if you have one. However, if you do have a longer lens (up to 600mm, like the 100-400 with a 1.4x extender = 560mm) then do bring it along as there will be wildlife opportunities. The most used will be in the 24-70 range as a super wide angle doesn’t always translate, so make sure this focal length is covered. It’s best not to weigh yourself down, so why not bring an airport style bag for all your kit and a smaller day bag, which you can decant equipment into throughout the day.
Head torches are a must, preferably two, with at least one set of replacement batteries.
Do I need a computer?
Although not essential, its a great idea to bring a laptop computer with you so you can discuss imagery with myself and others in the group. It really is a great learning experience, so I highly recommend bringing a laptop to learn and for personal entertainment on longer journeys. The Overlander is fully equipped with electricity and charging ports so your entertainment, cameras and communications can be charged; however it is recommended that you only make use of this whilst the Overlander is plugged into a campsite due to variable currents and thus potential damage to equipment. However this is not a worry as when we aren’t staying in hotels we will be in these campsites.
What computer support do you give?
I make a point of tutoring all my clients on digital photography to help complete the learning process. I am renowned as a leading digital professional and an Adobe Influencer and I will be screen recording my sessions so the learning continues. I have extensive knowledge to communicate on all levels and I spend time with all my clients helping them to process their images to a high standard. It really helps to have a computer session when tiredness takes hold, or inclement weather persists.