Tag Archives: Canon 5D MK II

Sands of the Namib

It’s been pretty hot here in Switzerland these last few days. This kind of heat brings back memories of sandy deserts.

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Bush Fires

It’s amazing how deceptive a photograph can be, this fire was very hot but not as big as it looks in this photo. I stepped over it on numerous occasions to take images from different angles.

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Deserted

I’ve been many places in this world, a few where man has left and mother nature is slowly coming back and reclaiming what is hers. Kolmanskop is a bit freaky, the town close to it; Luderitz isn’t much different. They both belong to a time that has long been forgotten, or perhaps they have just been ignored by the rest of the world and have been left to their devices with very little influence from the outside world.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing, its possibly a very good thing. Imagine if the whole world were the same living in this so called modern era with our faces glued to some screen for most of our waking hours. It’s quite a chilling thought really, I often sit on the train watching everyone with their eyes glued to the screen of some device, there are always a few people either reading a book or looking out the window, something I do a lot of when on a train. That’s something I’ve learnt from photography to look at the world around me, to wonder about it and try to understand it. I’ve also learnt to look at it very differently, before it was just there. while I don’t really know how to describe how I look at the world around me now, there is much more purpose in the way I look at it, I focus in on details and can easily remove the noise around that detail, it’s something that I do and not only when I am out taking photographs, I guess i just pay much more attention to what’s going on around me.

I’m not trying to preach that devices are bad and that they are sucking our souls out from our bodies, I own more of them than most people and I spend way too much time on them. I just feel sometimes that they’re sucking MY soul out of my body.

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Critter Tracks

One of my favourite photos is an image Louise took a few years ago in Namibia, it’s of a beetle walking up a sand dune with his tracks behind him. She used a fisheye lens and it gave it quite a funky effect.

Here’s a similar photo that I took on our last trip to Namibia using the same idea. Sadly there was no beetle.

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Fish Traps and Broken Cameras

We didn’t see any guys fishing while we were at Kosi bay, it was fun to walk around and photograph the fish traps.

I took this photo with a friends canon 5D MK II, I definitely like the camera, the only problem is a few days later I broke it by inserting a compact flash card. I always hate doing stuff like that, I always feel very guilty even if it’s my own gear and I go off touching a camera for a few days or sometimes weeks. Recently when I broke my 14-24mm lens and found out my insurance wouldn’t cover it cause I forgot to add it to my list of gear I was pissed, pissed with myself for not adding it. It only takes a quick email to my insurance lady and it’s added. You live and learn, right?

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Milky Way above Kosi Bay

I got to borrow a friends 5D MKII when I was in South Africa earlier this year. I think there is something about Canons and stars that works better than my Nikons with the same subject. Though on this evening I never did line them up side by side and take the same shot, next time!

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World on fire

A nice effect with a fisheye lens is to put the horizon in the top half of the frame. The horizon will curve upwards making it look like the top of the planet. I wanted to achieve a look of the world on fire with this photo. The flames were a little small to give it the full effect, I’m still happy with the result.

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A Day on the Sardine Run

A typical day on the sardine run involves getting up early in the morning, sitting on the boat as you cruise down to the river mouth as the sun rises then battle the surf to get out to the ocean. You look for gannets and as soon as they move you move with them. As the gannets dive you get ready to jump in after them. Nothing prepares you for the first time you get in the water. The organised chaos that is happening below the surface is unbelievable, hundreds of sharks and dolphins go after the sardines, anchovies and red eyes until none remain. You spend a lot of the time on the water searching for bait balls. There are thousands of dolphins and whales that keep you occupied while searching for sardines. We spent a lot of time snorkeling with the dolphins and occasionally a whale would show up. On a few occasions we chased freighters in the hope of photographing dolphins leaping in front of the bow of the huge ships. All in all it was one of the best wildlife experiences I have ever experienced and I’ll be going back next year.

Video footage by:
Christine and Dudley Kelbe (kelbephotography.co.za/)
Trevor Evans and myself

Everything else was organised by the very talented diver and underwater photographer Greg De Valle and his team, sodwanadiving.co.za/

Video was shot with the following cameras:Canon 5D MKII with seacam housing, GoPro HD Hero 2 with underwater housing, Canon XA10, Nikon D4.

Music: “Collapsing Time” and “From Truth” by Dexter Britain (dexterbritain.co.uk)

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Bush Fires

Bush fires are a common thing in Africa, during the dry season bush fires flare up naturally but it’s also quite common for people to start them, the grass is extremely dry and it’s amazing how quickly new grass grows from under the ashes. Even national parks across the continent do controlled burning, I’ve personally witnessed it in South African, Botswanan and Tanzanian national parks.

I’ve never been able to get that close to bush fires to take a decent photograph, they’ve either been to hot or in a location that didn’t allow me to get close enough to photograph them. Recently in Kosi Bay, they had a bush fire flare up, it was an ideal opportunity to get close, no risk of wildlife attacking and the fire itself wasn’t huge. I got real close with a fisheye lens, even a little fire that’s only about a foot high was producing a huge amount of heat. Fisheyes are tricky lenses to use, you have to get so close to your subject to make anything of it. This worked quite well with the fires but I had to move in an out quite quickly as to not burn the camera or myself.

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Kosi Bay

There is this stunning place on the very north eastern coast of South Africa called Kosi Bay, the campsite is on the edge of one of the lakes that flow out into the indian ocean, it’s famous for it’s unique fish traps that are in the river mouth.

While taking some shots early one morning out on the edge of the lake I came up to a Jetty which starts in a dense mangrove forest, which gave a very eerie feel to the whole thing. I’ve never had much success at photographing this type of scene, so I decided to experiment with HDR. I’m quite please with the results.

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