The hard red dirt feels almost like concrete underneath the feet. Despite the hardness, loose dust is kicked up in the air as soon as the hard ground is broken. Apart from a thin, barely visible line of clouds on the horizon, the sky is an open blue expanseless blue. Groups of men, their skin shades of chocolate, their eyes, lost under the shade of every variety of hat and cap, walk in conversation with one another. Herds of long-horned cattle, the famous Zebu of Madagascar grunt and low as they are coralled and herded into tight groups under the gaze of the elder men.
One of the easiest ways to improve both the speed with which you work on your images, as well as your overall experience with working with an editing app, is knowing the shortcuts. So, we've put together the shortcuts that we use the most when editing images.
Before any major workshop we usually send out a suggested equipment list. The emphasis here is on the word ‘suggested’. One can always bring more or less on a workshop. Indeed, there are professional travel photographers who travel only with a Fujifilm X100t, an iPhone and backup hard drive. Being geared more towards landscape photography we tend to pack a little more into our camera bags. The kit below is the equipment that Emil would take with him to Madagascar, Iceland or Namibia for landscape photography (an important addition is a Macro lens which is not pictured here).
Recorded on location in Spitzkoppe, Namibia, this is a basic workflow to create a stitched panoramic image in Adobe Lightroom. The movie is a resource for photographers on the Nature's Light Composing The Dunes Workshop.
A simple tutorial on blending images together in Adobe Photoshop into an exposure blend. The tutorial was recorded on location during a Natures Light workshop in Namibia 2017. The tutorial is posted as an online resource for photographers who took part in the workshop.
A timelapse movie of South Africa's Drakensberg Mountains with the backing music, 'uKuthula' provided by the Cape Town Youth Choir.
Photography workshops are a fantastic way to improve your photography in a short space of time. That said, workshops don’t suit everyone, and I have actually recommended to some photographers to not join a workshop, including some that I have run either through Nature’s Light or one of the other operators that I have interacted for in the past. Below are some questions that a prospective workshop goer can ask and so figure out where their personal needs in a workshop come through.
Iceland! It’s a place that conjures up images of longboats riding white capped waves and black mountains jutting out and over pounding dark surf. A land of vikings, volcanoes and ice. As such it has drawn photographers in their droves to explore the island which sits just south of the Arctic Circle. It has drawn so many photographers that it is hard to pick up a photographic magazine or look through the images in a photographic salon without coming across at least a few images from Iceland. It is this allure that had me chatting to some photographers around a fire, in quite the contrary location - Botswana’s Kubu Island, about their thoughts in visiting Iceland.
Two years later, almost to the month I found myself setting foot onto Iceland’s soil joined by some of those same photographers who planted the seed of visiting Iceland in the first place. We had touched down in one of the few pronounceable (for anyone who doesn’t speak Icelandic) towns on the Island, Keflavik. This is about an hours drive from the more familiarly unpronounceable capital, Reykjavik - home to just under a third of Iceland’s 350, 000 strong population. From the air we could see a ring of snow-capped mountains surrounding what to us looked like a flat plain of green and dark grey. We later found the plain to actually be churned up moss-covered prehistoric lava flow.
The Namibian landscape has an almost hypnotic effect on me. I keep finding myself drawn back to it time and again. The Composing The Dunes workshop that I run with Nature’s Light (a new venture between myself and Nick van de Wiel), is one of our mainstays for the very reason that Nick and I feel that this incredible country needs to be shared with visual artists. Simply standing and taking in the emptiness, the moisture sapping dryness and eerie silence, can be a humbling experience. The act of crafting images in this otherworldly space is a true privilege. So I was extraordinarily fortunate to once again travel back to the desert in the company of two talented photographers during November for the second Composing the Dunes Workshop.
Unlike last year’s trip report and 2013s recce report, I won’t give a blow-by-blow account of the expedition. From what I understand, Dave Hoggan of The Veiled World, and one of the photographers on the trip, is putting together an extensive trip report accompanied by some beautiful images that he captured while we traveled the southern section of Namibia (Update: the first part can be read here). I would suggest checking in on his site for his Namibia post as well as some of the other incredible locations that he has been photographing recently.