Further to my earlier post on “Better Landscape Photography”, I thought I’d share one of my new landscape photos from the recent trip through Botswana and Namibia. This is Spitzkoppe’s Arch “The Bridge” in Erongo, Namibia.

I had been on tented safari through Botswana with Dean Fitzpatrick of Wildlight Safaris, hosting our annual Wildlife Photo Tour (click here for 2014 trip info and dates). Following the workshop – which was a huge success and such an enjoyable trip for everyone involved – Dean and I set off on our own little road trip to photograph additional wildlife in Botswana, after which we would make our way into Namibia to capture the amazing desert landscapes and unique Himba culture of this stunning country. The purpose of this trip was to shoot new promotional material for Nikon New Zealand and HP. Well known NZ videographer Ollie Dale joined us to shoot some behind the scenes video – watch for this content to be released over the next few months.

For this arch image we slept out overnight on the rock face to be in position early for the sunrise. Despite the mosquitoes who kept us company it was a wonderful night spent beneath the stars (the temperature was typical African summer, ranging from “hot” to “bloody hot” meaning we were more than comfy in our sleeping bags and bed rolls).

As you can imagine the sunrise was magical and the hardest task was picking what to photograph and when. Waking up surrounded by the wild Namibian landscape was surreal – if you haven’t had the opportunity to sleep out under the stars, I recommend you add it to your bucket list.

To create this image I chose to use my Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 lens (at 14mm) on my Nikon D800E. By selecting a small aperture of f16 I was able to create a nice sunstar in the image.

As the arch was fully backlit I also fired a single remote SB910 speedlite along the face of the arch nearest to the camera using Nikon’s CLS system to add some detail to the otherwise dark side of the arch. I used the pop-up flash of the D800E in commander mode to trigger the off camera SB910 speedlite.

I love the shape created by the arch and the foreground rock, almost like a wave sweeping from the top right of the image down and around towards the sunstar (or up and back, depending on your point of view)! It was a magical moment and a magical image.


Equipment used to create this image:

Nikon D800E. Nikkor 14-24 2.8 lens.
Nikon SB910 Speedlite.
ISO 200. f16 at 1/40 second.

Lexar Pro 1000x CF. Lowepro ProTrekker 400.
Edited on the new HP Z book with Dreamcolor technology.

Top Image and text copyright Chris McLennan.

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