Archives For Namibia

It’s luxury camping they said. Proper beds and furniture and showers they said.

I didn’t like camping before, glam or no glam, and sleeping overnight in what is essentially a desert is a new and specific level of hell for me.

Dawn at Spitzkoppe

This is the dawn, over Spitzkoppe, Namibia. It ever so slightly made up for the camping.

Themes are always open to interpretation and, to win competitions, you need to almost climb into the minds of judges to work out what they think is a ‘scenic wonder’.

Acacia Trees In The Late Afternoon Sun

This is Namibia. I took a condensed tour, north to south, with Marsel Van Oosten and the whole journey was a series of wondrous scenes.

This is a grand image of 2 long since dead desiccated trees however, on the 1km walk to this pan, peaking over the final dune and seeing these trees, they seemed so modest and small.

Cameras. Lying bastards!

Daily Awesome Photos

April 14, 2013 — 2 Comments

Slight change of pace from the usual London fare.

Looking through some archives, I came across these and I’m not precisely sure why they were left behind.

All from Etosha Park, Namibia.

Curious
Close to home

Birds

Uh oh

Lioness

Enjoy
Michael

I have this habit of processing ‘enough’ images from a shoot and then leaving the rest of the set. If you’re like me, it does pay to go back to these ‘piles’. You might just find another worth posting.

Deadvlei

By the way, the highlight behind the trees and upon the dunes is natural. Maybe I should have photoshopped the dune to an even tone. Hey ho.

Enjoy
Michael

Life In Monochrom

March 4, 2013 — 3 Comments

Monochrom front

Three months ago I swapped camera systems and moved from Canon to Leica, specifically their M Monochrom. I swapped from a range of L lenses to a Leica Summicron 35mm f/2. Leica products are expensive and I am far from rich; I literally had to cash in my entire Canon system of body and lenses and still hand over cash that would buy a Nikon D4. Did I mention the camera only captures black and white images? Hence the moniker Monochrom.

Monochrom rear

I sincerely believe I was destined to be paired with a rangefinder. Over the many years of my continuing life as a photographer, only relatively recently did I veer from manual mode and manual focus to using auto focus and those other bohemian modes, like aperture priority! And, whilst spending so much time bending lenses to the lines and facias required for capturing architecture, my heart beats to the style of candid scenes of life in the streets.

Forever Love

This Monochrom is very much true to the tradition and brand that is Leica and, to all intents and purposes, still very much an M (which stands for Messsucher, a German term for the combination of rangefinder with viewfinder). Controls are pared to the minimum; manual focus and aperture via lens rings, aperture priority or shutter speed and ISO. The matrix of colored filters that overlay the sensor to allow cameras to deduce color information is missing. The Monochrom’s sensor simply records luminance and, without the Beyer matrix layer interfering in the path of the photons, is all the more sensitive to light.

Southbank Books

Leica says, “It is the first full-frame, 35 mm format digital camera to be designed exclusively and without any compromises for black-and-white photography.” and they don’t lie about this. There are no bells and whistles to distract you from those elusive and decisive moments.

Baffled by the choice to spend so much and to exclude the photographic world of color, there are some key questions people often ask.

Why Leica?

Embankment

One immediate observation is that the Leica system of cameras and lenses are compact. In the quest to capture a scene without being noticed – not so simple, even with a camera phone – this camera absolutely wins over similarly capable DSLRs; they are bigger and comparable lenses have imposingly large front elements. My 35mm has a filter diameter of 39mm and most of my old Canon lenses were 72 or 77mm. No one remains ‘candid’ when facing an 85mm f/1.2L.

Personally, the range finding focus system is a major selling point for me. By looking through the range view finder, and not the lens, the scene is bigger than the captured frame. This is quite a significant boon for composition, however, the unawares can shoot quite a few frames before realizing the lens cap is still on!

Why only black and white?

Street Performance

Black and white photographs are, to my subjective self, a purer aspect of photography. I see the absence of color as a more honest and naked medium. The color of a captured image is affected and interpreted by the capture device, the image processing, print medium and, of course, the non calibrated eyes of people. It seems to me that we can represent luminance more accurately and uniformly for everyones eyes. Often, in my shooting days before Leica, I would view a scene and decide it will be black and white and expose accordingly. Color can certainly be a distraction.

Why not convert color images to black and white and retain the flexibility?

The Birds

The answer to this is a combination of the creative and the technical. I love representing the world with black and white images. This being the case, I wonder why I should compromise this creativity by having my scene captured by a device which is simply interpreting the luminance of the scene through Beyer filters and, subsequently, I have to go through a similar process converting the color image to my own flawed memory’s version of the scene. No thanks.

Daily Awesome Photo

October 24, 2012 — 3 Comments

One old. One new.

Welcome

Forgotten Doorway

Daily Awesome Photo

September 9, 2012 — Leave a comment

Deadvlei, near Sosussvlei. Namibia.

Arid

And here’s a shot of my other half, Suzy, setting up for star trails at the same site – yes this is already pretty dark, so a great advert for f/1.2 and a full frame sensor!

Suzy at Deadvlei