|Silk Painting Sunset - Canon 40D, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS, 1/100, f/4, ISO 100|
Once again, I concentrated on night photography, but my favourite image is the above sunset. It was taken at God's Window (a mountain overlooking the Garub Plains), and shows the sun seen through roughly 100km of air, as it sets beyond Lüderitz. It somehow reminds me of a Chinese silk painting, hence the title.
|Klein Aus Milky Way - Canon 40D, Tokina 11-16, 8x30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200|
I took this test panorama on my first evening, before the workshop. The lights from the lodge illuminated the hill in the foreground, and a small amount of light pollution from the village of Aus can be seen on the horizon.
|Moonlight and Milky Way 1 - Fuji x100s, 28x30 sec, f/2, ISO 3200|
|Moonlight and Milky Way 2 - Fuji x100s, 41x15 sec, f/2, ISO 3200|
Also, in the dark I didn't see the road in the foreground, that it mirrors the Milky Way so beautifully is pure serendipity. This also means that I didn't include quite enough foreground and had to fill in a sliver of it using Photoshop's "content-aware fill", which works pure magic. In view of this, and the incomplete sky of the previous panorama, it is time to formulate
Florian's Rule of Panoramas: Always include more than you think you will need in a panorama.
It's also time I start practicing what I preach.
|Desert Sky - Canon 40D, Tokina 11-16, 16x30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200|
On the morning we left for the Koichab river bed, which forms the southern boundary of the red dunes of the Namib, we stopped to photograph the skies. A sliver of crescent moon (5%) was rising in the East - that's the orange blob on the bottom right. It looks circular because it is so over-exposed that even the dark side of the moon (which is almost the whole moon in this case) is over-exposed. It is red because it is so close to the horizon - just as the sun would be red in this position. Above it extends a faint pillar of light - the Zodiacal Light, the shimmer of dust in the plane of our solar system back-lit by the sun. The bright blue planet above that is Venus, and just above and to the left of the moon, almost touching it, is Mercury.
To the left of the Milky Way you can see the two Magellanic Clouds (Small at the top, Large at the bottom). The strange green glow above the horizon is real - I've been seeing it in many of my night skies - and I'm now convinced it's airglow and not just an artifact from my old 40D sensor.
At least this time I obeyed my rule and didn't leave out any of the sky (it's a full 90x360 degree view). I deliberately positioned myself so the two cars would be directly under the Milky Way, but I didn't anticipate that the other workshop participants would follow me, but they certainly add foreground interest.
The Wild Horses
|Horse at Sunset, Canon 40D, Sigma 150-600 C, 1/40, f/8, ISO 400|
The main attraction of these Aus workshops are the Namib Desert Horses, who have been living feral in the Garub Plain since the First World War. On the first afternoon of the workshop, we were treated to a wonderful sunset encounter with these lovely animals.
|Equine Regard - Fuji x100s, 1/40, f/8, ISO 6400|
I had stupidly mounted my Sigma 150-600 C (my 40th birthday present!) on my camera, but since the horses came right up to us, the 11-16mm would have been more useful. Luckily I always have the little Fuji with me. The others got some truly magical shots here.
|End of the Road? - Canon 40D, Sigma 150-600 C, 1/800, f/7.1, ISO 100|
Since this is a nature reserve, the hyenas may not be harmed. Instead, the horses will have to be relocated somewhere else where they can be protected, but a suitable location still needs to be agreed.
|Tree of Life - Fuji x100s, 1/350, f/16, ISO 800|
Here's a shot to lighten up your mood again.
|Acacia and Dune - Fuji x100s, 1/80, f/8, ISO 640|
Okay, now there will be less talk and more pics. Some lovely acacias grow in the Koichab river bed.
|Jigsaw Trees - Canon 40D, Canon 17-55, 1/100, f/8, ISO 100|
We had a lot of fun fitting all these trees together in the frame.
|Windy Dune - Canon 40D, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS, 1/320, f/8, ISO 100|
|What are they all photographing ...? - Fuji x100s, 1/80, f/5.6, ISO 1600|
The trip to God's Window is a personal favourite. Perfectly placed, on the edge of the mountain, sits the most beautiful quiver tree I know, the Celebritree.
|... the Celebritree! - Fuji x100s, 1/250, f/2, ISO 400|
As usual, we also visited Kolmanskop, a ghost town outside Lüderitz.
|Abandoned Staircase - Canon 40D, Tokina 11-16, 14x1/8, f/5.6, ISO 100|
I made this panorama with the camera (mounted on its trusty Nodal Ninja) jammed into a corner of this stairwell.
|Sand and Light - Canon 40D, Asahi Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4, 0.8, ISO 100, aperture not recorded|
|Dikke Willem Sunrise - Fuji x100s, 1/80, f/5.6, ISO 400|
|Garub Sunrise - Canon 40D, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS, 6x1/100, f/5.6, ISO 200|
|Sun-blasted Tree - Fuji x100s, 1/80, f/2, ISO 4000, IR filter|
I also enjoyed the excellent infrared capability of my little Fuji.
|Rock Dome and Acacia - Fuji x100s, 10 sec, f/8, ISO 200, IR filter|
|Sociable Weavers - Canon 40D, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS, 1/500, f/8, ISO 200|
|Landing Flamingos - Canon 40D, Sigma 150-600 C, 1/640, f/8, ISO 100|
Here is one last pic to amuse you. And on that note, I bid you good night.
|Two Billygoats Gruff - Canon 40D, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 100|