Namibia, a country of unparalleled natural beauty, offers photography enthusiasts a unique experience to capture the essence of one of the world’s most stunning landscapes.

From June 1st to 13th, 2024, you will have the opportunity to travel to the heart of the Namibian desert, designed by Jose David Riquelme, a renowned international photographer, offering the chance to explore one of the planet’s most captivating environments. Among its vast sand dunes, deep canyons, and endless horizons, Namibia hides secrets that are only waiting to be discovered through the lens of a camera. This landscape photography workshop promises not only to improve your photographic skills but also to change your perception of the natural world, guiding you through the breathtaking and diverse beauty of this African country during these specific dates.

 

The Magic of the Namibia Desert

The Namib Desert, known to be one of the oldest in the world, is the setting for this exclusive photography workshop. With its famous Sossusvlei dunes, which present a changing color spectacle at dawn and dusk, participants learn to capture the magnificent beauty of these sand giants. This environment offers a perfect opportunity to understand the importance of light and time in landscape photography.

Namibia Desert

Essential Techniques and Tips

Workshop instructors, world-renowned landscape photographers, share their knowledge and techniques for capturing impressive images. From using the rule of thirds to compose balanced images to the importance of patience while waiting for the perfect moment of light, participants immerse themselves in the art and science of landscape photography. The use of different camera settings to capture the vast range of contrasts offered by the desert, from deep shadows to bright flashes of light, is emphasized.

 

Composition and Framing
      • Rule of thirds and points of interest: The rule of thirds is fundamental in landscape photography to create balanced and attractive compositions. Place key landscape elements, such as dunes, solitary trees, or the horizon, at the points where the imaginary lines intersect. This adds balance and guides the viewer’s gaze through the image.
      • Leading lines and perspective: Use natural lines, like the crests of the dunes or the dry riverbeds, to direct attention to the image’s focal point. Experiment with different perspectives to find unique angles that highlight the vastness and beauty of the desert.
      • Golden hour and blue hour: The hours immediately after sunrise and before sunset, known as the golden hour, offer soft and warm light ideal for landscape photography. The blue hour, on the other hand, provides a cold and ethereal light that can add a mystical ambiance to your photos. Plan your sessions to take advantage of these lighting conditions.
      • Using filters: ND (neutral density) filters and graduated filters can be essential for handling the high dynamic range, especially in the desert where sunlight can be very intense. ND filters allow for longer exposures even under intense daylight, softening the movement of clouds or creating the silk effect in any body of water. Graduated filters help to balance the exposure between the bright sky and the darker ground.
Exposure Technique
      • Exposure bracketing: This technique, where multiple photos of the same scene are taken with different exposures, is invaluable for handling extreme contrasts. Then, you can combine these images in post-production to create a final photograph with a balanced dynamic range.
      • Low ISO for maximum image quality: Keep the ISO as low as possible to reduce noise in your images, especially important in landscape photography where details and clarity are crucial. This is especially relevant during the golden or blue hour, where the temptation might be to increase the ISO to compensate for the lower amount of light.
Focus and Depth of Field
      • Using hyperfocal distance: To maximize sharpness across the frame, from the foreground to the background, learn to calculate and use the hyperfocal distance. This ensures that everything from half of this distance to infinity is acceptably focused.
      • Aperture and depth of field: Experiment with different apertures to see the effect on depth of field. Often, an aperture between f/8 and f/16 provides a good balance between sharpness and depth of field for landscape photography.

 

Immersive Experience

Beyond technical lessons, the workshop focuses on offering an immersive experience. Participants have the opportunity to spend nights under the starry sky of Namibia, sharing stories and experiences with other photography enthusiasts. These moments of camaraderie complement the technical learning, creating a holistic and enriching workshop experience.

 

Night Photography in the Namibian Desert

 

Connecting with the Environment

A crucial part of the workshop is learning to connect with the environment. Instructors encourage participants to take time to silently observe, listen, and feel the landscape before attempting to capture it. This practice not only helps to create more authentic and emotional photographs but also fosters a deeper appreciation for nature.

 

Preparation and Equipment

For those interested in joining the workshop, proper preparation is recommended. This includes familiarizing yourself with photographic equipment, carrying lenses suitable for landscapes, stable tripods for long exposure shots, and filters to handle the intense desert light. Additionally, preparing for the desert conditions means carrying sun protection, enough water, and appropriate clothing for temperature fluctuations.

 

Photographic Equipment
      • DSLR or mirrorless cameras: Make sure to carry a reliable camera, preferably with manual modes, to have full control over your photographs. If possible, bring a second camera as a backup.
      • Lenses for landscapes: Wide-angle lenses are indispensable for landscape photography, as they allow capturing extensive desert vistas. A lens of 24-70mm or wider is ideal. Also consider bringing a telephoto lens (e.g., a 70-200mm) to capture distant details and wildlife.
      • Stable tripods: A sturdy tripod is essential for long exposure shots, especially during the golden or blue hour, allowing you to capture images without motion blur. Ensure it is robust enough to withstand desert winds.
      • Filters: ND and graduated filters are crucial for handling the intense desert light and balancing the exposure between the sky and the ground. A polarizing filter can also be useful for reducing reflections and enhancing sky saturation.
Additional Equipment
      • Extra batteries and memory cards: Extreme heat and intensive use can quickly drain batteries. Bring extra batteries and enough memory cards to ensure you don’t miss any shots.
      • Protection for your equipment: The desert can be a hostile environment for photographic equipment. Include protective covers against dust and sand, as well as sealable bags for when you’re not using your gear.
Personal Preparation
      • Sun protection: Prolonged exposure to the sun requires adequate protection. Don’t forget broad-spectrum sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, and UV sunglasses.
      • Hydration and nutrition: Carry enough water to stay hydrated during long photographic journeys and snacks to provide you with energy.
      • Appropriate clothing: Prepare for the desert’s temperature fluctuations by dressing in layers. Breathable clothing during the day and something warmer for the cold nights are essential. Comfortable and sturdy footwear is a must for walking on sandy or rocky terrains.
      • First aid kit: It’s always wise to carry a basic first aid kit to treat minor cuts, scratches, or stings.

Ready to embark on this photographic adventure that will transform the way you see the world and capture its essence? For more information about the trip, workshop details, and how to book your place, click here! Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of this unforgettable experience in Namibia.