Click West 2017

The Big Night

An annual event that I attend in Perth is the WAPF’s Canon Click West.  A great competition for members of West Australian camera clubs with fantastic prizes.  This year, for the 2nd year in a row I was fortunate enough to have an image selected as a finalist in the Natural Portraiture category.  My “Fire Starter” image was taken on my trip to Namibia last year and is a favourite of mine.

Here’s a link to the finalists in all categories Canon Click West.  Much to my surprise this year, I also made it into the top 10 for the portfolio prize.  Although I only had one entry make the top 10, my other three images obviously rated high enough in their categories to get me through.  This was the one to win, a Kimberley cruise with Kimberley Expeditions, congratulations to Marie Kingsley for taking out this award.

Natural Portraiture

Natural Light Portraiture

Landscape

Australasian Landscape

Fungi

Macro/close Up

Maritime

Maritime


Weekend Events

Included for the first time this year was a weekend of events including photo walks and workshops.  They covered topics like printing, Eizo monitors, making photo books, speed lights and the list goes on.

I stayed in Perth overnight and just attended the Melville Camera Club hosted walk around the Heathcote Cultural Precinct for sunrise on the Saturday morning.  We didn’t have the spectacular colour that we’d had earlier in the week but it was still nice to be out.

Sunrise on the river

 

 

Desert Elephants Damaraland

Desert Elephants

The Desert Elephants Damaraland were amazing to see.  They are African Bush Elephants that have adapted to survive in the desert, in this case in Namibia.  They are often seen with short damaged tusks as a result of mineral deficient soil and the need to dig up sand and rocks in search for food and water.  I hope you like elephants as this post it I will be sharing my elephant images with you.  The elephants in these photos are feeding on the Camelthorn Acacia (Acacia erioloba) which is a very common tree in these parts and also extremely thorny.  Thorns are between 3-5cm long.

Elephants are very destructive to the environment and will often push over large trees just to get to the new shoots.  As we discovered this also helps the smaller animals that don’t have the same reach so it’s not all bad I guess.

Many elephants in Africa live within reserves but the elephants in the Namib are free to roam and often travel distances up to 60km per day between their favourite feeding grounds and water holes during the dry season.  They can survive without eating as much as other elephants in food-abundant parts of Africa.  They can go without drinking water for up to three days if they need to.  

More info on Desert Elephants here.

Desert Elephants Damaraland

Camel Thorn Tree

Desert Elephants Damaraland

Protective custody

Desert Elephants Damaraland

Mother and calf

Desert Elephants Damaraland

breakfast

Desert Elephants Damaraland

The destruction

Back to the Coast

Back to the Coast

After visiting the sand dunes of Sossusvlei we headed back to the coast and the town of Swakopmund.  This is where the dunes meet the sea at Sandwich Harbour.  The flight in was spectacular as we took the scenic route up the coast and flew over two shipwrecks in the sand dunes and the incredible shapes and patterns of the dunes and ocean (more pics to follow another day).  I went for a walk around town when we first arrived in Swakopmund, bought some bangles from some tribal women that had a little stall set up, walked around the ornate and colourful buildings of German influence.  Our DMC (our Namibian Travel Agent) took our tour group out to dinner to a really popular seafood restaurant called The Tug.  Fabulous food, decor, architecture (just like a tugboat) and service.

4 Wheel Driving

The next morning a few of us went on a 4WD tour to Sandwich Harbour.  We stopped at the salt lakes then drove through the dunes for a while before heading along the beach to our destination.  On the way we stopped by a helicopter that had parked up on the beach.  They were setting up sets for the filming of Transformers 5. We also saw lots of baby seals who had been abandoned by their mothers as they were weak.  Evidently this is a very common occurrence, but as we noticed when we flew in the day before, the number of seals along this part of the coast is massive, so I guess the percentage that are abandoned is relatively small.  We saw lots of birdlife including two types of Flamingos and some migratory waders we see during the summer at home.

 

Black-backed Jackel Walvis Bay

Black-backed Jackal

baby seal Walvis Bay

Baby Seal

Pelican Egret Walvis Bay

Great White Pelican and Little Egret

day-12-swakopmund-to-damaraland-8427

Greater Flamingo

Back to the Coast Salt Lake Walvis Bay

Salt Lake

Back to the Coast Salt Lake Walvis Bay

Salt Lake

The Wonderful Namibian Birds

Namibian Birds – Well how do I start.

Those of you who know me well know that I love to photograph birds.  I didn’t realise that birding would play such an important part in my trip to Namibia, but I was wrong coming home with more than just a handful of species.

There are about 600 birds species native to Namibia.  I think I managed to capture about 10% of these.  Most are just record shots but others I’m very happy with.  You could easily make birding your primary reason for a trip to this Namibia.

I should mention that 90% of these images were taken with a full frame camera and a 70-200mm f2.8 lens with a 1.4x converter attached.  I was resting my camera on the vehicle for most of the photos.  Because I can’t hold the camera steady with much over a 200mm focal length I really need to use a tripod when ever I can.

Bird

Great White Pelican

day-13-damaraland-9049

Ostrich



 

Aka Flying Banana

Yellow-billed Hornbill Aka Flying Banana

Namibian Birds

Kori Bustard

Namibian Birds

Greater Flamingo

 

Luderitz & Ghost Town Kolmanskop

Luderitz

After a short flight we landed at our next stop, the town of Luderitz located on the coast.  Surrounded by sand dunes and nine kilometres inland from Luderitz is the airport.  I still remember our Cessna 210 landing and seeing the rest of our tour group (from the “caravan”) walking into the terminal.  The mass of sand that was being blown around in the high winds meant that I could only see just their upper torso as their legs were lost.

Our lovely hotel (Ludertiz Nest Hotel) was situated right on the waters edge just out of town.  We spent two nights here which meant we were able to make three visits to Kolmanskop.

Ghost Town Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop is amazing.  The Ghost Town of Kolmanskop is now an abandoned diamond mining town which has been overrun by the sands of the Namib Desert.  In its heyday the town was home to over 300 German prospectors and their children.  Along with about 800 Ovambo labourers which had come from the North.  There were grand residences for the mine manager and other key personnel.  A state of the art hospital, bowling alley, casino, baker, ice factory, slaughterhouse, theatre, clubhouse, and library etc.

The discovery of the first diamond in 1908 brought an influx of fortune seekers to the area.   So began the construction of the buildings between 1908 – 1910, the town peaking during the late 1920s.  Due to dwindling diamond deposits and richer finds to the south, the processing plant was shut down in 1936.  The offices were moved south and the hospital was closed down a few years later, with the the last resident departing the town in 1956.

 

Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop
Kolmanskop

2nd Place Perth Nationals

2nd Place Rural Life

2nd Place in the Perth Nationals Australian Rural Life.

I’ve been entering the Perth Nationals or the (Perth Royal Show Photography Competition) for the last couple of years now and have achieved a merit in this category every year but have never been able to make it into a placing until now.  The above image was taken from a helicopter last year during our motorbike trip to Darwin.  It’s an aerial image shot over Packsaddle Plains.  I have no idea what the crop is that has been planted but it looks like an awful lot of something.

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