Results Wagin Woolorama 2019

Oh wow, where is this year going?? Half way through March already and this is only my first blog post for the year. Such neglect of my website.  I will have to try and rectify that over coming months. I’ve a few ideas for topics rolling around in my head but getting them out is another issue.  But for now I’d just like to talk about my results at the Wagin Woolorama Photography Competition last weekend and to give this Agricultural Show a plug as it is a really enjoyable day out.

Photo Comp

Firstly I’d like to thank the organisers of the Photography Competition that runs as part of Wagin Woolorama.  Glenys and her team do a great job every year putting together this competition. 

1st Place 'A Half of Anything' - Repeating Doorways 2019 Wagin Woolorama

1st Place ‘A Half of Anything’ – Repeating Doorways


This year, they introduced two new special categories, each with great prize money for the winner.  I was fortunate enough to take out the Portrait category with this image of the Namibian man starting a fire the tradition way, which most of you have possibly seen before.  If you’d like to see the winning landscape image by my friend Richard Hall please click here.


1st Place Portrait 2019 Wagin Woolorama

1st Place Portrait – Fire Starter

Here’s my other entries that did well this year.  

2nd Place Open Colour KT The Cockatoo 2019 Wagin Woolorama

2nd Place Open Colour – KT The Cockatoo

Highly Commended Mono - Moses Rock 2019 Wagin Woolorama

Highly Commended Mono – Moses Rock

Two Trees - Highly Commended Landscape 2019 Wagin Woolorama

Highly Commended Landscape – Two Trees


Evening Rodeo

After the day events have finished, like the shearing, sheep dog trials and judging of the animals, there’s the evening rodeo.  I love to watch the action and also the fashions.  The checked shirts, bright colours, fancy jeans and those hand made leather saddles.  Love it!

Wagin Woolorama Rodeo

The dust, setting sun and cowboy hats

Cowgirl Wagin Woolorama Rodeo

Bright coloured clothing

Wagin Woolorama Rodeo

Cowgirl clothing

Bronc riding at Wagin Woolorama Rodeo

Bronc riding

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.  


Desert Elephants Damaraland

Camel Thorn Tree

Desert Elephants Damaraland

Protective custody

Desert Elephants Damaraland

Mother and calf

Desert Elephants Damaraland


Desert Elephants Damaraland

The destruction

Sossusvlei – Valley of Dunes

Sossusvlei – Valley of Dunes


Sossusvlei would have to be one of the highlights of this trip for me due to the amazing sand dunes (another was Etosha).   The Namib-Naukluft National Park covers an area of nearly 50,000 square kms.  It is one of the largest nature reserves on our planet.  Sossusvlei is located in its southern reaches and is where mountainous sand dunes cloak the Namib Desert.  These are known as star dunes because they are formed by equally strong winds from different directions.   The Sossusvlei dunes are considered to be the world’s highest.

Sossus Dune Lodge

We spent three nights at the Sossus Dune Loge in huts spread out around the base of a mountain, joined by a boardwalk with quite a long walk to reach our rooms.  Our first day here in 46 degree heat wasn’t the most comfortable.  Our rooms although nicely appointed didn’t have air-conditioning,

 Thankfully the next couple of days the temperature dropped to mid to high 30s.  As well as trips to the dunes, we had options of helicopter flights and ballooning.  I did both and will bring you pics in a future post.

Sossusvlei - Valley of Dunes

Dune 44

Sossusvlei - Valley of Dunes

Sossusvlei - Valley of Dunes

Mrs & Mr Ostrich at sunset

Sossus Dune Lodge

Aerial view of our accommodation – Sossus Dune Lodge

Luderitz & Ghost Town Kolmanskop


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.





Fish River Canyon

And so it begins, a two week landscape photography tour with a couple of my favourite photographers, Christian Fletcher and Nick Rains, and twelve other wonderful photographers who helped make this a very special journey for me. Stunning scenery, wildlife, more stunning scenery, more wildlife and one on one time with Christian and Nick plus the never ending supply of food.

Fish River Canyon

The second largest canyon in the world (the Grand Canyon in Arizona is the largest) is pretty spectacular but I found it rather difficult to photograph.  The enormity of it was overwhelming, so a little help from Nick and Christian was appreciated to get me started.  Individual cottages lined up along the rim of the canyon was our accommodation for the next few nights.

 Our accommodation at Fish River Canyon was in individual cottages lined up along the rim of the canyon.  The cottages branched out either side of the restaurant, reception, deck and pool area.  As the front of the cottages were glass fronted the view was incredible.  A brilliant coloured sunset greeted us on our first evening.  After that night the wind picked up to a howling gale and we quickly found out why there were no internal doors in the room.  They also provided earplugs with the room key for those that had trouble sleeping with wind noise.

Our days here here at the canyon filled with landscape photography, editing and a game drive for those that wished to.  We went looking for the Mountain Zebra.  Unfortunately the Zebra were not to be found but we did come across Springbok and Oryx.  Here’s a couple of pics from this location.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you enjoy seeing some of my trip to Namibia.

Fish River Canyon

Sunset Fish River Canyon


Sunrise Fish River Canyon

Sunrise Fish River Canyon


Quiver Tree

Quiver Tree


Fish River Canyon



Namibia – Leopard Lodge

Well I’ve made it home safe and sound from 3 weeks in Namibia.  I was hoping to update my blog regular while I was away but time restraints and slow/unreliable internet access put a stop to that right at the start.

Leopard Lodge

My first stop was at Leopard Lodge, ran by a friend of a friend.  It’s a hunting lodge just an hour from Windhoek the capital of Namibia.  Lots of wildlife including wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, oryx, kudu hyena, steenbok, baboon, leopard.  This caracal is a “Pet” that the kids handle regularly but is kept in a large pen.  Not the friendliest pet I’ve ever seen so took photos but didn’t go in a pat.

Lynx Cat



Waterbuck Leopard Lodge Namibia

These Waterbuck came to drink at the waterhole while I was sitting up a small hill in a hide.


Giraffe Leopard Lodge Namibia



Crocodile Leopard Lodge Namibia

Female Crocodile – a long time resident at the waterhole with the hide


Cheetah Leopard Lodge Namibia

Cheetah – there were 2 of these beautiful animals on the property.