The award-winning photographer Andy Biggs is the latest subject of our Capture Namibia series of interviews. Andy has been travelling around Africa for many years now and has a particular fondness for Namibia and the photographic opportunities it presents. Read on to find out why…
The dunes of Sossusvlei.
Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.
One day we were flying along the coastline from Lüderitz all the way up to Hartmann Valley, and when we flew along the Lange Wand I saw an amazing sight. As I peered through the scratched airplane window, I was wondering how I could convey the giddy heights of the Namibian sand dunes. I wanted to capture the way the shafts of sunlight pierce the mist and highlight the sand textures.
The Skeleton Coast.
The huddle of Cape fur seals - a dark smudge on the strip of beach - gave a sense of the vastness of this wilderness.' The Skeleton Coast is an area of about 16,000 square kilometres of national park that runs along the Atlantic coast of Namibia.
Every destination has its challenges and rewards; how does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?
The challenge with photographing in Namibia is how to capture how one feels about being in wide-open spaces.
The vast Namib.
The sights, the smells, the sounds all are difficult to translate into a 2-dimensional photograph. The reward is capturing that one photograph that tells a complete story in only one image.
Four Himba women trek across the hot sand.
Which three photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of and why?
Skeleton Coast, Namibia 2006.
This image won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 2008 in the Wild Places category.
Sossusvlei in B&W.
I have an affinity for clouds when I am shooting at Sossusvlei, and when they arrive and there is good light it is a wonderful combination.
When going on a Namibian photographic expedition, what is your equipment of choice? And what do you never leave home without?
I use digital medium format equipment from Phase One. This equipment allows me to capture photographs with tons of information and to make extremely large prints.
Namib dunes at sunrise.
I would also never leave home without my tripod, as it allows me to capture images at the edge of light when the colour is at its best.
A tripod is essential for low-light shots.
A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top three tips would you give them?
1) Spend more time in each location and take the time to learn each area.
The iconic Dead Vlei.
2) Bring a second camera in case of equipment failure.
The camera buddy system- two cameras are always better than one!
3) Bring a tripod so you can shoot during the best times of the light.
A quiver tree at sunset.
And remember... Find time to have some fun!
Andy Biggs is an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. His photographic safaris allow the traveler to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa's beauty and culture.
More Photographer Tips
This part of a series of blog post interviews with professional photographers on how to Capture Namibia. Every week we'll be posting tips, tricks and amazing photographs from these impressive photographers.
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