Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Paul van Schalkwyk


Paul has been photographing Namibia from the land and the skies for over 40 years. His keen eye has won him more than 50 awards, both locally and internationally. We asked this Hasselblad Masters finalist to tell us just how he manages to capture the unusual, the unseen, the unreal

 

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One of his six photos nominated for 2014 Hasselblad Masters awards "Etosha Rain", photo by Paul van Schalkwyk


Tell us about your most unforgettable moment while shooting in Namibia.

Impossible to do, as there is simply too many to mention - from being stuck for eight hours after a cloud burst in the Namib desert, to being charged by a protective lioness and an angry rhino, to skirting around thunderstorms over the desert in my aeroplane.  Each one priceless!

 

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Thunderclouds, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk


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Animal tracks in the Etosha pan, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk


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Sand Tree, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk

 

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Skeleton Coast, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk

 

How does Namibia compare to other places you’ve photographed?

Namibia as a very demanding mistress and doesn't give up her secrets easily. She requires passion & dedication as well as a lot of sacrifice. If this is not your game, go the zoo.

 

“When you cross the barren planes, dunes & landscapes of Namibia for miles with a camera and tripod on your back, you shed parts of yourself all the way. You end up raw and naked, having gone through a catharsis. It changes you, it changes how you see.” 

 

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Etosha pan, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk

 

Which photos shot in Namibia are you most proud of?

I find it extremely difficult choosing.  My best three photo's always comes from my last shoot.  Each time I think I have reached the ultimate, only to be elevated to yet a higher level during the next shoot.  I would rather leave the choice of the best three images to the viewer.

 

What is your equipment of choice for your Namibian expeditions?

Other than my camera and tripod, a warm jacket. Not even in the South Pole have I been colder than in the heart of the Namib Desert.

 

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Desert Storm, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk


A photographer friend is desperate to capture the best of Namibia. What top 3 tips would you give them?

#1 The best introduction to Namibia will probably include a place somewhere in the Namib Desert, the coast and of course Etosha National Park.

#2 Do your homework, read Travel News Namibia and download Namibia Holiday & Travel (also available on the App store through Namibia Tourism Information) to get the best information about where you’re headed.

# 3 Make sure you plan enough time. Namibia isn't an instant destination and you will regret it forever if you don't allow more time.

 

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Etosha, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk

 

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Eye of Etosha, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk

 

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After desert rains, photo by Paul van Schalkwyk

 

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About Paul van Schalkwyk

Paul has received international acclaim for his multiple award winning films and photographs, which have been broadcast and published around the globe. He is a successful advertising practitioner and filmmaker but for the past ten years he has heeded the call to return to a life long and strong passion for photography. His acclaimed photographs have found a place in homes of many local and international collectors, galleries and institutions, and his are regularly published in local and international magazines. In 2013, Paul became the first Namibian to be nominated as a finalist for the prestigious Hasselblad Masters award. See more images at www.paulvans.com and www.tala.com.na or find Paul on Facebook

 

 

 

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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