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Sunrise light on the Three Bushmen peaks is reflected in one of Sehlabthebe's many tarn pools on a perfect summer morning.

Sehlabathebe NP, Lesotho

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The Best landscape photographs are mostly taken in the so called 'golden hour' around sunset and sunrise, but every so often the skies pull out their absolute best cards and create scenes like these in the early afternoon. Such was the case on this March afternoon on the Northern rim of the Fish River Canyon.

5D II
Zeiss 18mm
f/11
B+W Kaesemann circular polarizer

Hobas Plateau, Namibia

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The first stars appear in the darkening heavens of the Namib as the last colors of sunset fade to the West.

Kanaan Farm, Namib Rand, Namibia

5D II
Zeiss 18mm
1 minute exposure @ f4 ISO1600

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The skies of the Free State in flaming sunset colours over the Van Reenen campsite in Golden Gate Highlands National Park

5D II
Zeiss 18mm
Blend of 3 exposures

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First light of day illuminates the sky in flaming colours over the famous Quiver Tree Forest outside Keetmanshoop in Southern Namibia

5D II
Zeiss 18mm

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I doubt there is a landscape in Southern African that has been photographed as much as the trees of Deadvlei and if something has been photographed that much then I have no desire to photograph it.
Despite that, I found myself heading for deadvlei in January of 2011. Gate times at Sesriem aren't exactly accommodating towards photographers. They open 45-60 minutes before sunrise and then you have a 60 minute drive and a 20 minute walk to get to the dead trees...if you adhere to the speed limit within the park that is. If you don't then you can make it in time for first light on the Western Dunes, as we did on this morning. My two travel companions immediately started shooting the iconic trees, while I wandered further into the pan and found these water drainage patterns along the Eastern boundary. There were many patterns that resembled different shapes, but I liked this tree the most for it's symbolism of photographing a tree at deadvlei that no one had photographed before...

Deadvlei, Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia

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I had visited Namibia twice on holiday prior to starting photography and it never really impressed me that much. The thing that triggered a desire to photograph the country of dunes and grass was a photo in a book by Jean du Plessis. The photo was of a large old Acacia tree on a grass slope that gently descended into a low lying valley where the grass ended against red stone hills.

Almost two and half years later I was standing in front of that tree waiting for the sun to rise. Watching the transition of light and color in a crystal clear sky as an ocean of grass swayed to a warm morning breeze is my fondest memory of Namibia. I experienced on that morning what Jean's photo had communicated to me. Hopefully my image of this scene will communicate that same message to viewers.

Linhof Technorama 617s
Schneider Kreuznach 90mm f/5.6
Velvia100

Kanaan Farm
Namibia

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Myself and Shem Compion went on a 5 day trip to Mpumalanga in January to explore the Africa's 2nd largest Canyon. One of Shemís friendís told us about this place on the other side of the Canyon that no one ever sees. After a long drive along unmarked and overgrown roads we got a concrete pass that quickly ascended through the tropical forest mist-belt and arrived atop Mariepskop in misty weather. We drove around and the scenery was a mix of mossy vegetation, military hardware and views of the lowveld that stretched forever.When it cleared occasionally we saw that there was a storm cloud over the main escarpment with a nice high-cloud anvil that would make for a a great sunset. We parked and decided to try and get to the escarpment edge, but the terrain of rock stacks and dense vegetation proved impossible to negotiate. We got about 100m from the road, made a u-turn and about 45 minutes later we were back at the car, exhausted and scratched all over. Using an Ipad and google earth we determined where the edge was closest to the road, drove there and found a seldom used track leading to the cliff edge. In front of us lay the back side of the three rondavels and the sun was about 20 minutes from reaching the gap in the clouds. We scouted for compositions, set up and waited for the light. As the first beams burst out below the clouds and creeped over the far hills the adrenaline started pumping (only landscape photographers can get an adrenaline rush from sunsets!). As the sun dipped below the horizon, the mist closed in and we headed back to car with a very big smile on our faces.

5D II
Zeiss 18mm
Blend of three shots

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There's few experiences like the 45 degree heat of a Namibian Summer Day broken by isolated rain showers like these. This cloud built up in less than an hour and seemed to literally rain itself apart again in less than 20 minutes.

Kanaan Farm, Namibia

5D II
24-70mm
Stitch of two shots

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Long exposure blurs thunderclouds over the mountains of Excelsior and a dead Acacia tree standing in a dune street

5D II
24-70mm
Lee grad
Lee big stopper

Excelsior Farm, Namib Rand, Namibia

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