November 19, 2020 3:19 pm
The South West USA Destination summary You’ll explore and photograph some of the most iconic locations in both Utah and Arizona in the dramatic South West. This Lightstalker’s Discovery tour starts and ends in the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. From here, you’ll head east out to Arizona and the magnificent Grand Canyon, where you’ll explore its southern rim and photograph its awesome light and monumental scale. After 2 nights its onto Monument Valley, also in Arizona. We’ll take a drive and capture the classic vistas and views that have become so famous and familiar. Dusk and dawn sessions will be epic. Moving on we continue east and onto Canyon de Chelly – National Monument. This is Navajo land and you’ll have time to explore and photograph the spires, sandstone cliffs and verdant canyons at this incredible location. Canyon Lands and Arches – we’ll explore both the red rock arches and vast, river carved canyons of the park. Making good use of both dawn and dusk light and staying in the nearby town of Moab as our base for 2 nights. Capital Reef National Park white sandstone domes, pillars and crazy rock formations in Utah’s south-central desert will be our goal for second evening and morning session. Bryce Canyon – we’ll be hiking both in and around the rim of the weird and wonderful orange and crimson hoodoos, making sure we are in the best spots when it comes to crunch time to capture a blast of colour during dusk and dawn. Zion National Park after a short road trip and some crazy landscapes along the way we reach our final destination and one of the USA’s most spectacular parks. Zion’s National Park’s rivers, emerald pools, lush valleys and steep red cliffs offer an amazing array of possibilities. A park of epic proportions and beauty with a mixture of self drives and hikes will enable us to lose ourselves for 3 days among its landforms, canyons and rivers. From Zion its a relatively short dive back to Las Vegas of around 3 hrs. A Lightstalker’s Discovery Tour offers an incredible combination of dramatic landscape photography and experiences. We’ll be soaking up as much of the local flavour and culture as we can in between our locations. Get in touch to book a spot now ! South West USA – Extra information Start time: we depart at 10am on the early November from the Hampton Inn and Suites in Las Vegas (Near the Airport) End time November: 13:00 Las Vegas Airport Getting there: International flights to McCarron Airport, Las Vegas Vehicle: 4×4 Jeep or 4 cab pick up truck Accommodation* 2 nights at the Thunderbird Lodge Grand Canyon ( inside the park) / 1 night the View Lodge, Monument Valley / 1 night Thunderbird Lodge, Canyon de Chelly / 2 nights Expedition Lodge – Moab (Canyon Lands and Arches NP) / 1 night Capital Reef Resort, Capital Reef / 1 night Rubys Inn, Bryce Canyon / 3 nights Zion Lodge, Zion National Park. * all listed subject to availaibilty Essential equipment: camera, lenses 16mm – 200mm focal lengths and a good quality tripod. Non essential but recommended: Polariser, neutral density graduated and straight neutral density filters would be useful. A Laptop with Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop or other image editing software. Good quality waterproof camera bag. This trip is all about the experience of the journey and the amazing landscapes we travel through and explore. The group is kept small, 2-3 participants, to create the best possible experience for my guests. Register your interest for this trip via the contact form or email me directly. What to expect – Lightstalkers Photo Discovery Tour The Discovery format is the ultimate travel photo adventure. I was inspired to introduce a trip that created more of a fluid visual journal of Americana and the iconic features and geographic landmarks that are encountered. This is a Raw experience that will allow us to explore all aspects of the locations and places we encounter. Staying flexible, working with the elements and keeping our eyes wide open we’ll be able to create a unique experience as we travel through the landscapes and towns. With a rich variety of subjects we can create a photo journal of our experiences in this timeless and dramatic part of the American continent. Participants will be invited to create a photo journal of their work post trip and share it with with their fellow photography companions. Weather There is little rain at this time of year around 2 – 4 days per month ( the odd snow flurry at higher elevations ) but some colder temperatures can be encountered. An average range of 0C (30F) at the coldest around Bryce to 20C (68F) at the warmest around the Grand Canyon Locations and fitness. Not all locations will be by the roadside, some locations are easy to reach, some require a little effort, walking sometimes on slippy surfaces and over uneven terrain . All ages above 18 years are welcome but a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required, regardless of age in order to fully participate and appreciate a Lightstalker’s Journey. If you have any doubts of your suitability for a specific trip please contact Glen directly.
August 23, 2018 1:25 pm
Namibia Photo Discovery Tour – Overland. Destination summary This incredible Namibian Discovery Photo Tour is an overland journey exploring every aspect of the destination with a maximum 3 photographer guests. The Namib desert, the world’s oldest is host to some of the planet’s highest sand dunes. Further north Etosha National Park, is a vast salt pan and the surrounding plain is home to a vast array of wildlife that’s adapted to Namibia’s dry desert conditions. Prepare for elephant, Rhino, Springbok, Zebra, Lion and more. This Namibia Photo Tour will leave a lasting impression on your memory and one that is well suited to photo safari exploration. Spitzkoppe in south Damaraland is range of high granite peaks that light up at dawn and dusk, Swakopmund with its German colonial past sits where the desert meets the sea and Skeleton coast. The World Heritage Namib Sand Sea features two of the trip highlights in Sossusvlei and Deadvlei and these will give you more creative photo opportunities than you can handle. The option of flying above them in a small helicopter at dawn creating aerial compositions will literally take your breathe away. To the south The Namib Rand reserve will give you a sense of wonder and peace, gazing across plains and dunes dotted with Oryx and Springbok to the Naukluft mountains and its here the dark sky makes the Milky Way really sparkle. Ludertiz and the sand consumed diamond mining town of Kolmanskop are a mixture of decay, the bizarre and flaky but pastel coloured beauty. Making our way back to Windhoek our final night night on the road of this Namibia photo tour takes place at the Quiver tree forest where the soft dusk light makes the trees come alive with colour and texture. This is a photographic journey that’s bursting with amazing locations and experiences. Namibia Photo Tour – On Location Namibia ( formally South West Africa ) was a German colony from 1884 until 1915 when it was “passed on” to South Africa. It fought for its independence for over 20 years, finally achieving it 1990. This mix of history, culture and amazing geography creates a fascinating experience. Etosha National Park First stop is Etosha National Park and Namibia’s premier wildlife Park. It is without doubt one of the best places in Africa to view and photograph Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Lion and Zebra. We can observe and photograph them as they congregate around water holes during the dry winter season. Springbok, Wildebeest and Namibia’s iconic Oryx also roam the park and the Kalahari and Namib deserts. Spitzkoppe, Damaraland Spitzkoppe is a group of granite peaks in the Namib desert formed over 100 million years ago. The high domes reach into the cobalt blue sky in winter but its at dusk and dawn that we’ll capture these majestic mountains when the warm sunrise and sunset brings them to life. Camping out under the clear skies we’ll also photograph the night sky.. the Milky way seems within touching distance as the air is so clear. From Spitzkoppe we’ll travel to the town of Swapkopmund on edge of the Namib desert at the southern end of the Skeleton coast. Here we’ll re-stock, get a few shots of the Germanic architecture and catch a sunset from the beach at the legendary Tiger bar. In the morning we’ll have a short session in nearby Walvis bay photographing a flock of Flamingos. World Heritage Sand Sea Desert – Sossusvlei The drive to Sossusvlei takes us across the Namib Naukluft National Park which extends all the way south to the South African border. Our base here for 2 nights is Sesreim, as close as we can get to the giant dunes and salt / clay pans. Dunes 45 sits close to our base and we’ll scale its heights to photograph a sunset over the surrounding desert. Deadvlei is one of the star attractions for photographers from all over the world. Its dramatic dead camel thorn trees contrasting against the morning shadows and warm hues of the dunes. We’ll tackle this location in post sunrise light so we can make use the shadows rising up the sand walls. The giant red dunes around Sossusvlei are said to be the highest in the world. We’ll walk up one of the smaller dunes making a circuit to capture the surrounding landscape from above. After a bush breakfast at the foot of Sossusvlei dune we’ll head back to our base. Later that afternoon we’ll explore nearby Sesreim canyon. At dawn the following morning there will be the option of a fantastic 1 hour helicopter ariel session over Sossusvlei. With the doors off, our pilot is briefed on the best flight path to take in arial shots of the red dunes, Deadvlei, fairy circles and any wildlife that may be wandering the desert. Namib Rand Reserve From Sossusvlei, we head south on gravel roads to the privately owned Namib Rand Reserve. With just a handful of visitors this is one of the unexpected highlights to Namibia. A mixture of open plains, surrounding mountains, wildlife and some of the darkest skies your ever likely to see. From our remote and *private camp we’ll capture the area at dusk and dawn, make a drive through the dunes and breathe in the awesome beauty of this special place. The night sky will again offer the chance to create some magical Milky Way imagery. Luderitz and Kolmanskop Luderitz, a small port town Luderitz again has a weird mix of Germanic colonial architecture and isolation. Nearby is the slightly weird and wonderful deserted mining town of Kolmanskop. Now long since deserted the sand has slowly taken its toll on the derelict ruins, creating interest and fantastic photography. Ever changing patterns of sand against pastel shades of colour and worn textures are great to experiment with. Windows, doors and shafts of light all combine to create hours of rich photography. The Quiver Tree Forest Stopping on the western edges of the Kalahari desert the iconic forest will provide our final location. The Quiver tree is seen all over Namibia, but here near the town of Keetmanshoop, they’re concentrated and surrounded with rocky terrain and various critters. A colourful subject at dawn and dusk. From here we make for the drive back to the capital Windhoek and the end of our Namibian photo adventure Trip Information Start date early June @ 4pm 2022 meet up at the Vondelhof guest house – Windhoek Ends early June @ 6pm in Windhoek ( final night is included ) You may wish to leave at any point on the final day. This Namibia Photo Journey is an overland photo adventure that travels a circle anti clockwise from the capital Windhoek by 4 wheel drive vehicle. It’s fully equipped with comfortable safari roof tents for a few nights of remote on – location camping mixed with comfortable lodge stays. The vehicle is equipped with fridge, water and all the supplies we need to travel overland, breaking up the trip with lodge stays. We will be covering around 3000km over 12 days mostly on gravel roads, some days will have minimal distances and some longer up to 500km. You will see the landscape first hand as we make our way to each location, stopping when we like, where we like. Accommodation* is a mixture of comfortable guest houses, lodges and comfortable roof top safari tents (with thick mattresses and all bedding). Accommodation Standard trip fee – 5 nights lodge rooms ( single occupancy ) 7 nights safari camp on location Windhoek 1 night – single occupancy room Etosha – 2 nights twin share safari roof tent ( chalet upgrade may be available ) Spitzkoppe – 1 night twin share safari roof tent Swakopmund 1 night – single occupancy lodge Sossusvlei 2 nights – inside gate – safari roof tent Namib Rand 1 night – twin share safari roof tent Luderitz 2 nights – single occupancy lodge Quiver Tree Forest 1 night – twin share roof tent /or room upgrade if available. Windhoek 1 night – single occupancy lodge Upgrade may be available to 8 nights lodge rooms ( 5 nights single occupancy / 3 twin share) and 4 nights safari camp – supplements applies and subject availability. It’s a photography journey full of stunning locations with the added experience of camping out under the African night sky by camp fire, sharing a bottle of wine and discussing the days events. Please read the testimonial by a previous client for a participant perspective. Meals These will be either buffet style meals or at local pubs and restaurants. When at camp, our meals will be freshly prepared at our camp kitchen / open fire ( approx 4 camp meals ). As mentioned, this photo journey covers a large part of Namibia by road in a 4×4 vehicle. You’ll have the opportunity to see the landscape and terrain change through the journey. Through the Kalahari, salt pans, giant sand dunes, seascapes along the skeleton coast and mountain ranges that all combine to make this an incredible adventure. Remote camping with limited facilities at some camps is also part of the itinerary, this enables us to access some of the best locations in Namibia under on our own terms and schedule. Basic toilets and shower facilities are available at all the camps and towels are provided as are sleeping bags. Sossusvlei – our camp is inside the main gate for accessing the park which means we can reach Deadvlei before many of the other travellers and tourists. Please ensure that this trip meets your requirements and abilities before booking, if you would like to discuss any of the logistical factors involved please just get in touch. At the moment there is a maximum of only 3 participants with an emphasis on creating a intimate group dynamic on location. This makes location on shooting more manageable which helps you get the shots you want. At camp it’s all hands on deck and guests are asked to participate in meal preparations and maintaining the camp while we are in remote areas. Toilets, showers and clean running water is available at every camp. When you arrive in Namibia’s capital Windhoek you’ll make the 40 minute drive from the airport by shuttle / taxi to our guesthouse where I will meet you. This is the day before we depart. What to expect It’s winter in June in the southern hemisphere but the days are settled and sunny, temperatures range from mid to high 20s to 5 or 6 degrees during the night (centigrade). So it can feel pretty warm during the day and cooler at night the further south we go. It very rarely rains. Namibia has good infrastructure / wifi at lodges but not much outside of towns. This is Africa but Namibia’s parks and reserves are well organised as long as you stick to the rules. Wildlife is plentiful but patience is still needed to wait and spot each animal if and when they decide to make an appearance. Its random but always an exciting event when they appear. Fitness – mostly short walks with the exception of two dune accents but nothing too strenuous. Recommended Equipment DSLR with wide angle 16-35 / 50 or 24 -70 / 70 -200mm / a 150 – 600mm long telephotoor similar, I use this lens as much as any other to get up close for wildlife. Nikon, Sigma or Canon contact me for advice Good solid tripod / minimum 5 camera batteries / Plenty card storage (example 240 – 320gb if your not backing up ) / good head torch / bean bag for resting a long lens . Quality camera back pack with good zips seals to prevent dust / sand entering. Lens cleaning kit / sensor cleaning kit (not essential).