About this E-Guide
This 42 page e-guide explains everything you need to know about getting the ultimate landscape photos at Sossusvlei. It discusses basics like when to go and where to stay, but also gives you insider secrets on how to beat the park’s restricting access-hour system. It has maps that will explain the layout of the park to you and make it easily understandable where the best subjects are and when and how to capture the iconic shots. It is also filled from cover to cover with brilliant photographs of the location. Hougaard has spent more than 75 days photographing Sossusvlei and this e-guide contains all the knowledge he considers essential to getting your very own winning images at Sossusvlei.
May 2016 Update
In the first three years that I journeyed to Namibia with a camera, I was lucky enough to experience some of the wettest years of the past century. Valleys were carpeted with grass that stood over a meter high. Rivers flowed in abundance and most evenings were enjoyed with a display of lightning and thunder. I instantly fell in love with this brilliantly photogenic land of contrast and colours.
When I wrote the first version of this guide, everything I wrote was based on those experiences; on a trust that thunderstorms were a daily norm and that during March and April, all valleys shall be green. Over the past three years, I spent around 150 days photographing Namibia and that trust in thunderstorms and green fields has been well and truly shattered. I have learned that what I experienced during 2011 and 2012 was a special event that only occurs once a decade... sometimes even less.
Those valleys that looked like Tuscan wheat fields are now nothing more than sand and dormant grass knolls eaten down to the ground. Rivers that were impassable in 2011 haven’t seen a drop of water since. Wildlife populations that exploded in the abundance are now being culled back to sustainable levels by Mother Nature - an unpleasant sight to behold. Namibia is going out of its way to reclaim its reputation as a desert.
Photographically, this has made things more challenging. The absence of clouds and simplistic blankets of golden grass makes one work harder for simplicity and structure. It strips the landscape down to its essentials that are removed from time and season. Initially this made me nervous, as I didn’t know how my clients would get great photos without those special elements, but after many trips to a drier Namibia, I now feel a lot more confident taking people on tours. The drought has forced me to get in touch with a much more bare side of this landscape.
Now, three years after publishing my first guide to capturing Sossusvlei, I know that I can tell a much better story, based on seeing Namibia in flood and drought. I can create more realistic expectations and I can also pass on more knowledge about how to get the best shots in any circumstances. Namibia is a fantastically photogenic country with a great people and culture. It lacks many of the problems that most other African countries face and the tourism infrastructure is excellent. If you are planning a photo trip to Namibia, this guide has the information that will help you get the photographs you seek.