Some experiences in life cannot be described with words.
But I’ll try.
P A R T I
It all starts with the land. I embarked on a new journey, a dream that began as a child. I think the idea of being in Africa exploring the landscapes, wildlife and the people, was one of the reasons I became a nature photographer.
Namibia was expecting us with open arms. The country is a geological marvel, even though its mostly covered by deserts, every single corner of the land is different and exciting in its own way. We explored from north to south, east to west. Driving more than 5,000km over the vast landscapes of Southwest Africa.
Our journey began in Windhoek, the ever growing and cosmopolitan capital of Namibia. We then began our trip south, visiting the Kalahari Desert and Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world, close to the South African border. It was freezing cold, the winter of the southern hemisphere was in full swing and the desert was relentless.
Here I discovered the transcendent Namibian night skies. I had never seen so many stars in my life. The milky way shining so bright it lit up the land. The galactic center right above us, surrounding us 360 degrees with clear skies and zero light pollution. “He Lives in You” of the Lion King began to play on the phone while we admired the greatness of the universe and how small we are.
We then started our journey north going up the coast of the southern and freezing Atlantic Ocean. We visited the old towns of the German colony. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was in Germany, Arabia or Africa. The mixture was so rich and exciting. What I was certain of, was that I was enjoying every single moment of it, every kilometer travelled. I felt peace and utter satisfaction.
Then came the Namib. The oldest desert of planet Earth. Enduring arid conditions for roughly 80 million years. Home to some of the highest dunes in the world, elevating more than 300m. A landscape photographer’s dream come true.
Countless opportunities, endless curves and shapes that shift and change throughout the day. Petrified trees, bright oranges against the clear skies. An exotic, ancient land of sand and beauty. It was overwhelming trying to capture it through photographs, there’s so much to see and explore that it became hard to decide what to frame.
We took to the air. We needed to see the dunes from above so we were able to secure a private, open door, helicopter flight. We were lifting up just before sunrise. The first rays of sunlight painted the endless curves of the dunes while we were above them. Outstanding, sublime, emotional. I couldn’t believe the photos on the camera screen were actually MINE! Took a deep breath.
We moved away from the sand dunes and began exploring the rocky scenery of the highest peaks in Namibia and decided to camp under the bright milky way. We photographed until very late, we couldn’t sleep knowing the universe was shining above us. The arches, the rocks, the stars, the quiet stillness of the night.
Choosing Namibia as my entry gate to the vast and spectacular African continent, was a decision I’m so glad I made. The trip to Namibia has been the culmination of many dreams I had since I was a child. Every night during the trip, I have sat in the room or tent to recap about the day and to do what we call a “reality check”. It’s basically a summary of where we are and what we are doing, to not lose notion of the moment that we are living and to be able to absorb it. I leave a part of my heart here and I know I have to come back to continue my exploration.
Luis Solano Pochet
CEO & Founding Photographer
“Here I am, where I belong.”
Check out my other posts on Namibia:
Thanks to my friend and fellow photographer Álvaro,
for always saying YES to my crazy trip ideas to faraway lands 🙂
Want to visit and photograph Namibia with us in July 2018?
Fill up the form and we will add you to the mailing list, as soon as the Photography Workshop is available we will send you all the information.