Winter Colours of Namibian Bush

Monday, 12 September 2022 09:12

One of my favourite seasons in Namibia is winter, but very specifically in inland Namibia, as winter at the coast is just miserable. 

The weather is cold and very very dry, and the bush transforms into what seems fairly monochromatic. Many browns and shades of grey. As much as it sounds like an oxymoron, there is simplicity in its complexity. It's a time when the unique shapes and forms of trees and bushes are exposed. 

Last month I was at the family farm at the Waterberg. I went for a couple 12km early morning walks to a forest that has some Leadwood trees. Besides the natural beauty of the place, I have a strangely strong draw to this place, and often crave going there again and again. Even though I had two consecutive and exhaustive three hours walks here with tripod and camera, I don’t think I got my fix just yet…The leadwood trees have been there for several hundred years so they aren’t going anywhere quickly, so theres always next year. Perhaps even an attempt in summer with some contrasting colours would be interesting, but the heat and humidity would be a tough prospect. 

Most of the image were shot with the Voigtlander Ultron 28mm ASPH II. It’s an incredible lens and I can’t really fault it. Besides it’s strong vignetting wide open at f/2, I find it very useable at every aperture, which is unlike its 35mm counter part the Ultron 35mm ASPH II. To me, these lenses are completely unrelated from an image characteristic perspective. The image directly below was shot at f/2.8 with no vignetting correcting outside of using the in-camera Summicron-M 28mm ASPH profile. 

The last image was shot using the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 21mm f/3.5 ASPH II. While this lens isn’t amazing imaging performance, it’s certainly good enough, but what I find different with it is that it doesn’t quite distort and stretch images like the wide angles I’ve used before on the Nikon system. While it’s a wide shot, the edges aren’t stretched, and the perspective feels natural and uncontrived. I’m quite curious to compare it to my AFS Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 lens one day. The slight lack of the Voigtlander Color-Skopar 21mm f/3.5 ASPH optical performance is easily balanced out with it’s compact size, low weight weight and very reasonable price.