Kolmanskop - Namibia

27th October 2014
After leaving the Wild Horses near Aus we headed off to Luderitz a small town on the West coast of Namibia, after checking in to our accommodation for the night we went to find Luderitz Safaris and Tours where we needed to purchase the photographic permit required to access the old mining town of Kolmanskop the following morning, this permit allows people access to Kolmaskop from sunrise to sunset, the regular permits only allow you in from 8am to 1pm.

After getting our permit there was still enough time to go and do some sight seeing around Luderitz, we drove out to look along the coast and to see Diaz Point.
An interesting landmark, where visitors can view the red and white striped lighthouse that was establishment back in 1915.

Nearby you can also view the stone cross, commemorating the landing location of the famous Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Diaz. The point still bears his name even today.

The following morning we got up early to drive the 15km to Kolmanskop to get there just before sunrise, Kolmanskop is a old abandoned mining town that started around 1908 and was finally abandoned in 1954.

The main attraction for me was the inside of the old Buildings, the doorways the textures and patterns in the old houses as well as the desert sand slowly reclaiming the town.

There are around 40 buildings to explore in Kolmanskop and I quickly moved from building to building searching for the images I had in mind, the morning light was amazing and provided great color and contrast in the old buildings, it was like a treasure hunt searching through the buildings, never knowing what you will find and if the next house had a picture hidden away inside it.

Most of the time I took multiple exposures on any given image,I was using a Nikon D800 camera with a Tamron 16-28 mm lens, I had the camera mounted on a tripod and I was using a cable release to take the images, I selected a ISO of 160 and I was shooting on F16 the entire morning, my shutter speeds varied from 8 seconds to 1/200 sec, I would enter a building and look at possible compositions from all 4 corners of the room, I tried shooting from high angles and low angles, through doorways and windows. I was mainly using the Natural light on most of the images but I did also use a bit of fill flash every now and again as the sunlight became harsher, there is great opportunity in Kolmanskop for using external lights or multiple flashes triggered wirelessly, I think if you did this you would require a few visits to Kolmanskop as the setup time would be much more.

5 hours later we had systematically worked our way through the old town, some buildings had a lot to offer while others I struggled to find images I liked, the good morning light was gone and a very strong wind had started to blow, it was a real struggle to try and keep the camera clean and more than once we were blinded by the mini dust storms that were blown up, it was time to head over to the main building that has a coffee shop and as we found out some very tasty Scones!

I was very happy with the mornings shoot, we had only set aside one morning for Kolmanskop and it was time to make our way towards Sossusvlei , I am sure that shooting Kolmaskop in afternoon will be equally rewarding, the light and shadows will be from the opposite side and will provide some great photography.


Photo comment By drienie: Andrew stunning photos
Photo comment By bettie: hierdie is fantastiese fotos en die storie daarby is besonders. hou daarvan om na jou fotos te kyk. baie dankie

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