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TOM D. JONES

LANDSCAPE, WILDLIFE

GROUP 7-12

NOVEMBER 17-24 2019

EXPLORE NAMIBIA

Join us on an unforgettable adventure through the sand dunes and cracked clay valleys of Namibia. Explore the spectacular rock formations of Spitzkoppe, known as the Matterhorn of Africa, and discover the colonial architecture of Swakopmund, photographing shipwrecks along the coast and colourful flocks of flamingos at Walvis Bay.

EXPAND WITH PASSION

ON LOCATION 

  • Learn about night photography techniques in the beautifully desolate surroundings of the Namibian wilderness.
  • Work in different lighting and with short/long exposure and aperture.
  • How to handle equipment with care on location.
  • Private hands-on lessons that can help to take your photography skills to the next level.
  • The secret behind the landscape photography.

IN CLASSROOM

  • Expert review and constructive criticism/feedback of the images taken during the day.
  • A Better Moments Certified Photo Instructor is available during the entire workshop to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, guide and help in general.

EXPERT TOM D. JONES

Tom D. Jones is famous for his fine art photography, from which he has received numerous awards, for example the European Fine Art Photographer Of The Year 2009. He’s part of the prestigious association Master Qualified European Photographer and in 2012 he distinguished himself with the well deserved Hasselblad Master Award 2012 in Landscape/Nature A certified Better Moments photographer will be assisting Tom D. Jones on location.

ITINERARY

It is recommended you book your flights to arrive a day early, as we depart from Windhoek relatively early on day 1. Take a day to rest and acclimatise yourself to the country before the big adventure. We can arrange accommodation and activities on request.

We leave for a pleasant and scenic drive in the direction of Spitzkoppe, stopping spontaneously along the way to photograph points of interest. We arrive at the first lodge, located near spectacular 700 million old granite rocks, with plenty of time to settle in and conduct a proper introduction as well as a short briefing about night photography. Because of its geographical location and lack of light pollution, we are at the perfect place for night sky photography and star gazing. The extraordinary rock formations are the perfect subject with an incredible backdrop of stars.

We head out early in the morning to catch the first light over the summit of Spitzkoppe, as well as taking some iconic shots of the famous rock arch. After lunch we will review the first results of our night photography. The afternoon and evening will be spent exploring the surroundings, which take the form of a giant playground for photographers, before embarking on our second night photographing the starlight.

The early birds head out again to catch the first light, as the sun rises behind the rock arch. After breakfast in the lodge, we leave Spitzkoppe and towards to our next destination. Arriving in Swakopmund, you can relax or enjoy some street photography in this fascinating city, wedged between towering sand dunes on the border of the Namib Desert and the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean.

Swakopmund is rich in architectural history, dating back to the period from 1884 through 1915, when Swakopmund served as the main port for the area. During the colonial era, this area was a German Protectorate known German South-West Africa, so a very strong German influence can still be seen in the architecture and fortunately the buildings have been maintained and preserved very well.

In the afternoon we head into the dunes using one of the favoured means of local transportation: quad bikes.

Walvis Bay is famous for the thousands of flamingos that feed in the lagoon and the surrounding wetlands. It is considered one of the best locations in the world to see flamingos. The day is divided into two workshops: Landscape photography in and around Walvis Bay or an optional aerial photography workshop by helicopter.

On our basic tour, we will conduct a landscape photography workshop, visiting the area around Walvis Bay by 4-wheel drive. On the other hand, if you join our optional aerial photography workshop, we will fly high over the spectacular sand dunes by helicopter, along the coastline we will see shipwrecks on the shore and continue over the wetlands where thousands of flamingos congregate. Finally, we will capture some amazing shots over the wonderfully colourful patterns formed in the salt pans.

If time allows, we will indulge in some incredible sunset photography over the beautiful ocean around Swakopmund.

We end the evening in Swakopmund’s best sea food restaurant, with a stunning sea view: ‘The Tug’.

Today we will leave the coastal region and drive inland towards the red sand dunes of the NamibRand Nature Reserve and Sossusvlei region. Along the way, we will enjoy a picnic lunch and take a few stopovers to admire the beautiful scenery where we have a good chance to see springbok, ostrich, oryx and mountain zebra. On our way we will pass the smallest town in the region, Solitaire, where car wrecks have been picturesquely draped along the road.

Here we will stop for some of Solitaire’s legendary apple pie – arguably the best in the whole of Namibia. On arrival at our lodge we take time to install and before dinner we will drive to the first big sand dunes for a nice sundowner.

This morning, we need to get up early to reach one of the most iconic and photogenic places on earth. Known as ‘Deadvlei’, a clay pan where the skeletal trees and cracked ground form some fascinating geometric patterns. After taking advantage of the most ideal lighting, we will take our breakfast under the shade of a nice big tree. We then head back to the lodge where you can either review your images or have a refreshing dive at the swimming pool before lunch.

In the afternoon, we will conduct a workshop session and talk about image processing. In the afternoon we head back to Deadvlei for a camp barbecue and night photography session where the dead trees makes up for a perfect backdrop.

Catch the first sun rays over Dune 45, an awe-inspiring 85 meter high sand dune. The climb is well worth the effort, as from the top you will be spoilt with incredible panoramic views of Dune Valley. In the morning light, the floor of the pan has been described as a “moonscape” and is truly a sight to behold. After a short breakfast break at the foot of the dune, we will begin our 5 hour drive back to Windhoek. Halfway there we will stop for a nice picnic lunch and admire a spectacular view of Spreetshogte Pass.

Once we arrive in Windhoek and have checked in at our hotel, you will have some time to explore the area before we meet up for the farewell dinner at Joe´s Beerhouse, a restaurant famous for their big selection of game dishes, such as oryx, springbok and kudu antelope.

This is where we head out for the Windhoek airport and say our goodbyes, as we all head in different directions and thank each other for a wonderful journey.

TRAVEL FACTS

Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop. 

17- 24 November – 2019

9 Days

Number of guests: 8-12

Local transport: 4×4 bus is included

Exertion level: Easy

Accommodation: Hotels are included

Meals: All meals are included

All permits, park and entry fees
are included

Travel to and from the workshop destination: Not included

Visa and taxes: Not included

Alcoholic beverages: Not included 

Travel insurance: Not included

                     PRICE 

€ 5,950 in shared double room. 

€ 6,450 in single room. 

Groups sign-up a group of 4+ participants and receive a group discount.

All prices are per person. 

Better Moments is a member of the Travel Guarantee Fund, your guarantee that traveling with Better Moments is a safe experience.                    

GETTING THERE

Namibia’s main airport is Hosea Kutako International Airport. It is advised to arrive a day before the workshop to make sure you are well rested for the drive.

Better Moments will arrange one pickup transfer and one return transfer to the airport on the arrival- and the departure day.


VISA

Many nationalities do not require tourist visas for stays under 3 months. For a complete list of visa exemptions, as well as up-to-date information regarding visa fees and requirements, visit: http://www.namibiahc.org.uk/fees-and-requirements.php


WEATHER

Namibia is one of the sunniest places on earth, with approximately 300 days of sunshine a year. December to March is relatively humid in most of Namibia, with some localise rainfall. April and May are pleasantly dry, without being dusty. The weather is cooler during June to August, when the landscape dries out and animals congregate around watering holes, making it a good time for wildlife photography. The weather warms up again during September to November.

Min 13°C , Max 26°C .


LANGUAGE

English is the official language of Namibia. There are several local languages spoken in different regions, as well as German and Afrikaans.


CURRENCY

The official currency is the Namibian Dollar, but the South African Rand is also commonly accepted.


QUICK GUIDE

Namibia offers a plethora of activities and experiences for visitors. From thrilling ATV rides along the rugged coast, to star gazing in the desolate wilderness. While much of the country is less developed, urban centres such as the seaside city of Swakopmund provide some great culinary experiences, with antelope and game being a particular highlight.

Basis of rates: 
All prices are quoted in Euro (€). The prices are based on current tariffs and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.

Payments:
A deposit of €1000 is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due no later than 150 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 150 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. In order to participate on a Better Moments workshop the participant must have made full payment prior to the start of the workshop.
The payment terms can be stricter when the workshop includes chartered ships or planes, and any variation will be communicated clearly on the invoice.

Cancellations and refunds:
All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective on the date, which the letter is received by Better Moments. There is no cancellation charge until 150 days before departure, however we will deduct an administration fee of €300 from the repayment of the deposit. The cancellation charge between 150 and 120 days before departure is €1000 (i.e. the deposit). Cancellation charges less than 120 days before departure are expressed as a percentage of the total price, and are as follows: 119 – 90 days before departure 25%; 89 – 60 days before departure 50%; 59 – 30 days before departure 75%; 29 days or less before departure 100%. This policy also applies to pre- and post-trip extensions. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a workshop in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a workshop.
We reserve the right to cancel a workshop because of inadequate enrollment that makes the trip economically infeasible to operate, or because of good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. If a workshop is canceled prior to departure, you will have a choice between a full refund or a credit towards a future Better Moments workshop equivalent to amount paid. If we cancel the trip in progress, you will receive a pro-rata refund based on the number of days. We are not responsible for any refund for airline tickets, hotel accommodation etc. purchased by the participant. In the event of the specified photo expert being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control, a photo expert of the same standard will be provided. If this is not possible, then the workshop will be cancelled and the provisions above will come into effect.

Travel insurance:
In order to participate in a workshop you are required to have comprehensive insurance coverage for personal accident and injury, medical and repatriation costs during the workshop. In addition we strongly recommend that you arrange cancellation and travel insurance covering the loss, expenses and damages arising from, including but not limited to, the cancellation of the holiday (whether in whole or in part), loss of baggage and personal money and belongings, as well as flight cancellations and delays.

Itinerary Changes:
The itineraries and staff presented in this catalog are subject to modification and change by the Better Moments workshop or its designated tour operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur after final itineraries are sent.

Health requirements:
You must be in good physical and mental health. Any physical condition or treatment requiring special attention must be reported in writing at the time of booking. By registering for a Better Moments workshop, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. Better Moments and its designated tour operator reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Better Moments workshop and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.

Special requests:
If you have special requests, e.g. dietary, cabin number, bedding type, airline seat or other requests, you should inform us of these at the time of booking. We will advise the relevant supplier of your requirements, but we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met, and will have no liability to you if such requests are not met.

Photography:
We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any workshop or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. If the participant prefers that his/her likeness not to be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to de- parture.

Responsibility:
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be held liable for (a) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (b) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Better Moments and/or its designated tour operator and tour administrator for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. 

Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket to or from the participant’s Better Moments workshop departure city. It is the sole responsibility of the participants to organize their own transportation to and from the meeting point as described in the workshop itinerary, e.g. airport, hotel, and to ensure timely arrival. The participant should not book flights and/or hotel accommodation until Better Moments have issued final confirmation for the workshop. In the event of late arrival it is the responsibility of the participant to join the workshop, and to carry all associated expenses. Better Moments is not liable if the participant misses any portion of, or the entire workshop as a result of the delay. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the responsibility of the participant.

Other:
Other terms and conditions may apply to some workshops, and details will always be provided with pre-trip mailings. By making the deposit payment, the participant agrees to the terms and conditions and the responsibility statements herein on behalf of all the individuals included in the booking.

The list is for inspiration, since you know better than anyone
what equipment you prefer.
 
  • bring you own laptop computer
  • Storage medium
  • Camera bodie(s)
  • Lenses, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses 
  • Bag for all camera gear
  • Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
  • Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
  • Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
  • Charger for batteries
  • spare batteries
  • standard power converter
  • raw processing software
  • Memory cards and card wallets
  • Memory card reader
  • USB key to exchange images
  • Tripod
  • Lens extenders
  • Camera straps for ease of changing from one camera to another
  • graduated filter set
  • Filter holder
  • high quality polarizing filter
  • Lens belt