I can honestly say that the quality of my Namibia photos greatly exceeds those from past travels. Julie, I learned so much from you and see so much improvement! Thank you! Thank you to the rest of my traveling companions too as I learned from each of you, both during our time together and the post processing evident in the photos shared afterwards. Kim.
I did thoroughly enjoy my trip to Namibia with Julie.The trip was well-organised and Julie was an excellent leader.My husband is the serious photographer and I only really take holiday snaps on a compact but I was made very welcome, by Julie and the rest of the group, and did not feel out of place. I even took some photos with “auto” turned off, and experimenting with different settings!
The accommodation was excellent and included some very interesting places to stay especially those which are off the usual tourist track I think.I had wanted to visit Namibia on a small group touring holiday and was not disappointed. In fact I think the itinerary was excellent, probably better than any general trips I’d seen, and the dawn and dusk trips out, for optimum photography, were very worthwhile for me as well as for the serious photographers. I enjoyed the good variety of landscape and wildlife, as we travelled, and on the organized guided trips. I even found my share of the driving easier than anticipated.Only problem was it ended too soon…..So many thanks to Julie, (and those I travelled with), for an excellent holiday. Felicity
Namibia Tour Review by Richard Hall
“Ten out of ten for a great road trip with excellent opportunities to capture some wonderful images. Well planned, immensely enjoyable and photographically productive.”
Organisation: Ten out of ten. The whole trip had been well planned and Julie’s leadership was just right. She kept us to the plan and to time without being over prescriptive. She seemed in control and always on top of the situation! Driving arrangements worked out well (but see vehicles below).
Accommodation: Ten out of tenThere were some superb lodges. A couple were only ‘adequate’ but were probably the best available. (I’m thinking particularly of Keetmanshoop but I understand there is no alternative near the forest.) Equally two or three were better appointed than I had expected – very luxurious.
Vehicles: Eight out of tenGood enough and certainly the right sort of vehicle and suitable for the job. The air-con in one vehicle was not working as well as it should and the other vehicle seemed quite old, underpowered and in need of overhaul. But they proved reliable.
Places visited:Everywhere we went had things to commend it. Nowhere was a waste of time. There were even unexpected little gems like Solitaire. But Walvis Bay seemed more like a normal tourist tour rather than a trip aimed at photography. Please understand that I enjoyed the day in Walvis Bay very much and wouldn’t want to miss it, but it was less satisfying photographically.
I’m going to split the photography into two. It’s fair to say I haven’t properly viewed and digested my photography from the trip. But my initial comments are …
1. Landscape Photography (including Kolmanskop & Astro)This was excellent! Ten out of ten. Julie took us to good locations and generally at good times. The evening and morning (sun downer and sunrise) in the desert can only be described as outstanding. I’d never tried astro and this was a new and quite successful experience. Ghost Town at Kolmanskop was in the afternoon sun, but this was not so important when most of the interesting photography was indoors. It was somewhere I wanted to visit and was indeed a great opportunity. Photographically less successful was the dunes trip from Walvis Bay in the afternoon. It was a great experience being driven through the dunes (again an excellent and enjoyable ‘tourist trip’) but the light was not conducive to good landscapes. I wouldn’t have missed it, but I had hoped for better conditions and opportunities for photography. Our driver seemed to have almost no idea of what photographers might want and I think we (the passengers) should have been more directive. Perhaps you could tell future guests on your trip to speak up and be more demanding if they want to take photographs.
2. Wildlife Photography. Eight out of ten. Good, but could have been even better. First the disappointments:Walvis bay boat trip. We seemed to move past the seal colony quite quickly and I had expected good opportunities to photograph pelicans in their colony. (I think my expectation for pelican photography was not possible and never going to happen- so my misunderstanding.) And in the afternoon we didn’t get the time I would have wished for to photograph flamingos – particularly on the way home.Etosha Game drives: (only 5 out of 10) I wasn’t disappointed with what we saw (that depends on nature anyway) but my previous experience is of vehicles purpose built for wildlife photography with lifting roof and easy camera use/access for all passengers. I did notice that such vehicles did not seem to be in use at Etosha – so maybe it is impossible to provide at any price! The roof and struts of the vehicle got in the way. But particularly unsuitable is having three people across a seat. This makes it very difficult if one is ‘on the wrong side’ for whatever is being photographed. Sometimes I was on the wrong side, sometimes I was in prime position, pot luck. But it would be much better if all passengers were always in a good position.What I have just written seems quite negative.However, there were compensations and some great wildlife opportunities. Being able to sit and wait by the water hole in Etosha was a super opportunity and as good as any game drive. Equally, being so close to cheetahs in the desert, the rhino and mongoose at our penultimate night and the warthogs at N/aankuse were each fantastic for getting up close and personal with the animals. Hence the overall score for wildlife photography at least 7, probably 8 out of 10. Did I enjoy the trip? – Certainly did, very much.Did it meet my expectations? – Yes, even exceeded them in some ways, except for some wildlife photography.Was I pleased with the photography? – Absolutely.Would I recommend the trip to a fellow photographer – Definitely yes.
Well done Julie, and thank you very much. I will never forget our excellent trip.
I attended Julie’s March/April 2019 Namibia Photo-workshop.
The trip was well planned, nicely organized and executed. All lodging and tours groups were prepared for our arrival helping make travel smooth and easy. The agenda allowed us to see a good cross section of the varying Namibian landscape and just about every variety of animal in the country. There was plenty of time for us to stop and photograph the sites as we traveled. Julie certainly planned this trip with the photographer in mind. Julie’s low key demeanor kept the mood of the group light and fun.
The members of our group had a wide ranged of experience with cameras and photography. Julie was able to work with those who needed help no matter whether they were a novice or more experienced.
I certainly would recommend this trip to any photographer who wants to experience Namibia.
“The trip that Julie arranged to Namibia hit all the right notes. Her attention to detail ensured that we had a perfect itinerary with lodging that at times was nothing short of decadent. One could not imagine a better guide and Julie’s preparation was meticulous. You will find no better or encouraging tutor if you are looking to improve your photography skills. Among her many gifts, Julie never forgets that taking photography should always be fun. If you want a once-in-a-lifetime trip to an amazing country with opportunities to visit breathtaking landscapes and see extraordinary wildlife, I whole-heartedly recommend a journey with Julie.” – Gary – Tennessee, US.
“As an experienced photographer, Julie has the ability to convey that knowledge across in an easy to understand way. Her passion for photography provides a unique experience for any level of photographer.” – Cheryl
“Julie taught me to how to make the small details stand out, how and where to focus, and I don’t only mean photography! She also showed me how to be creative and think outside the box in Lightroom.” – Dora
“With Julie, nothing is too much trouble and no question disregarded. Often she would have to go over the same thing a few times and never showed frustration, although she must have felt it. Julie has probably had to live in the shadow of her more famous husband, but she is more than a capable photographer in her own right. A superb portrait /wedding photographer, she has now spent several years concentrating on wildlife/ landscapes.” – Gordon
” I had the pleasant experience of joining one of Julie’s photography trips. Julie is a great photographer, and a great teacher. She was always there to help you with any photographic problems you might run into. She really helped me extend my knowledge of Lightroom and what to look for in a scene when setting up a shot. Julie is the best mentor in photography I ever had the pleasure to encounter, the group was really one group where everybody could work with each other thanks to Julie’s constant engagement, and the photographic opportunities were endless.” – Till
“Julie has the patience of a saint! I couldn’t get my head around the workflow process in lightroom and made a complete mess of things. She spent ages sorting me out and wasn’t going to give up on me until I knew what I had to do. It also took me a long time to understand what I was doing with aperture, iso and shutter speed, and at no point did I feel that any question was too stupid to ask” – Jess
“Julie was very respectful of our individual abilities and we certainly benefited from her presence giving us on the spot instructions and ideas for different photographic opportunities. She is a very fun person to be with and I am looking forward to traveling with her again on photography trips.” – Angela