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 Articles for or by Photographers 

All wildlife photographers are first line marketers of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park and first line observers that should play a massive role in the management plan of the Transfrontier park.

 Articles about  photographic specific subjects or experiences while photographing in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park whether its an observation at a water hole, or photographing a species, local people, conservation, on route experience and more, if you think you can inspire or educate here's the chance.


Notes From a TV documentary

Landscape art, civilization and Ansel Adams Landscape photography.

Civilisation is tied to Landscapes.

Landscapes help define who we are and what we call home. Yet Landscape art hasn't always depicted the way the world really is. Its often a vision of what we would like it to be.. a fantasy or utopia .

They can represent our shared values and sometimes they can even allow us a glimpse of something transcendent.

One of landscape arts greatest images were made in California in the spring of 1927 . A young photographer and experienced climber had trekked deep into snowbound Yosemite and things didn't go according to plan and he was left with just two glass plates . Under pressure he produces what many consider one of the master landscape pieces of America or any landscape artists. Monolith.

When Adams came on this scene he fell in love. But lets look at where landscape art started. Lee Chung was Chinas first landscape artist that reflected physical ideology promoting order. What is nature? What lies beyond surface appearance? What is behind the beauty and the deep distance? What truly moves the universe  and how above it all does the dialogue between flowing water and the adamant face of that eroded rock bring, is harmony and what everyone wants ... happiness and peace.

Lee Chungs paintings presents the universe as a harmonious whole in which everything and everyone no matter how humble, has their role. Chinese believe the energy in nature landscape called chi. The invisible energy in the world Nature expresses to, is heavens and the earth in the manifestations of mountains and woods. That's why nature is extremely important in Chinese life. By late 1100th century landscape paintings were deep rooted in China. Painting academies were started and books were written about  the philosophy and practice of landscape art. To be Chinese meant to be civilised and to be civilised meant to paint.

In 1569 in the war of the lowlands between the Spanish army the north of Holland broke away. So landscape was not claimed but reclaimed.. from the sea 200000 acres of sea turned into glorious landscapes and pastures between 1607 and 1612 while the Dutch were at war. It was reclaimed with the aid of 43 windmills pumping the sea water out. It is Said that God created the world and the Dutch created Holland At generations of war in Germany the Dutch country was born by taking the sea and using windmills to remove water to make place for the land.

The sails of the mills don't accidentally form the cross of the Redeemer There's a Dutch saying that Just as the windmill needs the wind to move its sails, so man needs the breath of God to act. Never forget the word of God .

 You have a covenant with God. You are his modern chosen people when you look at the mill. Jacob van Ruisdael in 1670 used his landscape paintings and especially the windmill ( the great emblem of Holland) landscapes to celebrate this. And then England and France at war with Dutch in between During industrial revolution in England landscape paintings came into its own

In 1827 the first photograph was taken and detail became the focus of art. It was never as detail as a photograph.

In America only in 1868 Albert Bierstadt “ among the sierra Nevada became glorious works of landscape paintings as they discovered their own magnificent landscapes that compared to the alps in Europe that was celebrated in Landscapes throughout the world at the time. A pride in the American landscapes was formed by these paintings. The Hudson river school then pioneered a technique called luminum. It used light effects and concealed brush strokes ( frederic edwin church  Cotopax 1862) that created paintings that was considered so overwhelmingly detail that some people ised glasses to admire their work. Although  Few artists would admit it at the time this detail owed much to early photography. It was due to photography that this scale of majesty moved next. To Yosemite to be precise. Starting in 1920’s Ansel Adams pioneered an approach that insisted photography was not simply a mechanical process, but true art. Ansel Adams’ Canyon de Chelly 1942. His method was to work backwards from the image he had visualised and then anticipate the moment when the light and subject would be seen at their most illuminating and then with the press of a button realise that vision.

In 1960 Ansel published a book. This is the earth. His photographs became preaching and his visual sermons were radiant, mystical, ecstatic. They were passionate statements of how humanity could be redeemed through the encounter with nature. He became a patriarch of environmentalism . He tied together the fate of man with the fate of the earth. For some it was when a photographer became a prophet.

From a TV documentary on same subject matter.


Urikaruus 1992 Kgalagadi Transfrontier park landscape

Joe Lategan

When to decide to make an image a collectable.

Urikaruus 1992 Collectable (limited edition)- Kgalagadi Transfrontier park.

How can one sell or label an image as a collectable?

I can say with authority that my years having a photo gallery that has been open everyday for 8 years now on some place or the other on a International tourist route makes me much more confident to speak about the subject. Not because of what images sell only but what the behaviour is of each person viewing an image on a wall.

Nothing beats the knowledge or experience for a photographer to know what images can be made collectables, what images should be enlarged and how they best be framed or displayed and many other other things about photography and persons viewing each photo. Why? because every person that walks through your gallery reacts different to each image on display and that reactions cant be bought or replicated by and image anywhere like in a coffee table book, on social media etc. I shall soon make a few programs on Joe's Camera my YouTube channel about the experience and share it with those that are hungry to grow especially in the area of selling their and marketing images .

Let me just talk about collectable nature photography and this landscape as an example. This image was captured in 1992 at the Urikaruus lookout in the kgalagadi. It was a instantaneous capture as the cloud appeared while I was in the area and had to rush to get a clean foreground to capture the serendipitous cloud scape and within maximum 10 minutes it was gone. Here is why I made it a collectable and what gave me the right to do so.

1. You cant ever copy that cloud except if I copy it on photoshop but that will precisely impact my value of the image.

2. The cloud was the only cloud in all of the sky in the Kgalagadi. Not n other patch in sight

3. No one else captured the cloud and if they did it would not have such a clear background or not as minimalistic for,..

4. ..If you go to the exact spot today you will not even find the point of capture , so many camelthorns have grown in the foreground and   around this tree.

5. Therefore if someone buys the image he/she has something that no one else has on the planet nor can anyone go to the same spot and   recapture it.

6. In future un photoshopped landscapes and animals that comply with the points above are going to fetch bigger prices than composites.     Not that good composites will not sell very well. They will. But look at how special one is to could have captured such a rare fraction     of a second on the planet and in such a world class conservation area.

7. The KTP is a protected area and the scene has not been altered by man since creation.

8. The KTP is one of the most exceptional landscapes on the planet.

9. Even in global warming there are now many trees in this specific spot of the desert where there never have been trees in more than a 100 years of history and maybe ever.

10. Camelthorns are unique in many ways and has many medicinal uses and each point adds to the value. It must just be communicated to the  viewer or potential buyer. I made a video about all these points to further enhance the experience of the viewer on my youtube channel.

11. Because the scene is located in a Transfrontier park and is a International heritage site it further ads to the value for the area is protected Internationally against human intervention or alteration of this scene.

12. The image was capture on Fujichrome Velvia film then and reproduced digitally many years later. this on its own ads to value.

13. Off course the image must be good from a compositional point of view and not allow for too wide a interpretation like in this instance for that devides the audience too much thus creation confusion when determining value.

14. Off course in  a gallery a person instantaneously reacts positive to an image and buys it there and then. This remains the main reason. If you don't have a gallery how are people viewing your images and can they take the image there and then?

  There are many more reasons but I just thought of sharing my thoughts on this subject.

Joe Lategan

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Want to publish and article? email the articles and image if there is one.