WPY 2013

Photograph Details

Commended 2013

Botanical Realms

Uge Fuertes Sanz, Spain

The magical kokerbooms

When he clinched the frame, at the final moment of sunset, Uge was ecstatic. 'I felt this was possibly the most beautiful picture I'd ever created.' He had set up camp in the Giant's Playground in Namibia specifically to photograph the dramatic landscape at night. And as the African night descended, he felt the enchantment of the place. It wasn't just the dramatic dolerite boulders, strewn about like a giant's toys. It was also the otherworldly, 'magical' kokerbooms, or quiver trees. These are giant succulents, aloes, found only in Namibia and part of South Africa, which survive the arid conditions by storing large amounts of water in their trunks and leaves. He staged the fairytale set, just as the sun went down, by lighting specific trees at specific distances with a torch, using a long exposure and adjusting the zoom to highlight the changing colours as the natural light faded, moving the torch from tree to tree. He had very little time, and had just three chances at the composition. The crowning element was the spread of branches overhead, 'closing the frame and giving the picture its strength'.

Technical specification

Canon 7D + Tokina 12-24mm f4 lens; 95 sec at f4; ISO 320; Manfrotto tripod; Tank007 TK-737 torch.

Giant's Playground, near Keetmanshoop, Namibia: latitude -26.5745, longitude 18.1329 Giant's Playground, near Keetmanshoop, Namibia: latitude -26.5745, longitude 18.1329

Giant's Playground, near Keetmanshoop, Namibia

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Uge Fuertes Sanz, Spain

I've been connected to nature at an early age, for work and hobbies. Not so long ago I started taking pictures, perhaps as a means to have what I feel in nature and often can not explain in words. I like all types of photography, although I predilection for soil movement and often flee sharpness and close-ups, I am more interested in capturing the animals in their natural and having a small part of the picture.   Another facet of what I seek is a somewhat pictorial of what nature gives us, is something that more resembles the paintings or drawings of a child, that the focus centered on the animal's eye.   The increasingly extreme environments are what inspire me, but in any embankment or piece of ice I can settle with the camera for hours. Also the night and the stars have a big influence on what I look for and pursue. Floor dream photos then try to capture with the camera, but always leave room for spontaneity of a moment he looked. I've been awarded in contests like Asferico, monphoto, Memorial Marial Luisa, EDC Natura

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