Photographing Victoria Falls

So you go to one of the most spectacular views in the world and you figure the photography is going to be child’s play – just hold the camera up in the right general direction and shoot.  Not so in Victoria Falls.  This is not for the lack of spots and sights.  It’s just impossible to capture the sheer grandeur of waterfalls over a mile wide, and twice as high as Niagara.  Second, the mist makes all your pictures look hazy.  Although we were there in so-called “dry season”, the rising mist creates a constant rainfall in some places – creating rainbows (and night “moonbows”) but also wreaking havoc on the clarity of your photos, not to mention the camera itself.  (Plastic bags for the cameras and electronics are a must, but the yellow slickers we saw some tourists wearing as they entered the park is probably overkill).  In some places, it’s like you’re trying to take a photo from inside a cloud.  I guess that’s why they also call Victoria Falls “Mosi-oa-Tunya – or the “Cloud that Thunders.”

One of the really cool things about the park on the Zimbabwe side (we didn’t explore the Zambia side at all – it’s $65 per visa!) is that they open and close at sunrise and sunset, respectively.  So that means you can show up at the gate at 630 am – which, at the time of year I visited (August) was 10 minutes or so before sunrise – and hightail it down to the far end where you can catch some spectacular yellow-orange tinged photos.  I paid the 20 bucks ($30 if you don’t live in the Southern African Development Community countries) to go for an early morning run, armed with my Flip camera (in a waterproof cover, of course – take something to protect it from the water, and shot the following video:

And of course no photo collection of Victoria Falls would be complete without a photo of the David Livingstone statue.  Who’s that?  Why, he discovered the Falls!  Yup, before he found them, nobody new they were there.  Not even the people who called them Mosi-oa-Tunya.

Want to see more photos?  Check out the small collection at Photoshop.com.

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