SOSSUSVLEI, Namibia – Thanks to the opportunity I’ve had as an international correspondent for WorldNetDaily.com, I have had the privilege to travel to the four corners of the Earth in search of unique stories and also to take photographs. From Laos to Lebanon and from Nepal to Namibia, I have used my Minolta Dynax 5000I and my Signa telephoto lens. The Minolta was a “demo” model that I found in a Bangkok camera shop in April of 1999. Little did I know back then the wonders it would unfold for me during my adventures overseas.
Of course, getting great photos is no easy matter. National Geographic Magazine publishes the lowest ratio of photos per attempt. Sometimes over 500 rolls are shot to get one perfect photograph. I personally seek at least one great photo out of every 36 on a single roll. No matter what the degree of one’s technical expertise may be, the photographer needs great subjects to produce outstanding pictures.
As Woody Allen once said, “80 percent of success is just showing up.” The photographer has to be in position, ready to shoot and to deal with both his subjects and surroundings, be they animal, vegetable or mineral.
A young Nepalese girl peers out of a window in Nepal’s ancient capitol of Baktapur
This photojournalist has also been privileged to photograph some of the most amazing wonders of the world – some of them dating back to ancient times. The Mayan ruins in the jungles of Guatemala, what some consider the remains of Noah’s Ark in Southeastern Turkey, the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the ancient Roman city of Jerash in Jordan, and the Baalbeck Ruins of Lebanon-Syria come to mind. Photographing Lawrence of Arabia’s World War I fortress in Jordan, the world’s highest sand dunes in Namibia and pristine islands of off the coast of Thailand have also thrilled and inspired this journalist to no end.
The greatest difficulties with taking photographs at extreme altitude high in the Himalayas, in the jungles of Central America and Southeast Asia, or in the deserts of Namibia and Nevada may surprise the reader, for they lay not in the choice of film speed or lens shade, but in the memories they indelibly burn into both the conscious and subconscious mind.
Mr. Nol, whose brother was killed by Pol Pot, visits skulls at “The Killing Fields.”
Many of the best photos I have taken include shots of blown-up buildings in Beirut, or of victims of both the Killing Fields and land mines in Cambodia. There is no joy in bringing home those photos, important as they may be on many levels.
The greatest joy of this photographer rests in capturing slices of history for all the world to see. Sometimes a photographer is able to restore that which has been lost to the unyielding forces of time and space.
Often, I have been able to bring joy to families by giving them photos of their children that might never otherwise have existed, or of Japanese veterans touring the Angkor Wat they occupied before World War II with the Imperial Forces of Hirohito.
And that is the real beauty of photography: its ability to transcend time and space.
The world’s highest sand dunes near Sossusvlei, Namibia, in Southern Africa.
Working across language and cultural barriers is also a great challenge. I have had to work with various subjects in Mexico, South Africa, Namibia, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia, Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan, Holland, the UK, Nepal and many other countries. Often, various small bribes must be paid to get the cooperation one needs to “get the shot.”
The isolated Hindu Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal was certainly a photographer’s dream. So many amazing photographic opportunities unfolded with almost every passing minute that they became both exhausting and overwhelming.
One of the most special moments in photography comes when you just “know” when you’ve got a great shot instantly. Recently in Namibia, I shot several rolls of the world’s largest sand dunes with great frustration, until finally, at sunset near the isolated town of Sossusvlei, I took the one shot that I could proudly add to my portfolio.
My favorite kinds of photos often include animals and small children, who are most often wondrous and unspoiled by the darker side of the world we live in.
“Gizmo,” an abandoned African wildcat kitten LoBaido rescued recently outside of Windhoek, Namibia.
For example, WorldNetDaily readers might enjoy the photo of my new kitten, Gizmo, an African wildcat I found abandoned south of Windhoek, Namibia, early this month. The children of Laos and Nepal are particularly photogenic as well.
Many readers ask me if I will one day produce a book of my photos or stage an exhibit of them. Only time will tell, but my favorites are collected here for your review from the four corners of the Earth.
Click here to view more of LoBaido’s best work.