Shooting the falls

I very recently returned from a 3 week commissioned shoot in Africa during which I visited Mozambique, Rwanda and Zambia.  Each country was memorable for different reasons; Rwanda for the legacy of the 1994 Genocide, Mozambique for being the first Portuguese speaking African country I've visited and Zambia for the truly magnificent Victoria Falls.

I was very fortunate that we ended up in Livingstone for the last couple of days of the trip and had the opportunity to visit the falls at the peak flow of the flood season, sometimes work and play can come together and give these great opportunities.

Driving through Livingstone you are almost constantly reminded that the falls are nearby - a large cloud permanently sits over the falls and can be seen from miles away. The local name of Mosi-oa-Tunya is very apt meaning "the smoke that thunders".

Photographing the falls well is not really something to be done in an afternoon - I guess proper landscape photographers would take weeks to scout the area and work out the best time to be where.  I was limited to a rushed visit of about an hour and knew nothing of the landscape of the falls and surrounding area so it was a bit of a lucky dip to be honest.

In truth getting a good view of the falls from the ground is difficult with the water levels as high as they were as there is an unbelievable amount of spray that's carried high into the sky and obscures the view.  Visitors wandering along the numerous paths run the constant risk of being soaked by torrential downpours as waves of spray fall back down to earth - one second you are fine and the next it's like being hit by a fire hose.  Again not conducive to having a camera in your hand.  Nonetheless I did manage to grab a few shots between being soaked by spray and then run off the path by a large male baboon whose territory I was obviously encroaching - the following are from the falls, the riverside and the small Mosi-oa-Tunya National park.

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Livingstone-1
Spray rising up from the boiling pot below
Spray rising up from the boiling pot below
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Livingstone-6
Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
Zambia © Toby Adamson / Oxfam America
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Livingstone-9
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