Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail:    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email:

Sara Robb – Operations Assistant:

We look forward to hearing from you!


Limit 10 spaces | $10,250* Closed
Expedition June 22 - July 3, 2013 | View other workshops

Namibia with Jack Dykinga and Justin Black

Map via Google

Magical places with towering red sand dunes, ancient withered, desiccated forests, and storm-ravaged coastline make Namibia unique.  Rare desert lions, gemsbok, elephants, and giraffes inhabit the area, with the colorful Himba people carving out a life in this arid region.

In all my travels, I have never seen such amazing and colorful dune formations.  The colors ran from black to garnet to peach and red colored...sometimes bathed in coastal fog.  The Namib Desert has a timeless quality that calls to me. –Jack Dykinga

Experience the haunting beauty of Namibia – Africa’s desert gem – with renowned landscape photographers Jack Dykinga and Justin Black. We will explore the striking quiver tree forests and geological formations, a ghost town abandoned to drifting sands, the rugged beauty of the coast, culminating with three days of intensive photography among the elegant forms of the thousand-foot red dunes of Sossusvlei. With warm tints of apricot, orange, red and maroon, these dunes offer abstract beauty unseen anywhere else in the world. This special place is also home to the ancient sun-blackened skeletons of camel thorn trees at the white clay “dead marsh” of Deadvlei.

A string of colonial port towns dot the coast, trapped between the South Atlantic and the dunes. Lüderitz, on the edge of the diamond-rich Sperrgebiet area, is a fascinating relic of Germany’s late 19th-century imperial aspirations. Nearby is the otherworldly and sand-bound abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop, where dunes have invaded the abandoned buildings. The photographic potential of this place is astonishing. Further north, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay bracket the southern end of the Skeleton Coast. Both possess a welcoming resort town atmosphere, with ample photographic opportunities along the coast.

Awe-inspiring and unrestrictive, this diverse geography leaves an impact you won’t soon forget.

Our itinerary has been designed to take maximum advantage of the best landscape photography opportunities that Namibia has to offer. In addition to attentive photographic instruction throughout by Dykinga and Black, our group of up to ten photographers will be led by two excellent local guides. This trip includes excellent lodging, in-Africa flights (Johannesburg–Windhoek–Johannesburg), transfers and group ground transportation from start to finish, and all meals, snacks, and beverages.

Namibia is a very safe and welcoming country, and a tourist visa is not necessary for citizens of the USA and most developed nations.

We hope you will join us! To sign up, click the "REGISTER" link above right.

Click "read more" at below right to continue to the itinerary and image gallery...

Itinerary – Namibia Landscape 2013

Day 1,  June 22

Fly into Johannesburg, South Africa. You will be met at the airport to be transferred to the very comfortable Coetzer Guest House in nearby Pretoria to relax following the long international flight. Overnight at Coetzer Guest House

Day 2,  June 23

Early flight to Windhoek. From Windhoek via Rehoboth and Mariental to Keetmanshoop.  Photograph Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground rock formations in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Maritz Country Lodge

Day 3,  June 24

Early morning photography in Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground. Late breakfast at Maritz Country Lodge. Midday transfer  from Keetmanshoop to Lüderitzbucht. Afternoon photography in Lüderitzbucht surroundings. Dinner and overnight at Nest Hotel

Day 4, June 25

Early morning and afternoon photography in the Lüderitzbucht and Kolmanskop area. Dinner and overnight at Nest Hotel

Day 5, June 26

Leave early morning with packed breakfast to photograph scenes on the road between Luderitz and Aus. Visit Garup along the way, photography at the waterhole of the Namib Desert Wild horse. Late breakfast and midday transfer for Aus. Afternoon photography in Aus & Klein Aus. Overnight at Klein Aus Vista

Day 6, June 27

Early morning photography in the Klein Aus Vista area. Late breakfast and transfer along Tiras mountains to Sossusvlei. Afternoon photography session in the Sossusvlei area. Dinner and overnight at Sossusvlei Lodge

Day 7, June 28

Early morning, afternoon and night photography in the Sossusvlei  & Deadvlei surroundings. Dinner and overnight at Sossusvlei Lodge

Day 8, June 29

Early morning, afternoon and night photography in the Sossusvlei  surroundings. Dinner and overnight at Sossusvlei Lodge

Day 9, June 30

Early morning photography in Sossuvlei area. Late breakfast and travel along Naukluft Mountains into Namib Desert and via Walvisbay to Swakopmund.

Afternoon photography in Swakopmund area. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Pension Rapmund

Day 10,  July 1

Early morning and afternoon photography in Swakopmund, Walvisbay Lagoon and surroundings. Overnight at Hotel Pension Rapmund

Day 11, July 2

Breakfast and transfer to Windhoek – overnight in Windhoek.

Day 12, July 3

Breakfast in Windhoek and transfer to airport for flight to Johannesburg and home.


Jack Dykinga

Taste life and strive to make a difference.

Pulitzer Prize (1971 Feature Photography) winning photographer Jack Dykinga blends fine art photography with documentary photojournalism.  He is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways and National Geographic Magazines.  His ten wilderness advocacy, large format books include: Frog Mountain Blues, The Secret Forest, The Sierra Pinacate, The Sonoran Desert, Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau, and Desert: The Mojave and Death Valley.   He authored and photographed Large Format Nature Photography, a “how to” guide to color landscape photography.  Jack Dykinga’s ARIZONA, released in 2004 from Westcliffe Publishers, a compellation of Jack’s best Arizona images and: IMAGES:  Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon released by Arizona Highways, May 2008, reflect Jack’s love for Arizona. Jack’s latest book: “Capture the Magic” released November 2013, delves into composition and the creative process.

Dykinga’s fine art images were featured along with the work of Ansel Adams in an Arizona Highways Magazine retrospective shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, The Center for Creative Photography, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. 

Recent work includes:

Texas/Mexican border highlighting the biological diversity of protected areas along the Rio Grande River, appearing in the February 2007, National Geographic Magazine.

His illustration of the wilderness lands of Native American Tribes is featured in the August 2010 National Geographic.

Jack has donated his talents to the International Leagure of Conservation Photographer’s RAVEs (Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions) El Triunfo, Mexico, 2007; Balandra 2007, Baja Sur, Mexico; the Yucatan 2009, Yucatan, Mexico; the U.S./ Mexico Borderlands 2009, as well as the 2010 Patagonia, Chile RAVE and the September 2010 Great Bear RAVE in B.C. Canada.

In each case, Jack and teams of celebrated photographers from all over the world pooled their collective talents to highlight potential environmental degradation.

 In April 2010, Jack’s image: “Stone Canyon” was selected as one of the forty best Nature Photographs of all time by the International League of Conservation Photographers, and he received: The Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award from the Nature Photographers of North America in March 2011. He has recently been named the recipient of NANPA's 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

He and his wife Margaret live in Tucson, Arizona.  His daughter Camille Bralts lives in Champaign-Urbana. His son Peter Dykinga lives in Tucson and manages Jack’s image collection.

Arizona PBS Interview with Jack:

An Interview with pre-digital Jack:

The Nature Conservancy's Director of Photography interviews Jack

National Geographic gallery of Jack's Native Lands project

Video: Profile of Jack Dykinga

Video: Interview with Jack Dykinga

Learning to See: an interview with Jack Dykinga

Visit Jack's website


Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, photo workshops instructor, expedition leader, and an affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Through both Visionary Wild and Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography (1999 – 2009) he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading photo workshops organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995, before founding Visionary Wild he served the ILCP as Executive Director, and for seven years was General Manager and Curator of Mountain Light Gallery.

Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy.

Among conservation NGOs that have used his photographs in their campaigns are The Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Panthera, Land Trust Alliance, Earth Justice, The Wilderness Society, Conservation International, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ILCP, and the Wild Foundation.

In 2015, Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the Nature's Best Photography Africa competition. He has also served as an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. His limited edition fine prints are represented by G2 Gallery in Venice, California, and by The Art of Wild in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography, founded by Galen Rowell – a world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer – and his wife and business partner, Barbara, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning in May of 1999, Justin managed marketing of the Rowell image collection, assisted Galen on assignments and in his workshop program, and taught seminars on nature photography. In April 2002, the Rowells invited Justin to relocate with them to California's scenic Owens Valley as Mountain Light's General Manager. Justin eagerly embraced the sublime Eastern Sierra Nevada landscape as his new home.

Four months later, Galen and Barbara perished in the crash of a chartered plane, leaving behind a tremendous creative and visionary vacuum. Justin went to work, building on the impressive Rowell legacy to reinvigorate Mountain Light by establishing a seasonal series of guest photographer exhibitions, expanding the image collection, and relaunching the highly acclaimed photo workshop program through collaboration with Galen's leading professional peers, including Frans Lanting, Pat O'Hara, Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and Jeff Foott. In May 2008, Justin's successful efforts were recognized by both Sunset and American Photo magazines, as each magazine featured editorial recommendations of his workshop program at Mountain Light.

After ten years with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited to take over the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental conservation. At ILCP, Justin oversaw an explosion of productivity in expeditions, publishing, multimedia production, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. He contributed photographic coverage to ILCP's Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVE) program, including Flathead Valley (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project for The Nature Conservancy, documenting the Dragon Run wetland on Virginia's Middle Peninsula. One of Justin's photographs from the Flathead River project appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threatened watershed received significant coverage in that nationally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the United States Senate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as Canada and the USA reached an agreement to protect the Flathead.

Justin left his position at ILCP in late 2010 to establish Visionary Wild, building on his successful leadership of the Mountain Light workshop program and applying expertise gained at ILCP to provide superlative workshops and expeditions for passionate photographers seeking to advance to the next level of creativity, quality, purpose, and meaning in their work. His own work continues to evolve in new directions, driven by the ongoing search for extraordinary qualities in our world's dynamic landscapes.

Justin lives in Washington, DC, with his brilliant wife, Lena (Visionary Wild's Director of Operations), and their children Philippe and Alexandra.

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

Justin's Conservation Photography Projects


Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras for most of his career, Justin has switched fully to Nikon digital SLRs. His current gear includes:

Camera Bodies:

Nikon D810 (x2)


24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED Nikkor

24-70mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

70-200mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

200-400mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor


Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter



Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-700

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels



Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters



Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead


Photo Packs

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

Think Tank Photo (TTP) Streetwalker Harddrive

TTP Streetwalker Pro

TTP Airport Addicted V2.0

TTP Airport Acceleration

TTP Urban Disguise 50 V2.0



  • Red dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Tree skeletons at Deadvlei
  • Quiver tree forest near Keetmanshoop
  • Giants Playground rock formations
  • Ghost town of Kolmanskop, overwhelmed by sand.
  • Skeleton Coast ports of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund
  • Desert-adapted African wildlife, marine mammals and water birds along the coast
  • Two photo instructors and experienced local naturalist guides ensure excellent participant support and an incredibly rich learning experience.
  • Small group size and low ratio of participants to instructors and guides
  • Excellent accommodations
  • Package includes single-occupancy lodging, all meals, beverages, guiding, round-trip in-Africa flights, ground transfers, group ground transportation, and all group gratuities.
Note: This is a landscape photography oriented expedition, and wildlife is not a primary focus. Those interested in a wildlife-oriented experience, however, should see our safari to Etosha and Chobe parks in 2013 and our safari in Maasai Mara and Chobe in 2014.

Accommodations & Travel


All lodging, meals, and beverages are included.

• Chez Coetzer, Pretoria, South Africa

• Maritz Country Lodge, Keetmanshoop, Namibia

• Nest Hotel, Lüderitz, Namibia

• Klein Aus Vista, Aus, Namibia

• Sossusvlei Lodge, Sossusvlei, Namibia

• Hotel Pension Rapmund, Swakopmund, Namibia

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
Fly into Johannesburg, South Africa to be met for ground transfer to our guesthouse the first night. In-Africa flights are included. All ground transfers, transportation, and excursions are included. Walks on location will be relatively easy. Temperatures throughout the trip should range from afternoon highs around 80ºF and nighttime lows around 30ºF. Expect sun and little or no precipitation. Fog is a possibility near the coast.