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About Andy


I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.





Entries in Kolmanskop (4)


Photo of the Day - Kolmanskop, Namibia


Sand, Doorways and Golden Light

Kolmanskop, Namibia. September 2012

Phase One DF, IQ160 digital back, 28mm lens, 1.6sec @ f/11, ISO 50


I am only days away from having all of the details planned out for a 2014 trip to Namibia. This trip will be done ‘overland’ style, which means we will take the opportunity to drive the vast country in private Land Cruisers. We will have more flexibility to stop to take photos along the way, as well as an ability to stop at locations that don’t have airstrips nearby. I am very excited to return to Namibia, a country that I have photographed many times since 2006, and my co-leader will be my good friend and talented photographer Joshua Holko. We will limit this trip to only 10 participants, so be thinking if this is something you might be interested in prior to the announcement. We will be in Namibia during the best time of the year for good clouds; late March and early April, and will have the details posted online soon.


Namibia Trip Report [Warning, Modem Buster Alert]

Back in late September I lead a trip to Namibia for Phase One as part of their PODAS series of workshops. My good friend, Bill Atkinson, was the other instructor on the trip, and we had an excellent time together with our travelers. Our trip began and ended in the capital city of Windhoek, and we flew between 3 different locations across the country.

Since I have been to Namibia many times in the past, I tried to put myself in a different creative mind on this trip. My goal was to find new compositions with shorter focal lengths, which isn’t always easy with all of the far away types of shots that Namibia has. I did use my Phase One camera system this time, which limits me on the long end anyway, and it is probably the best camera system for that type of environment: huge huge files from 40, 60 or 80mp digital backs for crisp/detailed images with rich color fidelity.

Our first destination was in the sleepy town of Lüderitz, which is a coastal town that was built to support the diamond mining efforts at the beginning of the last century. While at Lüderitz we were able to photograph the abandoned diamond mining town of Kolmanskop, where I have been many times in the past. This was, however, my first time to visit and photograph with a medium format camera. We spent 2 nights there, and had 2 separate shoots at Kolmanskop on separate days.

As a side note, I will be leading a pair of Namibia trips with Joshua Holko in 2014. We are working on the details right now. Please notify me if you are interested in more information when I have all of the details planned out.

Staircase, Kolmanskop Mining Town

Phase One DF camera, IQ160 digital back, 28mm lens


Two Doors, Kolmanskop Mining Town

Phase One DF camera, IQ160 digital back, 45mm lens


Door In A Door, Kolmanskop Mining Town

Phase One DF camera, IQ160 digital back, 75-150mm lens


After we left Lüderitz we flew over to Sossusvlei, where some of the tallest sand dunes in the world are located. We stayed in the area for 3 nights, and visited the famed Deadvlei a couple of times in an attempt to ‘get it right’. I do like visiting a location more than once, as I tend to get hung up with a particular style on a shoot. Sometimes this means that I stick with a single lens, sometimes it means that I envision only B&W or color or sometimes it means that I take huge creative risks in an attempt to do something completely different. We also took some time to scout some less photographed areas of the Namib-Naukluft, and found what I hear is the most northern quiver tree in Namibia. Talk about far away from its nearest relative, which is still at least a 50km drive.


Deadvlei in B&W

Phase One DF camera, IQ160 digital back, 45mm lens


A Lone Quiver Tree

Sony RX-100 point and shoot camera


Yours Truly


El Grupo


At the end of the trip we flew to the more remote area of Namibia, Serra Cafema Camp. Serra Cafema Camp is located on the Kunene River, which separates Namibia from Angola. One of my all-time favorite locations to photograph is here, and it is the combination of remoteness, grandiose beauty and accommodations that keeps bringing me back. 3 nights just scratches the surface of what this area can do for photography, and I look forward to going back again in future years.


Overlooking the dune field from a vantage point


Driving through the dunes


A side view of one of the dunes near camp


Our thrones around the fire


I am not sure this is what Really Right Stuff envisions for their tripod support


Another vantage point before we went into the dunes for sunset


Dune field with the Serra Cafema mountain range in Angola in the background


Ovahimba Tribe


Sharing our images


Our final breakfast location, overlooking the Kunene River and Serra Cafema mountain range in Angola


Namibia Workshop announcement

Namibia Photographic Safari

September 20-30, 2010


In September 2010 John Paul Caponigro will lead a private group of photographers into Namibia's untamed wilderness areas. The goal of this safari is to photograph the breathtaking desert landscapes of Namibia. This will be a flying safari and we will maximize the time out on safari by flying from location to location. This will enable us to carry an adequate amount of camera baggage, do some aerial photography of scenic locations, and eliminate time-consuming, long drives. This will be a serious instructional safari with a strong focus on teaching in the field.

Safari Highlights

  • This private flying safari covers fascinating attractions in Namibia, while enjoying much of the stunning landscapes from the air.
  • We will fly to three amazing destinations in central and northern Namibia: Kolmanskop, The Namib Desert / Sossusvlei, and the incredible Skeleton Coast.
  • Kolmanskop is a famous ex-diamond mining ghost town which today is fighting a losing battle against the winds and sand dunes that are enveloping it... the photography here is striking and we will make two separate visits to the ghost town to make images. Truly a photographer's dream location.
  • The Namib Desert may well be the world's oldest desert. The apricot-colored dunes at Sossusvlei are some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Herds of mountain zebra, gemsbok and springbok roam the area.
  • The Skeleton Coast is one of our planet's most remote locations. It is wild, desolate, uninhabited and stunningly beautiful. This is a place the will rival anything in Africa for those who enjoy the excitement of wild and remote places.
  • In all the areas we visit, you will have the opportunity to spend quality photographic time.
  • Personalized instruction with John Paul throughout the safari.
  • Safari is limited to 11 participants.

For more detailed information on this workshop, click here. If you are interested in this exciting safari, please email me at

Here are some images from the locations that will be visited:


Kolmanskop deserted diamond mining town


Namib desert from our private charter plane


The dead trees at Deadvlei (Sossusvlei)


The towering dunes of Sossusvlei


Driving over and through the dunes at Skeleton Coast N.P.


Running down the dunes at Skeleton Coat N.P.



New gallery posted - Kolmanskop, Namibia

I have updated my Galleries section on my main web site, and the newest gallery is entitled Kolmanskop.

Kolmanskop is a deserted mining town in the southwest corner of Namibia. The town developed after the discovery of diamonds in the area in 1908, and was there to provide shelter for workers from the harsh environment of the Namib Desert. 

The town declined after World War I as diamond prices crashed, and operations moved to Oranjemund. It was abandoned in 1956, and the desert has taken over its place as the rightful owner. Kolmanskop is popular with photographers for its scenic settings of the desert sands reclaiming this once thriving town. Due to its location within the restricted area of Sperrgebiet of the Namib desert, a permit is necessary to enter the town.

Here are few select images from the gallery. Click here to be taken directly to the gallery. Keep in mind that my print prices are heavily discounted until the end of the year, in case you would like one of these images on your wall.

John Paul Caponigro will be leading a photographic safari to Namibia in September, 2010. Click here for details.