Driving Africa

June 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

     In the spring of 2014, I had the privilege of working as a writer and photographer for a couple of NGOs and USAID-funded humanitarian aid projects in Tanzania, Africa, some of the results of which are showcased elsewhere on this website.  At that time, I was by no means a videographer, as frame rates and the necessity of stabilization and quality audio sources, as well as numerous other conventions unique to the medium were still unbeknownst to me.  As I spent months recording my journey as I rode shotgun in Land Rovers to access remote villages and crisscrossed Tanzania's minuscule network of crumbling highways and byways, I brought none of the nuanced knowledge required to make a quality video to this endeavor.  Nonetheless, I was undeterred in recording what moved me about the landscapes, the scenery, and the street vignettes played out before me as I traveled through parts of two African countries.  What follows is my attempt, some two years removed from these experiences, at piecing together some semblance of a cohesive visual narrative that adequately captures what it's like to experience two very different parts of Africa through a passing car window.  The raw footage was a mix of 720 to 1080 with variable frame rates, taken across four different camera models, so there are quality and resolution discrepancies.  Driving Africa is not short at just under a half hour, and does not attempt to conform to the expectations of brevity that a contemporary online audience may be accustomed to.  However, I made this film for myself from the outset, by design, a document I could return to at any point if I desired to put myself back in those passenger seats, jolting through landscapes I find so enchantingly exotic and beautiful.  This film is broken into three distinct parts below, the first provides a glimpse of what it's like to drive between villages throughout Tanzania, the second is mostly footage taken from a couple of game safaris in Mikumi National Park, and the concluding third act, and the primary impetus for making the film, a journey through Namibia's interior desert and the famed Skeleton Coast, which to this day remains the single most awe-inspiring landscape I've ever experienced in person anywhere on the planet.  Thank you for viewing, I hope you enjoy the film, and may it sew the seed of adventure and wanderlust as you seek your personal Shangri-La.  Full soundtrack credits are available at the conclusion of part III.  Also, this film is intended to be viewed at 1080 resolution on a large monitor or TV screen.  When you play any of the video parts below, it begins at an auto-resolution that is dependent upon your connection.  If you have a fast connection, I encourage you to manually change the feed to full HD via the menu at the bottom right of the play screen, next to the option to make the play window full screen, which I also encourage.  If you have a slow connection or are viewing on a small screen or mobile device, then of course adjust as necessary.

 


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