Mana Pools is a place I speak very fondly of, as many of you will know by now.
There is however a side to Mana Pools that not many have seen, a side I personally have not yet revealed.
Allow me to introduce to you; The Blue Forest.
Mana Pools is so well known for it’s magical golden light, light that few other places in the world can offer. Accompanied by the dusty dry-season landscape this light is simply incredible and extremely sought-after.
This golden light is typical of early mornings and late afternoons in Mana Pools. There is however a different side to this African paradise few photographers explore enough.
There’s a special blue light to this forest, as thick as a blanket. It can be found at just about any time of day and adds a certain quality to your images that brings out a completely different side to Mana.
Few photographers exploit this enough as it does not fall into the one-dimensional category that they so often seek, that of golden light.
How sad that is and what an opportunity wasted.
See, there’s actually a very scientific explanation for this magical blue forest light…
This blue haze is due to Rayleigh Scattering. It occurs when light penetrates gaseous, liquid, or solid phases of matter. Rayleigh scattering intensity has a very strong dependence on the size of the particles. This results in the visual effect of a loss of contrast in the subject due to the effect of light scattering through the haze particles. This results in the blue hazy skies during the daytime, or as can be seen on these images captured within the Mana Pools forest.
Technical aspects aside, it is simply breathtaking!!
The two images above were shot during times of day few of us would be out in the field. The beauty of Mana is that this blue haze softens the harsh shadows and allows for great images throughout a greater part of the day.
Until next time,
Marlon du Toit
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