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to shift your position a bit until you get the effect you want. You can also adjust the amount of fi ltration you need by rotating the front ring. Be careful, it can look overdone, and you sometimes get ugly vignetting at the corners. Kolmanskop has a particular eeriness at dawn, but the other advantage of an early start is that the wind has erased the tracks of yesterday's visitors. The only footprints you're likely to fi nd at this hour are those of a lone brown hyena that came in the night and is now long gone. It's a good idea to walk around a bit fi rst, looking through your viewfi nder and doing a bit of a ' recce', before you start photographing properly. A place like this can be overwhelming. If you're stumped Travel Namibia 39 ANN AND STEVE'S TOP PHOTOGRAPHIC TIPS ¦ Keep your camera in a bag when not in use. The wind comes up with the sun and you don't want your gear sandblasted. ¦ If you haven't got a tripod, remember to use a high ISO rating when photographing inside the buildings. We fi nd fl ash tends to kill the atmosphere. ¦ Keep an eye out for interesting details and patterns like the play of shadows on the shells of the old structures as the sun moves round during the day. ¦ If you're going for a wide- angle shot showing an overall ghost town street scene try to fi nd some interesting foreground detail to help lead the viewer's eye into your picture. A bit of vegetation struggling up through the desert sand or rusting old machinery should do the job. FACTFILE: MAKING A VISIT ¦ TOURS run at 9.30am and 11am Monday to Saturday and at 1pm on Sundays ( apart from Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Years Day). The restaurant is open for light lunches from Monday to Saturday and the museum is open until noon. Tickets cost N$ 45 ( N$ 25 for children aged six to 14). Photographic permits cost N$ 145. ¦ WEBSITE www. ghosttowntours. com In Lüderitz, Lüderitz Safaris & Tours act as ticket agents. If you're arriving from Aus, you can get tickets on the gate. http:// members. africa- adventure. org ¦ ACCOMMODATION is available in nearby Lüderitz or Aus. as to where to get started, try composing a few pictures through the empty windows or doors of the buildings, using them to ' frame' different views of the town or the advancing dunes. This adds real depth and perspective to your images. Don't forget to have fun experimenting with abstract pictures that focus on the little details, including the patterns and textures that abound here. Look for subjects that highlight the contrasts between natural patterns, like ripples or animal tracks in the sand, and the patterns made by the man- made objects lying around such as rusting metal and corrugated iron. It's these little details that seem to add so much poignancy in a long- forgotten landscape like this. Apply for a photographer's permit to take pictures in the golden light of early morning ANN AND STEVE TOON

P A W S Undiscovered Namibia 40 Travel Namibia Every year thousands of people head to Okonjima to hear about the work of AfriCat - a big cat sanctuary roughly halfway between Etosha National Park and Windhoek. They may spend two or even three days at the lodge, tracking leopard, learning about rehabilitating rescued cheetahs or going on bushman walks. But tourists have never been behind the scenes. until now. As Mary Askew discovered, a new project allows people to see much more of these beautiful cats, and do so much more for their long- term survival. TJ, an Okonjima leopard, has a radio collar which allows him to be tracked OPPOSITE: Wahoo, another Okonjima leopard, enjoys his kill ADAM PACEY T here was great excitement as I arrived at the PAWS project. A leopard had just been seen at a water hole, 20 metres from where guests were sitting around the campfi re. I say ' guests', but perhaps ' workers' would be more correct. Staying at the camp is no traditional holiday. Right now everyone is relaxing with a beer in their hands, watching the sun set over a nearby kopje. However, much of the day has been spent grafting. These people have a seemingly impossible mission - restoring 22,000 hectares of shrub land to how it was 200 years ago, before cattle, feeding troughs, fences and boreholes were introduced. Their biggest enemy is the thorny sickle bush which has encroached on much of Namibia's savannah. Once cleared, the land will be used by AfriCat to increase the number of cheetahs and leopards it can rehabilitate. The foundation already has cats waiting to be introduced to the land. Most of the animals are cheetahs that have been preying on cattle. In Namibia farmers are free to trap and kill cheetahs on their land, but AfriCat offers them a humane alternative. Clive and Roma Muccio- Johnson have sunk their life savings into the PAWS project ( PAWS stands for People and Wildlife Solutions). They arrived at Okonjima four years ago to manage one of the lodges, but quickly realised they wanted to do something much more hands on. " Restoring this land is my passion and I want to install that passion into everyone that comes here," says Clive. " Sixty per cent of the grass species found here 200 years ago have disappeared, and it would be great to re- introduce them. A dream would be to bring back rhino and elephant too. It's a very long term project. We think it will take about 12 years to complete the work, although by the end of 2009 we should have a perimeter fence up so AfriCat can start bringing in some animals". for thought