Gerry Ellis - September 7, 2006 – Isalo National Park

Nearly 300km inland northeast of Tulear are the remote sculptured sandstone formations of Isalo National Park. The park’s claim to fame is its bizarre and rare plants. At the top of the flora oddities is the Pachypodium or Elephant-foot plant. A squat bulbous looking blob, it looks more like a plant root than the plant itself. Fortunately I adore strange plants and Pachypodium is one of the strangest and getting rarer everyday. Luckily this one was also in bloom. Here are two versions, one with a 400m (a portrait with shallow depth-of-field, f4, against a sandstone wall) and one with a 14mm (f11 and the full landscape of its habitat). Later that afternoon I found several Pachypodium growing straight out of the cliffs in Isalo.

Tonight walking back from dinner in the lodge I happen to glance up at the full moon to discover a partial lunar eclipse in progress. It was news to everyone and we soon had a small crowd staring into the firmament. The following was created at 600mm with and exposure set at ISO 100, f/5.6 at 1/160th second. This is a basic exposure under most condition for the moon to render surface detail.