Photographing the Dunes of Sossusvlei + The Namib Desert


Photographing Deadvlei with Wilderness Safaris – Namibia

Sossusvlei Sand Dunes Namibia PhotographyDeparting in darkness, a slight glow simmered on the horizon, a tiny trace of the magic quickly to be revealed throughout the Namib Desert.

With Sleep on the Desert Lodge being the closest lodge to Sossusvlei, a brief drive led us to the Namib Naukluft Nationwide Park gate from the place the peaks of dunes grew nearer and my digicam rapidly jumped out of the bag, by no means to go away my palms for the remainder of the day.

Regardless of realizing photographs from a transferring automobile don’t all the time produce the very best outcomes, I couldn’t assist myself. Because the solar rose slowly within the distance, the dunes modified color and I used to be snapping out the window at something and every thing that exposed one of many dunes I’d been eager to {photograph} for years.

With me for the day I had the Olympus E-M1X and E-M1 MKII our bodies, each with impeccable climate sealing to make sure the desert mud wouldn’t be a difficulty. The M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8, 12-40mm and 40-150mm professional lenses have been additionally in my bag to make sure all bases have been coated for the scenes I imagined together with the MC-20 2x teleconverter which I used to be utilizing for the primary time to increase the focal size and attain a powerful 300mm.

The desert surroundings is such an inspiring panorama for me personally. Huge open areas of surroundings that appears to increase endlessly towards the horizon are what gasoline my creativity and I used to be in a cheerful place from the second I laid eyes on the primary grain of sand.

As a result of I do know as soon as I begin typing I’ll little doubt repetitively use the phrases wow, fairly, overwhelming magnificence and little doubt a couple of WOW’s in captials too, I need to as an alternative share my favorite pictures from this morning journey with Wilderness Safaris.

Under you’ll discover six pictures together with a little bit story from behind the scenes of every shot and what digicam settings and equipment have been used to seize them.

Deadvlei Namibia with Wilderness Safaris

Picture #1

Gear: Olympus E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 lens with the MC-20 2 x teleconverter

Digital camera Settings: f.5.6 | ISO 400 | 1/1000sec | 300mm focal size

Stopping at Dune 45, one of the vital fashionable places to climb Namibia’s monstrous dunes, we had a couple of minutes to take some photographs earlier than persevering with to make our approach in direction of Deadvlei, the supposed location for the morning shoot.

Rising at 170m, the dune supplies a straightforward to achieve alternative for individuals to aim to climb and see the surroundings from above…and fill their footwear with sand, tons and plenty of sand. As a result of I like my pictures to be free of individuals, I as an alternative centered on the distant dunes, utilizing the MC-20 teleconverter to increase my 40-150mm lens to 300mm, drawing a lone tree nearer towards the star dunes behind.

Whereas it might not look like the case, I used to be really standing in a comparatively busy automobile park whereas taking this shot and as a result of focal size, individuals may stroll in entrance and barely trigger a difficulty, till in fact I didn’t see them coming after which acquired a shock after I was focusing and immediately bam, individual.

One of many advantages of getting the teleconverter with me was for moments like this after I needed to place myself in a scene additional away and in a way break away from the usual setting and seize the shot with out in fact having to hike within the excessive warmth. I’d beforehand travelled with the 300mm f4 professional lens nevertheless now that I’ve had this compact little gem with me, will in all probability decide to make use of it as an alternative merely as a result of dimension and ease of use.

Learn extra – ‘The Advantages of Travelling with a Zoom Lens‘

Deadvlei Namibia with Wilderness Safaris 01

Picture #2

Gear: Olympus E-M1 MKII + M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 lens

Digital camera Settings: f/2.8 | 1/16000 sec | ISO 800

Arriving at Deadvlei it grew to become a mission to run in direction of this stark valley of dryness earlier than the rising solar took over and the scene misplaced all shadows and depth.

Not realising how far Deadvlei was from the automobile park, inside minutes I used to be a sweaty mess (nothing to cover right here, you’ll be the identical should you go to!) however so rattling desperate to take as many photographs and angles as I may earlier than the sunshine grew harsher and the crowds arrived.

Descending into the valley I rapidly seen the sunshine was rising quickly and took this picture  utilizing the one out there tree that wasn’t already in daylight. Typically digicam settings have to take a again seat with a purpose to seize a fast shot. This was a kind of occasions. I’m an enormous believer that should you get the fundamentals proper and keep away from pointless noise/blur, then composition and creativity are much more vital in reaching stunning outcomes.

Whereas this picture isn’t precisely what I hoped for and isn’t my favorite of the day, it nonetheless offered me with an alternate shot that gives a distinct view of Deadvlei. I trialled utilizing an aperture of f14 to spotlight the solar sparkle however discovered f2.8 labored a little bit higher ultimately.

Deadvlei Namibia with Wilderness Safaris

Picture #3

Gear: Olympus E-M1 MKII + M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 lens

Digital camera Settings: f/2.8 | 1/5000 sec | ISO 250

It is a shot I hesitated taking however, have a tiny obsession with producing reflections and a desert scene works so fantastically as a result of tones and minimal panorama.

Clearly, there isn’t any water in Deadvlei, it’s one of many driest areas on the earth and it was due to this that I used to be hesitant to share this picture publicly.

To take this picture I used the Olympus E-M1 MKII with the 12-40mm f2.8 lens which is right for creating a mirrored image of the sky inside the display of a cell phone. When held as much as the lens and tilted on the proper angle, the cellphone display displays any element above it and on this case, it was all blue contrasting goodness. To make sure you don’t see the sting of the cellphone display, it’s important to {photograph} with a large aperture that can blur any foreground element into the picture.

Learn extra – ‘Behind the Lens: Artistic Phases and My Present Obsession”

Deadvlei Namibia with Wilderness Safaris

Picture #4

Gear: Olympus E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 lens

Digital camera Settings: f/7.1 | 1/640 sec | ISO 200

*Please notice this shot is unedited

Looking to seize a basic shot of Deadvlei I made time to sit down and easily stare in all instructions searching for bushes that will work greatest. For about 10 full minutes (loads in a location as photogenic as this!), I put my digicam on the bottom and simply gave myself time to seek out the shot.

It’s a well-liked location so plenty of the time you will see there could also be individuals within the scene however fortunately, should you arrive early sufficient there’ll be loads of house to seek out some bushes to compose inside your pictures.

These two stood out after a couple of minutes and I beloved the impact the shadow on the again dune was giving depth to the body. The solar was shining utterly over the complete Deadvlei nevertheless this dune was nonetheless in shade, perfect for a contrasting tone inside the picture.

Deadvlei Namibia with Wilderness Safaris

Picture #5

Gear: Olympus E-M1X + M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 lens

Digital camera Settings: f/7.1 | 1/1250 sec | ISO 200

To complete up, I’ll share my favorite picture not solely of the mornings journey however my whole time within the area. After seeing so many pictures of Deadvlei and Sossusvlei on social media, typically somewhat than being impressed I change into a little bit underwhelmed. Whereas this undoubtedly wasn’t the case with this location, I did really feel that I wanted extra time to seize a shot I used to be really proud of, perhaps one other morning there and even one other ten.

Whereas strolling again to the automobile park I used to be drawn to this distant view; the colors, layers and depth all simply grew to become a imaginative and prescient of instantaneous inspiration and I acquired these giddy vibes whereas rapidly whipping out the E-M1X and 40-150mm lens I’d already packed up for the hike again to the automobile.

The fact was that I used to be completely boiling and pink confronted, had nearly drunk my water, crowds have been rolling in sooner than clouds in a summer season storm and I assumed I’d captured all that I may at Deadvlei. Incorrect.

These dunes aren’t in fact Deadvlei, they’re positioned behind the carpark on the jap facet of the dunes nevertheless when taking the shot, I used to be standing on the trail to Deadvlei. It was fairly a humorous scene really as I used to be photographing in the other way to the place everybody else was heading so naturally, as they handed me in my snap completely satisfied state, they’d flip and attempt to see what the heck I used to be seeing.

This was the primary picture I took of the scene and naturally, like most individuals I took tonnes extra with assorted focal lengths and compositions however love that each time I view this shot I’m taken again to my time in Namibia, wowed by the overwhelming pure magnificence. I informed you I’d use the phrases wow and overwhelming!

Olympus Underwater Housing + OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Whats up! I’m the founder and photographer behind The Wandering Lens.
With 17+yrs expertise as an expert journey and panorama photographer, all recommendation discovered on this website is from my private expertise on the highway. I hope it’s helpful on your personal travels and would love to listen to within the feedback about your journeys and experiences world wide.

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