Wednesday 14 December 2016

Those popular dead trees

If you've been following trends in landscape photography, then you would know what "Dead Vlei" means. If you're unfamiliar with the place, it's basically a very photogenic dried up lake near Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia. In the midst of this dried up lake stand a bunch of dead camelthorn trees.

Despite having been to Sossusvlei in 1995, we didn't actually knew about Dead Vlei back then. So, upon our recent road-trip through Namibia, we just had to make a plan to visit this iconic spot.

The problem with visiting a place of which you can see legions of photos over the course of a year is that it has the risk of not feeling new when you step into it for the first time. That's what happened to me. The place is haunting and special, make no mistake. I just think I'd seen so many photos of it that it didn't take my breath away in real life. I guess that is one of the problems of the modern photographic explosion.

I also found it ironic that you need to travel around 300km of gravel road from any direction to get to the entrance gate, but then you have a lovely 57km stretch of asphalt to take you to within 5km of Dead Vlei and Sossusvlei...the impact of modern tourism demands I guess.

Be that as it may - the other challenge is that it's pretty hard to capture unique and "fresh" photos of this place by now. But then again, I think often us photographers get so caught up in wanting to capture a location in our own unique way that just being in the moment and enjoying the privilege of being in a splendid spot of nature can pass us by.

So here are a couple of photos I was able to grab on the one morning we spent there.
I hope you enjoy them...

Nikon D800  |  Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm  |  f16  |  1/25 SS  |  ISO-200

Nikon D3s  |  Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VR-II @ 145mm  |  f11  |  1/400 SS  |  ISO-200

Nikon D800  |  Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 @ 14mm  |  f16   |  ISO-200

Let me know what you think of these in the comments below.

Keep clicking!

Morkel Erasmus