A Sea of Sands | The Namibian Sossusvlei

A landscape photographer’s dream land with its red and orange towering dunes and the ever-changing play of light and shadow upon them.
Photos by Andrea & Antonella Ferrari

Namibia’s Sossusvlei embodies some of the planet’s most spectacular landscapes, and its desert environment is a photographer’s paradise where dramatic colors, patterns and light reign supreme. It has seen to be believed – the chromatic shades of the gigantic dunes can change completely from one second to the next, in a dizzying and endless carousel of shifting colors and light-and-shadow patterns. In its strictest sense, Sossusvlei (sometimes written Sossus Vlei) is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park.

The name “Sossusvlei” is however often used in an extended meaning to refer to the surrounding area (including other neighbouring vleis such as Deadvlei and other high dunes), which is one of the major visitor attractions of Namibia. The name itself is of mixed origin and roughly means “dead-end marsh”. Vlei is the Afrikaans word for “marsh”, while sossus is Nama for “no return” or “dead end”. Sossusvlei owes this name to the fact that it is an endorheic drainage basin (i.e., a drainage basin without outflows) for the ephemeral Tsauchab River. The Sossusvlei area belongs to a wider region of southern Namib with homogeneous features (about 32.000 km²) extending between rivers Koichab and Kuiseb. This area is characterized by high sand dunes of vivid pink-to-orange color, an indication of a high concentration of iron in the sand and consequent oxidation processes.

The oldest dunes are those of a more intense reddish color. These dunes are among the highest in the world; many of them are above 200 metres, the highest being the one nicknamed Big Daddy, about 325 metres high; however, the highest dune in the Namib Desert area, Dune 7, is about 388 metres high. The highest and more stable dunes are partially covered with a relatively rich vegetation, which is mainly watered by a number of underground and ephemeral rivers that seasonally flood the pans, creating marshes that are locally known as vlei; when dry, these pans look almost white in color, due to the high concentration of salt. Another relevant source of water for Sossusvlei is the humidity brought by the daily morning fogs that enter the desert from the Atlantic Ocean.

Fauna in the Sossusvlei area is relatively rich, comprising several small animals that can survive with little water, including a number of arthropods, small reptiles and small mammalians such as rodents or jackals; bigger animals include antelopes (mainly oryxes and springboks) and ostriches. During the flood season, several migrant bird species appear along the marshes and rivers. Much of the Sossusvlei and Namib fauna is endemic and highly adapted to the specific features of the Namib. Most notably, fog beetles such as the Namib Desert Beetle have developed a technique for collecting water from early morning fogs through the bumps in their back.
— – —

A Sea of Sands | The Namibian Sossusvlei
by Andrea & Antonella Ferrari

more at AnimaMundiMag

Advertisements

Aerial Images of Vibrant Landscapes by Photographer Niaz Uddin

Niaz Uddin is a photographer, director, and filmmaker that explores a variety of natural landscapes from high above. His color-saturated photographs explore crowded beaches and remote tide pools, capturing each of the scenic environments from a bird’s eye view.

— – —

Aerial Images of Vibrant Landscapes by Photographer Niaz Uddin
more by Kate Sierzputowski on Colossal

These Breathtaking Natural Wonders No Longer Exist

Natural and manmade forces continue to reshape Earth’s landscape.

Jeffery Pine, Yosemite National Park
The dead and wind-battered Jeffery pine atop Yosemite’s Sentinel Dome, made famous by Ansel Adams, finally toppled in 2003. Some say the only tree in the scenic vista was one of the world’s most photographed trees, having been the star of glass plate images as early as the 1860s.
Photograph by Harald Sund
— – —

Slim River, Canada
In spring 2017, an entire river in Canada’s Yukon territory vanished seemingly overnight. The culprit was the retreat of the massive Kaskawulsh Glacier whose meltwater diverted from the Slim River to feed a different river. Scientists called it the first case of “river piracy” in modern times. These changes are also shrinking the Yukon’s largest lake. You can see Kluane Lake’s receding shoreline along Alaska Highway 1 and from points within Kluane National Park and Reserve.
Photograph by Alan Majchrowicz
— – —

Elephant Rock, Canada
Some 200 tons of rocks toppled from New Brunswick’s “Elephant Rock” Flowerpot Formation last spring, turning a peephole into a pile of rubble. The scenic spot in Hopewell Rocks Park was one of the most popular stops for travelers taking in the remarkably wide-ranging tides of the Bay of Fundy.
Photograph by Mike Grandmaison
— – —

Twelve Apostles Marine National Park, Australia
There’s a few less apostles in Australia’s Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. In 2005, one of the largest and most intricate of the offshore sea stacks crumpled into dust in front of a watching family. Already the remnants of pummeled cliffs, the heavy surf there means the remaining seven apostles aren’t far behind.
Photograph by David Noton
— – —

Legzira Beach, Morocco
Paragliders, surfers, fishermen, and a handful of in-the-know visitors who frequented Legzira Beach outside the city of Sidi Ifni in Morocco mourned when its twin red sea arch succumbed to the weight of the massive cliff above it in 2016. The rust-colored hideaway was a popular sunset scene; a similar setting can be found in the Jurassic-era red sea stacks of Landram Bay in Devon, England.
Photograph by Zzvet
— – —

Landscapes shape our sense of place, yet Earth is constantly changing. The forces of volcanism, wind, water, sun, and, yes, humans, conspire to transform what has been crafted into familiar terrain over millennia—pummeling cliffs into beaches, eroding vast canyons, forming new land with bubbling lava, and shifting the course of mighty rivers.

more by Meghan Miner Murray
at National Geographic

Karol Nienartowicz

Karol Nienartowicz, Mountain Photographer from Poland

Bonsai III
Pieniny, Poland.
— – —

First Day of Spring
Tatra Mountains, Poland/Slovakia
— – —

The Church
Val di Funes, Dolomites, Italy.
— – —

Rapadalen
Rapadalen Valley, Sarek National Park, Laponia, Sweden.
— – —

Borzhava
Carpathians, Ukraine
— – —

Karol Nienartowicz Photography
more at 35photo

Валерий Щербина | Valery Shcherbina

Валерий Щербина | Valery Shcherbina

благодатная земля
— – —

Пробуждение гиганта
— – —

Про блюдечко с голубой каемочкой
— – —

Gornergrat Bahn
— – —

Зубастый старина Geisler
— – —

Валерий Щербина (sv-phototravel.com)
more at 35photo

Reimagining Californian Landscapes Through Infrared

Kate Ballis transforms familiar scenes into Technicolor dreamscapes in her new Infra Realism series
At first glance, Kate Ballis’ candy-coloured landscapes are reminiscent of the hand-tinted photographs that were prevalent in the mid-19th century, but these gorgeous popsicle-palette images were created with the aid of a specially converted infrared camera as opposed to a paintbrush.

— – —

Reimagining Californian Landscapes Through Infrared by Kate Ballis
more at AnOther Mag

In conversation with Peter Cox

Peter Cox left behind the heady world of IT infrastructure design in the United States to return to his native Ireland, where he is now a full-time professional landscaper. A gallery owner and workshop leader, he is also passionate about technological innovation and has become a leading light in drone photography…
Interview by Nick Smith

— – —

In conversation with Peter Cox
more in Outdoor Photography – September 2017