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Star trails over camel thorn (Vachellia erioloba), Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia<br />
Centuries ago, advancing dunes dammed a river that occasionally flowed out to the South Atlantic Ocean along the Namibian coast. Camel thorns that lived along the river’s edge eventually became entombed in the relentless sands, which dried and baked them. Later, shifting sands and winds uncovered the mummified trees. I am particularly attracted to this austere and beautiful place. This image portrays the Southern Cross, a constellation in the skies of the southern hemisphere whose four brightest stars are aligned with the Earth’s axis. To capture this phenomenon, I needed to shoot a double exposure and use a little forethought. With a compass, I determined where the Southern Cross should rise in relation to the two silhouetted trees within Deadvlei (“Dry Lake”). I composed the image with a low horizon line to ensure greater emphasis on the desert sky. In the first exposure, I wanted to create a black sky while retaining detail in the landscape, so I combined a polarizer and a 2-stop graduated neutral density filter. This effectively darkened the sky. I also underexposed the entire scene by one full exposure setting to absolutely guarantee a black sky. I waited until night fell before initiating the second exposure. During the second exposure, I placed my camera on “bulb setting” and used a locking cable release to take an eight-hour exposure of the stars’ movement across the sky. The brilliance of the stars also brought the exposure of the land up to a proper level. <br />
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Canon EOS-1N, Canon EF 17–35mm lens; first exposure: f2.8 at for 1/60 second, polarizing filter, 2-stop graduated neutral density filter; second exposure: f/2.8 at for 8 hours; Fujichrome Velvia film

DP038.tif

Star trails over camel thorn (Vachellia erioloba), Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
Centuries ago, advancing dunes dammed a river that occasionally flowed out to the South Atlantic Ocean along the Namibian coast. Camel thorns that lived along the river’s edge eventually became entombed in the relentless sands, which dried and baked them. Later, shifting sands and winds uncovered the mummified trees. I am particularly attracted to this austere and beautiful place. This image portrays...
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© Art Wolfe, Art Wolfe Inc.
Rights: All images copyright © Art Wolfe. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in whole or in part without prior written permission.

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Dimensions: 12000x7882
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